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Men With Pens

(Wo)Men with Pen(s)

by RhodesTer on December 16, 2009

FreedomYesterday I received somewhat of a shock. Or call it a jolt, if you will. A surprise. A real stunner.

A slap in the face with a cold fish. A dagger thrust into my eye socket. Spontaneous combustion.

A great big poof of smoke in my brain. A burst of light illuminating the dark dregs of society, flushing them out into the open and causing them to sparkle just a little through the accumulation of soot and soil caked onto their filthy, oily little bodies.

A burst – a poof – a bang – a gong..

And suddenly, JAMES is a GIRL.

I’m talking about my longtime pal James Chartrand of Men With Pens.

You know.. the guy I always pictured as somewhat of a cross between Tom Hanks and John Corbett, with a handsomeness that almost meets in the middle but favors the Corbett side.

James had his guitar slung over his shoulder and his longish hair with a bit of stubble on the chin – just enough to say “I care a little, but not a lot.” James wore sandals and sunglasses, and had a great singing voice that resonated like the lead singer from Nickleback, only he’d never sing about photographs or being a rock star because both of those were out of the realm of possibility with this covert web he wove for us on the net.

We never saw a photograph. We never saw a video, or had a Skype session or spoke on the phone.

Fishy. Cold, and fishy. It was a great big carp called “suspicion.”

So yesterday, that suspicion swam into a cocoon and morphed into shocking awareness when a post ran at Copyblogger that had been authored by James Himself. “Why James Chartrand Wears Women’s Underpants” was the name of it. In it he said, “I’m a woman,” and then he gave reasons for having presented himself as a man, which all sounded pretty good.

Business – impressions – wages – perspective – appearances.

Men are paid more. It’s a fact. Single with two kids to feed, that’s a fact too. Copywriting income doubled almost overnight following the reinvention of herself and the birth of James Chartrand, the mighty man with a pen in the great white north, tackling text and grappling with grammar in the exact same way Jamie had done, but finally getting the recognition, kudos and cash that go with foregoing barefeet and pregnancy in the kitchen.

Just so you know, I made up the name “Jamie.” James is mum on the original moniker and wants to go right on being called James.

People quickly took notice of the Copyblogger post. I always knew James was popular and well-known, but didn’t realize the scope of it until news broke at The Huffington Post and then Newsweek.

We’re pals, so I messaged him. “Is this true?” I asked. It was. I expressed shock, and I might have been a bit abrupt when I said I needed to think things over.

“Understood. I’m always around if you need to talk or rail or vent or whatever. Still the same person, dude.”

That’s James.. looking out for how I feel, because I’m a friend and you don’t let friends hurt if you can help it.

I can say all of this because James said it first, very publicly and just over 24-hours ago. Turns out someone was going to out him, so he beat them to it and outed himself first.

You’ll notice I’m sticking with JAMES and the pronouns HE, HIS and HIM.

I’m also going to stick with JAMES the person. My friend. My pal. Sure, I was deceived a bit but for a good reason. Everyone lies for personal gain at one time or another, and some more often than others. If you say you don’t and never have, then shutthefuckup because you’re telling a white-whopper right there, my forked-tongued friend.

I guess this is as good a time as any to leap aboard the bandwagon of truth as it rattles down the cobblestone street of verisimilitude..

I, RhodesTer, am actually a female Peruvian Snow Yak named Betty, and my other half, coffeesister, is an orangutan named Jack. But we’re still the same nutty folks you’ve known and loved all these years, aside from my craving for a mouthful of sweet, delicious grass-hay and the fact that I’m now going to let James milk me should we meet someday.

Someone has to.. Jack is always too busy peeling bananas with his feet.

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This Blog Sucks..

by RhodesTer on November 30, 2009

only one rule by gord mckenna on affiliate advertising.

There.. I’ve said it.

I’m not in any way lamenting this fact, I’m simply acknowledging it.

There are several reasons why, but the biggest one is probably that The RhodesTer Chronicles is not designed as a blog to market things. It’s just a collection of my rambling observations on the world at large.

Yet I still went and slapped a bunch of affiliate ads on here along with some Google Adsense in the hope of making a little cash.

I’ve made about eight dollars.

In six months.

That would be awesome if we lived in a hut in Ethiopia – we could feed ourselves for a year, and pay off the goats.

But we don’t . We’re currently renting a room that’s running us $500.00 a month, so it doesn’t take a math genius to see that the affiliate stuff isn’t working so well.

That’s okay, I think I’ll keep those widgets on here because they’re pretty and they make this blog look big and important. At least until the advertisers catch on and say, “Hey Rhodester, you haven’t sold a damn thing for us! Screw you!”

Not all of them will do that – only the ones I don’t know personally. Some of the ones I do know are more than a little awesome, like James from Men With Pens, who has a new Ebook out about freelance writing appropriately titled  “Write For The Web.” I’m more than happy to help James sell a few copies because it’s a very interesting book, which I know because I have my own copy that I’m currently devouring.

Judy at Pearls2Video and Karen at deaf mom are a couple of ladies who just wanted to help out, so they directly purchased ad space on this silly blog. Thanks ladies!

And then there’s the guy from FindAPoken.COM, Jeremy Morris.

Jeremy, who happens to be Vice President of FindAPoken.COM, must hail from the Seth Godin school of marketing, which is basically all about mixing personal engagement and ethics with business and selling.

I say this because he sent me a personal email, which is unusual.

I signed up with an affiliate outfit that hooks me up to a bunch of companies at once, which make up the majority of ads on the left sidebar of this blog. The individual companies send me the same automated emails they send to everyone, in which they say things like, “We’re coming into the holidays now, so be sure and add some of our new banners, and don’t forget the datafeeds and bonuses for any affiliate who sells over $500.00 this month!”

Okay, first of all what in the hell is a “datafeed” and second, who sells over $500.00 a MONTH? That’s a lot of friggin’ goats.

I told you this blog sucks at affiliate advertising.

BUT DESPITE THAT, Vice President Jeremy Morris of FindAPoken.COM took the time to send me a nice, complimentary email, which I’m sharing with you because he said I could..


Thank you signing up for’s affiliate program on ShareASale.

I don’t always have time to write an email to everyone that signs up to be an affiliate.  Out of curiosity, I went to your blog and came across “The Little Blue Angel”. I am not sure if it is due to the mood I am in, but that really hit the spot.   I truly needed to read something like that tonight.   I know blogging is not easy, so I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to put your thoughts to paper and make it available for all to read.  Thanks, and I look forward to following you on twitter!  (By the way, sorry you did not get the job with them)

Jeremy Morris
Vice President

Isn’t that just a sack full of cool? Except I don’t know what he means by “putting your thoughts to paper.”

But I like how he expressed sadness over Twitter dwissing me and then went on to offer me a job at FindAPoken.COM!

Okay, he didn’t do that last part – I think they’re in Seattle anyway.

Vice President Jeremy and I have exchanged a few emails since then, and he’s a helluva cool cat. Seth Godin would be pleased as punch and would probably pat us both on the head, because now here I am TALKING about FindAPoken.COM plus linking the heck out of it, plus I’m going to TAG IT for this post and throw a banner in down at the bottom all because Vice President Jeremy Morris of FindAPoken.COM has been so darned nice to me.

PokensThese are POKENS – I hope they sell A BILLION of them.
Click the pic to find out what they do and why you should have one.

Men With Pens are nice too, so they get a banner at the bottom, and a TAG.

Judy and Karen too.

Man, I am rafting down a white-water river of awesomness today, and I don’t even have a paddle.

I have one final note about affiliate advertising, and then I’ll probably leave the subject alone forever (you’re welcome.)

I now realize that the way to do it right is to have a blog that’s actually about the stuff you’re trying to sell, and have it geared so that people come to it by searching for that stuff, and you talk about that stuff in clever and informational posts while putting the banners and keyword links all over the place.

For example, if I were a goat farmer and my blog were all about goats, you’d visit my blog to learn everything there is to know about feeding them, caring for them and breeding them to get baby goats. While I was at it I’d stick goat ads around the blog to advertise goat stuff and nothing else. I guess I wouldn’t be able to put FindAPoken.COM on my goat blog unless they have a goat-poken, which they probably do.

Click FindAPoken.COM to find out.

This can apply to anything, like planes, trains and automobiles, or movies with Steve Martin and John Candy in them. You’d have plane ads, train ads, car ads and ads about comedies.

You get the picture.

I learned this from some of those internet blogging and marketing experts like Darren Rowse and Yaro Starak, each of whom EASILY make over $500.00 a month by doing all of that.

I’ve also learned that The RhodesTer Chronicles isn’t that type of blog, so if you’ve ever clicked through to buy any of the random stuff I’ve advertised, all of which has absolutely nothing to do with the subject matter of this blog,  then I thank you for your willingness to go white-water rafting with me on the rapid river of awesomeness sans helmets, paddles and common sense.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go feed our three goats, Seth, Darren and Yaro, before they eat into my profit margin.

three goats


Write For The Web



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How to know that you’re human

May 2, 2008

We have borrowed RhodesTer for the evening.. again.. to complete a series of tests that we implemented the first time around.  We are QUITE fascinated with his brain, and therefore we’re trying to extract particular DNA strands for the purpose of behavioral modification in our domesticated house pets.
Just before he went under and we inserted [...]

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