As a high school student, Teddy briefly considered a career as a writer. “You’ll never make any money at that,” advised her father. Her teachers at the public schools in Iowa Park, Texas had always praised her writing and encouraged her voracious (and indiscriminate) reading. But like most teenagers, she had no real sense of vocation and little real notion of “what to be when she grew up.”
The contest announcement from Wichita General Hospital School of Nursing posted on a school bulletin board caught her eye. She was interested primarily because the writer of the winning essay, “What I Can Contribute to My Community As A Professional Nurse,” would receive her first semester of nursing school free. Writing did pay after all, and that first semester (free of charge) assured her that nursing was something she could be good at. She promised herself that writing could come later. Meanwhile she’d learn about people.
Fast forward. Years passed. She gained two college degrees in nursing and a Ph.D. in Education, became a teacher of nurses, learned about college administration and academia, was founding Dean of the new School of Nursing at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, did some research, became a Family Nurse Practitioner and learned a lot about people. And she wrote. None of what she wrote was intended as fiction. She wrote course materials, journal articles, a textbook that won an American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year designation, stacks of reports and grant proposals and notebooks filled with her observations about people.
Years in Lubbock, Texas piqued her interest in farm and ranch life. It’s natural- she’s a small town girl with an uncle who ranched and cousins who farmed. She focused on rural health promotion and secured a spot as a monthly columnist for The Farmer Stockman. That column ran for 13 years until the magazine ceased publication after 102 years, in 2013. When she and her husband decided in 2001 to quit their “real jobs” and begin farming, opportunity presented itself. “If you’re going to write,” she said, “now’s the time.” It’s the perfect match with farming in the Texas Panhandle.
Teddy is author of Jackson’s Pond, Texas: A Novel; Halfwide: A Novel; Left Early, Arrived Late: Scenes from the Life of Marcia Muth, Memory Painter, a biography, and co-author of A Stone For Every Journey, a biographical novel and 100 Doses: Capsules of Advice and Wisdom for the Health and Well-being of Farm and Ranch Women. For Teddy Jones’ Complete C.V., Click here.