Who are you?

I’m Erika Hammerschmidt, an autistic artist, author, and speaker.

I have a memoir titled Born on the Wrong Planet,
a jewelry website called The Heathersmith,
a webcomic called Abby and Norma,
a speaking business with my husband John,
a co-authored science fiction novel called Kea’s Flight,
and a short story collection called If the World Ended, Would I Notice?

I obsessively love animals, plants, art, miniatures, sparkly things, science fiction, and language.


My husband John C Ricker is a bisexual autistic man who creates sexy science fiction, spoken word poetry, fantastic drawings, psychedelic photography, avant-garde crocheting, fractal woodburning, and the best cooking I’ve ever tasted.

Yayinabox.com was originally John’s personal site. John has a weird way with words (sometimes to the point of incomprehensible aphasia), and the site name started as a funny quote from him. Once, trying to explain his excitement over a pineapple smoothie, he blurted out, “You don’t understand! I’m from Hawaii! It’s like yay in a box!” This became an inside joke, and eventually the name of his website, until he decided to migrate to jcrpda.com and we agreed that Yay in a Box was an even better name for the alien apartment project.


We give speeches together and collaborate on art and writing projects.

We both have lots of past experience with pet birds, including a difficult Amazon parrot named Rain Man, and an exuberant starling named Sirius who could talk, sing like four birds at once, and play the piano.
Sadly, we are without birds at the moment, but we hope to make them a big part of our lives again someday.

We have so many creations that we’re exploding, and we desperately need to share them with the world. Please help!


About the Aliens


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