Upcoming magical realism novel, Mikawadizi Storms has 45 chapters, each revolving around a different character. The characters’ names are the chapter headings. Each chapter begins with a drawing of the character and a quote. Some characters appear in many chapters as the overall narrative unfolds — this isn’t 45 short stories, but one mainly linear story involving many characters and perspectives. Below is a description of the story, and below that, the 45 illustrations and quotes.
Thirty-five, unemployed, and rebounding from a failed relationship, Evie Arnold reluctantly moves back in with her parents. She dusts off an old journalism degree and sets out to write freelance human interest stories. Her first project is to cover the emerging conflict between billionaire Clive Gready, who is intent on digging an open-pit mine in magnificent Mikawadizi hills, and the La Roche Verte Band of Indians, who are pledged to protect their ancestors’ ancient homeland from this defilement. Evie begins the project neutral and objective, but soon her research and interviewing nudge her toward the Indian camp. She’s in the thick of things when all hell breaks loose. Mikawadizi Storms casts characters drawn with bold strokes into situations spiked with magic and smoldering with tensions of contradictory world views pitted against each other in an all-consuming contests of will. The offspring of these conflicts are enchanting narratives, with extraordinary characters sweeping into miraculous, magical outcomes.
Wesley Dubois: “We may be related.”
Descendants know what their ancestors learn. I think it makes all the sense in the world.
Ward Commercant: “Capitalism is a treadmill where you run until your heart breaks”
Walt Strider: “We don’t have earthquakes here in Meskousing, not big ones anyway.”
Wally Wittstruck: “We got video that makes you look like some cheap-ass organ-grinder’s monkey – gimme, gimme, gimme!”
Wade Rivers: “By bullshit she means I may have taken some narrative liberties.”
Senator Gerry Spitz: “Don’t you think we should stand a little further to the right?”
Senator Biff Fanny: “This opportunity seems insurmountable.”
Sara Laurent: “Can I be Indian and still be a scientist?”
Preston Prescott: ““Indians! They’re Indians! Once you grasp that everything falls into place.”
She named the boys Edward III and Edward IV, but calls them Niso, and Niyo, except when she wants to get the attention of both, when she simply calls Edwards!
Napoleon: “There’s no recording devices allowed in the compound, not cameras, not voice recorders, not telephones, not nothing.”
The experience of the Patriot Mine left lasting imprints on the Mikawadizi Hills and on the related cultures — both the La Roche Verte, and on the immediate Western culture.
Marjorie Wilkins: “Cats – It’s like they’re not of this world.”
Makwa: “What is going on down there? What got those spirits so worked up?”
Louis Dubois: “Of course I’ve read the assignment. I’m ready for the quiz.”
Lotta Moore: “We take good care of her and she takes good care of us.”
Karen Prescott: “He’ll be born without a heart!”
Josh Migizi: “So what? I walk up to Cammie in the grocery store and I say, I hear you’re having a baby. Am I the father?”
Johnny Appleplanter: “There’s something I must tell the world! Trees can talk!”
Jimmy Duquesne: “Are there pills you’re supposed to take?”
Ghost Cat: “If we’re going to be partners there’re some things we need to get straight.”
“This is heaven? It looks just like the Mikawadizi Hills.”
Evelyn Arnold: “I feel a dark cloud has billowed up around us.”
The young French nobleman cut a dashing, though diminutive, figure in his heavy woolen shirt and pants, knee-high leather boots and crimson scarf.
Edna Swineburne blinked and sniffed, causing the nostrils at the end of her long, slender nose to dilate slightly. “I smell money.”
Dr. Stuart Suring: “Hormonal changes in particular can have surprising effects on how we perceive the world.”
Dr. Zumo: “My counselor’s name was Danny, but we called him Handy Dandy because of his obsession with masturbation!”
Dr. Ed Commercant: “The walls of the cave were striped with seams of pure silver.”
Douglas Fournier: “Mark me well. There will be no open pit mine in the Mikawadizi Hills.”
Dorothy Arnold: “She was mummified under the sofa in your study. I guess she was waiting for you to come in and read something.”
Deloris Le Boeuf: “You want something else to eat?”
David Arnold: “I don’t know how apple pie came to be what things are as American as.”
Clive Gready: “Indians, regulators, weather, doesn’t matter what the obstacle, we keep moving forward.”
Clinton Makwasaam: “Photographs say more about who takes them than who’s in them; Drawings and paintings even more so.”
Cliff Hangers: “I don’t have to put up with this! I’m a journalist!”
Chief Namekagon: “You can’t eat me! “You ate me already!”
Cheryl Pepin: “She’s the mate of the mucho-macho sky god. When they screw the thunder rolls.”
Cammie Loon: “Right now he has my tit in his mouth. It makes him look a little…I don’t know…sucky.”
Bolt Steelee: “The land mines aren’t line mines per se.”
Bart Gready: “If trees can talk, I’d like to hear them.”
April Le Boeuf: “My Grandmother sleeps in these hills.”
Apple Strudel turned his head and his huge brown eye met her eyes. The message was clear – Shut up!
Ann Gaazhagens: “Fun? Like when I kicked your ass in the Hanson case?”
Alison Martin: “What do you call these militia men who took aim on children and fired, ripping their bodies open with lead bullets?”