What’s Happening in July

Hi posse! Last week I filmed the book trailer for Boot Language.  A book trailer is like a movie trailer, only typically shorter.  I’ve never done anything like this before, hadn’t created a “story board” like professionals do, but I LOVE the power of images.  I could do this, right? My friend and award-winning photographer,…

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What’s Happening in June

Greetings! I promise not to swamp you with newsletters, just an occasional update. Thank you for being part of my posse. Something my older sister Margery said to me recently, stopped me short. We were walking a path above the ocean, telling tales of being exhausted – realizing that although we’re both retired, we’re still…

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Red Rose

Red Rose - Vanya Erickson

I sat with my hospice patient yesterday. There is no typical visit between us, but events might include any of the following: An energetic greeting followed by a short, confused chat, as my patient tries to recall who I am; I play music to spark memory; We hold hands and watch TV together. But it didn’t go like that yesterday.

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For the Love of Writing and Horses

For the Love of Writing and Horses - Vanya Erickson

I’m just coming down from a “work weekend” retreat with the fabulous Laura Davis, three full days of quiet, uninterrupted writing. The setting was a beautiful mountaintop home with windows that framed forest, mist, and sky. It’s the kind of view that muffles the chaos in my head and gives me space to dream about my next book.

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My Choice

My Choice - Vanya Erickson

Have you ever noticed music’s ability to transport you to another time or transform your behavior altogether?   This happens to me all the time.  I use music to mine for stories, to jog memories while working with hospice patients, and to lift the mood after a crummy day or when cleaning the house.

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What’s Next?

What's Next - Vanya Erickson

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.

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Razor’s Edge

Razor's Edge - Vanya Erickson

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.

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The Wind Telephone

wind phone - writing to heal

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.

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The Gift

The Gift - Vanya Erickson

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.

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When Words Fail You

When Words Fail - Vanya Erickson

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?

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