Reflections of a reluctant author…
When the marketing person from my publisher first contacted me about joining a group of authors to write a blog, I was both intrigued and a bit intimidated. I recently published a photo book of the cottages in the Pensacola Historic District, and consider myself primarily a photographer – the writing provided background and context for the photographs. So to be given a task meant for “real writers”, in the company of “real authors” was a bit frightening. What do I have to write about?
I was instructed to write about what I’m interested in & passionate about. So here you will find my musings on photography, Pensacola historic districts and preservation, first time “authorship”, and anything else that happens to be on my mind…
So, on my mind today: Having just launched the book, many people have asked “How did you come to write (again, using “write” as a loose term) this book?” And they mean – why this subject? Well, the photos came first…
Although Pensacola is my hometown, I moved away in my early twenties and came back six years ago. In that span of time Pensacola has made some drastic changes (for the better) that led me to spend a lot of time downtown (New shops! Good restaurants!) My love of shopping & eating eventually led to walking around the Seville area for exercise, and awareness of the differences between downtown Pensacola and the homogeneity of the New Tampa neighborhoods from which I had recently come.
At first it was a bit disturbing – above ground electric lines (ugghh), unkept yards (What? no neighborhood covenants?) But the more I looked, I began to see the things that did not exist in New Tampa – the beautiful patina of old wood, decorative scrollwork on turn of the century homes, … HISTORY, charm! So after snapping the first photo of a beautiful cottage, I became enamored with these older homes. I developed a love for the aesthetic of these cottages and their surroundings. In time, I had accumulated about 60 photos of really cool historic, charming dwellings.
And around that time I began to notice some older buildings being demolished to make way for new development. It occurred to me that eventually some of my beloved cottages could suffer the same fate. A quote I ran across once came to mind:
“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.” -Baba Dioum
So with the hope that others could share my appreciation for Pensacola’s oldest neighborhood, I decided to move forward with the concept of the book “Cottage Charm in Historic Seville”.
The Pensacola Historic District is a place that continues to engage me visually, and I love learning more about the folks that built the early dwellings in the neighborhood. In this blog I will touch on these topics. For me, the most fulfilling part about publishing this book has been hearing from people who have an association with one of these cottages. If you have any info on early residents from the district I would love to hear from you!
For more information about Cottage Charm in Historic Seville go to: PensacolaTreasures.com and PensacolaTreasures1821 on Instagram
Sharon can be contacted at PensacolaTreasures@gmail.com