On the resilience of skin

STEEPED BY SAMIA #10 | 11.10.22 I’m developing a cordial relationship of sorts with my skin, wbu?? When the weather gets colder (that’s, like, 45-50° F in the South Bay…), my toes participate in a mysterious ritual. Every year, without fail. It starts with a tingling in the nighttime, that gives way to a burningContinue reading “On the resilience of skin”

In defense of quiet, meandering books & TV shows

STEEPED BY SAMIA #9 | 11.05.22 Finding joy in slower media & wondering what it means when something is “worthy of attention.” The first days of November have ushered in cold weather in the South Bay with much-welcomed rain. As I write this, I’m sipping some lavender tea with oat milk and honey and listeningContinue reading “In defense of quiet, meandering books & TV shows”

Fiction: The carnival in the clearing

STEEPED BY SAMIA #8 | 10.29.22 I wrote this Halloween-themed short story for my Craft of Creative Writing class during my first year at Mills College (shout-out to Prof. Truong Tran!). I did some edits to condense it and spruce it up. Enjoy!! It’s Halloween night. When Samir was a child, his parents didn’t allowContinue reading “Fiction: The carnival in the clearing”

The “Chocolate Mountain” & the adventure of searching for a childhood book

STEEPED BY SAMIA #7 | 10.23.22 On nostalgia & things from your childhood that you can’t remember clearly, that feel like an itch you can’t scratch. My elementary school memories are filled with warmth and wonder. Making stone soup and having an autumnal feast with my class in fourth grade. The school library transforming intoContinue reading “The “Chocolate Mountain” & the adventure of searching for a childhood book”

Read this when you feel like: You’re not “doing enough”

STEEPED BY SAMIA #6 | 9.30.22 Sometimes, things feel up in the air and a little off in every part of your life. My goal was to put out two blog posts this month. The Reality: my Notes app is littered with sparse attempts at interesting ideas (you’ll see them someday, I promise!). So, I decidedContinue reading “Read this when you feel like: You’re not “doing enough””

The harvest festival & the power of make-believe

STEEPED BY SAMIA #5 | 9.15.22 My backyard slipped away, as the world of the harvest festival took shape. Growing up, my brother and I went on make-believe adventures in our backyard. Battling goblins to protect a far-off kingdom, with newspaper swords and plastic field hockey sticks as our horses. Sitting up-side-down on our patioContinue reading “The harvest festival & the power of make-believe”

A hospital is not an art museum, but it can be

STEEPED BY SAMIA #4 | 8.23.22 CW Note: This post mentions some heavy experiences of having a parent with a life-threatening illness/cancer and visiting them at the hospital. In April, my Abu was in the hospital for a month, receiving treatment for AML Leukemia. Due to his immunocompromised state, he couldn’t really go outside; butContinue reading “A hospital is not an art museum, but it can be”

Editorializing my life: Notes from a constant ruminator

STEEPED BY SAMIA #3 | 7.11.22 Every time period in our lives carries a certain atmosphere — but we never know what the present will feel like, as it’s happening. I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot lately. I call it: Editorializing my life. It isn’t so much a narrator in my head, chroniclingContinue reading “Editorializing my life: Notes from a constant ruminator”

An ode to Shelfari & other virtual spaces that don’t exist anymore

STEEPED BY SAMIA #2 | 6.22.22 A middle schooler, a book-ish teen community, and a now defunct website. In my tween years, I used Shelfari to keep track of the books I was reading. It was a site that allowed users to browse, categorize, and review books. There was also a social / community aspect,Continue reading “An ode to Shelfari & other virtual spaces that don’t exist anymore”

I’m retracing my steps with writing

STEEPED BY SAMIA #1 | 6.13.22 Exploring the difficult & illuminating process of rebuilding a relationship with your life’s passion. Sometimes you feel lost, you know? I wasn’t sure how to describe this period of my writer’s journey. But one day in April, the words came to me: I’m retracing my steps with writing. Sometimes,Continue reading “I’m retracing my steps with writing”

Tea recipes for all your moods this fall

During my first year of postgrad, I can definitively tell you that I’ve been drinking a lot of good tea and mastered how I like to make it. So, you’re going to get all those fun details of what teas I like and how I prepare it. I definitely want to (spoiler alert: it’s notContinue reading “Tea recipes for all your moods this fall”

Reflections from an ongoing creative slump

How do you get out of a creative slump during a pandemic that seems like it’s never going to end? I don’t have answers—just reflections. On Eid a week or two ago, there were 3 different family members who asked me, “Hey, you’re writing a novel, right? How’s that going?” *Cue cold sweats and nervousContinue reading “Reflections from an ongoing creative slump”

Reluctance to Love: How our Desi-American family adopted 2 cats

By Samia & Ferheen Abbasi We’ve been wanting to write this piece for a while. It was primarily sparked by how our parents have generally felt about pets (read: reluctant) and how their reactions share similarities to other immigrant parents. There are TikToks of dads carrying around their cats or dogs, singing to them, andContinue reading “Reluctance to Love: How our Desi-American family adopted 2 cats”

Dreams In-Progress: Briana B. Franklin on turning experience into innovation

Flashback to summer 2019: I would wake up, get ready for the day, and hop on all the job-searching websites to participate in the trial & error known as the job market. Those days were blurry; sending at least 1 cover letter + resume out into the world felt like enough progress for the day.Continue reading “Dreams In-Progress: Briana B. Franklin on turning experience into innovation”

Dreams In-Progress: Zunaira Iftikhar on investing 100% in your dreams

Communication shapes who we are. It’s a lens for how we see the world and how we navigate people in all areas of our lives. Our upbringing molds our communication style—not hearing “sorry” being said or emotions being discussed candidly can impact us. For a Pakistani-Muslim woman like Zunaira Iftikhar, active communication can stretch theContinue reading “Dreams In-Progress: Zunaira Iftikhar on investing 100% in your dreams”

Dreams In-Progress: Irena Huang on creating a pathway you love

I took a fairly long hiatus from Dreams In-Progress. All the while, I’ve been thinking about why it’s something I’m so drawn to and what kind of content people will connect with most right now. I’m noticing that it’s all about the conversations I’ve been having. I want to hear how Gen. Z-ers & MillennialsContinue reading “Dreams In-Progress: Irena Huang on creating a pathway you love”

Reflections from a year of therapy

Because I was in Malaysia and COVID-19 spiked in the U.S. when I came back, I haven’t seen my therapist in about 6 weeks. And because my healthcare provider & my mental health insurance aren’t covering phone appointments and for related reasons, I basically won’t be seeing my therapist until COVID-19 calms down or theContinue reading “Reflections from a year of therapy”

Review: The Royal Abduls by Ramiza Shamoun Koya

Some time during the first week of February, I saw a headline from Publishers Weekly that caught my eye: PNBA Rallies for Ill Debut Author. Ramiza Shamoun Koya’s story followed me for the rest of the day, and all I could wonder was: How can I help? When I got the opportunity to read TheContinue reading “Review: The Royal Abduls by Ramiza Shamoun Koya”

3 South Asian protagonists with transformative journeys

January is a rejuvanating time where we create goals in hopes of getting closer to a better version of ourselves. I wanted to highlight 3 books with South-Asian protagonists who go through transformative changes as they learn about themselves and the world. Connecting with South-Asian books throughout my life has allowed me to explore theContinue reading “3 South Asian protagonists with transformative journeys”

Is publishing the right career for me?

Lee & Low Books recently came out with their 2019 Diversity in Publishing Baseline Survey Results. The statistics were disappointing–but not surprising. At the same time, they affirm why I feel like I’m at a crossroads with my potential career path in publishing. I was especially struck by the statistics of higher diversity in internsContinue reading “Is publishing the right career for me?”