The Pen Bleeds

“The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.”

~Albert Camus

Photo Credit:-Photo Credit:

Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks was born on Sunday, June 17, 1917 in Topeka, Kansas to David and Keziah Brooks, the descendants of field slaves. Both of her parents were native to the sunflower state, but eventually migrated to Chicago’s South  Side, where they raised Gwendolyn and her younger brother Raymond.

Her love for poetry stemmed from both parents, who began encouraging their daughter’s creative and intellectual side by having her read and recite poems, at a young age. David Brooks advised his children to use education as a tool to overcome racism, hardships, and other challenges confronted by blacks growing up in the great depression era. No doubt, her parent’s tutelage was influential, priming Gwendolyn for the literary scene, which became a significant part of her life.

At the age of 16, Brooks reached a milestone where her talents became noticed by established Harlem Renaissance writers such as James Johnson and Langston Hughes. Johnson encouraged her to read modern poets to hone her skills and Hughes praised her talents and pushed her to continue writing.  Acting on Johnson’s advice, she began studying authors such as T.S. Elliot, E.E. Cummings, Emily Dickinson, and Ezra Pound who all had some type of influence on her creative process.

Receiving the outside endorsement of two prolific writers, and a few teachers, she felt others were beginning to take her work seriously. Brooks began publishing her poetry in the Chicago Defender, a black newspaper, and by the time she turned 19, the paper had published precisely seventy-five of her poems.

Brook’s went on to develop an effectual emotional style of writing, painting a real and jarring picture of the condition of blacks in America.  This was during a time when the “black experience” was foreign to a majority of her audience, which happened to be middle class whites. Writing under the auspices of writers such as T.S. Elliot, in a questioning tone of modernism, placed Gwendolyn ahead of her time and at unique advantage over other poets in her genre. Her work was black in content but traditionally white in style, addressing the lives of everyday African-Americans, the struggles with racism, poverty, black pride, and the exploitation of women.

In 1950, Gwendolyn Brooks became the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize for Annie Allen, a masterpiece, which chronicles the journey of an African-American girl growing into adulthood. Throughout her career, Brooks was bestowed with several accolades, over seventy honorary degrees, and awards due to the subject matter acknowledged in her writing. She was able to capture the multifarious linguistic dance of rhyme and meter, with a devotion to consciously create original verse that portrayed challenges and triumphs of blacks through many periods. Her poems breathe life into a race of people at a time where being a minority was perceived as unwelcoming and bleak. On December 3, 2000, at the age of 83, Brooks lost her battle with cancer. As time goes on, I’m sure she will be revered as both activist and writer who had the ability to proactively change the world through her magnificent and expressive work.

Below are a compilation of poems that capture Brook’s spirit through many life experiences and ever-changing perspectives on race issues, pride, class, and gender.  Some poems are gritty and straight forward, while others are simplistic in nature, but nevertheless complex and compelling in thought. I also contribute an original piece inspired by Brooks writing. Thank you for reading The Pen Bleeds.

Do Not Be Afraid of No

Do not be afraid of no,
Who has so very far to go”:

New caution to occur
To one whose inner scream set her to cede, for softer lapping and smooth fur!

Whose esoteric need
Was merely to avoid the nettle, to not bleed.

Stupid, like a street
That beats into a dead end and dies there, with nothing left to reprimand or meet.

And like a candle fixed
Against dismay and countershine of mixed

Wild moon and sun. And like
A flying furniture, or bird with lattice wing; or gaunt thing, a-stammer down a nightmare
neon peopled with condor, hawk and shrike.

To say yes is to die
A lot or a little. The dead wear capably their wry

Enameled emblems. They smell.
But that and that they do not altogether yell is all that we know well.

It is brave to be involved,
To be not fearful to be unresolved.

Her new wish was to smile
When answers took no airships, walked a while.

Gwendolyn Brooks


Beauty has a coldness
That keeps you very warm.
“If I run out to see the clouds,
That will be no harm!”

So Ella left her oatmeal
And fleecy coat behind
And ran into the winter
Where there were clouds to find.

Mother-dear went following,
But reprimand was mild.
She knew that clouds taste better than
Oats to a little child.

-Gwendolyn Brooks

John, Who Is Poor

Oh, little children, be good to John!
Who lives so lone and alone.
Whose Mama must hurry to toil all day.
Whose Papa is dead and done.

Give him a berry, boys, when you may.
And, girls, some mint when you can.
And do not ask when his hunger will end,
Nor yet when it began.

-Gwendolyn Brooks


Everbody here
Is infirm.
Everybody here is infirm.
Oh. Mend me. Mend me. Lord.

Today I
Say to them
Say to them
Say to them, Lord:
Look! I am beautiful, beautiful with
My wing that is wounded
My eye that is bonded
Or my ear not funded
Or my walk all a-wobble.
I’m enough to be beautiful.

You are
beautiful too.

-Gwendolyn Brooks

To Those Of My Sisters Who Kept Their Naturals 

I love you.
Because you love you.
Because you are erect.
Because you are also bent.
In season, stern, kind.
Crisp, soft -in season.
And you withhold.
And you extend.
And you Step out.
And you go back.
And you extend again.
Your eyes, loud-soft, with crying and
with smiles,
are older than a million years.
And they are young.
You reach, in season.
You subside, in season.
below the rich rough right time of your hair.

You have not bought Blondine.
You have not hailed the hot-comb recently.
You never worshiped Marilyn Monroe.
You say: Farrah’s hair is hers.
You have not wanted to be white.
Nor have you testified to adoration of that
State with advertisement of imitation.
(never successful because the hot-comb is laughing too.)
But oh, the rough dark Other, Music!
the Real,
the Right.
The natural Respect of Self and Seal!
Your hair is Celebration in the world!

-Gwendolyn Brooks

to the Diaspora

you did not know you were Afrika

When you set out for Afrika
you did not know you were going.
you did not know you were Afrika.
You did not know the Black continent
that had to be reached
was you.

I could not have told you then that some sun
would come,
somewhere over the road,
would come evoking the diamonds
of you, the Black continent–
somewhere over the road.
You would not have believed my mouth.

When I told you, meeting you somewhere close
to the heat and youth of the road,
liking my loyalty, liking belief,
you smiled and you thanked me but very little believed me.

Here is some sun. Some.
Now off into the places rough to reach.
Though dry, though drowsy, all unwillingly a-wobble,
into the dissonant and dangerous crescendo.
Your work, that was done, to be done to be done to be done.

-Gwendolyn Brooks

The Homeless Condition

To be homeless
Is to roam the streets at night.
In your loneliness, you are beside yourself.
You see things
Through urban eyes.
A taxi is yellow.
A rat is grey.
A working girl is turning tricks.
Unexpectedly the city knows what you know too.
In every dank alley she is there
And there you stand
Braving a bitter reality together.
Freezing winters, hungry nights
She blankets you in corrugated scraps.
A sadness too much to endure.
She hesitates to look you in the eye
Because your pain is too familiar.
When she pretends
You’re not there
Then turns her back
And walks away,
Your crutch breaks,
Under pressure,
An infinite melancholy.
You are the indigent half
Of a contemptible metropolis.
You reminisce on days gone by
Of simple pleasures
Taken for granted.
To eat plenty,
To bathe well,
To sleep comfortably,
And have a home;
Luxuries to the have not’s.
But she still walks
With blinders on.
An intentional dilemma
Of the human condition.
To watch you lie there
On cracked sidewalks
A fixed structure
Wasting away.

K.S. Pratt

© Seven Magazine

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

Tall Non Fat Latte for Kitty!!

iphone2 686I know what your thinking? NON FAT LATTE at STARBUCKS!! I know! I know! I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve gained a couple of pounds (I stopped counting at 7 over) and I’m inspired now to do something about it. (calorie counting S U C K S!) Or it’s the fact that I think I have tried every single possible combination for delishishness at Starbucks and have run out of ideas. I guess what I’m trying to say is that… well…. I think that…. I’m just plain bored of the drinks at Starbucks… wait… did I just say that out loud? **Clears throat** Is it hot in here… It feels kind of hot. Oh boy.. Mermaid… Starbucks Mermaid person… COME BACK HERE!!!

I didn’t mean that. Crap…FIX IT! FIX IT!!

Dear Mermaid,
I didn’t mean that. I love you forever.
Me =)

That’s right. Come back here. . . Now that that’s settled (or so I hope). This got me thinking…


BooksYmelda Ramirez

I’m not sure where he said this, as I have not read this for myself. However, one of my favorite quotes by my ageless pen role model is “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” That was Ernest Hemingway by the way.

This screams at me. Simply because I think the act of living, on its own, is inspiration to write. When you are infected with the disease of writing, it has a tendency to take on a life of its own. It’s not something that you control. It’s something that flows. One of the Pastors from my church said “You cannot illustrate a story that hasn’t been written in your heart first.” (Pastor Brian Vasil). I believe this holds true, not only in a spiritual life, but also in the writer’s life.

I can think of a story just as thoroughly when I am standing in line at the grocery store, to when I’m having a discussion with a co-worker, to the times where I am sitting around the dinner table with my family. I carry a small notebook in my purse for the JUST-IN-CASE-I-FORGET story ideas. There are times that I plan a bank robbery as I wait for my turn at the teller or plot a murder as I wait at the doctor’s office. Does it mean that I’m crazy? Probably. But, no one truly understands a writer, like another writer. No one else will get it. No one else can understand the sense of accomplishment that flows through your veins when you read something you wrote and see this story that you created in your head solidified in black and white. NO ONE can understand the joy of having someone read your masterpiece and you see the emotions run through their face of awe/disbelief/hatred/love/happiness.. etc.

So, in closing, what inspires me to write? Life. Books. Pens. Paper. That is all.

K.S. Pratt


I’m encouraged to write by simply experiencing life or being in a certain element. I discovered the best ideas are sparked by events that cause me to confront my deepest feelings; sometimes it’s emotional, at times it’s spiritual, and at other times inspiration is coaxed by a glass or two of sauvignon blanc. Lol! Truthfully, I am stimulated by everything around me so I never run out of things to write about. The funny thing about writing is it strikes me at the most peculiar and inopportune moments. Anything ( a song, a sound, a smell, a conversation) can trigger a bout of inspiration  which leads me to write. Because this happens quite often, I try to keep a notepad and pen in tow or download an app where I jot down notes on my smart device.

Tiff TreeTiffany

Inspiration for me tends to be a very fleeting thing. It is illusive and I am constantly searching high and low for it. However, I have come to find that there is a constant. The things I draw inspiration from most are nature and music. I have come to always find myself with paper and pen handy. I am one who will be walking down the street, minding my own business and usually looking the part of a sane, respectable member of the community. When inspiration strikes, usually with the subtlety of a wrecking ball, I stop everything I’m doing and looking crazed going into a writing frenzy. Yep, I pull out my handy pen and paper and write. I write as much as I can, regardless of where I am,  while the thought is present and fresh. When I’m at home later, with some time on my hands, I pick up where I left off. This is where music comes in. Music keeps the flow going.


It was a typical South Florida afternoon. Muggy, warm, humid…definitely not a curly to straight hair day. I decided to go natural. The curls were set, no make-up, a tank top with skinny jeans and a decent pair of converse sneaks. I decided to take my sweater knowing that the auditorium was going to be freakin freezin. I knew this, not only because I was a student at the school, but also because this wasn’t my first Author speaking/book signing deal. Besides, everyone knows that Global Warming is caused by the excessive air conditioning units in South Florida. I mean… we crank up the A/C to 69° when it’s hot out and turn the heaters on to 80° when it’s “cold” out. A proper Miamian always has a sweater and umbrella in tow. Anyway, yeah…book signing with Junot Diaz!iphonepic3 373

Have you ever been? Not to a Junot Diaz event, but any author speaking/signing gig. I have never been to a Barnes and Noble type deal, but I have attended the eagerly anticipated Miami Dade College Book Fair. Last year the stage was blessed with the presence of Pulitzer Prize Winner Junot Diaz. Did I mention it was Junot Diaz? I have a word woody whenever I think of the man. Not only is he Dominican (I am too…I mean not really because I wasn’t born there, but my mom was and since I was conceived in her Dominican Womb with Dominican Juices; I believe I have some sense of entitlement and bragging rights), but he’s from New Jersey too! (Ok, I’m from next door NYC but it’s the same thing) I am also a huge fan and I love/admire his writing style! It’s very rare, especially this day in age, where one can find a book that changes the way you view language and the written word. He does this for me.

However, this piece isn’t about Junot and all of his amazingness. It’s actually about the fact that he signed my book. It wasn’t just that he signed my book and I got to have a totally inappropriate, words didn’t flow the way I planned in my head, my heart was beating out of my chest, I was hearing some kind of background noise that wasn’t really in the room, my face was beat red, I was rambling and I may have called him a nerd, my hands were flying about and I was doing that typical talking with your hands thing, It’s a miracle I didn’t smack the man….. OMG! I hope that he totally never remembers that conversation if I ever get to see/hang/talk to him again! Anyway, it was all about his signature.

DiazI kept staring at this on the way home. (No, I was not driving and yes I did stare at my hand too because I have touched published genius hands!!!) I looked at it and looked at it and stared at it some more. Then it hit me. If the combination of our touch created this über Pulitzer synergy; it was only a matter of time before I would be signing books in my jeans and t-shirt. I wondered what my own author signature would look like. I tried a couple of them once I got home and none of them actually looked cool to me.

mineThis got me thinking… have you worked on an autograph? What’s the best way to come up with one?  I mean, do you really want something that is elaborate and long winded. Just think if you make it to JK Rowling status, do you really want to sign your entire name over and over and over again. I mean, Diaz has a short squiggly line kind of deal and I love it, but let’s face it. I’m not the artistic type. So, I thought what better way to find my author signature, than to actually do some research. I decided to first look into what the greats have done…

Edgar Allan Poe**
JK Rowling**
Dean Koontz**
DA MAN!!! Ernest Hemingway**

These are a couple of my favorite authors. I started checking out their signatures and for the most part they sign the entire name. They aren’t ridiculously creative. It’s just a name, right?

Have you thought of your author signature? What would yours look like? We want to know! Post a copy of it on Instagram and hashtag #7themag. While there you can check out what our developing signatures look like by following us on Instagram @7themag.

 **All pictures of Author signatures (except Junot Diaz) were borrowed from They have an amazing collection, check out more by visiting their website.**

His Name is Ray. . . Ray Hernandez

Ray Hernandez – Seven’s New Photographer

Ladies and Gentleman, we would like to formally introduce you to our new addition to the family. His name is Ray Hernandez (I know… I know, overkill) and if you entered the contest last month to win this photo. . .

beach photo
La Playa

Then (hopefully) you have already have checked out his FB Page and have since become a fan of his work. If not, check it out now and like his page (he likes that kind of stuff). Check out his bio on our This is Seven page and make him feel welcome. We are glad to have him on board and can’t wait to exploite…uh.. I mean feature his AMAZING work! This months header photo is Torched. See the full photo by clicking here.

Welcome to Seven Ray! WHOO HOO!!! *Enter the band playing ridiculously loud music, streamers, the people with the sticks, fire breathers etc. . . we go all out here at Seven* We are glad to have you a part of our team.



CONGRATULATIONS SANDRA!!!!! YAAAY!!! Thank you for participating!! =)

© 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