Tag Archive: creative writing

Until the end

Steal like an artistIt’s National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as #NaNoWriMo … I think. Otherwise known as 30 Days of Self-Inflicted Anxiety for would-be, could-be, perhaps should-be writers. I’m not in this year.

But serendipitously, on the first day of NaNoWriMo, I found myself finishing up “Steal Like and Artist,” which I had started months ago, stopped to blog about at a low point (with myself/career, not the book), and never completed reading.

Write between the lines
One thing that stuck was the idea of being creative within confines. Of time, of energy, of space.

Net: confines can foster creativity. So I gave myself a page and decided to fill it up with long-hand — no more, no less. What follows is what happened next. And what follows that is a typed, altogether more legible version.


…scribble, scrabble, drabble on the memo pad I babble…

If you start, you may not end where you wanted to go. But when you stop, you’ve reached an end. Not the end, perhaps not your intended end. But you’ve gotten to the Omega to your Alpha.

Maybe for this, it’s here.
Or here.

Apparently not.

So the push comes from the scratch inside your head. That in turn scratches the pen across the paper. Dang, my arm is tired already. Just this far in.

But there is an intoxicant at work here – it’s blue ink, lines no longer barren. Thoughts reaped, harvested across the line like bundles of wheat across a valley floor – gathered together. Upright, spent, but with life-giving power.

There’s an opportunity in each line. Tabula rasa is it? Blank slate? I dunno.

So as I scoot toward the end of the page – cresting halfway – between accomplishment and anxiety. What I’ve said vs. what I’ve written.

But I’m only pushing myself to fill the page. To reach that Omega.  This is my constraint. This is my Incredibly Shrinking Goal – not to be feared. It should fear me.

Stare long enough into the Abyss and it will stare back. I am the Abyss. I am the unfathomable. I am without limit. The lactic acid builds in my arm, as the ink drains in proportion. Here – take this last line and absorb my ink, my words, my creation, and retain it until the end.

Long time no post. I’ll chalk that up to Busy Season at my 9 to 6 (at times quite longer), Mon-Fri (at times Sat and/or Sun).

Still in the throes of BS, I offer some writing I did in response to a running group questionnaire. Answers are truthful and in color.

Hey, Nit,

Thanks for spearheading this. See below, yo.


RUNNERS, please answer the following questions:

  1. Would you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate, or expert level? Beginner with the caveat that I played soccer for 15 years … 15 years ago. So some simple math would reduce me to zilch.
  2. How many times do your currently run per week? Including the weekends? Zero.
  3. What is your average per minute mile on your exercise runs? Pro’ly 10 at this point, inclusive of stopping for breath, donuts, etc.
  4. What are your goals for joining the run group? Cardio, tone legs, something fun and healthy to do with my wife, and make my running shoes stop whining about their “lack of fulfillment.”
  5. Are you training for any upcoming races? Not that I know of, but you never know when gas prices will force me to seek alternative transportation, or when  mugger will provide incentive.
  6. What is/are the best day(s) for you to run with EY Atlanta Run/Walk Group? Weekends, which coincidentally is the best time for Gramma to watch our son while we go running.
  7. Do you prefer to run AM or PM? Provide times (i.e. 6pm, 6:30pm, etc.) Mornings. Do it. Be done with it.

From time to time, new words and phrases come to me. For most of these creations, I’ll put the blame squarely on my working with words 8+ hours/day. I’ll blame chatting in general for inventing today’s vocab: elliptical conversation.

You can bet you’ve had one of these.

elliptical conversation
el·lip·ti·cal con·ver·sa·tion
i-lip-ti-kəl kän-vər-sā-shən
Function: noun
1 : electronic exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, or ideas (often through chat) in which two participants carry on said exchanges simultaneously, but not in tandem, often to the bewilderment of both parties   2 : a similar exchange and resulting bewilderment due to bad phone reception

Edwin: “Tré, I just found out that I got that position with the Assurance group! How’s it going?”

Tré: “Congratulations!!! 😛 … How are you feeling?”

Edwin: “Thanks, I didn’t tell my dad yet. :O”

Tré: “All’s well here.”

Edwin: “I’m doing great. Did you get the results back from the lab?”

Tré: “Are you mad at your dad?”

Edwin: “I hope the tests are negative.”

Tré: “I’ve not heard anything negative.”

Edwin: “You just don’t hang around with him enough … jeez!”

Tré: “The guy at the lab?”

Edwin: “Huh?”

Tré: “Huh?”

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,100 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 17 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 68 posts. There were 41 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 6mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was January 28th with 86 views. The most popular post that day was Thinking of Freelancing? Think about this….

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were freelancefolder.com, facebook.com, postconsumers.com, linkedin.com, and lmodules.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for halo-halo, grillz, halo halo, halohalo, and filipino flag.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Thinking of Freelancing? Think about this… May 2009


Happy (Philippine) Independence Day! June 2009


Young Georgia Authors’ Writing Competition & Pirsig’s Quality March 2009


Advent Spiral December 2009


With or at me, just laugh April 2010

Meeting my words

“We were taught how the pioneers went into the west. They opened their eyes and made up what things could be.”

Red means go

I suppose there’s a reason those words — courtesy of a W+K ad — hit my world this morning.  If you know what’s up in my life and the Hambrick Plan, you know that those words have special meaning.  And if you don’t, well, they apply to you and your plans more than you know.

The Short Version? Meet your plans; don’t wait for them to find you.  The Long Version follows.

A dialogue before work this morning wound its way around the spindle of writing — copywriting specifically.  I’ve managed to work in some copywriting in my present, decidedly non-copywriting position to some acclaim.  I shared that in the convo, saying that, “Sure, some point in the future, I’ll have more writing in a more front-and-center position job-wise.”

After arriving at work, my old agent from my freelancing days approached me about revisiting some evening/weekend proofreading for the ad agency JWT.  I used to proof for the agency before my current gig.  JWT is the place that basically introduced me to the possibility of copywriting for a living, thanks in large part to the advice and encouragement of the guy who’s behind this and this, and the guy who said something nice about my work  here.

Brilliant copywriting

I then chat with a friend who recently went from one copywriting contract to a perm gig, still with copywriter scribbled on her shingle at the new digs.  Whereas I, as an editor, was pining for the fjords of copywriting, she, as a copywriter, was already enjoying the view therefrom (is that a word?).  Ironically, before copywriting, she was an editor.  Hmm.  When she said that I should do what I’m drawn to, I responded, “I’m drawn to paying the bills.”

But then there, in that little quip, hid the truth: I’m drawn to make things happen with words.  I was making a joke, but it came naturally, without effort. And it made me smile.

And it encourages me to work on writing more.

A month. A whole month since my last entry.

Dear God but I missed my blog the way you’d miss a 12-step meeting: sure I could go on without, but it does me a world of good. Still 30 days without and I start to get the heebie-jeebies. And that’s something this writer likes to avoid, particularly when I enjoy writing and do it daily.

Daily, mind you … just not always on Heavy Mental.

Then it occurred to me: why not write about what I wrote about? Truth is, I’m taking a cue from Atlanta designer and illustrator extraordinaire San Smith (pink hair, genuine talent, nice person … what’s not to like?). She has a regular feature on her site dubbed “What I wore today.” Why not fashion something akin to that based on my writing? (San, imitation is flattery … Hope you don’t mind!) So, here goes:

It’s busy season for the Big Four, so work saw me proofing some financial documents. Nothing thrilling there other than finding an addition error — pretty impressive when I consider that I was absent from school the day they taught math.

But the creative writing for the day came in the form of a Facebook reply to a friend who chose to go to the gym over attending a wine tasting tonight. From a perspective not my own, I wrote:

Dear Colleen,
I wish to convey my congratulations on your willpower, gumption, and veritable self-discipline in choosing the treadmill over the tasting.
Sure, perhaps by 1 a.m., you’d find my tantalizing nose, spicy bouquet, and smooth finish would linger and lilt about your senses like a Taser(R) on low-voltage, but the gym is a wise choice. After all, there’s no day like today to do something good for your body. And besides, I’ll be mo’ bettah the longer you put me off.
Best Regards, The Chilean Shiraz

It’s after writing something like that — even when I’m ready to hit the hay — that I recall how much I enjoy writing. Yay words.

So I’ll keep on this weekly “What’d I write Wednesdays” kick and do my best to pepper the other days of the week with posts so as not to get Thursday through Tuesday riled up with jealousy and to keep my true-believer readers guessing. Here’s to (in)consistency.

That’s it for What’d I write Wednesdays … and here’s to 311 Thursday tomorrow. Awwww, YEAH!

2,000 Visits

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have acheived a milestone here at Heavy Mental: 2,000 visits.

And with your visit today, we have surpassed it. Many thanks for finding this blog a worthwhile speck in the ether.

It started as a personal exercise in creativity and, well, it still is. But I’m glad you all have found some pleasure in it as well. For a writer who enjoys what he does, that means a whole big bunch.