Thursday, 24 February 2011

WRITING, AND CHOCOLATE



Today I’ve eaten:

3 chocolate biscuits
1 Magnum Classic
1 cream egg
and a handful of licorice

...between lunch and tea-time. Oh, and a bag of cheese and onion crisps.

This is not good.

For a while now, I’ve been struggling to maintain my weight at 9 stone 3lbs. That is, to stop losing any. I only had to get a wee bit stressed and the weight would fall off me. Now, suddenly, I’ve a little beachball for a tummy and am beginning to waddle like a penguin (Note to Self: don’t mention Penguins).

What, you may ask, has this got to do with writing?

The answer is, Everything.

It’s no coincidence that I’ve begun writing properly again. Writing and chocolate seem to go together like…waistband and elasticated. There’s something about the writing process that demands time out. Have a break – have a You Know What. A break! (think I) I'll take an internet break. I fool myself that because such breaks are virtual, they can't lead to calorific indulgence. The slippery slope proceeds like this:

- Yay. I finished a sentence…I’ll just see if anyone’s sent me an email
- Huh. Well someone’s probably posted something interesting on WriteWords
- Just a quick game of word-bubbles then. After all, that’s literary.
- Wonder what Jonathan Cainer’s forecasting for Pisces today?
- Or, for that matter, for this month?
- Someone’ll have sent me an email by now.
- Huh. What’s the latest on Katie Price and Alex Reid?
- No!!! No!!! No!!!
- Who’s eating what on Facebook?
- I need chocolate.

The synapses of my brain have become hard-wired between chocolate and writing. Write, I tell myself. And – zzzzpppp – chocolate’s right there too. I tell myself it’s because there are so many similarities between them. Yes, there are. Really. Chocolate is narrative, innit?

Look at the adverts. Always set in the world of fairy tales – animated bunnies with West Country accents conducting endless flirtations in meadows; young, thin women (always thin women) reclining on moonlit couches or voyaging on chocolate boats through Swiss chocolate landscapes. Of course the writer in me is seduced. This is a story. And I know exactly how it’ll end. But hey, the insidious message goes: Live for the moment.. You’re worth it.

The names of chocolate bars through history have been as carefully considered as the titles of novels: Aero. Flyte. Flake. Wispa. Drifter. Relax, they coo. Let us beguile you. You can come to no harm with us. We’re so…insubstantial. Or, in the case of Mars, so far away. Smarties. Clever you for choosing us. Poppets. Small, cute and innocent, just poppet in.

At least you knew where you were with a Yorkie.
Porkie, that’s where.

And have you noticed how the eating in these adverts is always really slow? Have you noticed the sensual unwrapping, the lingering eye-to-chocolate contact, the holding-it-in-the-mouth-for-eons-with-a-self-satisfied-feline-smile-curling-about-one’s-lips process? With respect, m’lud, these are not Real Women. Real Women grebbit-n’stuffit (apologies, Marina Lewycka).

Darn. I hoped that by writing a Whole Blog about chocolate, I might have indulged my craving by proxy.

Fat chance. I’ve just been working up an appetite.

13 comments:

Charmaine Clancy said...

Not sure *munch munch* I get the *slobber munch* same cravings *munch* as you *lick fingers* I hardly ever touch chocolate *hides wrapper under the mouse pad*.

Roderic Vincent said...

A tasty post, Susie. For me it's not chocolate but alcohol that links to writing. If I didn't have such a hangover I'd write a Strictly Post about that wonderful elixir of creativity. It's especially useful for helping you cope with editorial rejection in a level-headed manner (the reason for today's hangover).

Keep your chocolate - pass the bottle.

Roderic Vincent said...

Hope that didn't sound too grumpy - I am feeling slightly Ron Weasley this morning.

Anonymous said...

For me, the chocolate or whatever is a bit like facebook and WW - it keeps me at the computer. I find writing incredibly intense and need regular breathers, be that of the the screen-surfing or candy-sucking variety.

If i didn't have a snack or snatch a bit of gossip on some forum, i would i instead lift my backside off the chair, leave the room and probably not return for some while, if at all that day.

Sam

Caroline Green said...

It's tea and dunky biscuits for me. Oh hang on, that isn't just when I'm writing....

Debs Riccio said...

Ha ha, Suzie - FAT chance - love it - great post!

Susannah Rickards said...

writing and chocolate go together like waistband and elasticated. LOL. Brilliant!

Great post Susie.

Susie Nott-Bower said...

Thanks, all - glad it's not just me (apart from the Weasley one - hope your head's better now, Rod!). I think it's the fault of all those ChocLit authors we've had on Strictly! Maybe for you, Rod, it's less ChocLit than ChocTale...
Susiex

Julie P said...

Mmmmmm chocolate. You've got me craving it now and I haven't got any in the house - damn you, woman!

It's an essential piece of the writers' kit and I have failed miserably in making sure I have an emergency supply. I went to the local shops today as well, tut,tut,tut.

Julie xx

Susie Nott-Bower said...

Consider this an unconscious victory over the devil chocolate, Julie!
Susiex

Belinda said...

now i'm hungry

...so any strictly team who may be reading - what happened to this here extra story that was going to be posted today, you know for the award comp? i noticed the announcement to tell us about this has gone too

Susie Nott-Bower said...

Hi Belinda -
I think it's due to go up tomorrow now. :)
Susiex

Derek said...

Did you know that the Cadbury's Caramel bunny was voiced by Miriam Margolies?