Pen Men Coming Out of the Closet

Once upon a time, there was love. It was sweet. It was bromantic. It involved roses and starry-eyed compliments, and there was even an impulsive proposal for marriage (though who proposed to whom remains a mystery).

Bound in mutual admiration, the relationship blossomed. It was all beautifully casual. We compared creative curses. We laughed and teased each other. We could be laid back together, chink beers and not argue over the remote control. We had the same types of dreams, the same visions and most importantly, the very same ethics, both moral and professional.

It was a match made in heaven. Soulmates. Nothing could have been more perfect. But would it last? Would our guy love be enough to uphold the sweeping fan-boy adoration happening between us?

Indeed it did and yes, it was.

Of course, it was inevitable. As with all relationships that are a match made in heaven, more serious issues began winding into our thoughts. We should come closer. We wanted to be together every day. Someone should move in. It was time for lasting commitment.

The subject was brought up for discussion carefully and with great attention to detail. Talks were deep and heartfelt, and there were no more secrets between us.

Then the real issues were laid on the table. Would we pick up our own socks and wash our own laundry? Would we have specific chores and responsibilities? Where did we draw lines on finances and obligations? And what about the children?

Of course, it worked out perfectly. Couldn’t be better. We moved to live in one space and share a home. (But smart people that we are, we all kept our own apartments in case the shit hit the fan.)

We settled into our new routine and relationship. We had to learn to adjust to each other’s ways and little quirks. It wasn’t always easy, and there were a few kitchen table talks. No one wanted to break up, though, and when you’re in a relationship, everyone has to pitch in to make it work.

It’s time to come out of the closet. (Not that we were in one, because closets are frankly rather dark and restrictive, but you know what we mean.) There’s a new Pen Man in town, and he’s here to stay (unless he does leave his socks kicking around).

We’d like to introduce you to Mr. Charlie Pabst, our new addition to Men with Pens. (Yes, we’re keeping him. We like him. He even already has a name !)

Charlie comes to us from Charfish Design, where he was happily ensconced in complete isolation and working hard at his business until he realized (much at the same time we did) that if he joined the Pen Men, he could achieve bigger and better goals. (We had the same line of thought. Creepy. Then again, what with the bromance, we had Charlie on our minds a lot those days.)

A note: Charlie isn’t closing Charfish Design. Charfish hasn’t become one of the many subsidiaries of Men with Pens (no, we’re not telling you which sites those are). Charfish is still very much alive and wriggling around in the sea, and it will continue to thrive and grow.

But to hook the big fish, a fisherman needs bait. And together, we three landed a nice one. This move is a strategic adjustment and a necessary development for each of us to go further. Like I said to Charlie, “I’m riding this baby all the damned way, so strap down and hold on tight. I’m not done here just yet.”

So, yes. We’ve gone from duo to trio for one rocking threesome that can’t be beat. Charlie’s creative talents, imaginative mind and strong skills rounds out our business services nicely so that we can offer even more to our clients.

Between James, Harry and Charlie, Men with Pens now provides:

  • Graphic art and web design
  • Expert WordPress customization and coding
  • Ajax, pHp, and jQuery
  • 3D graphics and sparkly stuff
  • Animation using Cinema 4D, After Effects and Flash
  • Video, image and music editing and special effects
  • Copywriting, web content and editing services
  • Marketing and branding expertise
  • Quark typesetting and magazine layout
  • Ebook content, graphics and fancy bling
  • Consultation and critiques

There’s more to this story. (And you thought we were done. Ha!)

Charlie’s new presence allows us to take Men with Pens to the next level in both our business and our blogging endeavors (never mind our living arrangements). This is a good thing for you, dear reader.

Our vision has always been to grow our business bigger and better. We aren’t just here for a good time – we’re here for a long time.

Along the way and as we grow, we share our experiences, lessons and advice with you so that you can learn (without the hardships) and reach further in life, whether you are solo freelancer or a full-fledged small business with employees.

We continually prove that yes, people can start something with just a handful of hope, and yes, the little guy can achieve his goals and dreams. And we’ll keep proving this each and every day, and we’ll keep sharing with you along the way. (Hey, that rhymes!)

We’re very sorry there’s no marriage for you to attend (we prefer shacking up instead). That just means you don’t have to dress up and we don’t have to spend a lot of money plying you with free liquor.

We do have live entertainment, though, so please join us in celebration today and sing along.

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Can’t see this video? Just click here to see the video on YouTube. Don’t forget to sing along.

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.

Join the Discussion. Click Here to Leave a Comment.

  1. Cool news. Should be interesting watching your venture unfold.

    Bamboo Forests last blog post..7 Sounds That Make You Want to Gouge Your Eyes Out

  2. Oh… And every guy is allowed at least one man crush. In your case, two.

    Bamboo Forests last blog post..7 Sounds That Make You Want to Gouge Your Eyes Out

  3. I’ll skip past asking what those odd stains on the closet wall are and say congratulations on the addition to the bromance. 😉

  4. Charlie,

    Wow, friend, it’s been lovely watching (parts of) it unfold. Nice that you’ve formalized the love now. They obviously know what a wonderful genius they’re getting, but how will the Seattle Slowhand ever wake up gently again with the Vegas Pen Man and Le Roi shaking your shoulders?


    Oh, you still here?

    Phrase that came out of your mouth for the first time today: “strategic adjustment.” He he. He he. He.

    Aw, seriously, congrats. Charlie couldn’t have happened to two nicer Pen Men.



    Kellys last blog post..Inspiration Points: How Much Money Should You Be Charging?

  5. @ Bamboo – I’m an equal opportunity kind of guy. There’s plenty of love to go around.

    @ Joel – That’s just sick, dude. Yuck. It’s far too early for that.

    @ Kelly – Hmm, you have my curiosity up – “It’s been lovely watching parts of it unfold…” Are you saying you knew something was up?

    And yes. Charlie will never live quietly again. Harry’s thrilled, he has a patriot in arms to join with. He doesn’t shake, he pats on the back in sympathy saying, “I know, bro. I know.”

  6. Soon it’ll be the Pen Mob 🙂

    Congrats on the new partnership. Growth is good.

  7. Brett Legree says:

    Congrats, my friends, and may your many successes continue.

    If you ever need a Viking in your fold to, err, “collect” on debts, my axe is always sharp… 🙂

    Brett Legrees last blog fridays – raiding party.

  8. Great news, guys, and congrats to Charlie!

    When will you debut your “guy love” video? …

  9. Yay to growth, yay to partnerships and especially yay to rockin’ threesomes!!!

    Alex Fayles last blog post..Practicing Flexibility to Remain Steady

  10. James,

    You are so progressive, experimental, leading the way in free love. It’s Woodstock all over, again. You rock!

    Susan Cartier Liebels last blog post..Current Law Students Eligible for Lifetime Scholarships at SPU

  11. Congrats to Charlie for joining the cool guys! I’m just disappointed that there’s no six-course dinner and cake. Shacking up just seems so… cheap. And guys, what song are those Scrubs guys singing–can’t hear ’em.

    Karen Putz / DeafMoms last blog post..My Son, The Football Player

  12. @ Karen – Ahh, my apologies. Just for you, lyrics:

    Let’s face the facts about me and you,
    A love unspecified.
    Though I’m proud to call you “Chocolate Bear,”
    The crowd will always talk and stare.

    I feel exactly those feelings, too
    And that’s why I keep them inside.
    ‘Cause this bear can’t bear the world’s disdain,
    And sometimes it’s easier to hide,
    Than explain our

    [J.D. and Turk]
    Guy love,
    That’s all it is,
    Guy love,
    He’s mine, I’m his,
    There’s nothing gay about it in our eyes.

    You ask me ’bout this thing we share,

    And he tenderly replies,

    It’s guy love

    [J.D. and Turk]
    Between two guys.

    We’re closer than the average man and wife,

    That’s why our matching bracelets say Turk and J.D.

    You know I’ll stick by for the rest of my life.

    You’re the only man who’s ever been inside of me.

    Whoa, I just took out his apendix.

    There’s no need to clarify,

    Oh no?

    Just let it grow more and more each day.
    It’s like I married my best friend,

    But in a totally manly way.

    [J.D. and Turk]
    Let’s go!
    It’s guy love,
    Don’t compromise,
    The feeeling of some other guy,
    Holding up your heart,
    Into the sky.

    I’ll be there to care through all the lows.

    I’ll be there to share the highs.

    [J.D. and Turk]
    It’s guy love,
    Between two guys.

    And when I say, “I love you, Turk,”
    It’s not what it impies.

    [J.D. and Turk]
    It’s guy love

  13. Congratulations to Charlie.. did you buy all new underwear?

  14. Congratulations, and welcome. I’m glad you guys are here for a long time, and not just a good time.

    Writer Dads last blog post..Wiped Out and Ready For More

  15. Congrats to all parties!

    All this creative guy love is almost enough to make a gal want to throw on some flannel and move to the frozen north.

    Almost. 😉

    KatFrenchs last blog post..Question everything.

  16. Cheryl Wrght says:

    Welcome aboard Charlie. You’re in good company and you’re going to have a helluva hide with Harry and James.

    Bon Voyage.


  17. @ Kat – We’ll even let you wear your flannel to the depanneur to pick up beer for us. How cool is that, eh?

    @ Rhodester – Some feel commando is the way to go, but hey. I like everything nice and neat and in its place, y’know? The real question is… boxers or brief? Or both?

    @ Cheryl – Hehehe… you make it sound like we should offer him a cigarette and a last meal request. Too funny.

    The only bloody thing is that he’s another of those west coast people who don’t get up until the crack of noon. EST, that is. *sigh*

  18. Cheryl Wrght says:

    Hey Guys,

    What about matching braclets. What about sending bumper stickers to your subscribers, Fan of Men with Pens or Men with Pens Fan?Huh? Huh?


    P.S. Oh yes, and that video? Sweet!

  19. I can’t resist . A last name of Pabst I would think Charlie would be a shoe in while you guys are chinking your beers. Maybe not a Canadian beer but hey maybe that’s where the water originates. I’m sure he will be a great addition to the pen men and look forward to your threesome synergy.

  20. @ Mark – Come on. Beer had to factor into this somewhere, even if it was in name only. We tried to find a Charlie Moosehead but that was just limiting our options.

  21. Congrats, guys! Now you just needs some gals to provide some balance. Chicks with Bics, anyone?

    Nick Cerniss last blog post..The Dangers of Information Dieting

  22. Nick,

    Once Harry said I was “nearly” an honorary Pen Man. “Twas a proud day. I’ve been nearly a lot of things, but that’s my fave…


    LOL Charlie Moosehead. He’s out there somewhere.


    I have a friend who swears that’s how I’ll know when it’s serious. That frightens me. Is this something I missed in Dating 201?



    Kellys last blog post..Summer Is a Great Time to… Get Some Intelligence

  23. Aww ….

    Who says bromance is dead?

  24. Cheryl Wrght says:


    I like the Chicks with Bics suggestion. Let’s see what our Men with Pens have to say about that.


  25. Congrats on becoming a threesome! I’d heard of Charlie before, so good on ya, all three.

    And way to play the linkbait…

    Mark Dykemans last blog post..In review – How To Be Creative by Hugh MacLeod

  26. Thanks for posting the lyrics to the Scrubs song, James-bear. I remember that episode now and how that song had me rolling. Yeah, nothing wrong with love between two bros — whether blood, partners, or buds!

    Gosh, there’s just something about having three guys named James, Harry and Charlie. They sound princely, traditional, and strong.

    Meryl K. Evanss last blog post..Game du Jour: Week of September 1

  27. Well, wow. Congratulations to all three!

    If I’d known, I’d have dressed more appropriately and brought presents. (As it is you get jeans and presence instead.)

    Here’s to your exciting news and big day. Cheers!

    Nicole Brunets last blog post..Mum & Dad go boating

  28. VIdeo!??On Men With Pens! … and threesomes?!?!?!? Whoa! Drinks all round. Cheers and welcome Charlie Pabst….it just keeps getting better and better.

    LMAO cute…very exciting.

    Janice C Cartiers last blog post..Gustav Aftermath

  29. I meant cute in a very manly manly way of course. 😉

    Janice C Cartiers last blog post..Gustav Aftermath

  30. Ladies and gents –

    Thank you very much for the warm welcome, everyone. It is a pleasure to be here working with James and Harry, and to be part of your lives as well. I’ll get to know you better as the weeks pass, but for now I thank you!

    There. Now I’ve got an entire serious paragraph out of the way, and that’s probably the last one you’ll ever see from me. Let’s move on…

    @Rhodester : No new underwear, but we’ve all agreed to get new tattoos of each other dressed in rooster outfits.

    @Nicole : James and Harry both humbly request that any presents should be shipped directly to me. Unless they’re monetary gifts, in which case they should be shipped Express directly to me.

    Jeez…I could go on like this for hours but the original Pen Men have me busy already. And James has a new whip just for me. It’s got sharp little pointy bits on the end.

    Thanks again, all. I’m all warm and fuzzy!


  31. Charlie, nice to meet you. Great to see the Pen Men expanding to take over the world. 😉

    Amy Derbys last blog post..Freelance Writing Blogs That Rock

  32. Michael Martine says:

    This would all make a great manga comic.

    Congrats on the new blood added to the brotherhood!

    Michael Martines last blog post..Recent Blog Launch? Submit Your New Blog Here and Jumpstart Your Blog Traffic!

  33. @Charlie LOL, you fit right in. I like you already. 🙂

    Nicole Brunets last blog post..Mum & Dad go boating

  34. I noticed Charlie being in the same line of thought with you guys. This seems to be a great match.

    When I saw the title “Coming out of the closet” I thought you were going to say you are gay. . . that’s what that phrase usually means around here. Oh, and I have no problem if you are gay — I’m very open minded, as you know.

    Akemi – Yes to Mes last blog post..A Year Without Paychecks

  35. Urban Panther says:

    Three Men and a Baby. Oh wait? Where’s the baby? And which one of you is Tom Selleck, which of you is Ted Danson, and which is Steve Guttenburgh? I think you should let Charlie decide which of these three gentlemen he is Then you and Harry can toss a coin for the other two roles. After all, you are still in the honeymoon stage and should be extra nice to him.

    Welcome Charlie. Hope you got a pre-nup! *smile*

    Urban Panthers last blog post..They are my Boyz and I love them

  36. @ Urban – Charlie got one of the all-exclusive highly-in-demand personal phone calls from Mr. Chartrand the blogosphere celebrity himself. He was thrilled, to say the least, and now considers himself something of a special person.

    That whip should bring things back into perspective shortly. (Charlie, we’ll have to talk about how shipments are made around here. Front man gets first pick, remember?)

    Oh, and I’ll be Ted.

  37. Panther,

    Charlie’s the charming, funny, tender one. Steve Guttenberg for sure.


    A phone call? Did you faint from the bromantic excitement?

  38. Welcome Charlie, your ability to put up with james already wins you my undying adoration.Just ask Harry, he’s my hero.

    I’m looking forward to learning more about you and reading your work.

    Deb Ngs last blog post..Freelance Writing Jobs for Tuesday, September 2, 2008

  39. @ Deb – Wha-?! Hey! Who let you in! Someone close the door, the peanut gallery is tossing shells at me again.

  40. Urban Panther says:

    @Charlie – yup, should have gotten a pre-nup.

    Urban Panthers last blog post..They are my Boyz and I love them

  41. @James – I think you subconsciously left the door open knowing a woman’s touch is desperately needed around here.

    Deb Ngs last blog post..Freelance Writing Jobs for Tuesday, September 2, 2008

  42. @ Deb – I always thought black was slimming…

  43. Um…does this blog make my butt look big?

  44. Aw, loving all the bro love! There’s a lot of love going around here…

    Congratulations on the new pen man. So, when you do drive-by shootings, does that mean you have a Pen Mafia? 😉

    RL Davids last blog post..Meditation for Monday: Humility

  45. Three men with pens, excellent, the more the merrier 🙂

    Marelisas last blog post..25 More Ways to Celebrate Life

  46. @Cheryl, Nick – Chicks with Bics sounds pretty catchy…

    RL Davids last blog post..Meditation for Monday: Humility

  47. @ RLD – Can we make them dance, serve us fresh drinks and do our laundry?

    And what kind of name would our site have then, huh? Men with Chicks and Pens and Bics? Sounds like Dr. Seuss.

    Then we’d get all the women up in arms about being sexist, and they’d sue Harry about the Chicks part, and we’d have to go all politically correct with “people with different body parts that are just the same as the other people with different body parts,” and then Bic would get into it and … geez.

    Who was passing out champagne? I need one.

  48. @James – I’m laughing so hard, I don’t even know what to type!

    RL Davids last blog post..Meditation for Monday: Humility

  49. @ RLD – Besides, someone else owns the domain. 😉

  50. James,

    Passing out champagne is always my job. 🙂

    I say “chicks” all the time… but then again, I’m a chick. Maybe the rules are different ‘cuz of these body parts.

  51. Welcome, Charlie! I can’t wait to get to know you better as the newest addition to the Pen Men!

    …they’d sue Harry about the Chicks part…

    We’d just sue Harry, but not James or Charlie? Poor Harry…

    Um…does this blog make my butt look big?

    Gosh darn it Harry, you just made me choke on my coffee. 😛

    Harry and James, Charlie’s not secretly a shark in Lake Tahoe, is he? I just wanna be sure… 😉

    Allison Days last blog post..Hotate Special, and More Randomness

  52. @ Allison – I’m not sure that suing crosses the border, so we’ll just keep it in the family over in Harry’s area 🙂 I’ll make it up to him.

    And the Charfish was a terrible beast indeed…

  53. Leading with his shoulder, John buts in.

    “Oh hi. Congrats to all 3 of you for venturing into a new uh . . . venture!”

    Now I need to go change a poopy butt! Oh my life.

    Seriously though, hello Charlie 🙂

    John Hoff – eVentureBizs last blog post..Securing Your WordPress Blog: Post 6 – Protecting The wp-config.php File

  54. @Allison: The Charfish was indeed the inspiration for the Charfish. I think that came from that Dark and Stormy meme we did a while back.

    @James: Hey, you’re talking to the guy who came up with “Vertically Challenged Individuals Bearing Baked Goods” No way am I getting sued for anything.

  55. Woo Hoo! Glad to hear it and congratulations to the new threesome! Charlie was great to work with and he created a couple of the cutest kick ass dancing pink elephants for us!!


    Camillas last blog post..Mindmapping Lillian Stuff

  56. @ Camilla – I heard about those pink elephants, actually… All good, of course. They behaved.

  57. I’ll make a note not to jump into any lakes with you two three around.

    Allison Days last blog post..Hotate Special, and More Randomness

  58. @Camilla: So *you’re* the one with the pink elephants! Yeah, make sure you keep them in line, they can be an unruly bunch 😉

  59. “The Charfish was indeed the inspiration for the Charfish.”

    @Allison Remind me to refrain from my usual “bite me” comeback when Charlie’s around then, would ya?

    Nicole Brunets last blog post..Mum & Dad go boating

  60. @Nicole – Will do. Wouldn’t want you to have the same fate as Lizzy… I get the feeling you wouldn’t heal quite as quickly as she did.

    Allison Days last blog post..Hotate Special, and More Randomness

  61. @ Harry – I like to think I had something to do with you coming up with “Vertically Challenged Individuals Bearing Baked Goods”. 🙂

    Congrats to you all on your big ‘Men’-age a Trois (don’t know how to type the damn accent).

  62. @ Kat – We’ll even let you wear your flannel to the depanneur to pick up beer for us. How cool is that, eh?

    James, I do believe that is the first time I have seen the word depanneur in a blog. I’m having flashbacks of trips across the bridge in high school (I lived in Ottawa at the time).


    Sabrinas last blog post..Diana

  63. @ Sabrina – Actually, more than once on this blog. Check it out:

  64. I enjoyed reading this post as it provided a newcomer with more hope than the political news makers these days…Thank you, I truly needed a shot in the arm or fingers on keyboard.

  65. @Everyone:

    Hahahaha. You commenting folk are great! I love the audience here. I’ve been off being productive and I come back you’re all getting on like close friends at Thanksgiving.

    Favorite quote so far: “Vertically Challenged Individuals Bearing Baked Goods”. That’s why I love you, Harry.

    @Allison and anyone who likes naughty words: Don’t refrain on my account. I’ve got the mind of a well-mannered philosopher, but the mouth of a sailor. Especially when I get talking about Internet Explorer. Right, James?

    @Camilla : So you’re an MwP haunter as well, eh? Good to see you here and good to know the pink elephants are still dancing.

  66. ROFLMAO! Now I’m having a craving for a quart of Carnaval!

    Sabrinas last blog post..Diana

  67. James—-smoooch! I appreciate you taking the time out with those lyrics. I know Meryl and Amy are right up there reading ’em with me.

  68. Yet another club I’m not invited to, and more competition to boot. I now have to beat three of you all by myself… Congratulations guys.

    John Hewitts last blog post..PD30 Day 2: Generally Be Specific

  69. @Charlie – How did I get lumped in with “anyone who likes naughty words”? *confusion* Not that I mind, but you’ll probably never hear one from me. 😉

    Allison Days last blog post..Santa Barbara Roll

  70. Since Chicks with Bics seems to be ruled out, I had another flash of genius….

    How about a female division called Hens with Pens?

    Mine. The credit’s all mine….


  1. […] Pens and has been noted as such. To read more about my relationship with Men with Pens, read the original post by Pen Man James. I couldn’t say it any better than he […]

  2. […] was torn by my loyalty to my fellow brethren. I had made vows, nay, pledges to remain faithful! Now I struggled, tempted by an alluring pixie. […]

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