Writing my novel::Mami Luana
A real-life Dominicana was also the inspiration for Domingo's mother, Mami Luana, another main character in Family of Strangers. Like the fictitious version, the flesh-and-bone Mami Luana is “as strong and life-giving as a tree.” Like Luana, she is good-natured, but doesn’t take any bullshit. She once prevented our party of pleasure seekers from becoming inadvertently caught up in a crowd of drunken brawlers simply by lifting her skirt to reveal a knife strapped to her leg. Without a word, the brawlers tumbled off in another direction.
Like the fictional version, the real-life Luana also channels St. Michael, the Archangel of Heaven. The word “channels,” however, implies some type of control over the process, while in reality our heroine has none. When St. Michael is sufficiently pissed off about something, he commandeers Mami Luana’s body and lets his outrage be known.
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