I created Developing Laugh Lines as a weekly humor column for the Battle Creek Enquirer in 2007. Thanks to loyal readers and crafty editors, it survived the ever-shrinking local newsroom, earning press awards, recognition in other Gannett publications, including USA Today and the Detroit Free Press, and inclusion in over a dozen anthologies.

In 2022, the powers-that-be made a change but that didn’t change anything for me. That 15-inches of print had become part of my DNA.

One of my former crafty editors directed me to Substack, where other newspaper columnists have found a home. No ads, no clicky stuff, no the-powers-that-be-want-to-make-a-change.

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A humorous and poignant look at life by someone who has written 786 newspaper columns on the subject


Nicole L.V. Mullis is a storyteller of all trades, holding a degree in journalism and an M.F.A. in creative writing. She is a published novelist, journalist, and essayist, as well as a produced playwright.