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~ Hazel Harps On

Highs And Lows

‘Roller-coaster’ is a bit of a cliché but if I wasn’t so anti-cliché that’s exactly how I’d describe my life. Certainly my creative life at the moment.

Shall I start with the writing or the music? As ever, the two are intertwined. The music, although a more dramatic art in itself, has so far run a smoother path. I’ve had struggles with lack of coordination, struggles with choosing and learning a repertoire and lots and lots of struggles with performance nerves. Yet small successes have slowly grown to bigger ones and people have always kept me going by telling me how much they love, love, love to hear harp music. And (just in case you didn’t realise) so do I. Mega-much and more.

May brought a few contrasting gigs. Two performances with the Dorylas Flute and Harp Duo: one for a lovely group called the Moorhens and the other for a Care Home, where I’m reliably informed the youngest audience member was a ninety-year-old! I also had fun with Fox Willow, filming live music and doing photo-shoots amongst the bluebells, playing at Bradninch Acoustic Club and then (whey hey!) on the main stage at Exmouth Festival. Folk-rock in the open air with hundreds listening and full PA … then singing Mendelsohn in Selworthy Church with the Hummingbirds the following day. If variety’s the spice of life then mine is a Vindaloo.

(Bluebells are never as blue in photos as they are in real life, but you get the idea - pretty idyllic!)

(... a couple of weeks later)

The really exciting news is about the writing though. I have a new literary agent! Not just any old one either. It’s Darley Anderson! He who represents the likes of Lee Child, Martina Cole and Adrian Plass (not that my writing bears the slightest resemblance to any of these!) I am still having to pinch myself.

Things went so horribly, horribly wrong at the end of last year when my (then) agent decided we should part company. It felt as though I’d crawled up a mountain slowly and painstakingly on my hands and knees only to come crashing down to the bottom again. My confidence was in smithereens and I was close to giving up. Yet now I look back and feel it was all meant to be. A bad thing happened so that a good thing was then able to happen. If I may quote J K Rowling, 'Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life' - not that my writing bears any resemblance to hers either!

I suppose a creative lifestyle will always bring incredible highs and lows. But I have to say right now I’m (oh, go on then, let’s finish with another cliché) on top of the world!

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