Saturday, December 29, 2012

Au Revoir

If 2012 had been a customer in a bar, it would have been perfectly okay with me to have it kicked into the street.  So my basic stand right now is not so much welcome to the new year as good riddance to the old one.

It was a year in which, among dozens of other things, political discourse sank to a new low.  After the most embarrassing presidential election I can remember--an election in which I had a favorite, but only relatively speaking--the parties went back to Washington and immediately started all over again, tying the nation into knots.  Honest to God, if I had my way, every American elected official would be (here's a theme emerging) booted into the street and replaced via a national lottery.

The lottery would bar all professional politicians from entering and would distribute tickets by mail to every American eighteen and older, and by sale in liquor stores and supermarkets.  We would announce only after the results were made public that anyone who bought a ticket was instantly disqualified.

People who want power probably shouldn't be allowed to get it.


And my other country, Thailand, made Washington, D.C. look like a computer dating site.  On December 5, the nation's revered king made a rare public appearance, and (to everyone's surprise, a speech), on his 85th birthday.  To a nation in which the political parties are chewing holes in each other and people are killed daily due to the Muslim insurrection in the south, the king preached Buddhism on a personal level: "If Thai citizens still hold harmony in their hearts," he said, "there is hope that in whatever the situation, Thailand will surely get through it safely and with stability."

The next day, the party of the current prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, announced that her predecessor, Abhisit Vejjajiva, would be charged with murder for the deaths inflicted by security forces on the Red Shirt factions who demonstrated in Bangkok in 2010.  Now, more than 80 demonstrators were killed, but to most Thais, charging a former prime minister with murder seemed a bit, well, stiff.

Okay, I'm grumbling to postpone the au revoir I don't want to make.  This is my last regular blog on Murder Is Everywhere.  It has gradually been made clear to me that I have been over-committed for the past year, to the point at which a book has collapsed on me and I'm still fighting to resuscitate it.  I'm letting go of several commitments, and this blog is one of them.

I already regret this parting infinitely more than I regret the passing of 2012. I've loved writing here, and I've made deep friendships with my blog mates.  I know Leighton, Cara, Yrsa, Stan, Michael and Jeffrey personally and Dan virtually, and have deep affection (and admiration) for all of them.  And feel the same about the readers who have responded.  I'll miss this place.

The best news is that I'll be replaced, beginning this coming Sunday (January 6) by a wonderful writer and a good friend, Lisa Brackmann.  Lisa's first two books (both crackerjack), Rock Paper Tiger and Getaway, are set, respectively, in China and Mexico.  You're going to love her as much as I do.

And I'll be back from time to time, if my hosts will allow it.

Au revoir, y'all.

Tim -- Sunday


  1. Thank you, Tim, for the warm welcome!

    I'd better get to work...

  2. First Dan on Fridays, now you on Sundays! What’s going on, is it something I said? Doesn’t anyone care about poor Mister In-between, left to feel on Saturdays like a lot of bologna that’s lost its Wonder Bread, ham without its wry.

    Perhaps it’s a virus affecting only those who sign off with names of three letters? I shall pray for you…even as I welcome Lisa. She and I share a history together that goes way back before our times together at the bars at Bouchercon; to before my first novel was published and we labored away together online as newbies looking for our big break. It’s great to be back together.

    But I will miss you, Tim. There’s no body out there like you. On any watchlist.

  3. The only way this loss might get a positive slant is if it leads to books and more books.
    It doesn't matter if it's Poke, Simeon, or Junior; all are equally welcome.

  4. I agree with Beth, and I hope we catch sight of you every once in a while, somewhere. Meanwhile, you'll be missed.

  5. Thanks, everybody. Jeff, I appreciate that you might feel like drop of bactericide in the middle of the petri dish, but don't take it personally. At least, not until the people on Thursday and Monday leave, too.

    Thanks to Beth and Lil for all the support. I was and, to an extent, still am over-committed, and my rotten work habits don't help. But I'll find my way through this, and there will be more books.

    I'll be coming by from time to time when Lisa sends up a flare, if that's okay with Leighton and all my other friends here.

  6. Ah, Tim, It's a bummer that we won't be able to count on weekly posts, but I look forward to seeing you check in sporadically.
    I love reading Hallinan in any form and any length.
    And you can have my day (Monday) here on MIE anytime you like!

  7. Leighton, please don't start thinking of slipping away, too. Dan's Friday slot needs to be filled.

    1. Caro Ramsay is picking up Dan's spot, Beth. Leighton will never leave, for no one could follow him.

  8. Leighton, it was really a matter of preserving my sanity. I've been going a bit nuts lately, and the only thing I could think to do was to reduce my workload in an attempt to maintain a focus. I've had periods in my life when I could hop from thing to thing, but this isn't one of them.

    I really will miss this place, but I'll be back,

  9. Au revoir, totsiens, arrivaderci Tim. Can't wait for your next post. Can you do one on March 7? Just kidding!

  10. I feel badly for myself and for my fellow MIE readers, but I'm happy for you, Tim! Honest, really, truly. Life is short, balance in all things, and all that. I hope that you find a new balance that lets you work and enjoy your work, and that's only partly selfish because then we'll be able to enjoy your work, too, even if not on a weekly basis.

    Bon voyage!