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Friday, April 29, 2011

I Won Script Frenzy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know the exclamation points were  SLIGHTLY excessive. I WON  THE SCRIPT FRENZY YOUNG WRITERS PROGRAM and I wrote a 50 PAGE SCREENPLAY IN ONE MONTH! I wrote it during a crazy month of schoolwork, Italy, and lots of other things, too! (even though adult writers have to write much more, I did my best to find time.) Also, Script Frenzy has a thing where everybody writes a summary of their script and  some professional designers make posters for the movies. I was one of the very few kids who had their poster made. (The designers didn't know which scripts were kids' or adults', but there are lots more adults.) My poster is here.

Thanks everybody! If I hadn't remembered that Rafie, OliveTreePrincess, Katvopi, IDontKnow, and others liked my script, I would have quit the Frenzy recently. I made plenty of friends on the Script Frenzy web site, who I hope to be able to buddy on NaNoWriMo, or personal message next Script Frenzy.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Empty Park

By Sasha Barish

When my brother and my mom and I walk to the park that we used to go to more when my brother and I were younger, I feel like I’m walking back in time. I’m twelve and a half, not totally a teenager yet but not really a little kid anymore either. So I can still go back to being a little kid for a while. I have decided to do that at the park.
At La Loma Park, my brother Rafie and I would play on the playground for a little while, then walk up a hill. There was a steep path that led all the way to the bottom. We walked up on a different path, stopping on the way to look down a cliff at the rest of the park, and later slid down the steep one like a slide. With eucalyptus bark and sticks flying into our path, we rocketed down the slope, ripping and dirtying our pants. By the time I reached the bottom I was usually sitting in a pile of dirt that had begun to slip down with me, cushioning me from the rough path, not that I cared much. Then we ran around the base of the hill until we got back to the path that could take us up the hill and started all over again. I loved it.
Today we sit quietly on the bench beside the playground, me, Rafie, and Mom, for a few minutes. The whole park is quiet, except for an eagle on a fence. I realize that the park is empty as well. My memories of La Loma Park all include at least a couple other kids. Some toy trucks and a plastic sieve lie
“There aren’t any little kids with their parents here,” says Mom just as I think about that. “I wonder where they all are.”
“They’re all playing videogames,” Rafie says, moving the arm of a rusty toy construction vehicle. “Hey, this thing is pretty cool!”
“No they’re not,” I announce. “They just aren’t at this park.”
“Uh huh! Little kids don’t play with trucks anymore, they just play with iPods and videogames. It’s too bad. Kids should keep playing with trucks and real toys.” It’s kind of ironic for Rafie to say that. At almost eleven years old, he often argues that he likes videogames better than real toys. I don’t know what change of heart made him say that, but I’m worried that Rafie’s right.
“So you want to make sure that all boys play with trucks instead of computers?” I ask as I sit down in the grainy sand. This would make a good short story, I think. I should write it when I get home.
“All little boys,” explains Rafie. “I’m old enough to play with computers.”
Since I’m nearly two years older than Rafie is, I don’t think that he’s old enough and I say so. By now I’m sitting in the sand playing with a plastic sieve that was there, making the fine sand fall away so I just have the rocks, the important stuff.
“Then do you think you’re old enough to play with computers, Sasha?” Rafie asks. Mom is still on the bench.
I don’t reply, because I don’t have an answer. “Let’s go up onto that hill that we used to slide down.”

Me and Rafie run  off to the hill, which is right next to the playground. When we get there, we quickly find the path. I remember that to get to the path there’s a little bushwhacking that the grownups never wanted to do, but this is a bit worse than I expected.  To continue along the path we would have to crawl through a two-foot-tall constriction in the undergrowth, while avoiding poison oak on one side.
“You know what?” I say to Rafie. “I’m just going to decide right now not to go that way.” I remember once we decided not to slide down and followed our makeshift path, or was it an animal path, a bit farther. We got to the top of the hill (which was covered in bushes and lumpy trees like the rest of it) and found a fence that separated the hilltop from the playground. We had been lucky enough to come out beside a hole in the fence! “But there’s another way to get there.”
“Yeah,” Rafie says, noticing the poison oak. Once Rafie thought he was immune to the dangerous plant and touched it. The poison oak oil spread when he touched his face and Rafie got an awful rash on his face.
Later, we trek around to the other side of the hill, to where the hole in the fence is. I almost walk past the hole, but Rafie remembers.
“The hole’s back here, remember?” he tells me.
Together we go through the hole, which is actually a gate. I didn’t remember right. Oh no! This path is covered in bushes! There’s a little poison oak, but I could avoid that.
“Okay, I think we can get through here…” I say. I really want to go to the slide, not to slide down but just to be there.
“No,” Rafie says. “There’s too much poison oak and brambles. Let’s go back.”
We walk back to Mom and hang out by the empty playground. As we stand on the grass, Mom showing us how to do handstands, I realize that we were trying to get back to being little kids for a while. We almost could go back to being little kids, but something stopped us. Maybe it was the poison oak.
Or maybe we’re just too old. Rafie would rather play on the computer than play with trucks; I’m almost a teenager and I spend time on the computer too, usually writing. I don’t know if I care or not that I couldn’t quite be a little kid, but I feel that my trip to the park would have been more complete had we gotten to the cliff.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stanford Splash # 2

When I was at Splash, in the Paper Airplanes class I mentioned, I chatted with some boy who was sitting next to me. At the end of class he said, "I hope I see you around Splash," and smiled in a funny way. Later I was in a different class with him, where we were messing around with a goopy fluid that dried on our hands.
He was like, "Look. I can make it snow." And he moved his hand around so that the white stuff on his hands fell onto the ground. He's weird, I thought.
Later I was eating lunch outside in the Quad, a big courtyard like area. Ev and Arina hadn't shown up at the Meeting Point where we'd agreed to eat lunch, yet. That boy walked up to me and sat down beside me. He said hi. Then Ev and Arina sat down. I wasn't sure what to do. I mean, what could I say? Hey, guys, this is a kid whose name I don't actually know but has been strangely attracted to me and is making an effort to chat with me just cause I had two classes with  him. So, yeah, I did not say that. I just, kind of, tried to converse with him and with them at the same time, which was pretty awkward and strange. I decided to see what his name was and peeked at his name tag. His last name was Dor, and I don't even remember what his first name was. It was something like Darren, but probably wasn't actually Darren. And then he started following me (and therefore Ev and Arina) around and trying to chat with us. Ev and Arina didn't actually know anything about him other than that he was sitting near us and started talking to us and the acted like he was part of our group, but we accepted him and hung out with him for the rest of lunch. Afterwards I explained who Dor was to my friends.

Stanford Splash!

It was really great! I took a class on paper airplanes, and one on non-newtonian fluids, and one where we made little "bugs" that light up when you push their antennae down... and other classes.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Back from Italy

Omg. I got back from Italy last night. I am going to go to Stanford Splash today anyway, but I expect I might not make it through all the classes.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Hey guys, I know you've been viewing my blog but actually I'm not posting here until I get home from Italy. Instead I'm posting on