Writers/Artists Wanted for Upcoming Brave and Reckless Prompt Themes – Christine E. Ray

I am quite enamored with the response my daily writing prompts for Brave and Reckless have generated.  I am getting to know new writers, reading great writing, and being creatively inspired myself.

In a burst of inspiration, I have put together the prompts for the next two months.  August’s theme will be Feminist Book Titles and September will be Lesbian Book Titles.  I realize that these may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but know that I very carefully chose titles that I thought could be creatively inspiring to anyone.  You certainly don’t need to be a feminist or a lesbian to participate, but if you don’t believe that women are human beings who deserve basic human right I doubt you would be following Whisper and the Roar.

In any case, I would like to take things up a notch for August and September.  I am hoping that some of you might be willing to take on one of these future prompts and submit a prompt-inspired piece for publishing on Brave and Reckless (and quite likely Whisper and the Roar) when the prompt goes live to inspire other writers.

The only rules are: 1) that you use the book title as your piece title OR that you integrate all the words in the title into your piece somehow. Poetry, prose, short fiction, and art are all welcome; 2) you send your piece to me (her.red.pen.wordsmithing@gmail.com) in advance; and, 3) your piece gets published on Brave and Reckless before you share it anywhere else.

If you are intrigued, see the prompt lists below and let me know whether you are interested. I am hoping that every prompt will be covered by at least one writer- if one speaks to you, please let me know:

Feminist Book Title Challenge – August 2019

1. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
2. When God Was a Woman – Merlin Stone
3. A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Wolf
4. Bad Feminist – Roxane Gay
5. Men Explain Things to Me – Rebecca Solnit
6. Sister Outsider – Audre Lorde
7. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
8. This Bridge Called My Back – Cherrie Moraga (Editor) & Gloria Anzaldua (Editor)
9. In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens – Alice Walker
10. The Feminine Mystique – Betty Friedan
11. The Second Sex – Simone de Beauvoir
12. The Body Is Not an Apology – Sonya Renee Taylor
13. The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
14. The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Gilman
15. We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
16. The Awakening – Kate Chopin
17. The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
18. The Beauty Myth – Naomi Wolf
19. Ain’t I a Woman? – Bell Hooks
20. Women Who Run With Wolves – Clarissa Pinkola Estés
21. Backlash – Susan Faludi
22. Against Our Will – Susan Brownmiller
23. The witch doesn’t burn in this one – amanda lovelace
24. The Woman Warrior – Maxine Hong Kingston
25. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
26. How To Be A Woman – Caitlin Moran
27. Girl Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen
28. Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman – Lindy West
29. What We’re Told Not To Talk About – Nimiko Ali
30. Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and other lies – Scarlett Curtis
31. she must be mad – Charly Cox

Lesbian Book Title Challenge- September 2019

1. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
2. Rubyfruit Jungle – Rita Mae Brown
3. Desert of the Heart – Jane Rule
4. Happy Endings Are All Alike – Sandra Scoppettone
5. Tipping the Velvet – Sarah Waters
6. The Price of Salt – Patricia Highsmith
7. The Well of Loneliness – Radclyffe Hall
8. The Miseducation of Cameron Post – Emily M. Danforth
9. Stone Butch Blues – Leslie Feinberg
10. The Gravity Between Us – Georgia Beers
11. Curious Wine – Katherine V. Forrest
12. Her Name in the Sky – Kelly Quindlen
13. Crush – Jane Futcher
14. SKIM – Mariko Tamiki/Jillian Tamiki
15. The Girls in 3B – Valerie Taylor
16. Orlando – Virginia Wolf
17. Fun Home – Allison Bechdel
18. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
19. BODYMAP – Leah Piepzna-Samarasinha
20. Kissing the Witch – Emma Donoghue
21. The One Hundred Nights of Hero – Isabel Greenberg
22. Under the Udala Trees – Chinelo Okparanta
23. Keeping You a Secret – Julie Anne Peters
24. Ash – Melinda Lo
25. The Wanderground by Sally Miller Gearhart
26. The Space Between – Michelle L. Teichman
27. Here Comes the Sun – Nicole Dennis-Benn
28. The Truth That Never Hurts – Barbara Smith
29. Juliet Takes a Breath – Gabby Rivera
30. If You Could Be Mine – Sara Farizan

Witch – Christine Ray

the god-fearing men
who wish to tie us
to stakes
sew lions on their standards
to give them courage
play at soldier
like little boys
carrying pointy sticks
and bibles
in their self-righteous hands
who lust for the maiden
revere the mother
deathly fear the crone
we are all faces
of the triple goddess
we worship her
by the light of the moon
we are the witches
the keepers of wisdom
who pass down the lore
of our foremothers
we remember
and honor
the magic in the earth
the power in our blood
of the women
your grandfathers
could not burn

© 2019 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

Inspired by Tish Thawer’s Quote: ‘We are the granddaughters of the witches they weren’t able to burn.’


I started to think today how much fun it would be to participate in an LBGTQ Pride Poetry Challenge starting June 1st.  Next thing I knew, I had 30 Pride Anthems organized for writing prompts!

If you would like to participate, email your prompt inspired pieces to me at her.red.pen.wordsmithing@gmail.com and I will publish my favorites on Brave and Reckless.  You can also participate on Facebook by tagging your writing with:

  • # the daily theme
  • #PrideAnthemChallenge
  • @braveandreckless66

If you would like to know more about the musical inspirations, please see the anthems and the artists below:

1 True Colors (Cyndi Lauper) 16 Kiss the Boy ( Keiynan Lonsdale)
2 I Kissed A Girl (Katy Perry) 17 Not the Only One (Melissa Etheridge)
3 It’s Raining Men (The Weather Girls) 18 We Are Family (Sister Sledge)
4 Born This Way (Lady Gaga) 19 Raise Your Glass (P!ink)
5 Beautiful (Christine Aguilera) 20 Rebel Girl (Bikini Kill)
6 Girls Like Girls (Kayley Kiyoko) 21 I’m Coming Out (Diana Ross)
7 Wig In A Box (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) 22 Dancing on My Own (Robyn)
8 Promises (Calvin Harris/Sam Smith) 23 Boyfriend (Tegan and Sara)
9 You Make Me Feel (Sylvester) 24 Teenage Dream (Katy Perry)
10 Alive (Sia) 25 War Paint (Frankie Simone)
11 I Will Survive (Gloria Gayner) 26 Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover
12 Bitches (Tove Lo) 27 Lady Marmalade (Patti LaBelle)
13 Same Love/She Keeps Me Warm (Mary Lambert, Macklemore & Lewis) 28 Over the Rainbow (Judy Garland)
14 A Little Respect (Erasure) 29 American Pie (Shea Diamond)
15 Brave (Sara Bareilles) 30 We R Who We R (Kesha)



She looked again
but she could not find her
not on this scraped and scribbled parchment
not here among the faint ink lines
that denoted landscapes long forgotten
hills and valleys
that were worn even by the winds of time
though she continued the search
for the she before her
the paper oracle in her lap remained silent
it would breathe no word
of the whereabouts of this woman
the she before her
the one whose locks
were not of ash and peppered coal
she whose mane
flowed like an ebony flame
and how often through the gold of a crown
it hung in the salt air
aloft on her shoulders
before they were pauldroned
and framed in steel
she who walked amid
daisyed fields
and through the shade of willow branches
in the sun-swirled breezes of early march
and knew no particulars
of drought cracked earth
beneath the flap of torn rag battle standards
the she before her
who knew not the sound
a blade makes as it slices through dragon flesh
the edges of this map
here be monsters
they all knew her name now
the monsters
and they all would retreat
when e’re her boot heels would approach
and though her sword
slept at her hip
it knew they would not find her
the she before her
for the woman they sought
was the self same maiden
now warrioress
who rests upon weathered stone
and dreams of a time
when this map
was a stranger to her

– Dedicated to Christine Ray – Beautiful Woman, Amazing Friend, Trusted Ally, Champion

We Will Not Be Silenced Launch Event II

Blood Into Ink


Join us for our second launch event on Facebook!

December 7 at 7pm-10pm

The editors and contributors are concluding a week of events in honor of the publication of We Will Not Be Silenced: The Lived Experience of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Told Powerfully Through Poetry, Prose, Essay, and Art. Our live events are a great opportunity to learn more about the book’s origin, purpose, and contributors and get some sneak peeks of the powerful content.


We Will Not Be Silenced: The Lived Experience of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Told Powerfully Through Poetry, Prose, Essay, and Art is the brainchild of Kindra M. Austin, Candice Louisa Daquin, Rachel Finch, and Christine E. Ray. The four indie writers and survivors felt compelled to do something after the strongly triggering Kavanaugh Hearings. We decided that we would advocate, educate, and resist through our art.
We opened submissions for…

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We Will Not Be Silenced – Launch Tomorrow!

We Will Not Be Silenced: The Lived Experience of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault, Told Powerfully Through Poetry, Prose, Essay and Art is in the best seller #1 position for Poetry Anthologies and the #1 New Release in Women’s Poetry on Amazon!

Please, if you have not yet purchased a copy, consider doing so for someone else if not for yourself. You can even purchase to give to a shelter or rape crisis center. We deliberately kept the cost low so most could afford a copy and the message in this incredible anthology would be spread.

We Will Not Be Silenced is going to have the first of several events tomorrow November 30 on Facebook if you are able to attend and whilst there, if you want to join We Will Not Be Silenced on Facebook and the accompanying site, Sisters of Indigo Light

We Will Not Be Silenced is available on Amazon

Why ‘We Will Not Be Silenced’- Christine E. Ray

I am a writer, an editor, and publisher with a background in clinical social work and neurodegenerative research.  I am a mother, a wife, pansexual, dyslexic, living with Bipolar II, and fibromyalgia.  I am an artist, an avid reader, and lifelong advocate for social justice.

I am also a sexual abuse survivor.

Like many sexual abuse survivors, I kept my story to myself for many, many years.  For decades, I only shared my story with the people I was most emotionally and physically intimate with.

Partially my silence was to protect the innocent who could still be hurt by the fallout of my story, partially because of shame, partially because I told myself that what happened to me wasn’t so bad compared to what has happened to so many others, and partially because I didn’t want to be viewed as damaged.  I didn’t need, or want, anyone’s pity.

When I turned 50, I realized that my silence was slowly eating me alive and was keeping me stuck in a place in a place of shame and self-blame that served no one but my now-dead abuser.  So I started to write and tell my story creatively.  It was terrifying, painful, empowering, healing and incredibly validating when others started to tell me what an impact my writing had on them.  They told me they felt less alone.  Some said that I had written exactly what they had always needed to say but couldn’t.  I cannot express how profound this feedback was or how motivating.

This lead to the founding of Blood Into Ink with Kindra M. Austin, 1Wise-Woman, Aurora Phoenix, and others.  I felt strongly that we needed a place to collect the stories of trauma survival warriors and show that they were so much more than victims.

This led me to ask Rachel Finch, the incredible founder of the Bruised But Not Broken Community, to let me publish her stunning book of poetry A Sparrow Stirs its Wings about her own experience with abuse and healing through Sudden Denouement Publishing.  This led me to prepare the manuscript for The Myths of Girlhood, a collection of writing about my own experiences with sexual abuse, PTSD, and life of a survivor.

It also lead me to turn to my incredible network of survival warriors when the recent Kavanaugh hearings rocked the United States,  communicating to the world how little our stories as survivors are valued, how easy it is for some people to turn a blind eye, and how many would rather accuse a survivor of lying than accept that rapists and harassers are not always monsters who live in dark caves, but can be the boy next door, our classmate who is a star of the basketball team, our judges, our heroes.

Candice Louisa Daquin, Kindra M. Austin, Rachel Finch and I believe that it is more important than ever for women AND men who have been sexually harassed, sexually abused to tell their stories.  To be heard.  For our diversity and our commonalities to be seen.  We Will Not Be Silenced is just the beginning of our response to these recent events that have shaken us, outraged us, and motivated us to encourage others to break their silence, to use creativity and community to heal, to connect, to fight back.

We will be accepting submissions for We Will Not Be Silenced until midnight on Monday, October 15th.  There is still time for your voice to be heard.  We are stronger together.  It is time to be loud.

© 2018 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved