By PD Martin
Can’t believe it’s my turn now. It’s really happening. This is it…my last Murderati post. What is worthy of my last ever post on Murderati? The plain truth is nothing. There’s no way I can fully commemorate this occasion. But I’ll give it a shot 🙂
Atlhough, being one of the last in line, I can just plagiarise everyone else’s ideas on what to cover! The long goodbye posts from Murderati and ex-Murderati have talked about how they came to Murderati, what it’s meant to them, why they felt it was time to say goodbye, and some of the things they had bookmarked for future posts. Great ideas, guys. Thanks! Here’s my take…
To be honest I have no idea how/why my name came up in the Murderati ranks but I was thrilled when JT asked me if I wanted to join. Thanks JT or whoever suggested little old me. I think my biggest fear in those early days was blogging once a fortnight. What would I say? How could I keep it fresh and interesting? While I had a blog on my website, before Murderati my blogging was sporadic to say the least. To my surprise, I found that for the most part it was actually pretty easy coming up with blog posts and topics. There was probably only a handful of times when I was like ‘What the hell am I going to write about this time?’
Murderati has meant so much to me (it’s hard for words to express how much). I’ve really enjoyed reading others’ posts and being part of this community. But like some of my fellow Murderati have talked about, at times it felt like blogging and Murderati was taking away from my writing time. Last Thursday one of our commenters said to Zoe: “Sorry to see you leave this blog. It’s been a pleasure reading your posts. However if it means more novels from you then I support the decision wholeheartedly.”
And I guess that’s the aim for most of us at Murderati. I think I could blog once a month, but once a fortnight (plus being part of the Murderati community by reading and commenting on others’ posts) has become more difficult. But as Alex said in her last post, it was scrambling to find ‘replacement’ authors that seemed to be happening too often and took a lot of time, too. The logistics of running the blog and keeping it going also took time.
That being said, I am a fan of the longer blog posts (as opposed to the Facebook bites we’ve been talking about) and intend to kick off my once a month schedule at www.pdmartin.com.au/blog. I’ve been trying to work out how to do it – stay on Thursdays but once every four weeks? No, I’ve decided the most logical thing (largely to make sure I don’t forget!) is to post something on the first of every month. I will post a link to that monthly blog on my facebook page and on the Murderati facebook page or just head on over to pdmartin.com.au/blog sometime after the first of each month if you want to keep reading my blogs. We’re also talking about maybe starting up a Murderati discussion board given we know quite a few of our Murderati community members aren’t on Facebook. What do you think?
Like Zoe (words of the week) and David (juke box heroes), I had also invested in my future Murderati blogs. Whenever I thought of a potential topic, I’d open up a Word doc I’ve got called ‘Murderati schedule’ and jot down the idea. Here are some of the topics I had written in that file:
- Travelling with children/toddlers (based on my recent trip!)
- The arch nemesis in crime fiction
- The US political system versus Australia’s (not getting into personal politics, just comparing the systems – e.g. here in Oz we have like six weeks of campaigning before the election and that’s it, plus voting is compulsory (you get fined if you don’t vote).
- Tools of the trade (e.g. Scrivener).
- What’s in a name? Character names and what they mean.
- Self-editing tips.
- More Aussie guest authors (previously I’ve had guests of Kathryn Fox, Lindy Cameron, Katherine Howell and Angela Savage and I was planning on asking these Aussie authors to appear on Murderati, too: Louisa (LA) Larkin, Leigh Redhead, Robin Bowles, Alison Goodman and Tara Moss to name a few. Look them up…you won’t regret it!
I’m also going to ‘borrow’ Gar’s idea from his last post — thinking about some of the posts I’ve written here and linking back my favourites. Some of my favourite posts are:
- Writing ones
- More personal ones
Finally I’d like to say thanks to JT and Pari for starting this blog way back when and for including “The Aussie” in the mix. What’s amazing about my Murderati experience is that I’ve NEVER met any of my fellow Murderatis. How weird is that? It also speaks to the power of fiction (especially crime fiction) to bring people together from different parts of the world, and the power of the internet to make the world a smaller place.
So it’s goodbye from me. Although I’ve rarely posted music/videos, the song that kept playing in my head as I wrote the close of this post was the ‘Goodbye, farewell’ song from the Sound of Music. I was going to link to it here, but as unfortunate timing has it a couple of days ago I was diagnosed with pneumonia and I’m loading this post from a transient Internet connection in hospital and I’m having problems finding a decent YouTube link of it. So, you’ll just need to play the song in your heads, Rati 🙂
I can't believe you posted this from the hospital! You are one dedicated Murderati.
I've really enjoyed sharing the blog with you, P.D. – I love the fact that you brought an Aussie philosophy to the mix. And I always appreciated your thoughtful comments on my posts and the posts of others. I'm really looking forward to the day when we can share a beer or cappuccino – either in the U.S. or Australia, or maybe somewhere in-between, like, oh, how about Ireland?
Recover well, PD. And thank you for all your contributions!
Good lord, in the hospital? Please get well.
I can't believe that writers' conferences and other travels haven't brought all the murderati together in one place and I'm determined to figure out how to do that (assuming it is a good idea). Would be pulling folks from the ends of the earth I know but we all travel, right? Why can't we just all end up in the same place? I will think on that.
In the meantime, thanks so much for opening the door on fiction writers in Australia for all of us, plus many of the other lore we have learned through you. I will tune into your blog and post it on my page so it jangles me when you post. Thanks for all the great past posts and all your encouragement.
Posting from hospital is just the kind of dedication I have come to expect of Murderati writers. The show must go on — but, wow! Thank you for today's and all the others I have so enjoyed.
This has been a very special place, in part because the bloggers and commenters have treated each others differing perspectives with respect and intellectual curiosity. It was always a treat for this rural Canuck to read the Aussie perspective. I can't believe that you have all never met each other in person. I always thought there was a big "cool table" somewhere that you all dined at on a regular basis, and I was lucky to be able to eavesdrop.
Please consider a Murderati place not on Facebook. I am spending my inheritance on books, and always need inspiration.
Get well soon, Phillipa.
I've enjoyed your posts and thanks for reminding me of the 10,000 word one. I've never managed anything close to that, but find I can get a lot done in a short period of time with the right focus.
I like the idea of a Murderati discussion board. I'm on Facebook with most of you, but that just doesn't have the conversations like there are here.
I'll be bookmarking your blog. Looking forward to your future thoughts.
Oh Phillipa, from the hospital? Gracious.
I wish you'd had the time to start up some of those posts, both personal and craft-based. I'm sure they would have been awesome. I may even steal an idea or two….
As for the "Discussion Board" idea, I love it. I'm on facebook, but often the only time I have to get on here and read/chat with fellow 'rati is at work (facebook is blocked here at school – rightfully so). But more than that, it might take the pressure from you all feeling that you HAVE to post and comment. If you need to focus on writing and take a hiatus, do so. The boards (and, undoubtedly, the conversations) would still be there when you returned. It would also eliminate the anxiety of A) finding new authors when others drop out, and B) getting adjusted to the new schedule and the new people, because there would be new people all the time, but you'd still know the voices of the community lifers.
I think it's a grand idea, and I hope you guys give it some serious thought.
You really are the Super Trooper, Phillipa. I think your voice here at Murderati provided a gentleness of spirit and a generosity that I'll miss very much. But I'll see you on the FB page and elsewhere, perhaps, if we get the forum/message board rolling. Meanwhile, get better, get home, and thanks for everything.
Hi all. First off, on the hospital front it's not as bad as it sounds! It's actually a pretty 'good' hospital visit. They needed to get antibiotics into me, so IV and hospital was the way to go but I'm not feeling too bad. Plus I've got a room to myself (with my own bathroom)…TV, bed rest, meals delivered three times a day (plus morning tea, afternoon tea and even supper!
The first day I was in I read for three hours straight and I seriously can't remember the last time I did that. I joked on my Facebook at one point that if I had bathers and a pool view, it would be like my perfect holiday!
And I'm being discharged today (most likely) so I've only been in for three nights 🙂
So like I said…sounds worse than it is. More to come…
Thanks, Stephen. It's been great to share this blog with you, too, even though Friday blogs were often hard for me to get to 🙁
As for the drink, I'm in! Although I might go for a wine or coffee. And so you remember when it's your call, I'll have a chardonnay or pinot on the wine front and soy latte is my preferred coffee! Although if we're in Ireland I'd probably go for a Kilkenny or Caffreys. Did you try those ales?
Sandy, thanks! I'm glad you've enjoyed the blogs and we hope to see you at one of my other 'places' 🙂
Allison, yes, please organise that get together! I did go to Bouchercon once, but it was before I was part of Murderati. But one of these days…
And thanks for all your contributions here too. I've always enjoyed reading your comments on my blogs and of course on others. All the best with your writing!
Thanks, Dee! Luckily I had started working on the blog last week (inspired by all the wonderful goodbye posts) so I only needed to polish and post. But of course we're dedicated here at Murderati!
And as for the cool table…www.murderati.com IS the cool table.
Thanks, Larry. I'm glad you've enjoyed the blogs and hope to 'see' you at my site and of course on Facebook. And good luck with the 10k day!
Hi Jake. I will get to those posts (or at least most of them) in the coming months at my blog. And maybe in the 'new place' if that all goes ahead. And yes, certainly the pros you mentioned make a discussion board a more viable option given our schedules! Alex has been leading the investigations 🙂 Go, Alex!
And as for stealing my blog ideas….hands off! I've got to have some material for my blog, after all 🙂 It's a real pity I didn't get to the arch nemesis, because I think this would have been a good forum for that one. Then again, so would a discussion forum!
Hi David. Aw shucks, thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you've enjoyed my posts and I know I've said it before but I have to say it again…it's been great sharing this forum with you and all the other Rati. And one of these days hopefully in person!
PD, I have so enjoyed hearing the Aussie perspective on the writing life and your struggle with the challenges of new genres and new paths to publication, but equally enjoyed your posts of a more personal nature. Will definitely bookmark your blog and check in over there.
I, too, am curious about the idea of a discussion board. Not sure how that would work — or how much work it would create for someone — but it sounds intriguing.
I know you say your hospital stay is not that bad, but still. Geez, woman. Pneumonia is serious stuff. Take care and try to get some rest.
"So long, farewell…"
It's been great, my friend. I do hope to finally meet you in person soon. And feel better!!!!
Hi KD. Glad you've enjoyed my blogs. It's been great having you as part of our Murderati community and I hope that will continue in one format or another : ) I'm out of hospital now and will definitely try to take it easy although it's not easy with a 2yro and a 6yro!
And now I've got the Sound of Music song in my head again!
Hi JT. Thanks again for inviting me to be part of this amazing blog and community. It's truly been an honour and a pleasure being part of Murderati and 'meeting' everyone, albeit over the internet. And thanks for your feedback and thoughts on that other project (which is now waiting for a final edit).
Phillipa, I'll look for your blog. Thanks for posting your proposed schedule. That will make it easier to track. I've so enjoyed your writing about the children… the cake. xoxo
I'm glad you're at least beginning to be on the mend. I know the hospital isn't a great place to be, but I bet you got more sleep than you normally do at home with the kids!
Thank you so much for being a part of Murderati and opening our worlds further. I feel as though I have a friend in Australia now and hope that someday we do meet.
Be well. I can't wait to read about some of those subjects you mentioned in future posts either on a blog on your own site or the message board.
Phillipa… I just noticed the little note you added that you are in the hospital with pneumonia! How are you, today? Please be well, soon… xoxoxoxo <3