Two New Stories for the holidays

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Check out the latest at my Etsy store, where you can purchase signed copies of two new pieces of fiction! And just in time for that stocking stuffer. Kids don’t want chestnuts and oranges; they want poetry!

The first was originally published in issue ten of Structo, a lovely UK-based publication with a couple of spunky editors. Purchase the full issue here. An author-signed print of my included short story, In a Foreign Town, can be purchased here. (Above: photos of The Society ClubLondon; issue ten launch party complete with cake and fancy shoes.)

The second piece of fiction was originally published online as the Fall Flash Fiction Contest Winner for Tethered by Letters, a young and enthusiastic community of writers and editors. Read The Year-Ago You in its entirety here. Purchase a signed print right here. (Below: photos that inspired the story; vacationing in Panama.)

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The Year-Ago You

My latest piece is up online in the Fall issue of Tethered by Letters where it won first place in their flash fiction contest! It’s a quick read, which is what I’m always looking for on a Monday.

Photo taken near Groningen, NL on a recent wadlopen trip.

Photo taken near Groningen, NL on a recent wadlopen trip.

On Fridays I Steal Things

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On Fridays, my brain is nearly finished with me. And so, on Fridays, I steal things. I write only what shows up in front of me. Words the three Turkish children yell as they run up the sidewalk. Songs the construction workers sing between beats  of hammers as they make patio doors for our New Zealand neighbors. Sometimes I write the ambulance sirens. Sometimes the church bells. The meows of the impatient cat who likes to sit on the hood of a matte black BMW outside my office window. This Friday, I stole words already eaten. The dictionary page I had opened to yesterday, still wide-eyed on the dining room table, gobbled by a small still-green Asparagus Fern.

Page 571: Something that Looks like Asparagus Fern but Isn’t

Verb: To beget.

Born upon the surface,

especially the upper,

as fungi on leaves that no one can reach.

Noun: A poet from the earth,

growing closer to the ground.

Relating to the epiglottis,

Something always upon the tongue,

the upper mandible,

as a parrot, a gull,

a piece of something that

hangs from the page.

There’s a body at the bottom of the lake. Probably many.

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“The opening line of Christine Stocke’s ‘Plan for Paradise’ drew me right in…And so did the second one, and the next as I was drawn along by a disjointed narrative that is quirky, wavering, and yet so very personal, as if the narrator is talking directly to you.”Robert Vaughan

“Plan for Paradise” was originally published in the magazine Wisconsin People and Ideas, and in case you missed it in stores, the Winter 2013 issue is now for sale online. Buy your copy of the magazine HERE. Or purchase an author-signed copy of the story HERE.

p.s. The photo above was shot onsite at the lake that inspired the story.

Custom Writing now Available

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I just finished a wonderful custom poem for a well-deserving client. Do you need a congratulatory prose poem for graduation? A short story surprise for someone’s birthday? Something special for your valentine? Just visit my Etsy store and ask!

According to my Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar, my birthday is sandwiched right between Jorge Luis Borges and Rita Dove. Now that’s good company.

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