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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

IWSG -Under The Rose

Hello there!

Whether you’re just passing through, or looking for a comfortable online group in which to share your writing journey, you’ve come to the right place! The Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers resources, tips, timely news, how-to’s and don’t do’s – all the support we writers can use to make the most of our craft.

We meet on the 1st Wednesday of every month. Feel free to browse around and mingle. As in the words of IWSG founder and “Cassa Series” author Alex Cavanaugh, “Your words may be the encouragement someone else needs” Join us!

I’ve been doing a lot more planning than writing these days as I’ve been alternately resting and therapeutically working on a broken shoulder. I’ve had ample time to wool-gather too.

For instance, it seems like we’d barely stopped pondering the identity of last year’s Secret Santa before another holiday, sometimes involving secrecy came along. Yep, Valentine’s Day, and admirers who want to remain anonymous. Have you ever had a secret admirer?

In some ancient Romans circles, anything said “Under the rose” was deemed to be top secret. Given the cultural fondness for roses, for decoration, as well as jewelry, there must have been a lot of whispering going on.

The Rose may be one of only three flowers mentioned by name in the Bible, but it sure is popular, especially this time of year. One of the most expensive of these fragrant flowers is the “Juliet,” created by famed rose breeder David Austin in 2006.  In 2002 a miniature rose called the “Overnite Scensation” traveled to space as part of a study gauging the effects of low gravity on the scent of the rose.

The oldest known rosebush, aptly named the Thousand-year Rose, clings tenaciously to the wall of the Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany.  As hardy, not to mention sharp as those prickles – AKA: thorns are, I certainly hope Mark Antony wore boots when visiting Cleopatra, as she reportedly carpeted her floor with roses in preparation for his visits.

Planted in 1885, Tombstone’s Lady Banksia rosebush retains its unchallenged Guinness book status as the world’s largest and boasts a canopy that measures 8500 square feet, with a trunk circumference of nearly 12 ft. The sound of occasional gunfire notwithstanding, throughout March and April rose-lovers from all around the world come to relax in the shade of fragrant white roses during the annual Rose Festival celebrating the blooming of the original Shady Lady.

There are over 4000 songs dedicated to roses. Which song just popped into your head?

 Happy writing!


  1. That is one big rose bush. And I didn't know one traveled into space.

    1. Hi Alex!

      The original Shady Lady is indeed massive and gorgeous!
      Sending a rose into space for research was rather expensive, I imagine ;-)

  2. I can see why roses have so many songs and literary allusions. They make it easy to write about all sorts of things.

  3. Howdy, dIEDRE ~

    I've seen that rosebush in Tombstone, and I'd bet a hunert pazoozas that you have too.

    How is the shoulder healing up? (You need to stay out of those dance competitions from now on. ;-)

    Phunny... in Reno there was (is) a brewing company called Under The Rose and I always wondered why they named it that. I'd never heard the expression explained... before today. Thanks for smartenin' me up a bit.

    And I feel especially stupid today, because a friend of mine texted me this morning and reminded me of the time I got beat by a chicken at tic-tac-toe. It was at Rawhide - the Western amusement town near Phoenix. (I feel certain the chicken must have cheated. Either that or I must have had a hellacious hangover that day. ...Any excuse will do!)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...'

    1. Hey there, Stephen T!

      You'd win a hunert pazoozas. I visit Tombstone fairly often - on the way to other places - but always have to stop in.

      Dance competitions - ha! Shoulder is healing nicely, they say, and naturally as I'd hoped ;-)

      A brewery called Under the Rose - how cool! I bet they knew the ancient meaning.
      Do you suppose the owners were Romans, or just Roman-tics?

      Oh! I forgot you do Reviews. I'll have to swing by ;-)

  4. I agree with Alex. That sounds like a huge rose bush. I like them but they are prickly to work with.

    1. Hi Natalie!

      It's gorgeous, really! You used to be able to get sweet tea at the Inn, but now it's a private residence for the caretakers.
      I had no idea rose enthusiasts avoid the word "thorn" ;-)

  5. Hi Diedre - Banksia roses are amazing ... love them. My love is like a Red, Red Rose ... and 'I never promised you a Rose Garden' ... gentle songs - love roses ... cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary!

      I've always liked the Rose Garden song!

      I thought of "Cracklin' Rosie"

  6. Hi diedre! I hope your shoulder is healing well. Roses are lovely. Thanks for the interesting history. The Lady Banksia bush must be an impressive sight! "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" is an old song that comes to mind. Bobby Vinton sang it, I think. Cheers!

    1. Hi Debbie!

      According to my PT, my range of movement is improving nicely. I feel like Gumby after each session ;-)

      The Tombstone rosebush is best viewed as it blooms, but I can just imagine how frightful the gnarly trunk might look at Halloween.

      "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" AND Bobby Vinton are a couple of my all time favorites!

  7. If I ever had a secret admirer it was a real secret and they never gave me anything.

    I had no realization that so many songs related to roses. Immediately a song by Seal came to my mind and then many others started popping into my head. There are a lot of songs that mention roses!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi, Arlee!

      I recall receiving an envelope with my name on it in third grade. Inside was a children's Valentine card with no signature, not a single hint as to who it was from. Don't you love a good mystery?

      "A Kiss from a Rose" by Seal is a beautiful song! It was included in the movie Batman Forever ;-)

  8. Broken shoulder? Ouch. I'm not a big fan of the 'secret' stuff. Creepy to me. But I'm a big PITA when it comes to holidays anyway.

    Great info on the roses - did not know about the space trip. My rose song is Bed of Roses by the still awesome Bon Jovi!

    1. Hi Lee!

      I had to check that song out, and wow! Great song - and, yep - awesome Bon Jovi ;-)

  9. I hope your shoulder mends quickly.

    My favorite roses are yellow with red staining the tips of the petals.

    1. Hi Cathrina!

      Your favorite rose sounds beautiful. Yellow is such a cheery color ;-)

  10. Hi, diedre!

    I'm back from my hiatus and happy to see you, dear friend! I pray that your bum shoulder is getting better day by day so that you can resume writing and other activities you enjoy.

    I had fun reading your V-week essay filled with facts about roses. Did you or the scientists find out what effect, if any, weightlessness in space has on the scent of a rose (and why we needed to know)? :) The first rose song that popped into my head was "A Rose And A Baby Ruth," a top 10 hit for George Hamilton IV during the Christmas season of 1956.

    Enjoy the rest of your month, dear friend diedre!

    1. Welcome back, Shady!

      Hope you're settling in again nicely.

      My shoulder is healing at a snail's pace it seems, though each day reveals the ability to resume an old activity ;-)

      "And why we needed to know," Ha! My thoughts exactly.

      Quite sure I'd never heard of Mr. Hamilton, I relied on YouTube for enlightenment and was delighted by his soothing voice and sweetly simple gesture of a single rose and a candy bar. Young love at it's finest!

      See you soon, my friend!

  11. My grandmother used to grow those tiny roses known as Teacup Roses. Very pretty. She also used to put her coffee grounds into the soil near them - I believe they like an acid soil.

    1. Teacup is a fitting name for tiny roses. I have "Tombstone" roses crawling up and over my front gate. So pretty I wish they bloomed year-round.
      Interesting tidbit about coffee grounds. I'll have to try it ;-)


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