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

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Birds

I don't think it's actually Stir-up Sunday today but we made a Christmas pudding anyway. And we've booked panto tickets for 27th and bought an Advent calendar. So it is beginning to look as if we shall have Christmas. Every year I think, "wouldn't it be nice to have it every other year?" It seems to come around so quickly and involve such a lot.

But we're all real suckers for it - love the carols and tree and stockings and we have so many family traditions. But I must keep up the Two-chapters-a-week rule if The Falconer's Knot is to be finished on time, so I mustn't let myself get too sucked in. The novel has reached the stage of going well and letting me get properly into it, so I feel much more positive.

The fanmail has been a bit demanding; they still don't read the FAQs and I'm not going to answer them if the answers are on the website. There's one girl who is really persecuting me about a film of the Stravaganza books. I have answered her at length many times but she persists in asking if I have "given the idea of a film any more thought" - has even offered her and her friends' sertvices for free! Perhaps her father is Steven Speilberg and I'm giving her the wrong impression.

But another wrote that she needed a complete list of my books by the next day or she would fail her assignment! What if I had been away?

We have solved a great mystery: ever since we moved here four and a half years ago, we have had the occasional inexplicable bird adventure. A starling would get into the house when all the doors and windows were shut and it always seemed to be in Rebecca's room. Anyway it happened last weekend and the cats were very excited about it. They nearly caught it but we rescued it and got it out. Then they spent hours sniffing round where it had been. Lonza was on her hind legs sniffing at a low beam in the bedroom and i put my hand up behind it and found a gap between the wall and the eaves space.

So now we know and can get it blocked up. We hope that will be the end of the Hitchcockian experience, since a couple of the birds have died before we found them.

It's turned cold and wintry at last although still bright and sunny. I'm happy that I managed to get my winter clothes out. I quite like winter; just don't like the stage when it's neither one thing or the other.