About Vanya Erickson

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So far Vanya Erickson has created 31 blog entries.

What’s Next?

It’s funny how lost I felt when I finished writing Boot Language.  I missed conjuring up the landscape of my past each morning: the scent of red earth and towering Ponderosa pines of the Sierras; the warmth of horse sweat as I removed Oakie’s saddle and blanket after a ride; my parents’ voices in my head as I sat down to type. [Read more]

Razor’s Edge

My 16-year-old daughter Elizabeth stood in the open front door, red-faced and silent. She had just returned from a sleepover at a friend’s house, and was hiding her hair with her hoodie. “You okay, honey?” With two teenagers at home, that question was always on my lips. [Read more]

The Wind Telephone

There are things I never had an opportunity to say to Dad before he died. From my shock of discovering that he was at the attack of Pearl Harbor, to our mutual love of the rugged Sierra Nevadas, what I am unable to ask, haunts me. These are the rocks that sit in my stomach, sharp and unforgiving, day after day. So I write.  [Read more]

The Gift

Standing in my classroom making last-minute preparations, I could hear the buzz of excitement in the hallway. It was Teacher Day - and all the children had been “secretly” asked to surprise their teacher with a blossom from their garden. The school bell electrified their movements as they scurried into line outside their classrooms. I thought of last year’s flowers and grabbed two vases from the cabinet. [Read more]

When Words Fail You

The chatter in my head had been battering me all day. “See?  You’re not a real writer.”  “Who cares about what you have to say?” “Bah! You knew this would happen all along.” A week before, I had signed the publishing contract for my book and now I couldn’t write a damned thing.  The acquiring editor had gushed over my writing - so why this sudden insanity? [Read more]

The Poetry Box

For my birthday a few years ago my sweetheart made me a poetry box for our front garden. It’s surrounded by an old lavender bush and is a weathered thing of beauty, all wood and amber glass, with a window to view the poem from the sidewalk. I make sure the font is large enough to read when I place a new poem out each week. [Read more]

Their Voices Matter

It never ceases to amaze me the things my third grade students have been exposed to. Not a day goes by when I’m not asked something that forces me to respond to their worry. “Where do homeless children eat?” “Why do cell phone companies destroy rainforests to mine for tungsten?” “Will we all die if fossil fuels continue to be used?”  [Read more]

Life Changer

Baby Emily lay on the hospital bed, dwarfed by a sea of crisp white linen. I held my breath, my fingers gripping the cold metal railing by the side of her bed, relieved to be this close after my isolating hours alone in the small “family room” outside the morgue, [Read more]

Good Company

Sometimes I’m not sure if I can make it through the night. Or the hour. Or even the next 30 seconds. The pain behind my left eye is a raging clamp of hot metal on muscle, merciless in its persistence, waking me in my sleep. [Read more]

Good Work

Yesterday I officially told my school district that I’ll be retiring in June. For months now I’ve been purging, each week carrying a box or two of beloved things from my classroom to the faculty room for others to adopt; consulting with my accountant; researching the endless possibilities of what comes next. I’m ready. [Read more]

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