A Brief History of StorySite :
I began writing my very
first story (Texas Gal) in February of 1999. I had, several months earlier, 'discovered'
Fictionmania, and I decided that I would like to try 'my' hand at creating a story that
others might enjoy reading. I had originally intended only a short story, but it somehow
got out of hand and in April I realized that I had written over 600 K and yet had not even
approached the end that I was working towards, so I found a good break point and separated
off Part One. I submitted this story to Fictionmania and resumed work on the tale. After
several weeks of anxiously waiting for my story to appear on Fictionmania I sent an email
to Mindy inquiring about the status of the story. Being a 'newbie' I had no idea that
there was a backlog and I didn't even know if the story had been accepted, or rejected, or
what. I received a nice note back from Mindy saying that the story would appear soon, and
true to her word, a week later it was posted.
The original episode
received some nice reviews and a few fan letters so I was inspired more than ever to
continue work on the story, which was by this time almost completed anyway. In May I
submitted the next three parts of the story to Fictionmania. Shortly after that I began to
get requests for more story parts from the readers who had seen Part 1. At first I told
people that they would be available shortly on FM, but when they didn't show up after a
month I decided to set up my own web page.
As a member of AOL I
was able to set up a small web site using the 3MB of space that they were allowing at that
time. My first site was very amateurish but the main purpose was only to have my stories
available for downloading and it accomplished that. I continued to write my stories, but I
ran out of space in September of 99. When I could no longer post anything, I starting
looking around for a larger web space. After investigating a number of 'free' hosts, I
settled on Geocities. They were giving 11 MB (later increased to 15 MB) and I figured that
that should be adequate for a few years.
I put a lot more effort into
creating my second site and refined the page quite a bit as I learned HTML and Adobe
PhotoShop. By now I had submitted 8 stories to FM but only three had been posted. Texas
Gal parts 2 through 4 had been submitted 4 months earlier and had, as yet, not appeared.
It became obvious that FM was not going to be a satisfactory place to post my stories, so
I began to consider options for a permanent home that would give me all the space that I
would need. My first step was to learn about creating a domain name and then trying to
pick a suitable one that was not already taken. Once I was registered, I found a web-host
who appeared to accommodate my needs, paid the fees, and moved in. I spent a month
building the site, creating the graphics, etc., and announced the opening of this site
late in November of 1999.
StorySite had only been
online for a few weeks when Mindy decided to close FM in December of 1999. I posted an
offer to those authors who did not have their own web page, to join me on StorySite. I
anticipated that a few might take me up on the offer but I never expected the site to
attract the number of authors that it did. The growth, and popularity, of the site has
been phenomenal. Most of it is due, of course, to the wonderful stories that an array of
incredibly gifted and creative authors have contributed. As I write this we have 966
stories from 124 authors.
In January of 2000 I began
to study the Perl language so that I could use that very powerful programming language to
create features for the site that would enhance its use and function. The Perl scripts
control the Reader Counts, CyberBoard, Polling Place, Guestbook, and Interactive Stories.
I have avoided using frames, Dynamic HTML, and Java because some browsers do not support
them. Our chat rooms are Java based but that is unavoidable. Perl script rooms do not
function as well.
The site is best viewed with
Internet Explorer 5.0 or better. For reasons that I have been unable to verify, Netscape
takes too long to load the pages and some users report that their machines freeze up until
the page is loaded. I believe that the problem is that Netscape does not handle nested
tables very well. I have reported the difficulty to Netscape but they have never
I will maintain StorySite
for as long as I am able and hope that you, and every other visitor, find it a pleasurable
place to visit.