~ Hazel Harps On

Ladies who Launch

We all do it sometimes. We grit our teeth and we launch ourselves into the unknown.

August was a month of launching for me. I launched myself into Derbyshire for the Swanwick Writers' Summer School. I launched myself into teaching English to Russian teenagers and even ended up doing a few art lessons for eight-year-olds (how did that happen?) And I launched a new CD.

Saffron, who was the brains and talent behind the CD, is an old hand, having launched seven before. But for me it was a big thing. Because I love it, and because it was on my bucket list.

I was surprised though. The name was the biggest problem. We are both word-mongers; Saffron is a poet, and I have won a few writing prizes which (I keep telling myself) must prove something. Yet we were both stymied when it came to ideas for an album title. That is, we had plenty of ideas, but all of them were trite, corny or plain ridiculous. We thought of ‘A something of Strings’, but a what exactly? I was quite desperate for alliteration. ‘A Scattering of Strings’, ‘A Sparkle of Strings’ and ‘A Soufflé of Strings’ were all suggested and rejected. I also thought ‘Plenty of Pluck’ might be a pretty cool title, but Saffron was adamant we should avoid anything to do with plucking. We had a good photo (courtesy of Martin Tomkins) of us running with our instruments out into the sunshine and we wanted to use it for the cover. This ruled out ‘Dark Starry Skies’, which was the name of our final track and one of our saner ideas. In the end we plumped for another line ‘…To Be Free’. But I still wonder if people might think this means we don’t want any money for the CD. We do, we do!

The launch was attended by a selection of people who were highly creative themselves. As well as story-tellers and wood-carvers, there was a young artist present. Here is her illustration of the event. I don’t actually remember the large dog, but then I was concentrating very hard on playing the harp at the time!

September has finally arrived and brought a little time to breathe and reflect. Launching is good for you, I've decided. Even the odd painful landing is good for you - it's a discovery, after all. If there's one thing I’ve learned through all my launching last month it is encapsulated in three little words that blasted into my consciousness at Swanwick. These are the words:

Trust Your Journey.

So let’s launch into the unknown and let’s trust…

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