Tag Archives: Planning

Ready, Rugosa


Moje Hammarberg: The actual plant is not this blinding, I swear.

I have two rugosa roses which I’m very fond of. Why? They require very little work. They have few diseases, and not only do I not need to spray them with anything, they would be damaged by spraying. This rose species tolerates a lot. The ‘rugosa’ regards their ridged leaves. Most of the flowers of the rugosas are tend to be simple single or double petaled blooms, and bear large orange hips. I have a Frau Dagmar Haustrup (sometimes ‘Hartopp’), and a Moje Hammarberg. I’ve grown the Haustrup in sunny California and in rainy Oregon with great success.

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The Frau

When most people think of roses, they are thinking of the hybrid tea roses, and then complain about how difficult roses are to grow. Ah no, I say, look at the rugosa. Then they object because the rugosa doesn’t come in orange, and they doom themselves to disappointment trying to begin growing roses with a hybrid tea (which is not to say it can’t be done, but really? All that for a stiff, low-scented bloom?).

It’s an illustration of using tools and methods suiting the skill level, and what is best suited to a situation. I don’t have a lot of time or energy to spray or debug, I like plants, but I’m not that into gardening. Half the project is preparation -this huge piece of wisdom I came by painfully, after many years of abandoned projects. I would try to sew clothes, sculpt busts, paint with watercolors without understanding darts, knowing how long to bake the Sculpey or how to lay in washes. I got a massive fail on most attempts and would give up, going back to what I did better.

I didn’t have an ‘a-ha’ moment as much as a slow realization. In my first degree (art) I took several etching classes. Before doing anything in that discipline the materials have to be prepared: the plate has to be beveled so it doesn’t ruin the blankets. The ground has to go on evenly so the lines don’t get messed up. The (expensive) paper has to be torn to the right size so as not waste any. Times have to be guaged for the acid bath or the image won’t look right. Hands must be washed or ink will get everywhere. And on and on.

After an ill-fated sewing project last year, I finally learned to make a muslin first, I found textbooks not only about darts but about making slopers too. I don’t think I’ll use Sculpey for much more than beads or buttons, but if I do, I’m getting a timer. When you get the right materials before starting, when have you the right rose, when you read the instructions first, the project is much more fun, less frustrating, and now I make fewer mistakes.

American Rose Society


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Planning for the Frenzy

Since script frenzy starts tomorrow, I thought I’d share some of the planning I’m doing for the challenge.

First of all, I’ll admit I’m much better at writing prose, since I can describe the picture in my head. As with all of these challenges, I’m not allowed to write anything that would become part of the script (or novel). This year I’m writing an adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. If you don’t know the story, this post contains SPOILERS (and I recommend you find a copy of Jean Cocteau’s version and check it out. Don’t bother with the Disney version, bleh).

I know the fairy tale fairly well, in several incarnations, but I want it to read like a novel, with scenes and rounded characters, so I start with notes on the following subjects:

Characters — For the main characters and the main supporting characters, I’ll do notes on their appearance (or a drawing), and notes on their personality. Each of them gets a name, and with it an image of them will form in my head.

  • Beauty
  • Beauty’s father
  • Her seven sisters
  • the Beast
  • Any servants and townspeople, or lesser characters

I take some notes on what motivates them within the context of the plot. For Beauty and her sisters for example, I’ve figured out what they are most interested in (one embroiders endlessly, one stays in bed a lot) and what they ask their father to bring back from town (when Beauty asks for a rose, which gets them all into trouble). I also try to plan a change for the main characters to go through as the plot progresses.

Plot statement — This is to figure out the main conflict and what the characters do. Beauty’s sisters are selfish, so they ask for things their father can’t provide. Beauty solves the payment of the stolen rose by offering herself to the Beast. The Beast wants beauty to break the spell so he asks her to marry him. Normally, I’d accompany this portion with some sort of outline, but since I’m doing a script, I’m including the outline in the actual writing. We’ll find out if this is a good idea.

Moral Statement — This part is what I’m trying to say. For the planning stage, some people find it optional. I think it helps to guide the decisions I make when throwing the words on the paper.

For Beauty and the Beast my initial ideas are:

  • Don’t trust your eyes
  • beauty/worth can be below the surface
  • transformations (especially unexpected)

These may change as I get deeper in.

I’ve also got notes on the roles of the protagonists and antagonists and other bitty ideas that come to me while I’m planning.

Some people don’t like to plan because it stifles creativity. The trick is not to plan too much. Just enough so that all you know who it is and what you are dealing with. It’s dispiriting and wastes too much time to do that stuff in the middle of the throes of a first draft (especially when under a deadline).

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