Sometimes a chicken just has your name on it. People like Frank Purdue and Murray Bresky of Murray's organic chickens know this. But I hadn't known this until recently when I received an email from Wendy Thomas of New Hampshire asking if I would like to have a chicken named after me. I can say truthfully, I'd never once thought of that. I've had people name their pets after some of the characters in my books, but this was different. A few other authors, like Meg Cabot, Judy Blume, Jody Piccault, and Laurie Halse Anderson had chickens named after them. I was deeply honored and said yes. Then I began to worry about my chicken because I felt we had, you know, bonded somehow. I felt guilty that I didn't know much about chickens other than the egg part and the roasting part, and I felt guilty especially when I went to the grocery story and stood by the poultry section. But the Joan Bauer chicken, I was assured, would never be eaten. And with that news, I did buy a Murray's organic chicken and threw it into my cart, but I averted my eyes when I sprinkled it with salt, pepper, fresh herbs and olive oil and put it in the oven.
I began to wonder if my chicken was getting along with the other chickens, because in school I was a bit of a loner. I wondered how she was doing in gym, because I didn't know I was athletic until I was thirty. She is, it turns out a bit camera shy, but when she feels like it she lets loose with a serious peep. It's comforting to know there is another Joan Bauer out there waddling through the literary barnyard, doing her best to be a good egg.
Here's the interview with photos. Isn't she cute? I'm so proud. http://simplethrift.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/project-chickens-before-the-eggs-lesson-140-good-egg-interview-with-joan-bauer/