i can clearly remember when i realized i wanted to write--11th grade advanced english. i'd always eaten up books voraciously, and that class renewed my passion for reading after several years of super-duper dorky seminar level classes where i stopped caring about books and only cared about grades. we read, and we wrote, and i realized it was what gave me peace.

i've always loved to tell stories, and as a writer, i have always done best as a story-teller. i made it my new year's resolution to publish at least two stories this year, and now, i am halfway there. after the class with mp last year, i felt encouraged to reapply for the fulbright. with a recommendation from him, one from alice, and one from my shakespeare scholar professor, i felt like my application was impeccable. five years ago, i was the first alternate for a fulbright to italy to catalog traditional and endangered food-making techniques. i felt like this time, i could only do better. my writing was better, my idea more focussed, my recommenders knew me better--i had a great shot, right?

well, i was wrong. i was out in the first round. more than being devastated, i was shocked. i realized i had a decision to make--fall into a funk, or fall into action. mp, just as bewildered as i was, encouraged me to just write. so i did. i planned to write an article about garlic, and along the way, met chester aaron, a man whose story i knew i couldn't do justice to in just 1500 words. but i foolishly tried, and amazingly, ended up with this. how it became the cover story, i'll never know. i think it was because of winni's beautiful photos.

the best part about all of this is that it gives me some momentum, and some faith in myself. i've been saying i want to write for so long without having anything to show for it. i turned down so many chances that didn't feel right, and have missed many opportunities i thought were my only shot. but now, i've started my way down the path i've been waiting to walk for so many years, and i can see that this is the way it was always meant to be.

***i'm not sure if they'll put the story online, but i have a hunch that they will eventually, so keep checking!


  1. Congratulations... more for reaching out and moving your goal forward because, obviously people are reading what you write... right here!

    Enjoy. Bask. Feel the love!

  2. omg! congratulations! I am so proud of you!!!

  3. "i've been saying i want to write for so long without having anything to show for it. "

    been there. still there. writing's a hard row to hoe.

    but this all sounds really positive and i'm happy for you.

  4. Samin! I am so proud of you!! I can't wait to read the article. That's so exciting to see that it's a COVER story too!

  5. it's a beautiful article. honest. informative.

    congratulations. on all fronts.

  6. Samin! This is fabulous. Congratulations. What a fabulous article. I can't wait to see more of your writing.