First Impressions

My initial impression of a new place is something I seldom forget. When a place is mentioned, my first impression shows up in my memory. A first impression works like a word association for me. Name a place and my original impression will pop into my head. I can't help it, even if my opinion is different from my first impression. The image is stuck, and I can't forget.

For example, when someone mentions Cincinnati, Ohio, I think of it as a beautiful city, the way I first saw it coming in from the south on highway 75. After getting into the city, the traffic was snarled and slow-going. Some areas didn't look as picturesque as my first view. Nevertheless, when I hear the name Cincinnati, I think of that lovely sloping view the first time my eyes saw the city.

I also have a recurring first impression of Louisville, Kentucky. As a new visitor to the city, I pulled into a parking lot and stepped out of my car. A man got out of a car nearby. He leaned back into his car and shouted, "Get out of the f - ing car!" He was speaking to a small boy, I assumed to be his son. He repeated the crude, shocking request again before the child complied. I know Louisville is famous for the Kentucky Derby. It's the heart of Bluegrass Country. I enjoyed my stay there and did some great shopping. All the same, that man in the parking lot is my lasting impression of Louisville. I shall never forget him.

Of course, places aren't the only ones to leave a lingering impression with people. Writers make a first impression with everyone they encounter. If a writer's work is riddled with typos, it won't be forgotten. If work is submitted in the wrong format, the writer might be remembered as incompetent. In the publishing world, agents, editors, and publishers are too busy to have their time wasted. They all deserve to see our very best. Just like a city, a writer isn't given a second chance to make a good first impression.


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