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Sugar Birds

  by Cheryl Grey Bostrom

(about 331 pages)
total words
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
passive voice
of all the books in our library
all adverbs
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library
of all the books in our library

clippings from this book

We’ve analyzed hundreds of millions of words, from thousands of different authors, training our linguistic models to recognize the most vivid words in the English language… the words that create the most intense sensory experiences: colors, textures, sounds, flavors, and aromas.

Based on our analysis, we’ve scanned through the pages of this book to find the two pages at the extremes, both the most-passive and the most-vivid pages, so that you can compare them side-by-side and see the difference:

her arm as I slid off the stool. “I’m going for a walk by the river.” Aggie ran to the woods when her life went haywire. So could I. “Take your time. I’ll be here when you get back.” I could hardly see the ground through my tears. I’d just been stabbed. Stabbed in another Mother ambush. And to think Daddy had endured a zillion more. I felt ashamed. And selfish. I had frozen Daddy out just like Mother iced me. I had railed at him about how he was like her, but I was blind as a one-eyed mole. The one acting like her? Moi. Sure, my dad had left me here in Washington against my will, but what else could he do? I had backed him into a corner. I’d never have come with him, if I’d known he was leaving. And he’d never have let me stay in Texas if I were within a hundred miles of Meredith. He didn’t like this mess any better than I did, but I had snarled at him and my gram as if they had ruined my life. I had felt so … justified. I stumbled past the garden. The first zinnias were showing color. I absently thought about snipping some for Gram’s table. Later. Reality intruded. My mother’s voice thumped my eardrums. Or was it my own? Hadn’t I blistered Daddy? Then when he called to make amends, I still wouldn’t talk with him. Wouldn’t forgive. And what did I do thicket, Aggie clawed through tall ferns and found herself in a ring of familiar, dilapidated buildings. Years before, she and Burnaby took an overgrown trail from the dairy and found this small, collapsed barn, punched through with alders. Blackberry vines mounded where the house had stood. A river rock chimney rose toward a blue patch of sky overhead—a pioneer’s chimney, Burnaby said. Nearby, immature plums, apples, and pears dangled from gnarled, neglected fruit trees. Food for later. A root cellar’s mossy roof blended into the hillside behind the orchard. She remembered this tiny house. Could she sleep here? She was lifting the door’s wooden latch when a branch’s loud crack stopped her. Brush rustled as something large pushed through it, coming down the hill. Aggie dropped the latch, ducked behind the plum tree, and climbed, entering its leafy cover just as a tall figure stepped into the clearing. He walked toward the root cellar, right under her tree, so close she could smell him. Cows. He’s been with cows. Burnaby smelled like that after he milked. He seemed older than Burnaby, though, and didn’t resemble Burn at all. Black, shaggy curls grew over his collar and forehead. His arms, poking out from short-sleeved coveralls like the ones Uncle Loomis wore, were hairy and tanned. He looked beautiful, even with his face scrunched in concentration. He reminded her of a raven, all dark and strong and shiny. As if expecting someone, he surveyed the rim of trees and slowly ran

emotional story arc

Click anywhere on the chart to see the most significant emotional words — both positive & negative — from the corresponding section of the text…
This chart visualizes the the shifting emotional balance for the arc of this story, based on the emotional strength of the words in the prose, using techniques pioneered by the UVM Computational Story Lab. To create this story arc, we divided the complete manuscript text into 50 equal-sized chunks, each with 1655.02 words, and then we scored each section by counting the number of strongly-emotional words, both positive and negative. The bars in the chart move downward whenever there’s conflict and sadness, and they move upward when conflicts are resolved, or when the characters are happy and content. The size of each bar represents the positive or negative word-count of that section.

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other books by Cheryl Grey Bostrom

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