"The imaginary friends I had as a kid dropped me because their friends thought I didn't exist." -- Aaron Machado
My game programming efforts suddenly became a lot more successful when I adopted Allegro, the game programming library.
In fact, it proved useful for many purposes, and soon I used Allegro in all my programs.
Looking back at these recently, some of them were really rather good. And although they probably won't run natively on a modern Windows machine, you can run them using DOSBox. Even better, you can run them on Mac and Linux, too!