by Toni McGee Causey


Here I am, changing things again. Maybe it’s the spring weather we’re having (down here, in NOLA), or maybe it’s the fact that I went to two funerals in the last couple of weeks – one of a cousin who died (not much older than me) from cancer and another who died terribly young (27) from where a car ran a red-light and hit his motorcycle.

Maybe it’s that I’ve become one of those people who start telling a story and wonder if I’ve told that one already. I don’t want to be that person–I want to be out there, living new stories, finding new things, new ways of being. 

When we moved to New Orleans for this job, I knew it would turn everything on its ear, and it pretty much has; I get up in the morning and walk to breakfast, saying hello to more people in a morning than I did all week, back at our house, where we lived out in the suburbs, and even if you got up early in the morning, the most you’d see were cars driving off to work and a few joggers, maybe a mom or two in a stroller, or someone walking a dog. There are layers here, to this place, that I haven’t had the chance to experience, since I’ve never lived in a “city” atmosphere, even though I’ve lived in Baton Rouge all my adult life. (Baton Rouge is a series of neighborhoods, one melting into the other, and it had no real proper “downtown” until just the last few years. It’s a beautiful place to live–just very spread out.)

I’ve had more ideas for stories, having lived here for two months, than I had had in the full two years prior. Stories I’m itching to write. Short. Medium. Long. Different genres. 

What I lack is the time to write them.

I weighed that, for the last year or so. Weighed want I want to do (be a writer) against what I was doing more of (blogging). I didn’t want to let go of blogging. I kept thinking, “But… but what if they forget me?” And this little stab of fear would hit my solar plexus and I would think, “must keep blogging” in order to keep my name out there.

But here’s the thing: keeping my name out there means focusing my time on that instead of telling stories. And what the hell good is my name doing being “out there” if there are no new stories? 

I kept finding myself using experiences or observations to fill the blog. And then, they were used up, husks, and not suitable for recycling into a story. 

So, I’m stepping away from Murderati as a regular, but not without a lot of love for my fellow ‘Rati members, who are truly wonderful and gifted, and not without remorse that I won’t be a part of the group any longer. I’ll be around in the comments on occasion, and I know what will happen — they’ll bring in someone new and exciting and you all will love them, and that fresh perspective will be great for everyone. I can’t even envy that–it’s the way it should be. 

Meanwhile, I want to thank so many of you who’ve read me here over the years. Your comments, your encouragement… honestly, you just cannot know how much you mean to me. You got me through some very dark writing times, when I honestly did not know if I could still write, if I was even a writer any more. You’ve made me smile and you’ve made all of the time here absolutely wonderful. You’ve given me courage. I have to act on that. 

If you ever doubt that leaving comments means anything to us, please know that it does. It keeps the dark at bay, the doubt, the voice on our shoulder that says no one cares what you have to say, and it reminds us of why we slog all of those months–or years–trying to corral a story into some semblance of order. 

Thank you, so very very much.

I hope you will make whomever follows me feel as welcome as you have me. Let him or her know the ‘Rati love. Because you rock.

I’ll still be over on Facebook, occasionally on Twitter, and, randomly, on my own blog. I hope to see you all around.

Take care,



38 thoughts on “changes

  1. Brandee

    You know I'll follow you wherever you go, Toni. And the 'Rati is too good to ever leave even if I have to find you elsewhere.
    Big hugs,

  2. Barbie


    You're my favoritiest blog ever, in the whole wide world!!! I don't want you to gooooooooooooo!!!! What am I going to do without your blogs??????? I always look forward to them every other week!!!


  3. KellyJ

    Your blog posts have inspired me so much and I will miss reading them, but you must follow your heart and feed your muse so you can write the stories you are meant to write. Thank you for the wonderful insight and advice you have shared through your blogs.

  4. Dudley Forster

    Nope – No Way! Is this a late April Fool’s joke? Please, tell me this is a draft of a blog that was posted by accident, *Stands in denial, mouth agape, heart heavy* You are the reason I found Murderati. A friend told me to read one of your blogs and I have been here ever since. I know I am being selfish, but I feel like I’m losing a friend. I looked forward to reading your wonderfully written blogs. I’m going to miss your hilarious wit and heart wrenching prose. The only silver lining I can find is you’ll be writing more so we will have more books, right? *tries to be upbeat and fails*

  5. Kaz

    Love you and your insights but am glad you're following your muse & gifting us with more stories and a sporadic Tweet or two. I can still be your not so subtle stalker without the ick of stalkering.

    Looking forward to the tales as told by you.

    Peace and love,


  6. Reine

    Bye, Toni. Sorry to hear about your recent losses. How tragic. And I'm sorry to see you go. But – best wishes. And I'm glad you'll be around now and then.

  7. kit

    I did some pondering after Rob left…it's a natural progression…or a garden…or something like that..
    I mean, The very same reason you have to go, or move on, is the very thing that brought us all here in the first place…if that makes any sense?
    kinda like when your kids grow up and leave home… hate to see them go, yet realize, for them to reach their full potential. good luck, god speed, and please visit. take care, kit

  8. Sandy

    "[I]deas used up, husks" — that is very descriptive and explains your need to move in a different direction. Thank you, Toni, for your Southern hospitality. Much appreciated. Go well.

  9. billie

    Oh dear. I am sad to read this but also feel good that you're doing what you need to do for your writer self, and I look forward to the fruits of that decision. But I confess, I always hit Sunday morning on my computer thinking "is it Toni's day on Murderati?" I will miss you, here.

  10. Louise Ure

    "I kept finding myself using experiences or observations to fill the blog. And then, they were used up, husks, and not suitable for recycling into a story." Whoo boy, does that speak to me.

    But man oh man I'm going to miss you.

  11. TerriMolina

    Damn…first Rob now you??? Has 2012 started already????

    I'm so sad to see you go…I love your posts they've always been so inspiring and fun.

    But I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.


  12. toni

    Thank you, everyone. You are all very sweet.

    Brandee, I'll see you in June. And Barbie, you know where to find me. 😉

    Katherine and Kelly, thank you so much.

    Dudley, you are, in no way, loosing a friend. I'm still around elsewhere, so I'll see you.

    Kaz, you and inkgrrl are the very best stalkers, evah. 😉 Mwah!

    Zoe, you're gonna make me cry. But I'm still around and we'll be talking soon.

    Kit, that's exactly it — I'm just one of those people who thrive on change, and if I don't mix things up, I get in a rut. And that rut affects everything else.

    Sandy, thank you, and billie, what a really sweet thing to say. I'm glad I've brightened some Sundays for you.

    Eika. 😉

    Dusty, like you're gonna get rid of me that easily? ha. I am *still* stalking you.

    Stephen, awww. Thank you. (Was it the pig story that did it?) <grin> (I never did get around to putting that one in print.)

    Louise, I'm gonna miss you buckets, too. Hugs.

    Aw, thanks, Terri. Yes, let's blame Rob. 😉

    Hi, Rob. You bad influence, you. (heh) Seriously, it's been fun being on here with you — I'm gonna miss that.

    Pari, Alafair – thank you. You all are gonna pick someone great, and I'll get to relax and read! Win win.

    Kim, thank you. Eve, I hope I do. 😉

  13. Kaye Barley

    Toni – you will be missed. Forgotten?! Never. We're all just going to be looking for work from you that I know is going to leave us breathless – just as so many of your blogs have done.

  14. Tom

    Change hurts. Not news.

    We'll look for you, RE-newed and bright and shiny just past the next turning.

  15. Rachel Goldsworthy

    So I'll find something else to do on TMC blog Sundays – maybe write more myself. Hm.

    Seriously, I am thrilled that you're going to be writing more other stuff because I'm hanging out here on the edge waiting. Will now go follow you on Twitter so I'll be in the loop when your next novel/short story collection/novella hits the streets.

  16. Karen in Ohio

    Toni, I will miss your posts here, but look forward to wherever your NOLA inspiration takes you. So nice to "get to know" you, here and on Facebook! Best of luck, and thank you for some of your more amazing posts, in particular the craft ones. They were much appreciated.

  17. Catherine

    Toni thanks so much for sharing your vulnerabilities and insights.I'm so sorry for your loss of loved ones.

    I can fully understand why you need to shake things up and create some space for something new to emerge onto the page.How cool is it that you are doing this for yourself? Yay you, for going for it.

    I'll miss your posts but look forward to more published work. I'm so excited for you that you are making this change. All the best.

  18. Allison brennan

    I'm spoiled, because Toni is a good friend and I get to talk to her regularly, she keeps me sane(r). But I'll miss alternating Sundays with my sister. 🙁

  19. toni

    🙂 Thank you, all. I so appreciate all of the notes, private and public, and the support. I'm nearing the finish line of polishing this book (the one I finished before, but hated the ending), and then I already know what I want to write next, and then next after that… but I'll be popping in to comment. I'd miss this place and you terrific people too much, otherwise.

  20. Robin

    Simply put. You will be missed, but will see you around the blogosphere. Enjoy your writing and look forward to seeing what you do in the future. Wishing you all the best and cheers to good writing times.

  21. suzanne

    Your posts have made me laugh and brought a tear at times. I really have enjoyed your insights and the fine writing on the blog. And yes, I'll miss you. A lot.

Comments are closed.