Andrea Jackson writes poetry to help her fall asleep, which often leads her poems and short-shorts into the uncharted territory between dreams and waking. She began writing in 1989 while recovering from surgery. Her first story was one page long. It was about a mushroom that was stepped on by a bear but regenerated and came back even stronger. She was emboldened to write it by the memory of volunteering in her son’s kindergarten class. Every child in the class was able to write a story. She thought: if a kindergartner can do this, I can too.
Andrea lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband of 48 years. They have two adult children, one living in Israel and one in Virginia. Before she became a writer, she practiced law for 20 years. She then went back to school for an MFA in creative writing from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Andrea grew up in New York City. Her husband, Bob, grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Seeking a compromise location, they moved to St. Louis in 1969, when Andrea was pregnant with their second child. They sat on unopened book cartons in their newly rented living room to watch Neil Armstrong walk on the moon.
For the past two years, Andrea has been preoccupied with a trove of correspondence her mother accumulated during her long life spanning almost the entire 20th century. Her ostensible goal is to write a novel. Her not-so-hidden agenda is to find answers to the question many adult children ask: Why was my mother so weird? Andrea’s mother, who died in 2000, would have been delighted to be the subject of so much attention, which is why Andrea postponed this project for the decade following her mother’s death. She didn’t want to give her mother the satisfaction.
When she isn’t writing and hobnobbing with other writers, Andrea enjoys participating in a Dinner Theatre group that combines potluck dinners with zestfully amateurish readings of plays, and is active in the Ethical Society of St. Louis (“A Welcoming Home for Humanists”).
Some of Andrea’s published work can be found here:
At Phone Fiction (“The Double,” originally pub’d in Alligator Juniper)