Thursday, February 7, 2008

Today, February 7th, is Charles Dickens Day! Did you know that?
Don’t look so forlorn, dear Charles. You are a very special kind of hero to us.

And speaking of heroes, Barrie Summy, author of the fabulous I So Don’t Do Mysteries, has this to say about her hero: Charles Gordon Maynard.


Around 1909, Charles invented wine gum in his father’s candy store in Libya. There is some debate as to whether or not wine gums have ever contained real wine. Personally, I have never eaten a wine gum made with alcohol. About those first candies, who’s to say? Charles’ father was a staunch tee-totaling Methodist, and Charles may have been a bit of a bad boy.

Wine gums come in rolls of round candies or in bags of various geometric shapes and crowns. There are six colors: red, yellow, orange, green, white and black. Wine gums are a hardier chew than their cousin, the gummy bear, and fruitier in taste than their sibling, the jujube.

Wine gums are the perfect pick-me-up when your characters (or your children, for that matter) aren’t behaving themselves. Likewise, they are a delicious reward for each chapter (or page or sentence or, even, word!) written.

I have never seen a photo of Charles, but I suspect he’s a cross between Johnny Depp, Kevin Bacon and Orlando Bloom. He may or may not be a descendent of William the Conqueror.

According to Wikipedia, Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and many other great books) loved wine gums and ate one every night before going to bed.

So, thank you, Charles Gordon Maynard, for sweetening up my life. (OK, I do have real everyday heroes, but it’s been a giddy week...)

Barrie, we happen to know that your book is every bit as sweet as wine gum and twice as fun.


Jenny Meyerhoff said...

I have NEVER heard of this candy before! I'm intrigued. Where do you buy such a thing?

Ellen Booraem said...

I want some!!!!

Now, please. Misbehaving characters right and left.


PJ Hoover said...

Mmmmm. Yummy looking candy!

Anonymous said...

Just the thought of consuming such a pretty candy makes my day. According to you, I'll have better writing days if I actually eat some, so I'll be stocking up soon.

Anonymous said...

I will now go celebrate Charles Dickens day with my own candy (Sweet Tarts). Thanks for giving me a reason!

N.A. Nelson said...

I love this kind of interesting info! Now if only I can remember it the next time I play Trivia Pursuit! Can't you just imagine everyone's faces when I yell out...
"Charles Gordon Maynard!" or "Wine gum!" or "Six colors: red, yellow, orange, green, white and black!" b/c honestly those are the type of questions I usually get.

Were wine gums mentioned in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Hmmmm.

Gina Black said...

I never heard of "wine gums" but now my life won't be complete until I've eaten one. Or two. Or maybe three. (Four?)