~ Hazel Harps On

Survival and Success

Poor old January! It’s loaded with expectations. Packed with promises. Groaning with goals, self-improvement schemes and unrealistic resolutions. But no - I’ve decided I’m not going down that route this year. I’m going to rest and reflect for a bit and enjoy where I am. I feel I’ve earned it.

December was frantic, after all. I took on more solo harp bookings than ever in my life before. In the run-up to Christmas there were nine performances on consecutive days, and most of those were three hours long. They involved serious multi-tasking, what with remembering all the (rather ambitious and complicated) accompaniments I’d created, dealing with amplification and connecting with ever-changing audiences. Not to mention trying to play well and sing well at the same time. I do question my own sanity at taking all this on, knowing how nervous I get. But I did my utmost to give those audiences the most magical Christmassy experience I could. It was great to see the transfixed faces of the children and their total delight when told they could join in with the jingle bells. Another special moment was at a Care Home gig when the old people suddenly got up and started dancing. I let myself weep a little when I got back home. I’m glad I can still be moved by such things.

December also brought me the most fabulous present: Look! The very first bound copies of my novel!

These are ARCs (advanced reader copies), the ones that are sent out to the press for reviews, so they aren’t available to the public yet. But wowzer! There’s nothing like the feeling of holding your own book in your hands. It has taken me an achingly long time to reach this stage. Although that's normal I have sometimes wondered if the following would happen before I actually got to see my book in print:

  1. The world would end.

  2. The publishing industry would implode and self-destruct.

  3. Somebody else would write the exact same novel that I’d written and get it published first.

  4. I’d die.

I don’t want to be morbid but ever since I had a brush with death a few years ago I have taken each day as a gift and I don’t presume anything about my own future. So I’m mightily happy to have reached this quite wonderful stage. I just have to survive until May now and I may even see my novel on sale in bookshops.

So January, you are allowed to start slowly. I have a feeling 2019 is going to bring plenty more excitement...

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