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

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Past the finishing post!

Well, City of Secrets made 25 chapters, plus prologue and epilogue, instead of the planned 21. By dint of working till 10.30pm on Bank Holiday Monday (early for me), I got it off to agent and publisher and it has also gone to my US editor. Phew!

Now I have to hope that everyone likes it. But I have the luxury of being able to do some quite important other things like getting my passport renewed and answering fanmail and doing a year's worth of filing! Also to have some quality time with friends and family. Which has a new member! My husband's half-brother (23 years younger) became a father for the first time two days ago, to a little girl, born early at full moon. She is as yet without a name but we spent a lot of yesterday organising presents for her. The family live in Mexico so I suppose she won't be exactly a "kissing cousin" for my daughters but it's nice to know she's there!

And youngest daughter is back from Thailand, briefly, in a flurry of suntan, laundry, jetlag and appointments here before going off to London for three weeks. She has been looking after elephants, trekking, jetskiing, snorkelling, seawater kayaking in caves, white water rafting and waterfall jumping - so I think we can say she is definitively better from her CFS.

The one day off at the weekend was spent visiting old friends in London, a publisher and an artist. The artist gave us (GAVE us!) a painting he had done in 1980 of The Rollright Stones - specifically the Kings' Men - which we had been to visit a week or so ago for the first time. We already have his painting of the Sarsen Stone at Avebury so this will make a handsome partner.

I saw The Bourne Identity and the Bourne Supremacy on TV in case I wanted to go and see the new one in the cinema. Not really my kind of film and [SPOILER} a very bad decision to kill off the girlfriend at the beginning of the second film (though it was a given as soon as we saw her) because it gave the hero no-one to talk to about his situation.

Also saw the film of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in the cinema. Not at all bad considering how poor the book was. But real Potter fans are incensed at so much being left out! It was still two and a half hours so I did not feel short-changed.

I heard the amazingly wonderful Simon Bolivar orchestra at the Proms playing Shostakovitch's 10th symphony. These are street kids without prospects rescued by classical music. And they play with as much accuracy and skill as passion, which they had in bucketloads - electrifying!

I read Nicci Gerrard's Things we Thought we Knew, which has some passing similaritiues to my adult novel. And for sheer pleasure re-read Kate Atkinson's Emotionally Weird, an exceptionally funny book.


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