Date: 05 Sep 2017 2:06 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
So I've finally finished this series, at least until the next installment...
Mary, what a work of love this is! The sheer amount of story is amazing, almost overwhelming, and each character gets their chance to stand out and shine.
I can really feel Hilda's conflict between her longing for the cloister, her duties to the school and her attachment to Ellie. I do have every faith that it will sort itself, and that the close of the series (in another 12 yrs time?) will see Hilda finally enjoying the peace and quiet of the convent, woven into the history of the school rather than holding the threads herself.
I do quail at what she may have to face before then though!
Sorry to see that you have been in poor health. I hope you are feeling better and you will be in my prayers - I feel like I know you after reading all 10 installments!
Author's Response: Oh, Ailidh, how lovely that you feel you know me after reading this saga! Thank you so much for the compliments and for your staying power in reading well over 1,000,000 words. I have to admit that it is a work of love, starting with a love of Hilda and then loving each new character as he or she appears - popping up without any warning in some cases, as Ellie did. I'm not sure, though, that at the age of 71, I have another 12 years of writing in me. *grins* I'm hoping to get back to work shortly, so keep a look-out for new chapters. Thank you, Ailidh.
Date: 29 Aug 2017 1:41 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
I've just finished reading the entire series for the third time - it's my absolute favourite out of all the series! Are there any more chapters to come, please?
Author's Response: Wendy, what a lovely thing to say, and how brave of you to read the whole saga, not once, but three times, when it's so long! You have my whole-hearted admiration! Don't worry, there will be some coming soon. It's just that I've had appalling back problems since April, with disc pressing on a nerve and making it impossible to sit for long. I spend most of my time lying down or standing, even to eat and read. but neither of them make it easy to type. I'm standing as I type this. I finally see a neurologist soon and am hoping for answers and some kind of resolution to the appalling pain. I have nearly typed up some of the next chapter, so if you want to get an alert when it's posted, perhaps you'd better favourite the saga or my name, since you don't appear to be a member so I can't alert you myself. Thank you once again.
Date: 28 Aug 2017 4:35 am Title: A Blanket of Hope
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Date: 07 Aug 2017 10:02 am Title: Passing the Baton
Date: 01 Aug 2017 12:22 am Title: Passing the Baton
It will really have helped Hilda that she had so much to occupy her mind trying to filt a quart into a pint pot, rather than worrying about her fitness to take on the role of actual head of the Chalet School. I am sure she will have been as meticulous as usual, ensuring that every 't' was crossed and every 'I' dotted in time for the arrival of the staff and students, old and new, ready to face a new future together.
Thank you Mary. I would love one day to read your wonderful stories in print.
Author's Response: Thanks so much for taking the time to write, not one, but two reviews, Linda. Bless you for the compliment, I don't somehow think I'll be self-publishing anything...
Date: 01 Aug 2017 12:06 am Title: Passing the Baton
I love Hilda's very typical humility in not believing that she is good enough to follow in Therese's footsteps, and Therese's gentle insistence that she has the necessary qualities and that Nell, if she is invited to be Senior Mistress, will bring other qualities and balance Hilda perfectly.
A lovely, albeit tinged with sadness, conversation between two beloved characters.
Thank you, Mary
Date: 31 Jul 2017 11:04 pm Title: Passing the Baton
That was interesting - I happened to come onto SDL quite at random and found this update before I got my 'favourite update' notification! Technology!!
Nice that Hilda was able to spend a fair amount of time with Mademoiselle Lepattre before plunging into all the arrangements needed to accommodate the girls and staff from St. Scholastika. Given all her very natural fears and doubts over her new position, it was probably a good thing she was kept so busy, too. Not that there was ever any doubt that the rest of the staff would accept her formally as the third Head of the school, but she wouldn't believe that until they did, would she? And so begins a new, long and successful era at the Chalet School - Thank you, Mary,
Author's Response: I never thanked you for this at the time, Elder, but am gradually catching up with myself. I did appreciate your kindness in writing such a lovely review.
Date: 30 Jul 2017 11:54 pm Title: Passing the Baton
Just got around to reading these first two chapters, and renewing my acquaintance with 'Passing the Baton'. Little did Hilda realise at this stage that she was about to dedicate the rest of her life to the school and to lead it through many traumatic times. You draw Madge and Mademoiselle exactly as I remember them in canon. I look forward to the rest of the story.
Date: 28 Jul 2017 12:44 am Title: Passing the Baton
Thànkyou Mary I 3njoyed reading Hilda s reaction to taking on the headßhip typical that she didn't think she was good enough. I loved the fact that she would only do it if the staff approved.
Author's Response: Thank you, Sue, though actually all I've done is take what the book says and extended it.
Date: 28 Jul 2017 12:17 am Title: Passing the Baton
Beautifully written, Mary.
Author's Response: Why, thank you, Audrey.
Date: 27 Jul 2017 1:25 am Title: Passing the Baton
I really like Mademoiselle Lepattre's gentle but insistent reassurance that Hilda is right for the job, and that everyone will be in favour of the appointment. Also her realistic acceptance of her own situation, knowing that while she will probably live for some while longer, it must be as an invalid. I just went back and re-read the start of The New Chalet School, and this is an excellent and very touching extension to what I read there. Thank you, Mary.
Author's Response: Aw, thank you, Elder. What a lovely thing to do and say!
Date: 26 Jul 2017 11:41 pm Title: Passing the Baton
Hilda would be humble about her own gifts and very conscious of the already established standards but that is why she will be good. This all sounds so much what could and probably did happen, Mary!
Author's Response: Thanks, shesings. I sometimes feel I've metamorphosed into Hilda... *grins*
Date: 26 Jul 2017 8:38 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
Another review sent to me by Rosemarie, formerly Celia, since she's unable to gain access at the moment:
So lovely to think of them all saying compline together whilst MA remains with them. I'm sure Hilda will agree with a heart and a half. It might become a tradition which carries on. Any staff and maybe even sixth form who want, coming together to say the office whenever they are able before bed. A plus for those who find school prayers not quite enough.
I too loved the Rilke quote, and CS Lewis 'patches of Godlight.' Good to see Hilda's 'family' together having time to chat informally. Nancy and Matey will need to hear Hilda's forgiveness before they are comforted, but will have learnt not to hide anything from her which she should know I suspect.
Looking forward to the next chapter whenever you and your erstwhile laptop are well enough. Thank you Mary, may the injection be soon and effective.
Date: 24 Jul 2017 6:33 pm Title: Passing the Baton
Thanks for reposting this, Mary - it's a story which never loses its poignancy, however often one reads it. And how typical of Hilda that she had no thought that she might be in the running to become the third headmistress of the school.
Date: 24 Jul 2017 6:00 pm Title: Passing the Baton
I loved this first time around and it will be good to read it again.
I love the way that Hilda's thoughts are all for Therese, she really doesn't see that she is the obvious one to fill the huge gap and become the third head of the rapidly growing school, taking the Chalet School forward and helping shape the lives of the girls entrusted to her care.
Looking forward to renewing my acquaintance with an old friend. Thank you Mary
Date: 16 Jul 2017 5:13 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
MA's thoughts are rather similar to Gwynneth's in wanting to keep Hilda in line but MA has accepted that Hilda needs to give all she is able to before taking her own rest. Maybe if Gwynneth watches carefully she too will learn when to keep those thoughts inside and when to insist on rest.
It's lovely to finally see a happy Meg even though she knows there will be difficulties ahead she is so different now that she'll cope with it all with help from her friends. Ellie is also much happier despite the pain, glad Helen sent her to bed though.
I love the way that the cubicles give so much away about their owners and are personal to each of them even as part of the school furniture.
I hope that Nancy is able to accept that her differences to Hilda do not make her lesser as a future Head. She will do a sterling job if she can just trust in herself. As for whether she will be able to work with Kathie that's up to Kathie to prove herself as a changed being.
Helen's relationship with Hilda is becoming one of the most wonderful friendships as it is so understated yet as deep and caring as any of those which are more apparent.
It's also lovely to see Ian and MA growing closer and appreciating each other more and more, the long distance between them geographically has been narrowed by this time together and their closeness increased.
As for Vivien, she's a blessing all through and I love the humourous way she used the need for the telephone to bring Gwynneth back into the fold in such a simple way.
Date: 14 Jul 2017 12:15 am Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
I so enjoyed this chapter, all Hildas "family" drawing together. Good that Meg has such help from Ellie and Jeanne and of course Mireille. Loved the way MA wanted to see the dormitories and that Vivien had to go as well so she didn't get lost. What a lovely idea for them all to read the office together. I feel Nancy is going to need a lot of help from MA and the others over the next few days. Glad Hilda is finally asleep. By the way loved the Rilke quotation. Thanks Mary.
Date: 11 Jul 2017 10:41 pm Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
Wonderful update. So glad Hilda is finally asleep and all her lambs seem to be happy. Just hope Nancy can forgive Kathie now.
Date: 11 Jul 2017 1:24 am Title: A New Dream - Vol 10: Life Is Sweet, Life Is Sharp
The support for Meg is wonderful and it has really helped to break the ice and will encourage her to ignore the snide remarks which are bound to come from Sarah and Barbara. She knows that her dreadful sins are forgiven and that she can make good in the future if she puts her trust in Him.
I'm glad that Kathie was asleep when Nancy went to her. She needs her rest and to let the truths which Hilda imparted to her work their way into her soul whilst she sleeps and He watches over her.
Persuading Gwyneth to join the 'family' to pray the Office was inspired, they all needed the peace this will have brought them and will go to their beds all the better for this time together. Hopefully Hilda will be able to join them tomorrow evening.
Where do you find your quotes, Mary? The Rilke brought tears to my eyes and spoke to the depths of my soul.
Thank you Mary.
Author's Response: Thanks for the review, Linda. Where do I find my quotations? Well, I do like Rilke and have books of his poetry. Other quotes come from my reading, like the one from 'Arrest the Bishop?' or from the Bible. I have been collecting quotations for many years and have several quote books, like Hilda, so often just have to leaf through to find one I like.