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