Writer’s Workshop

October 1, 2008

he Prompts:

1. Put Shaggy (Scooby Doo’s partner) and Batgirl in an elevator and write a 200 word scene.

2. Write about a time you hid from someone, or a time you disguised who you really were.

3. List 10 things worth saving then choose one of those things and write about it.

4. What did you do before we had the internet?

Well, can’t remember Shaggy’s character, never really disguised myself or hid from someone that I can think of, There are lots of things worth saving, but that’s just too deep for me this late at night, so I guess I’ll go with number 4.

There was a time before the internet?  Oh yes, i vaguely remember that.  What did I do with myself?  Actually, a lot of the same things I do nowadays.  I was in high school or close to it when I was exposed to the internet.  I remember we got AOL installed at home and my friend and I would go online and chat with people and stuff.  I don’t really remember when or how it became the all-pervasive thing it is today, though, by the time I was in college it was part of every day life.  Especially for someone like me who was on the computer all the time anyway. Warning: meandering off the topic here.  I majored in computer graphics, so was usually in the lab until the wee hours of the morning working on projects.  We had a great lab – a small room just for the graphics folks. We had a TV/VCR and a radio and we’d bring food in even though we weren’t supposed to and we’d watch movies or blare music while we worked.  We were usually the only ones in the building that late at night and we were friends with the security guards, so they didn’t care.  They even joined us sometimes.  OK.  Side trip over.

So what did I do before email, blogs, chat rooms, search engines, Amazon, etc. became a major part of my life?  I watched TV, read a lot, drew and did crafts, got together with friends, etc.  I did probably communicate on the phone a lot more than I do now.  I prefer to e-mail.  And I sent a lot more cards and letters through the mail, too.  And I actually used a phone book (anyone have any fun uses for the phone books that show up the the doorstep that you never actually use? Maybe I’ll look that one up online).  I looked a lot more things up in encyclopedias and dictionaries.  It used to be your first thing was to look up a subject there, then look in the library’s catalog for more info.  Now you go straight online and do a Google search or check out wikipedia.  And most schools nowadays have subscriptions to online journals so you don’t even have to go to the library to read an article.  I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.  When I was a kid I’d take a volume of the encyclopedia set we owned with me into the bathroom (i did mention I’m a bathroom reader before, right?) and read the whole thing, cover to cover.  And I think it teaches a child a lot more to have them look up a word in a dictionary than to just look it up online.  

let’s see, what else?  Oh, and I used to write a diary/journal in notebooks instead of online, like this.  THough, the way I wrote them, it was always as if I was writing for someone else to read them, even though it wasn’t public.  Except for one year in high school when we had to keep a journal for English class and Creative Writing class.  The English class one you could usually just BS something because the teacher didn’t actually read it, just checked that something was written, but the Creative writing one was actually read by the teacher and we used it for assignments, too. Oh, and I had to actually go to a store to buy things. I love online shopping now, though I still go into stores all the time.  I’m not sure if online shopping is better or worse.  I think I may make fewer impulse buys online than when in a store, but I can find a wider variety of things online, so who knows.

Bottom line: though I love my internet connection and use it everyday in a myriad of ways, I do know that life goes on without it and I would survive if it suddenly went away.  But, let’s just hope it stays around for a good long while, shall we?

To read other people’s Writer WOrkshops entries, go here:



  1. So funny about the phone book…and so true about the dictionary… I try to encourage my kids to go to the book first before the internet; but of course they look at me like I’m crazy…. that’s just too hard to do!! 🙂

  2. Yes, let’s hope it stays around- we’ve ‘discussed’ going without cable/internet to save some cash, but just can’t bring ourselves to pull the plug!

  3. Yeah, what does everyone DO with their phonebooks? Mine sit in a pile and I always feel bad throwing them out….even though I can’t rememeber when I actually used one!

  4. My kids have no idea how to use the dictionary. And their penmanship sucks. As does their spelling “BTW”! lol

  5. yea, i remember doing all that stuff too. sometimes i get nastalgic and write a letter, how funny!



  6. Before the internet I talked on the phone, wrote snail mail, and actually used a phone book, dictionary and thesaurus, too. It’s amazing how times have changed in such a short period of time. I’m actually surprised that phone book companies still publish and distribute phone books these days…..does anyone use them?

  7. Somehow I still manage to read books a good bit, but I never look anything up in the phone book anymore!

  8. It’s a whole different world now..
    Although, I am still an avid reader
    there are many things I don’t use anymore…
    because I can find it online..

  9. I definitely prefer e-mail to phone calls. And I just started my blog in May, and I’ve only made one entry in my journal since then, and that was because it was something I didn’t want other people to know. Haha.

  10. The internet is a lovely lovely time spender. 🙂 I have the exact same memory of chatting with people online after school. I think I even gave someone my address. What can I say…I’m a smart cookie.

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