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Amy Lou Jenkins is the award-winning author of Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting

"If you combined the lyricism of Annie Dillard, the vision of Aldo Leopold, and the gentle but tough-minded optimism of Frank McCourt, you might come close to Amy Lou Jenkins.Tom Bissell author of The Father of All Things 

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Featured Author:  Austen Brauker 


Austen Brauker is a tribal member of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians located in Manistee Michigan. He currently works for the Tribal Court at the Justice Center as a Peacemaker and Probation Officer. He practices the expression of tribal sovereignty by exercising his guaranteed treaty rights to spear for fish as well as collecting medicinal herbs and mushrooms from traditional hunting and gathering grounds. Austen is a musician and has played guitar for almost thirty years in several different bands and as a solo performer. He has home-recorded several CD’s of original music. He also plays the bass guitar, mandolin, banjo and the Native American flute. His artwork is on display in many places, including a large mural at the entrance of the Willows restaurant at the Little River Casino.

His short stories, poems and articles appear in numerous publications and two of his plays were produced by West Shore Community College. Austen is a skilled wood worker and has learned many aspects of home construction, especially doing log work, rustic furniture and trim and custom tile work. Other jobs he has had in the past include being a Librarian at the Fremont Public Library, the Herd Manager at Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve, a Dark Room Technician and Pre-Press Graphics Stripper at the Herald Republican Newspaper, a Substance Abuse counselor at Ojibwe Substance Abuse, a counselor for youth sex offenders at Pegasus School, worked for the Boy Scouts of America at Camp Rotary BSA in Clare Mi. as their Voyager, Waterfront Director and Native American Cultural Consultant, was a camp counselor at High Hope Camp in Clear Lake IN., a counselor for the Y.M.C.A, as a parent-teacher-student liaison for the Mt. Pleasant Public Schools, as a counselor for the King Chavez Parks summer youth program at CMU, as a counselor at a culture camp for youth called Apache Lodges, as a junior high teacher for the alternative school at the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, as an Ice Skating Rink Supervisor for Mt. Pleasant Parks and Recreation Dept. , a printer for Astro-Graphics specializing in high tech. screen printing, as a dry wall hanger and then hanging siding and doing finish work, as a dishwasher, a Christmas tree bailer, and as an award certificate calligrapher.

 DOCTOR EAGLEBERGER, by Austen Brauker 


(The sound of coyotes howling is followed by an owl call as the camera swoops across a clear starry night, above a tree filled skyline, with mountains in the distance, to reveal a fire in front of a sweat lodge. We hear the sound of steam from inside as water is being poured over hot rocks and a voice is praying in traditional Indian language. The camera moves through the canvas tarp covering the door of the lodge and reveals a hand holding a ladle, the hand dumps the contents of the ladle and we see steam rising from glowing hot rocks to cover two men with the hot cloud. The second man begins to speak in English.)


…And so in the morning, when I wake up, I’m in a lot of pain…


(more praying in Indian language)


…The headache goes away but not for a few hours…

(more praying in Indian language)

There is a knock at the front door of the sweat lodge. It sounds like a knock on a regular hard door would sound. Both men look at one another acknowledging the interruption.


Doctor Eagleberger. Your 2:00 appointment is here. Shall I tell them to wait?


Yes. That will be fine, we’re almost done here.

He looks at his client and smiles.


Well Bernie. I think we need to get you an MRI and talk a little more about your dreams. And let’s get some blood tests while we’re at it. You’re about due anyway.

He writes the information down on a clip board.



You’re the doc doc. Whatever you say.

INT. DOCTORS OFFICE- DAY (at first this looks just like the same night scene as before)

Both men crawl out of the sweat lodge and get dressed. The doctor puts on a long white coat and turns on a light switch to reveal that the sweat lodge is in the middle of a big white room within the doctor’s office. The scenery we saw before was just an image projected on the walls. There are speakers making the forest animal sounds. The two men walk out of the office together and enter into a waiting room full of Native American clients. The client hands the doctor a fringed beaded bag, a large bag of flour and a basket of garden vegetables. The rest of the clients in the waiting room all have different things of their own they have brought with them to pay the doctor for their own services, firewood, maple syrup, baked products, nuts and berries, furs, and even a small pony.


Same time next week doc?


Same time Bernie. And don’t forget. Nothing to eat for twelve hours prior to the blood test.

Dr. Eagleberger looks around the office. An old lady holds up a freshly baked loaf of bread with a big smile. There is the sound of a chicken from a few seats down.


Okay. Who is next?

The sound of a traditional drum starts as he escorts the next client into his office. Coyotes begin to howl. The door shuts behind them.


No matter what kind of medical services you need, choose your doctor because they care about you, because they are a part of your community, and not just because they accept your form of payment.

Final shot. Doctor Eagleberger is leading the pony to the parking lot and opening the trunk of his car.


Ok.Get in.

The pony goes wide eyed in surprise and whinnies.

See more of Austen Brauker's work:

We Book (Lots of postings of various types)

My Book Live (Lots of postings of various types)

Author’s Den (several posts) (several posts)

Nice stories (“Coming Clean”)

Writers digest (“Dr. Eagleberger”)

Lulu (”Homunculus”)

Writing.Com (The Genome Kunstler”)


Also see



VERBSAP  (dreaming bodies)