"Canadian Flag at Niagara Falls" image by Kevin Timothy
Perhaps it could have been a simple infographic, but my latest DeHaan Services public service announcement, "2013 Family Day Holiday in Canada", gives the province-by-province details for this recently-created Canadian holiday.

I added some frugal ideas Toronto families to enjoy Family Day in Toronto.

One Wintry Writing Tip

Perhaps my imagination is running cold this winter, but the writing tip for this article honestly and truly repeats a recent tip.

Something reminded me about "Family Day", and I realized that I needed to learn what day it would be.

If I needed to know this, then there must be others in the same boat. So I did the research and wrote the article.

Once again, my need for a snippet of information led to a concise and useful article. This time, it's Family Day. Tomorrow might be a recipe for world peace, although it could be more difficult to test that recipe in my kitchen.
"Specific Cross Multiplication Example" : image by Mike DeHaan
Once again I'm wrote a preview of images that I created for an article at Decoded Science.

Now that "Cross Multiply to Solve Equations with Fractions" article is finished, so is this promotional page, which really had to be published to the Web first for copyright purposes.

I'm developing a series of "easy how-to do math" articles there.

"Cross Multiply Fractions in General" : image by Mike DeHaan
I create the preview in a blog that I control, in order to establish copyright for my original artwork.

"Simplest Cross Multiplication of Fractions" : image by Mike DeHaan
While there's no concern that the other site would even consider misappropriating my work, it's just good practice to publish under one's own name first.

You could accomplish the same goal by publishing photographs or other visual art on an appropriate image library site. I use Flickr, for example, but only images that are labelled as "Creative Commons free for commercial use with attribution, and that do not use Getty for licensing.

I've got nothing against the Getty process, but it's an extra step that I avoid just to keep things simple.

A Fraction of a Writing Tip

My writing tip is to enlist a good editor to improve your writing.

One of the Decoded Science editors suggested a change to my style of writing equations. I'd written a derivation using bullet points. This list format keeps the equations tidy, but they suffer from close vertical spacing.

  • c/d = a/X
  • Cross-multiply both sides by (X*d/c).
  • (c/d) * (X*d/c) = (a/X) * (X*d/c)
The alternative was to indent each equation as its own paragraph. This allowed the sentences to flow, and also improved the legibility.

I had never noticed the indent function in the WordPress editor.

"Replacing a simple list by indented paragraphs when showing how to solve equations" is just one way that an editor can help improve your articles.

"Four-Ten Triangle of Canadian Pennies" by Mike DeHaan
Surely the Canadian government isn't trying to add to my costs of producing original pictures for articles such as "How to Change Triangular Numbers into Square Numbers.

The real reasons are revealed in my latest public service announcement, "Understanding Why the Canadian Penny Dropped",in DeHaan Services.

I include a summary of the guidelines from the Canadian Mint, so we know what to do when the grocer doesn't hand over exact change.

A One-Cent Writing Tip

This topic is a perfect example of "write what you know", except it's really "write what you really wanted to know but wasn't explained clearly".

When "no more pennies in Canada!" hit the news, my first thought was "What about that jar of pennies"? Once I did the research, it was an obvious topic for my blog.

This 1-cent writing tip repeats what I've said before. Write about what you need to know. Follow your interests, both for the sake of authenticity and also, especially, because what you need is what some other people need too.

Although Canadians should not need physical one cent coins in our bright new future, everyone still will need some wisdom
"Chinese New Year Shopping in Toronto" image by Andrew Currie
Chinese New Year uses the Chinese Lunar calendar, so their New Year's Day floats across the Gregorian calendar used by the Western world.

Every year, people search for answers to questions such as "When will we celebrate Chinese New Year's Day".

So I wrote "Celebrate the 2013 Chinese New Year in Toronto on a Budget" to answer those questions and also stay within my DeHaan Services topic of interesting but frugal annual Toronto events.

One Lunar Calendar Writing Tip

While I'd already discussed the lunar calendar in other articles, such as "Why Must Toronto Ask When is Diwali in 2012?", it's still an ongoing topic.

My solitary writing tip for the lunar calendar, as well as other recurring topics, has three parts:

  1. Cover the topic, such as the Gregorian and Lunar calendars, thoroughly in one article to which you can refer from your other blog posts or online magazines. Include links to authoritative reference articles if at all possible.
  2. If the topic pops up again, give a brief introductory explanation.
  3. Then link to the more complete topic article.

This should be a familiar process, because you can use it with authoritative articles that you had not written. Explain the topic briefly, in your own words, then link to the trustworthy reference article.

The only difference is that you can refer to yourself as a minor authority once you've written a good explanation the first time. While I'm not an authority on the lunar new year, I think my explanation for the way Diwali drifts through the Gregorian calendar is equally useful for the Chinese New Year.

    Mike DeHaan

    Mike DeHaan began writing professionally in 2010 as the sole proprietor of DeHaan Services.To see this information with the best background image, please refer to "About.Me",  befriend me at Facebook, or circle me at Google+.


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