For the Love of Writing

39 Flares Twitter 22 Facebook 12 Buffer 1 Google+ 4 39 Flares ×

Heide Cave of Fancy Feet







In 1998 Heidi Cave was an active young woman looking forward to all the possibilities life had to offer. That all changed when her car was struck by a reckless driver going more than 100km/hr (60 mph). The car crash resulted in a battle for Heidi’s life that would involve two weeks in a coma, seven months in the BCPFF Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit at Vancouver General Hospital and an additional five months in rehabilitation.

What should have been the darkest chapter of her life became a bright testament to the strength of the human spirit. Heidi is now a wife, mother, motivational speaker and author. The tragedy of the accident has been turned into a life message of hope. She knows the power of love and courage, and how to impart it to others. A gifted speaker, her story has inspired thousands to renew their own hope, and to believe that anything is possible. Her book Fancy Feet: Turning My Tragedy into Hope will be released in spring 2013.

You can follow Heidi on Twitter here. She’s on Facebook here.


The day I knew I had to write my heart was in my throat, tears in my eyes, as I took refuge in my car.

I’m in over my head. 


I want this.

After completing the first day of a course on writing autobiography, in the obscurity of underground parking and a racing heart, I was hit with fear and love. All at once, I knew there was more.

I fell in love with words a long time ago. Sprawled on my bed reading just one more page before I had to turn out the light. Hiding novels inside text books at school. Excited by every creative writing assignment. I felt abandoned each time a great book ended until I found another. Words comforted, brought revelation and moved me to higher ground.

Before the writing course I began a blog on a dare. Fancy Feet became an online corner to store my thoughts and musings on life until it became more. I had been telling my story to people on behalf of the BC Professional Fire Fighters burn fund, speaking to groups large and small about a 23 year-old girl who was in a massive car crash on June 12, 1998. She lost her best friend, suffered burns to her body, the burns so severe her legs needed to be amputated. It was a story of survival and hope, and it began to find its way to my blog. My audience grew, people were interested.

I’d been a reluctant story teller, cold to becoming the poster girl for burn survivors. Yet, speaking for the burn fund was a way to give back to this incredible charity that had a hand in saving me. Writing memoir would be different than writing speeches. There wouldn’t be the gratification of a positive spin and lessons learned in 20 minutes. This would take time, unwinding bandages and scraping 12 year old wounds. I worried about the damage I could do to a mostly healed mind and soul. I worried about room for another story of overcoming adversity. Celebrities’ memoirs of crushing and celebrating their addictions filled the stores. Shelves were lined with powerful testimonies of disease and recovery written by people like you and me. If I wanted to do this well and create a book I needed to learn more about writing.

“Write where the energy is,” the professor said as we pressed pen to paper. I looked around the room on day 2 at our small group, everyone earnest about the task she had given, eager to write what surfaced. As she continued to teach energy was a sign, a snap of God’s fingers. I had to tell the story.

The blog became a rough draft. It was the place to practice, practice, practice; spurred on by my readers, my friends and cheerleaders. Tears were shed, hands wrung and doubt didn’t shut up as I persevered. For two years my story has been turned over and redrawn, criticized and edited, sent to agents and finally, safely landing at a publisher.

In the middle of writing my memoir I joined a writers’ group where passion was fed, better sought and listening required. It was about being open. Open to ideas, feedback and honesty. We need ears as writers  -  to hear what’s being said, what’s not being said and what needs to be said. So we can give a voice to what lies in our hearts and rise to more.


39 Flares Twitter 22 Facebook 12 Buffer 1 Google+ 4 39 Flares ×
This entry was posted in Musings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Alison

    You’re incredibly inspirational, Heidi!

    • heidi

      Thank you so much, Alison!

  • TLanceB

    It’s almost impossible to not be a die-hard fan of your writing and your character. I’m so glad you find your energy. More please.

    • heidi

      Aw, Lance! That means a lot to me coming from you. I’m honored. Thank you.

  • Kerstin Auer

    I’m so glad to have met you and I can’t wait for the book to come out.
    There better be a launch party, ’cause I’m driving down to Vancouver to see you (you know, not in a stalker-kind-of-way ;))

    • heidi

      You can stalk me anytime! I’m glad to have met you too.

  • Lucrecer Braxton

    I loved reading your story. You have me so excited about continuing to grow in my own writing. Blessings to you.

    • heidi

      So nice to meet you! And thank you so much. All the very, very best to you on your writing journey.

  • alexandra

    You are a force of nature.

    I cannot even begin to tell you.


    • heidi

      Thank you, my friend. Truly, truly thank you. From one force to another.

  • Shannon

    I am so glad you found your way to writing allowing all of us to find our ways to you! Can’t wait for the book!

    • heidi

      I can still hardly believe a book is coming after all this.:) Thank you so, so much, Shannon.

  • Gina

    I will be waiting for your book to come out. You, your story, your writing…it’s all amazing. You are truly inspiring. And if you are on a book tour anywhere near Chicago, I will be coming for a signed copy.

    • heidi

      I hope I get to come to Chicago. I would love that and love to meet you!

      Thank you.

    • heidi

      I hope I get to come to Chicago! I would love that and love to meet you. Thank you for your kind, kind words.

  • Julie Gardner

    You are my hero. In every possible way.
    I am so glad you’ve come into my life, Heidi.

    Thank you.

    • heidi

      Julie, I could say the same thing about you! I’m so glad we met and so glad to be on this writing journey with you. You inspire me.

    • heidi

      Julie, I could say the same thing about you! I’m so glad to have met you and so glad we’re on this writing journey together. You inspire me.

  • Jenni Chiu

    I love clicking my mouse and being inspired. Thank you.

    • heidi

      Jenni, thank you so much. :)

  • outlaw mama

    This is fabulous. I just sent it to my writing group. I love Heidi– your voice and your inspiration. But you know what? I bet I would like you even if you hadn’t had the events in your life that started this ball rolling. For some reason I wanted to say that. I cannot wait for the book.

    • heidi

      Christie, that is such a sweet thing to say. The entire comment is sweet, but to say that you would like me even before ‘the accident’ is especially sweet. And? Super honored that you would send this to your writing group. Thank you, thank you for all of this.

  • Mary @ A Teachable Mom

    Your writing is magical and I love this line “I felt abandoned each time a great book ended until I found another.” I’ve felt the same way all of my life. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and your inspiring story! I look forward to reading more.

    • heidi

      Hello Mary! There is nothing like a good book. Nothing. I love meeting a fellow book lover!

      Thank you for your very kind words.

  • Stephanie B.

    To hear what’s being said, what’s not being said, and what needs to be said – that is well said, my friend. You offer us the best definition of perseverance we could ask for. To get through your ordeal, and to write and publish a book about it. I want it, you said, and that is the key to getting it. No one deserves it all more than you, Heidi. I can’t tell you how happy I am to know you.

    • heidi

      Writing this post this week reminded me of how much I wanted this. Somewhere between the business of a book and the many, many revisions I’d forgotten how it all began and the drive behind it. It was great to reconnect with that force, you know? Thank you so much for your words. Words I take to heart. I’m happy to know you.

  • Tara_pohlkottepress

    “write where the energy is” – - such, such good advice! love your words, love your story, love you. so happy to know you {and erin too!}.

    • heidi

      That professor was wonderful. She would begin classes reading poetry, inspiring us and easing us into a day of writing. It was just a one week class, but it changed me.
      So, so happy to know you. xo

  • Galit Breen

    I love that your message surrounds hope.

    That’s so very beautiful, so very you


    • heidi

      Thank you, thank you, Galit! Your words in posts and comments always make me smile. You’re a breath of fresh air.

  • heidi

    Erin, thank you again for having me. It’s been a delight and an honor. Thank you for being so gracious and lovely.

  • Kristin S.

    Heidi, I have been reading your blog, and you inspire me. If you were reluctant to tell your story at first, I can certainly understand! You have come a long way, because your descriptions are vivid and amazing.