Shams Essam

Stories from Shams Essam

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

We arrived at PastaMania at around 10:30 am, almost two hours before opening time. Yes, we were quite comfortable with downing pasta, pizza and desert (caffeine, too, of course) all before noon.

And so our party of three stood outside of the restaurant, peering in through the glass doors while deliberating about the best course of action to take.

The manager apparently took us - and our need for Italian food - to heart and let us in about a half hour later.

We were seated and presented with the awfully colorful 50s-style illustrated menu.

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

I waited for inspiration to strike before I start to write this piece, I waited and I waited and...I waited. While waiting, I skimmed the Wikipedia entry on Thomas More, Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay (and appreciated the marginalization of teenage angst and romance in it). I drank a caramel frappe that left an icky aftertaste. And then I found myself giving this column a title that is much like a prompt, because I needed a boost...a trigger. You can be the judge of whether the prompt actually serves its purpose.

Monday, March 19th, 2012

This week's column is dedicated to anyone who has had to endure the misfortune of taking a workshop-based writing class with me. Do not call it an apology, though; call it a much overdue explanation. You can choose to believe it, or you can (hypothetically) cut it out, gleefully feed it to your shredder, then throw it in the dustbin with the empty diet soda cans and questionable looking leftovers from last year. What I do not know, does not offend me.