Shifting Sands – Christine E. Ray

Christine E. Ray – A beach story

Brave & Reckless

Several years ago, I took my first and only Creative Writing class.  This was written for an in-class assignments to take a pleasant memory and write it as if it were a horror story without altering any of the details. 

high noon sun
baked sand
under their feet
cousins 4 and 8
bright plastic buckets in hand
aching call of the gulls
stranger at the pipe
where water flows clear
salt free
down to ocean’s taboo edge
they are not allowed to go down there alone
dangerous they are told
but adults distracted yards away
by their dime store novels
cryptic conversations
that bore them to tears
parallel digging with strange girl in the deep sand
few words exchanged
something about her eyes
building ephemeral castles
before knocking them down
and again
tired of this ritual
her 8 year-old eyes slide toward shore line
incoming tide hypnotizing

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Move Forward In Love: Pride 2022 SAL from Modern Folk Embroidery

A new blog from Diversity In Stitching (suggested by Christine E. Ray)

Diversity in Stitching

When designer Jacob de Graaf reached out to the Diversity in Stitching Team about Modern Folk Embroidery’s upcoming Pride 2022 SAL (stitch-a-long), we were instantly smitten. We fell even more in love with the project upon learning that the SAL’s theme was inspired while he watched imogenXstitch’s debut Flosstube episode. Jacob reports that the design came together for him when imogenXstitch pulled the tarot card “The Lovers”, and quoted Madam Adam’s words “Move forward in love, or backward in fear”.

Jacob graciously agreed to answer more of our questions about the new SAL.

We are in awe of your gorgeous patterns, including your new Pride SAL. What are your inspirations for the motifs you incorporate into a pattern like the Pride SAL? What is your normal design process?

JdG: Thank you so much! A couple of times now folks have gotten in touch with me if I would ever…

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Snapping Patti Gators

Pattimouse – Getting loud


Photo by Connor McManus on

Today I was trying to get work done. It seems like whenever I sit down to do work…well that is when everyone wants my attention. Normally it does not bother me…I multitask and get everything I can done. Today however it had me snapping. I have since apologized to those who I was cranky with. But it got me thinking.

Why was I so quick to snap?

Well, I have publishing deadlines approaching. I am also getting ready for a trip out of town. (A rare treat as my Mom is coming to get me and my daughter for a mini Vacation to her place.) Then I have invited friends over for a fourth of July cookout…And so I have to plan for that…I am rearranging my house and cleaning as I go. My dishwasher broke and I have to prepare for the installation…

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Here we are, Memorial Day, a holiday to remember and honor our soldiers, sailors, and aviators who have fallen in the line of duty. Maybe we need a Memorial Day, a long weekend holiday to remember, honor, and grieve the children murdered with weapons of war in their schools, playgrounds, churches, and anywhere they gather. After all, some say they died as heroes to preserve an unlimited “right to bear arms”.

The Higher Call

Tara Caribou – A man, a pen, and a teddy bear

Raw Earth Ink

He dips his pen into the inkwell. Lifts it carefully, tapping it gently on the edge of the jar before moving back to his paper. His fingertips, forever stained with the heavy black ink, never hesitate.

Not a moment passes where there aren’t thoughts and ideas swirling inside his heart and mind, stories to be told in a few short lines.

There’s a worn wooden clock on the wall ticking away the moments he’ll never see again. His writing quickens. So many things to say. He knows he’ll write until there’s no more strength in his fingers.

Other than the clock, it’s just the scratching of the nib you hear. Periodically punctuated with ejaculations of fury or a sharp bark of laughter.

In the corner sits a worn teddy bear on a three-legged stool. Its soft tan fur now matted and thin. It once held the affections of the little…

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On Memorial Day we are called to remember those of our warriors who gave that last measure of devotion, the ones who did not come back, or came back only to be buried. Beyond the requiem and dirge, few if any songs are written for them. The songs are made fo the ones who did come back, or seemed to, the ones who left behind parts of their bodies, minds, hearts, or souls, the ones changed. Songs are sung of young men who went to war and of that other man who returned. This is one of those songs:


Christine E. Ray – What did they want? What did she want?

Brave & Reckless

Originally published by the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective.

it had been many years
since the wolves
had come
circling the house
howling at her door
voices insistent
teeth sharp
musk pungent
coats winter thick
she was unsurprised
at their return
it was, after all,
the Full Wolf Moon
she shivered
wrapping herself
in worn blankets
trying to block out
the mournful
insistent sound
heart beating fast
she never knew
if they were
demanding retribution
come to tear out her throat
or inviting her
to shrug off
the last vestiges
of her humanity
run wild
with the pack
through the snowy night

© 2017 Revised 2020 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

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