An Ode to Esther Lee by Genevieve Mills


Heine Brothers' coffee shop that's weirdly cold. Our narrator is drinking a cappuccino and kind of wishing she had either thought to bring a lactaid pill or ordered her drink with soy milk.

Yes I Know my New Year's Resolutions Aren't Going Well:

I have been writing more, and I have actually cooked a couple times, but considering this is only my second blog post of 2016. . . I'm not giving up though. Self-improvement is a marathon, not a sprint. That's an expression, right?

On the Importance of Supportive Friends When Writing:

First of all, I have big news. A story I wrote for class last year, and have been revising and submitting on and off ever since, was just accepted for publication. This is big because it's both my first time in print AND my first time being paid for a creative piece. I got the email about it Friday night and freaked out and texted my friends...which leads me to the inspiration for this blog post. 

I'm so lucky to have some truly supportive friends and family. My parents have been supportive since high school, helping me pick a college with a good English program, never once saying "maybe you should pick a different major", my dad asking me when I was going to write the next great American novel so I could support them and he could retire. Neither of them fully understand literary magazines, but both of them got excited with me when I told them the good news. 

My close friends aren't writers, but they're big readers, and they'll always read a story I send them in an email with no subject and the contents "thoughts??!!??". My friend Esther got herself the title spot in this post by reading my last blog post with no prompting, and was sweet enough to text me that she liked it and pointed out a typo. (Side note: Why have I lately been making so many homonym typos? I put "write" instead of "right") Esther has been reading my stories since high school. High school! Honestly if I was her I'd be tired of my constant need for feedback by now.  

Writing can be such a solitary past-time. There's this image of past writers hunched over typewriters in dark and lonely attics, or out by in the middle of the woods, alone to get in touch with their thoughts. And even now, if you're working freelance or remotely, you can easily go a whole day without seeing another human being. It can be a bit isolating.

Of course I can't speak for all writers, and people write for different reasons, but for me, one of the joys of writing is having people read what I've written. In creative writing classes, I loved doing workshop, because even having my classmates point out mistakes meant they were reading my work. So having such great, supportive friends who are always willing to read something for me is an important part of the whole process. It's also nice to have people to celebrate the small victories with.

Another reason Esther gets the title spot is that she recently gave me the most thoughtful (if late) Christmas gift ever. She took my first-ever published work, designed a print of it, and had it printed on snazzy canvas. It looks so cool on my wall and makes me smile each time I look at it. And it makes me grateful I have such amazing friends. 


New Year, Newish Me by Genevieve Mills


Our narrator is slightly sleepy but no longer hungover from partying it up. She's dog/house-sitting, and the dogs are currently hovering near her on the couch, eternally optimistic that they'll get some of her dinner, even though they were JUST fed. A Scandal marathon is happening via Netflix. 


Last year I wrote an article about choosing new year's resolutions but didn't actually make any. This year, I decided to take my own advice when making them. They're admittedly pretty boring. The standard self-improvement stuff. But I wanted to put them up here so I could feel like the internet is holding me accountable. 

  • Blog once a week (look at me, already starting on this one)
  • Work out twice a week (ideally, eventually working out more but I figured I would start small)
  • Cook dinner once a week (I desperately need to learn how to do more than boil noodles)
  • Write (even a little bit) every day
  • Do that cheesy "Get a jar, write down the good things that happen to you, and put them in the jar" thing. It's so cheesetastic but I think it would be a good positive thinking thing for me.   

Looking back at 2015:

When the "thank goodness 2015 is over" posts starting circulating tumblr a few weeks ago, I pretty much agreed with them. Good riddance to this entire year. I'm not at the best place in my life right now, emotionally and career-wise. I graduated but haven't been able to find a full-time job, so I'm living with my parents and working a couple low-paying internships. I love my parents and get along with them for the most part, but the switch from living independently for four years to sharing a house with three other people hasn't been fun. I'm a person who works best with structure and deadlines so the lack-thereof is hard.

However, fuck it. Just because I have some issues right now doesn't mean I haven't had a pretty darn good year. So, for myself and the internet, here the highlights of my 2015.

blue hur.jpg
  • I dyed my hair blue. 
  • I spent spring break in New York visiting a friend and experienced drunk brunch for the first time.
  • I worked on my university's literary magazine.
  • Won a creative writing scholarship. 
  • I graduated Magna Cum Laude from college with not one but two Bachelor's degrees, in French and English. 
  • Went to the Women's World Cup in Canada and got to see the US team play twice. 
  • Went to pretty much every Louisville City soccer home game. 
  • Had a great week in California with my family.
  • Joined a kickball league and didn't manage to injure myself. 
  • Made a few trips to Chicago, to visit family I hadn't seen in a while, for business, and for a concert.
  • Got a really cute micro-bangs haircut.
  • Was the Captain America to my friends' complete Avengers Halloween ensemble. 
  • Visited most the bourbon trail with friends.
  • Had my fiction PUBLISHED for the first time in a literary magazine. 
  • Made some new friends, grew apart with others.
  • Had another flash fiction accepted by another magazine. 
  • Didn't give up on starting my career.

So. Yeah. It wasn't the best year of my life. But it was a good year. And I'm proud of myself for what I accomplished and what I'm going to accomplish in 2016. And now I'm going to go give the dogs a piece of bread because so they're too freaking cute.