What I Write About


Steph with late husband, James Hinton

Everything I write about is anchored in my own personal experience. I take the world personally, just like everybody else. The stories I tell are meant to inform, amuse and  interrupt your direction.  How does anybody get through the bullshit of life? I try to make something meaningful out of my own struggles, and say out loud the things we all think but can’t admit. So much that passes for sanity, on a closer look, is really insane. Life is essentially dangerous and, as the saying goes, none of us is getting out alive. While I’m here, I want to make sense of it.  This blog is about that.

About Stephanie Ericsson

 I am a writer, author and editor. My book, Companion Through the Darkness, Inner Dialogues on Grief on HarperCollins, became an instant classic and has continued to be for the past 20 years. It was the first book that told the truth about profound grief. Those who read it call it a life-line to sanity during a time when the rest of the world just doesn’t ‘get it.’

I am also the author of the popular essay, “The Ways We Lie”, the cover story for Utne Reader’s issue called, The Whole Truth About Lying, Trust Us, reprinted annually in college English textbooks, where I detail the ways that we lie without knowing it in ten different categories.

About this blog’s name

A couple of years ago, a long time friend, sculptor David Culver, teased me one day,

“Well, have you started your next book, Companion Through the Bullshit?”

Spiral by David Culver

I spit out my tea, laughing so hard. Since the writing of Companion Through the Darkness, which is about surviving deep, life-changing grief, I’ve had, like most people, my share of troubles–the usual stuff– failed relationships, custody battles with my son’s father, poverty, chronic pain, foreclosure, unemployment, etcetera, etcetera. David has been one of those rare friends who stood by during the day-to-day grind of pulling out of life’s tailspins, usually summing up a situation with annoying accuracy. He could match my bad luck stories stride for stride so he was qualified to comment and his dry wit saved him from getting smacked up along side the head.

So when I started this blog recently, I used his title for lack of anything at the time that better describes what I write about. While the blog is under construction, it will do as a temporary name. I’ve struggled with using the term, bullshit, in print. Not that I’m a prude, but swear words seem to carry more punch in print than when they just fall out of our mouths in conversation. But so far, as a writer with a half million words at my disposal, I confess that I still haven’t found another name that nails my writing any better. So, for now, it stays and probably will end up permanent. I apologize to anyone it offends but sometimes you just have to call something by its name.

Still under construction

As I learn the technical end of blogging, I will be changing the look and format of the blog. It, like all ideas we nurse along, is a work in progress. I’m a very visual writer and I use design and form as well as words to get meaning across. Parts of the blog aren’t working yet, but they will be eventually. Meanwhile, I’m grateful to readers who have patience with me and continue to return.

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