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

Monday, March 17, 2008


We had our third SAS get-together in Coventry, where the hotel no longer feels as if run by a group of children. My "room" was a huge suite with a kitchen area with a coffee machine so I took advantage of our late start on Sunday to use it and do some Armadillo editing on my laptop.

It was good to see everyone - about 25 of us including some new members.Our outside speaker was an inspirational web designer who made me feel very inadequate - must make better use of this blog!

OK, so in relation to work, I've finished proofreading City of Secrets, which will go off for final printing tomorrow, and the first section (a third) of Troubadour. The details of my Languedoc trip have arrived, where I shall visit Nimes, Carcassonne and Montpellier - all cities that have scenes in the book, though in 1208. On the one free morning I might get to B├ęziers as well.

Reading has been dominated by Shakespeare's Histories as has the rest of my life.We had our "Glorious Moment" over the weekend - many moments actually. It consis
Toted of 8 plays performed on 4 days thus: 1 + 3 + 3 + 1. But on day 4 we also had a brunch, a talk from the director and a reception to meet the actors.

Day 2 was toughest, with bad back-ache, but our posture must have improved by day 3 when we also had 3 plays and didn't suffer - perhaps we were just in training by then? We had seen all the productiions before and they were even better than first time round. Stand-out performances from Jonathan Slinger as Richard 11 and 111 (and the Bastard of Orleans and Fluellen); Clive Wood as Bolingbroke, Henry 1V and Edmund of York, Katy Stephens as Joan of Arc and Margaret of Anjou, and John McKay as the Dauphin and Jack Cade.

But the whole ensemble were marvellous. And the production is so exciting. I do find the Eastcheap scenes tedious but they did them asd well as they could be done. They'll be in London at the Roundhouse from 1st April.

Today we got up and thought "no drive to Stratford" and "no Shakespeare"! But we're going to Hamlet in Bristol next Saturday so that will help with the withdrawal problem.


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