Friday, March 3, 2017

Contribute to MANA's 2017 Blog Continuous Short Story And Help Domestic Violence Victims

MarketingNewAuthors.com (MANA) is proud to announce the launching of its annual fundraiser – “MANA's Blog Continuous Short Story." MANA and its parent company, Robbie Dean Press, have supported different scholarship funds and charities for years. "MANA's Blog Continuous Short Story" is yet another way of supporting charitable causes and organizations. 

The designated charity for 2017 is #MoveToEndDV (Move To End Domestic Violence), a California-based organization which encourages businesses and community members to help shelters provide services to victims of domestic violence in their local communities.  #MoveToEndDV is in partnership with National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.https://movetoenddv.org

The goal of #MoveToEndDV is to inspire and encourage 10,000 businesses and other moving companies around the globe to make a pledge to #MoveToEndDV and commit to working with a local shelter to donate or provide a free product or service that will aid domestic violence victims. Domestic violence includes physical, emotional, and sexual abuse in a relationship. Statistics show that 2 million injuries and 1,300 deaths are caused by domestic violence every year. Click HERE for more information on #MoveToEndDV

MANA would also like to thank each and every one who participated in 2016 by contributing your comments to short story that benefited the Flint Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The Flint, Michigan-based public service sorority is providing bottled water to Flint-area citizens where the drinking water has been contaminated over the past couple of years by lead from aging water pipes.

Now, here is how "MANA's Blog Continuous Short Story" works: 

1. The photo in this blog post serves as a prompt. The first person to post can write five sentences or more based on the photo prompt. 

2. The next writer should add to the story of the first post. After that, every writer should add to the story of the previous writer.

3. For every 20 posts of five sentences or more, MANA will donate $10 to #MoveToEndDV.

This activity is twofold: It will provide money to help domestic violence victims and will allow an opportunity for you to be a part of a creative experience. 

To post your comments, look for the word, "COMMENTS" below this post and click on it. You will be able to add your comments to the page. Also, encourage others to post so that you can release your creativity and help domestic violence victims in 2017!


75 comments:

  1. I hear the chatter of the people in this little fishing village. And seeing the people in the water swimming, too, makes me feel a part although I am not. Who am I? Do I really know? I am a rambling traveler who wants a place to settle and call home. Will this be the place?

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    1. And then a voice inside me whispers in my ear, no, you don't belong here. Everyone in the water looks better than me, how can i settle down here with them? Then the sadness prevails.

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    2. Even with the sadness lurking inside me I pushed forward. Arriving in a town where no one knows my past or my name. I thought to myself, "This has to work this time". I wasn't able to ruin another good thing in my life or let someone take away this opportunity

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  2. I so fear settling in somewhere new. All the questions about my past disturb me. Yes, I'm a young retiree. Is that enough? Is it my imagination, or is it real, people peer at me, not satisfied with my answer. I don't want to tell them my whole life story because I'm on the borderline, hell, I am borderline, with my invisible problems, and government checks. But, the sun, the water, they are calling my name. My loneliness is a red flag. I wonder what my chances are of finding a lover here?

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    1. I search each person's eyes in hopes of seeing a familiar soul. Someone I can relate to. I am in a personal hell of solidarity. Most of my life I have felt alone. No real family to depend on and searching for something I can consider real.

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    2. Everyone needs someone, someone who is there for them. I need someone to lean on and people need me to lean on. I am always there for someone in need, for someone to care and love. I always show my love so people can depend on me. So they know they are not alone in this not so lonely world.

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    3. Growing up I've always liked to volunteer. Seeing smiles on strangers' faces always put a smile on my face. Maybe I can find a place to volunteer here and meet new people. Who knows? I may end up connecting with someone I help.

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    4. I was one of them people that did believe nobody needs nobody until sometimes I felt like I needed someone to lean on when i'm down or just motaivate me when I need it. I enjoy volunteering and helping people in need, I do believe you can connect with someone you help because you and that person might have something in common or even have the same likes.

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    5. I also love the water and the sun. At younger ages I would travel, but only with close friends and family, meeting different people on my travels were never a priority. It was not until last summer I went on another vacation enjoying the sun and water that it happened. I finally opened up to a new person, he stole my heart, and nothing has been the same since. Weather I travel alone or with a group I always open myself up to meeting new people, and it is the best decision I have ever made.

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    6. Yes, I’m not that young anymore, yet my soul still years for love. Life it’s not meant to be lived alone. It’s hard to find someone to trust. My troubles make loneliness even harder.

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  3. From the top of the shore I can see the entire beach. Children playing in the sand, men in their boats fishing for tonight's supper, and women in sun hats and dresses tanning in the sun. Do I even fit in with these people? The sun and warm weather were a nothing but a dream in my old hometown. Will I be able to enjoy the warmth, or will I live in the cold forever?

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    1. I am determined to live a life in the sun. I was made for this life. Maybe I wasn't but that isn't going to stop me. I yearn for tan lines and a sun-kissed body. I will keep telling myself I deserve this.

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    2. I love the beach, sweet and calm. The wind blowing and the waves crashing like there is nothing in the world to bring me down. The beach is my happy place and I won't stop until I reach my home.

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    3. Sadly, here comes the rain clouds. Time to find cover until this storm ends. I guess I spoke too soon. I'll have to leave my happy place, when I just got here. I'm starting to feel hungry anyway. Maybe there's a nice restaurant with some good food and good people.

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    4. Everyone is making their way to the little place called "Harbor's Best". It looks cute with its outdoor patio furniture and hanging lights. Something expected in this harbor town. I hope the food's good. A crab boil sure sounds great.

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    5. As I walk into the restaurant I'm surprised to see that it hasn't been too busy. The waiter had dark brown hair with bright blue eyes. He helped me to a table where I sat by myself. I didn't need to look at the menu for very long until I knew what I wanted. Now I must wait for the waiter to come back.

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    6. This would be the perfect life for me, living in the sun and on the beach. Hearing the wind blow and the waves crashing would take all my stress away. Even the little place called "Harbor's best" sounds interesting and I would think the food is good.

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    7. After growing up on a Northern Michigan Lake I had the best of both worlds. In the summer I could play on the beach as a child, and bask in the sun as an adult. I learned to fish for my dinner and what it truly meant to be able to sit back and relax. I also had the opportunity to enjoy Michigan winters, the white snow making everything look like diamonds covering the world around me. I loved having the best of both worlds, I miss it every day!

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    8. My eyes are immersed in the beauty of the beach. Can I live here for the rest of my existence? My bones cannot take another long, harsh winter. I’m going to miss good old friends, but I’m sure that new ones will come along the way.

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  4. She already knew she was staying. All it took was seeing the mix of mostly naked young people casually occupying their towels right next to old people like herself. No one looked askance at the difference between them. Everyone different shades of brown, some skinny, some round, lots of wrinkles on one blanket right next to the smooth skinned buttocks of a young person in a tiny bikini on another blanket. Seemed as normal and natural as a large family unlike back home where the ages segregated themselves. These people were happy and chatting in Spanish amongst themselves. She didn't feel different from them. "Como Estas, Senora" she said as she fit her blanket in next to another older lady.

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    1. She always knew this was the life she was born to live. She sat in the sun and soaked up every ray. She thought of all the opportunities to reinvent herself. So many times she had only dreamed of being exactly where she found herself today. She felt this sense of being at home for the first time in her young age.

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    2. She loved her family, a greater love than anything thought possible. Seeing their smiles and their face glow as they play in the sand. As the water kissed their feet, they ran towards the waves. Jumping and playing around, it's everything she's every dreamed of. The sight of the place she belongs, the home of her and her family. Home sweet home, full of happiness and laughter.

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    3. She was living the perfect life, seeing her family so happy like that meant the world to her. she loved the water so running towards the waves and having the water touch her feet was relaxing to her. She knew this was her home, she new it was the best for her and her family. Her and her family was filled with happiness and didnt have a care in this world.

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    4. At this stage in her life she had already raised her amazing children to fulfill successful full lives. Her husband had passed years ago, and now she finally had a chance to sit back and be "her". Not a wife or mother, but truly the person she felt inside. It was truly her "golden years", and she planned on laying there and being golden in the sun for the foreseeable future.

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  5. I want to be apart of this. It's too beautiful here to deny; the people, the sea, the markets, everything seemed to exist harmoniously. Seeing this magnificent woman engage in conversation with a complete stranger, it gives me hope. Hope to successfully renovate myself and recover from my inner demons, maybe even to find the love I yearn for. Yes, this is the place. This is where I start anew.

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    1. I had to keep myself open-minded and positive. I knew this was my opportunity for a new life. Through my fears I had made the journey. Without much hesitation I left everything I knew. I desperately needed to make this work.

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    2. Life is beautiful. I engage everyday and do what I love. I tell the people I love, I love them everyday because everyone needs to be reminded. If you tell someone you love them when they are having a bad day, it can turn their day around. I live to put a smile on people's faces. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful, just as I do. Spread the love and smile for someone.

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    3. This could work, this will work. I stared off into the distance until I felt someone tug at the hem of my skirt. "Excuse me miss?" I turned to find a little boy holding out a rose my way. "How very sweet of you," I took the rose and thanked him. "It's not from me," he smiled and ran off. I looked around the area, my eyes locking on to a pair of warm brown eyes.

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    4. Life is beautiful anywhere that you live, however with that view it makes it a little bit easier. I often think of taking a "new start", and places with views and atmospheres like this make it much easier to imagine. I believe that the open water really does help you to cleanse your inner self. For me sitting and listening to the water gives me such a relaxed feeling, my mind is so open and free.The water is truly my "happy place".

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    5. Feeling of the possibility of a fresh start is itself so energizing. This was something i never felt before. This new form of energy is giving me urge to go and merge in this world and then i take the step.

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  6. There is no time like the present to act upon a new journey, I tell myself. As I walk up to this fair woman conversing with a complete stranger, I begin to have doubts. What if she laughs in my face? What if the people here judge me for approaching an older woman? For approaching a woman to begin with?

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    1. You overthinking made you have doubts, you think she will laugh in your face but what if she don't? you think people will judge you for approaching an older woman but what if they applaude you for it?. I like to say chances make champions. You won't know what will happen until you do it and when you do it be proud of yourself.

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    2. At times I am very self-doubting, however I have done this. While I have been traveling I have walked up to complete strangers and started a conversation. It was both the scariest and most liberating feeling I think I have ever had. To be completely honest, I have learned so much about life from meeting "strangers" and seeing a completely different view on life.

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  7. My hands begin to tremble. My forehead begins to sweat. Do I look impressionable? I adjust my sundress as I come closer. "Hello" I squeak out. Did I even make a sound? I shouldn't be this nervous!

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    1. Public speaking has never been easy for me. Even the thought of it made me tremble and here i am today. Moving closer to the podium, in front of huge crowd of professionals and students at the University Graduation Ceremony. I am invited to give a speech on my university experience, although i am prepared with a paper in front of me but it's so hard to start.

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  8. She was even more beautiful up close, the fair wrinkles in her skin were a light golden brown, complimenting her turquoise bikini. I don't think she realized I was staring at her. My stomach was tied in knots. How long have I been standing here? Did I say hello yet? "I,.. I just moved here. And you seemed like a nice person to ask to show me around. Would you please?"

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  9. With the grace of a goddess, she flipped her hair behind her shoulder, stood up, and grabbed my hand. "Come dear child, this place is as mesmerizing as the sea it lives next to. I will show you it's beauty." Her words entranced me, I was attracted to her in new ways I didn't know were possible. I felt like a puppy meeting its owner for the first time, my excited eyes could only see her. I'm glad I decided to stay.

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    1. "How long can I stay here?" I asked. "For as long as you desire, dear child." Her voice soothed whatever doubts that tried to slip through what felt like a dream. "Why don't you go get cleaned up so we can have supper." I climbed up the stairs to my new room. As I started to unpack my clothes, I uncovered the photo of Papa and I. I picked up the picture observing how happy we looked; how happy he looked.

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  11. So away we went. The places we visited were more beautiful then I had ever expected. We began the journey in the heart of the town. She took me to a quiet park, the corner store, and a bakery with such sweet smells. The more time we spent together, the more I enjoyed her company. As we made our way to the window booth to savor our desserts, I noticed her ease and grace made me feel comfortable. Could this feeling be too comfortable?

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    1. Comfortable is good, I told myself. Why am I so scared to trust again? I have to reach out, I told myself. This is the perfect opportunity to let my heart feel again. I had been in love once.

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    2. Love is good, love is great. Never be afraid of what could be. I live to no regret and love with all of my heart. I am comfortable with everyone and am open with everyone, this is because I want them to feel the love they deserve. Being in love is comfortable, I just remember the happy times and the trusting becomes natural.

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    3. When you start to trust, that's when you know you are falling in love. When a person can put that much trust into someone, that's love. I know I am falling in love and it makes me feel wonderful inside. I have not felt this way in a long time and I am ready to show my love to someone that deserves it.

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    4. If you are a person that don't trust and you end up trusting someone you love them. Falling in love make you feel wonderful inside but the heartbreak can break you in peices. I think you should only give your love to someone that deserves it and will show you the same love in return, maybe even more love.

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    5. I believe when you start feeling comfortable with a "stranger", you are honestly becoming more comfortable with yourself. I have had this happen, and not only did I have the most amazing time visiting places I would have never seen before, I truly learned that I was missing something inside me, that the other person gave me.

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  12. As we continued to devour our deserts, we didn't talk just stared into each other's eyes. As we both came to finish, no words were exchanged. Only our eyes exchanged and stared. Her hair fell perfectly over her soft, beautiful face. The next words I would speak could possibly be too perfect.

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    1. Before I could say anything she picked up my hand and held it. "Are you having a good time?" she said lovingly. Her touch filled my body with warmth and delight. I could almost feel my heart melting away. "It couldn't be better," I stuttered. I knew I was falling fast for her.

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    2. "There is so much more this town has to offer," she said adventurously, "Let's go!" Willing to follow her anywhere I jumped from my sit and away we went. Into the night full if twilight and sparkle. Just like the light in her eyes. "Where to?" I asked. Eager to feel the warmth and delights again.

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    3. She replied with "There is a beautiful spot that overlooks crystal clear water." Then I said "That sounds amazing." Traveling there wasn't that bad. It was only about ten minutes away from where we were. I was speechless when we got to the spot.

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    4. The view was beyond speechless. We walked a bit to get to this glorious spot. The walking trail opened up to the edge of the cliff and there was beautiful mountains in the horizon that you could see endless of. The time of the year was perfect for the greenery. So many beautiful trees with popping flowers everywhere.

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    5. As I viewed this marvelous view, she was busy behind me. I turned around to a bountiful amount of food and drinks on a blanket she laid out. I could tell she put so much thought into this moment. As she starts to tear up, she gently pats the blanket as to ask me to join her.

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  13. "You are as beautiful as ever" I whispered angrily. "Don't think that makes up for the year I spent locked up in the County jail because of the mess you left me in. What were you thinking leaving stolen credit cards on the dresser? I was sleeping when they burst through the door. I had no idea what was going on. Last I knew you were going to get me coffee...after that night of lovemaking...I am getting too old for this. I think it is time we quit."

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    1. I may sound heartless, selfish and insincere, saying something out of anger and revenge. But no one knows it took me so long to come up with these few words. But once said, i feel like a burden lifted off my heart. This experience has taught me alot for the rest of my life.

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  14. Even as I said it, I knew we couldn't quit. It was the only way we knew how to live. Why work a nine to five like everyone else in the world when it's all there for the taking? And believe me we took, between the two of us we must have scammed thousands of credit card numbers, social security numbers, and bank accounts. I've had so many aliases I sometimes have trouble remembering my real name.

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    1. To my surprise, we never got caught. I'd like to keep it that way. When I was getting my driver's licence I caught myself writing the wrong name. That's when I knew it was getting bad. Practically living for free is so addicting I don't think I can stop.

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    2. I could tell the cashier was a little suspicious when I slid my correct license back into the wallet and gave her my fake one. I gave her a little smile hoping that would ease the tension. She packed up my stuff and I quickly walked out to my car. "We have to move quick!"

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    3. We drove and drove for what seemed like a few hours. I guess we didn't get very far because just as I started to relax, sirens were behind me. So I pull over knowing that we were caught. It was time to give up our relaxed life of being runaways.

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  15. But something has to give. Ursala can talk the pants off a man or woman, young or old, regardless of ethnicity or education which is great for her but she is becoming more careless, reckless even. Too dependent on her gifts of beauty and charm. Where she is gorgeous and sweet tongued, I am reliant on my respectability quotient: white hair and good manners. At our peak, we were raking in hundred of thousands of dollars. Unbeknownst to her, I have banked half of it. The whole purpose of coming down here to South America was to introduce her to retirement. Spending a year in lock up opened my eyes. Not how I want to spend my middle years.

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    1. After that year in jail, it got me thinking of what I want to do when I get out. Do I want to continue with Ursala or do I want to start fresh again? I can't even count on my hands and feet how many times I have had to do that. Things would have just been so much easier had she not become so reckless. After spending those last few months of my time served thinking about what I want to do, I have made my decision and I am going to continue on with Ursala. We have already built so much together. So my plan becomes more and more developed in those last few days. We are going to recover the money in our off shore accounts and travel the world, starting with Paris. I have always wanted to go there since I was a child.

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    2. Now the only problem standing in my way is, how am I going to find Ursala? When we were arrested and brought to jail, they wouldn't tell me no matter how many times I would ask where they were keeping her at. So the first day after my release, I spend the entire day searching for her. I call the police station who we were arrested by, acting like a concerned family member, I request to know where she had been held. They tell me the same jail that I was held in, but she was still serving time. I requested to know her intended release date. This was so I could surprise her by being there when she was released.

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    3. Today was the day. Just a few days after mine, she would be released too and we would be able to live our lives again. In just a few short hours I was going to see my love again. I sit there in the parking lot by the release gate, just staring at the guards waiting for them to walk her out. Minutes seem like hours and hours seem like days, but there she is, walking toward me for the first time in a year. I haven't felt this much excitement since the first day we met and she was showing me the town. I can see it on her face that she can not wait to see me either. I get out and stand there. Her walk turns to a run towards me as she realizes I'm waiting for her. We hug for what seems like days for the first time in forever. I am overjoyed and we both cry tears of happiness.

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    4. "Are you hungry?" I asked. "Yes" she replied. I open the door for her to get in. We go back and forth discussing what we would like to have for breakfast. We then arrived to the conclusion that we would go to our usual spot. As we are sitting at the booth we start to discuss our next plan. I tell her that I would like to go somewhere new and get away from everything we have here. I mentioned to her that it was always a childhood dream to travel to Paris. Her eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas day. She was ecstatic. The plan was for us to fly to Paris in a few days. We had to work out our new aliases before we could travel, as our current profiles had been placed on parole and we were not allowed to leave South America.

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    5. The day has come for our flight to Paris. My stomach is in knots. I am nervous with all that has recently happened that we are going to get caught. We have retrieved all of our money in the off shore accounts and closed those. We were traveling with close to 2 million dollars. I have never been so nervous and excited in my life. Now this was the way to live in retirement. Traveling the world and seeing everything that it has to offer. It seems as though everything is going off without a stop. We check-in to our flight and off we go. We arrive in Paris the following day. It seems to good to be true, but for now we are free. We discuss on and off of all the places that we would like to travel to and see, but we will always have to be careful to not get caught again.

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  16. I sit down heavily at the small, dark wood table in the bar. She has run off to the restroom with her cellphone leaving me alone in this cool, peaceful hotel, ceiling fans slowly turning above. Sweat drips down between my breasts from hauling the luggage up the stairs. Isn't it funny after all these years, I still carry the heaviest bags when we are together as though I am still the fit, powerful woman I was at 30 or 40. There was a time my efforts were rewarded with touch, a loving smile, appreciation. Some acknowledgement. When I see a woman who lays her hand on her companion's back in gratitude for small acts of kindness or consideration, I feel a loss that goes to my bones.

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    1. It reminds me of the neglect I felt as a child. It hurts to never receive acknowledgement for doing well. I never got one simple "Thank You". Seeing that woman show her gratitude almost made me lose it. It took everything I had in me not to outburst in anger.

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    2. As a child I did receive acknowledgement for doing well, i never wanted to hear a thank you for doing the things i'm suppose to be doing, I just liked to hear a "I'm proud of you". Seeing this woman show her gratitude did make me feel different in a bad way but since I never been through something like this I can't say how I really feel.

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    3. As Men may never understand what a women heart is, it is not just a a piece of meat but a jar filled with emotions and feelings that flow to the brain and the whole body and thus affect the whole life.

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  17. I tried to calm down my rapidly beating heart. Sounds came from the bathroom that my partner was finishing up.

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    1. "Ready to go?" he asked. "Ready," I struggled to get the word out. We started to head to the ice cream shop just down the road. I stuffed my hands in my pockets hiding the nerves that caused my hands to shake. I went through the sequence of events that had happened earlier. "He doesn't know, there is no way he knows," I thought to myself. "You covered your tracks," I reassured myself, "You had help."

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  18. As she emerged from the bathroom my heart began to race once again. The color had completely left her face, it was obvious that she was extremely anxious about something. "What in the world happened in there?" I asked. "I overheard a security guard questioning people about two fugitive women that they were looking for! I waited until they left to come out" she said, breathing very deeply because sentences trying to calm down. We knew we had to get out of here as quietly and quickly as possible.

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  19. "One upon a time there was a--" I was cut of before I could finish my sentence. "Little girl called Little Red Riding Hood. We know this story, everyone does!" She said exasperated. "Okay..." I scratched my brain for another children's story to tell. "Ah! Once upon a time there was a girl named Gol--" She let out another sigh, "Goldilocks. Can you tell something else?" "Yeah! Tell us something we've never heard before, something new." Another girl piped up. "You guys hear the story about a princess that has the power to manipulate snow?" The three girls glared my way. "Okay, something new huh?" They all nodded enthusiastically. "Alright," I took a deep breath, the three of them leaned towards me in interest. "No interruptions," I said. "No interruptions," they repeated. "Many years ago, before there were kings and queens, before there were princes and princesses, before there was royalty..."

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  20. One… One decade, five years, seven months, sixteen days, eighteen hours, eleven minutes, and thirteen seconds. Time is turning into something I can no longer understand; each moment blending in with the next. It all feels surreal, like life is in a continuous loop. The memories, the moments in a lifetime feel like a distant dream that continues to drift away with each passing day. Am I really alive? Am I really here?

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  21. Standing there with my feet in the water and the sun in my hair it finally sunk in that I really did it. I finally found myself in this small beautiful fishing village. I could not believe that I had already been there for a full week. When I arrived I felt cold and empty. After my first few days with the amazing people of the village I finally felt light and full of life. Is it true, had I finally found my true self and possibly my true home?

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  22. Paradise! This fishing village was my home away from home. The activities they offered, like scuba diving, was a way to see the creatures underwater. I dove three dives a day for the entire week. I finally found a place where I could live for the rest of my life.

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