Changes, Freelancing, and What’s Next

The punch in the face I needed to restart writing here. Also, gapingvoid is awesome.

It’s been too long since I’ve been here.

I can almost see the digital cobwebs hanging from the site.

That’s about to change.

While I had begun to seriously consider looking for another job, the process got accelerated a bit by losing the one I had. I might go into detail on that later, but for now, it’s a bit of a sore tooth I don’t want to wriggle.

That’s one big change.

I’ve been “researching” and “thinking” about updating Spikey Katfish for months now.

Never doing though.

I like to say “always be shipping” and “good enough is sometimes good enough” and “perfection is the enemy of the good.”

Acting on those beliefs . . . . not so much.

The image that leads this post was in my inbox this morning and was a little bit of a slap in the face, like, “yeah, been doing that.”

Time to stop not doing stuff.

Wait. Yeah, OK, that did make (some) sense.

My goal this year is to stop imagining the perfect while not even working towards good. Maybe along the way I’ll hit perfect now and then.

So here’s to more doing.

Work With Me — Writing/Content Strategy

For anyone who needs, or knows anyone who needs, writing and/or marketing advice/support, contact me. I’ll be creating a “Work With Me” page with more details, but don’t hesitate to reach out: or in the comments below.

Blogs, case studies, articles, infographics, etc. — if words go into it, I’ve written it over the last 25 years.

On the marketing side, content strategy, email campaigns, inbound — I’ve nearly a decade of experience there as well, particularly with HubSpot. For anyone who doesn’t know me, many folks I’ve worked with over the years have said kind things about me on my LinkedIn profile:

Anyway. More later.

More Energy

For the first time in years, I’m managing to lose weight. I’ve just about got off the extra holiday chub that I added and back to just being as fat as I had been.

There’s something about seeing “morbidly obese” in your doctor’s note that spurs action.

Drinking less frequently. Weights. Walking daily. Fewer chips. More fruit and vegetables. Smaller portions. Holy hell, who knew that shit all worked!!!! 🙂

Over the year, I expect that having more energy will lead to better writing here and, fingers crossed, more and happier clients!

Next Steps

The first step is this. These words here. A bit of a promise to myself to be here, be present, and be accountable — even if only to myself at first.

Then it’s a decision to make — is freelance a full-time possibility or do I want to work in an office/for someone again? (OK, sure, I’ll still be working for “someone”, but you know what I mean.)

Open question. As I sit and think now, I find that I really enjoy writing. Stringing the words together in a pleasing configuration makes me happy.

And I realized that the best complement I ever received as the editor of inform was a reader who said they ripped an article out of the magazine, put in on their bosses desk and said “this is what I’ve been trying to explain we want to do and why” and that launched the approval for a project that helped the business.

I want to write stuff that helps.

Time to get going on deciding how to spend the rest of my career doing that.


Booger Holler and Grandparents #SoCS

20180520_185646.jpgBooger Holler!

That was the first thing that popped into my head from Friday’s SoCS (now also on a Sunday — at least on this blog!) prompt. Ahem, from the lovely and talented Linda G. Hill: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “empty/hollow.” Use one, use both, entirely up to you. Enjoy!

The second thing that I thought of was Meme, in polyester pants and her normal 1-inch heels, halfway up the side of a hillside in Arkansas, digging for quartz.

I was lucky in my grandparents. I only have vague memories of kissing Pawpaw’s head on the way out the door when we’d leave Mawmaw’s house (no fuzz, all bald) on the way back to my Moms. He died of a heart attack when I was . . . 6ish? 5ish? Young, anyway. (And, woot, I’ve made it longer than my Dad without a heart attack — he had his first one at 41 or 42 when I was in college. I’ve got that going for me.)

Mawmaw was always good for playing games — Milles Bornes, Uno, Gin Rummy, Yahtzee. I gave up playing Scrabble against her when she pulled “zither” out of somewhere one day. She also scored the highest point total in a single Uno hand I’ve ever seen — something like 470 points. I think she got to play one card before someone went out.

Meme and Pawpan were always on the go. Pawpan had sold his pharmacy Breaux’s Drugs around when I was 7ish or so. Meme and Pawpan then began to travel some. They even bought motorcycles at one point. pretty sure that was Pawpan’s idea. They soon disappeared.

Meme was originally from Arkansas before she moved to Plaquemines south of Baton Rouge in high school, so they started going to Petit Jean State Park which is somewhere around Hot Springs (I think, anyway, probably should look at a map one day) off and on during the summers.

Being 7 and not having a job, they took me with them for a few summers and a few weeks at a time.

Gotta say, was pretty awesome. They had a small camper that they had parked in one of the spots. It had a queen bed, a sink and gas oven, toilet and shower, and the table converted to another bed. It also had glorious AC, like everything in the south should have. We’d go hiking. Some caves. Swimming. Watching the outdoor movie in the evening — I remember seeing the Lorax vividly.

Catching fireflies that looked like flashing stars through the trees.

And visiting Booger Holler. It was an actual place. And maybe my fondness for a tacky tourist trap can be traced to my visit.

You can look it up, it had a population 7 and a coon dog sign before the “town.” The “town’ was just a few buildings where they sold some food and tacky-ass souvenirs (love that word in French, which translates loosely into ” to remember”).

And, of course, the pennant at the beginning of this post, which hangs on the wall in my “office.”


I still think back fondly about those summers now and then. The phrase “not a care in the world” perfectly describes how it felt to be there. No school (I was shy). No step dad. No chores — other than chopping wood for the fire at night, which wasn’t a chore at all. Just being fed, being loved, and being a kid.

Was pretty nice.

Meme really did wear one-inch heels all the time — hiking, in the caves we went to, everywhere. Pretty sure her achilles had tighted by that time so that flats weren’t comfortable for her to wear.

I did almost die there though. one of the hikes went along a cliff edge. Not sure how it happened, but I was running or tripped or something and almost rolled off. Pawpan stopped me about two feet from the edge. That was the second time he saved my life — the first when I was 2 or 3 at their camp in Hackberry. I choked on a cookie and he reached in a pulled it out. I turned blue, so maybe that’s what happened to me!

OTH, Pawpan also made us wooden swords for me and Lee to whack the shit out of each other. And turned me loose with an axe to chop wood. Guess it evened out.

After a few years, they stopped going because they had to take care of my cousin full time. They ended up parking the camper at camp in Toledo Bend about an hour north of Lake Charles. Toledo Bend — also awesome. Wasn’t the same because I was always there with some combo of my brother, Jeremy (my cousin), and/or Lee (my other cousin).

Anyway, that’s my 20 minutes and I didn’t even get to the way Pawpan drove the Cadillac down the mountains like he had a death wish. I remember “LEE BREAUX. Slow IT DOWN!” a bunch of times. If Meme had been a cusser  . . . I would’ve learned a few new words.

This SoCS (on a Sunday) post written to the 10th Anniversary Les Miserable concert (which isn’t as good as the 25th Anniversary, but is in Amazon Prime.)

I’ll leave you with the one song I find achingly sad and lonely from Les Mis, On My Own.

John Denver and Animal House, #SoCS

Well, life on the farm is kindof laid back, ain’t nothing that a country boy like me can’t hack. Early to rise, early in the sack. Thank God, I’m a country boy.

animal house and john denver stream of consciousness saturday
It’s not gonna be an orgy . . .

[Damn, just looked up the lyrics before posting, I was almost spot-on]

Can’t believe I know those lyrics. I don’t think I’ve heard that song in a decade.

Before going further, this is a belated, written on Saturday but posted today Stream of Consciousness Saturday post. The prompt: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “on the farm.” Find a word that has a farm animal sound in it, i.e. sMOOth, and use it in your post. Bonus points if you include three or more. Have extra fun! As always, thanks to for the prompt.

[I, uh, only got as far as “on the farm.”] Reminds me of being a kid and I have a vivid memory of being in my Mawmaw’s den Continue reading John Denver and Animal House, #SoCS

I Love You, Honey Bunny #SoCS

Buns, Dudes, and Bunnys Stream of Consciousness SaturdayI love Pulp Fiction.

It’s one of my all-time favorite moves. I’ve probably watched it – in whole or in part – 50 times by now. A favorite memory is watching it stoned out of my gourd at Bethesda Draft House (I think that was the name, closed now) and loving the Travolta driving seen because I was feeling about like that.

And how cool was it seeing John Travolta in the Jack Rabbit Slim dance contest? From the Sweathogs to Danny and Summer Lovin’ to Staying Alive and the white disco suit to Urban Cowboy, he had a great run. Then there was Look Who’s Talking and Two of a Kind with my childhood crush, Olivia Newton John (saw that in the Sulphur move theatre, just next to the poop plant and about a 5 minute bike ride from Meme and Pawpan’s, with Lee) and assorted other bad films he kinda tapered off. Continue reading I Love You, Honey Bunny #SoCS

The Beginner’s Mind – So Hard to Keep

The Beginner's mindset keep a fresh outlook

I’ve been a fan of @gapingvoid for years. Love this drawing for today.

As you develop any sort of knowledge, it’s hard to keep a fresh look at an old topic.

I find this especially hard when it comes to writing sometimes.

It’s easy to become jaded and think, “ugggg, people should already KNOW this stuff, damn, it’s common knowledge.”

But many technical topics aren’t common knowledge, or new people enter into new responsibilities and need to learn the basics — of document management, or inbound, or whatever.

I’m not sure I agree with the baggage concept here, but the idea of a fresh look and a “through the eyes of babes” (children babes, not hit chicks babes) is one we should cultivate as we continue our own professional journeys and as a reminder not to get aggravated or roll eyes when someone asks a “basic” question or has a nutty idea.

I know that this is something I struggle with, that, when I get out of my own way and use what I know to inform an insight instead of blocking an idea or insight that good things happen.

Beginner’s mindset is also good for reevaluating those, “but that won’t work” or “we’ve done that before” statements we too often fall back on as an excuse not to reevaluate an old opinion in light of new experience or evidence.

Keep an open mind and new ideas can keep walking in, or something.

Or, don’t let the bastards beat you down — especially if the bastards is your own cynicism.

So Far Away — #SoCS

Stream of Consciousness Saturday -- So Far Away #SoCS
Why I thought of this and Carole King nearly instantaneously, I have no fucking clue.

So far away.

Isn’t that a song?

Far away, but you’re so, far away . . . by Carol, oh, shoot. Dammit. Refusing to look it up. From the album Tapestry. Shitshitshit. Grrrr, damn memory.

It’s Stream of Consciousness time and today’s prompt, via Linda Hill is: so far.

Now that I’ve got that fragment of a song stuck in my head.

I’m also thinking, for no apparent reason, about the land of Far, Far Away from Shrek. Those first two Shrek movies are great. Ogres are like onions, they have layers. I have layers. We all have layers. Continue reading So Far Away — #SoCS

It’s All Fine – #SoCS

Stream of Consciousness Saturday Fine
Yep. Any chance to stick a photo of an attractive woman in a post. I’m on it. Sue me.


Any married man knows that the tone in which this word is uttered means a world of difference between “all is OK” and “the pits of hell are about to open beneath your feet and devour you.”

It’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday and, yep, “Fine” is the word prompt o’ the day.

Fine is one of those words that carries a lot of weight in the English language.

Fine Dining.

Fine China. Continue reading It’s All Fine – #SoCS