Thursday, 28 November 2013

'Do what thou wilt' shall be the whole of the law.

I'm feeling good this morning, despite getting up before 06:00 and driving through freezing fog to work with one working headlight,  despite still having to get at least another five chapters of the new (serious) book finished in thirty-three days so that it can go to the publisher by the deadline (That's about 738 words per day fact-fans.)

Why am I so happy?  I'll show you:

What that says (although it's a bit tiddly in fairness, but if I made it any bigger it wouldn't fit, as the actress said to the bishop) is that in the last week, nine people have taken the plunge and bought real, paperback editions of the book.  Two from America, Five from the UK and two from Europe (Other) which means that currently, Mumblings of an Irate Pangolin is the 120,198th most popular book on Amazon - Now you may think that's not very impressive, but when you realise that there are about 11,000,000 real, hold it in your hands and whack a fly with it, books available on Amazon (or so I've been informed by my, admittedly slapdash and lackluster, investigation) - I'm in the top 1% of currently popular authors, along with the likes of J.K. Rowling, E.L. James and that bloke what wrote that book about that thing that everybody really liked.  So, it seems that at least nine people are going to have a wonderful Christmas.

Now, the more eagle-eyed of you will be saying 'Ah Dandy, but you said on Twitter yesterday that you'd bought a copy yourself, so that only makes it eight devilishly wonderful people who've bought a copy!' And you'd be completely right but for two, very important reasons:

  1. I bought it as a present, so it still counts.
  2. It's my Blog, I can say whatever I want and you have to believe me, especially the bits about halibut.

Along with the eighty-six forward thinking early adopters who have so far downloaded the Kindle version, that makes a grand-total of NINETY-FIVE people who are sharing the good word.

Not bad for saying that it's only been out for six weeks, and I am a complete nobody as far as the publishing world is concerned.

What does this all mean?  Well, the first thing that it means is that at least ninety-five people really shouldn't have access to the Internet, because they make bad literature choices.

But more than that, it means that if you put your mind to it, you can do pretty much anything.  Two years ago, there wasn't a person in the world who had heard of the Chimping Dandy, now I am the first hit when you Google something random like, oh, I don't know 'Loren Eiseley's time travelling Exxon Valdez potatoes' and that makes me more proud of myself than it has any right to.

For the year or so before starting the Blog, I'd thought to myself  'People say that I write funny stuff, and draw pretty pictures.' (actually they don't, no-one's ever looked at my pictures and said that they're pretty, They've said things like "I like that", "I'm not sure what that is, but it's good" and "No, seriously Dude, take that sh*t away from me, it's freaking me out") - But it wasn't until someone asked if they could buy something that I'd done, well, in fact four somethings, all at the same time, that I came over all 'Banksy' (Now, read that again carefully to make sure you read the words 'over' and 'all' in the right order) and I started calling myself an illustrator - I still don't like using the word artist, because that's reserved for people significantly more talented than me - Which led to me getting commissioned to do a book cover for an anthology of short stories.  Which you can, and should, buy from Amazon right now - It's like 77p on Kindle and frankly it's brilliant.

What I'm trying to say is you should just 'go for it' - If you want to do something and it doesn't hurt anyone historically important, then do it.  Want to play the guitar? Learn to play the guitar.  Want to look like Gary Oldman? Save up for the plastic surgery.  Want to teach a new facial expression to Kristen Stewart? Ah... Well... there are some things that mortal man should never attempt... Think of something else.

Ooh-Ooh... Still on the 'If you're good at something, you should just do it.' thing, I think I've found someone who might be designing the cover of the next book.  They're called Drawings By Hersanmine They're local (to me at least) and I think their stuff is great, very fresh and stylish, just like all of us here.  You should definitely get them to draw your house or your pets or your vehicles (And then you can let me know how much it cost, because I haven't plucked up the courage to ask them yet)  So, yeah, look them up, engage their services and so-forth before they realise how good they are and put up their prices.

P.S. I'm thinking 'The Pangolin Yodels' for the title of the next volume... What do you think?


As it's the end of November (And I'm off tomorrow, so you're gonna get nada from me until next week unless I get really drunk.)

Time for 'The State of the Dandy Nation'

Things that people have found the Blog by Googling this month include:

Dit Dit Gaii translation - (It means 'White Mountain' in Navajo BTW)
Martin Shaw naked - (And who can blame them?)
Alien Lederhosen - (My personal favourite)
cardamon club deerby - (Spelling searcher's own)
Disconnected Goatee - (Which, if it isn't an Indie band, certainly should be)
Jeremy Clarkson book signing - (Nope, no idea)
the Jetsons watch on ebay - (Again, not a clue... I am completely clueless)

Along with the various combinations of 'The', Chimping' and 'Dandy' of course.

We've had a lot of hits from Russia and Poland this month, and more than a smattering from France, China and the Ukraine, along with the standard number from the US, UK, Germany and Cyprus. And we're running at about 25,600 page views.


Now it's time for the latest Top Ten Posts.

10: It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen - The story of my childhood torture at the hands of my Supervillain, hollow volcano dwelling, Brother.

9: Thermodynamics, it's the Law! - Slipping down another place it's one of my personal favourites about the time my Father 'sowed the seeds of madness' in a young secretary.

8. If you don't like, what you're seeing, get the funk out - This is a fairly recent tale, with pictures, about a visit to a local Custom Motorcycle show.

7. Priorities - The first of the two serious posts in the Top Ten, the story of how I dealt with my Father announcing that he has terminal Cancer.

6. You get me closer to God - A new entry this one, straight in at number 6 pretty much. About a visit to Church, that turned into a Mighty Boosh sketch.

5. You like it when I do what? - Now I don't get this, at all.  This post is just last month's 'top ten' post with a bit of a pre-amble about the book.  I mean, I don't want to sound judgemental, but you guys are weird.

4. Pogonophilia is for everyone, even the young - The first of the 400 view plus Megaposts this month is this widely read (By some quite famous people, I'll have you know) description of men with beards.  As a man, with a beard, I wholeheartedly endorse this message.

3. Learn to govern yourself, be gentle and patient - A melange of subjects in this post.  Steampunk band The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, rotting dead bodies, mausoleums and the London Necropolis Railway.  Oh, and Radio 4.

2. Sabian, the Token Yank - A truly sad, but strangely beautiful post, even if I say so myself.  It's the story of a old friend of mine, who was suddenly taken ill, and tragically died a few days later.

1. No, it is not a slow news day - And here's September's Top Ten posts... Two of the top ten posts that I've ever shared are nothing more than posts detailing what the top ten posts have been in previous months... I will write a film-script and call it Top-ten-erception.

Right guys, talk to you on Monday, Peace!

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