D.G. Jones, c2005

Denise G. Jones . . .

Writing for The Joy of It

Denise G. Jones has an "insatiable passion for words and language"*. She is the recipient of a 1999 a "Work in Progress" Award of Merit for the first chapter of a biography David Perry: Provincial Soldier, American Patriot from the Society of Childrenís Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). This is a project she hopes to finish in 2007. Writing for the joy of it, she is currently involved in retelling for picture books two ballads, one an 18th-century ghost story. An original picture book is also in the works, as well as a literary companion to the writings of a popular British adult author.
In 1980 Mrs. Jones completed a Master of Music Theory degree at the University of Utah, where her 300-page analytical thesis Form and Unity in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony has been used as a model in the Music Department for both theses and dissertations. Upon graduation, she was offered a position on the faculty teaching music theory but turned it down to raise her children, a decision never to be regretted.
Imbued as a child with a love of learning, and of writing as well as of music, she continued research begun in her teens and started writing seriously, as time permitted, once her children were older. Her voice, rising and falling with the flow of words, sounds, and ideas, was heard by her children from their earliest years as she read to them, often for hours at a stretch, from a broad range of books -- picture books; children's, young adult, and adult fiction and non-fiction: biography, philosophy, fairy tales, folklore, science, art, geography, history, and more. An avid reader, often reading numerous books on various subjects "at once," she has a broad background on which to draw.

Mrs. Jones has completed an editing and retelling of Jeremiah Stokes' Thunder Cave, published in 2001, and a scriptural cento Who Is this Jesus? The Story of Christmas that has been used by families throughout the Wasatch Front since 1996, and has been translated into French and Spanish. An inquisitive, dedicated, and persistent researcher, she is an experienced genealogist and historian; the two subjects are, she feels, inseparable since neither can be fully understood without the other.
In her forthcoming annotated edition of Capt. David Perry's rare 1822 memoir Recollections of An Old Soldier with historical, genealogical, and topographical notes, maps, and illustrations (due to be published in 2007) she will have achieved the culmination of a personal quest to make Perry's memoir accessible to those unfamiliar with the wars and events of which he wrote, and to make it available to a wide audience, from his posterity to universities and historical societies to American and Canadian historians and history enthusiasts. She has researched Perry's life and times for over 30 years and knows more about him than anyone else on the planet. As with all such far-reaching projects, is indebted to many for adding to her knowledge. In 1999, she created The Captain David Perry Web Site based on her electronic edition of 1998 so that as many people as possible might know of him and read his record.
Besides her "passion for words"* -- their sounds, definitions, ambiguities, etymologies -- for Mrs. Jones writing is also a relief and an outlet; she writes, in the words of C.S. Lewis, because she has "something to say" and a creative instinct that needs expression. In 1984, Mrs. Jones is believed to have contracted Lyme Disease, which was never treated. Consequently she suffers from Chronic Lyme Disease, and (apparently as a result) severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFIDS and Fibromyalgia, all of them debilitating illnesses which make writing a slow process. Bedridden for much of the past 11 years, she has been called "a survivor," so necessary when suffering from an illness with a devesatating impact not only on one's life but on one's very identity. "You have to believe," she says, "that some good can come out of the worst circumstances, and that your inner-most self grows and learns things deep and sure, things that, amid howsoever many losses, can never be taken away." Through it all she has found a courage she didn't know she possessed. That, in itself, is a story worth telling.
A resident of Centerville, Utah, Mrs. Jones and her husband of 30 years (a native of Linclonshire, England), have four children and three grandchildren plus one on the way.

--by A.Kitkooh © 2001-2007

* See feature article in the Utah Spirit magazine, June 1, 2005 issue: "Thundering Back to the Past", by Jan Hopkins, Staff Writier, the Davis County Clipper.

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