Saturday, May 21, 2005

Two-timing manuscripts

I have a problem. It goes like this. Back in July/August 2004, I started another Roman manuscript. But I got to a certain point and abandoned it. Left it on the side of the road while I did other things. Promised it that one day I would return but not until I had heard back on the gladiator mss.
Now having revised the gladiator mss, I find it whispering to me.
At the moment, I am writing my saga. I like my saga. I know where I am going with my saga. I am fast approaching the rape. When in doubt -- put in a rape. Actually it makes sense to have it there. I know the consequences of the rape and what indeed happens afterward. If I had not done the revisions on Gh, I would be quite content to keep working on it. An agent has said to query her when it is finished. All good reasons to keep working.
But then I am getting pictures in my mind about the Tribune one. In particular, the black moment when Sylvia is sure all hope is lost and Octavian comes to the rescue. It is insidious. I suppose I ought to get that one done some more and flip back to Rose when my muse decides to go on strike again.
The other alternative is spending more and more time on the Internet...My muse can be so huffy. Thus I will reread TS and then maybe it will spur her in to some sort of action. One way or the other...

In duckling news: they are getting bigger. We have decided that it was not crows who were picking off the ducklings but a female sparrow hawk. She has taken to circling the garden, on the off chance. The ducks however are safe in their pen. There has been no more mishaps. And they no look like miniature fluffy ducks. In the next week or so, they should start getting their feathers in. Then once the primary wing feathers are in, they will have one side shortened. It is a bit like cutting finger nails. This way, they are not able to fly because they are unbalanced.
Two days ago, I went into the bee hives. Always a slightly nerve wracking experience. The smaller hive seems to be building nicely but there was some drone brood. This can be a sign of impending swarms but there appears to be lots of space in the hive with little or no honey congestion. I moved the one completely empty frame to the edge of the brood nest. The queen will not lay on the other side of honey. They appear to be starting to fill the first super.So I put a second super on, just in case. The supers are half the size of brood boxes and they sit on top of a queen excluder and are the frames that get filled with honey.
The larger colony is going great guns. They have completely filled a second super but have not sealed it yet. Unsealed honey can ferment and cause a horrid taste if taken off. It is better to wait until it is sealed. They have started to work the third super, so I put a fourth on. The question now becomes when do we take the first super off? The danger is that if they have been filling the supers with oilseed rape, after a few weeks it crystallizes and is very difficult (almost impossible) to get out. Although in past years, they seem to have concentrated more on the blossom. Equally if the weather goes bad, the bees are more likely to eat the honey. Okay I know it is their stores but we take some off, they won't starve...It is such a large colony and there is so much honey, that I am afraid I was rather bad and did not do a proper inspection of the brood nest. Basically given the amount being laid down in the supers, I don't think there is honey congestion, and if they decide to make queen cells, there is little I can do to prevent them swarming. Been there, tried and failed badly.

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