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Grace Notes

  by Katey Sagal

(about 232 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:

room. Her stuffed animals and books are mostly in boxes. All but a few. There’s dirty old Rags, a white dog with brown spots. I left him on her bookshelf. I’ve kept all her clothes in the closet because I can’t bear to take them out. They are her clothes. They smell like her. She’s not dead. She has left for college, and we need the space. I’ve been afraid to change her room because I’m afraid she’ll never come back if I do. I’m afraid she will forget me and home and us. I’m afraid she’ll turn into me at her age. I tried so hard to make sure that never happened. That she didn’t have the mother I’d had. That she didn’t become the daughter I’d been. I told myself it would be different when I had kids. That they wouldn’t be afraid of me. That I would listen to them. That they would never rush to leave home. That I wouldn’t die on them. So far, so good. Sarah is my first. My first that made it, I mean. After Ruby, I was a nervous wreck carrying Sarah. So terrified I would fail her somehow, still not wholeheartedly grasping the idea that 60 percent of stillbirths, like Ruby, have “no medical reason.” The belief that I must have done something wrong still hanging around—faintly, but there nonetheless. Sarah is my brave do-over. I was so afraid to do it again, even to try again, but I’d let them stop me. I always kept working. Head in a Bag I was a chubby tween. When I was twelve, I had a best friend, a food buddy, who was also kind of chubby. We went to the Brentwood Country Mart after school, where we used to sneak burgers and fries and milk shakes. They were forbidden fare for both of us. Looking over our shoulders, nervously expecting to get busted, we dipped the salty fries in the sweet vanilla shakes. I was supposedly on Weight Watchers or some other diet plan. I wasn’t supposed to cheat. But I always did. My dad was neither thin nor fat, but he was weight obsessed and constantly on a diet. And when he was dieting, we were all dieting. My dad became as obsessed with watching my weight as he was obsessed with watching his. His on-and-off diet whims could change from day to day, but we never questioned him. We simply dieted, or didn’t, as he did. He loved his latkes and bagels, but when we were dieting, he had a strict rule: no potatoes, no starch. This was before the low-carbohydrate Atkins diet. It was the grapefruit and cottage cheese era, and we ate a lot of both. During the times we were forbidden from eating cake and cookies, Dad liked to eat navel oranges for dessert or as a snack before bed. I peeled oranges for the both of us. Eating them voraciously together. The smell of oranges

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 1158.36 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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