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Just As I Am

  by Cicely Tyson & Michelle Burford

(about 512 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:

was she thinking? I did not know. The one reason I conjured had to do with my tense dynamic with Mom since I’d returned to live with her. Our disputes were vociferous and constant. In fact, that very week, we’d had a doozy of a quarrel. I cannot recall what triggered the clash, probably because it wounded me so. Our strife must be spilling over into her treatment of Joan, I thought. Or maybe, after raising her own three children, Mom had understandably grown weary with caretaking. Whatever had prompted her strange behavior, I knew our arrangement had to end. I did not discuss this with my mother, nor did I ask for her opinion. I simply made a grown-up decision, one markedly absent of her input: I would secure my baby’s care. I didn’t know how I would do so, but I was convinced that I must. The next morning, I began researching boarding schools. With the fifty- and sixty-hour workweeks I was clocking, I knew I could not be there for my daughter in the way that I wanted, the way countless working mothers long to be. And yet if I was going to partner with others in caring for Joan, I had to be sure I could trust the palms I placed her in. When you don’t know what to do, you do what you know—and all of my life, I’d been taught to trust those guided by the same God who led me. That is glasses of water. People think this water business is a joke, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not. I’ve known two elderly people who died of dehydration, one of whom fell from his bed in the middle of the night and couldn’t stand up because he was so parched. Following my water, I drink eight ounces of fresh celery juice, blended in my Vitamix. The juice cleanses the system and reduces inflammation. My biggest meal is my first one: oatmeal. I soak my oats overnight so that when I get up, all I have to do is turn on the burner. Sometimes I enjoy them with warm almond milk. Other times, I add grated almonds and berries, put the mixture in my tumbler, and shake it until it’s so smooth I can drink it. In any form, oats do the heart good. Throughout the day, I eat sweet potatoes (which are filled with fiber), beets (sprinkled with a little olive oil), and vegetables of every variety. I also still enjoy plenty of salad, though I stopped adding so many carrots. Too much sugar. But I will do celery, cucumbers, seaweed grass, and other greens. God’s fresh bounty doesn’t need a lot of dressing up, which is why I usually eat my salad plain. From time to time, I do drizzle it with garlic oil. I love the taste. I also love lychee nuts. I put them in the freezer so that when I bite into them, cold juice

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 2,559 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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