Dakota Merrick Book Three is almost done. I'm still knee-deep in words and racing to get everything finished by the deadline, but I found myself reading an article by Sam Jordison on The Guardian Online this morning that included the following quote from Soul of the Fire by Terry Goodkind (in one of the comments) that I feel, naturally, compelled to share.
"Hissing, hackles lifting, the chicken's head rose. Kahlan pulled back. Its claws digging into stiff dead flesh, the chicken slowly turned to face her. It cocked its head, making its comb flop, its wattles sway.
"Shoo," Kahlan heard herself whisper. There wasn't enough light, and besides, the side of its beak was covered with gore, so she couldn't tell if it had the dark spot, But she didn't need to see it.
"Dear spirits, help me," she prayed under her breath.
The bird let out a slow chicken cackle. It sounded like a chicken, but in her heart she knew it wasn't. In that instant, she completely understood the concept of a chicken that was not a chicken. This looked like a chicken, like most of the Mud People's chickens. But this was no chicken. This was evil manifest."
Now, it must be said that there are times when I fret over the quality of my words much as any writer does, when I feel the nagging fear that every word I'm writing is drivel. Well, I'll tell you what, anytime I feel like that in the future, I'll just read the above. Print it out, stick it above your computer, and every time you feel like your writing's going nowhere and you'll never be published, take a look at it and repeat the mantra: No matter what, I will never write about evil chickens.
And it is. A hard slog, that is. I'm nose-deep in the third Dakota book, and will be by the time I get it into Tor - hopefully - by the deadline at the end of the month. I've still got another eighty thousand words needing serious editing and tidying before then, so as you can imagine I may be a wee bit scarce around here until then.