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Bits and pieces about me:

Clare HudmanAfter reading lots of books, poetry and plays at university I worked in children’s homes. Like Ches in Moth Boy some of these children didn’t know where they had “come from”.

I have walked in hot Australia, dusty Nicaragua, muddy Glastonbury, snowy New Zealand… as a stilt walker called Winnie Parsley.

As an actor for young people’s theatre including the brilliant Travelling Light Theatre Company I have devised, written, sung, played the flute, the marimba, the trombone (I think I got away with it) and workshopped in many schools. I once played Robin Hood and had to chop my long hair off for the part.

Currently I spend up to three days a week working with young people who are finding life a struggle, maybe their parents too, and sometimes adults who are also wanting to move on from challenges they encountered when younger. It can be tough being young. It can be tough as a parent. Sometimes we need a hand

The rest of the working week is for my writing life.

Visible, colourful, creative darning is a new thing with me since lockdown. I’m thrilled when I find moth holes now!

Did I tell you I love to dance? And I grow fruit and vegetables on a quarter of an allotment.

I’ve lived in Stroud, England since 1995 – by far the longest I’ve lived anywhere.

Some books:

Pinching from my daughter’s bookshelves here are some novels I admire – Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo, Kit’s Wilderness by David Almond, Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver and a whole bookshelf of Jaqueline Wilson books that keeps growing.

I loved reading the Roald Dahl books out loud to her. ‘Why can’t you just grow down instead of always up?’ (George’s Marvellous Medicine). We even did a birthday puppet show in a homemade puppet theatre of The Enormous Crocodile. We used her toys as puppets.

My favourite picture book is Not Now Bernard by David McGee. A gem in so many ways.

Adult novels that are still big in my mind are All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, Bone People by Keri Hulme and one I wished had been part of my school history lessons – Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy.

Some quotes:

‘Life is a gift not a chore – challenges are a gift.’
Anita Moorjani
‘Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world.’
Matilda by Roald Dahl
‘I think you just have to do you, whatever that is, and not feel like you have to be a certain way for other people to like you.’
 Michaela Coel
‘Life is the first gift, love is the second, and understanding the third.’
Marge Piercy
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