Some of you who keep track of such things (mostly my parents and editors) may have noticed a slight hitch in my column schedule.

I also put together the Midcoast Crossword every other week, so I have a set schedule of side projects that keep me busy. Crossword one week, column the next.

This was, of course, thrown off this week and last week due to circumstances beyond all control.

One week in the middle of May, there was no column between crosswords. That is because I was granted a larger assignment.

Each year, the Maine Press Association runs the Better Newspaper Contest. You might see the announcement in our pages each year to let our readers know we are out here winning awards.

The MPA website describes the contest as “our one collective chance to recognize, honor and award Maine’s press reporters, photographers, editors, sales, circulation and production crews.”

This year, the powers that be deemed me responsible enough to be put in charge of the daunting task of submitting the Courier-Gazette contest entries.

As a person who regularly forgets to eat dinner before 8 p.m. or go to bed prior to sunrise, this was a big deal. It was an equally big deal as a person who won some of the awards last year and still casually drops into conversations that yes, I am actually an award-winning photographer.

It was also a lengthy, tedious process that sucked up most of my work time during the month of March. I had to forego some board and committee meetings to ensure I was able to finish my task on time, which I did, but just barely.

The final submission was completed the first week of June. All 66 entries for The Courier-Gazette were sent to the Maine Press Association June 3. I completed 37 of these submissions and finalized the entry form. News stories, photographs and columns fell under my purview.

I was and am honored to be trusted with something like this.

These awards are very meaningful to myself and my coworkers. They let us know that the journalism community recognizes the excellent work my colleagues, and sometimes myself, do here at the newspapers.

My coworkers and I are all cogs in a giant machine, operating on skinflint deadlines, not enough sleep and too much coffee to get news out to you. We are all moving pieces in a huge rube-goldberg machine, and it only takes one rogue marble to throw off the entire works.

If you know someone who works in the journalism field in any way, from reporter to editor, design and production, thank that person for all the hard work that goes into getting your weekly paper online and to the newsstands.

Every story, advertisement and picture we publish is the most important item to someone, and each week we are trusted to publish three entire newspapers of these.

Thank you for that trust.