Thursday, 31 January 2013

"People Are Literally Tearing Their Hair Out!"

Misuse of the word 'literally' can conjure up some strange mental images...

The 'How To Save The World' books.
"You'll literally laugh your head off!"
I read in the paper recently that one of the things that annoys a lot of people about modern language is the misuse of the word ‘literally’.  Apparently some people are literally tearing their hair out at the regularity with which this word gets used incorrectly.

However, I remember watching Stephen Fry argue once that language is a living thing and that language is constantly evolving.  So if people are constantly using a word to mean something other than what it was originally intended, you could therefore argue that after a certain length of time this word then acquires a new meaning.  For example the word ‘fabulous’ originally meant ‘pertaining to fables,’ i.e. a centaur or a griffon, for example.  But nowadays ‘fabulous’ is just a word which posh people use to mean ‘brilliant’.

I remember arguing with a mate once about language and when I quoted the wisdom of Stephen Fry on language in support of my viewpoint my mate then suddenly conceded the argument stating, ‘You can’t argue with Stephen Fry when it comes to language.’  I would have to agree, so maybe you could argue that the word ‘literally’ has now developed a new meaning, i.e. ‘literally’ now means ‘not literally at all’.

Anyway, whether the word ‘literally’ has obtained a new meaning or not, when taken literally it can produce some interesting mental images, so I thought it would be a cool idea to compile a list of quotes which quite literally use the word ‘literally’ in a totally non-literal sense.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

How To Save The World: Part 2A - Be Careful What You Wish For

The 'How To Save The World' saga continues...

Be Careful What You Wish For.
Part 2A in the How To Save The World trilogy.
Charles Fudgemuffin in association with Montgomery-Smythe Publishing Associates is proud to announce the release of the second book in the How To Save The World trilogy…

How To Save The World: Part 2A – Be Careful What You Wish For

When interviewed Charles had this to say, “I’m excited and delighted to announce the release of ‘How To Save The World – Part 2A: Be Careful What You Wish For’ which is the second book in the How To Save The World trilogy.  Book 2A follows on from the dramatic conclusion to book one with Eric continuing his adventures on the planet Fem and having to deal with (censored to avoid revealing plot spoilers).  Hopefully readers and book critics alike will have just as much fun reading it as I did writing it.”

However, it would appear that not all book critics share Charles Fudgemufin’s sense of fun, as Sebastian Fiennes-Cooper (chairman of the Basingstoke Literary Appraisal Society) was less than flowing with his praise when he had this to say, “The ‘How To Save The World’ trilogy will no doubt appeal to some tastes, but I have to say that I find it rather juvenile and get bored rather quickly with this crude style of humour.”

Charles Fudgemuffin in turn had this to say, “Sebastian Fiennes-Cooper bums goats.”

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Flyers: An Overlooked Promotional Opportunity For Authors

The Internet Is Great, But Don’t Overlook Real Life Opportunities…

One of my first promotional flyers.
Since my book 'How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy' was published early in 2012 it hasn’t yet quite set the kindle charts alight but I have had a few periods where sales increased for a week or so.

One of the occasions when my sales improved the most was over one particular Full Moon period when I was staying in Koh Pha Ngan and on the night of the Full Moon Party* itself I distributed a few promotional flyers.

* For anyone unfamiliar with the Full Moon Party, you can find out more about it at the following link:

As you can probably tell by the basic style of my original flyers (shown in this post), at the time I was an absolute beginner at creating flyers and my first attempts aren't going to win any awards for graphic design, but they got the job done and helped increase my sales for a week or so.

Also, at the Full Moon Party in question I perhaps didn’t spend quite as much time distributing flyers as I originally intended (the fun party spirit of the Full Moon Party can be very distracting when you’re trying to work!), so if I'd been more focussed on work rather than fun then maybe I would have seen even better sales results.  Anyway, despite the distraction of the party, book sales nevertheless increased during the week that followed that Full Moon.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

True Or False: Six New Year Themed 'Facts' From Around The World

New Year Celebrations: Pregnant pranks, smashing guitars and insect roulette...

One of my favourite things in the world which I like doing more than anything else is travelling and over the years I’ve been lucky enough to experience New Year celebrations in England, Scotland, Tanzania, Thailand, Vietnam and Fiji.

So following on from my previous True Or False posts for Halloween and Christmas, here’s another True Or False quiz featuring traditions from round the world to celebrate the new year.  Just to clarify, some of these ‘facts’ are true but others are totally made-up.  See if you can guess which is which...

Guitars beware.  Prepare for a smashing time at a Fijian New Year.

Fact 1) Fiji – Lock up your guitars!

In Fiji the locals have the strange but fun tradition of smashing up a guitar (rock star style) to see in the New Year.  If you don’t want to destroy your precious guitar (or if you’re a tourist who forgot to pack a guitar in your backpack) then you can buy miniature sized guitars purely for the purpose of smashing up.  I decided to join in with the local custom when I was in Fiji for New Year and I have to say it was a lot of fun and very satisfying to re-enact the classic guitar smashing ritual.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Charles Fudgemuffin's New Year's Resolutions

Charles Fudgemuffin's Plans for 2013

Start a band.  A cool New Year's Resolution.
A few days ago I posted a list of the top ten most popular New Year’s Resolutions, and also included a few amusing resolutions I stumbled across while doing my research.  So to carry on the New Year theme I thought I would post my own New Year’s Resolutions for the coming year.

Before I do though, here are a few more cool noteworthy New Year’s Resolutions I came across while compiling the top ten for my previous post:

1) "Take a picture of myself every day for a year and post a time lapse video on YouTube."
This is a cool idea which I’m tempted to do myself (not for YouTube, just for my own entertainment).  It would probably be cooler though if you had just got a puppy or a kitten, then when you watched the finished video you would be able to see it growing before your eyes.

2) "Start a band."
I would definitely recommend this resolution to anyone who loves music.  It can involve a fair amount of work to get a band up and running, but once the ball is rolling it’s a total buzz to record your own songs and to play live to an enthusiastic audience.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Top Ten New Year's Resolutions

The tradition of making resolutions to celebrate the New Year

Start the year with a change for the better.
To see in the New Year I thought I would compile a top ten of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions that people make each year.  Just to clarify though, this isn’t a comprehensive scientific report or survey or anything.  I’ve simply looked up a load of top ten charts and tables on the internet and then compiled the results into an overall chart based on which New Year’s Resolutions featured the most often.

Before I get to the results though, here are a few amusing New Year’s Resolutions I stumbled upon while compiling my statistics:

"I’ll think of new excuses for when I ring in sick."

"On days when I’m ‘working from home’ I will actually work from home."

About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.