Sunday, 15 March 2015

The stress of Mothering Sunday and online competition entries

I wonder if this is one I made earlier!
Mother's Day - supposed to be relaxing isn't it? If only! As leader of a Mothers' Union branch, church on Mothering Sunday can be full of stress and this one certainly was. Firstly, when I arrived I was asked if I'd do the first reading that morning. Having a quick look through to see there were no odd unpronounceable names I agreed - though I get so nervous. My blood pressure must have already been through the roof because we were due to dedicate a Mothers' Union Banner, or rather the vicar was. However, he seemed to have misunderstood which banner it was and I was having kittens about how to sort it out before it all became a farce when one of the church wardens went and had a word with him. But the sorting out came after I read so I had all this going through my mind while trying to keep calm, not speak too fast and make sure the microphone was at my level!

I received my little bunch Daffs at the end of the service (our MU branch makes about 100 on Friday afternoon) then realised the lady in front of me didn't have one so I gave her mine and had to chase the vicar round the church to grab one of the last remaining bunches for myself!

Having survived the morning (oh we had a bake sale as well) I went back at home and with both boys out it was just hubby and I so I sat down to lunch and watched a calming episode of Murder She Wrote - nothing too taxing!

I decided to submit my entry to Mslexia and proceeded to get stressed over numbering the pages of my short story. I had to submit a cover sheet with the story but all as one document. I had no idea how to miss off numbering the cover sheet and start numbers on the next without it wanting to start with page 2! I 'googled it' and followed the instructions but still couldn't get it right. After umpteen attempts it worked. I'm still not sure how I did it and whether I will ever do it again but my stress was not yet over.

I paid the entry fee and looked for a box to upload my file. Couldn't find one. I re-read the entry details and the FAQ. Still no luck. By this time I was coming out in a sweat. I found an email address for queries and sent it there saying I hoped it was right. I went back to FAQ and saw that they said it can take up to 24 hours for the payment to go through and if you don't hear send the story to the email address I'd just used! Why can't Mslexia have an upload button like most other competitions? Please think of the stress levels of participants. I always get anxious about submitting online (especially as my laptop crashed once in the middle of making a payment) so the more these people can do to help the better. Obviously I didn't read the FAQ thoroughly enough first time round but really all the info should be on the main competition page.

I'm now going to stick my head in bucket of something cool!

An interesting collection of Mothers' Day gifts!
Choc, candles and food boxes (I did need these
so I am strangely satisfied!)

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