For the most part I jot notes for my novels-in-progress into little purse-sized notebooks and each novel I’ve written has it’s own notebook. But sometimes I have to grab a napkin or whatever is handy in an emergency.  There are times I’m cryptic with my notes because I’m rushing or driving or saving one of my kids from drowning, but for the most part, when I make a note I remember what I meant by it even years later.

Well, not this time.  While cleaning out a kitchen drawer that housed stuff mostly from 2004, I came across a paper towel that I’d jotted notes for my book on.  I wrote in blue marker so I know it was a rush-job, but still, I can’t for the life of me figure this out.

“Rotting Gourd in basement”

While this could be taken as a note to myself to remove the rotting gourd from my own basement, I’m very sure my execution of housewifery skills have never sunk quite that low. 

The second note on the towel says “Liz is a painter and she’ll say ‘can’t you see the teeny little Chinamen in the paint?'”

What the hell is that?

I sort of remember the context of these notes because they deal with the book I wrote that was a more realistic Desperate Housewives (I wrote it the winter before the show started) and Liz is one of the main characters who was a painter.  Even allowing for the fact I write quirky characters, I have no idea what I mean by her seeing Chinamen in the freaking paint!!!!

So, I’m proposing a little contest here–winner gets…a book called Ranson Seaborn.  It’s awesome and I’ll tell you more about it later.

So, if you want to participate, use either:

Rotting gourd in basement


“can’t you see the teeny Chinamen in the paint?”

in a three sentence story and we’ll vote for the winning prose!

Happy Writing.

9 thoughts on “WTF DOES THIS MEAN?

  1. I do this all the time! I find memos and notes I’ve written to myself, things I’m hoping to write about, ideas I’ve had — and I cannot figure out what in the world I was saying.

    A rotten gourd, eh? I can’t help myself. Mention the word ‘contest’ and I am as putty in your hands.

    “There’s a body down here,” said my brother, grinning wickedly, “and it’s been down here for ages, it’s all soft and gooey and if you touched it your hand would go right through.” He’s always trying to scare me, so I just shrugged and acted like, big deal — until he screamed. And I mean he REALLY screamed, and that’s when I remembered that rotten gourd I left here in the basement last year, right next to the dressmaker’s dummy, and I saw he’d stepped on it and his foot had gone right through.

  2. Hey Mary, that’s awesome. I can just imagine the kid’s face as the tables turn…Glad the rotten gourd was stinkin’ easy to make use of!

  3. She tripped over the dog splashing red paint everywhere and landing her face down in front of the rotten gourd in the basement.

    Noticing her perplexed look, her friend said, “What are you staring at that thing?”

    “Can’t you see the teeny Chinamen in the paint?”, she replied as the red slowly seeped into its cracks.

  4. Anti-wife–that’s great. Using both in one story. Very high difficulty indeed. I laughed out loud because I wasn’t expecting you to slip in the chinamen line. The competition is on now!

  5. Her brain feels like a rotting gourd in the basement that is her head. Before she had kids, she went to art shows and had intelligent discussions about world affairs and culture. Now, the constant loop of The Wiggles and Barney have leached every ounce of smart away, leaving her with mush in her head and a nervous tick.

  6. Jaye, I love it! I especially love how you didn’t let it go with the mush brain but pushed it to the point of a nervous tick. Have you been spying on me or something?

  7. Okay, Mary, Anti-wife and Jaye, if we don’t get more entries in the next day, we’ll start the judging–not that all three aren’t great!

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