Since many of us are juggling different roles and responsibilities, one of the missions of this Life Coaching column is to introduce readers to multiple career professionals. As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, short story writer, artist, wife and mother Anjuelle Floyd is an example of someone who has many stokes in the fire!
Born and raised on a farm in southeastern North Carolina between two small towns, Clinton and Faison, Anjuelle now lives in Oakland, California, across the bay from San Francisco. She’s lived there for the last 16 years.
When I caught up with Anjuelle, she was in Europe touring her new book Keeper of Secrets...Translations of an Incident.
BELLA: Tell us about your book: "Keeper of Secrets...Translations of an Incident."
ANJUELLE: Basically, Keeper of Secrets…Translations of an Incident is about what happens when a woman, my protagonist, Raven Clark, intercedes in a restaurant argument between a woman and man who are unknown to her. The woman is about to cut the man’s throat. Raven with the help of her husband stops the woman from hurting the man. That act forces Raven, a wife of 16 years, and mother of three to review her life with new eyes. This directly affects Raven’s situation with her youngest child and daughter, Kaarin, who is four months old. Kaarin has not slept through the night since birth. The story ends with Kaarin starting to sleep through the night. This results from Raven revisiting her past and acting on a problem that has plagued her since childhood.
The remaining eight interconnected stories show characters either witnessing the same restaurant incident or hearing about it and how through their interpretation of what occurred they gain insight on difficulties plaguing their lives.
BELLA: Is “Keeper of Secrets…” a fictionalized self-help book?
ANJUELLE: In many ways, yes. Readers can explore and discuss characters with whom they identify or have reactions to.
I’m presently in discussions with a minister who is interested in having me run a couples' workshop wherein I facilitate participants in exploring their personal issues through discussion of the stories in Keeper of Secrets...Translations of an Incident.
Stories—like paintings and any type of work of art—can serve as projective devices onto which we can cast images of ourselves as we are AND as we would like and hope to be. Through exploring the art we deepen the understanding of ourselves, our feelings, thoughts, hopes, dreams, wishes and fears. It's also easier to discuss characters than ourselves. Characters lend distance, which yields clarity on our struggles not unlike when backing away from an impressionistic painting. Stand too close and you lose sight of the forest.
Next week we’ll talk to Anjuelle about her work as a therapist, her training and what we can learn from Eastern ideology, so stay tuned. In the meantime for more information visit Anjuelle’s weekly blog: www.artistspassion.com. Or visit her website: www.anjuellefloyd.com. Those interested in seeing what books Anjuelle likes to read can browse her bookshelf at shelfari.com