The author blog of C. J. Ivory

Tinkerer with words. Dresser-Upper. Adorer of Steampunk and VictoriaNoir fiction. Occasional Lawgineer.

December 20, 2010

Recommended Daily Diet for a Victorian Mystery Writer

Gentle Reader, 

as any writer will tell you, mining one’s imagination for inspiration burns a heck of a lot of calories. So it stands to reason that a writer must fortify herself with good nourishing food.

This is especially true of the Victorian mystery writer, who spends a good deal of her time plunged in the depths of despair (and occasionally the depths of the Thames). What’s more, if she is to stand any chance of recreating the Victorian world on page, she must attempt to emulate it in real life – in all its ten-meals-a-day glory.

Therefore, for your edification, I present The Recommended Daily Diet for a Victorian Mystery Writer:**

7:30 Breakfast; taken leisurely to aid digestion. A cup of coffee for medicinal purposes;

10am Second Breakfast; a cup of coffee, or strong tea, with a cake-like confection;

OR (for those with more staying-power)

11am Elevenses; see above for nutritional guidelines

1pm Luncheon; a savoury affair, followed by dark chocolate and a good cup of coffee for stamina

2pm A short period of thought, preferably carried out in a prone position on the chaise longue. To the unitiated, this may appear to be a nap, but it is actually an important activity for identifying plot holes.

4pm Tea; usually a sweet and a cup of Darjeeling, but Earl Grey will do in a pinch. A Devonshire tea (with scones and cream) may be shared with agreeable company. It is recommended, at this tender stage of the day, to avoid the company of bores, or anyone else who is not prepared to listen to a detailed description of your day's efforts.

5pm A glass of wine may now be taken, by those who have achieved their daily word count. Ensure your glass is scrupulously clean, and generous to the point of gallantry

7pm Dinner; a small amount of fish, fowl or game, accompanied by copious vegetables to assuage your guilt from the rest of the day’s eating. A glass of wine as digestif.

OR (on Sundays)

7pm Supper; a simple affair of soup or pasta, eaten in front of the television with one’s feet up. Accompanied by a glass of wine and a pat on the back for the hard work of the preceding week.

**nb: nine out of ten nutritionists recommend you do not become a Victorian Mystery Writer

With a puff of primrose and opium smoke,

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