~ Hazel Harps On


My jingle bells have arrived. My stock of candles has been replenished. My fingers have been carefully trained to weave carol patterns on the harp. Christmas is coming and I’m determined that this year it will be magical and sparkly, both inside and out.

For outer sparkles we’ll have bright frosty mornings with any luck. We can have holly, ivy and tinselly things. In addition to these I’m planning on making plenty of magical, sparkly music which I hope people will enjoy. Dunster Castle is a stunning setting. I don’t want to be dull so I’m literally going to shine by wearing my big, gold dress for some of the gigs. Well, you don’t get many opportunities in life to wear a big, gold, dress, do you? When I say ‘big’, by the way, I mean big in the up-down dimension, not the across dimension. It is actually rather difficult to breathe when wearing aforementioned dress. In fact I’d better stop eating now.

I’m also a little worried about the singing aspect. I’ve got this frog that has taken up permanent residence in my throat. I’m deluging him with lemon and honey but I may have to ramp up the resonance on my amp to re-sparklify my voice. (I’m an author now. I’m allowed to invent words.) Which brings me to the inner resparklification.

For many years I’ve been a bit down at Christmas. It’s supposed to be a time of family fun, but when most of your family is no longer around it really can be a whole load of no fun. Christmas music used to be the one bright spot that helped me through an otherwise trying season. But last December coincided with the news of my book deal. That’s when my process of resparklification started. Before then I’d been asking myself a lot of those what’s-the-point-of-my-life sort of questions and they’d been pretty hard to answer. Then my agent and publishers worked their miracles and there it was: a pathway lit up ahead of me!

Now I realise that thousands of people are going to read my novel. I’ll just write that sentence again, it’s so unbelievably exciting. Thousands of people are going to read my novel! Future novels, too. What a privilege, what a chance! I’m pouring my very best into my writing because it has unexpectedly become the most important thing. Creativity is full of surprises, full of wonder. Where would we be without it?

I cherish this hope for my books: that, as well as resparklifying my own life, in some way they can bring those readers a sense of resparklification too.

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