Simple Distractions

There’s a particular meeting we have every week at work. And because it happens every week, there’s a rotation schedule identifying the two co-chairs, which changes every three months. So imagine my surprise last week, having failed to look at the rotation chart in A VERY LONG TIME, that I was now one of the co-chairs. But I made a deal with my partner—he would organize the meetings, and I would take the minutes. Now, this sounded great in theory, but I had forgotten that I am literally SURROUNDED by things designed to distract me. And I’ve found that, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more easily distracted, not that it’s a bad thing:

Ken: No, I don’t agree.
Me: Oh, for god’s sake, Ken! Why can’t—ooh, is that a bottle of Chardonnay?
Ken: Yes. Yes, it is. Would you like a glass?
Me: I’d love one. Now what were we talking about?
Ken: Who knows.
Me: Cheers!

So anyway, there I was at the virtual meeting, cleverly taking notes by typing everything into Word and then copying and pasting into the shared document that everyone could see. That way, I could proofread first and correct any errors before the rest of the group could notice them. Also, I took a certain amount of pleasure in the thought that my colleagues, seeing the blocks of text magically appear, would now believe I could type incredibly fast, like it was my superpower or something. But then, just like a superhero, my kryptonite happened. One of the group began adlibbing about something that WASN’T EVEN ON THE AGENDA, and because I was in the shared document, I was scrambling to follow along and type as he spoke. Simultaneously, I looked up and realized that there was a GIGANTIC F*CKING INSECT on the curtain directly in front of my laptop and I didn’t know if it was a cricket or potentially a cockroach because I’ve never actually seen a cockroach except on Hoarders and it looked like it MIGHT be one and how the HELL did it get into my house, and I completely stopped listening and began frantically texting Ken for ‘Hep!!”:

And Ken, being the excellent husband he is, came charging down the stairs, cupped his hands around the giant bug and carried it outside, at which point, the person in the meeting who had gone rogue with his agenda item said, “Uh, Suzanne—that’s not what I said” and I kind of stuttered, “Oh sorry, I was just…doing something” and I’ve never been so happy that my camera was off in my life. Which it has NOT been on several occasions, including later last week when a mosquito flew into my face and it took me several attempts to kill it, much to the amusement of the other people in the meeting I was attending who had stopped speaking to watch the spectacle. “Did you get it?” asked one of the directors. I had, in fact, so at least there was that.

And so, I leave you with the profound wisdom of this saying that I saw on the side of a truck the other day as I was driving down the highway: “Geniusness is not a flavour, we claim it by our own experience.”

I have no idea what this means and I’ve been trying to think that, if it’s a literal translation from another language, what might the original be? Just like when the Chinese translate American movie titles and they come out sounding both weird and hilarious, and some of them completely spoil the plot:

Seabed General Mobilization (Finding Nemo)
Interstellar Special Ability Team (Guardians of the Galaxy)
One Night, Big Belly (Knocked Up)
Satan Female Soldier (GI Jane)
Earth And Comet Collide (Deep Impact)
He’s A Ghost! (The Sixth Sense)

There are a ton more of these you can google and they’re all stellar.

In other news, I’ve mentioned my new novel, The Seventh Devil, a couple of times so here’s an update: my publisher, Bookland Press, loved it and they currently have it available for pre-order on all the Amazons (including Brazil and Japan) with a release date of June 15th 2021. And because I’m a control freak and have an aversion to stock images, I’ve been toying around with a couple of cover ideas. Luckily Kate is really a whiz at Photoshop, so she combined photos of my cousin, the daughter of a friend of mine, and a picture that Ken took of a swamp road. I really like the first one, but the publisher said they’d prefer something more “devilish, so here are the two options. Let me know what you think!

Also, here’s the updated synopsis if you’re interested:

When nineteen-year-old runaway Verity Darkwood, flat broke and devastated by guilt, takes refuge in a bar to escape the unwanted attention of a stranger, she doesn’t expect to meet Gareth Winter, let alone become business partners with him. They discover that they each possess the ability to interact with the world “beyond the veil” and, with the help of Horace Greeley III, editor of the fantastical online journal The Echo, Verity and Gareth spend the next two years on the road, helping the earthbound spirits who haunt their clients to cross over, or exorcising the demons that plague them. But when they stumble upon a series of unsolved child abductions spanning decades which are eerily similar to the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Verity’s younger sister, they embark on a pursuit that will take them across Canada in their quest to find The Seventh Devil, the dangerous and mysterious figure who may be behind it all.

49 thoughts on “Simple Distractions

  1. Sheri McKnight says:

    I think the red one is eerier…the yellow one is lovely, but seems too calm and unthreatening for this type of story. Thank you so much for writing…the blog, the minutes, the books. Whatever would we readers do without the persistent work of writers.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. barbaramullenix says:

    I like the second one without the red. Keep it the yellow color. No need to slam people over the head with a forewarning. The title already does that!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I was a student, sis and I were living in a place crawling with cockroaches and mice (so inspiring, I had to put them in a story). No wonder how easily distracted we were.
    Nowadays, it’s ‘only’ people around me and memories that can distract me. But if I need to focus, I’ll find the place and time.

    As for your question, honestly, I love your version of the cover more, but since it needs to be devilish, then I think I’ll go for the second one. I love that light.

    And yay for the book! Toasting….

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’d have totally been distracted and prayed it didn’t jump near me – it would have been a “flip the table monopoly” moment and my laptop would have went flying.

    I like the first one, but in red. Can’t wait to read this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your new novel sounds excellent! Regarding the covers, I love the first one as a photo in itself, but I really like the coloration of the second one. However, I’m a fan of simplicity, so I like the second one… without the face at the top. Can’t wait to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well now have to go and add your book to my wish list. Sounds awesome. And I am getting back into more horror/paranormal readings of late.
    I like the second book cover but the first one kept drawing my eye back. There is a sense of menace in that one. Not sure why but that is the one that would make me look three times and then buy.
    Have an awesome Sunday Canadian neighbor. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on the release date! I can’t wait to read it:) I find myself distracted a lot lately–and I hate meetings. I was in one recently when the meeting organizer announced that there would be daily meetings–sometimes announced less than 24 hours in advance. I forgot my camera was on, and I made a very unpleasant face, which everyone saw–so I tried to “cover” by smiling and nodding my head enthusiastically as if to say, “Oh, yes! Meetings! My favorite!”

    Liked by 1 person

      • LOL! Me either, but I sure do at home. About a month ago, there were a couple of fawns in my yard. I was so shocked, I forgot what I was doing and had to take a minute to watch them. LOL! I like working from home because I don’t have that long drive and I get to see the wild life that I normally miss when I’m at work. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Working from home Adventures with Suzanne! I love reading about all your Zoom call meetings because I never know what your going to tell us happened to you during your group meetings. Bugs, definitely not a good thing, eww. And I’ll go with the second “red” cover version, that’s looks real……”devil-y.” 😈


  9. Congrats on the new book! I actually like the first cover better. I can feel that something terrifying is lurking in the woods. The second cover leaves less to the imagination, which may be a good thing. I guess I’d trust your publisher since they know their business. And thanks for the hilarious recount of your meeting. That cracked me up. 🙂


  10. Kinda all over the map on this one… Did you get your notes corrected and meeting-published? I believe there are transcription plugins/services one can use. “This meeting is being recorded and transcribed. Be succinct.”

    So, you have to supply your own cover? Or just suggestions?

    Guinness IS a flavor. Mmmm, beer. This is NOT beer, this is STOUT! Mmmm, stout. Precisely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Guinness is geniusness? That makes sense! No, I don’t have to supply my own cover but I like a say in the concept and I hate stock images—I don’t want to see my novel cover being used to advertise something else!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m gonna have to go with the first cover because it looks subtler and honestly more mysterious. It’s got a “something is out there” feel to it that I’d be more inclined to pick up if I didn’t know your work and hadn’t read the intriguing blurb. The second one looks more, well, it seems like a pulp romance—not quite Chuck Tingle and if you want to be really distracted by something that isn’t an insect look up his works. I’ve never read any of them but he’s, well, out there and it caused a stir when he was nominated for a Hugo Award.
    Anyway I think whoever wrote that “geniusness” slogan on that truck was distracted and misspelled “Guinness”.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. As always a great post, but I agree with you, I like the first one better. As for eye catching to receive more sales, the second is better, in my opinion. It also depicts an eerie feeling needed to draw people to it. The plot sounds interesting too. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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