Santa Cruz Mountains, 2016


Welcome to my site! I am Jonathan Erdman, a writer and a nomadic wanderer. I spend my summers working and living in the beautiful, remote mountain community of McCarthy, Alaska. Winters take me to the Santa Cruz Mountains, in northern California, where I write, hike in the redwoods, spend time with family, and organize with DSA activists (Democratic Socialists of America).

I am an essayist, novelist, and blogger. My writing tends to meander into explorations of the following themes: American culture, the human condition, nature & place, socialism & capitalism, politics. My prefered 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 a religion, I am now a meditation practitioner, always experimenting with my sitting practice.


I have three writing projects in process right now. The first is a novel set in Alaska. I’m taking a break from it, having finished the first draft.

I also share stories and ideas on this website. I write from random life experiences and swap pictures. I also try out new thoughts and ideas, and I write short reviews of stuff I watch and books I read.

Currently, I’m investing most of my writing energy into a book-length nonfiction project exploring the power of stories and narratives to shape our lives, our culture, and our world. What is the greater “American story” that we find ourselves caught up in? And more to the point: is there a better one out there? Given the turbulent times in our culture, is there a new narrative that America could use as a better way forward? Although it is a book exploring big ideas, my writing is memoir-based. I walk through my own life and journey, from rubbing shoulders with activists at Occupy L.A. to the serene landscapes of Alaska to a seven-month volunteer stint on the African continent.



Commercial fishing, Kodiak, Alaska, circa 2011



The first lake, @ Donoho Basin, 2017, McCarthy, AK