For the purposes of this blog, what’s relevant to know about me is where I live, which is on a grassy ridge in central Colorado, at an elevation of 8900 feet. The nearest town of any size is thirty miles away and very few of my neighbors have a social security number. Their identities are, instead, defined by their habits and roles in the landscape.
Since moving here in 2001, I’ve been observing these neighbors—the deer and elk and coyotes, the juncoes and Clarks nutcrackers and golden eagles and mountain bluebirds, the ants and spiders and bee flies, the chipmunks and packrats and Abert squirrels, the lichen and ponderosa pines and bunchgrasses—trying to figure out how my own habits fit, what role there is for me in this landscape. The county assessor lists me as an owner, but what does it mean to inhabit this ground as opposed to holding legal title to it? My book, Between Urban and Wild, outlines how I began to frame this question, along with others that relate to how we modern humans interact with land and landscape. This blog carries on that line of thought.
I was born and raised in Colorado, and other than a couple of stints in England for study abroad courses, have lived here all my life. These days, I share my home ground with my husband, Doug, and our two horses, Moondo and Jake. In addition to the aforementioned book, my essays have appeared in Orion Magazine; the Christian Science Monitor; High Country News; Wildbranch: An Anthology of Nature, Environmental, and Place-Based Writing, and in Ankle High and Knee Deep: Women Reflect on Western Rural Life.
As the owner of Jones Literary Services, I work from my home office as a freelance indexer, providing back-of-the-book indexing services for authors and publishers. Yes, those tidy columns of phrases and page numbers you find in the back of many nonfiction books are written by people, not computers (the useful ones, are, anyway).
Want to know more? Here are links to some interviews:
Writer, plant biologist, and fellow upper-Arkansas-River-watershed resident Susan J. Tweit discussed essay writing, the act of seeing, humor, indexing, and more with Andrea, for Story Circle Book Reviews.
Holly Carver, acquisitions editor for the University of Iowa Press and series editor for Bur Oak Books, asked me about writing, home, and what’s next in a three-part interview series:
Interview with Andrea M. Jones: part 1
Interview with Andrea M. Jones: part 2
Interview with Andrea M. Jones: part 3
This interview appears on the Trafalgar Square Books Blog: Behind the Scenes: Our Own TSB Indexer Writes a Book About Colorado and Conserving Rural Life (with Horses!)
Essayist and poet Linda M. Hasselstrom offers writing retreats at her family’s ranch in South Dakota, which I try to attend annually. Linda relates a humorous story about book promotion that involves Between Urban and Wild here.