Anyone Can Write

As a writer today, there are many options for putting your work out there. Technology has made it possible for books to reach the eyes of millions with a click of a button. With forums like Wattpad and blogs, writers can easily share their words with the world. However, for a writer that not only wants to share the craft but also make a living from it, what are the options? We are no longer living in times where the traditional route is the only feasible one. Today’s writers have options. When it comes to publishing with the intent to make money, there are two options: traditional or self publishing.

Being that neither of these routes is a walk in the park and each being polar opposites from one another, how do you decide which route is best for you? The most important thing is to be informed. What is the difference between traditional and self publishing? If you decide to go with the traditional route, you might meet a bit of rejection. As many of you know, it takes quite a bit to draw the eye of a publisher. For example, you might need an amazing query letter, a lot of patience and possibly an agent. At the end of the day, the big factor is finding a publisher that is a good match for you. One who understands your visions and ultimate goals and what the heck, sending a nice advance your way would definitely help. The publisher will take your novel, edit it, ensure it has a great cover, build up a bit of buzz over it, then market and distribute it. As for self publishing, the only help you get is the one you pay for. You write your novel. You edit it. You design the cover. You publish it. You market it. Where self publishing is involved, every aspect of your novel being successful begins and ends with you.

If self publishing is so much work for the author, why has it become so popular? This is actually an easy question to answer. Although self publishing is an awful amount of work, it truly has many positives. Sometimes when a publisher is involved, the editing can be gruesome and extensive. After all, publishers are looking for novels that are easy to market and are sure will sell. So much so that in order to ensure commercial success many novels are butchered from what the author envisioned to what the publisher deems acceptable. While this is not always the case, Self publishing allows you to always have complete creative control.

Money and how it differentiates between the two publishing methods is a little more complex, at least on the publishing side. There is a very good article written by a blogger that dives into the subject of money from both aspects. To read about it in detail and visit Wrightspeak click here. Basically, the article states that while publishing houses tend to give their authors a very small percentage of earned income and the book royalties, because the books usually reach a broader audience, these authors still make a decent amount. On average a published author makes more than an indie writer. However, an indie author will see nearly every penny spent on the purchased novel. While this truth might differ based on the format of the book, the fact stays that self publisher authors get a bigger piece of the pie.

So when you write your novel and are assured it is a master piece. It is quite simply ready for the printing press as far as you are concerned. A writer seeking to go through traditional publishers will get their amazing query letter, stamp their envelopes and send them out to dozens of publishers. Lets say, you hear back from one who is interested in picking up your book. A this point, saying you are thrilled is an understatement. You wrote this novel with the hopes of sharing your ideas, imagination and passion with others. After all, your heart and soul has been weaved into every word on that page and you could not be more excited to share it with others. Well, overly excited and impatient writer, you will have to calm your horses and learn the virtue of patience. From the time that the query letter leaves your hands to the time the book hits the stands, years have most likely passed. Most publishers seek perfection, and they will polish your novel until it’s gloss is iridescent. Self publishing, however, is great on time. You can go from polishing your novels to having it available for readers within days. That is the beauty of ebooks and websites like Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo and Lulu.

Photo Credit: © 2010 Dave Coverly

Comics used in this article were borrowed from here and here.

© 2013 Seven Magazine

Charley Parkins by Coty Poynter

You’ve searched and you’ve found Short Shorts. Join us each month where we explore amazing short stories. Always let us know what you think and submissions are welcomed. Now, find a comfy chair where you can lose yourself in this fateful tale written by: Coty Poynter

CHARLEY PARKINS

Across from him she sits. Electric blue eyes staring into his faded browns. The coffee screams, releasing the pain of the scalding brew. The waiter pours him another cup. He begins to speak words. Loving words of endearment and reassurance. The kind of words that a man thinks a woman wants to hear in times of trouble. The words that are suppose to soothe, to stop, to comfort. His rough voice is transformed into that of an opera singer as the words flow from his tongue. Locked her electric blue eyes are, but glassy they do not become.

When he finally runs out of words to speak, he looks at her with anticipation. He waits for the tears to come, for her reply, for some reaction. Nothing. The electric blues remain dry, her body does not shake, not even her lip quivers.

A sense of dread begins to flow up his feet, through his legs, his balls, chest, and into his head. The room begins to spin, although she remains stationary. Immovable she has become.

He takes a deep breath, inhaling sharp needles, and exhaling glass. He grabs the cup of coffee to chase the glass down, but the black magma only serves to enhance the pain. He clears his throat. In this instance, one final word has dislodged itself from his dry, pained throat. It travels up his esophagus like vomit, forcing its way onto his tongue and out of his mouth.

“Why?”

The statue with electric blue eyes stares soullessly back at him. Her response came as if she had prepared for this last word.

“I don’t know, you didn’t seem to want me anymore. And I’m pregnant.”

The immovable statue with electric blue eyes rises from the table and exits. He sits there. His faded browns becoming glassy. He hears the sound of heels approaching the table just as soon as they left. The statue reaches down for her pen.

“I just came back for my pen. Oh yeah, the baby isn’t yours, Charley.”

The statue makes a swift exit for the second time.

Charley Parkins sits at the table, his coffee now whispering. His faded browns are now bleeding. His mind is empty, and his heart is silent. A cold wind blows over him. He shivers. As drops drip from his browns, he tries to create a positive thought of any kind with no luck. Then a thought comes to mind.

“Leech.”
—————————————————————————————
Charley Parkins sits at the table. His once hot coffee now ice. His browns bled dry. Without paying his bill, Charley rises from the table and leaves. Walking mindlessly down the street, Charley can not pinpoint where he went wrong. Where they went wrong.
How could such a sweet girl do something like that, he asks himself. How could he have been so blind as to not notice the truth of the situation.

Charley snaps back to reality. Without knowing how he has procured it, Charley opens the bottle of whiskey in his hand and begins drinking. His first gulp drains nearly one third of the bottle. He wipes his mouth, caps his spirit, and begins to head towards his home.

Like any man who is down and out, Charley turned towards the bottle. Two bottles to be precise. The first bottle of whiskey was half gone when a cop stopped Charley on his way home. The officer, Grant Hadley, was a friend of Charley. Not a long time friend, but they had a few past encounters. Charley shared his story of heartbreak with Officer Hadley when he stopped him.

Instead of taking him into custody, Hadley opted to take the bottle. He told Charley, that he’s going to give him a break this one time. That if he see’s him like this again he’ll have no choice, but to take him in and charge him.

Charley gave him a drunkards promise to not do it again.

Grant Hadley gets into his squad car and pulls away without looking back. He gave Charley the decency of solitude, without a second interruption. Unlike woman with electric blues.

Charley takes a breathe to enjoy the solidarity of the moment. The moment is ruined when one thought finds its way to the forefront of his mind.

“I just came back for my pen.”

The sentence replayed constantly in Charley’s head. It was teasing him. Plaguing him to no end. Dancing around inside his mind, unable to end the song it’s dancing too.

Charley snaps back to reality. Words begin to form in his throat. Unable to swallow them, they seep from his mouth.

“Fucking bitch.”

Charley Parkins takes a drink from his second bottle of whiskey without knowing how he came to acquire it.
—————————————————————————————
Polishing off the second bottle of whiskey, Charley Parkins continues to drunkenly roam about the city streets. Staggering down that sidewalk, stumbling up this curb, the drunkard odyssey continues on. With his knees growing weak and his feet sore, resting was what his body wanted, but a man in emotion shall remain in motion, even if it kills him.

Charley is in a bad place. His thoughts race around, the car with her decal plastered all over continually coming out ahead of all the others. He begins to sink back into the confides of his mind to piece together the events where everything took a turn for the worst.

“Was I ever truly happy?” he thought to himself. “Yes. But was she?”

Charley rattled his brain, attempting to dislodge any memories that were tightly pack into the back of his muddled mind.

Sorting through his mind, Charley neglected to take notice of where he currently walked. Slipping into a state of subconscious movement, his mind preoccupied, Charley hears a faint beeping. Grower louder and longer the more he tries to ignore it, he is forced away from his thoughts to focus on reality, but a moment too late.

The driver of the vehicle too distracted to take notice of this pitiful drunkard roaming in the middle of the street. His girlfriend incessantly nagging him about how to deal with their pregnancy, about how she wishes to be married, and how she can’t believe HE didn’t pay the bill. “What a selfish prick HE is!”

As Charley snaps back to reality, he finds himself face to grill with a large black Ford F-350.

Charley Parkins has met his end during his worst day ever.

About the Author in his own words:  I’m Coty Poynter, a 20 year old writer and aspiring filmmaker. I have written short stories, scripts, prose and poetry over the past few years to hone my craft. I live in Baltimore, Maryland, working at a bookstore. I will be attending Salisbury University in Fall 2013 where I will be majoring in Media Production and minoring in Creative Writing. Writing has played a large part in my life since I was young boy, helping me escape from the boring reality of the world or simply to hide from the sadness that pursued me that day. I hope, someday, to write books that will be published and screenplays to be transformed into movies. When I’m not writing in my free time, I’m reading or getting out for a jog to let my mind rest. My favorite author is a close call between Charles Bukowski and Kurt Vonnegut, both have a great impact on me. I just love living life to the way I see fit so that I may be the happiness being I can be.

“When something feels right and good in your gut, your mind, and heart. Do everything you can to pursue that dream and make it a reality for that is where true happiness lies.”

CotyPoynterHow to reach Coty:

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/coty.poynter

Twitter (Most Used Network):
https://twitter.com/CotyMPoynt

Tumblr (My Creative Outlet/Blog):
http://cotypoynt.tumblr.com

HitRECord:
http://www.hitrecord.org/users/seePoyntandRECord

 

 

© 2013 Coty Poynter

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

CISPA – Friend or Foe?

It’s 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon and you sluggishly trek back to your pint-sized holding cell at the office. After indulging in a high calorie meal from your favorite fast food restaurant, slacker mode kicks in. Face it, you’d rather be browsing the World Wide Web until it’s time to clock out, than crunching numbers for the wanker’s who sign your paycheck. This afternoon your drug of choice is YouTube. After all, who hasn’t wasted a few brain cells watching mindless content generated by YouTube’s driving force. I’m talking about people like you. Yes’ you! Now back to the scenario. So, you search for the latest episode of “You are not the father” posted by your favorite YouTube user, when the following message appears: Due to SOPA’s copyright violation the content posted by user EyePirateU2Day has been prohibited. All subscribers associated with this account will be subject to search by anal probe with no lube. All property used to access or illegally download content from the site will be confiscated. Posting or illegally downloading intellectual property or content backed by the SOPA act of 2012 is punishable by a minimum of 5 years in prison.

imageOh shit, panic mode! Visions of militia men armed with large phalluses, gearing up to kick down your office door dance in your head. Afraid the powers that be will find out about your unproductive afternoon activities, you immediately unplug the computer from the wall in hopes of thwarting “big brother” from tracking down your IP address. Relax! This is the most extreme case but you get the picture.

Thankfully, SOPA and PIPA we’re blasted to brinks of extinction by citizens like you putting the pressure on, and taking action against “The Man.” Round of applause you should be proud of yourself! Unfortunately, remnants of bills such as SOPA & PIPA have morphed into the more dangerous Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which threatens your privacy and freedom of speech on the internet.

What It Does

CISPA (H.R. 3523) the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, written by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), is disputable legislation which converges on sharing information on the internet and “cyber security.” When the misinformed think about cyber security, one would believe it only involves antivirus software or firewalls installed in their pc; I like to call these the “condoms” that protect our hardware. Now, picture CISPA as a condom with holes; its primary job is to assist ISP in investigating cyber attacks against co-op’s and federal agencies, by providing our government with information on hackers and countries engaged in cyber espionage. But what price would we pay allowing ISP free reign by providing information at their convenience, to the government, about private citizen’s online activities?

Why It’s Disliked

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), hacktivist, and other civil liberties groups are against sharing private citizen’s information under the guise of cyber security, without due process of law. There is a need to provide a certain level of cyber policing; with an understanding it is necessary in catching criminals. However, the holes in CISPA allow “virtual spying” on average citizens web activities, without the appropriate system of checks and balances, protecting the general public’s rights. After all, who wants big brother tracking their twisted online porn addictions? Now I have your undivided attention, you’re right! This isn’t cool at all. Please don’t rest on your laurels, there’s work to be done.

imageWhat You Should Do About It

It’s imperative that concerned Internet users like you tell Congress to stop this bill. Instead of filling out random online questionnaires about nonsense, take the time to fill out an online petition or send a tweet with the hash tag #CISPAalert, expressing your thoughts as a means of protest. There are several organizations armed with the tools to assist you in fighting this bill. To make it easy for you check out the websites below for petitions and up to date information on CISPA.

Avaaz: http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_cispa/
EFF: https://action.eff.org/o/9042/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=9048
ACLU: http://www.aclu.org/action-factory

© 2013 Seven Magazine

The Pen Bleeds

Welcome to The Pen Bleeds where poetry is more than rhyme, more than reason, more than words flowing with rhythm; it’s a combination of jagged thoughts, feelings, actions, and a unique language opening minds to see the world from a different perspective.

This month’s featured Poet: Yasin Chines

It is a great honor to be featuring Yasin Chines this month! His fervor for syntax, human experiences, and life in general is ever so passionately expressed through his poetry. Yasin’s soul vibrates in each intricate composition which grasps at the core of the human spirit. He’s destined to be one of the greats, so please get familiar with this brilliant artist.

Yasin Chines (UK), a graduate from University of Leeds, is a writer & poet for a Manchester newspaper and co-author of the forthcoming unique poetic biography of The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) ‘Illuminated Verses’. Yasin is currently in the process of editing his first collection of poetry ‘The Carthatic Quartet’ which focuses on the cycle of seasons that burn, shake, freeze and awaken the soul; the majority of which shows how he has dealt with death of both parents at a young age, tragedy, hope, failed & new love and what not only helped him purge but open up realities beyond the mind’s comprehension. His work has received praise from acclaimed writers and poets such as Paul Sutherland, Daniel Abdal Hayy Moore and his former poetry mentor, to whom he is forever grateful, Rommi Smith. He is also a member of Poetic License UK.

For more information on Yasin Chines please visit:

WordPress: Xsentrik   http://xsentrik.wordpress.com/

Instagram: yasin_chines

Twitter: @YChines

Facebook: Yasin Chines

Contact Email: yasin.writer@gmail.com

What bearings do certain events or encounters have on someone’s future? Are certain happenings determined by a stroke of luck or is it fate, and can either be manipulated?

Luck is defined as the chance happening of adverse or fortunate events. While fate, is the ultimate agency that predetermines the course of events. The following quote from Alfred A. Montapert who wrote The Supreme Philosophy of Man: The Laws of Life, provides some insight into the proposed questions: “ Question: Why are we masters of our fate, the captains of our soul? Because we have the power to control our thoughts and our attitudes. That is why many people live in the withering negative world. That is why many people live in the positive faith world.” Clearly, Alfred Montapert’s philosophy on fate was greatly influenced by Invictus, an epic poem written by the late great Ernest Henley.

Invictus is a perfect representation of the power and strength of our resilience; proving the human spirit to be insurmountable. Even when life’s storms make an attempt at extinguishing its fire, the spirit always manages to rekindle its flame. Alfred Montaperts philosophy on positive reinforcement rings true. The fertilizer we use to nourish our thoughts also affects our behaviors and our fate. If one nourishes the soul in all things hopeful, it will thrive in love, forgiveness, knowledge, understanding, happiness, truth, and light. In the grand scheme of things we are all fated to go through a series of experiences, with the intention of connecting us to a higher power and our higher purpose. Personally I believe in kismet. Our kismet is a quintessential force always channeled by the one who holds the key. Evolve by daring to unlock the door to new possibilities; have faith in what is meant to be always will be.

First up, is Yasin Chines he graciously submitted Skin Creasesan intimate verse involving betrayal and the struggle to salvage a demised relationship against the natural course of the inevitable. Upon my request, he also contributed Fight or Leap a poem that expresses the battle of facing down an imaginary bear or jumping to ones demise. Next, Is Changes by K.S. Pratt  which speaks on the transition of change and how fate ties into our everyday lives. Finally, in honor of the Month of the Irish we give you Re-Adjustment, an ode written by the late C.S. Lewis,novelist, poet, literary critic, scholar, and broad caster from Belfast, Ireland. Lewis possessed a great amount of foresight. This poem speaks on the deterioration of communication between humans. How we’ve lost our passion for words and the advancement of literature as a whole. If Lewis were alive today, I’m positive he would be greatly disappointed in how face to face conversations have become passé in comparison to texting, tweeting, and facebooking.

In closing, no matter what your beliefs are, know that we are all destined for greatness. Always choose your thoughts wisely, for they become your actions, and ultimately your fate.

beach photo

Skin Creases

How little difference

her words made

from trying to preserve

our birth mark, to folding

the creases flat.

And as I looked into

the pupils of her eyes

dilating, shifting deltas

of hazel veins, I was certain

that no delicate handling

of any skin, can avoid

the stretch-marks that

eventually plough over

tainted love’s folds of skin.

She came a little closer,

so close I felt the

whisper of her breath

on my skin. Intimate.

How absurd that I felt

like a snail, and she

the salt.

-by Yasin Chines

Fight or Leap

There comes a time

when no choice is not

an option anymore.

In its ever-silent

growth spurts,

the bear you have

knowingly nurtured

for so long, has now

become. And on this

occasion, you

have to wrestle it.

You can inquire after,

whether this is

designed risk or fate.

by Yasin Chines

 

Changes

When life must change, then change it must,
When love must change to distrust,
When leaves of gold must turn brown.
When tears of sadness must come down.

Alight from thy dreary bed.
Face only that which lies ahead.
Accept those things that cannot be.
Cry only for those you no longer see.

With fate comes change, then change it must,
Accept it all, for life is just.

-by  K.S.Pratt

 

Re-Adjustment

I thought there would be a grave beauty, a sunset splendour
In being the last of one’s kind: a topmost moment as one watched
The huge wave curving over Atlantis, the shrouded barge
Turning away with wounded Arthur, or Ilium burning.
Now I see that, all along, I was assuming a posterity
Of gentle hearts: someone, however distant in the depths of time,
Who could pick up our signal, who could understand a story. There won’t be.

Between the new Hembidae and us who are dying, already
There rises a barrier across which no voice can ever carry,
For devils are unmaking language. We must let that alone forever.
Uproot your loves, one by one, with care, from the future,
And trusting to no future, receive the massive thrust
And surge of the many-dimensional timeless rays converging
On this small, significant dew drop, the present that mirrors all.

-by C.S.Lewis

*Featured picture courtesy of © 2013 Ray Hernandez

 

Genesis

The campaign for change has to start somewhere. Genesis is our somewhere. Every month we will be making you aware of worthy causes and pointing you in the right direction to help make a difference.

imageI’m sure that we have all, at some point been lectured about the environment. Some form of it at least: fossil fuels, pollution, ozone layer depletion, etc. What we are doing wrong and how we can go about correcting these wrongs. Even the government is trying to motivate us to do our part- like tax write offs for those that invest in fuel efficient products and make their home more Eco friendly. But at the end of the day, does one man, his actions and attempts at going green- are they enough to change our fate?

Let me tell you about Billy. He lives a normal life and does small things that help the environment. He recycles, uses compact fluorescent light bulbs, turns off lights as he leaves the room and unplugs appliances when he’s not using them. Billy is a real stickler for rules and never even goes over 60 miles per hour while driving. Instead of 70 mph or better that everyone else seems to be doing on the highway and saves him 4 miles per gallon. He tries to reduce his water consumption by turning off the water while brushing his teeth and fixing any leaks as soon as possible.

Billy is doing things that in truth are simple and don’t take much time to do. Yet with this simple tasks he is really making a difference and doing his part for the environment. Do you see? It doesn’t take a lot to go green. It only takes a little knowledge and the want to help out and make a difference. Because at the end of the day, no one man can undo the damage that has been done by billions of people over countless years. We must all do our part. Billy is a great example of the things we can all do to help the environment. But there is much, much more that can be done, things that will even save you money in the long run.

imageMaking compost is another way to reduce waste and is also a great natural fertilizer. Use phosphate-free laundry and dish soaps, use washable rags- not paper towels while cleaning, use re-usable containers to store foods, save your hangers and return them to the cleaners, take unwanted, re-usable items to a charitable organization or thrift shop. The thing is, that the list to do your part for planet Earth, is pretty endless. For a pretty long list of ways to help click here.

For one reason or the other most of us don’t do anything to change the fate of our planet and that of our future. And this is the problem. What exactly are you waiting for? It doesn’t take much effort or time to be Eco friendly. It’s actually quite easy. Like Ghandi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” and get to it.

© 2013 Seven Magazine

Dunkin Donuts w/Baileys French Vanilla

Benvenuto a Sip of Espresso! Today’s beverage is an original Blend of Dunkin Donuts coffee with a kiss of Baileys French Vanilla delishishness…courtesy of Kitchen Ymelda (it’s my actual kitchen…due to the dooming sequester one has to cautiously spend those hard earned dollars, SOMEONE HAS TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE ijs). We will be exploring a couple of things you were probably thinking about and some that maybe are a little outdated, but come up in conversation nonetheless. What’s your coffee say?

dunkin

Where do you like to read?

Picture this… it’s a lazy Sunday morning. If you are up north, it’s probably snowing/raining/icicles are probably cascading on your head as you try to find cover and crack open the pages of that new book you received in the mail (WHOO HOO AMAZON!!). If you’re lucky enough to be in South Florida (or unlucky), then it’s probably a sunny breezy day. It’s not warm enough for the beach, but cool enough to finally sit down and read that new Kindle book you bought a couple of weeks ago, while warming up with some hot Green Tea (Namaste). So, where do you like to read? Follow us on Instagram 7themag hashtag us at #7themag or tag us in the photo and let us know all about your favorite place to read. We will re-post our favs on our Instagram account and select one (our staff will take a vote) and publish it in our next issue.

In the meantime…here’s our favorite spots.

reading1Ymelda Ramirez

Ok, maybe this isn’t my ideal spot. I would rather be laying out on the beach, with my Kindle, feeling the breeze on my skin and the burn of the sun. HOWEVER…it’s been cold recently (Miami winter averaging about 65-75 degrees, don’t judge me) and I couldn’t make it to the beach, like I had planned, for my very cute self photo shoot. Soooo, my favorite next best place is at home. I love lounging on the couch and facing my balcony. There’s something about the palm trees and the sun that I find relaxing. As soon as I can afford patio furniture (again with these horrific budget cuts) I’ll be moving out onto the balcony and making that the fun place to read/write. I just love LOVE LOVE the outdoors. Don’t you?

reading2Tiffany

Like J.K. Rowling’s boggart, find me in any “dark, enclosed spaces.” My usual haunts tend to be “wardrobes, the gap beneath beds, the cupboard under sinks” among other things. I’m pretty open minded when it comes to places to read…

Ok, seriously, I absolutely love to read and would love to spend more time reading than I do sleeping. But life doesn’t often work out the way we want it to, so I do the next best thing. I read whenever I can, where ever I can. On the couch, bed, floor, toilet, on a train, bus, in the car, in waiting rooms, in the cupboard under the sink… 🙂 The truth is that with my life is pretty hectic and I have to make my spare moments count. So in truth I don’t have a favorite place to read- any place that allows me the opportunity to read is a great place. After all, reading is one of my greatest pleasures.

reading3 K.S. Pratt

One of my favorite places to read is at Hawks Cay (a private island) a small community in Duck Key, Florida. I enjoy lounging on the dock by the water, being caressed by the intoxicating ocean breeze, while the sun playfully warms my skin. I enjoy being by the ocean for it’s calming effect on the mind, body and spirit.

Self Publishing

There was a time that if you wrote a book and wanted to publish it you had to find an agent. Back in the day, publishing houses would not accept book proposals directly from writers and where then forced to shop for an agent. Once said author found an agent that didn’t reject him, the same game would begin anew with the agent and publishing houses. Not only did this mean twice as many rejections but it also meant less money from the pie being given to the writer.

However, in the past few years, another scene has been playing out called SELF PUBLISHING. A writer writes a book, says what the heck- maybe they don’t want to deal with rejection, maybe they want the biggest piece of the pie available or maybe they know they have what it takes to be successful and want to be successful on their own. All likely possibilities but what is self publishing? Because of websites like Amazon, Smashwords and lulu; authors can publish a book within days of finishing it. Yet, with self publishing everything is left on the writer’s shoulders. Editing, making the cover, deciding on blurbs, advertisement and finding the way to get your book out there and into the reader’s hands. It’s all tough work.

A funny thing has been happening out there in the self publishing world. Successful indie writers, those that are among the highest grossing self published authors are being approached by publishing houses. At the end of the day, when a publisher picks a novel to be published the general idea is to pick the novels they believe will meet the most success. If an author is already a known success, where is the risk for the publishing house to pick up this novel? Not only are times changing where self publishing is a growing trend and a great possibility for authors but publishing houses, like Random House, no longer obligates writers to have an agent. Authors can go directly to them with no middle man.

A lot is changing in the world of the published word. What are your opinions on this? Do you think that self publishing is the way to go? Or do you believe that the traditional way is always the best way? Next issue we will be looking into this: The beauty and logistics of self publishing versus the route of traditional publishing. As always, we are curious about what you think…Let us know. =)

Writing Forums

wattpad

Have you ever heard of wattpad? Recently, I was on the hunt for an online community of writers where I could have my work reviewed by like minds and also to have that extra push that I need to write (where my procrastinators at?). I discovered this site by means of another site (to be reviewed at a later date) and fell in love instantly. Wattpad is a healthy place to post and read everything from stories to poetry. The community is alive with variety and, with what many of us enjoy, free books!!

Upon visiting the site, you will learn that you have to create a user name and password in order to read/share stories. They send you an activation email (provide them with your real email address) and once you respond, you are free to read and post. It took a while for me to get the activation email, so don’t become discouraged if it takes over four hours to get yours. Trust me, it’s worth the wait! You can read other writers work and comment directly to the writer. They have a couple of mainstream writers that post their work on the site as well.

I don’t believe that you can download them, but they do have an app for the Kindle and the iPad. The Kindle app (Android version) allows you to read and comment on what you’ve read. However, you are not able to post directly to the site. The ipad version DOES let you post directly and you can pretty much do what you would normally do from the computer.

If you are looking for a place to share your writing and get some encouragement, this is a good place to start. **enter shameless plug** If your curious about what it’s like or need a friend, look for me on wattpad! For suresies I will be posting on a weekly basis.

Do you NaNo?

nano

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. This even occurs every November where writers from around the world abandon everything and everyone they know and attempt to write a 50,000 word novel a month. Sounds difficult? Well, it is. However, it’s a month that will change your writing life for ever. Twice a year they host a crash course in preparation for the November event. April happens to be the first session, or as it’s referred to Camp NaNo Wrimo.

Part of the NaNo organization was also Script Frenzy. Unfortunately, due to budget restraints AND the fact that they are a non-profit organization, they had to cut one of the programs. So, I have been a Wrimo for two years now. The first year, I lost by 38 words. The second year, I gave up half way. This year, I plan on finishing my second novel in November and thought that in the mean time, I will participate in both Camp Sessions.

The new features are that you can set your own person word count and you choose what would you like to write…from a script to a novel. It’s a fun event. If you have some extra dollars collecting dust, send it their way. They are very appreciative and do a lot to keep the love of words around. Also check out their online store. Tons of word inspired swag there.

Hey Tiff, books or e-readers?

I believe e-books are pretty awesome. They are affordable, easy to carry, take up little memory on your device and you can get within seconds from the convenience of your home. Pretty amazing, I know. In truth it is for these reasons that my Kindle library grows so swiftly. However, for me there is just something about a physical book that can’t be beat. I’m a big advocate of investing in an e-reader but at the end of the day, I’d love nothing more that to be able to cuddle up with a paperback.

What do you guys prefer?
Leave us a comment below and let us know =)

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