i remember this well. the cold steel in your eyes reflected off the glass of high rise buildings and bottlecaps rolled flat into the street. in opposition to the glossy sky, the kinda deep blue you rarely see anymore in a city. we got together around the time Drake cut his first album which went viral before viral was an expression. the best album. life got crazy for us back then, the whole of us, maybe a core of ten or twenty related intrinsically to a greater constellation, maybe fifty or sixty or more popping off the skin of the larger community. a bunch of anti-establishment mad motherfuckers with nowhere to go just live for today. you won me over quickly, at a time when i was in a lot of pain, my cousin had died, i couldn’t make the funeral, my job was hell and life was like a bad breakup. your life was hell and we both knew nothing of a future until it appeared and it was us. something special had arrived. sometimes Hollywood comes out of nowhere, anywhere, thin air like. now Hollywood is Hollywood and behind the scenes it’s all one giant character assassination. but it’s a damn good show if that’s what it takes to create it. you cannot help but fall in love with it. everything decompensates around it. between us we formed a concept. it was our little secret and there could be no dissent. when you feel this, you know this. magic. real end of the rainbow shit. storybook status. like we already made history, before we made it. cold steel got love like us. cold steel got love.
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh Katya Mills‘s reviewFeb 12, 2021 · edit liked it Our antiprotagonist gets progressively mired in her chosen selfish sedentary life for a year. Like a life experiment with a careless interest in self-transformation, in NYC, 1999. She lies to her psychiatrist about her use of prescriptions for no apparent reason, as the psychiatrist has no moral or ethical compass to begin with, just a professional hiding behind a lot of jargon and bullshit. Ever met anyone like that? The character closest to real is her best friend Reva yet she is the most annoying and pathetic of them all. Materialistic. Superficial. Zero self-worth. Dependent on guys who use her. They both are. Maybe this is why they are friends. I liked the book, laughed a lot. Some very funny one liners. But not as much as Eileen. Maybe the main character was too sad and jaded. A product of her environment. Maybe it came too close to how life can feel in 21st century America when it’s at its worst. When you give up and are rich enough not to have any responsibilities, and you care but not really.
i got some distance and six months later went back to reread the latest book i wrote. TROUBLE’99. i read the first half on friday and the second half on sunday. i don’t think i would have changed much. i was really happy about the first half. the character development and the plot and the struggle and the setting were all crystal clear. dialogue was good. no typos or obvious grammatical issues. in the second half you saw an intensification of the problems my characters faced, both internal and external pressures mounting: socioeconomic hardships leading to sacrifice of values, addiction, conflict, suffering. a reader hoping for them to see a way out of their dilemma will be disappointed. they struggled to make enough money busking and selling weed to get off the streets. for them this was a great success. Kay freed herself from an unhealthy relationship with Aden. the hardships they all faced together clearly strengthened their friendships.
yes i allowed for a little light to enter the story, but mostly they marinate in their problems. i admit as a stand alone TROUBLE’99 fails. this book is intended to be the first in a series, so there will be a sequel.
my point in writing these somewhat dark tales of hard reality these past several years is to highlight very real social injustices. to give names and faces and make these people real. it’s so easy to walk down any city street in America and ignore a large segment of our population. to recoil and turn away from those faced with addiction and homelessness and great depths of mental illness and trauma. i know many readers read books to escape reality and go somewhere that fills the heart with joy. my books may not always offer that kind of escape. they may take you somewhere you never wanted to go. but if you are looking for an adventure of a different kind, if you are hoping to have your heart stirred with understanding if not compassion for the downtrodden and alienated among us, my work may interest you after all. #katyamills
writing a book is like road construction the reader doesn’t care to see all the scaffolding and work and paving measuring and balancing that went into it they just want a smooth ride and for you to get them to a destination
life has come together in the last decade. to be honest it’s been a long journey. i struggled for years with identity, mental illness, addiction. never stopped writing. working on my 6th book of fiction. my author page is here: https://www.amazon.com/Katya-Mills/e/B00F5DWHGC
Katya Mills is an Independent author from New England. She writes fiction set in American cities at the turn of the millennium. Her characters are lovers, dreamers, loners, scribblers, and latchkey kids.
She/they can be found on Twitter aka Vitamin K: “former latchkey kid and #indieauthor of Grand Theft Life and other novels. #lgbTq nonbinary and #counselor. i hold out hope for anyone with a #mh diagnosis: you are not alone.”
Her preferred tools of the trade are coffee and a chromebook, and a cat’s claw if needed to draw blood. She has a predilection for creative freedom. At night she morphs into a social worker. You can find her work on Goodreads, WordPress, and @ katyamills.com.
i’ve been considering my next project. my next book. i’m excited to say i unearthed a treasure of archive material on my drive, files some of which i previously had trouble converting, hundreds of pages of autobiographical material dating back to my twenties and early thirties, and all the adventures i had. life was going off the rails but it sure was entertaining. lots of stories and characters i otherwise would have forgotten. i’m excited to either remix it into fiction or semi-fiction. i could publish it as straight autobiography but it’s so much fun stirring it up and remixing. this has become my niche period, 1990-2010, and i hope to approach it from a completely different space.
“I sat beside him in the freezing cold, and he asked if I could sing and I said no. Great, he told me, you got the job. When you recognize the song I want you to sing along. I started humming along at first and then begin by whispering them, the lyrics, then my whisper got a little louder. I still got quiet and shy with all the people rushing in and out during the heaviest of the commute times. He told me my voice sounded lovely next to his tired hatchet job on the guitar. We were a broken record of a different kind. If we could just be a little louder we might make some bread.” — Katya Mills