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

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


To London last week for a Management Committee meeting of the Society of Authors - my last one. I'm on it only by virtue of being Chair of CWIG and I stop that at the end of November. There was much discussion of the proposed takeover bid by HMV/Waterstone's of the Ottakar's chain. I'd already sent in my submission to the Office of Fair Trading. Let's hope they got enough to refer it to the Competition Commission.

Then on to hear The Children's Laureate, Jacqueline Wilson, in conversation with the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, at the Soho theatre. Met lots of old friends there, including Nicholas Tucker, who told me he was chairing my event at the Italian Institute next week. Good.

The big domestic news was the spaying of Lila and Lonza last Friday, which slowed them down for all of half a day. I needn't have worried so much about them. They have shaved sides but are otherwise fine. I spent Friday evening watching that Lorenzo didn't jump on them.

Workwise, ten chapters of my adult novel have gone off to my agent and I've returned to The Falconer's Knot. It's quite hard to wrench my mind back from murders on Clapham Common in the 1950s to those in Umbria in 1316! But I should be through the present lot of research and back to writing by next week.

On Sunday we bought a Wisteria, much taller than me, to plant in the back garden. The plan is that it will grow along the wall and round to over my study windows. It is in honour of the one we had from 1977 to 1993 in London, which grew up and over the house twice and had to be cut down when we had the subsidence treated. I've missed it, but didn't realise how much till we bought the new one. I'd been writing about one in the adult novel, you see.

Italian Literature class began again yesterday; I've missed that too, because I was too busy to do the summer term. I've been reading La Citta' dei Fiori, which is very well translated. I specially like the way the Italians spell "Wow" It is "Uau!" Had a fan letter today from a girl who said she liked Luciano and Arianna because they were "usually sensible." That has to be a first!