do i have to go to church on sunday?

Photo courtesy of Bill Betten, Dry Creek Images

Photo courtesy of Bill Betten, Dry Creek Images

Hell no!

I’m sorry.  I couldn’t resist.

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know that I am a regular church goer.  But do I have to go to church to be on God’s “good guy” list.  Nope.  In fact, if any of you go to church because you think you “have” to, you better reevaluate your understanding of, and your relationship with God.  Maybe you should just quit going to church until you figure it out.  Well, maybe that’s pushing it a little too far, but you get my drift.

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why you should tear down your platform

2013-08-31 12.14.10I teach public speaking.  Every year I watch hundreds of speakers.  Every year there are several speakers that break a basic rule of public speaking.  These speakers all share something in common: They stand on a soapbox.  You can insert the word “platform” if you’d like.

I can tell from the moment a speaker starts, whether they have a biased view on their topic.  The ones who have strong biased views immediately lose credibility with their audience because they have a personal agenda.  They’re not providing the audience with fair and balanced information.  They only provide information that furthers their own cause.

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bach on the banjo

Anything is possible.  If Bela Fleck can play Bach on the banjo, anything is possible.

If you’ve never heard Bela Fleck play, you’re missing a treat.  He’s the most innovative banjo player in the music business.  This video is incredible.  Bach on the banjo.

Next time you say “I can’t do that.  It’s impossible.”  Stop.  Remember, anything is possible.  Even Bach on the banjo.



special guest post on stress

I’m off to the Northwest Communication Association Conference in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho with my daughter today.  We’re staying at the beautiful Coeur d’ Alene Resort.  Annie went with me last year and kept herself busy reading while I sat through the sessions.  The payoff for us both is all the good food and the boat ride around the lake.  It’s good stress relief.

Speaking of stress, I’m guest posting today over at Kari Scare’s site Struggle To Victory.  The topic is stress.  Believe me, being a single dad, working full-time, and trying to keep up with writing and blogging can cause stress.  See what I do to deal with it over at Kari’s Blog.

the power of no multiplied

Dan erickson-21Every once in awhile I tell my eight-year-old daughter Annie that I’m thinking about giving up blogging and book writing.

“I spent 80 hours writing and only saw eight dollars in returns,” I told her one evening.

“Do you want to be a quitter, dad?  Like those bloggers that start and quit a month or two later that you’ve told me about?” Annie asked.  ”You’ll never know if your books will make it if you quit.  If you stick with it they might make movies from your books.  Then you can teach others how you did it.”

I’m not kidding.  That’s exactly what she said.

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it’s a dirty job

Today I’m posting over at about a simple, but dirty job.

If you haven’t been over to Hip Diggs, I encourage you to come take a look.  If you or someone you know has knowledge about homeownership, real estate, home loans, home improvement, or anything else “homey,” I offer an open invitation to contribute to the blog and the discussion.

Sometimes home ownership is a dirty job, but someone has to do it.  Come on over to  Home is the journey.

writing: a road to discovery

photo“I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.”
- Robert Frost 

This is something I love about writing.  It’s a journey.  It’s discovery.  Robert Frost’s quote is directed at poetry and I agree 100%.  As you know, I write a lot of poetry.  But I believe that writing in general has this same mysterious quality.

Even as a Master’s student I thought I knew exactly where my thesis on Woody Guthrie would lead, but I really didn’t discover the end until I got there.

Writing is a journey.  Each time we sit down to write we start out on an unexplored trail.  We might follow that trail or we may veer off onto another trail.  But we never know exactly where any trail will lead.

I can write a post about the same topic twice and wind up with completely different perspectives and takeaways.  It’s awesome.  So if you want some true adventure in life, keep writing.  You’ll discover new territory each day.

Have you discovered the adventure of writing?

cascade mountain skyline

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Here’s the fourth song from my book A Train Called Forgiveness.  In this song, the main character, Andy Burden, a.k.a., me, is revisiting his first love.  Andy was the child victim of a cult and was socially inept after his escape, unable to tell his first love how he felt.  It’s a beautiful but sad song with an angry bridge.  Listen!


Recalling the nights ‘neath the bright neon lights

In the city that lies by the sound

Out on the docks with the one that I loved

Together we tore up the town

Now as I roll along, I wonder, where is she now?

Where is she now?

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die with me

Life is beautiful, each breath a gift,

along this path seeking the one

who will not only live by my side,

taking in each wondrous moment,

sharing every dream and bearing

every heartache together,

but will also lay down by my side

and die with me.


To the one who will die with me:

When you are old.

When your eyes begin to fade

and your feet begin to falter.

When your breath becomes labored

and your heart begins to slow.

When the beauty of heaven

surpasses the beauty of this life,

I will lay down and die with you.

the gift of a getaway: when was your last vacation?

2013-09-07 11.38.34When I was a kid we used to go camping each summer.  I remember the place well, Mighty Joe Campground in New Hampshire, like it was yesterday.  I have great memories of camping, hiking, swimming, and sitting by the campfire at night.

In my early adult years, I went for a long stretch without taking many vacations.  But after my daughter Annie was born in 2005, I decided to get back into the habit of taking regular vacations.  Vacations are great for everybody, but especially us writerly type.  Here’s why:

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