April 14, 2015 -- Say the word “writer,” and most people think of an author of fiction. But there are many kinds of writers, aren’t there? Authors of fiction and nonfiction, poets, lyricists, composers, science writers, journalists, academic writers, literary critics, theater critics, art critics, textbook writers, screenwriters, playwrights, essayists, technical writers – I could go on and on.
As a blogger, I’m keenly sensitive to others’ rights to privacy, and that sensitivity severely restricts what I write about when blogging. For my husband and me, the main events in our lives this past winter and early spring have involved important events for others, and so I just could not very well blog about those events without violating others’ privacy – hence the big gap in this blog.
Now I will say this. My husband (who is a writer of textbooks and academic books) and I (a science writer and blogger) are buying a house from a woman (an academic writer of some renown in her field) and selling our land to a couple (both of whom are writers of other kinds). Now all we need is another writer to come along and buy our house. Seriously, anyone could buy our house, but it seems that only writers are involved in this real estate transaction web so for.
We will go ahead with the purchase of the house even if we haven’t yet sold our current house yet – waiting for the right writer to come along . . . .
In this house, Tom has written and edited many textbook editions. He finished an academic book here, The Ivory Leg in the Ebony Cabinet: Madness, Race, and Gender in Victorian America. Here I’ve written about nuclear waste, vitrification of mixed chemical and high-level nuclear waste, environmental clean-up projects, the releases of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee, and many other lovely topics.
Other people, in other houses on Sanibel Island, have written poetry, works of fiction, music, and commentaries in their homes. Just about every kind of writing you can imagine may have taken place on Sanibel. Somebody, at some time, has probably even written porn on Sanibel.
A significant number of my favorite writers live, or have lived, in Florida. I’m thinking about Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiaasen, Peter Matthiessen, Karen Russell, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Zora Neale Hurston, and many more. Locally, there is a journalist who amazes me with his commentaries. His name is Roger Williams; I admire his writing and his courage to tell it like it is, with style. I also admire the work of his wife, Amy. She’s a fine essayist whose column you can find on the inside cover of Tropicalia magazine almost every Sunday.
Here’s one you may not have heard of: Mary E. Dawson, the author of The River Way Home. If you love south Florida, please read that historical novel.
Does Florida have more than its share of writers? I think it may. Florida offers so much to write about, for every kind of writer. The topics spread wide and smooth and they move slowly, like sheet flow through the Everglades. Focus, and you might find one that suits you.
(Note to my writer friends whom I did not mention: I'm just respecting your privacy.)