Second Cup. . . why yes please.

Not one cup, but a Second Cup

I have an admission. First of all, let me say, that I had no intention of purposely walking into this location. Seriously! Do not doubt my dedication to my first love!?! This visit was purely consequential with what I was doing at the time and not that I wanted to step out on her, she means the world to me, but it was all about convenience. I know, it’s a horrible excuse. However she was there when I needed her, where as Starbucks was no where to be found. It meant nothing. Like, I understand this is not an excuse, but I needed a fix and Second Cup was there to quench my thirst. It seriously meant nothing!

© 2013 Seven Magazine

I was lost. Desperately needing a caffeine fix and well, I stumbled upon her. I decided, why not. It’s just a cup of coffee. Think of the moments when you need Starbucks, but the nearest place next to you is a Dunkin Donuts. What does an addict do? Do you go without caffeine for the next couple of hours and possibly kill someone one in traffic because you were missing your caffeine fix?? I think not!! You make a sane decision and save a life by drinking Dunkin until you find a Starbucks. America Runs on Dunkin is a horrible slogan. It should be America Accepts Dunkin as a Starbucks Replacement in Order to Save Lives!

Keeping this mentality, I hope that you understand my reluctance in possibly committing vehicular homicide. I was a responsible adult and I stopped at the first available caffeine source. I parked my car, walked up to the building and opened the door. Caffeine scent smacked my receptors and drew me in without hesitation. My eyes checked out the decor that reminded me of Central Perk from Friends, while my mouth savored in anticipation. The mood was LATTE! Now, you think that Starbucks has a complicated menu, THINK AGAIN MY FRIEND! Second Cup has an intricate menu ranging from coffees, lattes and others. I decided to go with a Vanilla Bean Latte AND OMG was it amazing. If you have one near you, check them out. You won’t be disappointed. Did I mention the price was right? It was about half the price of a Starbucks beverage and probably more delish! I still heart you Starbucks!

How Do I Kill You?

I was writing my first novel. As the story progressed, I realized that I hated my main character. Like, stick-a-rusted-razor-tooth-dagger-repeatedly-hacksaw-your-eye truly fully hated her. I then realized that I needed to get rid of her. It was time to plot her murder. It was then time to sit back and wonder, exactly how would she die?

How often have you found yourself in this conundrum? Exactly how do you kill a character? I thought about this almost obsessively. Let me clarify first, that these are ONLY ideas to help you murder a fictitious character and NOT a real human. I do not want this blog post to be evidence in a murder trial NOR do I want my name to flash on the screen and cause a Fox News exclusive on why blogs shouldn’t discuss character killings. I don’t want to spark a national debate on the infringement of the First Amendment and all that jazz. NO, I am merely sharing with you, my personal favs on how to get rid of FICTITIOUS characters that I cannot stand.

1) Poison – Think of Snow White and the apple, but not the coma apple. Make it a deadly apple, or a deadly cup of Starbucks. You can use a real poison (Google it) if your are writing a murder mystery or just make up some random concoction. Hucklevisa Mumble Berry is a good one. Make sure to mix with honey first, to get rid of that sour taste.

2) Fall – Nothing is better than making that pain in the butt character than to cause them pain. Stumbling to their death is the best. Maybe upon walking to the store, they trip on their shoe lace, stumble a couple of paces only to fall backward and then land on a upside down razor sharp ice skating boot that slices into their head and down the back of the neck until it severs their spinal cord killing them within minutes letting them reflect on all the misery they caused. So what if your story is centered in the summer? Maybe the ice skater was cleaning out the closet and the boot fell out into the street.

3) Car – Hit by a car, dragged by a car, rolled over by a car, car fell on their head, and even had a heart attack in the car. The possibilities are endless. Explore this one.

4) Eaten – Works very well if your working on a Sci Fi…but can be made real if you use a parasite or bug or a zombie. God I love zombies! OMG…what if you have a rabid zombie pink haired leprechaun who is high on bath salts??? Picture it for a second…. yup, hilarious!

5) Gun – Get more creative than this. I know you can. This is just sooo blah! Same as using a knife. Gun/knives are just a little over done. Nunchucks now THAT is a murder weapon! Have your character assassin randomly pop into a scene, cartwheel over to the pain in the butt character and nunchuck him/her to death! This also serves as reflection for you character to finally repent for his/her malicious ways as the rabid zombie pink haired leprechaun nunchucks chucks the life outta him/her. Sorry… I still think it’s hilarious! PICTURE IT!!

6) Turkey Leg – Picture this… Your characters are sitting down for a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, Pop Pop is about to do the honors of slicing the turkey, when drunk Uncle Ted starts complaining about how he wanted do the honors and Pop Pop is too old to do it. Pop Pop looses his marbles, slices off the turkey leg and proceeds to beat Uncle Ted in the head chanting over and over again ‘Viagra is for duration not necessitation!”

7) Eye Pop – A what? Exactly! Make something up. It’s your world. It doesn’t have to be real, as long as you can verify it’s validity through your writing. This could be the most rare form of a venereal disease that your character contracted while being a jerk. Make it painful!

Whatever you come up with to kill your characters, remember to make it creative. You want something dramatic, something to make your reader go WTH just happened?? I say omit anything that you’ve ever read before and add your own demented idea. There’s nothing unbelievable about how you create your world, as long as you have the supporting words to invite the reader to the places you want to lead them.

May 12 is Mother’s Day, but you knew that already. What sort of things remind you of your Mom?

CotyCoty Poynter:

We’ve been ask to write about the things that remind us of our mothers for May, yet the more I think on the matter, the harder it is to choose just one thing. Even five things is a tough call. My mother has been one of the few reliable people throughout my life thus far. Between her and my grandmother, they both constantly surround me. Whether it is a certain country song that plays over a radio in some foreign location or a just a simple chocolate milkshake, I’m reminded of these woman in some way. Growing up, my grandma would pick my sister and I up from school while my mom and father were at work. When my mom got off she would come to pick us up, but not before grandma prepared me a chocolate milkshake, or two, paired with an egg sandwich just for being her grandson. Breakfast to dessert, she is with me. As for my mom, there are numerous things I can link her to. The amount thinking about it is almost overwhelming. Her and I went through some awful times together, but in those awful times we still laughed with each other. She has shown me what it takes to be strong, and unbeknownst to her, shown me how to use pen and paper. My mom is with me from sun up till sun down. I couldn’t think myself any luckier to have that. So here’s to you mom, the fights we’ve had, the tears we’ve shared, and to the laughs we loved. You’re greater than you’ll ever know.

YmeldaYmelda Ramirez:

Once upon a time, I took a creative writing class in college. The teacher wanted us to select a poem and use it as inspiration for our own piece. It had to resemble the style and format of the original. I wanted to choose a poet that no one else in my class was going to pick. Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath and Walt Whitman were a few of the poets that were out of the question. A friend of mine suggested Pablo Neruda. I had NO CLUE who this guy was. He was from Chile and was a Spanish Poet so I knew that no one else would use him in our class. SOLD!
One night, I was writing in the kitchen, with my borrowed library book by Pablo Neruda and my mom walked by. She started reciting the poem that I was working on. “Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.” I was in shock. I didn’t know my mom could read!!! I asked her how she knew that. She sat down and flipped through the book and started telling me how he was her teenage crush. She would stay up late reading his poetry and followed him the way I would stalk …um I mean… admire NYY Shortstop Derek Jeter. It turns out that she was a huge fan of Pablo Neruda and knew a lot of his poetry by heart. She even helped me with my assignment. We connected that night, like no other. My mother’s first language was Spanish and English never became a second for her. We always had a separation when it came to anything literary that I was interested in, until that night. A couple of years later, we went to a bookstore and I bought the book pictured above. On the subway ride home, we flipped through the book and read some of the pieces. I knew that there had to be a connection to my reading and writing, but I never thought it could be her. My mom is just as much of a fan of the literary world as I am. Now we share books back and forth and have conversations about it all the time. WHOO HOO MOM! =)

Water Angel(Signed)_ Raymond Hernandez:

This is my first contribution to 7TheMag. This month is a very special one for a lot of people for we celebrate Mothers Day in a couple of days. To commemorate this month I present you with this picture of The Angel Of The Waters located in Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, NY. Mothers day for me always comes on a sour note. Sadly, I lost my mother on Mothers Day Sunday May 11th, 2003. To me she was my entire world, just as this photo is entitled, she was my “Protector”. I tell all my friends and family members or just anyone I’ve met that if you’re still lucky enough to have that wonderful person in your life known as your “Mother, Mom, Mami, …” or any other name you’d like to call her, you should cherish those moments every day. Don’t just take one day a year to show them how much you care for them and how much they mean to you, because TRUST ME, one day, when you least expect it, they may no longer be with you.

K. S. Pratt:

Writing about the woman who was one of my greatest friends and inspirations is a bit of a challenge for me. See, it’s been nearly ten years since she’s passed, every particle of life I experience reminds me of her in some way. Although her gracious presence no longer stalks the earth, I carry with me daily the many life lessons and values she’s ingrained in me. My mother taught me that in the middle of life’s storms, pain and suffering, to find solace in the little things. Because of her I find comfort in a stranger’s crooked smile, joy in a tranquil ocean gently washing over delicate sands, and a sense of peace gazing into the darkness at an enchanting star lit sky. I often miss her at times, but she is always with me. I am the fabric, and her spirit is intricately intertwined in the seams of my daily life, which helps me to keep it all together.  As a child, I often wondered why people would stop and stare when she entered a room. It wasn’t because she was famous or a super model, she possessed what the French call “Je ne sais quoi”, an elusive quality no human being could touch. I’m convinced she was of another world, sent to earth to spread light by making it a better place. My mother was a peacemaking, funny, kind hearted, and loving angel. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to know her.  She was my everything.


My mother has always had a playful spirit. She’s the one who always laughs the hardest and has this underlying sense of humor that you always find yourself laughing along with her. In my childhood, my siblings and I got into the habit of playing hide and seek in the dark. After my brother scaring me one to many times, my mom set me up in a white sheet with eye holes in it and coached me in what to do to scare him. Well that yelp of fear he gave upon seeing me helped mold one of my favorite childhood memories. That’s who my mom has always been for me. She’s supportive and creative and there to fight battles in her own unique ways. My mother has always played so many roles in my life. Mother, mentor, protecter, friend, doctor, therapist, cheerleader, travel agent, and so much more. She’s always been there for me and I grew up idolizing her. I’ve always admired her strength and ability to pull us through despite adversity. She’s always been a hero in my eyes. Now that my I’ve donned the cap of mother, I’ve learned to further appreciate her. As I raise my children I reflect on the mother she was for me. Everyday I strive to be the same type of mother for my children that she’s been for me. She’s always been there and is the biggest constant I’ve had in my life.

*This months Header photo is Angel Of The Park by Ray Hernandez

© 2013 Seven Magazine

The Doctor Will See You Now by Ymelda Ramirez

“I’m pregnant.” I could feel letters scrambling, beating each other up to form words to make this better; they were unsuccessful. There was nothing to make this better. I mean, I could have an abortion. Pretend it never happened. Technically speaking it was smaller than a peanut. It didn’t have personality. I wouldn’t even have known I was pregnant anyway. I only knew because I was three days late. I was never late.

Jacob, however, was always late. Always late with some type of nonsense excuse that would only make sense if I lacked self esteem, but I didn’t. I had my pride. I had my morals. I bowed down to ignorance and accepted what we had. I loved him. I pushed aside all reasons and focused my energy on the type of person I wished him to be. I wished him to be mine. Only mine.

I had pictures of us on vacation spread out through my apartment. He had a side of the closet and a toothbrush in the bathroom. My grocery store runs included all his favorite snacks and beer. He loved Yuengling, especially with grilled wings. He loved when I rubbed his back while watching prime time. We spoke over twenty times a day on the phone. Every weekend we went off on some adventure and more often than not, he slept in my bed. My friends didn’t even know, that I, was the other woman.

“Huh?” His eyes opened up and I could see the fear building up inside him.

“I’m pregnant.” I looked away; I couldn’t bear to see the rejection of our love in his eyes.

“Ummm, well….you…I mean what do you want to do?” He walked over to the kitchen, opened the fridge and searched for an answer.

“What do you want to do?” I followed him into the kitchen and stood with my back against the wall staring at the cold truth. I was in this alone. His fun was over and my world was about to change.

“I have two kids. You know that.” He finally reached in and grabbed a Yuengling.         Something stirred inside me. It was too early to be the baby, but I felt like it was telling me ‘This is what you chose for us?’

“What do your two kids have to do with this one?” My heart raced and I knew what was coming, but the fear kept me from making a move. I couldn’t say it. Not yet. I was hoping that he would turn around, grab me, look into my eyes and tell me that we were in this together and that he was finally leaving her. Then he would kiss me passionately, make love to me and reassure me that it was all going to be ok as long as we had each other. Nothing could prepare me for what came next.

“I have two kids. Three is not an option. Get rid of it.” He sipped his beer as the cold oozed from his eyes. “How soon can we take care of this?”

“Get rid of it? You. Want. Me? ME? To get rid of IT?!? This isn’t a purse, a phone call, or some type of picture that would compromise your bullshit marriage, THIS is a life. I have a life growing inside of me that came from you.” The tears overwhelmed me, but the ignorance took a back seat to the obvious.

“What the fuck? How do I know that it’s mine anyway? I don’t know what you do when I’m not around.” He slammed the beer bottle on the counter and I couldn’t help but flinch. This person standing before me was not the Jacob that would tickle me at the nap of my neck whenever he wanted to remind me that he loved me. This was not the Jacob that would hold me close and whisper in my ear how happy he was that he met me. This man, this man was not the one who told me he hated her and the way she treated him and the kids and that I was different. This was something else. Something I didn’t know.

“It’s yours. Trust me it’s yours.” I looked at the kitchen tile and started making patterns in my head in order to distract the pain that my heart was pushing into my being. “It’s our child. Whether you want it or not.”

“I don’t want it. I can’t have it. Do you understand what this could do to me? Don’t you love me? Can’t you see what you are doing to me? What you are going to do to my family?” His face was flushed. Hot pink I think was the color on his cheeks.

“You? What do you think it does to me to know that when you aren’t sleeping with me, you are with her? How do you think I feel when I have to keep you a secret from my family and lie about where you are to my friends? I hate not being able to hold your hand or kiss your lips in public ‘because someone might see.’ To hell with you and to hell with her.” I stomped out of the kitchen like a teenager denied hanging out with her friends on the weekend. I could do this alone. I didn’t need him.

“Seriously? To hell with me?? LOOK AROUND YOU TRIST! I PAY FOR THIS SHIT. Every fucking thing you want, I pay for. I give you the world!! All that I ask for in return is your discretion.” He ran up to me and held me. Not the way a lover holds his beloved, but the way an abuser holds his victim. This is the part where he would make himself the victim, and I the reason. I refused to fall for it.

“Discretion? That’s all that you ask from me? I guess my to do list was a lot shorter than I made it out to be. You’re an asshole. I should have known better than to expect anything from someone like you. It’s been three years. Three long miserable years of giving you my discretion. I can’t do it anymore.” I pulled away and walked back into the kitchen. I stood in front of the counter that held his beer.

“Oh you can’t huh? You planned it this way? I’m not leaving my wife. I can’t.” His eyes became watery. I wasn’t sure if his emotions were genuine or something to once again trap me and keep me hanging on his wall of honor.

“It’s not that you can’t. It’s that you won’t. She’s not the bad one. You are. You are the one that wants the best of both words. I’ll make this very easy for you. Take what you want and get out. I’ll never ask you for anything. We will be ok.” I reach over for the bottle of beer and hold it in my hand.

Jacob pulled back and instantly the tears went away. The emotion switched to laughter and he couldn’t contain himself. “Ha…really? You will be ok. Wow! I must admit that I want to see that happen. Do you know how much a child cost? Whose going to help you with child care, or when the little shit wont’ stop crying? What are you going to do then?” He began to pace the kitchen. He was no longer talking to me, but speaking to the husband inside him. “This is over. No more of this. Walk away and this will go away. You’re not keeping it.”

“I’m keeping it Jacob. I am keeping this child, but I chose not to keep you. We are done. Get out.” The child growing inside me was giving me a strength that I lacked all these years. It was long overdue.

“You’re right. You need to think this through. Call me tomorrow. I heard about a clinic, not to far from here. I’ll take the money from my vacation fund and yeah…don’t worry about this kid. We got this.” He walked over, took the beer from my hand and drank. He finished the bottle in seconds, placed it on the counter behind me and then hugged me. He hugged me tight. He kissed my neck and held me.

I didn’t hug him back. I knew this was good bye. My arms dangled under his strong embrace. “I’m done.” The tears didn’t come. They disappeared into the self love I discovered. The self love that was now turning into someone to love that would always love me unconditionally. I didn’t need second class love. I needed genuine love, and that’s something that Jacob could never give me.

Jacob left that day. I was strong enough not to speak to him. He called. He texted. He emailed and even showed up at the apartment a couple of times. I just blocked him from my life. It’s a daily struggle not to think of him. He was my world. The one that got away. I realize now the value of me. The importance of loving myself first and not letting anything or anyone come in between me. Love is something that starts in the heart and spreads through every orifice, consuming the bad and expelling it. Each beat is another chance to heal the soul and make things right. I made things right, no matter who or what it cost me.

“Trista Stuart, the doctor will see you now.”

© 2013 Seven Magazine