I want to apologize to those people who took the time to send me e-mails over the past couple of weeks. I have been slow to respond and the mail has piled up.
As I've mentioned before, the company where I work was destroyed by fire in summer 2012. We kept going with a skeleton crew while we rebuilt and we opened the new facility the first of April. It has been a trial, to say the least.
Our workforce is comprised of older people, many of whom have never lived farther than 10 miles from where they were born and who have been at the same job for 25 or 30 years.
Change is not easy for them (obviously).
The new facility is one of the most modern in the nation. There is almost nothing being done the way it was done before the fire. It has created issues - and it has fallen upon me to train the old dogs how to do new tricks. That sound you hear is me groaning in despair but it was a tradeoff I willingly accepted. The owners proposed the alternative of terminating the long-term employees and replacing them with young and energetic workers who were used to a modern workplace (and who, oh by the way, would make a hell of a lot less money).
It still may come to that. There are some who are unable (or unwilling) to accept the new reality. I'm not certain if they view themselves as indispensible (they're not) or if they're just too set in their ways to do things any way but the way they've always done them. I have only until mid-May to get things lined out or 20 or 30 people will lose their jobs (and, given their age and lack of marketable skills, I don't believe they will find anything else except something paying minimum wage).
So now I have to go to the office every day. I grew used to working out of my house. I miss being able to grab a nap in the middle of the afternoon if I've finished what I needed to get finished. Instead, I'm spending 10 to 12 hours a day beating my head against a wall (albeit a shiny, new wall).
Checking my e-mail has been a pretty low priority, I'm afraid.
I hope this blog post will suffice to let everyone know I truly appreciate their feedback on where my next story should go. Your input was invaluable.
My next story, "Death and a Life in Emerald Cove" will begin Monday morning on StoriesOnline. I found that a great many of the readers either didn't know about FineStories or rarely accessed it. So I will stay on this site for now.
Lazeez has now linked your StoriesOnline password to FineStories, which should help drive traffic to the site. I have decided to do my part for FineStories by posting an original work there later in the year. It is a shorter piece (20 chapters or so) that I finished a few years ago. I'm going through and cleaning up the dated material. I will keep the readers apprised through this blog as to when they can expect to see it.
I also want to thank the kind readers who have offered congratulations on the Clitoride Awards. For those who haven't checked out the site, "A Flawed Diamond" was voted "Best Romantic Story" and finished second in the balloting for "Epic Story of the Year."
I offer my sincere thanks to all who took the time to vote - not only for my story but in general. It is another way for the reader to let the men and women who've spend countless hours working on a story that their efforts were not in vain.
I think that catches me up on everything. If I've forgotten something, I hope I will be forgiven.