Jim Ross is managing editor of the Ocala Star-Banner and adjunct instructor in the Department of Journalism at the University of Florida. He is the editor of In Season: Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home, and Places In Between (University Press of Florida). First-time travelers to Florida often imagine the state as just a vacationland or a swamp–a place to visit and to leave behind. But the writers in this collection discover the truth that everyone who’s lived in the state knows. When you venture into Florida you won’t find what you expect, and what you do find will stay with you forever. In these stories, Florida is more than a setting–it’s a character of its own. It stirs up hurricanes and rainstorms, enchants with natural springs and cypress forests, and endures in the face of pollution. For all of these writers, Florida is a force that brings about moments of personal insight and growth, a place where hard lessons are learned, and true joy is experienced. Their essays illustrate that the places we inhabit put a stamp on us, even if we only call them home for a season.