This is what I was doing when Writing.com was born!
|I had just gotten released from prison on July 2, 2000. Just in time for 4th of July! After spending the 4th in Pismo beach and staying the night at my mom's friend's home, I had to stay at the local homeless shelter. A counselor there told me of a Christian board and care home for the mentally ill, and since I'm diagnosed as bipolar-manic schizo-affective, I qualified. After being interviewed by the lady who ran the place, I moved in that same night, and the lady from the homeless shelter drove me over there.|
It was a nice place, three houses in the countryside of rural Arroyo Grande, California. I got along well with the other guys who lived there, and there was plenty to eat, so I was happy. I was 29 years old and had never been to college. I planned on becoming an electrician, but I needed a semester of algebra in college before I could join. I was always bad in math, so I decided to take general math for a semester, then pre-algebra the following semester, and finally algebra, in that order. The lady who ran the Christian board and care home offered to pay for my tuition, which came to around twenty or thirty dollars after I applied for a BOGG waiver. BOGG stands for Board of Governer's grant, and it pays for my classes because I am a lower income student.
I had to get up at 6:00 in the morning for my first day of school, which was something I wasn't used to. I had to catch a bus to San Luis Obispo, then I had to catch another bus to Cuesta college, which is situated between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay, about eight miles from town. After my first day of class, I looked around the campus and saw that there was a computer lab that was free to use for college card holders; I had paid the extra ten dollars for the card, so I started using the computers.
I signed up for a Yahoo account with the help of a person who worked in the computer lab. I began to explore the Yahoo clubs (They're called groups now), and encountered one dealing with time travel. Different people relayed their experiences with encountering potential time travelers. At some point, I wondered if there were also groups dealing with people getting shrunk, because that had always been a personal fantasy of mine. To my surprise, there were dozens of groups dedicated to size-changing, both growing large and shrinking down to size. I had found my calling!
After several days of checking into those groups, someone posted a link to an interactive shrinking story at Stories.com, so I took a look. I liked the story, so eventually I had to sign up in order to add a chapter. I chose the name Riverdog13, because that was my Yahoo name as well. I began adding chapters like crazy, and soon Stories.com became an addiction for me.
Pepsi cola had a deal where one of their yellow bottle caps was good for 15 minutes of computer time at Kinko's, so I collected about close to a dozen bottle caps and started writing my first story on Stories.com at the Kinko's in San Luis Obispo, about a girl with a shrink ray-gun. It took me two hours to finish the story, and I paid for all of my computer time with those bottle caps! After that, I experimented with interactive stories of my own about girls who interact with shrunken people. The guy who wrote the original interactive shrinking story was too puritan for my tastes, he deleted chapter additions of mine because he felt they were too racy, so I felt that I needed to write my own interactives so I would be free to write as I saw fit.
I was on Stories.com almost daily from September 2000 until February 2002, and I got promoted to Preferred Author and then to Moderator within that time frame, but then I got busted and sent to prison on February 21st, 2002 for yelling at my parole officer over the phone, and I was locked up until November of 2004. When I got released, I found that Stories.com had become Writing.com, and my old account had been deleted. I started a new account at Writing.com, the one I have now as Ace Corona (a Mexican star-pilot character I was going to write about, but I stole his name.) and I have been promoted to Preferred Author once again under my new handle. Also, one of my shrinking stories that I wrote here at Writing.com was published in 2007. Oh, how far I've come thanks to Writing.com, but I'll never forget that magical Autumn in 2000 when I first discovered this site!
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