Friday, August 29, 2014

Ask the Locals: Fawn Germer, author, speaker and Dogedin fan

Posted By on Fri, Aug 29, 2014 at 6:06 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY HEIDI KURPIELA
  • Photo by Heidi Kurpiela

Fawn Germer is a self-help author, international leadership speaker and a four-time Pulitzer-nominated journalist.

She shot to self-help superstardom when her first book, Hard Won Wisdom –– a collection of stirring interviews with 50 high-powered women –– landed on Oprah’s radar over a decade ago.

A former correspondent for the Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report, Germer worked as a staff writer for the Miami Herald and an editor for the Tampa Tribune before Hard Won Wisdom launched her speaking and book-writing career.

The book’s popularity, coupled with Germer’s natural ability to connect with audiences, thrust the writer into the upper echelon of keynote speakers. The 53-year-old Dunedin resident has headlined speaking events for NASA, Microsoft, Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Ford Motor Co., State Farm, Xerox, Kraft and The United States Department of Defense.

She has since published six other books, including the bestseller Mustang Sallies, which features interviews with Hillary Clinton, Martina Navratilova, Susan Sarandon and Erin Brockovich. Her work and her life are a lesson in perseverance. (Hard Won Wisdom was rejected 15 times by every major publisher in the country before it was finally picked up.) She’s currently working on an eighth book about resetting your life to gain deeper meaning and purpose.

Best place to swim with dolphins: Three-Rooker Bar. “There’s a pod off Honeymoon Island and Three Rooker. Even the dolphin babies will play with you. It’s my favorite secluded beach. Go on a weekday, though. On the weekends it’s filled with boats.”

Best place to explore: Egmont Key State Park. “It’s like a National Geographic magazine cover out there. There’s so much erosion and the water is unbelievable.”

Best place to eat with your dog: The Living Room on Main in Dunedin. “For $7 they’ll bring your dog a bowl of grilled salmon with rice, or chicken and green beans. My dog Louie gets so excited when we go to the Living Room.”

Best outdoor workout: Kayaking. “I have a fleet of kayaks. I’ve got single kayaks, double kayaks and a paddleboard. If I’m in town, I’m kayaking.”

Best outdoor seating: Molly Goodheads in Ozona. “It’s the best old-school Florida porch. It’s the best place to hang with a friend and drink a Coke on a cool night.”

Best place to write: Dunedin Boat Club. “I can’t access the Internet so I can’t get distracted. You don’t have to own a boat to be a member. It’s not a yacht club or anything. It’s a ramshackle house with old wood on the walls. Sometimes I’ll do happy hour there with friends. We’ll bring wine and watch the sunset.”

Best pavilion panorama: Café Honeymoon. “It’s shady and has a full view of everything I love.”

Best place to loiter: The Dogedin Mural at Skip’s Bar & Grill in Dunedin. “Everyone congregates at the dog wall, then heads to Kelly’s.”

Best Dunedin event: Mardi Paws. “My golden retriever was the prince of Mardi Paws. He got to lead the parade. People were cheering from the sidelines. He was so happy and proud.”

Best artist-for-hire: Anna Hamilton Fields. “She painted the dog wall at Skip’s and she just painted a beach mural on my front porch. She’s so talented.”

Best place to gain perspective: The beach. “In January I walked 70 miles of the Pinellas Coastline. I needed to reset. I had lost both my parents within months of each other. There’s something really healing about putting one foot in front of the other. It gave me hope and a challenge and a reason to get up in the morning.”

Best local celebs: The Weeki Wachee Mermaids. “I have a thing about those mermaids. They just have a lot of life in them.”

Best place to go tubing: Ichetucknee Springs State Park. “It’s like tubing through a cathedral of trees. There’s nothing but trees and clear-to-the-bottom water.”

Best quiet ritual: Hiking Hammock Park in Dunedin. “I found these two big trees coming out of one root and I put a bench there dedicated to my parents. It’s the Fred and Betty tree.”

Best reason to bike to Tarpon Springs: Rusty’s Pot Belly at Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill. “It’s 22 miles round-trip from my house to Rusty Bellies and it’s worth every mile for that seafood.”

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