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Ann-Marie MacDonald has even fewer excuses not to finish the novel she's working on.

Isabel MacDonald-Palmer

Ann-Marie MacDonald tells The Globe and Mail how she is spending time at home.

In mid-March, my wife – Alisa Palmer, artistic director of the National Theatre School of Canada, English section – was off on her annual audition tour, which was set to premiere this summer, but along with all the other productions, it’s been postponed.

One of the great resounding blows to the part of the world I live and work in is the shutting down of the entire Stratford season. My play, Hamlet-911, was set to premiere this summer, but along with all the other productions, it’s been postponed. For all the craziness of these times, however, there are some personal silver linings. Now there are fewer demands on my time and it’s that much more quiet around my head, which is a great benefit to me as I write. I also have even fewer excuses not to finish the novel I’m working on. I don’t want to sound like I’m jumping up and down, that would be very unseemly, but it’s not a personal hardship for me to keep to myself for extended periods of time. That’s what I do.

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Unlike others who have been madly baking bread, I started making these mid-20th-century elaborate desserts. It’s the strangest thing because I’m not a baker. I’ve made a fresh fruit Crème Anglaise Trifle and a Baked Alaska. When I took it out of the oven, my daughter tasted it, and said, “I want never to not be eating this.” I don’t know where this person has come from but it’s exceedingly rewarding. I’m not on social media [but] I can’t imagine the legions of people feeling terrible about themselves if they’d seen the Baked Alaska. It was a public service of omission.

As told to Gayle MacDonald.

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