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

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

City of Snow

A very eventful week since my last entry. I found my cookie fortune - it says "You will reap the benefits of your personal magnetism next month." I explained all my promotional initiatives at an SAS weekend in Coventry. These happen about once a year and about 30 people go but not the same ones every time. It was my second such weekend.

Very varied - from nice people running the Lancashire Children's Book Award to a charismatic English teacher to a pschoanalyst who gave us a Freudian view of possible approaches to success and failure, entitled "Who's been eating MY porridge?"It was all wonderful as was our dinner at a long table where I was able to chat to Susan Price about the Sterkarm books and hear about her cat, who turns out to be a Norwegian Forest Cat and not a moggy at all.

I have been preparing workhops on Creating Other Worlds all week, assisted by a session with Rhiannon. To this end I am re-reading Orson Scott Card's excellent "How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy." This caused some hilarity at the Bloomsbury launch dinner for City of Flowers, which took place in Oxford last week. I arrived, in a flurry of snow, with said book under my arm, since I had come in on the bus and wanted to keep reading.

They gave me a wonderful package from the branch of the Santa Maria Novelle profumeria in London. It contained a heavenly scent of Florentine spring flowers - how appropriate was that?

And one of the nicest things that has happened apart from that, is that a new Diana Wynne Jones has arrived! Conrad's Fate. Since I have a lot of travelling ahead of me, it will be invaluable.

The search for Burmese kittens has begun.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Those of you who don't like cats or who have never loved an animal, read no further.

A nightlight is burning in my study window in vigil for my little cat Kichri, whose picture you see on the website. I buried her this morning outside the French windows, next to her mother, who went three years ago. Kichri was eighteen and a half and was ill for a week and a half at the end.

We are now without a cat for the first time for thirty years. We shall wait till at least July, then get two Burmese kittens.

This weekend was spent moving a daughter from one flat to another in London and bringing excess baggage back here. There is now a large television halfway up our stairs waiting for us to feel strong enough to take it the rest of the way to her attic bedroom. i think the definition of an adult is one who doesn't keep anything at his or her parents' home any more. It took me a long time to reach that point.

Oldest daughter had a birthday last week on Chinese New Year and we took her and boyfriend to a Chinese meal. My fortune cookie said: "Next month your charisma will carry all before you" or words to that effect; I seem to have lost it. I meant to put it on my notice-board as an earnest that all the promotion being arranged would secure great acclaim for City of Flowers. Will it still work?