Saturday, May 23, 2009

Can You Really Judge a Book by Its Cover?

Mothers-in-Law Say the Darndest Things

Recently, I inadvertently gave my mother-in-law a sort of Rorschach test of book covers.

First of all, take a good look at the cover for Thirty-Nine Again, by my friend Lynn Reynolds, coming out the same day as my novel Dog Nanny. (That’s June 12, 2009, from The Wild Rose Press.)

When I showed Lynn’s cover to my mother-in-law, she asked innocently (and gotta give her credit—non-judgmentally) if the book was about lesbians. Where did she get that idea? What else—the guy’s long hair.

Everything must look different when you’re almost 79.

Later, I sent her an e-mail with my cover attached. Actually it was embedded, because she doesn’t know how to open an attachment. For her an “attachment” is either a relationship, a part for a vacuum cleaner, or a hook-and-eye.

You see, like many older folks, computer lingo baffles her. “Why do they call it a download? What’s a monitor? You mean the screen?” Heaven forbid I tell her to look on the desktop for the start button or mouse or she’ll start rummaging around on her computer table looking for apparel buttons and vermin.

When I asked her what she thought of my cover, she said, “That was your cover? That picture of a girl with a naked belly?" Observe cover below.

If I scrunch up my eyes just right I can almost imagine those hands are a naked belly.

Here I was thinking AnnWorld (where I spend much of my time) was a freaky place. ShirleyWorld must really be confusing.


Beth Trissel said...

LOL. Very funny. Enjoyed this.

Ann Whitaker said...

Thanks, Beth. That was really fast!

Susan Macatee said...

Funny post, Ann! My mom doesn't even have a computer and my mother-in-law told me she doesn't know how to work hers. LOL.

Ann Whitaker said...

Susan, I feel your pain. I really think my MIL believes hers is spying on her. We just set her up with a Facebook account. Should be interesting.

Kath Calarco said...

I have days when I believe life would be better without a computer...those simpler times. Yet, without one we swim against the tide, but still...

What I don't understand are those who actually own computers and won't try learning how to use them. It's sort of like owning a car you can't drive. At least with computers you don't need a license. :)

Fun blog, Ann!

Mary Ricksen said...

Ha!!That was funny.

Ann Whitaker said...

I just hope my MIL thinks it's funny, Mary! She does have a good sense of humor.

Good point, Cathy, about the license. Actually, we got my MIL her first computer about 15 years ago without asking her if she wanted one. She likes to look up things on the Internet and does write the occasional e-mail.

She's never been one to have much patience with electronic devices. The first time I visited my in-laws, they thought I was a genius because I knew how to hook up their VCR.

And you're right. In some ways, she may be better off not being a slave to these things.

Autumn Jordon said...

Oh, Ann. Your MIL sounds like a peach. God love her. LOL.

Ann Whitaker said...

She's a dear! I have another blog in the works about her and my own mother, who used to have a computer but only wanted to listen to that fake music of old songs on it.

As Cathy pointed out, they may be better off than the rest of us.

Lynn Reynolds said...

I love it, Ann. Sorry I created a scandal in ShirleyWorld!

Ellen said...

Hey Ann!
I had absolutely no idea there was a naked belly on your cover, Ann. And they say that eyesight goes when you get older!


Misty Evans said...

AnnWorld...sounds like a fun place to me! Maybe I can come visit?

I think your cover and Lynn's will sell many books for both of you. Since you're both lovely women, I wish you much success and look forward to reading your stories!

Ann Whitaker said...

Thanks, Ellen. A naked puppy belly would really be better.

You're very kind, Michelle. You're welcome to AnnWorld any time.

And Lynn, you know you love a good scandal.

Nancy said...

Sorry I'm late to the party, Ann, but I'm rolling! My mom doesn't do computers either - but will ask us to look up things for her.

Attachments - vacuum cleaner? That sounds right and LOL!!!

Have a good week!

Nancy Haddock

Lynn Reynolds said...

Well, they say there's no such thing as bad publicity, Ann. So maybe my "controversial" book cover will make me famous!

Lyndymac said...

OH NO! I'm ONLY 55 and my first thought when I saw Lynn Reynolds' cover was two girls, too!

Ann Whitaker said...

Well, I must agree with Lynn. At least it's getting attention.