Is Affirmative Action Crucial to America?

Has America progressed into a diverse nation where certain laws forbidding discrimination are no longer necessary?  With a two- term African American president at the helm of the country, some citizens believe we have overcome our negative past, prejudices, and preconceived notions in regards to our differences.

I don’t dispute facts, as a diverse nation, we have made great strides in bridging the race and equality gap. Many impoverished minorities manage to emerge through cracks of inner city concrete jungles to rise above poverty, deprivation, and less than desirable socioeconomic conditions. Those success stories are few and far in between, accounting for a small percentage of the minority population, who escape an all too familiar cycle of hell to arrive at the promise land of prosperity. What about their brethren? Still, there are large quantities of minorities who are marginalized because of ill social circumstances, partly due to a system of classism and race discrimination which currently exists in this country. To make a claim that we have achieved such heights where racism is obsolete is utterly absurd. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In the 60’s, thanks to President John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, Affirmative Action and the Civil Rights Act were created to balance the playing field, diversify, and repair a broken system in which African Americans were widely discriminated against. Legislation created during this era helped pave the way for minorities to receive fair and equal access to employment, career advancement, voting rights, education and federal programs predominantly restricted to whites despite race, creed, color, gender, or national origin. No doubt their agendas were a step in the right direction, but what happens when right wing conservative organizations target racial equality as an attempt to destroy progress made during the civil rights movement?

reverse-racism

– Photo Credit: www.taboojive.com

Case in point, last week the Supreme Court issued its ruling on Fisher v. University of Texas which challenges the use of affirmative action in admissions. The petitioner Abigail Fisher, a white woman sued the university over their admissions policy. Ms. Fisher, backed by special interest groups and private donors (The Project on Fair Representation) states she’s a victim of said policies, citing reverse discrimination.

It’s true, affirmative action is used in most public and private institutions admissions process as a means of diversifying their student body, but it isn’t the primary provision that determines admittance.The university automatically admits students in the top ten percent of his or her class, then factors in race and other circumstances. Pro Publica published an article which looks at the conditions she faced when she applied to the university and the reason her application was denied. According to their research, Ms. Fisher didn’t possess the potential and academic prowess to meet the university’s standards. And race didn’t play a major part in her denial. Perhaps, had she been ambitious enough to achieve high academic marks, she would’ve been included in the top ten percent of her academic class, having no problems being admitted to the university of her preference.

In a 7-1 decision, the Supreme Court sustained the current affirmative action legislation, but in fairness redirected the case back to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for further review. The lower appellate court was given orders to thoroughly scrutinize the university’s use of race in admissions, assuring they considered all other options before focusing on race. I applaud the high court for practicing sound judgment by standing in support of institutions of higher learning, and their responsible incorporation of affirmative action in the architecture of admissions as a means to create a diverse student body. What this means is previous advancements made in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), a case which permitted the use of race as a tool to variegate college campuses remains unchanged. The court’s ruling ultimately proved that Ms. Fisher’s legal team failed to demonstrate she was victimized by affirmative action in the admissions process.

equality-bill1

-Photo Credit: http://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk

The question remains, when will issues involving race and equality be passé in America? Culturally, intolerance has become a part of the American experience. The depths and effects of bigotry run deep, and without healing, hatred taught by our ancestors becomes transgenerational.  Perhaps, one day, the use of affirmative action policies to keep the scales of equality balanced won’t be needed. But the likely hood of that occurring is slim to none. Until we address the issues that prohibit us from moving forward as a progressive race of people, the fight for justice and equality will continue.

June 2013 Issue

Welcome to another exciting, electrifying, eye-popping, mesmerizing edition of Seven Magazine. It is a pleasure to have you stop by. In order to make this a more gratifying experience for you, we have decided to add a table of contents, if you will, to help you navigate through our issue. The theme for this month is Aliens. From real aliens to the aliens that haunt our daily lives, there’s a little bit of everything for everyone.

The Wanderer, a short story written by Coty Poynter, is guaranteed to take you to places you’ve never been or … ummm … maybe places you never really want to go. Stay tuned for a surprise ending that will definitely knock the air out of your lungs.

Scribe Is An Adjective takes a twist when Coty Poynter types the words. In Uncommon Ground, Coty illustrates that stepping out of the norm is a good thing. What do you think? We welcome feedback in all of our sections, why not start here?

American Jabberjay’s explores a drone policy that doesn’t seem well thought out. A recent speech by President Obama seems torn from a young adult dystopian novel. Do you agree with Ymelda Ramirez‘s take on the explanations from the White House ? What implementations of this new alien  device and policy are you comfortable with?

K.S. Pratt delves into the mind of alien expert Albert Rosales and the world of visual poetry in the new edition of The Pen Bleeds. Check out a variety of poetry pieces that will ignite a firestorm of creativity. Is it art? Is it poetry? What’s your take on visual poetry?

Tiffany creates a wonderful ad campaign to invite foreigners to the United States. When I say foreigners, I mean aliens. Why? Why not? Find out more by checking out Please. . . Come In Peace!

Sit back and enjoy Una Colada Porfavor with Ymelda Ramirez as she invites you to Miami and to explore new languages, with a Sip of Espresso…errr I mean una colada.

David Estes? Yup, we got him! Check out An Alien to Publishing With David Estes and find out what Tiffany learned from this amazing Author. Print out the article and use it as a check list. Definitely some good stuff there. =)

And there you have it folks….the June Issue of Seven Magazine. Is there anything you would like to see that we haven’t covered? Suggestions and submissions are always welcome. Find out more by visiting us here. Thanks for stopping by…. see you in July. =)

© 2013 Seven Magazine

An Alien to Publishing With David Estes

Publishing, regardless of whether you are self-publishing or going the traditional route, is a lot of hard work. While nothing is ever perfect readers tend to expect novels to be as close to it as possible. We expect the novel to have a good story line, no typos, well rounded characters, eye catching cover art is a big plus, and an attention grabbing blurb. The standards readers set for the books they read are pretty high and writers need to work hard to make their novel a masterpiece. I regress, publishing is a crucial part of getting your book into the reader’s hands and one made all the more difficult when self-publishing.

This month Seven has welcomed established indie author David Estes to break down what it means to self-publish. He was very generous in his advice and we have that all here for you. David Estes has self-published since 2011 and has four series (The Dwellers, The Country Saga, The Evolution Trilogy and Nikki Powergloves) a total of 13 books which include Young Adult and Children’s novels under his belt. He is an amazing writer who has made a lifelong fan out of me. 🙂

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think of indie authors or self-publishing, the first platform that comes to mind is Amazon. It is a leader as a publishing platform and one of the biggest online retailers. However, for someone looking into selling their books on Amazon, knowing the facts is a must. I think that if I were to look into every reason that this selling giant has been dubbed a monopoly I would be here for weeks. Yet when sticking strictly to the publishing world, it can be spelled out in two words: KDP Select. Kindle Direct Publishing Select is a program where Amazon targets authors looking to publish their novel. In essence it asks for a three month exclusivity contract in exchange for higher royalties and ensures your novel will reach a new audience with the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. When Estes was asked, ‘In your opinion what is the best and worst thing about publishing on Amazon?’ This is what he had to say:

Now that’s a loaded question! But it’s also an easy one. There are a few things that are awesome about Amazon:

First, their reach can’t be beat. They are still in a dominant position in the online (ebook) book-selling market. The vast majority of authors will undoubtedly get the bulk of their sales from Amazon.

Second, if your books are selling and getting good reviews, Amazon will help you. They will recommend your books to readers who enjoy similar ones and they will actually generate sales FOR YOU. This is an amazing thing once it really gets going. It can make or break your book.
Third, it’s really, really easy to publish on Amazon and the royalty rates are awesome if you price your book at $2.99 or above.

However, there are always two sides to every coin. There are some really frustrating things about publishing with Amazon that I’ve recently made very clear to them in a customer satisfaction survey:

First, their KDP Select program is a blatant attempt to monopolize the market, which is totally uncool. They promise nice perks like making your books available in a lending library (which you get paid royalties for) and give you the opportunity to make your book available for free every so often. However, in exchange, you have to SELL YOUR SOUL. OK, I’m being dramatic, but for me, it’s almost that bad. You have to agree to EXCLUSIVELY publish your book on Amazon. Like I said, not cool. It alienates readers who don’t buy their books from Amazon which I’m not down with.

Second, they have very strict pricing compliance rules that have been a royal pain in the butt a few times. They insist that your book must be priced as low or lower than every other retailer out there. I’m all for having my book priced the same everywhere, but it prevents you from doing, say, a Barnes & Noble promotion where you make your book $.99 on B&N for a few days. Uh uh, Amazon won’t allow it. They cry and shake their fists and say you have to include them at the party and make your book $.99 for them too. Of course, they have NO problem with you pricing your book at $.99 for a few days on Amazon but NOT on B&N. Yeah, double standards.

Third, Amazon has really annoying royalty rates for books priced lower than $2.99. It’s all part of their attempt to force Indie authors to price their books at $2.99 or above. The way it works is that if you price at $2.99 or above, you get an incredible 70% royalty rate, but if you price below that, you get a pathetic 30%. That’s frustrating because if I want to do a promotion and drop the price on one of my $2.99 books to say $1.49, although my price has only changed by $1.50, my royalty has gone from $2.09 to a measly $.46. For the most part, I price all my books at $2.99 or above, even if I don’t really want to. Otherwise it’s just not worth my while.

The bottom line, however, is that I can complain about my three big negatives until I’m old and gray and red-faced, but Amazon is still the key to my success. I own a Kindle, I buy tons of books from them, and I will continue to use them as my primary publishing platform.

Estes does an amazing job at breaking down what Amazon is to a publishing author. Now that the truth has been put out there, which is that through their good and bad Amazon is still a boss and a force to be reckoned with, you decide to still publish with them. Again, they are too big in the publishing world to look over. Just be wary of KDP Select. As in STAY AWAY!!! 🙂 But what’s next? When publishing you definitely shouldn’t stop there. That being said, Estes definitely has a criteria for selecting platforms to sell his novels, “My main goal in picking the platforms to publish on is to make my books available to as many potential readers as possible. I don’t like the idea of being exclusive to one platform as it completely ignores the thousands of readers who don’t use that platform and promotes the monopolization of the industry.” His goal is one I think all authors can relate to. He continues on to share with us his publishing strategy:

As a self-published author, I can’t possibly publish on every platform that offers ebooks, it’s just not feasible. Every day there are more and more ebook-selling platforms popping up, each with its own business model. At the end of the day, I’m a writer and I don’t want to spend my every waking moment on the publishing process. Plus, because I publish a book every 2-3 months, I need the process to be as streamlined and efficient as possible.

All that being said, my approach to publishing also needs to ensure I get the highest possible royalties for all my hard work. At the end of the day, this is my career, how I make a living, and choosing the right platforms can have a major impact on my success. There are distribution platforms out there, like Smashwords, that can help a self-published author distribute to a number of other ebook distributors. Through Smashwords “premium distribution” it can distribute to B&N, iBooks, Sony, and Kobo, to name just a few. However, as a fee for their service, they’ll take an extra 15% of your royalty. So not only will B&N take a percentage of each book’s sale price, but Smashwords will too. This can really cut into your royalties in a hurry.

Thus, I highly recommend publishing direct to as many major platforms as you can within your time constraints. Because I sell most of my books on Kindle and Nook, I publish directly to each of those two platforms. Then I use Smashwords’ service to publish almost everywhere else, like iBooks, Kobo, and Sony. However, if you choose to use Smashwords to publish some places, but not others, be sure to “Opt-Out” of distribution to the platforms you’re publishing to directly. Otherwise your book may be listed twice. So I lose a little bit of my royalty by not publishing directly to iBooks or Kobo, but it’s a minimal loss as my sales from those distributors isn’t a significant portion of my overall revenue. For me the trade-off between minor loss of revenue and the time it would take me to publish to iBooks and Kobo myself, is worth what Smashwords takes as the middle man. But if I had more time, I’d definitely consider publishing to a few other platforms directly. Finally, I publish to up and coming Google Books on my own through their Partner Program. It’s incredibly easy and already I’m seeing my sales from Google increasing each and every month.

That covers ebooks, but I also recommend publishing a paperback version in at least one place. That way your readers who don’t have ereaders can still access your books. Personally, I publish my paperbacks through Createspace, which is an Amazon company. That makes all my books available through Amazon as print-on-demand with no upfront cost to me.

The last question I asked of Estes was, “To a writer who doesn’t know their way around the selling platforms what advice would you give?”

There are a few key pieces of advice I would give to writers who are new to navigating the many selling platforms that are out there:

1. Focus on ebooks! That is the place to be, especially for Indie authors. You can offer your books at a better price than big published books and reach a growing market. You’ll also receive MUCH higher royalty rates than by publishing through print.

2. Focus on the biggest platforms because that’s where you’ll get most of your revenue. Amazon and B&N still have a stranglehold on the ebook industry. Although they will both inevitably lose some market share over time, the market is growing rapidly, so the overall pie will be getting bigger too.

3. Be aware of trends in the market. Do your research. For example, Apple and Google have both been pushing resources into their book-selling platforms, which will likely mean growth from them.

4. Take advantage of a worldwide market! Amazon and Barnes & Noble are only available in some countries. Use platforms like Smashwords.com to reach almost EVERY country. I’m selling more and more books in places like Asia, Africa, and Europe through Smashwords.

5. Use the templates provided by the platforms you choose. You absolutely need your book to be formatted nicely for each of your platforms. Otherwise readers will get frustrated with how hard it is to read your books and they won’t come back for the next one or recommend it to others.

When you are new to the publishing world and it is alien to you, there is always someone out there who has done what you are trying to do and is honest, open and giving with their advice. So ask questions. Also, be sure to let us know what part of the publishing process has you stomped and we will tackle it to the best of our and an experienced professional’s ability.

David once again, thank you so much for allowing me the pleasure of working with you and giving aspiring authors all this great advice. As per his words from the guest post listed below, “Read, read, read! Be a reader and a lover of books first.” So readers and writers out there, be sure to check out his novels which can be found on Goodreads and Amazon (and all the selling platforms listed above). To hear more on what Estes has to say about writing, publishing and promoting be sure to click on these sites: Advice For Writers That Are Just Starting by David Estes
Indie Author Advice Series #2 by David Estes

© 2013 Seven Magazine

Una Colada Porfavor!

Out of this world

Before jumping into the delicious beverage that we will enjoy as we talk in the native language of WRITER, lets take a second to acknowledge the wonderful midnight sky. Don’t be afraid. Step outside for a second . . . what? Night hasn’t fallen yet. I’ll wait here while it does. No rush.

Well, did you see that? Beautiful, isn’t it? Imagine being somewhere surrounded by nothing but stars. Infinite places to go, with no restraint. Sure, it’s just a ball of gas burning, somewhere . . . but what if that gas formed something AMAZING. This is what I recently came across. Something that I just fell in love with. A unique blend of gas that is suspended in space. I just had to feature this photograph as our June header. It’s called the Horsehead Nebula.

HorseHead2
Photo Credit: NASA

It’s something about the colors (PINK!!! It’s my fav), to the shapes, to the numerous stars surrounding it; I am just mesmerized by this photo. It makes me want to jump onto a Virgin Galactic flight and carry my own portable Hubble camera and photograph the bejeezus out of it. Now, it would be awesome if one could own a Hubble camera or if the government would once again support our space program so that NASA can properly update the Hubble telescope, but that’s neither here nor there. Gladly, it works well enough to travel 1,500 light years away and take this amazing shot.

Señor una colada porfavor!

Coffee
Photo Credit: Seven Magazine

I have a secret to tell you. I’m from Miami. Yes, Miami… Miami, Florida. Home to beautiful beaches, wonderful palm trees, destructive hurricanes and scandalous female drama. It’s also known as an extension of Cuba. I must say that I do enjoy most of the Cuban cuisine. Pastelitos, Vaca Frita, Tostadas, Empanada de picadillo and most of all… OH MYYYLAAANNTTAA I love that Cuban coffee. Señor!!! Oye! Ven aca!

If you’ve never had it before, then you are seriously missing out. I recently learned how to make it at home and it just doesn’t compare to flavor and texture unless a genuine Cuban makes it. Mas azucar porfavor. It’s the best wake up juice in the morning and a quick fire pick me up in the afternoon. I honestly think that the reason that there is sooo much drama in Miami is because of the caffeine that flows through the majority of the folks veins.

The smell smacks your senses into attention and once you feel that hot liquid touch your lips, the warmth flows through your body. It brings an alertness to every crevice in your body. If every writer has a muse, then I’m guessing that this is mine. Instantly, I am transformed into una escritora divina. I start thinking in another language and sometimes, the words are transferred onto pink and black. (I have pink paper…I told you I love the color!!) Muchas gracias Señor.

This got me thinking. What exactly is a writer other than a master of vocabulary? If in fact, you don’t feel that you have conquered your language, then read some more. Grab that dictionary and get to it! The great desideratum of a writer is to form a a fructuous collaboration with the written word. Fear not a verbose carom of providential serendipity, just ambuscade the nearest dictionary and figure out what this verbal judo is all about! (I used dictionary.com)

Not only would a big vocabulary affect the level of your writing. PAUSE for a second. If you have a large vocabulary, it helps the writer create a vast level of characters. It creates dimensions. PLAY. Now imagine the world you can create in another language.

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a bilingual home. Spanish being my first language, even though now I don’t speak it so well. However, I can still read it. It has given me the opportunity to meet a variety of writers and really experience the world they were trying to create. Trust me when I tell you that the majority of the time, even the most academic translations DO NOT do an original piece justice. Just think of the transition of a book to a movie. Yeah… a lot like that!

I have promised myself to become some what fluent in a different language for each year that I am alive, starting this year. (I haven’t decided on the language yet, but I do see Rosetta Stone in my future.) As a writer, I owe the many characters that live in my head, the honor of living their lives to the fullest. The only way to do that, is for me to live vicariously for them. I can’t do that with all of them if I don’t speak their language. It is my duty to experience as much as I can in my lifetime in order to make each character believable to my readers. I strongly believe that diversity is what makes a good writer. What do you believe?

© 2013 Seven Magazine

Uncommon Grounds

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

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

Photo Credit: Girls
Photo Credit: HBO series Girls

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

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

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

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

© 2013 Seven Magazine

Your Book Sitting on a Book Shelf

I’ve had the pleasure of getting of working with Cindy C. Bennett a few times throughout this year. She’s pretty amazing, friendly and very knowledgeable about publishing. Cindy is an amazing author who has 15 published titles under her name. Two of these are traditionally published and she has found success there and in self publishing. She agreed to allow me to pick her brain about the publishing industry… I’m not so sure she knew what she was getting into 😉 but she very graciously and sincerely answered all of my questions. Thank you very much Cindy!

About Cindy
20130509-054805.jpg Cindy C Bennett was born and raised in beautiful Salt Lake City, growing up in the shadows of the majestic Rocky Mountains. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs. She also has two sons. She volunteers her time working with teen girls between the ages of 12-18, all of whom she finds to be beautiful, fascinating creatures. When she’s not writing, reading or answering emails she can often times be found riding her Harley through the beautiful canyons near her home (yes, I ride a Harley and no, you’d never know it to look at me!).

Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Web Site

Q: Besides a good novel, what do you believe is the biggest necessary attribute to be successful in the self publishing world?
A: A willingness to work hard and learn everything you can about marketing, without over marketing.

Q: Besides a good novel and persistence, what do you believe is the biggest attribute needed to have your novel picked up by a publisher?
A: A willingness to take a lot of rejections before you find the one that’s a good fit for you, and also to not be afraid to say no to an offer if it doesn’t feel right.

Q: When it comes to writing and publishing do you have a philosophy or advice that you live by?
A: My advice is to make sure that you have learned the mechanics of writing such as spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. Without those, no matter how good your book is, nobody will read it because it will be too distracting to read or come across as bad writing.

Q: When writing a novel, how do you personally make the distinction of self publishing that novel or seeking a publisher?
A: With my first traditionally published book, I found them during a time when I did not know what I know now about publishing. With my second published book, my publisher asked me specifically for that book which is why I have two novels with Sweetwater books.

Q: What is the biggest piece of advice you can give to aspiring writers about publishing?
A: Understand that you’re going to get rejection in the publication process, and even if you do succeed, whether you are traditional or self published you will get rejections from readers that are harsh. You just have to learn to let it roll off your back and not take it personally.

Q: Looking back on your writing career, what would you have done differently?
A: I would have started much younger. I would have not been afraid of thinking I was going to get rejected. I would have published sooner, one way or another.

Q: What do you consider to be the best aspect of each publishing method?
A: The best of traditional is seeing your book sitting on a book store shelf. There is something inherently validating in that. The best aspect of self publishing is being able to retain complete creative control over every part of your book.

Q: What do you consider to be the worst?
A: The worst aspect of traditional publishing is the very small amount of money you make for all of the hard work that you do for your book. The worst aspect of self publishing is that it requires a lot of time to get your book ready, including editing, formatting, etc. that you might end up having to pay someone to do.

Q: What advice would you give writers who are interested in publishing and are unsure of which route to take?
A: I would suggest, with the way to marketplace is today, to look into self publishing before traditional because the publishing world is changing. There’s almost more reasons, at this point, to self publish than to traditionally publish. But in the end, it has to be what you feel will work best for you and your lifestyle, as well as the amount of time, money, and work you want to put into your book.

Q: With deadlines being a big deal in the publishing world, how do they differ on each side of the spectrum? How do you go about dealing with each?
A: With traditional publishing, you’re more tightly bound by deadlines than you are with self publishing. With traditional, you have many people who are working on your book and need to have it by a certain time to get their job done. A traditional publisher schedules releases and so you have to have it done by a certain time. With self published its more relaxed because you’re the only one requiring to have it done by a certain time so if you’re not done it’s not the end of the world.

Q: Are there any problems that are unique to women in the publishing world?
A: I actually think it is easy for a woman because many time a woman has more freedom with time to work on her book and work on marketing than a man who might be supporting a family. I don’t think there is a prejudice from a man vs. a woman on who is going to sell more books.

Q: Because we are celebrating Mother’s Day this month, how do you manage your time with writing and motherhood?
A: I have extremely understanding kids who are very supportive of my career and encourage me to write and they even read as I’m writing, so I’m probably luckier in that area than many areas. I don’t have little kids at home, my kids are a bit older. For me, I always prioritize my family first. If there is a family thing, or something they want to do, I do that first before doing my writing. So for me, I don’t generally find that there is a conflict between writing time and family time.

Thank you Cindy for this insightful interview. Be sure to stop by one of her links, follow and thank her for this amazing interview. If anyone has any questions or topics you would like covered in Anyone Can Write be sure to comment below. We will be trying hard to cover topics that will help writers better navigate the publishing world.

♥’s Do Not Have a Gender

As I sit in this coffee house writing the New York Times Bestseller The Definition of Love, (ok, it might be a bestseller in my head, but that’s where it starts). I begin to run out of ideas. What does a writer do in a crowded coffee house when in need of some inspiration? Well you begin to look around and analyze the people around  you. I stare off into the distance and come across an unlikely couple. Their hair doesn’t match. One is blonde, the other a brunette. I laugh to myself and jot this difference in my mental notebook. Then I notice the exchanges between them. The lingering stares filled with pure adoration and comfort. The gentle lip curls as they exchange words barely audible, but easily understood between them. The passionate caresses that marks a sigh of relief on each others face. They have found something so pure, something that the heart desperately desires. A thing that is intangible to some. They have found true love. I stare for inspiration. Others stare because the couple I have been observing are of the same sex.

Love is love. No matter how you look at it. Just as a plant needs water and sun to grow, so does a human need love to flourish. Each human was born with the desire to love and be loved. It isn’t something to be hated or ignored. Love is what makes the world go ’round. If we didn’t love anything then this world would be chaos. Think about it for a second. Without the environmentalist, we would never know what the beach is supposed to look like, what the air is supposed to smell like and what water is really supposed to taste like. This world would be in shambles and you wouldn’t care. Actually, you wouldn’t be around to care, because there would be no one to nourish you and look out for your well being as a child because no one loved you enough to look out for you as an infant.

I know. I know. You don’t want to hear it. However, what exactly is the, dare I say it, hatred with the LGBT community? Lets set aside the religious or scientific aspect of it. Face it, it’s a tired argument. So over it! God made Adam & Eve not Eve & Eva..etc etc. From hormones to brain waves and all the other eclectic things, no one really dives into the issue at hand. The heart wants what the heart wants. Its a fact that falling in love causes a chemical reaction. One cannot control what the heart demands.

There are certain desires that the heart craves that cannot be explained logically. Love. It’s a feeling. Its an emotion that overcomes every inch of reason and all one is left with is an unaltered pure devotion to the person that caused this madness within you. There’s a saying that you can’t control who you love. I believe this. There are many odd couples out there where you wonder, how is it that she’s sooo hot and he’s sooo not? Regardless of what you think, what you say… she looks at him as he is the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to her. Why is it wrong when this look is shared between a woman and a woman or a man and a man? Isn’t it enough that they found someone to share their lives with?

The tides are shifting all over the world and no matter what you believe, this issue is not going to go away. People are fighting for their right to marry who they deem fit and to share a life together without prejudice and without restraint. Laws are being changed all over the place. I was always taught as a child that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. Stand firm in your beliefs, it’s your God given right to do so. It is not, however, your right to judge and to attempt to tarnish a heart desire that someone else has. If it’s not for you, then GREAT! Live your life accordingly. Allow each person to explore their own happiness and wish them the best. Life isn’t about whose wrong or right. It’s about fulfilling the desires of the heart in a safe environment. After all, that is the true meaning of love, isn’t it?

© 2013 Seven Magazine