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Monthly Archives: March 2012

One Small Step

9th grade is actually a very exciting year. You grow up a lot. You learn so much (mostly not during actual lessons) and you have to make very important choices.

For me, 9th grade will always be remembered as the year I took my first step.

I had been very excited the day before. I picked out my outfit carefully and took a long shower to think. I went to sleep early so I wouldn’t look tired. In the morning I put on my Time Turner with a knob missing and the ring I got from my grandma, both for good luck. It’s nice to believe in that kind of thing, even if you know deep down it’s probably not true. It makes you feel better, more confident.

I didn’t even bother trying to be there on time to catch the school bus. Instead, I took my time and then walked to the public bus stop. When I arrived at school lessons had already started and the hallways were empty. My class had work period, which is basically working for our school so they don’t have to hire a gaziliion people to do stuff (Animals to tend to: cows, horses, one camel, lots of peacocks, some goats, rabbits, caged birds, etc. Other possible jobs: cleaning the school, helping in the office, working in the fields etc.) Our school is enormous and is considered “half private” (whatever that means). It’s a very special school though and apparently it’s very hard to get in (I think they say that just to advertise though, because for me it was just a 10 minute interview).

Anyway, my friend was one of the lucky ones and got to work in the office, and she was just delivering some letters around the school when I got there. I wasn’t planning on working today, I just couldn’t. Instead I helped her out and when she was done we just waited in the empty classroom until students started to fill the room. Eventually I noticed it was time to go and we began to make our way towards the cafeteria.

The school cafeteria is huge. When the tables are pulled back, there is enough room for the whole school to crowd into it. I picked up a little card with my name on it before entering and also got a nice little bookmark (which I later lost).

I went to a bench up front and sat next to a boy I kind of knew from around. Eventually a girl from my class, Ella, joined me there. We were the only two from our class meant to sit up front.

I was probably the most excited and anxious person in that cafeteria. And that’s saying a lot, because some 7th graders were freaking out.

Now, for me this gathering was much more important than for some of the people there. Ella, for example, was maybe an eighth as anxious as I was. I think I was holding my breath the whole time.

The whole thing happened exruciatingly slowly. Some people came onto the stage and talked about how wonderful it is to encourage writing among students and other things I really didn’t care about hearing at the moment. They talked and read poems and there were about three “but before we begin”s.

However, after a while they finally had to begin, and I was still holding my breath.

My short story won third place. There were four categories and roughly calculating that means I was third best out of about 28, and between sixth and and third best out of 58. Rereading it, the story was really good but very badly edited. I could have won second place, if not first. But still, walking up onto the stage I felt a sense of euphoria. I took the certificate and prize money and went to stand next to the woman who was now reading a description of my story.

The surprising thing was that what she said about my story was so different from what I had planned it to be about. Apparently I had written a story about a return to heaven, hinting to the biblical story of Adam and Eve. Truth was, I meant to write about the environmental destruction we are throwing ourselves into, and how nature will be missed in the future even by those who haven’t ever seen it.

My reaction: Kaaaaaaaaaaay.

Still, it was exciting enough. I went back to my seat and hardly dared to hope for my poem to win as well (which it didn’t). Ella’s didn’t win either. However, a girl who I didn’t know who was sitting behind us won first place for both her story and poem. I was very happy for her (and a bit jealous).

The whole day I was congratulated by different people, some of whom I barely knew. I got to attend a conference with a poet who talked about the stages of the Muse in creaters lives (Instead of math! Double bonus!).

I was starting to get used to people congratulating me and asking how much money I got, but I was caught off guard once. I was asked how long it took me to write the story and when I replied with, “A few hours… Plus editing.” the boy who had asked nodded and said, “That’s ok, I guess. It was worth it.”
Something about the way he said it made me realize something, and I don’t know why it did but it surprised me very much.
“Wait, you know I enjoyed writing it, right?”
He actually looked surprised. “Oh, well, that’s a bonus.”

So far I hadn’t really thought of the money I had won. I was too happy about actually winning, for the first (and hopefully not the last) time in my life. And this was the first competition I had ever entered my writing in. I felt one step higher up that tall mountain I was trying to climb. But I just couldn’t believe someone could think I had done it for money!

I don’t think it would have been possible to win any place if you did it for money. It just wouldn’t have any soul. And there are better ways to get money, anyway. I was truly dissapointed at that moment.

However, my mind soon moved on to better things. The Muse had hit me hard that day and I had some ideas to get to. I promised myself that next year I will win at least second place. Another small step up the mountain.

I know where I’m headed – and watch me get there.

Next time I will post the beggining of my next story (planned to be a novel – though when will I have time, I’m not sure).

May the Muse be with you, and the idiots stay far away.



“I have China with me in my bag right now.”
“China? What do you mean?”
“It’s a country.”
“Ok Maya… Whatever…”

This is a conversation I had with my friend yesterday.

Yeah, I carry countries in my bag. Currently it’s post-WW1 China. A few days ago I was actually travelling with some dwarves and a wizard in my bag. I just pull out my little secret and the world is gone. And I’m there, in the land of stories.

It kind of feels like leading a double life. Like once I get one of my books out, I’m in my other life, my secret life. Sitting in Tanach class pretending to have the Tanach book open in front of me (but it’s actually ‘The Painter of Shanghai’), I’m in a parallel universe. I’m in my own little bubble, my own sanctuary. My only troubles are the troubles of Yuliang, or Bilbo, or Harry or Matilda or whoever I am at the moment. Suddenly failing math doesn’t matter so much anymore. Suddenly missing my dad and his wife and my little brother, and worrying about my future and the fights with my mom, all of that isn’t important.

I stop to think, just for just a moment, that if I will always have this other life, I don’t really need the first one. I can just live like that, off of stories. They are better than food, better than any iPhone or expensive car. They are the fule to my soul.

There are people in the world who hate books. They HATE them. I have a friend like that. I can’t understand. I simply can’t understand whether she is soulless or simply stupid. Or I’m just stupid. Maybe I’m living in one big illusion.

And there is one boy. He said to me once, “I try as much as possible to stay away from people who read books.”
Why? Because you fear being more intelligent? Because you are afraid of the truth and the emotion that you will experience while reading?
Or maybe you simply don’t know, can’t grasp the beauty of it?
But why? Why can’t you realize what you’re missing? Why are you living in utter stupidity? Keeping yourself away from people who think. Staying ignorant. Close-minded.

My parents don’t like books. They don’t hate them either, but mostly it is I that encourage them to read and not the other way around. And my only grandmother who (I was told) loved to read just as much as I did, died when I was 10.

I never knew how hard it would be to find one, just ONE person who truly understands my passion. I’m starting to think my teachers could understand better than my friends. Just once I would like to talk to someone who has ever visited in my secret universe. Who has ever discovered it in their own mind. Who has ever felt what I have felt: raw, powerful, overflowing emotion. The emotion of someone else, not me, but currently I am them. We are one, united.
Perhaps the only ones who have felt it are the writers of these books that make me feel this way.

Words have such power. Such power. I don’t even know it. Neither do you. They are naked, yet masked. They themselves are masks, to layers of other words, thoughts, then emotions. Then even deeper things. Things the one who told the story doesn’t even know are hidden in it.

The smell of books is my favorite smell in the world. The relief of entering a book store full of new, fresh smelling books in the middle of a bustling mall. The excitment of walking into a library filled with old books with a strong scent.
Within these sweet smelling binded pages are words and words that have been taken out of the soul of someone else. Someone I am soon to know better than myself, sometimes. Someone who has just opened a door into their being, allowed me in and offered me tea.

If you cannot enjoy this, I pity you.

If you recognize this feeling, stop for a moment and be grateful. Stop and truly understand it.

Some of my Best Photography

You know how there are those teenagers that think they are professional photographers because their dad bought them a super expensive camera? Well, that’s me, except I know I’m not anywhere close to professional. On days when I bring my camera to school (you will soon see why!) I get looks and when people ask me about the camera I honestly can’t answer all their questions (I do, however, know what model it is and I am close to mastering the modes). But one thing I know: I enjoy taking pictures. So why not?

This photo was taken at my house and edited on (can’t believe that site is closing!!!). I really like it though… I think it’s quite interesting to look at.

Took these at my cousin’s house. Not much to say about them…

Just randomly insterting a picture of my little brother… I rarely see him and when I do I bring my camera at all times (so I have something to look at when he’s back in India and far away from me!)

My school is a very special place. Very special. The above photo was taken there.

Here are a few more photos of the more loveable and less stressful days and areas of my school:

And finally, one of the more beautiful scenes Israel has to offer in late winter/early spring:

Hope you enjoyed 🙂

A Rant About Friends

A few minutes ago I had a facebook conversation with my friend.

I told her about a new book I was getting, “Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey”. I was really excited (still am) because I had heard that it’s an awesome book.

Now, this friend can’t stand it when I talk about Harry Potter, which is a problem because it’s always (get it?) in my head. I can’t stop making Harry Potter references and I could talk about it all day, to anyone who listens.

She had asked me not to mention Harry Potter next to her, and I do try my best, but this was right after I ordered the book on Amazon and I was still really excited. I began telling her about the amazing artwork that’s in it, and how she’s gonna like it even without liking Harry Potter.

Well, she kind of got really mad at me. We had a mini fight on chat, which wasn’t pleasant. My argument was that if she had been a good friend, she would have at least faked a bit of enthusiasm and the topic of the conversation would have changed faster. But this certain friend is known for getting mad really easily, and I couldn’t get her off of it.

There are some qualities I can’t stand… When I write a book, the villain will surely be:

-Quickly angered.
-Stupid or unintelligent (well maybe that would make him a bad villain, but I had to add this to the list because I can’t stand people like this. Also I hate shallow or fake people).
-Mean and unkind.
-Hates for no reason.

But I have at least one friend that has each of these qualities, and I can’t give any of them up. Having friends is a complicated business (much more complicated than not having any, which I know from experience). And that previous sentence sounds really stupid. But it’s true.

What are your most hated and most loved qualities in a friend? And what would your ultimate book/movie villain be like?

Something unrelated:

Ooohh! It’s my second day on WordPress and I’ve already started my second blog… This is quite fun! 🙂

It’s a book review blog this time… Here it is:

(I know it’s empty right now, but I’ll post on it soon enough…)


Kony 2012

I first watched the video a couple of days ago. It had about 400,000 views, but I could tell that this was going to become big. The first thing that went through my mind after watching it was “We really have to do something about this.” I did a bit of research and saw that this Joseph Kony guy was real. But I still had my doubts.

I wasn’t going to give them my money just yet, but I decided I’d share the video on facebook. By the end of the day it already had millions of views, and people were posting it everywhere, tweeting about it, changing their facebook profile pictures to ‘STOP KONY’ and ‘KONY 2012’ pictures, and covering youtube videos with ‘Kony 2012’ comments and links to the video.

This video was making people go crazy. It was giving them the feeling that they had to act, making them feel like they had something to act for. People felt like they were a part of something. No wonder so many people got carried up in it so quickly.

But something felt a bit fishy to me… I wasn’t quite sure how to take all of this in. Suspicions started to arouse in other places too. People were expressing their doubt in the ‘Invisible Chlidren’, the group responsible for the video.

I’m still not sure how legitimate this whole thing is. I’m not about to give them my money, that’s for sure. Look at the slogan for a second:


This may sound a bit too far-fetched, but this whole campaign kind of reminds me of Hitler’s.

“Stop at Nothing”. This slogan is suggesting that it’s ok to use violence as a means to achieve this goal, if nothing else works. It’s suggesting that we should do ANYTHING we can to convince as many people as possible that stopping Joseph Kony is the most important thing we need to do.

I can’t help but be reminded of ‘The Wave’.

It’s a book about a teacher who tried an expirement on his students: he created a kind of cult, a sort of movement, called The Wave. He convinced them that they had a goal and that they had to do everything and anything to achieve it. They ended up brainwashed and began to use violence against anyone who questioned the cause. They thought that they were acting for good, but really their cause was non-existant, and they were just blindly following the leader. (By the way, I highly reccomend it if you haven’t read it).

I do believe that stopping a criminal that has done such terrible deeds is an important cause, but I think we should at least question what we are so blindly and passionately supporting. This could be a real and legitimate thing, or a complete lie and a scam. It could also just be an exaggeration of something that does exist, but isn’t all that terrible as it is made to look.

Although the video does not suggest any violent solution, we are possibly being led like sheep towards that path. I believe that it’s ok to support the arrest of Joseph Kony, but not so exremely that it will brainwash you.

Let’s keep the battle for peace peaceful.

If you haven’t watched the video, this is it:

What do you think about Kony 2012?

Hi all!

This is my first time blogging on wordpress, or in English at all. But there’s got to be a first time for everything, hasn’t there?

I’ll inroduce myself: I’m Maya, 14, and I live in Israel. I’m a nerd at heart and I’ve got lots of stuff to share… I’m a bit nervous about joining this site, I really don’t know it at all! I’m used to whizzing my way around the internet, and it’ll take me a while to get used to a different website format.

I’m a Potterhead, addicted to the internet (like 99% of teens today) and a writer and a nerd. I may not seem like one at first: I dress girly, act girly, and I have friends. People don’t expect that from nerds. But I’ve got a surprise for you: lots of nerds are like that. The thing about being a nerd is that you have a side of you that’s just not like everybody else, but in the geeky way. And you don’t mind showing it when you can.

I’ve got to write so I can live (It’s my way of letting out my emotions), and I’d love to share my opinions with other people. I’m hoping to find interesting, intelligent people on here and hopefully not spammers or close minded douchebags (eg. “go die jew!” or “OMG i haaate Harry Potter and it’s like so stuupid! y do u even like it?!”), so if you’re that kind of person, you might as well leave now.

Also, forgive me if I have any spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes or I missuse a word. My English isn’t perfect and I’ve got the excuse of living in a non-english speaking country.

Hopefully somebody will see this post (I have no idea how new posts can be seen here) and I didn’t write this in vain. And hopefully this will be my place to share my thoughts and opinions, and listen to some others.