SCAREDY CROW flies across the Tasman

Sometimes, it’s the little victories that make it all worthwhile – especially in the world of writing. 

Scaredy Crow's first page

It may not be as heart-stopping as an acceptance for a story you’ve worked on for eight years, or the thrill of pleasure as you flick through your first author copy from the publisher, or even hugs from friends at your book launch. These little victories are the icing on the cake.

I refer to my recently published short story in the New Zealand schools’ Junior Journal #42SCAREDY CROW is one of those stories that popped out of nowhere – don’t ask me where ones like that come from, they just ARE. The main character, Scaredy Crow has a big problem, but he (with the help from three wee mice) tackles it with cleverness and wit. And there’s a twist at the end! Fraser Williamson’s linocut illustrations are perfect for this story – couldn’t imagine anything better.

My particular pleasure at Scaredy Crow‘s publication is that the Junior Journal is sent to every primary school in New Zealand and throughout the Pacific Islands.

New Zealand is a special place to me – I worked there for over twelve months when I was in my twenties and I had a whale of a time. It’s one of the truly beautiful places on this earth, especially  Milford Sound, one of my workplaces. An amazing experience.

Milford Sound, NZ

New Zealand was a place of firsts for me – first time overseas, first time I cast off a boyfriend rather than the other way around, first time I water-skied across a 1680-feet deep fiord under a cobalt sky and faced my fear of sea monsters, the first time I explored real wilderness in the mountains behind the Sound. I learned to swear in five different languages from the resort’s multinational line-up of chefs (yes, they had explosive tempers under pressure), and learned to stand up for myself. Then there was the risky experience with a crazy guy who carried a sawn-off shotgun… no, maybe I won’t tell you about that.

But I also made Kiwi friends along the way so it does have a special place in my heart.

That’s why it’s so cool knowing young students in New Zealand schools are reading or listening to the accompanying CD reading of Scaredy Crow. 


13 thoughts on “SCAREDY CROW flies across the Tasman

  1. Hi Shryl (that’s you, minus the vowels!) You see, I also lived in NZ for 14 months, 2005-2006! Loved the place. Jon (husband) if from the North Island so every second Christmas we’re there. But do you know, I’ve never sent material to their Junior Journal. I will though. Scaredy Crow sounds delightful – and I too, love the illos. Lino cuts seem to somehow go so well with crows. (No, I can’t explain!)
    (that’s Janeen – also minus the vowels!!)


  2. Hello Sheryl
    Love getting your blogs. Congratulations on your story success. I can understand why you are so pleased knowing that it will go to all schools in New Zealand. Haven’t been there yet, but would love to do a ship trip around it. Would be wonderful to see those beautiful places from another perspective.


  3. I loved your poem, Big Blue Whale, Kat. I heard it on the CD. Yes, Milford Sound is a truly stunning place. When I was there it snowed one day (Boxing Day, strangely enough) right down to the water’s edge – the boats were covered in white. Magical.


  4. Smiling, Sheryl. I’ve never been to NZ, but I too was delighted when my poem, BIG BLUE WHALE (a whale of a time, eh?) was published in Junior Journal – and loved the CD narration that came with. Your story looks great. Congratulations – and keep smiling!

    Love the gorgeous picture of Milford Sound. That truly is cool, calm blue. xx


  5. Sheryl I agree. To realise that you’ve made some little someone somewhere across the sea smile for a moment is one of the best forms of satisfaction a writer can hope for. Kudos. Dimity


  6. Hi Sheryl,
    I too fell in love with NZ on my two trips over there. I even have a NZ cousin with the same name :))

    Congrats for your fabulous Scaredy Crow story and CD. Love the lino cut illos and the crazy fighting crows.


  7. Thanks, Kim. Yes, it’s a thrill for me to be published in New Zealand. Lucky you living there!! I’ll fly across the Tasman again one of these days. We could catch up over coffee. 🙂


  8. This is UBER-Cool Sheryl!! So Thrilled for you.
    Congratulations my friend!


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