The Chocolate Has Gone – But the Guilt Lingers On …

I’ve been reading an article on the evils of dieting. Apparently, dieting is not the way to go – built-in failure – promoting unhealthy attitudes to food – dangerous food fads, etc. Well, all of those reasons floated straight into my wheelhouse. (Little bit of a mixed metaphor thingy there, but what the hell).

Speaking from my unassailable position as World’s Most Unsuccessful Dieter, I’m bang alongside this. Apparently, as soon as your brain hears the word diet, it kicks in with overwhelming urges to eat everything in sight – including your nearest and dearest – so as to stave off the imminent starvation it knows is on the way. Although, to be fair, my brain does that even when not dieting.

Dieting can – it says – lead to faddy eating – I hate cabbage, sprouts, broccoli and milk, so I’m obviously well on the way to becoming an unbalanced, vitamin-deficient, soft-boned neurotic. It’s taken years of dedicated hard work, but I can finally proudly declare I’m nearly there.

Eat when you’re hungry, they announce – because none of us would ever have thought of that, would we?

Stop eating when you’re full, they cry, and all right, for me that one might need a little work, but how difficult could it be?

I don’t own a pair of bathroom scales. I have no idea what I weigh. Somewhere between a hundredweight and a ton, I suspect. I know that as a female I’m supposed to be obsessed about my weight and cultivate an unhealthy relationship with food, but I really can’t be bothered. I monitor my weight using my favourite pair of jeans. When they begin to feel, shall we say … snug, I know I should cut back a little, but mostly I go out and buy a new pair, stopping off at Thornton’s Chocolate Cabin on the way home. Problem solved.

All things considered, I actually think I’m a naturally skinny person. I know you wouldn’t think it to look at me, but when I think of the vast amounts of chocolate I do consume, it’s a miracle I’m not the size of a house. I really do see a lot of the stuff go by. Every day! But – I argue – if I stop eating chocolate, I might completely disappear. And before I’ve finished my next book. That would be a bit of a disaster.

So, I reason thusly: it’s probably only chocolate that’s keeping me in this world. It is, therefore, my duty to eat as much of it as possible. I write – therefore I eat chocolate.

Right – that’s that sorted. My conscience is clear for another year. What else?

Yes – An Argumentation of Historians is available for pre-order. Note to self – write books with shorter titles. Yes, I know I’ve said that before. And I’ve discovered that Argumentation is a word I can’t type. Along with manoerverable. I know there’s a ‘u’ in there somewhere, but it’s a word I just can’t get to grips with. I shall send this blog to Accent Press and the clever people there will include the link to the book. Thank you very much, Accent Press.

I’m just editing The Battersea Barricades now and that should be available for pre-order quite soon as well. I’ve just seen the cover and it’s pretty good.

We had a lovely day at Octavo’s yesterday. I chatted about White Silence for a little while and then about everything else for a lot longer. It was lovely to meet everyone who turned up. I hope you enjoyed yourselves.

I’m on Radio Gloucester on Tuesday, with Anna King. I’m alternately excited and terrified. In times of crisis I do tend to suffer from an absence of any sort of coherent thought. Like remembering my own name. I recently gave a talk to the Daisy Chain Group and I kid you not, the first line read, ‘Hello. My name is Jodi Taylor.’

And then next Saturday, the 20th January, I’m at Waterstone in Gloucester. They’re lovely folk there and their toasted tea-cake and hot chocolate combo is the breakfast of authors everywhere. I shall be signing books and chatting to anyone kind enough to turn up, so if you fancy a St Mary’s gossip – do come along.

We’ll be at Cardiff Comicon again this year, in May. I don’t have any details yet, but there were a good number of Disaster Magnets there last year and it would be lovely to see you all again.

I’m finishing now because from where I’m typing, I can see the remains of last night’s chocolate pushed under the sofa and it’s such a sad sight. Someone should do something …

19 thoughts on “The Chocolate Has Gone – But the Guilt Lingers On …

  1. I hear your distress about dieting and despite weighing myself recently (yes, I do need to lose weight again); I am almost single handedly trying to eat a box of millionaire bites that I bought on the way to work today. My excuse/ justification is that it was dark, wet, windy and just plain miserable.

  2. Another smile-inducing post. Your work-load (and attitude to food and diets) inspires awe. Wishing you a keen crowd at Gloucester Waterston’s this coming Saturday.

    • Thanks for your blog and books Jodi. I completely agree with you on the need to eat loads of chocolate. However if anyone does want to lose weight I found slimming world very good and I am permitted 2 Curly Whurlys a night (remember those?) to the hilarity of my family. You can eat lots on slimming world potato, pasta and rice included.

  3. Well, I have to say I can’t stand chocolate, or anything sweet at all, (unless it’s alcoholic of course). Maybe it’s a bug I can pass on, like the flu. In which case come round for a cup of tea if you want me to share my germs. Thanks for brilliant books Jodi. I am just reading The Nothing Girl, which I didn’t fancy, but am enjoying very much.

  4. I always look forward to your books. Is “The Battersea Barricades ” a short story? It makes me think of the courageous Mrs. Mack.

  5. You are so upcheering – I have just eaten some choc, having decided I wouldn’t have any during the week, but now I don’t feel so bad about it. You have such an amazing way with words – I can’t say how much I am looking forward to the unspellable Argumentation of H. AND the Battersea Barricades – is that going to be our summer treat? ohhhh, how wonderful to think there are two Jodi Taylor books coming out soon. (well, not soon enough, obviously, but soonish).
    Carry on with the choc and I will do the same. I used to have a skirt which I called my “measuring skirt” – if it fitted, I was fine, if it was too loose, I had to eat more choc (oh dear, such a trial!) and if it was too tight I had to cut down – and that really was a trial.
    Now, I will stop rabbiting on, so that you don’t have to read my rubbish but can write some more of your inimitable prose 🙂
    Jodi, thank you for being you.

  6. Chocolate is one of your five a day as it starts out as a fruit that grows on trees. I have been reading most of your books ? on Kindle and listening on Audible i say most as i havent a list to say what books I have read an not. Love all of the ones that I have though not just St Mary’s. Thank you Andrew Lloyd-Phillips.

  7. Good morning/afternoon/evening – I never know what time it is anywhere else because California is so far from everything. I don’t agree that Argumentation of Historians is too long a title, but that the title doesn’t fit with the rest of the books. It should be “A Damned Argumentation …” etc., or some such. I just can’t make it fit with the other titles. Accent Press were wrong when they fussed with you over naming this one. Still, I will love it, and hug it, and sleep with it under my pillow so I can read in my sleep.
    Please keep up the choc supply. We love you the way you are. You many have noticed that very few (if any) rail-thin models are successful authors. That must say something about eating.

  8. Dear Jodi,
    I have recently lost 2stone (no, I’m not asking for volunteers to find it). Not a diet I can recommend as, at the start, I threw myself down a flight of stairs, broke femur in 4 places and smashed my knee. Everything fine now thanks to wonderful NHS and fiendish physios, but the pain relief killed my appetite. I think the worst aspect of the whole event was over Christmas I was given several boxes of my very favourite chocolates and as chocolate is the most perfect food, providing everything a body needs, my normal behaviour would be ‘that’s breakfast, lunch and dinner taken care off’ horror of horrors, it took me a week to eat one box! Possibly the saddest sentence I’ve ever written.
    Keep up the good work, if I can’t eat chocolate I can laugh and cry with all the wonderful people you write about.
    P.S. Is your brother writing anymore adventures of an amazing blue parrot?

  9. I know a couple that eat chocolate—LOTS of chocolate—every day and they are the happiest people ever! They aren’t skinny, nor are they heavy, just average sort of puffy in areas. So, eat chocolate and be happy!

  10. Looking forward to reading the next St Marys book Jodie (no I can’t spell that word either!). Just want to say all my family love these books, so long may they reign x

  11. Arggh! Amazon just canceled my pre-order of Argumentation! They said the publisher made them do it. (I know you don’t control this; I’m posting here more just for your info than anything else. Time to go see if I can find anything about it on their website, I guess.)

    • The book was incorrectly posted on amazon and many US readers need to re-order. Apologies, but there shouldn’t be a problem. Let me know if there is.

  12. Do you have any word on then Zara Ramm will be recording An Argumentation of Historians and The Battersea Barricades? Please let is know when I can preorder both on
    Also, is there any chance a separate recording will made of A Perfect Storm? I have all your previous books available for my listening pleasure in my Audible Library.
    Zara does a wonderful job with her narration.
    She’s one of my Top 5 Narrators List along with Davina Porter: Outlander, Simon Vance: Temeraire, Kirsten Potter: Spymaster and Jim Dale: Harry Potter Series.
    I just recently started relistening to your books. In the past year I have acquired all books and short stories you have available on Audible.
    Just another devoted listener to The Chronicles of St. Mary’s,
    (Barbara C Argabright)

    • Hi Katie – no, no word yet. I can only suggest you keep checking Audible. Sad to say, the author is always the last to know. People usually tell me when they’re available. I don’t think Audible plan to record A Perfect Storm separately, but you can always ask them.
      Zara is good, isn’t she? I think she really makes St Mary’s.
      Best wishes,

  13. Good Morning,
    Thank you for your kind reply.
    I will query Audible.
    It’s a dreary day here in Northern Virginia.
    A visit with St. Mary’s rowdy denizens will brightem things up.

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