Welcome to my site! I am Jonathan Erdman, a writer living something of a nomadic life. I spend my summers writing and living in the beautiful, remote mountain community of McCarthy, Alaska. Winters take me to the Santa Cruz Mountains, in northern California, where I work at a CPA firm, enjoy hikes in the redwoods, spend time with my niece and nephews, and organize with DSA activists (Democratic Socialists of America).
I think of myself as an activist and a philosopher as well as a socialist and a theologian. My primary activist activities are directed through DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), where I’m currently serving as co-Chair of our local DSA Santa Cruz Mountains Branch.
In 2008 I completed a Master’s degree in Theological Studies, with an emphasis on biblical exegesis. I am not, I must stress, a formally trained philosopher, but I nonetheless think of myself as a philosopher, but not in the typical modern sense. I’m more of a philosopher in the ancient Greek sense. The original philosopher was a “lover of wisdom,” someone who lived on the fringes of society, intentionally so because they believed that being immersed in the pleasures and privileges of one’s culture would immunize one toward the pursuit of wisdom and insight. Hence such a person was generally not respected or revered (as academic philosophers are today) but often considered to be a weirdo or a bit of an eccentric, on outlier.
I write fiction, primarily, but I also have a good deal of nonfiction, most of which is posted on this site, including my theological writings from the 2000s. My creative writing projects tend to meander into explorations of the following themes: American culture, the human condition, nature & place, socialism & capitalism, politics, spirituality, religion and the paranormal.
My preferred approach to writing is humor, usually dry humor, a little quirky and off beat. My writing also explores religion and mediation. I grew up in the conservative Midwest, as an Evangelical, and although I no longer belong to any specific religion, I am still deeply engaged in spiritual and theological discussions, particularly in terms of developing and organizing a holistic revolution: spiritual, cultural, and political.
My primary writing project is a book of speculative fiction, set in Alaska. A young woman sets out to build her homestead in her remote home community, just south of the Arctic Circle, but she discovers a radio allowing her to hear things that no ordinary mortal can hear. This leads to various personal crises and challenges that push her deeper into her own family roots and prompts questions about how we handle information and knowledge that we are not yet prepared for.
I have other fiction projects, including short stories and a very long book (or series of books) that I think of as my Impossible Novel. My Impossible Novel is also set in Alaska and explores the lives of outliers who sacrifice stability and a permanent address in exchange for a life of travel and seasonal jobs.
For more on my journey, here’s a post I wrote up on my life in 2019:
And I recently wrote up a memoir of my life, covering the decade just gone by, 2010 to 2020. It’s some substantial reading and also packed with pics. Right now I’ve got it in the form of a post, but I’m looking to transfer it into an ebook format, at some point.