First, I have to say I am the contest chair for Ozark Creative Writers Conference contest. Some weeks I block on writing a blog. That probably shows up in the ones I do write. This week has been H E Double L.
The weekend spent at the hospital with my husband, who was taken from home by ambulance and put in the cardiac section. Turned out to be either a hiatal hernia or gall bladder. We still don’t know.
Then, after sitting three hours waiting to get him out—cause who wants to work on Sunday, even in a hospital?—and him lying there punching his button and moaning “I want to go home.” every three seconds—we finally trailed in about six o’clock. Then he had to be fed because he was starving. That green stuff looked like a cow’s cud and the chicken was nested on something foreign he couldn’t identify and would not put near his mouth.
Waiting patiently on my computer were messages, pleas asking me to make sure a certain contest submission got in the contest. People who wait till the last minute drive me nuts, but I do understand. It’s just that I can’t handle that. I have to be organized,
have all my ducks in a row and be ahead of schedule on everything, so naturally people who don’t drive me nutty. I still love them, don’t get me wrong. Friends and acquaintances, writers and family galore, I love them all. Some just drive me nuts. As I no doubt do them. About now, if my editor could see that sentence, he’d be turning purple.
So here I am, all the entries sorted to where they belong, envelopes to judges addressed, letters written telling them when to return their choices so I can get them in to the lady who writes the checks and fills out the certificates. I’m ready. But I have to wait for those late comers. Please don’t write me how you were sick, or broke your arm or had your appendix out. I already know and I do understand. But, and that’s a big but, there are those who absolutely cannot be ahead of schedule. They just can’t work that way, even without a broken arm.
I am a gentler, kinder contest chair. You leave your name on the pages, if you only have a few pages, I’ll black it out and send it on to the judge. Most chairs return them. If it’s too many pages to mess with, I make a phone call with a chance to fix it if there’s time.
Next time you enter a contest, please consider that contest chair who has to handle each and every submission, make sure the rules have not been broken before she sorts them into the proper files, and eventually number and remove your cover sheet and mails the bundles off to the individual judges. So, read the rules and follow them explicitly. Don’t drive her nuts.
It’s almost over. I can mail them all Friday morning and relax. But wait. The judges have been reminded that I must have the results by September 26. I can start going nuts again because at least one or two will wait till midnight that night to send theirs. Is there no end to my dilemma? I guess not.
My latest book, Beyond the Moon will officially be out Sept. 30, and will anyone do the stuff that needs to be done? No, not until the last minute, effectively hitting my nuts button once again. It’s just the way the world works. I’m the one who is out of step. Everyone else is doing a fabulous job promoting the book, designing posters and cards. The book is gorgeous. It’s available on preorder for ebook at a discount. So what’s my problem?
How do you handle working with people who don’t understand that you need stuff done weeks ahead of time, not at the last minute? Or maybe you are one of them that drives me nuts.
I am glad your husband is home. Hopefully you will find out which medical problem you are dealing with. And Velda, remember to take time for a coffee!
Thanks, Cathy. I drink iced tea and hot tea. Used to drink coffee, but lost my taste for it except for a latte occasionally. I appreciate your taking the time to comment on my blog.
I am like you, and last minute stuff also drives me nuts. I like to be well ahead of the game, where-ever possible, but when we are reliant on others to do their part before we can satisfy our need for organization, sometimes we have to wait. Infuriating, to say the least! Especially as everyone has intermittent issues, yet some still manage to get things in on time, no matter what happened or didn’t happen. I feel you on this, I really do. Glad Don is home, and perhaps now they can find out what is the problem. Cathy, I always take time for coffee, no matter what. I make sure I get things done and then reward myself with a lovely cup of joe 😉
Thank you for sharing all that, Velda, I have a new appreciation for you and the wonderful things you do for others! I hope your husband is feeling better.
I hope the doctors find out soon what’s ailing Don and hope he feels better soon. Thank you for sharing the Contest Chair’s side of the story when people wait until the last minute. I have to admit, I’ve often done that, actually proud of myself that I beat the deadline. It’s a selfish thing to do–I work far better under pressure. What I haven’t really thought about in any conscious manner, until your post, is how much added stress that puts on the contest chairs. I won’t do it again. 🙂 Hugs, Velda!
Jan, thanks for responding to my nutty post. I received so many entries yesterday evening in the mail, I could hardly carry them from the car to the house. But they’re done and going into envelopes to be mailed in the morning to the judges. Ahhhh.
I’m one who drives you nuts. I have a short story due this Saturday at midnight and I’ve barely started it. But, it will be done by 11:55 pm. Everyone works at their own pace. Best to accept it and move on.
You are so right, Wanda. I do accept it and move on, but sometimes have to vent. Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.
I can sympathize with the scary event for hubby cardiac wing event. And with the contest chair at the last minute thing. That time it was the chair who didn’t get the stuff to me , but “just happened to have copies” of all the entries to send me after my mailbox remained empty and I sent a hysterical notice up the line. “I need the entries yesterday!” We persevere because we are writers who write for the love of it, and for the friends we make along the way. I hope your hubby’s ailment is easily fixed. The problems you mentioned as possibles have both passed through my body and one remains a problem. We keep on keeping on.
Hi Raymona, thanks for responding to my post. I appreciate it. I expect I’ll see you at OCW. I’m looking forward to those few days just having a good time with friends.
There’s a golden pen waiting for you in Writing Heaven.
I’m one of you–not only an on-timer, but an early bird (and a tea drinker as well.) Hope your husband is much better soon!
Thanks for commenting on my blog. He’s feeling better, but still has to find out what caused all the uproar. I’m always sitting around waiting on others to arrive. Can’t help it.
Just laughing her, as I completely understand that feeling. I’ll be ready for ages, then my husband will say, “Are you ready?” and head out the door, making it seem as though I’m the last one ready. 🙂