Holiday Cheer: Believing in Someone’s Vision

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There are a number of things someone could say when you tell them you spent $150 of hard-earned cash on a five-inch-thick dictionary for your living room. There are plenty of questions they could ask. Plenty of sidelong glances. Or they could spend days in the basement and build you an Oak stand on which to display it. One that fits together without any nails or screws, and so it easily collapses to transport across The Atlantic.

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It’s a Poem, not a Flu Shot.

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I’d never been to the opera before. This weekend, I saw Armide in downtown Amsterdam. The singing was French and the subtitles, displayed on an overhead digital board, Dutch. In two-and-a-half hours, I managed bonjour and vrouw, the Dutch word for woman.

When three knights in plastic armor swung in circles fighting flower petals falling from the sky, I was mesmerized. When goblins with melting faces appeared writhing next to women in blond wigs and pink skirt suits, less so. There was a lake and a desert and a horse and a witch. Did I understand what was going on? Rarely. Was I enjoying trying to figure it out? Absolutely.

So that’s my challenge to everyone: give it a try. Buy a poem. They’re twenty-five cents. If you can’t afford one, or can’t seem to get the online shop working, email me: christinepsstocke@hotmail.com.  I’ll try not to be intimidating. I’ll try not to be overly-complicated, but if the poem is, if I am, worst case scenario, recycle it. Otherwise, for the twenty seconds it’ll take you to read it, have fun. Take whatever you want from it, and leave everything else behind. Like the first line and hate the rest. I’ll never hold it against you.

For those of you who’ve already purchased poems, it’s understatement to say that you’ve made me feel better about life and literature. Your passion for the topics you’ve chosen has made me want to write and write and write. And for an author, there’s no better feeling.

(https://www.etsy.com/listing/165156186/custom-poem-for-25-cents-free-shipping?ref=shop_home_feat)

Verse Wisconsin publishes Continuing Education

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Read my short story, Continuing Education, published in Verse Wisconsin 112, right here: http://www.versewisconsin.org/Issue112/poems/stroikStocke.html.

I’m busy writing away for my 77 Free Poems until Christmas promotion, but you can still purchase signed pieces at the store as well. And now Continuing Education is one of them!

Only Seventy-Seven Free Poems until Christmas!

Madison, Wisconsin Farmers' Market 2012

Madison, Wisconsin Farmers’ Market 2012

A cold spring morning one year ago, I sat on a wooden folding chair in downtown Madison, Wisconsin with my heart racing. I’d handwritten a sign that read like a curious circus announcement: Words for Curds. Step right up! Poems, Paragraphs, Puns. You think it. I write it…while you wait!

I sat sweating in the near-freezing temperatures until a young girl named Ollie (and her mother) wandered up and asked for a few lines. Ollie had a pair of mischievous cats she thought worthy of an equally clawing poem, and my heart settled in one beat.

Now I’ve moved across The Atlantic. But here it is, an online farmers’ market booth, and I’m so excited to get this going that I’ve decided to write my own advent calendar, 77 poems until Christmas. Etsy won’t let me list for free, so every poem is twenty-five cents. You heard me, a quarter.

You won’t find a cheaper Christmas present or a better way to spend twenty-five pennies on the internet. So, send me your story, or send me nothing at all. Send me the name of your parakeet or your pet rock or your grandmother. Write twenty-five pages about what you want said in one. Something happy. Something sad. Anything you want said. Anything.

Spend your twenty-five cents very wisely right here!

(https://www.etsy.com/listing/165156186/custom-poem-for-25-cents-free-shipping?ref=shop_home_feat)

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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