Songs From Our Hearts

We all have that special song that means a little more to us than other songs. This issue of Seven we want to share a little bit of or hearts with you and reveal one of those special songs to you.


“Frail” by Jars of Clay

Convinced of my deception
I’ve always been a fool I fear this love reaction Just like you said I would

A rose could never lie
About the love it brings
And I could never promise
To be any of those things


If I was not so weak
If I was not so cold
If I was not so scared of being broken
Growing old
I would be…
I would be…
I would be…

Blessed are the shallow
Depth they’ll never find
Seemed to be some comfort
In rooms I try to hide

Exposed beyond the shadows
You take the cup from me
Your dirt removes my blindness
Your pain becomes my peace




Frail by Jars of Clay is one of my biggest go to songs when I’m in a slump. When I’m feeling depressed or morose this song calms me and helps me get out of my mood. There’s something about the rhythm that is so soothing. The slow beat, the melodic and entrancing singing… it just does something for me. It brings home the point that I’m my own worst enemy and that I tend to stand in my own way. I absolutely love this song and have since I first heard it in my teens.

CotyPoynterartist: Volcano Choir
song: Alaskan

last time I saw you
you has me housed up on your red red rum
stranded in the housing
of our moving house and…

we were gonna hit every port
and every Cape Town
we were gonna give a full report, of sorts
to your mother up in Kano and her new cohort

can’t believe your father left his land
the creed
to cry;
rely, rely, rely, rely
behave, behave, behave, behave…
spend all of that time not wanting to

climbed up your carpet
there’s a car pit in our minds were in
shameless and humming
like a violent strumming

we were gonna hit every mark, in stark
but the sutra didn’t suit ya that long day in the park
I’m talking about it
talking real love
I wanna re-up
on that love

can’t believe you left me on the lam
to be seen
to be scribed
I’ll tell you now tha’you
rely, rely, rely, rely
behave, behave, behave, behave
spend all of that time not wanting to

rely, rely, rely, rely
behave, behave, behave, behave
decide, decide, decide, decide

repave, repave, repave, repave

(can’t believe you hardly understand)

inside, inside, inside,
the lathe, the lathe, the lathe

lover won’t you talk to me about the long red war


This song hits me for it’s flow and poetics. It’s idea of love an how we all want it in some form. How we can be abandoned by those who aren’t family, how love expires. It touches on many aspects of love, in opinion, which is why I’m fond of it lyrically. Listening to the song, it’s almost sickeningly beautiful. The end is very appropriate for the context of the song, which is a portion from an interview with Bukowski, when he read a poem about his first wife who died of cancer then weeps over her.

KimmyJaheim- Everywhere I Am

I hear you voice inside my head, everywhere Oh, yeah, clear  as day inside my head everywhere

It’s killing me softly with every heartbeat Thinking you  can’t see How your son’s living (Hey, Mama)

Is there an address up in heaven? I feel like dropping you  this letter But it will be ‘Return to sender’

How I wish I could bring you home Flowers on tombstones Lets me know it’s been too long Since I’ve been in those arms (Yours  Mama)

It’s getting colder every winter I can’t take the heat in  summer Can’t hardly deal with all this drama but

(Just when) I’m inches away from losing my mind (That’s  when) I swear sometimes

(I hear your voice inside my head) And it feels like  you’re (Everywhere) Everywhere (Everywhere I am)

Just when (Just when) The walls are closing in on my  world (That’s when) I see my favorite girl

(Clear as day inside my head) And it’s obvious you’re (Everywhere) Everywhere (Everywhere I am)

Was that you saying, just keep on praying You’ll see the  day when it’ll be worth the waiting (Hey, mama)

I think I’ve received your message Think how I’m receiving  blessings Finally got the platinum record

Did you see me on Soul Train? Dedicated the whole thing To your memory just hoping You’re out there and knowing (Yeah,  mama)

You were floating on stage with me Someone said they saw me  glistening Gotta let you know I’m listening to you

Just when (Just when) It’s the most important time of  my life (That’s when) That’s when I swear sometimes

(I hear your voice inside my head) And it feels like  you’re (Everywhere) You’re everywhere (Everywhere I am) Everywhere I am

(Just when) Just when the heavens open up on the world (That’s when) I see my favorite girl, Julie

(Clear as day inside my head) It’s so obvious you’re  everywhere You’re everywhere (Everywhere I am) Everywhere I am

If God is in the spirit world talking to my heart Then for  an angel I know it can’t be hard You are my guardian and I know You’re  still playing your part (I know you are)

Just on the other side but always in my life No need to  just believe, smile, I know you’re here with me And I’m reaching out my hand  and to the promise land To feel your presence when I need strength

Everywhere I am, everywhere I am (I know that you’re  watching) Everywhere I am, everywhere I am (I know that you’re watching  over us, yeah)

Everywhere I am, everywhere I am Everywhere I am (Mama,  I know, yeah, yeah)

Everywhere I am, everywhere I am (Where I am) (You’re  watching me) Everywhere I am, everywhere I am (Where I am) (I can  feel it in my soul)

Everywhere (Where I am) (Everywhere) Everywhere (Where I am) (Everywhere, yeah)

Everywhere that I am (Where I am) (I know you’re there,  yeah, yeah)

Just when (Just when I’m inches away from losing my  mind) That’s when (I hear your)

I hear a voice inside my head (I hear your voice) Everywhere, everywhere I am (Julie, Julie, Julie, Julie, Julie I love you,  Julie we miss you)

Just when (Julie we still got love for you, baby) That’s when (Just, just, just when I hear your voice)

Clear as day inside my head (I really don’t know what to  do) Everywhere (Sometimes I just put)

Everywhere I am (Oh, I put my hands up)

I’ll give it all up for ya mama Just when I go back to  church All your friends are talkin’ ’bout ya’ Talkin’ about how much I  look just like you


When my mother passed many years ago, the hardest part for me was accepting that she wouldn’t be present to celebrate the many milestones I would accomplish throughout my adult life. For anyone who has lost a loved one, the challenge in dealing with the loss is constructively processing the emotions associated with it. Listening to music happens to be a form of therapy for me; it helps to relieve the symptoms associated with the aches and pangs of life. During those melancholy moments of sadness when I feel the need to be close to my mother, I’ll turn on my cd player and tune in to Jaheim’s Everywhere I Am. It’s a beautiful song that reminds me that no matter where I am in the world, I know my guardian angel is always with me.

What songs mean the absolute world to you and reach you in a way that no other song does?

© Seven Magazine

Uncommon Grounds

I place the final period and smile at the screen in approval. Staring at the new age typewriter I reassure myself, “this one is good,” as I finish the outline for a short story. Written with care and confidence; this is how I write many of my short stories. I’ve created my own formula for writing them, it’s become a secondhand nature. Whether they’ll be good or not is up for debate, but I know how I like to write them. This allows me to share these stories with friends and followers. It’s all about a comfort I have in knowing what works for me when writing.

Now. As for this piece I’m currently writing, that you are now currently reading, not so much. I feel a slight uneasiness about putting words, non-fictitious words, words of advice, into this new age typewriter. It’s unsettling to think that someone may take the things I say to heart and I can’t simply defend my words with “it’s fiction.” This rather scares me a little. It’s a new experience that I’m unfamiliar with. A discomfort zone, if you will. I don’t like it, but I also don’t dislike it.

Photo Credit: Girls
Photo Credit: HBO series Girls

A year ago, I would have fled from the discomfort. I didn’t like the lack of confidence that came with the first times. This scared me away from many opportunities growing up. The dastardly fear of the unknown tormented me. It ruined my words. It was a tiresome battle with myself to overcome my fear. I had to change things, to climb the wall of discomfort and try something new.

It wasn’t until I was asked by SEVEN to submit a short story that I decided to make my move. My climb began with “Charley Parkins.” That was the spark I needed. The key in the ignition. The kick in the…you get my point. As I became more confident, I began sharing more of my work. I founded my writing formula and found comfort in my short stories. I was always willing to share with others my work. I loved the ecstasy of confidence that filled me. I decided then, “I don’t want this feeling to end.”

So here I am, typing unfamiliar words, full of chattering nerves. Doubt floats around in my head, but I write on. You see, writing aside, I’ve learned that there is nothing to be gained by remaining in your comfort zone. Life can’t happen if you stay in bed. The past year I’ve made numerous new friends, found solace in poetry, and even made a big change by moving to Ocean City from Baltimore (about three hours away) after living at home for almost 21 years. These experiences I’ve had with my friends, new and old, have inspired me; giving me new subjects to write about. The reason I don’t dislike the discomfort is for the simple learned fact that new experiences are uncomfortable, but also unforgettable. You must embrace the unknown. Never fear the new. I’ve wasted too much time hiding from that first time fear. It’s a lesson I learned by taking one chance, affecting my person and my writing.

Go out and try something new. Leave your comfort zone behind. Whether it be trying a new restaurant, talking to someone new, or even attempting to write something inspiring and filled with a little bit of advice. Get out of your comfort zone and enter your discomfort zone, for this is the place we can truly grow.

© 2013 Seven Magazine

A Procrastinator’s Improvement Guide

Click on the pic to check out this amazing site!
© 2010 Hyperbole and a Half

As the self proclaimed ‘accomplished’ procrastinator, I know a thing or two about the art of procrastination. Here’s what I have to say: it is amazing. I love wasting all of my valuable time on video games, soap operas and books instead of being productive. There is just a peace that envelopes me when I leave everything for the last minute. Can you blame me? I mean you guys know what I’m talking about right? No? No? Really? Any takers?

Oh, OK. Let me try a new angle. Procrastination is simply something I excel in. I’m great at leaving everything for last minute and then pulling out my hair in frustration for having done it again. You know- the P word. So it’s really not as amazing as I tend to euphamise. But as they say, those that can’t do teach. Yep, we will be trying that saying out for size.

So you there, established procrastinator that is reading this and while you don’t really care to give up this amazing skill I’m here to give you some advice. For the record- yes, I did say skill. It is no easy feat to go against all of your instincts and nagging conscience to be lazy. Well lazy in my case. But I regress. Back to the P word. Procrastination isn’t always great- usually in the last minutes while you’re trying to meet a deadline that you had weeks to fulfill and you only give yourself an hour to complete. So what can you do?

First, it is important to develop precedent. Warn everyone people. ‘I am a procrastinator.’ Well not like that. It’s important to use positive adjectives like amazing, artful, impressive, dedicated… You know words that tend to describe a positive trait. So when you know that this person expects you to meet a deadline or has some form of expectation in time- like, let’s say a date- set precedent. ‘Hey Billy, I feel very strongly about procrastination. I think it’s pretty impressive how people can just leave everything for last minute.’ Yes, you can say that in your most sarcastic voice, but hey you warned him. When your 20 minutes late to your date and he wants an explanation, be sure to tell him that you excel in procrastination. People will come to not expect punctuality from you and you will deal with less guilt and less pressure from expectations.

Next, make a list. Everyday take out five minutes to write down everything that is absolutely important that you get done that day. This is honestly the best and most effective way to deal with procrastination. Keep your list near you all day. Even when you’re too busy lounging on the couch scrolling through iFunny on your phone or on your computer checking out Youtube for nigahiga‘s newest videos, be sure to have your list nearby. A pen or pencil is also a good idea. It will make it easier to revise and add things to your list you forgot in the first go round. Don’t waste your time writing things you know you have no intention of doing. That night when you have exhausted your usual list of time exhausting distractions, your P list will ensure that you don’t forget to go half assed on everything important enough to write down.

What did I say this article was meant to do? Oh, I really don’t think it matters. However, I do hope that this has made you a better procrastinator and that you will soon achieve a master level of it.

A Scribe’s 10 Commandments

The title of ‘Scribe is an Adjective’ was created with the idea that for some, writing is a need. It is what we do and who we are. It was intended to be a category dedicated to honoring those writers who have changed our lives and taken writing to new levels. However, this issue we will be deviating from our normal broadcast. We know that those authors to whom we dedicated an entire section to, those who write for the love of the art, aren’t that different from you or I. From the most mediocre to the most established writer, we are still writers and form a part of this community.

We at Seven feel that to remain a respected community we must all set some rules and adhere to them. We must set a standard. Not only to avoid these faux pas that are being seen way too often, but to also help make you a more respectable writer. This is for everyone but especially for those that seem to have misplaced their moral compass. We hope that someday writers of all backgrounds and aspirations find themselves on the same moral ground. We feel that all writers should have a common ground, a mutual understanding and an underlined foundation. Did I lose anyone there? I speak of a writers code. One that goes beyond courtesy and should be acknowledged by all. We at Seven have gone back to the times of King James to effectively lay out A Scribe’s Ten Commandments.

10. Hone thy craft
Make time for writing. – This follows the lines of the idea that practice makes perfect. Everyday take out time to write. Make it a time that you can afford on a daily basis. Even fifteen minutes if that all you could spare. But use that time wisely and write to your hearts content. If writers block becomes an issue, then write of the frustrations of writers block- but write.

image9. Thou shalt write passionately to better thine craft
No matter where you draw your inspiration, the best writing comes from the heart. So write with passion, with emotion, with your soul and your heart. When you give yourself over to your writing and emotionally invest in it, not only will it be that much more special but it’ll also be more likely to truly reach one of your readers.

8. Thy pen shalt not cease to touch thy paper
After all scribe is an adjective. Never give up on your dreams. Write to your hearts content and never use the fear of rejection as a scapegoat to give up on your writing dreams.

7. Thou shalt ask for permission to use other’s works
Not only should this be done as a courtesy but not doing this can also result in copyright infringement. This includes audio, art and writing. Be respectful of others creative ideas and respect their work as you hope for yours to be respected.

6. Thou shalt give thy credit wherest it be due
Give credit where it is due. There are often many things that motivate us. Nature, music, others… When we draw inspirations from others, we should give them credit for it. This is truly a from of respect.

image5. Thou shalt respect the art of writing
It’s not always easy to be nice when voicing our opinions on novels that took up hours of our life and are a waste of the paper they were printed on. While this could easily be me asking you to not vandalize these books or use them as kindling that is not what I am referring to. Um… But please do refrain from doing those things. 🙂 Respect all creative styles and outlets of an artists despite your differences in taste or opinions.

4. Thou shalt not limit thy self
Lets say that there have been over a billion books written since the beginning of the written word. Let me also say that what makes the difference between one novel and the next is the writer. So when you have an idea to write, don’t not do it because you think it is too common or too crazy. Unleash your crazy and own up to your interpretations and creativity. Because you are unique your novel shall reflect that and your voice will make it original.

3. Thou shalt hate not
Despite what can be said about writers, we make an awesomely creative and unique community. Oftentimes competitive but a community nonetheless. As we are all in this together, be supportive. Congratulate other artist on their work and accomplishments rather than throw shade.

2. Thou shalt know thy craft
The same way that an artist can go to a museum and appreciate the art of others, a writer should be capable of reading the works of others. No, beyond that. A true writer should love reading as reading and writing go hand in hand. I am a firm believer that to be a great writer, one must read the work of others and appreciate the good and the bad. Know your craft. I also believe that reading will make you a better writer. Therefore a writer should never stop being a reader.

1. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors art
In a world where you are not always brimming with ideas, it is a rather easy thing to see the awesomeness of someone else’s work and to want something like it under your name. Well, as it easy as it may be, it doesn’t at all make it OK. Plagiarism is a very serious offense that not only takes away your credibility, but also is an injustice to the original author. I ask that no matter how much you enjoy, love or admire someone else’s work, you do not reproduce it without giving the original author credit for it and asking for their permission to re-post/distribute/etc.

Speaking of which, I recently found a bloggers account of the 5 sure fire ways to avoid being plagiarized: Five Step Method to Ensure Non Plagiarism Real Good by Kat Kennedy over at CuddleBuggery Book Blog. Truly great advice with laughs guaranteed. This includes trying to emulate the uniqueness that was Shakespeare, ways to make your work unappealing to plagiarist, how to ensure you have plagiarist free followers and a sure fire way to keep your ideas from being stolen. A must read.

We all have different reasons for writing, yet I believe there should be a common code for writers of all motivations and aspirations. Please heed the rules set forth to not only be a respectable writer, but to also be a positive member and contribution to the writing community.

© 2013 Seven Magazine

Scribe is An Adjective

Scribe Is An Adjective is our acknowledgement that for some writing is not a pastime- it is who we are. We will be highlighting authors (past and present) who make a difference in literature. Writers who inspire, challenge and captivate us with their words. This issue we will be looking into two successful and accomplished Irish authors.

imageC.S. Lewis, to me, is an author of children’s novels and the man who brought us the brilliant and timeless world of Narnia. But I recently found that he is a man of three hats. During his life he played three different very successful roles: literary scholar, author and writer and broadcaster of Christian apologies. But who was Lewis and how did he come to be this successful multidimensional man?

C.S. Lewis or Clive Staples Lewis was born 1898 in Belfast, Ireland. He nicknamed himself Jacksie at the age of three when his dog died and he took up it’s name. He spent his life with that nickname which was eventually left at Jack. His mother died of cancer when Lewis was only ten years old. After her death he and his brother were sent abroad to continue their studies in England. He struggled to adjust in England but came to rather enjoy himself though he never stopped missing Ireland.

As a teenager, Lewis declared himself an atheist although he was raised with Christian beliefs. He also learned to love poetry, including the works of Virgil, Homer and Yeats. He considered becoming a poet until his first published works Spirits in Bondage and Dymer flopped. He was then
convinced he could never become an accomplished poet.

In 1916 Lewis was accepted at Oxford University. However, he took time off from his studies to volunteer in the British Army in WWI. He fought in the trenches of France where he was injured on the front line by a British shell that fell short of its target. He lived the rest of his life with shrapnel in his chest. When the war ended in 1918, Lewis returned to Oxford where in 1925 he graduated with first-class honors in Greek and Latin Literature, Philosophy and Ancient History, and English Literature.

He was elected to join the faculty at Oxford as an English Professor. Lewis continued to be a non believer with various fazes until his 30’s when he converted to Christianity. His first major work, The Pilgrim’s Regress, was based on his own spiritual journey to Christianity. Between 1931 and 1962 he published a total of 34 books but wrote over 60 during his lifetime. His writing won him acclaim in his ‘three separate vocations’. In 1963 he died of renal failure yet his death was barely publicized due to President John F. Kennedy and Aldous Huxley dying on the same day.

It has been said “that those who may have known of Lewis in any single role may not have known that he performed in the other two.” This was very much the case for me. What role did you come to know C.S. Lewis for?

Oscar Wilde

His name is Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde. I know him as Oscar Wilde. There was a time in my life where I was tired of what the New York Bestseller’s list had to offer and decided to revisit THE CLASSICS. That was the moment that I discovered that classic literature is NOT boring. Once I came across The Picture of Dorian Gray, I became fascinated with Oscar’s sarcasm and complex sense of humor. He entered my life and changed the way that I saw literature and changed my style of writing. Oscar_WildeI always wrote in the sense of what if. For example, what if a lady walks into this bank and her water breaks. Baby is coming. People are calling 911. Etc..etc. I never truly made a connection with any of my characters and just wrote. I never truly fathomed the idea that each time the words hit the paper and flow out of  your mind, your heart is actually bleeding. Art imitates life and his life was a Wilde ride.

Up until his first and only novel, Oscar Wilde was the Seth MacFarlane of the playwright world. He was an eclectic story teller with a hint of raunchiness and well educated in art of writing. He always felt the need to go the extra mile and see how much he could actually get away with. He was well known, respected and honorably paid for his wonder works.

However, this extra mile was also his downfall. Since art imitates life, Oscar went ahead and let his heart speak in his only novel. This was the drop of water that flooded the dam. Oscar was prosecuted for … get this …. being gay. Keep in mind that the time was 1891. However, upon reading the novel that destroyed his credibility and ultimately became his demise; the book is not blatantly gay. There are subtle hints here and there, but nothing like Fifty Shades of Grey (For the record, I haven’t read this book…only heard of it). Yet, the story ended his career and left him destitute with no family and no friends. Not even his lover stuck around!

If you are searching for a timeless piece of writing, amazing prose and tons of intellectual laughter, pick up The Picture of Dorian Gray. You will not regret it. Also read up on his plays and poetry…a simple Google search will do (I love that Google.) I leave you now with a quote from Oscar Wilde’s only novel…

“The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray, and the advantage of Science is that it is not emotional.”

© 2013 Seven Magazine

Today In Literature

Scribe Is An Adjective is our acknowledgement that for some writing is not a pastime- it is who we are. We will be highlighting authors (past and present) who make a difference in literature. Writers who inspire, challenge and captivate us with their words.

Tahereh MafiIs everyone aware of the new craze that has been sweeping over literature? Dystopian novels are set in post apocalyptic worlds that attempt to answer the what ifs. Tahereh Mafi is a 24 year old female that took a swing at it with her debut novel Shatter Me and left me impressed with her poetic prose, unique premise, strong characters and an absolutely heartwarming romance. Shatter Me is the first of a trilogy and below are two excerpts of her novel that I particularly enjoyed.

“I’m wearing dead cotton on my limbs and a blush of roses on my face.

His eyes scan the silhouette of my structure and the slow motion makes my heart race. I catch the rose petals as they fall from my checks, as they float around the frame of my body, as they cover me in something that feels like the absence of courage.

Stop looking at me, is what I want to say.

Stop touching me with your eyes and keep your hands to your sides and please and please and please-

“What’s your name?” The tilt of his head cracks gravity in half.

I’m suspended in the moment. I blink and bottle my breaths.

He shifts and my eyes shatter into thousands of pieces that ricochet around the room, capturing a million snapshots, a million moments in time. Flickering images faded with age, frozen thoughts hovering precariously in dead space, a whirlwind of memories that slice through my soul. He reminds me of someone I used to know.”

Shatter Me

“I sit by the window and watch the rain and the leaves and the snow collide. They take turns dancing in the wind, performing choreographed routines for unsuspecting masses. The soldiers stomp stomp stomp through the rain, crushing leaves and fallen snow under their feet. Their hands are wrapped in gloves wrapped around guns that could put a bullet through a million possibilities. They don’t bother to be bothered by the beauty that falls from the sky. They don’t understand the freedom of feeling the universe on their skin. They don’t care.

I wish I could stuff my mouth full of raindrops and fill my pockets full of snow. I wish I could trace the veins in a fallen leaf and feel the wind pinch my nose.”

I found Mafi’s writing style to be poetic and beautiful. Don’t you agree? I was in awe and captivated with her use of words. It’s not every day one opens a novel and finds such beauty in the language. The words she uses to paint imagery are unlike anything I have ever encountered. She has a beautiful way of expressing herself and it is one of my biggest attractions to this novel. Overall, it’s a great read. It is fast paced, romantic, exciting and always unpredictable. This is a book I truly recommend. You can check out the synopsis and other’s opinions of this novel here on Goodreads.

© 2013 Seven Magazine