Hi Ralph Welcome to FW! This is an incredible site filled with amazing people who genuinely want to help others be the best writer possible and all this plus some wonderful Christian fellowship. This is like a family to me and has given me more than I could have dreamed of when I first joined three years ago.
The forums are a great place to get to know one another. The Water Cooler is a place to chill and talk about anything from the weather to just saying howdy. There are a couple of small groups who love and support each other. The Pacific Coast Rest Stop can be found here
or the Southern Porch can be foundthere.
You don't need to be on the Pacific Coast or from The South to pop in and make new friends. I'm from Western NY so am the oddball but the people are amazing. I'll admit the Rest Stop can be a tad wackier than the porch.The prayer Forum offers an opportunity to pray with others or ask for your own prayer requests or share some joys. The Open Forum is the best place to find writing related threads.
One of the biggest draws to FW is the weekly challenge. You do have to be a paid member to participate, but if you can afford the few dollars a month it is so worth it. I've learned to write on a regular basis. Without a deadline, I tend to procrastinate. It has also stretched my imagination with up to 100 or more people writing on the same topic, it's important to finds a way to stay on topic but be different from others. Right now we are on a mini break and there won't be new topics until April, but there are some great stories there. The ones up now are on the topic Sharp. This quarter the topics have all been musical terms that have other meanings.
Also if you decide to post any of your stories, you may want to copy and paste a link to your pieces so people can find it easily.
Don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have or jump into any discussions. I look forward to getting to know you and read some of your work.