~ Hazel Harps On

Blooming Late!

That’s the end of summer, then. Or is it? Did summer actually happen this year? The plants are certainly confused. Some spurted on and flowered really quickly before it got any worse, while others bided their time and hung in there, assuming a good spell would come if only they were patient. A bit like people.

I’ve always loved those late bloomers, still so keen when everything else has given up. Maybe I also feel empathy with them. I too know how it feels to see everyone around me blossoming brightly while I am still waiting for my moment. I’m not going to say exactly how old I am (it’s too shocking. Well, not that shocking, but a bit shocking... The words 'spring' and 'chicken' don't come to mind...) It seems crazy to go heaving my harp along to festivals etc at this stage of life. Still, I remember seeing other musicians on stage and wishing so hard that I could make music come alive as they were doing. And finally I can! The work has paid off. So there’s no way I’m going to let a few creaky muscles stop me.

It’s also rather late in the day to be getting my first novel out there. I have various excuses. The five-year’s worth of crippling pain didn’t help. But then again, maybe it did. Maybe being held back for so very long made me all the more determined to make the most of life. Those touch-and-go days following surgery brought clarification. It was time to decide where I was going and start going there. If I hadn’t experienced such a wake-up call I’d probably still be meandering along the path to nowhere.

I am even glad I was put back another year by my previous agent. When things didn’t work out I was gutted to have to start the treadmill of pitching all over again. While I was googling agents once more it was hard to see fellow writers who'd been several stages behind me suddenly leap ahead and get publishing contracts (I was delighted for them but miserable I couldn’t be there too). Yet now I’m glad. Because it made me work even harder and now the book is ten times better than it was. And I’m thrilled that my new agent and his team all agree! Creativity can take a long time but hey, if blooming late is good enough for the Michaelmas daisies it’s good enough for me!

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