Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Romance of Uniforms

Photo by Juhu from Wikimedia CommonsYesterday I was chatting on the phone to a girl-friend. She mentioned her significant other was doing a plumbing job and had put on his overalls. 'He looks really good in them, too,' she said.

I agreed that men in overalls are sexy. Then I admit, 'Men in any kind of uniform are sexy to me. A paramedic in his greens, a musician in his tux, a doctor in a white coat, a policeman.'

'Face it, you're easy,' she said, and we both laughed.

Afterwards I considered the romance of uniforms. What is it that I find so

I suppose the following:

Military Uniforms - Army, RAF, Navy - these men are trained to protect me.
Police Uniforms - these men are trained to protect me and to assist me.
Paramedic uniforms - these men are trained to help me.

All of the above may also be involved in high stakes, life and death situations. And the other men in uniform? The overall boys? The overall uniform suggests competence and skill and commitment. Men who are masters in their craft.

So yes, all uniforms are sexy to me.

I also think women's uniforms are amazing and that all women in the services and medical professions are equally worthy of respect and admiration.

Armor, too, is another great uniform.

One uniform I'd have loved to wear is that of a pirate!

How about you?

Lindsay Townsend

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Entering Writing Contests…worth the effort or not?

You see a writing contest advertised. You have the perfect entry, so should you go for it?

From a personal viewpoint, I’d have to say, yes.

Writing contests have been good to me. In fact, the first money I ever made as a writer was from a contest. And here are some other reasons why I think entering a contest is worth the effort.

You Learn to Meet Deadlines
If you’re new to writing (yes, some well established writers struggle with this too), one thing you have to do is work to an editor’s deadline. By entering a contest, you get firsthand experience in turning in work on a certain date. Plus, if you need some extra motivation to finish a story or even get something started, a contest deadline might be the extra kick in the butt you need.

Free Critiques
Well, if the contest has an entry fee it’s not entirely free but either way if you’re a new writer or changing genres, entering a contest can give you some valuable feedback. Sometimes the critique will even come from an editor or agent. They might tell you what you’re doing wrong, what you need to work on. Who knows their advice might even lead to a contract.

Your Work Gets Read
More publishers are going the agent only route when it comes to submissions, even some agents are getting picking about who can and who can’t send them work. Enter a contest and just the right editor or agent might see your work. It might be someone who’s looking for a particular story, a particular voice and that story or voice might be yours.

You Can Earn Some Money
Just like me, winning a contest might even garner you your first paycheck as a writer.

If You Win
If you win the contest or even just the runner up, it’s proof that you have talent; that you stand out from the crowd. You know you’re on the right track so keep writing.

You Get to Say…
You’re an award winning writer. It gets attention…it has a nice sound to it!

Susan Palmquist won the Loft Children’s Literature Award with her book for children called The One and Only that was later published by Hearts on Fire Books. She has also been the runner up in more short story contests than she can remember. Last year she was one of the 12 finalists in the Harry Bowling Prize for When the Devil Comes to Call, one of her many WIPs. Look for her next novel Sleeping with Fairies this December from Lyrical Press. For sneak peek at the cover, visit her Web site at

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