Happy Easter (to those of you who celebrate it). What else was I going to write about today but CHOCOLATE (and being me, a bit of mythology)? The word ‘Easter’ itself probably comes from a northern goddess called Ostara, or Austra or Eostre, who represented the dawn. There are also links to Freya, one of the Norse goddesses, who was another goddess of light, and who is connected to the hares and rabbits which eventually turned into what we know as the Easter bunny. As they so often did, the early Christians took a pagan festival and turned it into their own celebration – spring has always been seen as a time of rebirth and resurrection.
But, back to the chocolate. If you look at the headline for this piece, you’ll see that I make a strange claim – that chocolate is an essential writing tool! When I’m teaching, I always tell my writing students that it takes 10,000 chocolate biscuits to make a novel. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but for me, chocolate (preferably Peruvian Maranon from Choc Tree, but I’m not really fussy) is a big part of my writing process. It’s not that I HAVE to have it, but at about 3pm, when the brain is flagging, I like to have a couple of squares to perk me up. Did you know that chocolate is actually good for you? (Well, dark chocolate is, anyway.) The Aztec and Maya consumed it for both health and religious reasons, and modern medical science has proved that dark chocolate and raw cacao contain important antioxidants, can lower blood pressure and help your heart function – and they may even boost your brain power. That last bit is the one I’m relying on, anyway. Enjoy your eggs today – and try not to eat them all at once!
PS: DON’T FORGET! The Great UKYA Egg Hunt closes at NOON today (5th March). If you’re quick you JUST have time to go round, count up the eggs and enter! Start by clicking on my blog HERE. One lucky person is going to win over 30 books (and more) from UKYA authors – why shouldn’t it be YOU?