Elizabeth Castillo, Thanks for coming to our show today, one more poetess from the Angels Cried Anthology and one more day of remembering the victims of the Sandy Hook School, and we are grateful for this opportunity, you may want to start with saying something about yourself, and also something to your fans who are following this event now, please?
Elizabeth Castillo Good morning/Good evening to you, Shah and to all my friends! Thank you for attending my live interview with Spotlight. As some of you already know I am one of the co-authors of Angels Cried a global charity anthology featuring poets, writers and artists from all over the world for the benefit of the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims. I also am co-author to more than 20 international anthologies in the USA, UK, Canada and Africa.
Shah Fazli Thank you, you may want to tell us what made you get involved in this cause, what was the main motivation, is it because you are part of so many anthologies, or anything else in particular?
Elizabeth Castillo I knew about this global charity anthology through Mr. Stephen L. Wilson and I have been involved in several charity anthologies before. It has been part of my advocacy to help other through my writing if not financially. I believe it is my calling and I just giving back my gift of writing to the world and in the case of Angels Cried, to comfort the victims and help them in some other ways.
Shah Fazli Thanks, can you read the poem you contributed to the Angels Cried anthology please?
Elizabeth Castillo I actually contributed a piece of fiction/prose to Angels Cried which is entitled "Ambush Conversations With God" This is a work of fiction folks. Just happen to think of what kind of convo one would have with God during one of those rare moments. As there are ambush interviews, this one I refer to as a heavenly ambush conversation.
Feeling drowsy after reading my favorite book in my own nook, my bedroom, I suddenly dozed off to dreamland. I was awakened by a certain sharp glare and found myself in a strange, dreamy, white and blue space surrounded by floating, fluffy clouds with cherubs singing wearing their bright halos on their heads.
Entangled in my confused state, I rubbed my peepers for I still can’t figure out how did I get there. I suddenly blurted out to myself “Oh, no, am I so dead now? As in dead, my soul is in heaven?” Out of the blue, I saw an apparition, someone sitting on a golden couch as if waiting for somebody – thought to myself, well waiting for me? As if time stood still, I finally saw God’s beaming, serene countenance and after a few batting of lashes out of my hurtful eyes because of the illumination, I gathered up my guts to approach her. Yes, God is a woman, not a guy we thought of would be. “I know what you’re thinking, why am I a woman appearing before your eyes instead of a guy. It’s more than a gender thing, my child. I could like being someone everyday. Just likened to your changing clothes every so often. People should learn to look beyond the physical and focus more on inner qualities”, God spoke.
Felt astonished, I still can’t figure out how did I die – out of too much stress working my brains out? Gotten hit by a speeding car on my way home? Or have I died in my sleep this afternoon? I then replied after a momentary spacing out of my senses, “Yes and you created all of these things.” God, with a long, deep sigh uttered “Like any other manuscripts, I knew I made some typos along the way.” Of which I thought “Wow, even God is having a hard time and disappointments, too.”
“I was on the stage of my life when I have many questions swimming through my head like what is the point of engaging in these mundane things? I feel so burnt out at times, I can see no direction my life is headed for. I know you already know these things even without me telling you” I continued. “Everyone, including me have our own share of responsibilities. You, with your daily grind – work, family, friends and me with all my creation, how to keep this place and all”, God answered. “Life doesn’t give me a meaning at this point “, I whined. “Well, I’m not going to tell you the same old things. I could even give you some kind of a self storage directory to choose one for yourself if ever you want yourself locked up first in a room so you could reflect. One day, you will just find that everything else will simply click.” She paused for a moment then continued, “Most of you think that I control everything but actually I don’t. I provide inspiration and resources for each one of you to design your own masterpiece. And it’s all up to you how.”
I then had this back track to the past imagery for a second pondering on if in my 37 years of existence have I missed a grand chance in my life. This could be then a wake-up call from God “disguised” as a dream in midday. Sometimes God talks to us in unusual ways or in simple messages we can’t easily decode most of the time for we continue to become blind or simply choose to let the blindfolds on our eyes because we are scared, cannot face up reality.
God finally said, “You create your own heaven as much as you are responsible for your own happiness. Even the tiniest of my creations are born masterpieces themselves so what more humans who are made in my own image? Most of you are worriers. Have you forgotten what I have said? That I can provide you with all things you need in this life even if you haven’t asked me yet. It’s just a matter of time and most of you aren’t patient enough or lack proper understanding. In everything that happens there is a corresponding purpose that lies beneath. Live one day at a time and cease the moment instead of worrying what tomorrow might bring. Find joy in each little thing you do each passing day and then you will know what’s your purpose in this world.”
Shah Fazli Beautiful, thank you, can you tell us a little bit more in detail about your writing, what do you write apart from poems, and how many books you have out so far?
Elizabeth Castillo I am actually more into feature writing and creative writing. I am maintaining a blog site about life, love and relationships and I am into Professional Writing doing articles for clients. I sometimes write short stories such as what I have contributed to Angels Cried. My first international poetry book "Seasons of Emotions" have just been released last January. www.lulu.com/shop/elizabeth-castillo/seasons-of-emotions/paperback/product-20615522.html I am currently working on my second book, a collection of prose, stories and quotes to be published also within this year.
Seasons Of Emotions by Elizabeth Castillo (Paperback) - Luluwww.lulu.com
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Shah Fazli Interesting, can you name a few of your favourite authors from your homeland and tell us about one of them, what do you like about his or or her writing, their imaginations, stories, it could be anything, please?
Elizabeth Castillo While most of my favorite authors are foreign, in the likes of Paulo Coelho, Stephen King, Mitch Albom and John Grisham, there is one Filipino author that I like and he is Nick Joaquin. Joaquin is one of our National Artists and regarded as the most distinguished Filipino writer in English writing. He has written plays, novels, essays and poems including journalism and reportage.His writing is of the highest skill and quality.
Shah Fazli Thanks, can you read a poem for us from Seasons of Emotions please?
Elizabeth Castillo My pleasure. Here is the first poem in my book, "The Phantom's Shadow" (readers tell me they can relate to this poem and wonder why). It has graced some international anthologies and magazines : The Phantom’s Shadow
Through the dark night on a starless and pale moonlight
He lurks from behind, nowhere to go to
Just wandering the streets, hiding from the crowd
His sullen face masked
But beyond that scarred countenance is a dark past
That continues to haunt him down.
He may be aloof, be misunderstood by silly, shallow people
Deep down he has a gentle heart
Yet hardened by great blows he has yet to forget.
In each one of us is the phantom’s shadow
Longing for more than just empathy
We struggle so much to find our niche in this judgemental world
To be embraced by all despite our frailties, shortcomings and flaws.
Why can’t the world just leave him alone
And erase the stigma of him being different from the rest, an outcast?
Give him space to breathe, to live peacefully, have his share and prove his worth?
Through the dark alleys, there is where he hides
Hoping his day would finally come and can break free from the chains
Like any one of us all he wishes for is to find true happiness
And all he’s asking from strangers is a little kindness
Everyone of us long to be accepted for who we are
To fit in the crowd and not be left out
How do we bring forth peace in this world
When all we do is throw stones at each other instead of living harmoniously?
Elizabeth E. Castillo © 2010
Shah Fazli Thank you, we would love to know you as a person a little more, so we are going to ask you about some of your favourite things in life, food, music, sports, etc, before I leave the conversation and let others ask questions please?http://shahsightshop.blogspot.de/2013/02/angels-cried-stephen-l-wilson.html
ShahSight Literary Book Shop: Angels Cried Stephen L. Wilsonshahsightshop.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Castillo I love the music of The Corrs, am into acid jazz also and alternative music. Spicy Korean food is what I like and I am a chocoholic too. Table tennis is my kind of sports and I am a big fan of horror films and horror novels of Stephen King. Any other questions you can ask me now guys. Thanks so much!
Stephen L. Wilson Elizabeth, have you ever been to the United States?
Elizabeth Castillo Hi, Stephen!Glad to have you here. Nope I haven't been there yet.
Stephen L. Wilson I hope we get a chance to meet in person some day. You should know that your words were quite striking to me when I read them for the first time. I would like to thank you for contributing to Angels Cried.
Elizabeth Castillo Would love to also, Stephen as well as meet the others too That would be great. Thanks for appreciating my piece. And my pleasure to be a co-author of Angels Cried
Stephen L. Wilson