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, February 24, 2010


I've been so busy with web material that only one chapter of David has been written; I hope to get back to it next week.

And we've celebrated two birthdays - a daughter of 33 and a "surrogate granddaughter(parents' own term) of 1. This was all done very thoroughly, with another trip to London involving furniture moving and visits to the dump in between.

Half term was delightfully full of visitors, writer friends, and long chats about books and writers and writing. More Nordic walking (I have my own poles now)and Italian literature. And I started a new short course on The virtù of six Renaissance masters.

We began with a big hero of mine, Filippo Brunelleschi, whose dome or cupola for the cathedral in Florence is above. I have loved this building, especially the dome, for 45 years. Ghiberti this week.

We saw Midsummer Night's Dream at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol - one of our favourite places for seeing Shakespeare. It was so good, with a really funny Wall. I read Snobs, by Julian Fellowes, with pleasure and great relief that I don't live in that world - or want to. Am now devouring Sebastian Barry's The Secret Scriptures - such a good book!Also read a short story by Beppe Fenoglio called Golia (Goliath) about a German soldiers captured by partisans.

And I've heard Suk's Asrael Symphony twice: am listening to it now. What a find!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Big changes on the way

I have been talking to the Kimptons at Wordpool, who designed this site, about a brand new website. It's needed for early March when Stravaganza: City of Ships comes out, and Bloomsbury need me to update materials for the Stravaganza site too.

So busy, busy, and it all takes time away from the actual writing. But sometimes you have to put that on hold because the other things have a more pressing deadline.

Anyway one of the changes is that this blog will become more of a newsletter, every week or two and that people will be encouraged to comment and ask questions, which I can reply to. At the moment I answer fanmail every week or so and often spend a long time answering one whose writer has given the wrong email address. Then it bounces back and there's nothing more I can do. The disappointed reader just thinks I'm a mean author who didn't reply.

As well as working on website ideas I have written a piece for the Big Issue about "5 Books your child should read before they're 11" and a story in 247 words for World Book Day on the subject of Time Travel. That was really hard!

I've also been to London twice - once for the Costa award party, which you can read about on my other blog (at - scroll down because there are a couple of later posts) and once to see the RSc production of Twelfth Night at the Duke of York's. We absolutely loved it!

Some people say that Richard Wilson was born to play Malvolio but this production isn't built around him and he plays it very straight. The ensemble is terrific,with the twins sufficiently alike to carry it , a convincing Orsino and a lovely Andrew Aguecheek in James Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley and Old Mr Dorrit's much nicer musical brother).

We'd both had a hard-working week and it was lovely to sit back and be lavishly entertained for three hours, especially by a play we know so well.

I'm still reading Alan Bennett and will miss him when it's over.

Labels: , , , , ,