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.

When Did You Learn To Write?

When did you learn to write? When you heard another speak to you for the first time? Or after you painstakingly struggled with forming letters with a pencil between your fingers? When did you learn to talk? When you felt … Continue reading

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Val Dumond’s Viewpoint

[In case you missed it, here’s a reprint of the article that appeared on the editorial page of The News Tribune on January 5.] The AP article (January 3, 2007) lauding the status of women in Washington State tells only … Continue reading

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Three Ways to Write; One Reason

There are three ways to write… no wait, there are thirty-three ways to write… no, that’s not right; there are thirty-three trillion ways to write. But there is only one reason to write: because you have to or something inside … Continue reading

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Sentences

Don’t you just love to play with sentences? Choose a subject, a verb, and an object, and experiment to find out how many ways you can combine them to write a sentence; you’ll note quickly there are 50 ways to … Continue reading

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Drawing Sentences? Don’t Cringe – Try It!

Most people are satisfied just to know the difference between a noun and a verb, never mind the identity and function of such things as nominative pronouns, superlative verbs, adjectival clauses, or the dreaded participles. Yet, anyone who writes for … Continue reading

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The Self Story

Some European writer friends and I were discussing American literature one day, when one noticed that we Americans seem intrigued with personal stories, whether told in memoir or in fiction. When I got home I looked at the New Books … Continue reading

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Sadness in One Sentence

The little girl, her dark hair flowing in the breeze and her very blue eyes closed in contemplation, sits in the backyard swing, barely moving her legs to keep it swaying back and forth as she listens to the sounds … Continue reading

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Nature Rocks!

My friends think I’ve gone goofy! But there are a few who know what I mean when I talk about my “experiences with nature” (to put it gently). Let me tell you about them (my family is tired of hearing … Continue reading

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Keeping Up With Life and Language: A Balancing Act

If we’re living life right, we should be able to look backward and forward with equal ease – all the while living actively in the present. Now there’s a balancing act! For any age! Still, looking ahead when you’re in … Continue reading

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Intern, Outtern, Upturn, Downturn, Overturn…If We Won’t Make Up Words, Who Will?

Many words in our crazy language make little or no sense whatsoever – at least as far as root words, suffixes and prefixes are concerned. Take, for example, the word inundated. Is there an outundated? No, but there is a … Continue reading

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