Forgive me, gentle reader (if indeed you exist) if I don’t spend much time on this blog this week.
I’m taking advantage of a hiatus in the deluge that’s currently coming after me, to jot something, keep the words flowing and all that.
I admit it’s rare that I have anything ultra pressing in my life; the last decade or two have been a leisurely time, though this is not something I celebrate, as they have left me miserable and moneyless, and I’d rather have been working and earning and living and loving.
But as I am the only member of the Scottish Arts Club who can spell kompewter, I ended up being the admin wallah for their annual short story competition.
And then the Scottish Portrait Awards (S.P.A.s) in both fine art and photography (let’s not get into the arguments about why photography is not a fine art again).
And then as if that were not enough, the Flash Fiction Competition. And just in case this doesn’t kill me, there are plans for a Scottish Landscape Awards next year.
Now, as each of these comps gets around 400–500 entries, most of which come in in the last few days (never put of to the morrow what you can leave to the bloody last minute), the fact that they are slightly scattered through the year, means I’m usually involved with one or more. And the process for judging the writing awards involves multiple rounds of elimination, with more readers considering each piece as it progresses — and the admin wallah has to try to minimise the number of readers who have seen a story before (until the final stage where all the readers get together to decide what goes to the final arbiters — Alexander McCall Smith for the shorties, Sandra Ireland for the ‘flashers’).
And this week is the closing week for portrait submissions from artists and photographers from or based in Bonny Scotland. If previous years are anything to go by (and numbers are similar), I expect about 300 paintings, a handful of sculptures and 200+ photographs to hit the inbox over the weekend and on Monday. The first year I did this, the Delightful Jing had paid me to go to Paris (many women pay me to go places, but this was unusual in that she was paying me to go to where she was, rather than away), and I had a flight at 0630 — a bad move, when it took me until 4am to process all the incoming. I have nothing but bed rest booked next week — and a visit to the Glasgow Art Club to see my own piccie of said lass on the wall there.
Which admittedly is not a patch on Daniel Murray’s winning painting from last year—
But it’s worse than that, he’s dead, Jim. Not only do I have that to cope with, but rounds of both story readings end in the next couple of days too. So I have to collate 13 teams’ results, feed them into the correct spreadsheets and generate the lists of stories for each of the (rejigged) next round groups, so they all get to see stuff that is mostly new to them and make sure they can access the files and and and … and mainly, not send a mix of pix, and tales and whatever to the wrong people. But like I say, it’s only one week a year. I may yet come out of it alive, worse luck.
On the off chance you want to make my burden even greater, you can enter the competition here (if eligible).
What did I say about not spending much time on this? Hahaha. And just as I finish, the first of today’s paintings comes in.
Back on your heads…