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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Writing Prompt: 3/3/10

By Marilyn Friedman

Writing Pad has wonderful classes coming up in March! Sign up by calling 323-333-2954 or emailing before they are full. Make your blog kick ass with this all day class:

Get inspired to write a 3 page short piece that is "World Wide Web" related. Aaron will help you make sure that it entertains and impresses, and he'll give you feedback on one draft.

Now here's your writing prompt, which is also World Wide Web related. Have fun with it!

Writing Prompt: Make a list of 5 things that come to mind when you think of the word, "Internet." Pick one and write about it for 10 minutes. Then post the results of the comments of this blog. You could win a free class!

Comment on this blog! What comes to mind when you think of the word, "Internet?" Put your 10 minute write (or just a sentence) in the comments, and you will be entered in the March contest for a free class. Marilyn will also respond with what she likes and remembers about what you write.


Kristina said...

The internet; it's the world at my fingertips.
What ever I want to know, it's there, a few keystokes away.
I can share my thoughts and opinions with friends or complete strangers.
I've made new "friends," finding like minded people though my blogs and places like Twitter. Sometimes they are like having imaginary playmates; they exist and are real to me but I've never met them face to face.
It's dangerous though, because so much is available online, if I wanted, I would never have to leave my house.

Writing Pad said...

Hi Kristina,

Cool piece! I love the imaginary playmates that the narrator has never met and that the internet is dangerous because she could be so entertained that she'd leave her house!


Writing Pad said...

I remember my college years at University of Illinois. Email was brand new, you had to physically call someone to ask them out on a date. Texting didn't exist, and cell phones looked like thick walkie talkies. I remember that my boyfriend would leave me handwritten, red and blue crayon love notes in my dorm mailbox.

I resisted the Internet superhighway at first. I dug in my heels. I would not get email. That lasted for a few months. Then, when Facebook popped onto the scene, I protested loudly. "No Facebook for me!" I shouted at the top of my lungs. My Space is enough! How much more can a person click clack and tip tap in a day?

And then, I just gave in. I Tweet, I Facebook, I blog, I text (maybe at a slower pace than others), I revel in learning new acronyms (like LMAO).

Finally, in this sometimes lonely city, I feel connected to a community of writers, foodies, and friends. Who cares if my connection to you is through black, snaky cable wires?

ed decker said...

Internet. The collective brain of humanity. All it's parts are here: The neanderthal brain, the evolved brain, the lizard brain.

How about this? The internet stream is the spinal chord and every server is a section of the brain, each domain, a function and every website, a synapse.

It's all brains, when you think about it. The planet is a brain, the workplace is a brain, the home is a brain and, of course, the brain is a brain.

Brains are everywhere. Except, maybe, in Glen Beck's head - that's debatable.

Halie said...

Like any modern gal, I've done my fare share of flirting on the internet.

It started back when I was an awkward 12 year old and went to harmless chat rooms on my dial up AOL account. Remember when chat rooms were harmless? My screen name was Ladybug16, neither the name nor the number had any real significance except I thought it sounded random and cool. I chatted with guys who claimed to be the same age as me. I loved when they asked me to describe myself and then told me I sounded pretty. I never actually tried to meet any of them, that was way too scary. I would get buzzed off the simple act of flirting with a stranger and having him reciprocate.

Later, post college, I would flirt via email. I would pour over email responses for unhealthy amounts of time making sure what I had written was funny. Despite my efforts my now boyfriend used to laugh harder at my grammatical mistakes than any joke I tried to craft.

When we first started dating I would get to work and wait as long as I could to email him. This was my way of playing cool and aloof, even though I usually couldn't wait past 10:15am. In the end we would almost always email each other at the same time and then joke about how our brains were weirdly connected. Something in the way I misspelled things must of worked because six years later I'm still getting my gchat on with him.

Writing Pad said...

Hi Dahlings,

I'm so excited that you wrote stories! I will respond today--I just got back from Palm Springs.


Writing Pad said...

Ed--I love this piece. I love the "neanderthal brain, the evolved brain, the lizard brain," and how everything is a brain: "the internet, the planet, the workplace." Wonderful! Deep!

Halie--I love the story of the narrator's love history and how it develops with the internet. I especially love how she went to chat rooms and that her screen name was "Ladybug16!" I also love how she can't wait to email her boyfriend at work till 10:15 a.m..

Fantastic stories! Thanks for posting!


Kristina said...

I started college in August 1998. My first week I was required to set up an email account. I went to the computer lab and set up my school and hotmail accounts. It took a really long time due to to the dial up speed and my lack of PC knowledge. I missed my typewriter...

Writing Pad said...

Hi Kristina,

Thanks for your story! I love that it took the narrator a long time to set up her email account due to the dial up speed and her "lack of knowledge." I also love that she says that she missed her typewriter! It puts me in a specific time and a place. Fabulous!



Karen S. said...

When I think of the word “Internet,” I think of a modern day Flaneur. How this unbounded space, the infinite mirrored reflection, this place of abundance of every kind is shaping us to the expectancy of all just there in reach—on demand. The flaneur of the last century was the quintessential voyeur, skating through the new cityscapes with a certain charming sophisticated superficiality of the untouchable. Today’s Internet flaneur has endless wisdom at her fingertips, a wealth of attractions to indulge every desire, an omnivorous shopping cart, and best of all, the fantasy of possibility. The Internet is eternally optimistic—another page, another interest, another curiosity, a personal spectacle, a peephole to intimacy. And while the 20c flaneur aimlessly strolled the new boulevards and avenues consuming all he beheld from a distance, the 21c internet voyeur is captive to private armchair fantasy and indulgence—all served up in a momentum of energetic explosion, the speed of impulse, instant connectivity, the immediate Now delivered in unimaginable cosmic time.

Julie said...

Just the other day, I was talking to my friend about the library. “I used to go there all the time,” I said, “before the internet!” We both burst out laughing.

It’s funny because neither of us can imagine life without the constant presence of this virtual world sitting right alongside the real one. A world that, for all intents and purposes, did not exist 15 years ago. And yet here we are, emailing and tweeting and telling the world what’s on our minds. It’s become as much a part of daily life as pouring a cup of coffee and sitting down with the morning newspaper.

I am most impressed with the capacity for this instant connectivity to go way beyond a surface connection. In just the past year, I have spoken to a friend for the first time in 20 years. I have celebrated countless birthdays and sent wishes without once putting pen to paper. I have had my own birthday recognized and celebrated in the sweetest of ways. I have read along as friends and family members have traveled the world or spent a day at Disneyland. I have watched little kids grow, and I’ve heard the funny things they say. I know when my friends are embarrassed, I know when they are proud. I know when their worlds are shattered by unimaginable tragedy.

The internet has given me a window into the lives of the people I love, like and just plain enjoy being around. It gives me the opportunity to celebrate along with them when they are happy, and offer support when they are cut down. It reminds me that my world is wide and filled with people who care for me and for each other. I can’t imagine life without it.

Writing Pad said...

Karen--what a beautiful piece! I love that the internet skates "through the new cityscapes with a certain charming sophisticated superficiality of the untouchable" and how she has "endless wisdom, an omnivorous shopping cart,and the fantasy of possibility." It is a whimsical and poetic piece.

Julie--I loved your piece too! It was a lovely ode to the internet! I love the list of things the internet has allowed the narrator to do like celebrate birthdays and watch kids grow. I especially love thess lines: "I know when my friends are embarrassed, I know when they are proud. I know when their worlds are shattered by unimaginable tragedy." The last line got me choked up!

Fabulous stories, everyone! Thanks for commenting.