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.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/life-bilingual/201108/emotions-in-more-one-language

This article discusses the myth of bilingual people reverting to their native language when expressing strong emotions. From what I’ve read, it’s not necessarily untrue that this happens, but there’s more nuance than automatically reverting to one’s earliest language, and more variables than time.

A couple quotes I found interesting:

When a childhood in one language lacked affection or was marked by distressing events, then bilinguals may prefer to express emotion in their second language.

When bilinguals are angry, excited, tired or stressed, their accent in a language can reappear or increase in strength. In addition, they often revert to the language(s) in which they express their emotions, be it their first or their second language, or both.

I read the article as part of my research for Stars Fall Out, and it’s not totally applicable in my case, since I’m writing a multi-lingual character who starts slipping out of an assumed accent. But this is still useful information to have it mind.

Here’s one of the last parts of Stars Fall Out that I wrote in November. I didn’t finish my ending, as I had hoped, but I did complete 25 scenes, which was my other goal. This deals with the mechanics of a magic vial that’s one of the most important magical advances in hundreds of years and that the main character steals and essentially uses as an addictive escape from her own life.

This time, as it fizzed and hissed and transformed the water, I focused. Just as I brought my mind back under this bridge when I needed to come home, so did I send it out. I flung my thoughts out to the farthest reaches of the empire, to farther places than that, even. I thought of mountains too tall to exist here, plants too exotic, bridges too magnificent. I thought of maps unrolled before me, not Pinuar’s maps of the city, but maps that stopped for no road and went on and on.

I took my sip of water, and I imagined it pulling me to all those places.

Then I waded in, and wished one last time for the water to whisk me out of my trap.

When I came up again, a miniature wooden statue of She-the-Sailor stared me down from on top of a nearby dock piled with weathered rope. Once, I had come across a She-the-Sailor statue in a far-off place. Nothing about this tightly-packed clutter of ramshackle seaside cottages hinted at far-off places. Nothing about the chill or the salt tang in the air hinted of far-off places either.

I’d been breathing them in all day. All week. All month.

My entire life.

For more of my Stars Fall Out research, I started looking up historical forms of birth control for something I can bend to fit my story. This is not that thing:

During the 16th century, Canadians began using the combination of beaver testicles with moonshine. They ground the beaver balls to fine powder and then added very strong alcohol to the mixture. People would then drink this, with the alcohol helping to forget that they were drinking beaver testicles.

15 of the Craziest Birth Control Methods from Ancient Times

I’m the lightest lightweight ever, and it would take an entire jug of wine for me to forget I was drinking beaver testicles. This is because no amount of alcohol would make me forget drinking beaver testicles; you’d need to straight up smack me over the head with the wine jug and concuss me for me to forget that.

I got a cool but annoying sign that I’m on track with giving my characters distinct voices in Stars Fall Out.

I pasted a chunk of text from a scene in one character’s point-of-view to another character and changed the pronouns where needed.

And it didn’t work at all. Incompatible. Wrong operating system.

It threw things off so much, I couldn’t even segue into the dialogue that I’d already written.

That last part was annoying.