"Statue of Queen Victoria" image by soosalu (Sirje S)
Canadians celebrate Victoria Day with fireworks on the May 24 long weekend.My
"Watch Fireworks in Toronto for Victoria Day 2013
" now includes the few GTA (Greater Toronto Area) municipalities that also shoot off some bursts to honour the long-deceased Queen Victoria.The next big display will be the Canada Day fireworks.
One Explosive Writing Tip
This explosive writing tip runs counter to my usual advice to focus intently in your article. Instead, broaden your scope, if that meets the needs of a larger audience without completely diluting your message.
Note that the second paragraph says "...now includes...".
Originally I planned to write only about the solitary Victoria Day fireworks display inside the city of Toronto itself. I did add the Canada's Wonderland venue just outside the municipal boundary.
Later I saw that a search engine sent me a reader based on searching for Victoria Day fireworks in Mississauga.
That's when I decided to add the note that Mississauga does not advertise any fireworks for 2013 Victoria Day.
Soon afterwards, I read an article listing a couple more venues outside Toronto for fireworks displays.
Regarding the writing tip: I diluted the effectiveness of my article, as far as Toronto residents are concerned. However, some of us might still want to visit Canada's Wonderland to watch the pyrotechnics; or we might live near enough to the other venues to make it worthwhile.
As well, it's a bit of a public service if people happen to look for fireworks in their own GTA community, and my article happens to pop out of the search engine.
While my scope broadened, it did not completely explode. I could have tried to list each and every Victoria Day fireworks display in Canada. Now, that would have been an explosive article...much more so than watch
"Pythagorean Dates in 2013" : image by Mike DeHaan "Pythagorean Dates in 2005" : image by Mike DeHaan
I completed this post after the Decoded Science article was published. "5-12-13 Right Angle Triangle via Microsoft Mathematics Triangle Solver" : image by Mike DeHaan
The reason for publishing the images here before Decoded Science is to establish my copyright for them.
One Triangular Writing Tip
Let's use the literary conceit of a triangular writing tip
to go along with Pythagoras and triangles.Three ideas came together for my Decoded Science article.First, I noticed an article celebrating May 12, '13
as a Pythagorean date. That formed the base for the article: to say something interesting about the mathematics of Pythagorean triples as applied to dates.
Second, I needed to add something of value for my readers. My first insight was that Dec. 5 would also be a Pythagorean date. The second idea of value was the answer to "How could I easily find Pythagorean dates for any
year"?Even after developing that process, the article still seemed a bit short. I suggested an alternative approach to finding Pythagorean dates to fill out my article.Today's triangular writing tip is to use a similar approach for many, but not all, your articles.
- Start from one concept. It might be one example. Or you might state one specific problem that you will solve in step 2.
- Expand that first concept, or solve the one basic problem. Show your reader how to use the idea in more general ways, or to apply it to similar but different problems.
- Conclude with a challenge to find a completely new approach, if your readers like to engage with that kind of suggestion. Otherwise conclude with a summary of the problem and solution.
Of course, the only practical use for Pythagorean dates is to one-up the people who wear "Pi Day
" T-shirts. When they greet you with "Happy Pi Day", just say "Let's do pizza on the next Pythagorean date...that should be Dec. 5, 2013".
"Map of Guildwood Park, Toronto" image by Mike DeHaan from Google Maps
For the second year in a row, I've adopted a thematic approach to covering the Toronto Doors Open
event in DeHaan Services
"2013 Doors Open Toronto Opens New Doors and Spaces
" covers "new" rather than "returning from previous years". I even had to cull that crop severely, since well over one hundred venues welcome visitors behind the scenes on that weekend each year.
One Writing Tip for a Theme
Today's one writing tip is very simple.
Choose a theme and stick to it.
That's especially important when your material threatens to overwhelm you.
In an article such as mine, where I'm drawing attention to a large event with many possibilities, there is no reason to list everything. Besides, that's what the official site does.
Instead, be a curator who selects and presents a bite-sized tidbit of information. Make that useful, informative and interesting.
Be sure to support your reader in digging deeper into the background material, but don't repeat everything they provide.
Check my article about Toronto Doors Open 2013. Even my selections needed sub-headings to organize the material.
Yes, if you're writing the definitive and comprehensive guide to the universe, you'll have to write a bit more. For most everyday articles, find an
"Harbourfront Centre on Canada Day 2006" image by athena kay
The only reason I wrote "2013 Vocal Music Festival at Harbourfront in Toronto
" was because I first noticed that the opening ceremony includes a free performance.Later shows were a bit more costly than the "frugal or free" events that DeHaan Services usually mentions.
They're actually quite reasonable, as musical events go; it's just that I'm carving out a niche for low budget Toronto events.
One Vocal Writing Tip
This vocal writing tip says, "Know whether to speak or keep silent".
The DeHaan Services niche for Toronto events aims at low-cost and under-advertised annual festivals. (It also promotes my writing at other sites, such as Decoded Science).
Harbourfront Centre in Toronto hosts quite a few free or inexpensive activities. I'm happy to publicize those.
Once any venue's ticket prices are over $10/person or so, I'd be more inclined to leave promotional duties to that organization.
The SING! Vocal Arts Festival is a nice idea, but the ticket prices are above what I'd promote in DeHaan Services. As noted above, it's the free opening ceremony that allows me to include this festival in my blog.
You need to know yourself, your blog with its purpose, and your audience in order to follow this writing tip.
Once you've determined those factors, you just have to remember to apply your own rules to the topics you find. I had a few tricky minutes to decide whether to remain silent or to speak on the subject of this Vocal Arts Festival at Harbour
"Months for Pregnancy Calculator via Spreadsheet" : image by Mike DeHaan
My recent Decoded Pregnancy
article, "Chances of Getting Pregnant: Math Estimates the Answers
", reports on what several different researchers have estimated to be the probability that a woman might conceive a child in one month.The above spreadsheet shows how such a probability
might accumulate over a year and a half, until it becomes extremely likely that a healthy woman would get pregnant.A typical doctor would probably suggest that the couple try to conceive their baby "naturally", rather than recommending a medical intervention after only a couple months.
"Standard Deviation of a Geometric Probability Distribution" : image by Mike DeHaan
Also read my "Math Estimates How Long to Get Pregnant
" for more advice on using the math, and on what to consider before searching for a fertility clinic to help you to conceive your baby. Although I would normally "preview" the images that I make for an article, this time it's a "postview" since Decoded Pregnancy
has already gone to press...I mean, published online.
One Untimely Writing Tip
Today's writing tip simply says: take the correct actions at the right time.
Although I'm sure there will be no repercussions, it was a mistake to forget to pre-publish these images here.
I was busy enough with other tasks that this slipped, even though I'd planned the title as a "preview".
While "no harm, no foul" makes for a more relaxed sporting event, it's not an excuse in the business of writing.
On the other hand...read the articles to get a much better sense of the importance of timing when you want to get pregnant!
"Sign for Beach Studio Tour in 2007" image by Aasen Ryan Family (Pat & Keri)
The signs may have changed since 2007, but "The Spring 2013 Beach Studio Tour in Toronto
" continues delighting art lovers and casual browsers even in 2013.My article introduces the dates, times and geography, then links to the official web site for the specific details.
One Specific Writing Tip
One challenge in writing these annual Toronto event articles arises when there are a lot of details.The specific problem here is that there are 15 venues, 8 genres and 25 individual artists.
It's painful to highlight a few, and redundant to copy all the information from the official site.It was a different situation with
"The 2013 Khalsa Day Parade in Toronto long after Vaisakhi
", because there was no one official web site and details were sparse. I dug into the reference material and presented the most cogent guide to this annual Sikh New Year parade in Toronto. (At least, I
think it's the best summary).My specific writing tip for
situations where the many details are already well handled by an official site is to let that site handle the minute details.Concentrate on the big picture. I explained where the core of the Toronto Beach Art Studio Tour would be, and how many venues were outside those boundaries. I also included the dates and times, since that was a short paragraph.You should do likewise. You might focus on one or two details that make the event interesting, or the "must-see" aspect of a tourist destination.But unless you're comparing two
products feature by feature, you don't need to list every detail.Make art, not checklists; at least if you're covering a wide-ranging event like the Toronto Beach Art Studi
"Guarding Fort York in Toronto Ontario" image by Bobolink (Robert Taylor)
The Battle of York, in the War of 1812, was an American victory over what is now the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.Nonetheless, Toronto takes notes of the anniversary as I report in
"Commemorate the Battle of York in the War of 1812
".My article highlights some of the events, including a sunrise event by members of several First Nations groups whose ancestors fought alongside the British colonists.
The article notes other highlights, including a walking tour and a parade, both of which end at Fort York. My article links to the official City of Toronto web page for more details.
One Historic Writing Tip
Once again the writing tip is to keep your eyes open for topics in your niche.
In this instance, I happened to see an online ad for this day to commemorate the War of 1812 in Toronto's Fort York. In my opinion, the event was poorly advertised: it barely registered for me, and only because I'd previously written about annual events at Fort York.
Although I'm more inclined to write about annual events in Toronto than about a one-time ceremony, I felt this reminder of the Battle of York deserves its day in the sun.
"Beaches International Jazz Festival Toronto 2007" image by beyond20khz (Josh Tidsbury)
My latest DeHaan Services
article about an annual summer event in Toronto is barely in time in mid-April.That's because the
"Hennessy Talent Quest for Toronto Beaches Jazz Festival 2013
" selects a winning band during April. So this online talent contest has become an annual spring event in Toronto, if only for the second year.It's a great opportunity for a band to perform at the prestigious and long-running Beaches Jazz Fest
in Toronto in 2013.
One Jazzed-up Writing Tip
My article about the 2012 Toronto Beaches Jazz Festival
was very popular, so I wanted to schedule the next as an article about an annual summer event in Toronto.To my surprise, the
Hennessy Talent Quest 2013 was already taking place. This fit in perfectly with my mission to preview Toronto events, rather than reporting after the fact.So today's writing tip advises that you schedule your articles ahead of time
. Check your sources early rather than at the last minute. This may give you the material for one or more bonus articles beyon
"Compound Interest Loan with Variable Repayments" : image by Mike DeHaan
"Compound Interest Formula" : image by image by Mike DeHaan
One Writing Tip with Interest
This writing tip, like compound interest itself, builds on what has gone before.
It might have been possible to write one article about calculating interest.
However, it would have been longer than the Decoded Science ideal length.
It would also lose focus, especially for anyone looking for a really specific answer to either simple interest or compound interest.
There's no harm in writing a series of articles, unless you deliberately chop up one useful concept to increase the number of page views.
Conversely, readers who have to scroll through too many virtual pages, or click "next" seeking the elusive kernal of wisdom, are likely to give up in despair.
So the writing tip is to focus your article on one topic; cover it well; and write a series to cover the material that overflows the one-article-sized container.
"Simple Interest Loan with Variable Repayments" : image by Mike DeHaan
We're back with a new self-made image included in my recent Decoded Science
article, "How to Calculate Simple Interest
". Understanding how to calculate simple interest is a necessary skill for controlling your personal finances, since it lets you understand the cost of borrowing money. It's also the foundation for calculating compound interest, which is a future topic.Publishing my "artwork" here first
establishes my copyright.I've also
publicized my article in DeHaan Services
, where "What is Simple Interest at Decoded Science
" adds some Canadian content and recommends a simple reference book about personal finances.
A Simple versus Compound Writing Tip
Today we recycle an older writing tip based on my experience working on this article.
I'd originally considered writing about both simple and compound interest in one article. The main point would be the contrast between the two interest calculations.
Then I realized that each topic could easily fill an article or two. Even this "simple interest" essay had over 1,000 words.
Further topics could examine interest calculations for savings versus loans, or examine the relationship between Euler's "e=2.71828..." and compound interest.
So here is the double writing tip.
Break up your topic into manageable chunks, so you only present one unified concept at a time.
Do think about the range of sub-topics within your topic. Develop a series of articles to cover them.
That's my plan for the interesting topic of interest calculations.