My Florida Writings

Blogged under Publications from Moi by Tammy on Tuesday 21 July 2009 at 8:05 am

I have been book deprived lately, as in not writing a book, so I have to confess a little thrill to see my name in the Table of Contents of at least someone else’s book, Florida in the Popular Imagination: Essays on the Cultural Landscape of the Sunshine State. My chapter starts on page 159, “The Space Coast: Where Dreams Meet Possibilities.” From what I can tell, it is intact for the most part from getting too much attention from an editor’s touch. Someone did do a weird global change, though. Any time I included the acronym KSC, someone added the word “the” in front of it. It sounds weird to me, but I guess I should be grateful that seems to be about it for editing.

I wrote the chapter for this book for a few reasons. First, I wanted to have something other than crafting publications on my CV, but also I have been interested in writing about Florida’s space culture for awhile. I grew up on what is called The Space Coast of Florida, the area around the Space Center. My father was a 30+ year NASA engineer, and I later got my first “real” job as a publications writer (aka technical writer) for Lockheed’s Operations and Maintenance Division located at KSC (not the KSC as there is just one, ya know). It was just about the last place I expected to find myself after graduating with my MA in literature, but it was wonderful on-the-job training for future writing jobs, both technical and crafting.

Honestly, it actually looks like an interesting read, even for those who don’t live in Florida because it focuses on a lot of cultural iconic elements that most people think about when they think about this weird state. I have read a few chapters so far, and they were pretty entertaining and full of lots of little knowledge tid-bits. If you are interested in Florida culture, then this may be a good summer read. Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

This book provides the first critical discussion of popular culture in Florida, which began drawing winter visitors before the Civil War and now boasts more than a hundred million visitors annually. These essays explore many facets of Florida’s culture, examining such topics as the ever-present specters of Mickey, Shamu, and other theme park staples; early tourist sites enjoyed by tin-can campers before the ubiquitous megaparks elbowed out more organically Floridian attractions; Key West as a mecca of queer culture; the infamous relationship between Key West and its favorite son, Ernest Hemingway; and an overview of several iconic Florida institutions, including Bike Week, the Daytona 500, and Spring Break. The work concludes with a look at Florida’s role in the highly controversial presidential election of 2000.

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