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, August 23, 2005

Why are we waiting?

The last of our summer dramas was Waiting for Godot in Bath. I'd never seen it and read it only once, so had no expectations. It was a brilliant production of what is, in the first half at least, a terrific play. I think the second half is mostly superfluous apart from the great ending in which Vladimir and Estragon agree to move on. The stage direction reads, "They do not move." How like life.

I'm just back from what was supposed to be the first of two trips to the Edinburgh festival, but it was so awful I shall try to get out of the second visit. It's a six or seven hour train journey from Oxford, with terrible food in the buffet, and I did it twice in two days. Two of the schools had cancelled, one on the day, so there were only 20 students and they were 20 minutes late. I and the six adult students from a children's literature course at the University of Aberdeen waited till they arrived. And then the PowerPoint went wrong.

It's the kind of experience that makes you want to chuck it all in as a writer. Then I get an e-mail saying the Latvians want volume 2 of Stravaganza and six appreciative e-mails from fans, all wanting more books. So perhaps I'll keep going. But I'm really off festivals.