The Ericksons

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…


Question Everything

Many years ago I ended up being the president of the homeschool support group at our church. I say, “ended up,” because after attending only 1 meeting, I agreed to become the vice president and then the president resigned 2 weeks later. So my unexpected rise to power left me feeling pretty overwhelmed. I had to question everything in order to come up with a plan to improve the way we dd things.There were some problemsAs we began to question everything, we started with the attendance. It was really low. There were only about 5 of us. Yet, we had Read more…


Prototypes

For this post about making prototypes, I decided to interview my 16-year-old daughter, Samantha. Whenever anything breaks or needs assembly, I call on her. She thinks like an engineer, which is good because she is going to school to become a biomedical engineer. Last year she made a lightsaber like they use in the Star Wars films.How prototypes can benefit any projectMe: You made a lot of drawings and prototypes prior to actually assembling your lightsaber. In what ways did that help you?Samantha: There is a reason that engineers and researchers make blueprints and prototypes before building whatever device they Read more…


Opposing Viewpoints

Anyone raising teenagers knows the challenge of overcoming opposing viewpoints. They want things one way, but you have rules which say they have to be another. Sometimes it can feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall. Why does she insist on wearing shoes without socks in the winter? Why does he consistently come home 10 minutes later than he was supposed to? What is behind her failing grades or his bad attitude? Likewise, they probably view your rules as restrictive and think you just don’t understand what it’s like to be in their shoes (even if Read more…


Whats not needed

Today we took one of our frequent trips to the Mayo Clinic. We sit in waiting rooms for long stretches of time each day. And each trip can take 2-3 (sometimes 4) days. So, I filled a bag with my kindle, my phone, charging cords, my purse, a sleep mask (in case I was able to catch some zzzzs in the quiet lounge), some snacks, a book to read to Dan on the drive down, another book that I’m preparing to review, and even more things that I later learned were not needed.I often overpack, as if I’m afraid I’ll Read more…


Making a Mistake

Throughout my childhood, and even in my teenage years, I was brave. I lettered in drama by the end of my sophomore year in high school. I was in every play, on the speech team, the debate team, and even the captain of our mock trial team. Then, I went on to art school where I focused on literary art. I was never afraid of failure or making a mistake.Now, I often play it safe, because I’m afraid of making a mistake. I’m not sure why I get so hung up on it, because I’m not the kind of person Read more…


Feedback

I love getting feedback on my projects, whether they are blog posts or books I’m writing. The first people I turn to are my family members. Countless times, their feedback has saved me public embarrassment and ridicule (primarily from them).Another valuable source of feedback is my group of beta readers. As I was writing Facing Cancer as a Parent: How to Help Your Children Cope with Your Cancer, my beta readers gave me feedback that made a big difference in the quality of the book.Trends in FeedbackThe benefit of getting feedback from several people is that you can see trends Read more…

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