Category Archives: Val’s Views

A writer is a writer is a writer. We cannot stop writing… well perhaps to eat and occasionally to sleep. Ideas sometimes come so fast that sleep just won’t happen until I write things down.

On the other hand, I am often requested by magazines and newspapers, and even some businesses, to write something — an article, a commentary, a review, an ad even. I collect these when they relate to writing. (Okay, I sneak in a personal or favorite topic item once in a while.)

My collection of some of these pieces are gathered together on this site to share with you. If you’re looking for a particular subject, you may need to do a “Google” or “Bing” search. Or just hit BROWSE and enjoy. Happy reading!

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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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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