People thought it odd that I chose to paint a raw chicken for my food show. At the time, I had no idea that raw chicken had played a part in an earlier creative endeavor. I was rereading my novel, The Mother Load. It was published in 1986. The lead character is a starving actor. In this scene, she has accepted her first job. She is to play a chicken at a poultry farmers' convention: "When the costume arrived, I pulled off the casing and stared dumbly at the contents. If this was a chicken, where were the feathers? With horror, I realized my professional debut was to be in the role of a plucked pullet. The costume was the shape of a six-foot headless chicken. It was coated with a noxious, pale yellow, lumpy polyurethane. On the breast was a large tag that read, "Lickin' Chicken." Licking seemed inadvisable. You certainly wouldn't want to eat it. There were small eye holes in the breastbone but no air holes. The costume smelled like a chicken--one that had been left on the counter for several days."
Of all the things lurking in my subconscious, I never expected raw chicken to make an appearance. Twice.