The Ericksons

Category Archives: 2019 A to Z Challenge


Blogging

The 2019 A to Z Blogging Challenge didn’t go as expected for me. I spent the months of January and February writing posts for both, Facing Cancer with Grace and Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker. I scheduled them to publish automatically, as I have done in past years, planning to use April to comment on other A to Z bloggers’ posts. In past years, this has been extremely helpful. This year A to Z would take a back seat.In March, my husband’s cancer took a dramatic turn for the worse. By the end of March, after repeated visits to the hospital, including Read more…


Write it down

I had a story idea yesterday. I was particularly excited about it because it was the 2nd idea I had this week, and both were brilliant. I was a creative machine! But, I didn’t write it down, so I forgot it.  It got me wondering how often a brilliant idea is forgotten because we don’t write it down in time. It’s important to keep track of Zen-inspired ideas—those that hit you spontaneously when you aren’t even trying to come up with them.The A to Z Blogging ChallengeI’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here Read more…


Your Charisma

My daughter Sam has charisma. When I asked her when she first knew she had charisma, she said, “It’s like knowing the color of your skin. You might not know what to call it, but you know you’ve got it.” She has always known how to get what she wants. At the age of 8, she struck up a conversation with a comedian who was selling CDs of his Christian comedy act. She asked him about one of the CDs that had a scratch on the cover. She convinced him (with very little effort) to give her the CD. Then, Read more…


see beneath the surface

One of the few arguments my husband and I had was about something beneath the surface. At the time, we were dealing with some discipline issues with our kids. They were typical teenaged issues, but one of our daughters, who is autistic, was taking it personally. So, I felt he was being too hard on her. Normally, it would have been fine, but my concern was that she might question his love for her.Yet, I didn’t want to say this.I didn’t want to say, “What about when you die? What if she doesn’t feel loved by you, and it’s too Read more…


Pain Points

Mills & Boon have been publishing romance novels for over a hundred years, yet it was an unknown self-published author, E. L. James, who hit the best seller list with her “50 Shades of Grey.” For millions of people around the world, it had the “WOW” factor. Somehow it has hit an important known (or unknown) need or want, also known as “pain points.” That’s a little bit of wordplay for readers familiar with the book’s premise.Think a challenge your ideal user is facing.What are their biggest pain points?What would really “wow” them?The A to Z Blogging ChallengeI’m doing double Read more…


visualization for confidence

When my daughter Summer was about a semester into her college experience at the age of 16, she knew what field she wanted to work in. With great confidence, she asked her professor, “How do I get your job?” The professor told her. Since then, she has been on track to work as an art historian.Visualizing success can you the confidence you need to reach your goals.In 2012, social psychologist, Amy Cuddy gave the TED Talk, Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are.[1] In it, she hypothesizes that your body language not only affects the way you interact with Read more…


Pancakes

Today we made pancakes from scratch. They were truly the very best pancakes we’ve ever had. I’d gotten some blueberries on sale and intended to make blueberry pancakes for the family, but within an hour of being home from arriving home from the store, the berries were discovered by one of my daughters, who quickly gobbled half of them up.I let a few days go by, considering the matter closed, but another of my daughters was persistent. She continued to ask for pancakes. She has a terrible cold right now, so I could hardly refuse. My oldest was at school Read more…


Trust Your Intuition

About 12 years ago, I was in the market for a new vehicle. I was newly separated from my ex-husband and a little overwhelmed by the car-buying process. I had done my research, though, and found a few candidates online. One of them was advertised wrong. When I called the number in the ad, I got a New Hampshire car dealership rather than the dealership right down the road in our Twin Cities suburb. Hmmm. My intuition told me I could get  good deal on this van.I quickly went down to the local dealer who actually had the minivan.  When Read more…


simple ideas

Thinking of A to Z posts for both of my blogs is always hard for me to do. This year, I really wanted to keep my posts somewhat shorter than usual and have them require less research to write. I did some brainstorming and came up with several simple ideas for each blog.Theme Ideas for Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker:Heroes and Zeros: Writing Great CharactersNovel Ideas: How to Write a Great NovelNo Nonsense Nonfiction: How to Write a Great Nonfiction BookYour Personal Narrative: Memoir in MotionCool titles, huh? I saved them for next year. Instead, I decided to use the simple ideas Read more…


Reframe the problem

I recently decided to reframe the problem of explaining what it’s like to live with cancer, by creating a complicated graph. In January, we had a crazy week, down at the Mayo Clinic. We had gone thinking my husband would be in a new trial. Then, the doctors discovered what they thought were more brain metastases. These would disqualify him from the trial. So, they cancelled his biopsy and other testing appointments.Meanwhile, the polar vortex hit Minnesota plunging temperatures to record lows. It was so cold that a man died in the very town where we were staying because he Read more…

Dear Readers

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