Coming Soon, My Performance Poetry Short Films on Film Annex

I’m a complicated girl. I like too many things, so to go one way inevitably feels like I’m neglecting something else. I’ve been writing short stories and poetry for a while, about 13 years. I’ve also had a longtime interest in films and filmmaking. I’ve been an actor involved in theatre since the 8th grade, about 26 years, and I’ve had a secret yearning to be a performance poet since about the early 90s. I’ve made a few short films that are still on my YouTube channel, GraceIsobelle Vid, and it is quite a lovely experience.

After dreaming I was reciting Shakespeare’s sonnet #18 to Maggie Smith’s character in “Downton Abbey,” I got inspired to make short films in which I’ll perform my poetry. I’ve created an account with Film Annex, where people can watch videos for free, but the filmmakers get a cut of the ad money, so it’s a win all around. I’ll get to work on my first short performance film, “Check, Please,” the rough draft I actually posted on this blog, in the next couple of days. So, if you’d like to know where you can find this magical site to watch my works, here it is:

http://www.filmannex.com/Angela_is_Graceisobelle

And if you don’t know Shakespeare’s sonnet #18, here it is (courtesy of http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sonnets/18.html):

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.  

A Couple of Poems I’m Working On…

WARNING AND DISCLAIMER:

The poems I’m about to post are in-progress. There’s still work to be done, but I see potential in them both, and I can’t keep a secret to save my bleedin’ life, so I thought I’d post what I have here.

This one, titled “Check Please,” was inspired by the annoying, to put it mildly, image of women in our society as crazy, stalkerish, clingy, back stabbing…. It all became too much while watching the season premier of “Survivor” Thursday night. This season, it’s men versus women and both tribes live on the same beach. It didn’t take long for the men to dis-shirt and strut around. Whatever. But what annoyed me were the women putting down women, as a group. The one who eventually broke her wrist talked about how, in the end, women stab each other in the back and another one said something about how women can’t get along because that’s how women are. Why don’t they just throw the white flag now? Perhaps it’s because I’m a Gay Lady, a.k.a. Lesbian, but it just doesn’t make any sense to me for women to be so self-loathing. Then again, back when I knew I was gay, but I outwardly identified as straight, I, too, felt the pressure to get married, have children, do what’s expected of women. At one point, I did call a guy after a date because I felt that pressure, that “you’re not getting any younger” thing women deal with. I wasn’t attracted to him, but I thought, for more than just one reason, I needed to get married to uphold some societal expectation of me, and thereby be validated as a woman. When a woman’s worth is hung on whether she can “get a man,” it’s no wonder some women get panicky. Anyhow, I started wondering what women would do if they didn’t feel that pressure. And that’s where “Check Please” came from.

 Check, Please

Who would you be,

My sisters, if

The leeches in

Your ears

Were silent?

Who would you be,

My tribal vestals,

If you were free

To not

Be a wife,

be attached,

bake cookies

for the PTA?

Would you care

If you were ignored,

Dam…

Sels in distress

Too weak

To open a jar

So you open

Your legs

And squeeze out

Five watermelons

Through a straw.

My sisters,

Who would you be

If you didn’t buy

Into it all?

Might you be strong,

Courageous,

Intelligent,

Fierce…

If you didn’t depend

On anyone

For your identity?

Might you know

Who you are

If the leeches

Didn’t suck

Your strength

So you’d believe

You live to cling

To their superiority?

Who would you be,

My sisters,

If you said,

“Check, please.”

The second poem, “Scorpion,” is unfinished in its rough draft. It came to me when I was pissed at someone and I imagined emotional scars becoming the shell and pincers of a scorpion.

Scorpion

My back

Lashed.

Scarred into

Armor

My scared

Memories

Simmer

I raise

My arms

To guard

beseeching

The scars grow

Arms

Weigh me

And I can’t stand.

I give in

I crawl

I scurry

My arms curved

In nimbus

Before me

Become pinchers

No shield

No armor

Attack

Sting

Give poison back

There you go. I’m thinking they might be better spoken, and I’ll be starting a web series on Film Annex where I do just that, as well as give writer tips. I’ll post when there’s an episode to watch.

A Poem I Just Wrote: I Could Not See

This just came to me about three minutes ago, so I thought I’d type it out. Here it is.

 

I Could Not See

 

I could not see

what there was

to see

Until I saw

what was in front

of me

 

And once I saw

I saw all

that could be…

 

unseen

but

what could be

found

A Short Story: “Waiting”

Here’s a little tale I wrote in about 15 minutes (you’ll either be very impressed or not surprised once you read the story). I am a girl, and proud of it, but my protagonist is a guy for this one. I do hope you enjoy it and thanks for reading it. This one is titled “Waiting.”

 

Waiting

He stood in front of the refridgerator, his arms folded over his chest, his right index finger played with his lower lip as he looked at me like I was a Chinese buffet. It made me feel weird, like he thought I looked delicious or something. Hey, I’ve known him since the first grade, and I’d wondered when we’d be having this conversation, so I had my reaction well-practiced.

Whatever floats your boat, Bud. Just don’t be checkin’ out my ass.

Jeff smiled. Well, his mouth twitched a little, anyway. He darted his eyes to the recliner, like he was telling me to sit down. It was my Plan A, anyhow, so I flopped in the chair and propped my feet on the coffee table.

“Where ya been, dude?” I tried to sound casual, but Jeff was seriously sucking the air out of the place.

“I have been…gone,” he said. His voice was low, steady, not at all the make you jump outta your seat voice he’d always had.

“Yeah,” I said. “So, Jeff…”

“It is Armando, now.”

“Whatever, dude. No really where ya been?”

Jeff, or Armando, walked over to the small window over the washer and dryer. He looked out, like he was looking for something. He had this sort of peaceful look on his face, like he knew something he really wanted was close. I walked over to the fridge and grabbed a couple of bottle necks. He turned and watched me, but he shook his head and waved away the beer I’d offered him. More for me.

He turned back to the window as I flopped back into the recliner and opened one of the beers. I gulped down a greedy swig, then watched him. He was so still. I could swear he wasn’t breathing.

His mouth twitched again. He closed his eyes.

I couldn’t take it. Jeff’s jokes were legendary, but he could never wait this long for the punchline.

“Hey, Jeff…”

“ARMANDO!”

He wheeled on me. I could swear I saw red in his eyes. I’d never seen him so pissed. I didn’t care if it made me look like a wuss, I folded my legs up in the recliner and put my hands up. My beer fell to the floor and spilled, I’m sorry to say.

“Okay, okay, you’re Armando. Just, don’t do that, okay?” As he calmed down, I unfolded myself. “Don’t scare me like that.” I laughed. “I only got this one pair of drawers, ya know?”

Potty humor always made Jeff laugh, but what I said made him look disgusted. Then I saw a flash of something else, something worse than disgust.

Hate?

Then he changed, his face, his body, all changed, and he turned back to the window.

“Do not speak,” he said. “I am waiting.”

I couldn’t help it.

“Waiting for who?”

He sighed, but he answered.

“For my Master.”

Ahhh, I thought. Now I get it.

“Oooh-kay, so is this one of those role-playing things? Does your ‘Master’ have a leash he leads you around on? It’s cool, I dig it.”

He turned and glared at me.

“Nah, really. I totally understand. I watch late night cable.”

He didn’t say anything, which is good because the way he was looking at me…

I offered him the other beer. He shook his head.

Just then, our buddy, Kyle, walked in, carrying a case of beer. He took one look at Je…Armando, then at me, then shrugged and carried the beer to the fridge. He grabbed a bottleneck and sat on the couch beside me.

“Hey Jeff,” he said like it was Sunday afternoon. “What’s up?”

Armando rushed to the couch, and, before I knew what was happening, he grabbed Kyle and bit into his neck. Blood squirted, I squealed, I’m not ashamed to say it, as I tried to free myself from the recliner. He dropped Kyle like last week’s trash and looked like he was…savoring…the blood.

“Dude,” I said (don’t fault me for not being a philosopher at this point). “You killed Kyle!”

“Yes,” he said. He waved his hands with impatience. “I’m a vampire. I don’t want your beer. I want blood. It is Life. It is all I want.”

“You’re a vampire?”

He nodded.

“But, Dude, you don’t sparkle.”

He let out a roar. I wanted to cry. Then he gathered himself. He lowered his head and closed his eyes. After a few seconds, he nodded.

“The Master will not come for you.”

“For me?”

He straighted his back and raised his chin in an oh-so-haughty manner.

“I have sent a message telling him you’re not a suitable meal.”

“Thanks,” then, “wait….not suitable? Are you saying I’m not good enough to suck on?” Then I immediately wished I hadn’t said that last part.

“I am,” he said. He smoothed out his shirt. “You will not be a vampire.”

I laughed.

“Guess it’s my lucky day, then.”

He looked me over, his lip curled.

“It is we who are lucky.”

With that, he stepped over Kyle’s body and left.

I’d never felt so insulted.

 

 

 

 

I started this blog, I might as well post something

First off, hello and thank you for visiting. My name is Angela Shafer (sometimes Willow D’Sabine) and I’m the author of The Covenant Series. The first installment, Covenant (Book One of the Covenant Series), will soon be published by Mystic Press.  But I’m not all about Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, Shapeshifters, and Slayers, as in The Covenant Series. I also write fiction and poetry independent of Covenant. And that’s what this blog is for.

You can go to my other blog at covenantseries.blogspot.com (linked for your convenience) to learn more about The Covenant Series, and you can choose to ‘follow’ it so you’ll be sure to get updates whenever there’s a new post (like when Covenant will be published). You can also check out my Facebook page (Angela Shafer Author), my Livestream channel, and my Twitter account (WriterAngelaS).

I’m working on a couple of short stories now and I hope to have them finished soon. But, since it’s all in good fun, I can share a bit of what I’ve written on one of them. This one is titled “Cherry Blossom Lane.”

*WARNING: NAUGHTY LANGUAGE

Cherry Blossom Lane

I still believe in a place called Hope.”

Applause filled the living room as the television images flickered like firecrackers. The Clintons and Gores waved from the stage, new hope for a new America, the crowd cheered. After a rough few years, youth breathed new life.

Amelia Dodd looked slightly to the left in a photo hanging on the wall. Her husband rested his hands on her shoulders ever so lightly as he stood behind her. The bland blue and white sponge painted backdrop looked too exciting to blend with their monotone brown and camel clothes. Her husband’s smile was so jovial, so lively, it could only last for a few seconds to give the photographer time to take the photo. In that split second, he was a man devoted to his wife, forever captured in a blissful till death do us part.*

*Or until he runs off with his sister-in-law, whichever comes first.

Amelia had shut herself from the world after her husband left until her supportive family and friends got tired of rejected invitations and simply stopped calling. It was a blessing, then, when Amelia met the nice lady who knocked on her door that Saturday afternoon with pamphlets inviting her to the new book club meetings at the library. Amelia was positively delighted when this young lady accepted her invitation to dinner.

So now they sat at the dining room table. Silverware clinked. Conversation was light, the kindest compliment for a meal well-prepared when the guest is too busy enjoying the roast with homemade mashed potatoes with brown gravy to make frivolous small talk. But, finally, the guest chuckled and looked up from her plate to Amelia.

“Here’s one I heard the other day,” she said. “There was this guy. He was taking his morning jog down the beach and he came across this girl. She was lying there on the sand. She had no arms and no legs and she was crying. The guy said, ‘why are you crying?’ She said, ‘I’ve never been hugged before.’ The guy looked around. No one was watching. So he thought ‘why not?’ So he picked her up and he hugged her. The next morning, this same guy was jogging down the beach and he saw this same girl. She was lying there on the sand. She had no arms and no legs and she was crying. He said, ‘why are you crying?’ She said, ‘I’ve never been kissed before.’ It was getting really weird for him, but he went ahead and he kissed her. The next morning, this same guy was jogging down this same stretch of the beach and he saw this same girl. She was lying there and she had no arms and no legs and she was crying. He said, ‘what’s the matter? Why are you crying?’ She said, ‘I’ve never been fucked before.’ She he picked her up and threw her in the ocean and said, ‘well, you’re fucked now.’”

She laughed until she nearly choked on roast. She looked at the other end of the dining room table.

Amelia wasn’t laughing, perhaps because the massive gash across her throat had taken her sense of humor.

“Oh well,” the guest said with a shrug. “Everyone’s a critic.”

Amelia’s dead eyes stared at the photo that hung on the dining room wall, a photo of happier times when she was happy, when she was married to the man she loved, when she was breathing.

Oh, dear.

Darlene Jensen was in the garden, so she didn’t hear the knocking on the front door. Some would say tending to the garden after dark made no sense, but some things just can’t wait until morning. Every flower needed to be in its proper place. Presentation was everything, it made the lady.

She’d just closed the back sliding glass door when the knocks had become pounding on the front door. She looked through the peep hole. A young woman stood on the front porch.

“Excuse me,” the young woman called. “My car broke down. I was wondering if I could use your phone.”

This young lady looked harmless enough, so Darlene opened the door, just as she’d hoped someone would open the door for her. She was met with an ambush by the two men she couldn’t see through the peep hole. Darlene only had a second to react. She ran out of the living room toward the hallway.