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.

Stars Fall Out takes place in a small coastal city dominated by the most prominent university in the northern provinces. The city is under occupation by a vast empire with extensive resources, including people with magical abilities. The catalyst for the bulk of the book’s events is the creation of a new form of magic by one of the university’s professors.

This snippet comes from a scene in which Tirsan ends up listening to that professor’s conspiracy theories. While the professor doesn’t convince him to join him, he does end up being the last straw for Tirsan, who soon writes to his grandfather and asks for a change in the terms that will allow him to inherit land only after he’s finished his studies and found a wife.

Tirsan shrugged, and edged down the street a bit again.

Ghordaa only came closer. “If we come into our own magic, finally, that’s one less way they have to control us. But now, my creation is missing. Even my pencils are missing!”

“Your—you think he took your pencils?”

“Yes! Even those! But it makes sense. How am I supposed to do work of the mind without proper tools?”

I’ve been eavesdropping at Dunkin Donuts while I work on Stars Fall Out.

The employees behind the counter are practicing saying “Welcome to Dunkin Donuts” in spooky voices.

There’s a job interview going on behind me with illegal interview questions.

9/25 scenes done on Stars. I took a little too long on a scene that I came up with four years ago, and that I’ve been looking forward to writing since June. Here’s the excerpt:

Maps. He had given me a pile of maps.

I angled back to the fire, less awkward now that I wasn’t trying to draw. “But these are beautiful.” More beautiful than they needed to be: the swoops, the lines that ran from thick to thin, brush and ink detailing all the hills and buildings of my home. He had made Nirsuathu a work of art rather than a box wrapped in chains, and he had gotten the whole university, even the planetarium.

I sat there studying it so long that he stopped watching for my reactions and looked awkwardly into the fire.

At last, I held them out to him. “Wait…” I snatched them back, and looked at his work again. “Why did you need me to illustrate your brochure?”

“Funny thing, but I can’t draw a cup.”

Rippling mountains. Layered city blocks and tiny spires, even the bakery and the locksmith next door. Streets colliding, separating, winding, curving in precise lines.

“Oh, come on.”

“Ok, I can draw a cup. I can’t make a printing plate. And I didn’t have the illustrations started yet…”

“So you had me do those too.”

“You do have an excellent eye for detail.”