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50 Famous Floridians

Here on day three of this little Florida series, we’re going to take a look at 50 famous Floridians. Yesterday we looked at 25 Strange Florida Laws, and the day before that we looked at 25 Strange/Interesting Florida Facts.

  1. Ariana Grande (Pop Singer/Actress) – Boca Raton, FL
  2. Andre Johnson (Football Wood Receiver) – Miami, FL
  3. Bella Thorne (Actress/Dancer) – Pembroke Pines, FL
  4. Boof Bonser (Baseball Pitcher) – Saint Petersburg, FL
  5. Bob Ross (Painter/Art Instructor/Television Host) – Daytona Beach, FL
  6. Debbie Harry (Singer/Songwriter/Playboy Bunny) – Miami, FL
  7. Dave Eiland (Baseball Player) – Dade City, FL
  8. Delta Burke (Actress/Producer/Author) – Orlando, FL
  9. Deion Sanders (Football Corner Back/Analyst/Baseball Player) – For Myers, FL
  10. GloZell Green (YouTube Star) – Miami, FL
  11. Jazz Jennings (Transgender Woman/LGBTQ Rights Activist) – Miami, FL
  12. Jacqueline Cochran (WWII Pioneer in American Aviation/Helped Form WAAC & WASP) – Muscogee, FL
  13. Jim Morrison (“The Doors” lead singer/Songwriter/Poet) – Melbourne, FL
  14. Kelly Kelly (Wrestler/Model) – Jacksonville, FL
  15. Kelly Slater (Professional Surfer) – Cocoa Beach, FL
  16. Lillian Smith (Writer/Critic) – Jasper, FL
  17. Maurice “Trick Daddy” Young (Rapper/Producer) – Liberty City, FL
  18. Norman Reedus (Actor) – Hollywood, FL
  19. Ronnie Van Zant (“Lynard Skynard” Singer/Songwriter) – Jacksonville, FL
  20. Ryan Pickett (Football Nose Tackle) – Zephyrhills, FL
  21. Ray Lewis (Football Linebacker) – Bartow, FL
  22. Scott “Carrot Top” Thompson (Comedian/Actor/Director/Producer/Writer) – Rockledge, FL
  23. Tom Petty (Singer/Songwriter/Musician/Producer/Actor) – Gainesville, FL
  24. Tom Gordon (Baseball Pitcher) – Sebring, FL
  25. Victoria Justice (Actress/Pop Singer) – Hollywood, FL
  26. Warren Sapp (Football Defensive Tackle) – Plymouth, FL
  27. Wallace Amos, Jr. (TV Personality/Founder of “Famous Amos” Chocolate Chip Cookie Brand) – Tallahassee, FL
  28. Wesley Snipes (Actor/Producer/Martial Artist) – Orlando, FL
  29. Wilmer Valderrama (Actor/Singer/Producer) – Miami, FL
  30. Adassa (Reggae Singer/Songwriter) – Miami, FL
  31. Ace Hood (Rapper) – Port St Lucie, FL
  32. Alex Avila (Baseball Catcher) – Hialeah, FL
  33. Carl Hiaasen (Novelist/Journalist) – Fort Lauderdale, FL
  34. Chipper Jones (Baseball Player) – DeLand, FL
  35. Desmond Child (Songwriter/Musician/Producer) – Gainesville, FL
  36. Donnie Van Zant (“.38 Special” Singer/Guitarist) – Jacksonville, FL
  37. David Bellamy (“Bellamy Brothers” Singer) – Darby, FL
  38. Elizabeth Ashley (Actress) – Ocala, FL
  39. Fabiano Caruana (Chess Grandmaster/US Chess Champion) – Miami, FL
  40. Fernando Bujones (Dancer) – Miami, FL
  41. Greg Eklund (“Everclear” Drummer) – Jacksonville, FL
  42. Geno Smith (Football Quarterback) – Miami, FL
  43. Homer Bellamy (“Bellamy Brothers” Singer) – Darby, FL
  44. Jason Derulo (Singer) – Miami, FL
  45. Josh Kaufman (Singer/Songwriter/Pianist) – Sarasota, FL
  46. Jim Courier (Professional Tennis Player) – Sanford, FL
  47. Jeff Mathis (Baseball Catcher) – Mariana, FL
  48. Janet Reno (1st Female US Attorney General) – Miami, FL
  49. Katy Mixon (Actress) – Pensacola, FL
  50. Julio Oscar Mechoso (Actor) – Miami, FL

If you’ve been enjoying these neat Florida facts, be sure to check out the book Florida: Lightning, Oranges, & Space Travel (Think You Know Your States? Book 1). The Think You Know Your States? Series is a fun little series full of facts about the US states. Also out is Wisconsin: Beer, Cheese, & Football (Think You Know Your States?) (Volume 2). Plus, keep an eye out for volume three, West Virginia: Bridges, Mountains, & Coal, due out in April!

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25 Strange Florida Laws

Following up on yesterday’s post, 25 Strange/Interesting Florida Facts, we’re going to take a look today at 25 strange Florida laws. Enjoy!

  1. Florida’s state constitution allows for freedom of speech, a trial by jury, and for pregnant pigs not to be confined in cages.
  2. In Florida, if an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.
  3. It is illegal to sing in a public place while wearing a swimsuit.
  4. It is illegal to have sexual relations with a porcupine.
  5. It is illegal to shower naked.
  6. It is against the law to put livestock on a school bus.
  7. Gay men are not allowed into bars unless they are accompanied by a child.
  8. It is unlawful to dream about another man’s wife or cow.
  9. The molestation of trash cans in Daytona Beach, Florida, is banned.
  10. Cape Coral, Florida says that it is considered against city ordinance for anyone to hand their clothes outside on a clothesline.
  11. Torpedoes may not be set off within Destin, Florida city limits.
  12. In Miami, Florida is unlawful to imitate any species of animal.
  13. In Miami, Florida it is illegal to whistle while riding a bicycle.
  14. In Pensacola, Florida it is illegal for a person to carry less than ten dollars on their person if downtown.
  15. In Pensacola, Florida, a woman may be fined (only after death) for electrocuting herself in a bathtub of water using self beautification utensils.
  16. In Seaside, Florida, there is a law in place which says all of the houses must have white picket fences, and full-width, two-story porches.
  17. In Tampa, Florida, a woman may not expose their breasts while performing “topless dancing.”
  18. In Tampa, Florida, it is illegal to eat cottage cheese on Sunday after 6 pm.
  19. In Coral Gables, Florida, pick up trucks are not allowed to be visible after 7 pm.
  20. In Oakland, Florida, the law states that all fiddlers and stay at home fathers are vagrants.
  21. It is prohibited for an unmarried woman to parachute on a Sunday. If this law is broken, the woman risks arrest, fines, and/or jailing.
  22. You may not fart in public after 6 pm.
  23. It is illegal to ride a bike without a helmet, but it is not illegal to drive a motorcycle without one.
  24. It is illegal for any man over the age of 60 to wear a yellow tie while singing the national anthem.
  25. In Destin, Florida, it is considered illegal to sell ice cream inside of a cemetery.

Like what you read? There are a whole lot more strange laws, and plenty of interesting information in Florida: Lightning, Oranges, & Space Travel (Think You Know Your States? Book 1). Go ahead and get yourself a copy.

25 Strange/Interesting Florida Facts

I’ve recently began publishing a series called Think You Know Your States? ┬áthat includes tons of interesting facts, demographic information, historical information, and famous people born in the featured state. Being a natural born Floridian, I naturally began my series with home state as volume one. I’d like to share a bit of information from the book with you today with this post, 25 Strange/Interesting Florida Facts. Tomorrow we’ll be talking about 25 Strange Florida Laws, & the following day we’ll have a listing of 50 Famous Floridians. Make sure to stick around to enjoy all the fun useless knowledge coming your way!

  1. Did you know that Florida isn’t actually the southernmost state? Hawaii is, in fact, located farther south geographically than Florida is!
  2. The state’s name is derived from a Spanish word that means “Feast of Flowers.”
  3. During one point in it’s history, Florida was actually divided into two separate states: East Florida, and West Florida. The capital of East Florida was Pensacola, and the capital of West Florida was St. Augustine.
  4. Florida produces 40% of the whole world’s orange juice supply.
  5. An estimated 1,000 people move to Florida every…single…day.
  6. Nearly 19% of Florida’s population speaks Spanish as a primary language.
  7. Florida actually has no state motto.
  8. There is an average of 1.4 million flashes of lightning per year in the state.
  9. The Everglades National Park encompasses 2,100 square miles. It is also home to the largest mangrove forest, and the slowest moving river in the world.
  10. Stephen Foster, the man who wrote “Suwanee River,” never one saw the Suwanee River. In fact, he never even stepped foot within the state of Florida!
  11. Florida is one of the very few states that do not have a personal income tax.
  12. There was no minimum wage law in place in Florida until 2004.
  13. There is no place in Florida that is more than 60 miles from the ocean.
  14. During the age of dinosaurs, the Florida peninsula was underwater and did not yet exist as a land mass. It is for this reason that no dinosaur remains were ever deposited in Florida.
  15. There are 1,700 islands in the Florida Keys, with 42 bridges connecting the islands.
  16. Floridians are often known as “Florida Crackers.” What a Florida Cracker actually is, is a person whose family were a part of Florida’s history or who were early settlers in the state.
  17. The reason that Florida oranges are so tasty is the unique sandy soil and subtropical climate that the oranges grow in. This makes Florida oranges taste unique from any others that you can buy.
  18. The Everglades lay at an elevation of six inches below sea level.
  19. The very first Christmas was celebrated by Hernando De Soto and his men in 1539 in Florida.
  20. Clearwater, Florida has the highest rate of lightning strikes per capita in the US.
  21. Plant City, Florida holds the Guinness record for the world’s largest strawberry shortcake. The shortcake was 827 square foot, and weighted 6,000 pounds! It was made in McCall Park on February 19th, of 1999.
  22. DeFuniak, Florida is home to one of only two naturally round lakes in the entire world.
  23. Potions of many motion pictures were filmed in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area, including: Edward Scissorhands, My Girl, Parent Trap II, and Ocean 11.
  24. Bern’s Steak House, in Tampa, Florida, has the world’s largest working wine cellar.
  25. Everglades City, Florida, has been reputed to be the Stone Crab Capital of The World.

If you enjoyed these 25 strange/interesting Florida facts, you can find plenty more in Florida: Lightning, Oranges, & Space Travel (Think You Know Your States? Book 1).

What Is Pen Possessed, Anyways?

I often get the questions as to what Pen Possessed really is, anyways. Is it a marketing site? Writing site? Book blog? I thought I would take just a moment to answer this question for all my readers, so they fully understand what this blog is all about.

Behind The Name

Let’s start with the name. Where did the term ‘Pen Possessed’ come from? It actually came from a poem I wrote when I was about 16 or 17 years old. Writing, writing, pen possessed… The poem can be found in my collection of Poetry, The Eloquence of A Child: The Poetry of Chelsea Falin, and it’s about that unending drive to write… something, anything. Most writers will understand exactly what I mean. Sometimes there is this feeling that you must write, and if you can not write, it feels very close to implosion.

What Pen Possessed Is

Pen Possessed is my author blog. It is my home base for all my author endeavors, and I feature a lot of different things on it. As I am an eclectic person, I find an eclectic blog best fits me. I feel it also best suits my readers. You are not only authors, bloggers, marketers, etc., after all. You are also people with passions, parents, sons, daughters.

What You Might Find If You Subscribe To The Site

As I mentioned, Pen Possessed is a rather eclectic blog. In addition to posts about myself, my writing, personal experiences, causes I hold dear, and the like, you will mostly find:

  • Writing, Marketing, Editing Advice
  • Trending Articles Revolving Around Writing
  • Latest News On Indie Authors
  • Blog Tours, Cover Reveals
  • Book Reviews

Topics that you will often find me covering outside of this realm include:

  • Parenting
  • Mental & Physical Health
  • Natural Remedies
  • Loss, and Grief
  • Traveling (When I Get The Urge To Up & Go)
  • Ways To Make Money Online/From Home

Conclusion

Hopefully this brief little post will help anyone unsure of what Pen Possessed is all about. I post once to twice a day, and although it mostly revolves around the writing/blogging/indie author world (including myself) there is a lot of other stuff I write about. If you’d like to keep up to date with this eclectic, steady supply of information, make sure you subscribe to the blog. I really appreciate every single one of my readers. Thanks!

Overcoming Adversity – Words of Encouragement From The Dyslexic Author

Today I am the proud, moderately successful indie author of over fifteen publications. I lay claim to having written The Benson Family Chronicles, The Growing Roots Series, The Think You Know Your States Series, two cookbooks, a collection of poetry, and The Southern Dictionary. I work as a freelance content writer and marketing specialist, and run this blog to boot. Although I am far from rich, my writing does (in one form or another) pay the bills. It allows me to work from home, so that I am available to my daughter at all hours.

I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be an author. My earliest memories include making up my own stories, my own songs, my own plays… but they never got written down. They were simply oral portrayals of the thoughts inside my head. Despite wanting to be an author, I hated reading. I despised it. Reading was stupid… but why?

The reason why is the reason many people say they do not enjoy reading. I didn’t know how, I had great difficulty in learning, and it frustrated me. In fact, I could not even read at all until second grade. The first reason was fairly obvious to everyone at my school, and my family. I had a severe speech impediment that affected the way I heard, said, and thus, read and wrote, words. Yet even after three years of speech therapy, and great success in my endeavors there, I still had problems. The school tried to help me, my family tried to help, my mom bought me one reading program after another for home use…

Finally, in second grade we found out that I had dyslexia. The words, to me, just seemed to mix themselves up on the page. When combined with my issues stemming from my speech, it created a very big, very sturdy barrier. I thought I would never become a writer, never succeed in academics despite being a very persistent, determined learner.

Once the issue was determined, however, I was taught new approaches to reading that had me excelling. I learned to read in third grade, and quickly developed an intense love of books. By the time I finished fifth grade, I had not only overcame adversity and two learning disabilities, I was more than advanced for my age. I was reading at a college level! Once that switch for reading was flipped, there was no holding me back, and soon my stories were being put to paper – not to mention the fact that I broke my school’s Accelerated Reader records… twice.

It is strange for me to think that at one point I was far behind in reading, or that I had developed a distaste for something I so dearly love now. It is with an intense feeling of pride that I look back on my childhood, and see the barriers I have overcome. It is true that both problems still affect me a little, now and again. The dyslexia is usually not an issue, but if I’m in a rush or tired, I still tend to write dyslexic, confusing sentences or words as I put them on paper. There are still some words I do not say correctly, although it no longer affects the way I spell or read those words.

The reason I share this story with you is that I know there are so many people out there who have their own issues. Things that stand in the way of their dreams. But if I can go from a 7 year old dyslexic girl with severely dysfunctional comprehension to a 26 year old published author of over 15 titles who has sold thousands of copies of her books, you, too, can do anything you set your mind to.

“If you reach for the moon and fail, at least you’ll land among stars.”

 

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