Author Archives: S. Hope Mills

About S. Hope Mills

S. Hope Mills has an MFA in fiction from Pacific University and spends most of her time shaping stories at a creative agency in Virginia.

The Furious Finish: On Deadlines

It’s 1979 and the Mad Men-esque execs were in a cab, on the way to present a corporate identity theme to the bigwigs at GE. The current version was pretty clunky and they knew it: We make the things that … Continue reading

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And Then We Came to the End: One Year & Fourteen Books Later

I suck at endings. But that’s something a lot of people say, isn’t it? As if everyone else is really good at quitting a job or relationship or saying goodbye or ending a story. (I’ve never met anyone who claims … Continue reading

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The Internet: Savior of the Short Story?

When my daughter was in her first few months of life, I made a sort of peace with the nighttime feedings by reading through a short story collection. One story usually lasted the amount of time she needed to feel … Continue reading

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Finding the Formula in a 20th Century Fiction Factory

I was only a few pages in when I understood I wouldn’t be finishing The Outdoor Girls In a Motorcar, a 1913 book from a series called, appropriately, The Outdoor Girls. I’ve already written about not finishing good books, and … Continue reading

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The Little Dictionary That Could

It’s a skinny thing, Gustave Flaubert’s Le Dictionnaire des idées reçues, not even 100 pages. And The Dictionary of Accepted Ideas also isn’t the source you’d turn to when someone peppers a conversation with a few big words. It is, however, the dictionary … Continue reading

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On Reading Diaries: It’s Not Just for Pesky Little Brothers

We were in our green Ford Aerostar, my high-school self trying to engage my parents in a serious discussion, when my brother began quoting, softly at first, lines from my diary. The kinds of lines you write for yourself, lines … Continue reading

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Self-Help Seduction

There are certain books we all hide. You know them. The ones purchased late at night when no one we know is in the bookstore. Or better yet, ordered from Amazon for further anonymity. These are books we don’t want … Continue reading

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Between Centuries: A Six-Month Perspective

The year is more than half over, which means those of us who attempted New Year’s resolutions have either mastered, given up, or heavily revised them. It also means my year of reading 100-year-old books is halfway finished. It all … Continue reading

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Raising ‘em right: Fiction & Parenthood

Within the next few weeks, I’ll be officially responsible for introducing another human being to a sense of ethics—of how to be in this world. Granted, she and I will be initially concerned with a few other things, but the … Continue reading

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Series Junkies: We Are All “Loving Tyrants”

What to do when, as a writer, you’re ready to move on from a world you’ve created, but your fan base is not? L. Frank Baum, the originator of the Oz world and all its charming characters, had exactly that … Continue reading

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