November 16, 2009

The Inspiration to Write: Author Anjuelle Floyd, Part One

The Writer

Anjuelle Floyd is the author of Keeper of Secrets…Translations of an Incident, a collection of interconnected short stories, and a novel, The House, due for publication in Fall 2009.

A wife of twenty-seven years, mother of three, she is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in mother-daughter relations and dream work. Anjuelle graduated Duke University, and earned a MA in Counseling Psychology from The California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, and a MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Port Townsend, Washington.

She has also attended the Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley, California. Anjuelle has received certificates of participation from The Hurston-Wright Writers’ Week and The Voices of Our Nations Writing Workshops.

Anjuelle is a writing instructor at Perelandra College.

A student of Process Painting for the last decade, Anjuelle has participated in The Art of Living Black Exhibitions 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 held at the Richmond Art Center, Richmond, California.

Anjuelle facilitates writing groups and provides individual consultation of fiction projects.

She also hosts the weekly blog talk radio show, Book Talk, Creativity and Family Matters.

Read Anjuelle’s blog @!

The Books

One truth begets
another as a tale of passionate
confrontation in a restaurant travels from
eyewitnesses to others present.

Memories of the Hindu icon of dancing Siva compel wife and mother, Raven Clarke, to intervene in the attack of one restaurant patron on another.

Watching from a distant table, Lahni Irete finds herself driven back to the violence of her childhood and adolescence. She shares her account of the happening with psychiatrist, Reynard Williams, who embraces the tale in efforts to confront the pain that has left him sexually and spiritually impotent.

Williams seeks consultation from Sahel Denning, an injured psychologist no longer practicing psychotherapy.

The restaurant incident offers engineer, Michael Banks, a map to recalling the events of the morning before he fell from scaffolding on the Richmond Bridge.

Rumor and innuendo cloud Ariane Gadsen's acquaintance with the story that propels her towards reconciling her childhood loss.

The restaurant scene stirred regret and despair within Trey Williamson, a widower on his first date since the death of his wife.

Newly discharged Captain Darryl Sharpton receives safety and redemption from his most dark and intimate truth in the restaurant where the incident took place.

What would you do if you learned the person you were divorcing is dying?

On receiving the very thing she wants, a divorce and the power to sell their house, Anna Manning learns that Edward, her soon-to-be ex-husband, is dying. A faithful wife for over three decades, Anna endured Edward's constant absences while traveling on business for his international real estate firm, and his extra-marital affairs.

Anna takes Edward to live out his last six, possibly three, months in the house she fought so vigorously to sell. But letting go of someone who has caused so much pain does not come easily.

Edward has changed.

As their children return home, and say their farewells Anna confronts the challenges that Edward's impending death delivers each of them. Then there is Inman who loves Anna, and provides the one thing Edward denied their marriage—passion and intimacy.

Anna must also face the hopes and dreams she abandoned as an art history major turned wife, and mother out of college. In requesting the divorce she had planned to use her proceeds from the sale of the house to move to France. She would study the great art works of Europe, perhaps work as a docent in a Paris museum.

News of Edward’s terminal illness provokes Anna to understand the present rooted in the wellspring of the past, and pouring into a future without him. The House shows what happens when we adopt the belief that, All hold regret, and are seeking forgiveness. Our salvation rests in the hands of others—most particularly the ones whom we love most, and who have treated us wrongly.

Click on the covers above to learn more about each work!


What inspires you to write?

Conflict that results from life's dilemmas and problems, both mine, and the ones with which I witness others struggle.

On a deeper level I seek to answer the perennial question, "Why?"

"Why did she do this? Why did he do that?"

These questions usually center on why an individual acted in a manner that left another person or persons feeling hurt. Why would person A say that to Person B when Person B is crying, doubling over with pain, their eyes full of tears, their hands shaking. And these are not instances where Person B has acted in a way to deserve the response they are getting.

In short, my stories seek to answer the question Why does Person A hurt Person B, whom other characters in story and you the reader can see is, while not a person, has done nothing for Person A to treat them this way.

Since my stories involve families and center on family conflicts, they see to answer the question, why did she treat her family member that way?

I'm particularly taken with why parents treat their children as they do.

Yet the focus of my stories usually begins with a conflict affecting and/or separating spouses.

Interestingly, and quite different from what pop psychology teaches, I have found in the experience of my work as a psychotherapist that our same-sex parent and the relationship with that parent heavily influences our intimate relationships with spouses and significant others.

How a father treats his son sets the stage for the nature in which that son will or will not relate to women and/or his adult partners. The same goes for women and their significant others and spouses.

The relationship we have with our same-sex parent is what we call twinning. By the nature that we share the same gender, the activities and things we do with our mothers, if we are daughters, and with our fathers if we are sons, directly shapes how we view ourselves. How we view ourselves shapes the way we perceive and interact with the world.

While parents are our first teachers, our spouses and significant others serve as our last teachers. Those to whom we bid farewell when leaving this life. And in various cases, hope to encounter during the next.

Whether we are agnostic, atheist or a believer, the psychological essence of our marriage contracts in the West that are based on Christian teachings that emphasize the act of leaving our parents who have raised us and cleaving to our spouse and partner. Yet, what we achieve psychologically, spiritually and materially rests upon what has or has not taken place during the first 15-18 years of life with or without our parents.

Orphans and children of foster care have difficulty trusting. Children of the wealthy often struggle with separating material ownership and achievement from love. Those whose parents have given them what some consider a charmed life, and in that no life contains perfection, often find it a challenge to develop patience with those persons who see their life as charmed.

"All I have to offer is my difference."---an existentialist quote.

And yet we live in a culture bound ironing out differences and creating homogeneity.

But is those who are so vastly different from us that provide the backdrop, if not the very fuel that boosts us into awareness of the far reaching aspects of our own personalities, the galaxies that lie within us. Astrology teaches that we can certain dimensions of our character are accessible to us only through interaction with another.
The psychology of Christianity teaches that our spouse is ideally that person who brings us into contact with these other aspects of our personality, that wife is to husband and husband is to wife, that special Other who brings us into relationship with The Other that lives within us.

The union of that which we know of ourselves, and our Other is termed the inner marriage. Thus the external marriage in which we live as husband wife, mirrors the internal married of heart and mind, soul and body.

Theses various dimensions of interaction with self and spouse create the stepping-stones and foundation for encountering God.

Hinduism states, "Blessed is the householder."

Our interactions with various members of our family mother, father, wife, husband, brother, sister, grandmother and grandfather bring us into consciousness of who we are and what we are becoming as deemed by our the desires of our hearts working in tandem with universal divinings.

I am. You are. And thus, We become.

My stories depict who we are, you and I, and show when working together, who we can truly become.

Part Two of Anjuelle's feature is LIVE at ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING!


"Dancing Siva" - from Keeper of Secrets...Translations of an Incident

Raven stifled a yawn as she stared at the wooden icon of Siva. Another night had passed with her being awakened by the wails of her four-month-old daughter, Kaarin. Raven had gone to Kaarin’s bed, taken her from the crib, and cradling the infant, lay down in the bed of the guest room. It had been this way nearly every night since Kaarin’s birth. Kaarin never cried during the day.

Raven contemplated the mahogany carving of Siva dancing within the ring of fire. Its eyes, mere slits, appeared to widen. The icon’s four arms seemed to reach out, beckoning her. Raven’s soul was thirsty, parched from Kaarin’s nightly screams.

Absylom’s father had carved the statue now standing on the bookcase by Raven’s bed.

Absylom had given it to her. Two months after marrying Drew, Raven aborted Absylom’s child. The fetus had been four months. Now after sixteen years as Drew’s wife, and mother to their three daughters, Raven stood searching Siva’s face, wondering, as on every night when Kaarin cried, about the life she aborted. Drew exited the bathroom while buttoning his shirt, and approached Raven. “It’s last minute, but I’m meeting a client for dinner tonight. His wife is coming.” Drew began arranging his tie. “I’d like you there.”

“Why?” Raven turned from the bookcase. “It’ll make him feel safer.”

“That’s your job.” Catching one last glimpse of the wooden deity, Raven began making her side of the bed. “Besides, my braids need to be redone. I don’t know if I can get Nilini to sit.” Raven resented the way Drew sought to make comfortable and defended the guilty. He inserted the second cuff link into the holes of his French cuffs, and walked to her, lifted her chin. “You look fine.”

“My presence won’t wipe out your client’s sins.” “But it can help his wife.” “And, why should I help her?” “Because I’m your husband.” Drew let go of Raven’s chin, then in the low, attorney-like tone used when addressing clients in public places, “We can’t keep going like this. Kaarin’s crying, this lack of sleep—it’s making you cranky.”

“I’m fine.” Raven turned back to the bed and bolstered her pillow.

“You’re not. How could you be? You haven’t gotten a decent night’s sleep since she was born.”

Raven went around Drew and began straightening the covers on his side of the bed. “She’ll be fine.”

Drew followed her. “Let Kaarin sleep with us.” “She needs to learn to sleep in her bed.” “Like that’s happening now? That’s not what you said about Anisha or Emily. They slept with us for at least a year.”

“Kaarin’s different.” Raven patted Drew’s pillow.

“How is that? She looks just like you.” Drew captured Raven’s hand. She snatched it back, threw down his pillow.

As if knowing what lay hallowed and untouched between them for sixteen years, Drew slapped Raven with a stare of his own. His neck, the color of Georgia clay against his white collar, called to her. Raven searched Drew’s brown eyes, inhaled the scent of his cologne, a mixture of eucalyptus and herbs. She imagined burying her lips in his neck above the mauve tie, and resting her head on his chest. She sighed heavily. “I don’t want to go with you tonight.”

Raven wondered if her eyes were flickering green, as Drew said they did when she was angry. Absylom had said the same. She lowered her head.

“I miss you,” Drew sighed. “I want you beside me at night.” He leaned forward, kissed her forehead and caressed her shoulders. “The reservation’s at eight.”
Raven exhaled. Drew then whispered, “I’ll be home at six-thirty to shower and change.” He pulled away as he added, “--if you care to come.”

1 comment:

PREE said...

Love it, keep up the good work.