Book Release: The Myths of Girlhood

Indie Blu(e) Publishing is thrilled to announce the release of The Myths of Girlhood by Christine E. Ray.

From the Back Cover:

Imagine that Myths of Girlhood is a tapestry; feel the varying textures, and observe the movement of its patterns. In your hands, you hold the fibers of Christine E. Ray. For this book is much more than an arrangement of words. Myths is an experience—an exploration of madness and strength of will, illogic, and rationality, all of which coexist inside a woman who is unafraid to let her soul speak.

We were introduced to her exquisite truth-telling in Composition of a Woman. Myths of Girlhood is not a mere continuation, but a glass breaking roar.       

The Myths of Girlhood is available on Amazon in print and Kindle versions.

On “The Myths of Girlhood” a poetry collection by Christine E. Ray Reviewed by Rachael Z. Ikins

With an intense almost Gothic darkness, reminiscent of the novels of Ann Rice, “Myths of Girlhood” entices us into its pages. Christine Ray references familiar fairytales, song lyrics and expressions from childhood as she leads us from a place of mental illness, through the pain of the growing-up years into self-discovery. We deal with the past by putting it down again and again.

Through her use of strong, stark imagery we look in the mirror with the poet and face ourselves and all the monsters who maimed, the demons we’ve survived, and the dragon who longs to burst out of her self-actualized breast to embrace her freedom.

Ray’s elegant poetry tells us 3D stories of a real woman’s life. We root for our hero as she tears off layers. Grows into herself. Names herself; poet, boss, lover, mother, SURVIVOR and with a small, two-word line as loud as a thunder-clap, “my own.”

Rachael Ikins, author of the award-winning poetry collection “Just Two Girls,” (claresongbirdspub.com) and of poems in the anthology “We Will Not Be Silenced” (Indie Blu(e) Publishing)

The Myths of Girlhood will be released January 2019 by Indie Blu(e) Publishing

Jasper Kerkau Interviews Christine Ray about Composition of a Woman

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You started your journey in the past two years. In that time you have made enormous strides as a writer and a publisher. Is there validation in getting a book to press?

My life has changed a great deal in the last two years, hasn’t it? I knew nothing about blogging when I started Brave and Reckless, let alone publishing. It has been quite an education as I have learned how to negotiate the blogging world and then the world of small press publishing. I think my writing has improved dramatically over the last two years as I have found my voice and been exposed to some really incredible writing. Joining Sudden Denouement has really challenged me to refine my writing and take more risks.

If someone had told me two years ago that I would be publishing my first book of poetry this month, I would have laughed at the idea. Even a year ago I would have scoffed at the idea- I was still too new and too raw a writer. The idea that getting a book to press was an actual possibility grew very slowly. Even in early 2018, I was really struggling with the questions of “Is this the right time?” and “Is my writing really good enough to warrant a standalone book?”

Many steps along this journey have been incredibly validating. Winning the Sudden Denouement Writing Contest, having Brave and Reckless designated a Discover Blog by the WordPress editors, getting published in an e-Zine for the first time, getting published in Nicholas Gagnier’s Swear To Me, editing Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective have all validated my sense that this is what I am meant to be doing. I can’t tell you how tickled I am that I have a Goodreads Author page and an Amazon author page! It’s crazy. Publishing Composition of a Woman is both validating and surreal, exciting and a little terrifying.

My experience tells me that a great deal of writers stop within a year. What suggestion would you give to new writers about seeing their dreams through?

Keep reading, keep writing, keep networking, give support to other writers as generously as you can, and find your tribe. What has happened in my writing life over the last two years is truly astonishing. But it wasn’t part of a master plan that I carefully developed. I just kept walking through the open doors when opportunity presented itself. And when there wasn’t an opportunity for something I believed in passionately, I asked myself if I could make it happen. Blood Into Ink, Go Dog Go Café, and Indie Blu(e) all grew out of that place.

At the core of your first book, what message do you want to articulate? What do you want the reader to take away from the book?

Writing is really my therapy, my diary, and my confessional. Composition of a Woman covers a wide range of themes: chronic illness, depression, love, loss, and identity. These are issues that many of us will wrestle with in our lifetimes. These pieces are both deeply personal and highly relatable. I want readers to feel less alone when they read Composition of a Woman. I want them to know I get it, that I’ve lived it. Perhaps I will be able to articulate their lived experience in a way they have never been able to.

You have done an amazing job communicating with other writers. How important is that your journey?

I didn’t start Brave and Reckless because of the writing community, but I have definitely stayed because of it. I honestly did not realize how much I needed those connections with other writers until I started to develop them. It was like some small, starved part of my soul woke up when I met other writers who create from the same place that I do. I hadn’t written in 12 years when I started my blog. My family and many of my real-world friends had never seen this part of me before and many of them just didn’t know what to do with it! Some of them treat reading my writing like a guilty secret while others find my candor in my writing very unsettling.

In addition to it being deeply important to my emotional health, the power of networking has had a profound impact on my writing life. I was always the kid who hated group projects but I love to write collaboratively. I love the way synergy occurs between writers and how organically something amazing develops. I have started other blogs with writers I have met on WordPress that continue to grow and thrive. It is really an honor to work with other editors and writers who I know have my back and who know that I have theirs.

Sudden Denouement is truly my literary home and I have made deep soul-satisfying friendships there, but my writing circles continue to grow. I have finally started to connect with my local writer’s community and thanks to the incredibly generous and talented Alfa (Silent Squall), I have started to connect with a large group of passionate poets on Facebook and Instagram.

I benefit every day from the support, generosity, friendship, and creative inspiration offered by these writing communities. It is not unusual for me to have four chat windows open while I communicate with writers all over the world- they are my friends, my comrades-in-arms, and my support system. I often hear people complain on social media about how jealous and petty some writers can be. I have been blessed to meet and connect with a writing community that really supports, encourages, and lifts each other up.

S.K. Nicholas stated that it is important to write every day. How did you balance life and writing in a way that provided you the opportunity to make this book happen?

Oh, how I miss writing every day! I used to write every day. I believe that I should be writing every day. I used to get up at 4 am daily just to have two quiet hours to myself to write. I have really been struggling with balance the last seven months. Some days I manage Fibromyalgia and frequent migraine headaches and some days they manage me. I love all the projects I am involved with but my writing and maintenance of Brave and Reckless often get pushed to bottom of my to-do list because of other, more time-sensitive tasks. I had to be pretty ruthless some days and close my email, mute my phone, put on my headphones, and just ignore everything else so I could have a chunk of time to work on the book.

It took an enormous amount of time just to assemble everything I had written since October of 2016 (over 450 pieces!) and start rereading and sorting through the pieces, making decisions whether to include or discard writing, and then organize the original manuscript. There were days that piles of my writing were on every flat surface in my house. My family ate meals amid tentative book sections on more than one occasion. I worked on Composition of a Woman and its sister manuscript, The Myths of Girlhood for months while also working on the Sudden Denouement Anthology and Rachel Finch’s A Sparrow Stirs its Wings. Some days I never thought Composition would never be finished but, here we are!

You have been an inspiration to so many. What advice do you have for the poets who have not found their voice, who are looking to become a writer of your caliber?

I still giggle when people say things like “a writer of your caliber.” I want to look around me to see who they are talking to, because they can’t possibly be talking about me!

It helped me to read good writing. Lots of it, as much as I had time for. Not just technically good writing but writing that impacted me—made me feel, made me think, challenged me. It was profound when I stopped worrying so much about pleasing an invisible audience and started writing for me. When I write poetry, it is a selfish act. I am writing what needs to get out, regardless of what anyone else thinks about it. I need to express my truth. Truth isn’t always easy or pretty. It just needs to be authentic.

This sounds like a weird thing to say, but it really made a difference when I stopped thinking of myself as another middle-age woman who wrote some stuff and started thinking of myself as a writer. I had to take myself seriously and see it as part of my identity. It made it easier to justify carving out time for my writing and helped me see this as a marathon, not a sprint. The more you write, the better your writing gets.

Collaborate! It really encouraged me to up my writing game when I started writing with other people. At first, I was really shy about asking people to write with me. I have gotten bolder and rarely has anyone say no.

I also took a college-level Creative Writing class that involved workshopping. It both helped reassure me that I had potential and also forced me to look more critically at my writing. I won’t say that it was always a good experience for my ego, but my writing voice evolved significantly during those 12 weeks. I left the class much more willing to take risks and much more confident. I also had a lot of fun! If you do not have easy access to a college writing program, there are lots of good online courses available, including many that are free.

Christine Ray is the author of the Composition of a Woman, as well as being managing editor of Sudden Denouement.

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Just Released! Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

The Sudden Denoument Literary Collective is thrilled to announce the release of Anthology Volume I: Writings for the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective!  This long-awaited anthology is a thoughtfully curated compendium of the best writing published online by the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective from its launch in August of 2016 through April 2018. It includes 138 pieces of cutting-edge poetry, prose and short fiction written by 29 diverse writers from England, Romania, Japan, India, Finland, the United States and Canada. Thirty-one of the 138 pieces were written exclusively for the Anthology. This volume captures the astonishing raw power of these individual and united poetic voices.

Now available on Amazon.com

Indie Blu(e) Welcomes Christine E. Ray

Christine E. Ray is an indie author and freelance editor who lives outside of  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She is editor of Sudden Denouement Publishing’s soon-to-be-released “Anthology Volume I: Writing from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective” and “a Sparrow Stirs its Wings” by Rachel Finch.  Christine will be releasing her first book of poems and prose in July of 2018. Her writing has also been featured on SpillWords, fēlan poetry & visual zine, Nicholas Gagnier’s “Swear to Me” (2017), and his upcoming collection, “All the Lonely People.” She also served as editor of the show chapbook for the Creative Women of Lansdowne Art Show (2018)

An avid writer of fiction and poetry in her teens and 20’s, Christine returned to creative writing after a long hiatus in 2016 when she launched her blog Brave and Reckless.  Although she primarily considers herself a poet, she is known on WordPress for her well-regarded Brave and Reckless Series for New Bloggers, which earned the blog a Discover designation by the WordPress Editorial Staff .

She’s a founding member of Indie Blu(e) and Go Dog Go Cafe, and a writer/managing editor at the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective, including Blood Into InkSudden Denouement Publishing, and Whisper and the Roar.

Christine provides a menu of developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading services through Her Red Pen Wordsmithing. If you are looking for an experienced editor or proofreader, contact her at her.red.pen.wordsmithing@gmail.com.


PUBLISHED WORKS

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Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective is a thoughtfully curated compendium of the best writing published online by the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective from its launch in August of 2016 through April 2018. It includes 138 pieces of cutting-edge poetry, prose and short fiction written by 29 diverse writers from England, Romania, Japan, India, Finland, the United States and Canada. Thirty-one of the 138 pieces were written exclusively for the Anthology. This volume captures the astonishing raw power of these individual and united poetic voices.

“One of the delights of this collection is the sheer diversity of voices, unconstrained, with differing syntax, forms, loss of form, deliberate omissions and styles, one moment you are reading a condensed prose-poem about the origin of life, the next a confessional bleeding rip from the heart about love and drugs. Nowhere else in modern collections have I found such a mélange of tongues, all begging questions, responses, emotions, some disgust, horror, desire. Volume I is a true kaleidoscope of the human experience, doused in realism and the phantasmagoric with absolutely no brake fluid.” Candice Louisa Daquin, Pinch the Lock

“Sudden Denouement’s Anthology exposes and breaks many of the taboos of being truly and unashamedly human, giving us permission to look at and embrace them in the moment of reading. I was allowed a glimpse into the writers’ souls; comprehending their words was an exercise in the development of understanding human nature. This is a world in which the heaviness of life weights everything down until it is distilled—frustration and hate, love and unfiltered sex, bodily urges, addictions, the complexity of human interactions. Descriptions are brightly painful in some cases, transparently critical in others, but always smack of truth. Divergent work demands that there are no holds barred; the writer reveals everything, and cuts close to the bone, even his or her own, in order to create a pulsating, living amalgamation of words.” Mariah Voutilainen

“If you find yourself hungry for the kind of words that walk boldly into the dark filled spaces of your poetic heart, be prepared to put your dancing shoes on. This anthology is a collective kaleidoscope of fragmented and pulsing light from some of the most talented writers around the globe.” Alfa, Abandoned Breathes

Paperback, 278 pages/Published June 20, 2018 by Sudden Denouement Publishing

Available at Amazon.com, Amazon Europe (Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, and Amazon.es), and Book Depository.

REVIEWS OF ANTHOLOGY VOLUME I: WRITINGS FROM THE SUDDEN DENOUEMENT LITERARY COLLECTIVE:

Candice Louisa Daquin Reviews Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

Alfa Reviews Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

Mariah Voutilainen Reviews Anthology Volume I: Writings from the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective


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Author: Rachel Finch                                  Editor: Christine E. Ray

Sudden Denouement Publishing is honored to publish Rachel Finch’s book of poetry ‘A Sparrow Stirs its Wings.” Finch is the powerhouse behind the Bruised But Not Broken community on Facebook, which provides support and healing for trauma survivors. She is a symbol of hope and light throughout the world.

“Every now and then, when the world seems to be rocked in chaos and people are screaming without listening – vile words and cries for help climbing on top of and over each other – a single voice stands out, and that voice is pure in its truth and stunning in its wisdom.

Rachel Finch, and her debut book, A Sparrow Stirs its Wings, is that voice right now. Turning her heartbreaking abuse into heart-wrenching prose, Finch writes her truth and gives her strength to every unnamed victim turned survivor.”
Nicole Lyons, I Am A World Of Uncertainties Disguised As A Girl

“A mark of a great poet is the ability to make emotional connection with their audience, and Rachel Finch does exactly that.”
Faye Brown, Black Orchid Poetry

Paperback, 148 pages/Published June 28, 2018 by Sudden Denouement Publishing

Available at Amazon.com, Amazon Europe (Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, and Amazon.es), and Book Depository.

REVIEWS OF A SPARROW STIRS ITS WINGS:

Nicole Lyons Reviews Rachel Finch’s A Sparrow Stirs its Wings

Faye K. Brown Reviews Rachel Finch’s A Sparrow Stirs its Wings


COMING JULY 2018

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“Poet Christine Ray’s first printed collection of poetry, Composition of a Woman(Sudden Denouement Press, 2018) is a striking, fearless foray into the psyche of womanhood, both highly relatable and intensely personal for female readers and achingly candid and fascinating for male.

Ray has already struck her mark as a writer of substance with her blog, Brave & Reckless and her involvement in the literary collective Sudden Denouement, but the bringing together of a cherished portion of her work on the subject of the feminine experience, is a special treat, enabling us to appreciate her breadth of understanding and the humor and tragedy behind the female.”
Candice Louisa Daquin, Pinch the Lock