July -- Have face to face conversation with Local Herald. She writes down my proposed arms and my email address. Says she will conflict-check and get back to me.
August -- Have not heard from her yet. I download the forms and start filling them out. I get her email address from the Baronial website and I email her to ask her how I should fill out the names forms. She replies that I should summarize my documentation in the blank area. She lets me know I can submit them to her at business meetings or the last populace meeting of each month. My work schedule conflicts with business meetings so I plan to go to populace, last week of the month, and deliver my forms.
late August -- I have filled out the names form and start coloring my device forms. I overhear a friend complaining about having to buy special markers for her form. I was using Prismacolor pencils. I email Local Herald again and she confirms that I have to use Crayola markers. I get her reply the day before populace and I do not have time to color more forms before the deadline. I miss getting to turn in my forms that month.
September -- Populace is rained out and Local Herald does not attend. Neither do I.
October -- I give the forms to a friend who attends the business meetings and hope she can turn them in for me. The Local Herald does not attend the business meeting. Later that month at the populace/fighter practice, Local Herald arrives while I am sparring with a friend and she disappears before I have finished sparring.
November -- The herald is at the business meeting but my friend had given up and left the forms at home. Later in the month the Herald announces a Heraldry Meeting at populace. My friend puts the forms in the car. Two hours before populace, Local Herald emails the baronial list and cancels the heraldry meeting. My friend takes the forms out of the car. The herald shows up at populace anyway. I restrain my friend from killing the herald then and there.
December -- I SNAIL MAIL the damn forms to the herald.
A week later, after she has already sent in the December packet, she emails me to say that I left information out of the name documentation summary. It needs two extra sentences. After some discussion of logistics, she decides life will be easier if she writes in the extra info herself. She tells me she will send the forms in with the January packet.
December 29th -- she emails me again. here is the full text:
I ran your device by the senior Ansteorran heralds prior to submitting it.
There seems to be a conflict. Some change needs to be made to your device in
order to register it.
<Name Edited Out -- editor>
Azure, a lion dormant and on a chief argent 3 rondels azure.
Looking in the SCA Ordinary at http://oanda.sca.org/ordinary/
the category 'Beast-Cat-1-Argent-Couchant' (Note: The "Dormant" posture has no
CD versus "Couchant" in SCA Heraldry, so they are listed in the same category)
There we find
The following device associated with this name was registered in December of
1993 (via Atlantia):
Azure, a lion couchant and on a chief argent three roundels azure.
With nothing granted for difference in posture, this looks like a no CD
Now, she did not suggest which changes might be necessary, which I found unhelpful since I don't know enough about heraldry to figure that out on my own. But worse, the device she describes as conflicting with mine is not only NOT similar to my device, it has ZERO points of similarity. As I understand her blazoning, she is talking about a shield that is mostly blue with a silver bar across the top. The blue part has a silver lion on it, and the lion is lying down. The silver bar at the top has three blue dots spread out.
MY proposed device has a red field covered in gold ermine spots. There is a gold badger rampant facing the viewer's right. There is a gold scalloped border. Lookee, it is in my livejournal icon!
At what point does my device conflict with a silver lion on a solid blue background? If that's a conflict then I conflict with everyone who has ever registered a mammal of any kind!
So I email her for clarification and she replied that she might have mistyped the blazon when she emailed the Kingdom herald, and she would check the emails when she got home. I would love to see the blazon she sent in . . .
So finally, one day, in frustration, I vent to the friend I had earlier entrusted to carry around my paperwork. She passed my message to another friend, who then forwarded everything to her Heraldry-Enabled Husband. Now, get this, Heraldry-Enabled Husband is DEPLOYED in one of those Middle-Eastern Countries where people get blown up by bombs. But he manages, with a slight delay for time-zone issues, to resolve my "conflict" issue in less than two hours. Using his mighty Internet-Fu, to discover that the email Local Herald had sent to the Ansteorran list contained references to two different devices. One was mine, the *other* device is the one that conflicts with the silver and blue lion.
In fact, Heraldry-Enabled Man let me know that there were no known conflicts with my proposed device. In fact, I could have left off half the details and still would have come in conflict-free. But I like those little flourishes, so they stay anyway. Once I read his email, I started work on a whole new set of submission forms.
Local Herald - 0, Dude in a War-Zone - 4 million.
I pow-wowed with SnuffleupaDon and soldiergrrrl and we decided that I had two choices really: Either ask Local Herald to return my money and paperwork, and then I send it in 'over her head', OR, don't say anything to Local Herald and just go over her head anyway, resigning myself to paying twice.
I have this perverse desire to see how long it will take for Local Herald to send in my forms. So far, she has never written back to me after her comment about "I'll check when I get home." That was two weeks ago. If I asked for her to return my paperwork now, I might be waiting until April to get it back so I could forward them over her head. But If I just send the duplicate forms directly to the kingdom level, and pay for it all over again, I may be out another few bucks, but I get to sit and giggle whenever she finally emails me back. Seriously, I have a feeling she will email the day after she mails in the January packet to tell me about some other delay . . .
Don't worry, if by some miracle she does send in my forms, and the kingdom wants to know why the same documents were submitted twice, I will say something tactful and vague about the holiday season making it difficult to meet for Heraldic Consultations. or something.