My mom got me a new Fitbit for Christmas, and there is now a thing called a Sleep Score. I got a grade of 72 for a little under 6 hours of sleep last night.

I would like to be graded on a more punishing scale than this. Less bell curve, more bladed pendulum swinging from the ceiling.

Also, I read an article awhile ago that claimed 6 hours of sleep is just as bad as none. I forget what the logic was and what research it drew upon–it might have been mostly about cognitive function. But 6 hours of sleep is most certainly not as bad as none because the extent to which I feel like shit still matters.

The other day I wrote about how I ended up with a love triangle in Stars Fall Out–something that surprised me (but shouldn’t have) and made me suspicious, as I’m not typically one for romantic storylines.

An excellent use for expensive brush pens.

There’s also another love triangle, and that’s me two-timing Stars Fall Out with its sequel, Bitter Machines.

And there’s a third one, which is me making a love triangle diagram instead of working on either book.

And a fourth one, in which I’m in a relationship with a human being and run away to my office to do all of the above.

Apparently, if you have a secret marriage and an emotional affair, relationship math dictates that you will end up with a love triangle. This came about organically with Stars Fall Out after I developed a couple of the characters more, so I think it deserves its place in the story.

But I’ve been wrestling with resolving it in a non-melodramatic way that deepens the already-existing conflict and doesn’t hijack the rest of the story, kill my ending, or kill my characters, who already have future book storylines.

I’m less confident in this excerpt than in most of the other excerpts I’ve posted. Apparently, it’s tough to write a balanced, reasonable jealous rage.

But he didn’t stop. He hauled himself through streets the color of winter’s muddy death at the hands of a vicious spring, and he came to The House by the Sea Inn.

It loomed up at the top of the hill, a fortification against everything he needed to know and didn’t want to know. His heart thudded in his chest from the exertion of the hills, and only grew heavier, faster like the chugging of machinery.

No one had told him this was where the floppy-haired glass merchant was staying, but he’d pieced it together. The last job of the Rill Ryonin bakery had been a king’s ransom of rolls. They had been sent here, and Tyatavar had been the one to make that delivery.

And after that, hours after that, they’d leaned together against the wall of the locksmith’s shop, their faces lit by firelight that could never touch them.

He had been there with her there in the thick of things, where a son-in-law should be.

This culture devalues sleep to the extent that admitting you slept well is actually met with hostility.

It’s more socially acceptable to say “God, I’m so tired today” than it is to say, “I have plenty of energy,” which will always earn you a dirty look.

If you say “Good morning” without sounding as though you’re about to take a bath with a toaster, then, well, you’re a perky fucker, aren’t you?

Eating well and exercising never get reactions like this.

An unexpected benefit of the Dvorak keyboard:

I have a hardwired Dvorak keyboard at work, and I guess sometimes when I’m not in, people will come in and ask if they can use the spare computer for a minute, only to go "Uh, what?" and give up.

So thanks, Dvorak, for saving me from greasy finger germs.

There are three universal plots of stories parents tell about small children:

  • Child said or did a thing that the parent was unaware they knew how to say or do
  • Child said or did a thing in an unexpected context
  • Child did something gross in a unique way and/or in an unexpected context