fancy feet: turning my tragedy into hope

I had just dropped off a van full of kids at the pool on a school field trip when I decided I needed a coffee because everyone needs caffeine on a field trip. Home isn’t far, so I made my way there to make my extra dry cappuccino. I opened the door and found Scott in the kitchen. He pointed to a box on the counter. “Your books are here! I wanted to open it, but I thought I should wait for you.”

My books. My heart caught in my throat. Instead of tearing open the box, I circled it. “Go ahead. You can open it.”

Scott ripped open the box and picked up a book. I stared at them. Stacked neatly, one on top of the other, Fancy Feet: turning my tragedy into hope. My sparkly red shoes on every cover. My words on each page. I picked up a book, opened it, and shut it. Chapter 1, 15, 28…Acknowledgments. Uneasiness formed a hard knot in my stomach. I looked over at Scott who had begun to read the book. “You’re reading it now?”

“Yeah. This is awesome. We’ve been waiting a long time for this. Don’t you want to?”

I grabbed my phone and snapped a picture. Because I’m supposed to capture this moment. My book is here. It’s here! I’m supposed to be excited, but I’m not. I’m nervous. Apprehensive. Will people like my book? I snapped a photo of the box of books and posted it to Facebook. “A case of books! That I wrote.”

That hard knot of apprehension bloomed and then slowly shrank as your comments and emails and texts made their way to me sharing in my good news. Because this was good news. In the midst of worry, I’d forgotten this was good news, great news. I wrote a manuscript that became a book that got published. I’m an author.

A few friends and family who picked up early copies gave me more good news. I received texts like this one from my friend Jenn: “Just had to choke back tears at end of chapter 8. It’s so intimate, vulnerable and brave. You just let the reader feel with you. It’s beautiful.” And there were a few back and forth texts from my friend Tanya who said: “The book is so you. All I hear is you.” A request was made to the library for my book which will be a neighborhood’s book club choice. A dream come true.

The hard knot in my stomach disappeared and I felt gratitude, relief, and, finally, a sliver of excitement. People like my book. They’re seeing what I want for them to see. Through burns, amputations, the loss of a best friend, enduring more than 20 surgeries and a trial, there was hope. Hope was there from the beginning, woven through my entire journey, and here today.

I am thrilled to announce that you can pre-order my book today! For a sneak peek of Fancy Feet and purchasing a signed copy or finding other buying options look here. Can you hear my squeal of joy?

17 thoughts on “fancy feet: turning my tragedy into hope

  1. Ann

    Congratulations, Heidi! I can’t wait to read it and have the satisfaction of hearing your voice throughout the entire journey rather than just a blog post.

    Yup, enjoy this moment. You’ve lived and worked so hard for it!!

  2. Alexis Bass

    Yay! I’m so excited for you!! It seems like just yesterday we were sitting in Bellevue wondering IF our books would ever be published. Now it’s only a matter of when. 🙂 Can’t wait to read it!

  3. Katie

    well done Heidi!!!! I just read the prologue and am blown away; it’s beautiful. I’m all teary eyed from Scott’s letter; I didn’t realize he was such a romantic! Can’t wait to read the rest. Hope you celebrate this achievement all summer!

  4. Emily

    I can’t wait to read it!!! You should be so very proud. You have set such an amazingly brave and beautiful example for your children as well. I’m sure they must be excited to say that their mom is a published author!!! enjoy this moment!

  5. Kate

    Awesome! I’ll be there to pick up my copy in a couple of weeks. Maybe I’ll bring pie.

  6. Alexandra

    I have just finished your book.

    I am without words, if you could only place your hand on my heart, and feel my gratefulness for illuminating my life with your story.

    I can’t speak right now, I am so moved.

    The energy you have sent out into the world with this work, can only be called divine.

    I am honored to know you.

  7. Tracye Baldwin

    I’m happy for you! I’ve been following your blog for some time now, and enjoy what you write and will be reading your book 🙂 Congratulations!

  8. Julia

    Squealing for you, love! I am SO PROUD of you!!!!!

    (And OF COURSE people like your book! You wrote it, and you are amazing. xoxoxo)

  9. julie gardner

    Can you hear me jumping up and down for you all the way out here in California?

    Yeah. We’ve got a reputation for earthquakes but I suspect it’s merely my enthusiasm.

    Just ordered my first copy and will soon order a five-pack for my book club.

    Girl, you DID IT! Much love to you. And deep breaths.

    Soak it up. All of it.

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