December 16, 2012

Wyoming – Home on the Range and of Pauline Baird Jones

I’ve been gone from Wyoming for over thirty years, but when someone asks me where I am from, I say that I am from Wyoming. My home state is rooted deep in my heart.
For me, Wyoming is a small town, a painfully small town. I lived in one so small it had a single streetlight on the main drag. We went shopping in the next state because that was the closest big city. Despite its size, my hometown boasts an unusual theater. 
Wyoming is rich in history (first state to give women the vote), but for me it is about the mountains. I miss the mountains with a deep, abiding ache. There are also wind-swept plains and prairies that are dotted with red anthills so big you can see them from the air when you’re flying over. I’m told that the fire ants are working their way north and that they’ll take out the red ants, but I’m not so sure. The fire ants here in Texas fold like tents when it gets cold.
It gets really cold in Wyoming. And it stays cold for a long time. The summers are short and sometimes, not that hot. But the leaves turn in the fall and I miss that. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from gloating a bit in the winter when it’s 70 degrees here and below zero at home.
Wyoming is a mostly dry place, but there are high, cold lakes, rocky streams, muddy creeks (we call them cricks) and rivers that sometimes go dry in the summer and collect ice in the winter. They get a nice boost from the snowfall--when there is snowfall.
There are probably more people in this corner of Houston where I live, than in the whole state of Wyoming. And no, I don’t know everyone’s name. Wyomingites are used to a lot of personal space around them.
I have learned that “where ever I take my eyes, they most often see things from a Wyoming point of view.” Which means that often my characters hail from Wyoming, even if they aren’t living there anymore.
In Out of Time, Wyoming is where Mel goes to recover between her Make Mel Cry Uncle gigs. Like me, Mel is shaped by her Wyoming roots and it gives her strength when she travels back in time to World War II, gets shot down in war torn France and falls in love with a man she can never have. Out of Time is available in print and digital editions and will be releasing soon in audio format at Audible and iTunes.
Next time you have the chance to drive through Wyoming, I hope you’ll pause, check out what’s there and go off that one freeway. Drive along the narrow highways winding through amazing scenery. It is so worth it. Wyoming has most of Yellowstone inside its borders, the Tetons and the Big Horns—well, 80% of Wyoming is federal land of one sort or another, so it wouldn’t hurt to take the time to see what you’re paying for. It’s pretty amazing.  
My hubby has more photos of Wyoming, because he hails from there, too. Check out these Flickr collections: 
Out of Time: A time travel/action adventure/romance. 
What happens when a twenty-first century woman on a mission to change the past meets a thoroughly 1940s man trying to stay alive in the hellish skies over war-torn Europe?
Melanie “Mel” Morton is an adventure reporter. She’s all about doing her job and finishing her grandfather’s biography.
Enter Jack Hamilton, sexy octogenarian, genius/scientist and former WWII bomber pilot. 
What he tells Mel sends her on her craziest adventure yet.
Pauline Baird Jones had a tough time with reality from the get-go. After “schooling” from FOUR brothers, she knew some people needed love and others needed shooting. Pauline figured she could do both. Romantic suspense was the logical starting point, but there were more worlds to explore, more rules to break and minds to bend. She grabbed her pocket watch and time travel device and dove through the wormhole into the world of science fiction and even some Steampunk.
Now she wanders among the genres, trying a little of this and a lot of that, rampaging through her characters' lives like Godzilla because she does love her peril (when it's not happening to her). Never fear, she gives her characters happy endings. Well, the good characters. The bad ones get justice. 

You can find Pauline on the web here:

(pictures provided by author and wyojones collections


  1. Wyoming sounds so beautiful. I need to visit. Thanks for sharing.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. And it's a wrap for another year of 50 states, Annette! Thanks for all the hardwork! And for letting me share my love of my home state this year. :-)

  3. Great blog about Wyoming, one my to-visit-one-day list of states. Been to Idaho and Utah, but not Wyoming or your neighbor Montana. Love the cover of your book, the heroine is so happy. Lots of luck with your books.

  4. I've been to Wyoming and its beauty and magesty have stayed with me over the years. What I love most about Wyoming is the fiercely independent spirit of its people.
    I love the premis for your book Out of Time. I especially liked her "time travel device". I thoroughly enjoy time travel.
    I wish you all the best.

  5. Amazing state, but way, way too much winter for my liking.

  6. Thanks, Sarah! I loved writing Out of Time! And yeah, JR. there is a LOT of winter in Wyoming. LOLOL!

    But it is a beautiful state. Hoping we can retire there, though the hubs doesn't like the winter anymore either.

  7. Wyoming sounds beautiful. I went through WY by train many years ago and I still remember seeing the majestic mountains from the train window.

  8. The one year we made it that far west, there was a drought in Wyoming, so we weren't allowed to have campfires and had to go out to eat or cook on our pop-up camper's stove. The kids weren't happy, but the scenery was wonderful. We loved Devil's Tower and the drive where you can see for miles and miles, but you are really very far away from your destination.

  9. never been to Wyoming, but I can picture it pretty well since I'm a Colorado neighbor. I want to visit one day.

  10. Pauline and Annette, I loved this post! My first trip to Wyoming was right after I retired and hubby took me to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore. I live in NOrth Carolina and love our Smoky Mountains, but the Rockies were so majestic with plenty of snow the last week in May. I feel in love with the state. Hubby got in a horseback ride in Cody while I wrote and emailed awesome pictures back home. I told him I wanted to go back to Wyoming some day. In September, I got my wish for our 45th anniversary. We went to Jackson Hole and hubby went elk hunting while I hunted for moose, bear, and writing inspiration. Thanks for a great post. Pauline, let me know when you're heading back. I might have to join you;-)Continued success with your writing, gals.

  11. I haven't had a chance to visit Wyoming, but it surely is beautiful.

    And your book sounds like a fun read.

  12. D'Ann, hi! waving at you!

    Susan - I will let you know! Sounds like you had a great time! Cody is where we plan to settle if we can get back there! :-)


Follow 50 Authors from 50 States blog for the latest