Christine Ray – Composition of a Woman Like no Other

“The world needs strong women who will lift and build others, who will love and be loved. Women who live bravely, both tender and fierce. Women of indomitable will.” – Amy Tenney

I don’t know who Amy Tenney is, have never heard of her, nor read anything other than the above quote, (that I know of), that can be traced back to her, but after reading that very quote, I think Amy Tenney may know Christine Ray.

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If the heart of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective is the impressive collection of writers and their work, editors and their passion, readers and their appreciation, then surely Christine Ray has been a potent infusion of life for us all.

For the past two years, Christine Ray has been a valued, and much loved, member of the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective. As a writer, Christine is nothing short of impressive. As a poet, Christine is nothing short of phenomenal. With her vivid imagery and the unfiltered passion she leaves on her page, it was no surprise when Christine developed a large following of fans and a rock solid appreciation and respect from her collective, and the writers who run tight in influential social media circles, none of which are an easy feat.

Always the first to read, comment, and share the work featured on SD onto her own sites, Christine played a huge role in bringing all of our work to people who wouldn’t normally see it, and then bringing devoted fans and readers back to SD.

It wasn’t long before Christine became an editor at SD, working closely with the writers to produce the very best content, all the while writing for, and maintaining her own growing site, Brave and Reckless, but she was also quickly tapped to become the managing editor of not only The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, but its sister site Whisper and The Roar as well.

Over the past two years Christine has given her all to this collective, and at times that has been a thankless and an exhausting job, yet she has continued to do it all just as she does everything she sets her mind and her heart to, with grace and determination. We, as a collective, have been fortunate to have spent these years under her ever-watchful eyes and her guiding light, and it is with our deepest thanks and our greatest appreciation that we bid farewell to her as editor of SD, and stand behind her as the biggest champions of her bright new future endeavours.

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Lost Voice – Christine Ray

siren’s golden voice
once dropped confident syllables
into air
as naturally as breathing
now stifled in constricted throat
that struggles to swallow
six-sided anxiety
hot, sour bile
college ruled notebooks
once full
of manic scribblings
compulsively captured in black ink
before inspiration could swirl down the floor drain
collect dust
sigh from disuse
pen now held in death grip
fingers have lost their grace
their nerve
fertile mind now an empty room
where silence rings
torturous tinnitus
blindfolded by fear
weight pressing down on shoulders
by the weight of giant
unseen inquisitor’s voice barks
Have you reached the bottom of yourself
are you so shallow
so barren?!
Or is truth so deeply hidden
that you must dive inside
hand to elbow buried into slippery entails
to reach it?
surgical implements laid out
with precision on a stainless tray
slide into view
no hesitation picking up sharp scalpel
with shaking fingers
a writer’s way is
always to bleed

“She was an angel that burst into my life and shone her brilliant light right into the eyes of my demons”

Christine is a wonderful writer & editor & it was through our shared love of poetry that our friendship was birthed. She is one of the strongest, most patient & inspiring women I know and it has been a pleasure to work alongside her often.
– Rachel Finch, author of A Sparrow Stirs Its Wings

Meme 14

“Christine Ray. I told her once I knew with a name like that, she’d go places. What I didn’t mention was she already has and does every day, she takes us with her too. What I didn’t mention was even if she was called Erma F. Sluggs, she’d go places, that’s just how bright her electric mind is.
Christine Ray came into my life as a writer, with a flash and from the moment I heard of her, she didn’t stop spitting electricity and fire. Routinely we over-use descriptors, the irony being Christine is often the source of those descriptors. She actually IS unstoppable. She actually IS the real deal. She actually IS on fire. (Okay so the last one is a slight exaggeration, but seriously, have you looked at the sky lately?).

Christine Ray has left an impact on my life already, as if she had resided there for its entirety. She doesn’t demand attention, she earns it, with every hard effort she makes to be basically the bad ass best at everything she does. Is this a Type A Personality? Hell, she invented the term.

It is both sad and wonderful that whilst Christine has long battled with exhaustion and illness, she is one of the most energetic minds I have had the privilege to meet, and she has a gift of putting intelligent and creative people together in ways that creative incredible happenings. Despite any set-back she has experienced or any trauma in her past, that would give her ample reason to bow out, Christine never does, she keeps going and she takes you with her.
On a bad day, Christine’s infectious energy and passion for writing and poetry, equals that of most of the rest of us. She has taught me to be more, do more, expect more. She has taught me that you can be broken and mangled and still find no excuse not to do your absolute best. Christine is an unwilling role-model in that she doesn’t seem to see her own shine, whilst everyone who ever meets her, sees it instantly. Her talents don’t know boundaries they defy even her own expectations.

I have been so honored to work with Christine over the years I’ve known her, and see her rise in our literary publishing and poetry circle to become one thing; Irreplaceable.

I wouldn’t bet on many people because you really don’t know, but I would bet on Christine. She’s a warrior, she’s a fighter, she’s a demon mind that doesn’t rest until she’s accomplished goals far beyond her reach and you know what? She succeeds. And nothing, not even herself, stops her from getting up the next day and doing the same thing. I admire the hell out of her, I also genuinely LIKE her as a human being and this is pretty rare because many passionate people can drive you crazy, but in Christine’s case, she only reminds us, to be more of what we can be, never less.

Christine has galvanized a huge group of people into a collective that has radically changed the quiet, detached safe world of poetry writing that hitherto existed on WordPress and beyond. She’s brought all of us together, she is a lightning rod and a fucking incredible human being and her poetry is devastatingly beautiful. I adore her. I applaud her. I will never feel anything ordinary about her.” – Candice Daquin, author of Pinch The Lock

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During her time at Sudden Denouement, and Sudden Denouement Publishing, Christine Ray has worked closely with dozens of today’s most impressive writers to bring their most impressive work to print. Christine was key in helping to establish Sudden Denouement Publishing and single-handedly compiled, designed, and edited ‘Anthology Volume I: Writings From The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective’ which was published in the summer of 2018 and remains one of SD’s proudest achievements.

As editor-in-chief, Christine helped bring not only two of Sudden Denouement’s most anticipated collections of 2018 to press: Rachel Finch’s debut collection, ‘A Sparrow Stirs Its Wings’ and Nicole Lyons’ third collection ‘Blossom and Bone’, but has also edited and added Eric Syrdal’s brilliant novel ‘Pantheon’ to SDP’s catalogue.

Never one to claim the spotlight for herself (though it shines for her) Christine has been the backbone, the kickstart, to each and every brilliant collaboration we have featured on SD.

“I’ve always been in awe of Christine. Not only in terms of her output as a poet, but in how much energy she puts into so many projects. Her level of commitment is like nothing else I have ever seen, and every time I’ve worked with her, she’s given 100%, even with so much on the go. From my early days in Sudden Denouement up to our recent collaboration, Christine has been supportive of me in so many ways, and without that support, and guidance, the last eighteen months wouldn’t have been as satisfying as they have. I’d like to thank her for everything she’s done, not only for me, but for so many others, and I hope she continues to shine her light as brightly as she’s done for a long time coming.” – S.K. Nicholas, author of The Journal For Damned Lovers Volumes I-III

FAITH DON’T LIE – Christine Ray & S.K. Nicholas

It was with great pleasure, and one of SDP’s shining accomplishments, that we were lucky enough to bring Christine’s own debut collection ‘Composition of a Woman’ to press. It is pure Christine Ray – amplified – and we couldn’t be any more proud to feature such a stunning work.

Though Christine has stepped down from SD as editor, all is not lost; she is still a much loved and valued member of the collective and we will continue to publish her work while we promote her exciting new adventures like Indie Blu(e) and Indie Blu(e) Publishing.

“Christine is a tough and tender wild thing, a brilliant writer and editor, and a ferocious friend. She has talent, an eye for it, and a gift for bringing it out in others. She especially has a gift for turning trauma into triumph and encouraging others to do the same. I am proud to call Christine a friend, and invigorated to know that this friendship will last a lifetime. On all levels, Christine is an amazing person. It is a privilege to know her and read her work. I am excited to see where her ambitions will lead her next!”

-Georgia Park, Private Bad Thoughts

We look forward to reading and promoting the brilliant artists and the work Christine and her team at Indie Blu(e) are set to publish very soon.

Here’s a little sneak peek of Christine’s second book of poetry, ‘The Myths Of Girlhood’ slated for publication with IB very soon:

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The Myths of Girlhood – Christine Ray

we were spoiled

for reality

by milk chocolate-coated fairy tales

force fed us as girls

made to swallow

not spit

myths about beauty

love

sex

taught that only pretty, pretty princesses

would be awoken by

true love’s first kiss

impossible standards of beauty

femininity

made for

bitter cherry centers

that left us empty

starving

hollow

how old were we

when we learned

that mere mortal girls

like us

would never be beautiful enough

thin enough

kind enough

pure enough

to win Prince Charming’s gold enrobed heart?

we ate up the lessons that with the right make-up

the right clothes

shoes

if we took enough quizzes

in Seventeen magazine

about how to be popular

how to catch his eye

contorted ourselves into pretzels

we might almost be enough

to be invited to dance at the ball

drink a brief taste of the pink champagne dream

before the clock struck midnight

and we turned back

into pumpkins

 

From all of us at Sudden Denouement, and Sudden Denouement Publishing, thank you Christine, for all you have done for us and for all you have given of yourself. You are irreplaceable, unforgettable, and we hold you in the highest esteem.

Excerpt from Composition of a Woman: Raven – Christine Ray

It starts as tightness
tingling
across bare shoulder blades
becomes an itch
I can’t quite reach
stretch my spine sinuous
slow
vertebrae by vertebrae
long for a shot of whiskey
or three
liquid gold disinhibition I can blame
for the reckless choice
I am about to make
I finally let go
tightly coiled control
gasp with relief
as I finally unleash the darkness
onyx feathers rip
sharp and true through the flesh of my back
talons shoot from fingertips
toes
bones burned hollow
by demon fire dwelling in my belly
exquisite pain of rebirth
brings me briefly to my knees
I arise something new
wipe the blood from my mouth
spread fledgling wings
and with the lift of the north wind
I claim the night sky
mine

Composition of a Woman will be released by Sudden Denouement Publishing on Tuesday, July 31st.  It will be available on Amazon.com, Amazon Canada, Amazon Europe and other major retailers.


When not running around pretending she is Wonder Woman, Christine Ray can be found writing for Brave and Reckless. You can also find her at Blood Into Ink, Whisper and the Roar, Indie Blu(e) and Go Dog Go Cafe. ]

Lost Voice – Christine Ray

siren’s golden voice
once dropped confident syllables
into air
as naturally as breathing
now stifled in constricted throat
that struggles to swallow
six-sided anxiety
hot, sour bile

college ruled notebooks
once full
of manic scribblings
compulsively captured in black ink
before inspiration could swirl down the floor drain
collect dust
sigh from disuse

pen now held in death grip
fingers have lost their grace
their nerve
fertile mind now an empty room
where silence rings
torturous tinnitus

blindfolded by fear
weight pressing down on shoulders
by the weight of giant
unseen inquisitor’s voice barks
Have you reached the bottom of yourself
are you so shallow
so barren?!
Or is truth so deeply hidden
that you must dive inside
hand to elbow buried into slippery entails
to reach it?

surgical implements laid out
with precision on a stainless tray
slide into view
no hesitation picking up sharp scalpel
with shaking fingers
a writer’s way is
always to bleed


[Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and is a member of Sudden Denouement.  She is also curator at Blood Into Ink and barista at Go Dog Go Cafe.  She is an aspiring badass.]

Glass and Thorns – Christine Ray

hysteria (1)
Betrayal is an inside job
wrecked by muscle and
joints
neurons and
neurotransmitters
mitochondrial mutiny
lays waste
to formerly silver tongue
now struggling to find words
that used to flow like
ink through fountain pen
fatigue hangs round neck
chain woven of boulders, glass shards &
thorns
muscle spasms contort me
into balloon animal shapes
so alien, so grotesque
that they frighten the village children
like the pick axe
I plant above right eye
in hopes of blessed relief
don’t mind the blood
it’s barely an inconvenience
during insomnic ruminations
about long dormant-mutations
coded in DNA turned
time bombs
that ripped through my life
casualty count still being assessed
by medics in white coats
who write cryptic words
on shiny clipboards
while I bleed


 

[Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and is a member of Sudden Denouement.  She is also curator at Blood Into Ink and barista at Go Dog Go Cafe.  She is an aspiring badass.]

Raven – Christine Ray

 

It starts as tightness
tingling
across bare shoulder blades
becomes an itch
I can’t quite reach
stretch my spine sinuous
slow
vertebrae by vertebrae
long for a shot of whiskey
or three
liquid gold disinhibition I can blame
for the reckless choice
I am about to make
I finally let go
tightly coiled control
gasp with relief
as I finally unleash the darkness
onyx feathers rip
sharp and true through the flesh of my back
talons shoot from fingertips
toes
bones burned hollow
by demon fire dwelling in my belly
exquisite pain of rebirth
brings me briefly to my knees
I arise something new
wipe the blood from my mouth
spread fledgling wings
and with the lift of the north wind
I claim the night sky
mine


[ Welcome back, Christine Ray! When not running around pretending she is Wonder Woman, Christine Ray can be found writing for Brave and Reckless. You can also find her at Blood Into Ink, Whisper and the Roar, and Go Dog Go Cafe. ]

Congratulations to Brave and Reckless’ Christine Ray

We are pleased to announce that Christine Ray’s blog, Brave and Reckless, has been chosen to be part of WordPress Discover. For those who are not aware, WordPress Discover is a selection of the best blogs on WordPress. It is a tremendous honor and well-deserved. The opportunity opens Christine’s wonderful writing to a whole new audience, soon others will be aware of what we have known all along: Christine is one of the most inspirational writers on WordPress. We are honored by her leadership and her friendship. The moment that I first encountered her powerful, poetic voice, I knew I was beholden to something special. We are elated that her voice will soon be heard by many more people. On behalf of Olde Punk, Samantha Lucero, SRP, Nicole Lyons, Georgia Park, and the rest of Sudden Denouement , we would like to congratulate Christine. I would like to say that Christine has touched my life, like she has touched the lives of so many. Destiny has cold hands, but sometimes the universe gets things right. In this case,  the planets lined up exactly as they should have. For those who are not familiar with her work, please take a minute to discover the wonderful mind of Christine Ray, our friend and our leader. We love you Christine.

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godspeed,

Jasper Kerkau, Founder Sudden Denouement Literary Collective