florida life

So I know for my next blog post, I promised an interview with the infamous Aubrey Gage…but if you’ve read Love Means Zero, Living in a Postcard, or Only May in Paris Will Tell…especially Only May in Paris Will Tell…you know Aubrey only gives an interview when she is good and ready, and she loves to play with people’s minds. So, while we wait…(I promise, it’s coming soon!)…I have another topic that really doesn’t relate to any of my books or characters, but to my new life as a Florida resident!

I’ve been coming to Fort Myers my whole life, but I’ve only lived here about 2 1/2 months. In that time, I’ve discovered several eccentricities about Florida life that I thought would be fun to document on my blog. This will be an ongoing post, because I’m sure I’m forgetting things even as I sit here typing.

I have always called Fort Myers Beach my favorite place in the world, and if you’ve read my books, you might know it’s my character Jill’s favorite place as well. 🙂 Moving here was hands down the best decision I could have made, and although the amount of time I’ve lived here (10ish weeks) doesn’t even come close yet to equaling the time I spent here before my move (40ish weeks), I have learned a lot I never knew about life on southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, where:

*we set our air conditioners at 78 degrees, because it’s a good 10-15 degrees cooler than the outdoor temp and feels amazingly refreshing…anything else would be too cold because our bodies would be so unaccustomed to it

*the word “lanai,” which I had probably never uttered before in my life, is part of my everyday vocabulary and a common conversational term, and in my house hunt, it’s my #1 must-have…good thing they are about as common as living rooms here

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the lanai!

 

*other important features in my house hunt include impact glass, hurricane shutters, and as many sliding doors as possible out to the lanai

*hiring a pest control company is not something we do in extreme circumstances, it’s just another monthly bill

*”Do not feed the alligators” signs are common fixtures at neighborhood entrances, where alligators call backyard ponds home…I saw my 1st one on my 3rd day here

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right outside my house =D

 

*it is important to know which evacuation zone I live in…it is Zone A, meaning the 1st ordered to leave in a mandatory hurricane evacuation

*people who work outdoors in 90+ degree weather wear long pants, layers, and long sleeves…because the skin stays cooler when the sun isn’t directly shining on it

*I can sit on the beach in the sun and watch a massive downpour inland or out over the water

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stormy at sea, sunny by me 🙂

 

*storms rarely move west to east, follow any kind of predictable pattern, or last more than 15 minutes

*yardwork consists of pulling branches off the palm trees when they turn brown and dragging them out to the street

*the most likely time for school to be cancelled is late summer through November…hurricane days

*tropical decor can be purchased ANYWHERE, including hardware stores

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found at Ace Hardware

 

*October arrives, and most of the country can start to feel bits and pieces of winter, while for us, the weather only gets better (the rainy season is ending).

Ok, that’s it for now…more as I think of it!

#floridalife #beachlife #islandlife #onlyinflorida

 

 

the crazy thing about postcards

It took me a long time to decide what to call my blog. Two and a half years, really, because two and a half years ago is when I realized I should be blogging. But a few weeks ago, when I started thinking seriously about it, one of the first titles that came to mind was Living in a Postcard. It’s the name of one of my books, and the “living in a postcard” theory, which my characters Hilton and Jill created and use to define their lives, is one I very much believe in too. It’s all about finding those moments you would die for and actually living them. But in the end, the name for my blog came from “The Tigger Song.”

Yeah, “The Tigger Song.” From Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too. If you Google it, it’s everywhere. I remember it from a Tigger jacket I had when I was little. It was printed on the inside of the jacket, and I used to sing it to our cat Tigger, who had markings like a tiger. When I was throwing around titles for my blog and mentioned The Thing About Postcards, it suddenly reminded me of “The Tigger Song,” which I told my mom, and she said, “Yeah, it does!” And when I realized I could even rewrite the song to be about postcards, I knew that was my title. The song would go something like:

“The Postcard Song”

The crazy thing about postcards, is postcards aren’t just blurbs

Their fronts are made out of pictures, their backs are made out of words

They always tell a story, even if it’s just one line

But the craziest thing about postcards, is they capture a moment in time

I think postcards are fascinating, one of the best and most intriguing forms of art and communication in the world. In my book Living in a Postcard, my character Hilton views a postcard as a snapshot of her life at any given moment. And this is what postcards are. Every one of them tells a story of a life at a given moment in time. There’s the most obvious way – when the story is written in a paragraph or two describing what someone is doing on vacation in the place from where the postcard was sent. But even that is just one of many stories told by that particular postcard.

daisyjordan.com/livinginapostcard

daisyjordan.com/livinginapostcard

That postcard also tells a story about the relationship between the person who wrote it and the person at the address printed on it, even though often that story is only known between the two of them. It tells a story about the person or people who took the photograph(s) on the front, or put together the design. It tells a story of the place or thing(s) represented on the front at the time the postcard was created.

Postcards tell other stories too. What about the ones mailed with no writing, only an address, letting the picture on the front speak for itself, along with whatever the recipient reads into the blank space on the other side? What about postcards kept by the person who bought them, as part of a collection or a scrapbook? Those tell a story too, of that person’s travels, where he or she was and what struck him or her about that place that’s reflected in the postcard and immortalized in a personal collection or album. I buy postcards from lots of places I travel, and I have them hanging on a wall in my apartment. I see them every day and they take me back to those places I’ve been and the people who were there with me. They also give me this constant sense of the bigger world, what else is out there besides my small piece of it.

Postcards can tell funny stories, like the one I used to think was so hilarious to send to all my friends when I was in Florida for spring break – the one that was completely black on the front and said “Florida at Night.” Or the ecard postcards online with the hilarious sayings like, “Romeo and Juliet is not a love story. It’s a 3-day relationship between a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old that caused 6 deaths. Sincerely, everyone who actually read it.” Postcards can tell inspiring stories with a beautiful picture or a quote that somehow adds something to your life. They can even tell secrets, like on Post Secret. They tell stories of one moment in time – the people, the place, the feelings.

I heard this quote once I really liked, in a documentary about the Titanic, that talked about “a series of inconsequential events” leading to the sinking of the ship. The idea was that each of these events alone would not have caused the ship to hit the iceberg, but when aligned together, they did. I thought, isn’t everything really caused by a series of inconsequential events? We have seemingly small, random things happen in our lives every day, and we never know which ones will still be affecting us years later. I think of each of these individually inconsequential events as postcards, and when strung together and hung in a row next to each other, they tell part of the story of our lives.

For example, in my life a few of these postcards might be “finding a Tigger jacket in the Disney Store at the mall,” “my dog Abby chasing a cat up a tree,” and “living in Indy for a year.” These events happened over a span of 19 years and would seem to have no relation to each other, and really they don’t, but aligned together, they led to the name of my blog.

Another example for me is this one day I spent in New York City. The events that would’ve by themselves been inconsequential were that it rained in the morning, I tried to go to a movie in the early afternoon but found the showtime listed online didn’t really exist, and LaGuardia Airport was closed for an hour in the late afternoon. Aligned together in that one day, these events led to a discovery that has a major connection to a trilogy I’m writing and a timeless night in New York that I’ll use in some romanticized way in a future book.

It’s such a basic idea, about all these moments that make up our lives, that I never thought about it till I heard that quote in the Titanic documentary. But it’s exactly what my blog will be – a series of entries, each of which tells a small part of the story of my life or my characters’ lives, just like a postcard does.

The crazy thing about postcards is they connect people and places across time. They can be impersonal or intimate; they can tell a complete story or a fraction of one. Everyone can see what they say, yet they can be anonymous. They’re so little, yet they tell the story of the world.

The crazy thing about postcards is they help us piece together the moments of our lives. And those moments, some seemingly inconsequential, some standouts, are the stuff of my books, and now my blog.

So thanks, Abby, for chasing the cat who became Tigger up a tree that one afternoon. 🙂

Tigger and me!

Tigger and me!