Monday, November 24, 2014

Fiction, Gratitude, and Real Change

 
Like most of you, I've begun preparations for Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season. I'm also working like mad to get ready for the January 8th launch of A Killer Retreat. All things considered, it seems appropriate for this blog article to focus on gratitude. 

I’m grateful for so many things: my sweet puppy-girl Tasha, my supportive wonder-spouse Marc, the cool sweetness of the cherry/beet smoothie I drank for breakfast, the warm, soft snuggle socks wrapping my feet. I rarely, however, remember to be grateful for my admittedly saggy mattress, heat I can turn on with the flip of a thermostat, or a safe place to shower every morning.  I take all of that for granted.
 
Many people aren’t nearly so lucky.  

Like George, the murder victim in my first book, Murder Strikes a Pose.
 
George is a completely fictional character, as is the Dollars for Change newspaper that he sells.  His story, however, was inspired by vendors of a similar newspaper in Seattle called Real Change.
 
I’ve always been impressed by the tenets of Real Change.  Real Change publishes stories about the challenges of the homeless in Seattle while employing those same homeless individuals as sales people.  The organization doesn’t offer the homeless a handout; it offers them hand up: the opportunity to earn money while helping promote true social change. 
 
I have befriended many of their vendors.  Some have worked for the paper for well over a decade.   Others get the help they need and move on. One striking woman has not only pulled herself out of life on the street, she has also become an effective advocate for those who are still homeless.  Even though her situation has changed, she knows there is still much more work to be done.
 
It’s easy to walk by and ignore those less fortunate--more comfortable not to look.  But each one of those individuals is a unique human being with an often tragic backstory.  Given the right circumstances, any one of us could find ourselves living on the street next to them.
 
In the opening scene of Murder Strikes a Pose, yoga teacher Kate tries to get rid of the vendor hawking papers outside her yoga studio’s front door. Not because she’s an uncaring person, but because doing so would make her life significantly easier.  Lucky for Kate, George and his crazy German shepherd Bella refuse to leave. Inviting George and Bella into her life will soon change Kate, in every way for the better.  May we all be as lucky.
 
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, filled with abundance, joy, gratitude, and compassion.  May all of our actions help promote real change.
 
Namaste

Tracy Weber

          A Killer Retreat

About Tracy:

My writing is an expression of the things I love best: yoga, dogs, and murder mysteries. I'm a certified yoga teacher and the founder of Whole Life Yoga, an award-winning yoga studio in Seattle, WA. I enjoy sharing my passion for yoga and animals in any form possible.  My husband and I live with our challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha and our bonito flake-loving cat Maggie. When I’m not writing, I spend my time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at my favorite local ale house.

For more information, visit me online at http://tracyweberauthor.com/ and http://wholelifeyoga.com/

2 comments:

Billie Jackson said...

The fact that she was embarrassed that she found him inconvenient at first, makes her so relatable. I love that this book offers something special as well as a great cozy mystery with real heart.

Tracy Weber said...

Thank you so much!