Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Monday, October 18, 2004

Squirrels in the Attic

After sleepless nights and worries about rats, we discovered we had more charming - at least to look at - intruders. A female squirrel had invaded the eaves space up on the attic floor, made a nest in the insulation lagging and given birth to four babies. These had grown up and learned how to run up and down their territory - the length of the house.

Last Wednesday the first, a baby, was caught. Then the mum. And three more babies, one a day, since. The pest controller, who calls every day, thinks he has found them all now. He must stop up the hole under the roof tile, where the original one got in. And we must vacuum the whole house, for each little captive drags lagging into the cage which then sheds it as it is brought down from the top of the house to the front door.

This week I have finished my story for the Stravaganza website which is to act as a trailer for City of Flowers. And the City of Flowers bound proof has come, very chinky, with the magic words "lead fiction title" on the back. So now I can get back to my outlines and sample chapters.

Having two teenage and two adult titles at the forefront of my mind, plus several in the background, is a bit like having caged squirrels running back and forth. They need taking and releasing into the wild if I am to get any peace.

A footnote to my Icelandic diary: a helpful correspondent wrote that you can take your mother's name if you are an Icelandic girl (which I think I said). Or you can take BOTH your mother's and your father's. So the feminists HAVE done their bit. Good for them.