Author Archives: Val Dumond

About Val Dumond

VAL DUMOND is a writer who is enamored with words and putting them together to tell stories. Trained as a journalist, she also managed an advertising agency and public relations business. She has taught writing classes for many years and now focuses on her own writing, editing for other writers, and helping writers publish their books. She owns Muddy Puddle Press, where most of her books are published. Her favorite writing theme is historical fiction: She has done what-ifs for Klondike Kate — Queen of the Yukon, and the unlucky pilot who in 1933 tried and failed to be the first to fly solo across the Pacific. She also did a what-if about the status of women at a bank where she once was overworked and underpaid. (Kate received a new love interest at the age of 70; the pilot received a second chance at his heart's desire 50 years later; and the women of the bank rebelled enough to improve their wages and place women on the Board of Directors.) See: SUGAR, SPICE, AND STONE; WHEN ROOSTERS FLY; and A LITTLE REBELLION…. But Val's grammar books are the ones that draw attention. Her latest, AMERICAN-ENGLISH—The Official Guide (written for writers), is a culmination of five other books about language she has written. This new book urges writers to develop their own writing style by creating their own Style Manual, composed of preferences among the many choices that American-English provides. In it, she uses examples of uses for the various parts of language and punctuation, sets aside a section that's full of writing tips, includes a glossary and index for easy access to language solutions.

Women Athletes

What do you think of when you think of women in sports? Or perhaps, I should ask: who do you think of? Of course there are the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena. And the Seattle Storm and Minnesota Lynx basketball … Continue reading

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Women Athletes

What do you think of when you think of women in sports? Or perhaps, I should ask: who do you think of? Of course there are the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena. And the Seattle Storm and Minnesota Lynx basketball … Continue reading

Posted in Equal Rights Amendment, Personal Stories, Women's Issues | Comments Off on Women Athletes

To Spell or Not To Spell?

Ah, that is the question! Realizing the difficulty in finding “rules” for grammar in a nation built on the diversity of its citizens, the problem of spelling is particularly annoying. What may have survived as a spelling rule in England’s … Continue reading

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Style Kiboshes

Some years ago I read something like the following in a magazine for writers. The author is a newspaper editor, writing to the staff reporters. It points up my contention that the writing “rules” are so ambiguous as to be … Continue reading

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Writing Tips

Ah, this is an easy one! What can one writer give another writer as a “tip,” something useful to apply to their chosen pursuit? (You think you chose to be a writer? Doesn’t work that way! Writing chooses you. And … Continue reading

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I Wanna Be a Rock Star

Do you know how many top-notch singers are never “discovered”? How many talented athletes never make the pro teams? How many talented writers earn a good livelihood without ever putting out a bestseller? When I am with young people, I … Continue reading

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Writing Contests and Other Scammy Stuff

Oh dear oh dear oh dear (the words of my Irish grandmother)! How many ways can writers be teased out of their hard work? Let me count the ways. To begin, there are contests. To end, there are contests. Writers … Continue reading

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Words Can Create Warmth or Freeze Out a Listener

By repeating words they become reality. Or do they? I don’t believe I’ve ever seen “black” skin – very dark maybe, but not black. You’re in your car, stuck in a snowdrift in the middle of a blizzard. The engine … Continue reading

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How To Get along Without…What You Love

I get a long without you very well… you know I do… Except in spring … But I should never think of spring … The song is playing on my earphones – a song I long have felt close to, … Continue reading

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Wordbaskets

Didn’t think you could weave a basket with words, didja! You may be surprised how many things you can do with words. Here’s how to do that weaving thing. Think of an adjective (something like “hot”). Then think of its … Continue reading

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