Contest Ate My Brain (or: Yes, I’m still alive)

Wow. I need to go back and look at my January “resolutions” post so I can see just how far I’ve fallen.

Let’s see, where to start. Yes, Contest DID eat my brain. I’m not going to try to explain the 7,000 moving parts that make up the contest. I’ll just say that at the end of January, I was supposed to receive in the neighborhood of 350 sets of results from the judges. Some judges have to be reminded, some have to be nudged, and some (whose name rhymes with Dawn) need to have conflagrations ignited under their nether parts.

Then the score sheets have to be magically transferred to the database program. (And half of my readers just fell asleep.) Which means reformatting the score sheets first…is anyone still awake? Should I even mention the ones that don’t magically transfer have to be input by hand? Then if any scores are 25 points apart or more (it happens), we send those to a second round judge. Which is where I stand now. Everything is out to the second round judges. When those results are back…great googly moogly, I’m boring MYSELF now. You don’t care.

But wait, there’s more! If you order now, you’ll get a Ginsu knife!

Which is to say, it’s Girl Scout Cookie season, and I have to Girl Scouts living in my house. Hey, any 8-year old with a missing tooth and a smile can sell cookies. It’s not so easy with  surly, text-addled, acne-prone teenagers with an aptitude for eye-rolling and a penchant for black eye liner. That “aw, cute” factor is gone. So when door to door sales slow down, we occupy the cookie booths. And this is the Girl Scouts of America, people. There are more rules about cookie selling than there are about what you can carry on an airplane these days. And you know how I feel about that.

I also belong to a Book Group, which meets monthly. Lately, some of the ladies have fallen out of the habit of RSVPing in a timely manner. Which normally is not a big deal, but the whole contest/cookie conundrum has turned me into a bit of a cranky pants. I’ve been shepherding this group for more than 15 years now, so it might be time to let someone else drive this particular bus for a while.

Let’s not forget Critique Group, either. This is my actual “work.” It’s based on me giving thoughtful and helpful critiques of their work to the other members, while giving them chapters of my own work for them to critique. Which means I have to produce something for them to critique, or they start giving me surly glances and mumbling under their breath. I can’t just vomit out stream-of-consciousness crap onto the page and call it a chapter, either. These damn people have professional standards, requiring at least a minimum of coherence on my part. Plot and character development. No waiting two months between chapters. No first drafts that haven’t been proofread.

Wah. Wah. Wah.

I won’t even go into Youth Symphony and their plans to dominate the world, trying to find a cocktail dress that fits and flatters (with attendant shoes), or how many times I’ve rescheduled a particular dental x-ray and orthodontist appointment.

But I will be a big tease and tell you I’m planning to add a new feature to the blog. I haven’t quite figured out what to call it. But I feel certain you’ll notice when it goes up. Hint:  look for the word “Hell” in it somewhere. It’ll be a recurring feature that ties in with a book I’m writing. And that’s all I’ll say for now. I have VIP judges to contact, tall buildings to leap, supper to cook.

But I’m still alive. Just call me Crankypants.



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3 responses to “Contest Ate My Brain (or: Yes, I’m still alive)

  1. Sue

    Hey Crankypants, how’s it goin’? Hahahaha . . . I love to frustrate the already frustrated.

  2. Nice blogs.
    I’ve come to the conclusion that making resolutions, especially if one makes the effort to put them on paper (bond or virtual), is most often an excuse to avoid doing the very things the resolutions address.
    Okay, with that out of the way, let me say that I can identify with most of what you write, and can easily find the humor in the worst of it.
    The Girl Scouts will grow up, I promise. I had over 35 years in GS, as Brownie, Girl Scout, Mariner, Camp Counselor, and Troop Leader. Guess who’s old! Despite cookie sales–and calendars, which were worse–I survived with some great memories, and so did the girls in my daughter’s troop.
    As for critique groups . . . I haven’t cried yet. But then, I haven’t been doing it long.

  3. Please don’t quit book club!! 🙂

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