To Our Health We Drank a Thousand Times, It’s Time to Ramble On

by J.D. Rhoades

There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it. This is my last regular post here on Murderati.

It hasn’t been an casual  decision, and it took a while to make. There are a lot of factors that have gone into it, but far and away the most important one is: I need that Tuesday evening back.

 As I’ve mentioned here several times, I still have a day job practicing law. That takes up most of my days. I’ve never been much of a morning person. I’ve tried getting up at 5 AM  to write, and it never seems to work for me. That leaves the evenings as my only realistic time to write fiction.

Every other Wednesday, I have a Murderati post due, so there goes that Tuesday. I also, as I’ve mentioned before, write a weekly political humor column for the local paper. That’s due on Thursdays, so I spend my Wednesday writing time on that.

So on my “Murderati weeks,”  I lose two evenings of fiction writing in a row. That’s made it very hard to get back to the work in progress on Thursdays. In fact, trying to pick the thread back up after two days is so bloody difficult that I confess, I sometimes give in to the temptation to just chuck it all and go watch Community (promising myself I’ll just write more on the weekend). Fridays are hit and miss because of family stuff, so….you can see the dilemma. I’m fighting  to  get my career back, which means every opportunity to write becomes precious, and let’s face it, I ain’t getting any younger and certainly not any prettier.

So some commitments have to go. The newspaper column may be next, but they actually pay me for that. Not a huge amount, but  as precious as time is, every dollar is almost as precious these days, what with one kind in college and another headed there.

All that said, this wasn’t an easy decision. I’ve had a blast here, and I will always be grateful to Pari and JT for inviting me. I’ll always be grateful as well for all the encouragement, knowledge, laughs, and even the tears  each and every one of you, both posters and commenters, has shared with  me.

I look over at the right sidebar, and I see all the folks who have come and gone: Simon. Michael. Elaine. Naomi. And of course, Ken. When Toni, Brett and Rob bowed out (for many of the same reasons I am), I realized that change is part of what keeps a blog fresh,  so it’s time for me to move along as well. 

The good news is that my replacement is going to be Jonathan Hayes. I’ve hung out with Jonathan some, and I can tell you he is  is one fascinating guy. He’s a forensic pathologist, a food writer, a music fan with tastes almost as eclectic as my own, a raconteur, and he writes one hell of a thriller. I know I’m leaving you in good hands.

I’ve let the folks know I may be able to pinch hit as a guest blogger from time to time, and I have a feeling that my inability to keep any opinion to myself means I’ll still be around in the comments. But for now…play me off, Jimmy!

35 thoughts on “To Our Health We Drank a Thousand Times, It’s Time to Ramble On

  1. Rae

    Well, bummer. But I get it – there just aren't enough hours in the day.

    Best of luck with your writing – and everything else…

  2. Tom

    Okay, I get it, you've gotta do what you've gotta do . . . but this is shaping up to be a really cruddy day.

  3. MJ

    I'll miss your posts, JD, but I'm a full time lawyer too and you are so right about time crunches. There just isn't enough of the stuff.

    Hayes is a forensic pathologist and food writer? Interesting. A crossover that kind of gives me the willies, but good willies…. Geez, hope he isn't doing both at the same time….

  4. Eve

    I'll miss you JD, but I sure know about not enough time, and not getting any younger 😉 I wish you the very best and know your writing career will rise from the ashes.

  5. tess gerritsen

    Dusty, I will miss your posts here so much! I'm glad I can always hop over to your political humor blog (which is GREAT, by the way) to check in on you. With so many responsibilities and deadlines piling up on writers, it is indeed tough to summon up the creative juices to keep up with all these writing assignments, so I understand so well why you had to make this decision.


  6. toni

    Geez, I'll miss your posts here, Dusty. It's like moving away from home for a year and going back to discover all this new construction and businesses going up. It's interesting, but it's never the same home again. But selfishly, I'm so thrilled you'll be writing more. I want more books from you, soon.

  7. Larry Gasper

    Thanks for all the great posts and good luck with the writing. I finished "Lawyers, Guns and Money" the other night and loved it.

  8. Louise Ure

    I will miss your presence, your preacher ways and your redneck noir, Dusty. Stay well.

  9. Stephen Jay Schwartz

    I'm gonna miss you, your humor, your fun, your wildly original perspective, the sound of your voice…dammit, dude…are you sure this isn't an April Fool's joke?

  10. David Corbett


    I was just getting into a Wednesday groove and now you're stressin' and messin' wid it. I felt a great simpatico, a meeting of minds — which will of course continue, just intermittently. Like Tess, I'll play hooky on your political blog, and I too am glad you're focusing on the fiction. I think you know you'll be missed — but know this too: As few as our exchanges have been too date, they've still left an indelible impression. I feel I've made a friend, and I'm grateful.

    Write your twisted little heart out. And don't be a stranger.


  11. Dana King

    I'll miss you here, JD, but I'll keep up with What Fresh Hell is This. The big thing is to keep on writing. Whatever you did for LAWYERS, GUNS, AND MONEY worked just fine.

  12. JT Ellison

    Corresponding facial expression for the corresponding emotions:
    Happy – Smile
    Sad – Frown


    We will miss you, dear. xoxo

  13. Jenni


    I finished Lawyers Guns & Money a week or so ago, and it spurred me on to download the rest of your books as well. I will miss your posts here, but will continue to enjoy following your Fresh Hell blog. Will definitely look for your next book. Best wishes into the future!


  14. Allison Davis

    As a practicing lawyer trying to find time to write, I get it, but I'm not liking all the Southern influence ebbing away here….I think I should hold a Murderati reunion at my New Orleans house. What do y'all think?

  15. Pari Noskin

    Though I understand and support your decision, Dusty, I AM NOT A HAPPY CAMPER.

    But I am glad that Jonathan is joining us. I think he'll be a wonderful addition.

  16. Debbie

    You suck…kidding, just kidding! 😉 Really sorry to hear that you'll be leaving. Take care, our thoughts are with you.

  17. Reine

    Oh damn . . . another one. Well, I wondered how you managed it all – how any of you do – so just know that I read your books and love them. Bastard. xo Reine

  18. KDJames

    Damn, JD. I understand and I'm trying to be supportive, but damn. I'll just keep lurking and biting my tongue as I nod in agreement over at your other blog.

    I remember Hayes from an interview over here not too long ago, yes? Good choice.

    Next time you drive up this way, maybe you and Jake and I can get together and egg cars over at State. Or, um, have lunch. Whichever is least likely to end up needing a defense attorney's professional services. We'll let you decide.

    You will be sorely missed. Don't squander the time you just carved out, you bastard. She said affectionately.

  19. Allison Brennan

    As I told you privately, I'll miss you here, but I TOTALLY understand. You can't let blogging impact writing time. I've posted some lame-ass blogs when I've been on deadline because I have to get back to the book. Writing and family have to come first. Keep in touch 🙂

  20. Zoë Sharp

    My dear Dusty

    I think you get the message that you're going to be sadly missed – and not because we broke the sights off our rifle ;-]

    C'mon, you expect a little black humour from me, don't you?

    Seriously, I hope your writing flourishes. You're welcome to guest blog any time.

    Health, luck and happiness!

  21. Laura

    Thank you for your wonderful posts.
    You'll be missed.
    Take care, good luck with the writing 🙂

  22. Robin

    Wow! Looks like we're having a change of the guard once again. Thanks for all your posts, J.D. Have enjoyed them. See you around the blogosphere.

    Welcome to Jonathan. More books to read. I'll never make through all ya'll books if you keep changing on me. Not such a bad thing.

  23. Jake Nantz

    Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

    Dude, you're leaving too? Did I fart next to you or something? Well Hell. I'll never forget that you're the guy that Led me here (see what I did there?). And you're the first author I ever wrote, and you fricken responded. Personally. You are the coolest, and have had a major influence on my own writing getting into gear, and I will always appreciate that. We've only met the once, but I consider you a friend. You will be missed.

    Oh, and Ramble on is the song my dad played in the late 70s to free me from the grip of my mom's influence (basicaly to get me to stop listening to Frankie Valli and shit like that), so I will always have a fondness in my heart for any Zep, but most of all for that song. Keep on rockin'.

    Oh, and KD? We can go egging, but not at State. I don't desecrate hallowed ground like that. We can go harrass that cesspool full of narcissistic and delusional whack jobs up in Chapped Hole, though! (Yeah Dusty, you heard me….)

  24. Laura

    Dusty, if bowing out means you'll write more fiction…then good riddance. 🙂 We need more Dusty books!

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