be bold

My kids know I’ve been writing my story and this has prompted many observations and questions about the crash. Benjamin is caught up in justice. “Did the bad guy go to jail?” “Was he going very fast?” “Did he say sorry?” Yes, he went to jail but nearly didn’t. Yes, he was going very fast. And the last answer is tricky. Annie is taken with what happened later, after the crash. She’s known about me longer and considers herself an authority on the details. “That’s why you have the marks on your arms.” “How did the doctors cut off your legs?” “I’m named after Betty, right? I’m just switched around.” She turns to Ben, “I’m Annie Elizabeth. I’m named after Mommy’s best friend.” Yes. Well, they cut them, but let’s not get into ‘how’ exactly. And yes.

And then one day…

We’re eating dinner. Scott is skydiving, so it’s just me and the kids. Annie looks up from the spaghetti she’s twirling with her fork and says, “I’m glad you didn’t die in the crash.  If you died, you wouldn’t be our mommy.”

I clutch at my heart (oh, my heart) and I am crying which makes Annie cry and Ben continues to slurp his spaghetti, looking at me and then Annie. I get up from my chair, throw my arms around her and squish my cheek against hers, “I’m crying happy tears. I’m happy I lived too. I’m so lucky to be your mommy.”

***

I returned from the PNWA (Pacific Northwest Writers Association) conference with (stealing from Emmy nominated Friday Night Lights) clear eyes and a full heart. I attended the conference because Scott made me and because I’ve detached from the book. I’d been staring at my screen slack-jawed and eyes blank, knowing I must fill in the growing gap between me and getting the story out there. I needed this conference.

I was lucky enough to meet these brave and lovely women, Alexis Bass, Alisha Sanvicens, Claire Carey (who doesn’t have a blog, but should!) and Joanna Roddy, who ended up being my guides through the conference and guides in boldness. They sparkled, pitched their stories, and shone. Surrounded with people that live to write and the lucky few that write to live, and hearing stories of how writers earned the title, author, I was inspired. Annie’s words tapped me on the shoulder reminding me to finish what I started. I’m here for a reason – to tell the story.

I know what it means to be bold, how deep you have to go sometimes to find it and at other times you wear it like a coat. You throw it on and oh-hey-it-fits-and-it’s-comfortable! If I hadn’t stuck up my hand during Saturday’s workshop to give the shortest synopsis of my book ever I wouldn’t have met Kim Kircher or read an early release of her book The Next 15 Minutes which is incredible and everyone should read it when it comes out in October. Seriously, it’s crazy good. If it hadn’t been for all of these gutsy women I wouldn’t have pitched my story to a few agents and an editor that day and I wouldn’t have the opportunity to send my material to them. Bold blazed everywhere that weekend and I’m going to continue to follow the light.

33 thoughts on “be bold

  1. Kim Kircher

    Heidi,
    I love this post! Bravo for your boldness and courage. Thank you for your kind words about my book. I too am glad you raised your hand in Janna’s workshop. Otherwise, I never would have heard your amazing story. Let this new courage help you soar as you fill the gap between your current draft and the final product I so look forward to reading.

    1. heidi Post author

      Thank you, Kim. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have the opportunities I did that Saturday. I mean it about your book – I really, really loved it.

  2. Katie

    okay, so now I’m all tear-eyed from Annie’s comment. Wow…….so beautiful, so profound, so true. Life is pretty amazing sometimes. Way to be bold!

  3. Kate Coveny Hood

    How funny – I always think of you as someone who inspires ME to be bold. That conference sounds like a life changing experience. At least it would be for me. And now I feel silly about my last post about a blogging conference, and even more so about the post that I may or may not post tonight.

    1. heidi

      What?! Don’t feel silly! I need to read your post. Along with neglecting my blog I’ve been neglecting all blogs. I blame summer. Now, I’m going to go read your blog!

  4. Joanna Roddy

    “Bold blazed everywhere… and I’m going to continue to follow the light.” Beautiful, Heidi. Truly beautiful. I know you’ll keep us posted on your progress.

    <3 Joey

    1. heidi

      Thank you, Joey, for all the support and encouragement. You are just lovely. I want to hear all about what happens next for you too because I know there definitely will be a next. Can’t wait!

  5. alisha

    And I’m teary eyed right now too! What a gift to all connect at the PNWA and be inspired by one another. I’m certainly inspired by you and your story which needs to get out into the world. 🙂

    1. heidi

      Alisha, it was a gift wasn’t it? That’s exactly how I felt about meeting you and the girls. Thank you for all that you did for me that weekend and thank you for coming over to introduce yourself!

  6. Loraleigh

    Well I could write all kinds of stuff…but all I really want to say is YAHOOO!!!! If I could I’d throw my arms around you and flash you my ear to ear grin! YAHOO!

    1. heidi

      Loraleigh!! If you lived closer we would go for a walk and have coffee and talk and talk and talk. I’ll have to settle for a phone call, but let’s have coffee while we’re talking so if I close my eyes it’s like you’re right beside me. Miss you. And thank you for the YAHOO…I know how much you get this.

  7. Karen

    You go girl! You can count us in on reading that book! Hurry up will ya!!!!(that being said with love :)!

  8. Alexis

    Beautiful story!

    Hanging out with you at the conference was a blast. 🙂 Can’t to hear about your up-coming conference.

    Oh – and I love the FNL reference. How we spent the three days at PNWA without chatting about Tim Riggins and Tami Taylor, I’ll never understand. 🙂

    1. heidi

      Alexis, I know! How did we make it through 3 days without discussing this show at great length?! It should have come up over drinks somewhere. I take parenting advice from Tami Taylor…and Tim Riggins…well, where do I start?

  9. Alexandra

    Oh, my heart, too.

    Just watched the video, and have been reading the first post from your husband, then about your father, and will begin here: this has me riveted.

    When this is a book–and it will be when, not if– I will be among the first to purchase it.

    I am moved to tears with your story.

    And just amazed.

  10. IntenseGuy

    I think Annie Elizabeth has hit the deepest most important part of the story your are telling.

    Perhaps your book could start and end with “I’m glad you didn’t die in the crash. If you died, you wouldn’t be our mommy.”

    I too, am glad – and glad you attended that writers conference – it sounds like it re-energized you.

  11. Ann

    You forgot the most important part…Clear eyes, full hearts, CAN’T LOSE.

    No matter how you do this and when, you can’t lose.

    1. heidi

      Thanks so much, Ann. Who knows how it will all play out in the end, but I’ll get this book out there one way or another.
      (Man, I’m going to miss that show.)

  12. jessica

    just went back and did quite a bit of reading. I’m sorry I haven’t been around much. As always you brought more tears to my eyes. Been doing an awful lot of crying lately.

    I lovey you ms. you are a rock star. Don’t you ever forget it.

    xo

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