Tag Archives: holidays

Dedications, and Thank Yous and Acknowledgements, Oh My!

Until I was a writer, I rarely read the acknowledgements section at the beginning of a book, but I know now that it represents the village of people it takes to write a novel. So, for your reading pleasure, here is a pre-view of the kudos coming when my book is released this Friday. I’m sad that my mom never got to see the dedication, but I was able to tell her about it before she passed. 

Dedication:

To my mom, Marcia. Your support of my writing means the world to me.

Acknowledgements:

First of all, I’d like to thank every reader who has contacted me to tell me that they enjoy my work. Each e-mail, Facebook post, and letter makes my day. Without you, I’m not sure I’d have the fortitude to continue writing.

Karma’s a Killer has a special cast of supporters I want to acknowledge.

My yoga students continue to listen to my grumblings, join in my cheering, attend my events, and support my writing in more ways than I could ever have hoped for. Special thanks to Katie West, who addressed and mailed a seemingly infinite number of packages to my street team members, and Katie Burns, who proofed the manuscript before I submitted it to Midnight Ink.  Thanks also to my agent, Margaret Bail, editors Terri Bischoff and Sandy Sullivan at Midnight Ink, and freelance editor Marta Tanrikulu, who all continue to give me invaluable help and feedback.

Special thanks go to Michael Westerfield, author of The Language of Crows. Michael graciously answered my many questions about crow behavior. His insights about crows raised as fledglings and released to the wild were invaluable.  Of course, if there are any errors in this work—about crows or anything else—they are completely mine.

My husband, Marc, and my real-life Bella, Tasha, continue to be the lights of my life. Anything I accomplish is only possible through their love and support.  Marc gets extra kudos for designing and maintaining my author website.  Tasha gets credit for introducing me to her crow friends and fueling my fascination for these intelligent, underappreciated creatures.

Finally, thank you to all of my street team members. These dedicated individuals spread the word about my writing, pass out my bookmarks, and make me smile on days that otherwise seem glum.  The best part of writing has been connecting with all of you.

Tracy Weber

Karmas a Killer (4)Purchase my newest mystery, KARMA’S A KILLER, now at Amazon Barnes and Noble, or a bookstore near you!

Check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.  A KILLER RETREAT and MURDER STRIKES A POSE are available at book sellers everywhere

‘tis the Season to do Yoga

sheryl

This week’s blog entry was written by guest author Sheryl Stich. Sheryl is a graduate of Whole Life Yoga’s 500-hour yoga teacher training program and a teacher at Whole Life Yoga. She can be contacted at sheryl@calmawakenings.com.

When I was a kid, the holidays were a time of joy and enchantment – but then I grew up! Now I look at the calendar and gasp “Oh my, the holiday season is creeping up too quickly!” My palms start to sweat slightly, my heart rate increases and my breathing is shallow. I need to start thinking about dinners, parties, presents and travel! I wonder out loud, “What can I do this year to ease my way through the holiday season?” Then, I remember my yoga practice. I bring my attention to my breath and pretty soon I am feeling calm and at peace.  Hmm…maybe I can experience the feeling of joy and enchantment during the holidays again.

Our yoga practice offers us a great opportunity to tune into the present moment, helping us become centered and focused, and find the calm and peace deep down inside. Take moments to really notice and enjoy your surroundings this year. The smell of trees, twinkling lights, candles in windows, holiday music (yes, even those old holiday songs can still bring some joy). The simple act of finding your breath—even in the middle of the shopping mall or at dinner with the family—will help you to connect to that ever-present calm within.

As you enjoy some time off of work, maybe a trip or vacation, lots of family – and lots of food – remember it can also mean you could find yourself out of your regular routine or away from your yoga practice – all when you could use yoga the most!

Drawing from my personal experience, I have designed a yoga class series, Yoga for Happy Holidays. If you are like me, your schedule is probably completely nuts during the holidays, but finding time to relax is essential for your sense of well-being. Have a wonderful and relaxing holiday season this year.

Sheryl Stich

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series. 

A Yoga-Centered Holiday

Mike Manning has been a healthy living and fitness aficionado for ten years , but he started practicing yoga two years ago at his wife’s urging.  He uses yoga as a tool to help approach life and relationships in a healthy, balanced manner.

While we all love the holiday season, this time of year also serves its fair share of stress. With all of the shopping, extra get-togethers, cooking, visiting, and coordinating, there is often little time to relax and enjoy. Even though these holiday festivities and responsibilities are enjoyable activities and are most often associated with positive thoughts and energy, the truth is our bodies cannot differentiate between positive and negative stress. So, whether you are feeling it or not, your body is likely welcoming an additional guest this season, and I don’t mean your favorite aunt.

Whether you are planning your family’s holiday meal or not, you deserve a holiday season that is happy and bright. So, how are you going to avoid the fatigue that is so often the season of merrymaking and enjoying? My best advice is to put yoga on your daily to do list and make it a part of your holiday tradition. Follow these simple steps, and enjoy a happy, yogic holiday.

1. Make time every day. While you may not have an hour to set aside every day, try to set aside 15 to 30 minutes to de-stress and center yourself through meditation. Scheduling this time into your day before it even begins is the best way to ensure that you will get to enjoy this time. Whether you need to complete your practice in the early morning or late evening, do not neglect this time. Spend this time breathing deeply, focusing, and centering yourself. Your practice is important. It is a part of you. I make sure to take some time every morning to meditate and center myself and have found it is a phenomenal start to my day.

2. Create a yoga sanctuary. During this time of year especially, our minds and bodies (let alone our houses) often become cluttered with the hustle and bustle. Make sure you take time to find your “sanctuary” within your home. Find a room in your home where you can separate yourself from noise and clutter. Dim the lights and light a few candles and relax into your practice. Consider writing in a journal reflecting on how you are feeling and listen to soothing playlists.

3. Let your practice overflow into your life. Nurturing yourself enables you to nurture those around you. So, be committed to your practice and let the peace you find there overspill into your holiday season. Showing your gratitude and thankfulness toward your family and friends is one of the most rewarding gifts of the holidays. Making gifts very personal to each person on your list is another great way to reflect on your relationships and to help others experience the peace and joy you have found in your practice. For our 1st anniversary my wife gave me a personalized piece of wall art that had a tree on it with out initials carved in it. She got this from a gift-giving site called RedEnvelope that has very customizable gifts for loving couples. This art still hangs in our yoga room and is a symbol of our bond and relationship. These types of gifts are the best to think about when trying to find something memorable for a loved one.

4. Maintain a healthy diet. While it is easy to overindulge during the holidays, overeating and being glutinous only adds more stress to your body. Be selective of what you indulge in (but do let yourself have a treat). Focus on the time spent together rather than just the food of the holidays.

While the holiday season is very much about giving to others, don’t forget to give back to yourself too. Listen to your body and maintain your practice throughout Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season, and see what a difference it makes in your holiday. Let your practice transcend your mat and enter your home and holiday.

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series, available January 8, 2014.  MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available for preorder now from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and other retailers!