little bio

all the way back to ancient history, i mean my personal teenage daydream, i stayed away from the opportunities the crosswalks the celebrations the teachers the smiling faces. i could see them but i could not approach them. they were there waiting for me all those years but i harbored social anxiety and a strong feeling i did not deserve anything good in my life. so it was personal justice i exacted on myself, the better part of my twenties. then i hit the thirties and got a taste of freedom from my vices and moved to california. then the question of owning my identity arose. this would require courage and resolve. i could not conjure it up. i needed a plan and i got online and got with community and developed one.

i made a career move that fit my strengths and values. i was working so hard full-time school and job with a serious commute two hours each way. i still hadn’t put it all together, i mean, anxiety and depression and dysphoria were my lot. i had a few friends but mostly isolative. the pressures grew and i got heavy inside my head and i slipped up. years go by. you feel like all is lost. it can turn you against yourself. i was lucky to survive. i made it.

katya author bio 2019

I am an Independent (author not party) from California. I write mostly creative nonfiction which I publish as literary fiction (as there is no immediate home for the former). My experiences on the streets of Chicago (1990’s) and Oakland (2000’s) and San Francisco inform the somewhat dark and outrageous stories I tell. The strangest story resides in my own DNA, which I am unraveling day by day. For kicks! I was born in the East on February 1, 1973. I was the original latchkey kid (eleven, going on old soul #12). Lucky, I grew up without a cell phone! All my life I was a dreamer and a scribbler, kicking rocks, drinking whiskey with milk. I made a pilgrimage to Faulkner’s home in Mississippi. In 2013 I finally got off my ass and self-published my first novel, Girl Without Borders, a love triangle gone bad in Chicago. Then I wrote a trilogy starring a girl with psychic powers who finds her identity within a strange family of outcasts. In 2015, I released both Grand Theft Life (Book#1) and Maze (Book#2) to zero fanfare. Neither my BA in Literature from Northwestern, nor my MA in Psychology could press me into the public imagination. Today I use my cats’ claws to draw blood! My preferred tools of the trade are Scrivener, coffee and a Chromebook. At night I morph into a social worker. You can read me and all my unextracted gems at http://www.katyamills.com. My latest publication was released in November 2018: Ame and the Tangy Energetic (Book#3).

Katya Mills

the case of the case

Some things are clearer than others. Some things are in plain sight. Like what you see is what you get. Anyone can tell. This is supposed to be reassuring. Comforting. In line with expectations. Falls into place with minimal redirection like the perfect tetris puzzle piece in some overriding hierarchical system of perfectly aligned personal judgment. For people who are not cases, this may be so. I would not know. Cause I am a case. I may not look like a case. but I assure you — I am. But it’s not until we converse, that most people realize I must be a case. And most people, by most people’s definition, are right. By majority. By simple numbers. The honorable cultural ritual of putting our collective trust in (apparently honest) numbers. The message is: numbers don’t lie. And the message is not under scrutiny.

So here I am. The tetris shape that ruined your reach for the high score. The tropical butterfly that swims like a catfish and cannot be pinned down. Because there’s no space created by most people for me. It can be exhausting. For you and for me. Having to reinvent the wheel everytime I walk in the room. Most people choose not to reinvent the wheel. They like the wheel. I like the wheel, too. My bicycle is my chosen form of primary transportation. A fan is my chosen conditioning of air. A disc is still my chosen form of music and video, when I choose accompaniment in the entertainment system to which I am inextricably impaled. But still, I would have it no other way. This is the life for me. This is the case. ME. I am a case in case you forgot. I am a case, in case we need intrigue. Mystery. Refreshments.

I am a known entity, though I cannot be quantified. Friends? They know. Family? they know. Me? I knew me all along. But apparently for the new ones whose paths cross mine, I am more or less than meets the eye. I am other than meets the eye. Some sadly decide less. Others wait for more. I can tell by the reaction for sure. But I know I am a case.  I refuse to define what i mean by that. I let you draw your own definition. This is part of what makes me a case. I can tell you what I am not. I am not whom the eye thinks or thought it was acquainting itself with. If an eye can make acquaintance. An eye that makes an acquaintance, strikes me as superficial at best.

A serious case. I could be problematic. A serious case, with a sense of humor up my sleeve. I might cause you trouble. Making little sense. But a little sense can go a long distance. Like miles, in the breakdown lane or bust. I might shake you down or shake you up. On the wing of a plane. A twilight zone illusion. Nervous breakdown. Someone’s idea of a tragic conclusion. I may not have limits, borders, or definition. Maybe I am jello. Or maybe just lucky. On strike. Out of work. Lucky gone happy. Carbon dioxide up my nose. Fruit roll up gone wrappy. Carbon monoxide up my nose. In a sleeveless, formless formal dress. In ripped jeans with a warrant out for my arrest. Steel eyes with steel toes and a belly full of steel oats. Around the neck, a mink stole. A faux mink stole. On the head, a sable pelt. A faux sable pelt. The real sables were set free. In gorky park. In my imagination and maybe yours. Keep-it-real minks and sables, together on world tours. Evasive. Direct. A girl with nothing to hide. A true case. Come on! Can’t you see? It’s written. On my blogs. On my face. I am undefinable. A case! 

Ya, i’m a case alright… i am most certainly a case !  Why else would Mr. Mason beat Lieutenant Tragg to the punch? Lieutenant Tragg had cased the place. He was less than a hundred yards from my door, had just parked his car. Less than a minute from knocking on my door, Tragg. When Mason, esq. come to my door and tell me, with a document in his hands and a wonderfully reassuring look in his eyes i could just bury my heart in!  Miss Mills? I want you to look this over and  sign here, quickly. Don’t answer any questions and do exactly as i say. And don’t worry, Miss Mills. Everything will be okay… there was a pause as I came back, renaissanced. Landed in Sacramento, of all places! In Midtown! Seeing traces. Visions of my past. Nightmares of Oakland. Nights on the street. Days that became nights. Nowhere to turn. Nowhere to write. I can handle the nightmares. The ptsd meds? I dropped them. They lowered my blood pressure, which was contrary to my opinion. Smoking cigarrettes once again. Marlboro black menthol hundreds! Wow, what a case. Not even Newports can replace. Woke up on the right side of a hideaway bed in a salvation army thrift couch. And this is what i wrote.

– Katya W. Mills  June 2013  http://www.katyamills.com   a true case

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