"William Shakespeare" image by Books18
In my latest DeHaan Services article, "Free Shakespeare for Enrichment Activities for Kids in Toronto", parents learn where they can send their children for Saturday sessions about Shakespeare.

The organizers seem to know that it has to be enjoyable for the children. These Toronto events run at different libraries in the autumn of 2012 as well as the winter and spring of 2013.

Publicity for my Promotional Article on Shakespeare Activities for Kids

My faithful Xanga blog, as always, publicizes my article; although "Mixing Shakespeare and Children in Toronto" does not really add much to the topic beyond alliteration.

One Significant Writing Tip

I must admit to calling this a "significant" writing tip only because I'd used so many words starting with 'S' in my Xanga article.

Nonetheless, I think it is indeed significant that my article covers three seasons.

Most of my "Toronto Event" articles report on annual events that only occur once per year. Even a weekend-long opportunity such as Doors Open Toronto (2012) or longer ones like Toronto Bike Month (2012) are only relevant once per year.

This opportunity, for children to be enrolled in a program to enjoy Shakespeare, occurs three times. This means that I should publicize my article twice more, even if only in passing.

With any luck, the troupe behind the program will give encore performances in coming years.

The writing tip boils down to finding topics that can be revisited periodically. The "Saturday Shakespeare as kids activities" article should get publicity three times in
"Triple Jack O'Lantern" image by wwarby
One favourite DeHaan Services topic is the "cheap, under-promoted event in Toronto".

Careful readers of "Four Cheap Events in Toronto for Halloween 2012" will find five events in the text, and some more in one of the reference links. I'd say that's quite the bargain.

Publicity for my Article about Cheap Toronto Hallowe'en Events

My Xanga blog faithfully adds fuel to the proverbial fire with "Finding Cheap Toronto Halloween Events in 2012".

One Writing Tip at No Extra Cost

This writing tip repeats a recent point for emphasis.

Ensure that your articles are organized. It helps your readers follow your reasoning.

When I began researching the "2012 Hallowe'en events in Toronto" topic, I was flooded with events that I wanted to include. However, I was not about to put more than a half-dozen into one article.

Chronological order is one obvious way to organize material, especially "events" in the past or future. You will notice that both today's "Cheap" article, and my recent "A Few Free 2012 Halloween Events in Toronto", list events based on start date, start time and end date.

However, that was not good enough to break up the topic into manageable chunks. Only one event actually falls on November 1st, so I couldn't divide the material into "pre-Hallowe'en" and "post-Hallowe'en" time periods.

In this case, I used "free admission, or with a charitable donation" versus "cheap admission, but not free". This happened to give me a pretty even balance in the numbers of events in each article.

Another option would be "downtown versus suburban", "east-west", "urban/rural" or some other geographic scheme.

Dividing into "child friendly", "pet friendly" and "adults only" could have worked as well, but I did not realize that until writing the second article. Normally I think of Hallowe'en as primarily for children.

This week I read one article whose author had trouble with the focus. Several topics and related suggestions were presented, but no single idea was developed convincingly.

The writing tip boils down to organizing your thoughts before committing words to electronic paper. Your readers will thank you for leading them along a clear path, even if it is haunted by ghosts during a cheap Hallowe'en adventure.

The Completed Preview of Math Launching a Bus

I've published some new images here, to establish copyright before they live in my new Decoded Science article, "Math can Launch One Bus with Speed minus Gravity".
"Speed and Distance in Freefall" : image by Mike DeHaan

Here is the preview of the two new images I created.

"Launch Vertical versus Horizontal Distance" : image by Mike DeHaan
As usual, this adds to my claim of copyright to the images I've created.

Further Publicity for my Decoded Science Article

I also publicized my article in two other sites. DeHaan Services has "Math, Gravity and the Bus from the Speed Movie" and my Xanga blog ("How Far Might the Bus from 'Speed' Fly?").

One Writing Tip to be written

As always, my Blog of Writing will include a writing tip based on writing my recent article.

One Technical Writing Tip for Math Articles

"How to Add a Scatter Graph" : image by Mike DeHaan
Today's writing tip explains the basics of how I added the scatter graph to the spreadsheet using Microsoft Excel on a Windows PC.

  • Add the data (Time, Horizontal, Vertical, etc.) to the spreadsheet.
  • Highlight the section of data that you want to graph. In this case, the numbers for Horizontal and Vertical.
  • Click the "Insert" drop-down menu, select "Scatter, and select the "...with Smooth Lines and Markers" choice. This is shown in the above image.
  • Once the basic chart is in place, it's ready to be dragged into position, stretched, or given titles.
You could hold the "Ctrl" key and click for different columns, such as "Time" plus "Horizontal".

Some of my previous writing tips have stated how easy and useful it can be to include an image from a spreadsheet. The scatter graph is a particularly nice visual aid. Since my "bus launch" article deals with gravity, I really wanted an image of a parabolic curve. I had to include a picture of the spreadsheet's data for the math, so Excel provided a quick and easy parabola for my article.

"A Pride and Prejudice Zombie Bride" image by zombieite
As my latest article in DeHaan Services, "A Few Free 2012 Halloween Events in Toronto" says, "My list is certainly not complete, but it is a start". I easily found parties for adults, children or dogs that cost no more than being willing to parade in a costume of your own choice.

Well, one asked for a donation to a food bank; another hoped that you would raise funds for a hospital as admission to a fancier party after the parade; but you could still take part in some festivities for as close to free as you could cut it.

Publicity for Free Hallowe'en Events in Toronto

Naturally my Xanga blog ("Are There Any Free 2012 Halloween Events in Toronto?") throws its weight behind this thrifty article.

Two Free Writing Tips for Hallowe'en 2012

This free writing tip is about culling, cutting and postponing ideas for your articles.

I began researching "Halloween events in Toronto" by looking at items in the City of Toronto events listings.

I was overwhelmed by the number of possibilities, and decided to cull and cut.

Then I postponed those events which actually charge admission. I should write a separate article about those.

The key point is that one must choose whether to write a complete and comprehensive list, risking the loss of focus; or to write a teaser that gives readers options but may miss some of the details.

My bonus writing tip is to decide how to order and arrange your material. In this case, I went with chronological order, including start date, start time and whether the event finishes on the same day.

I could have chosen alphabetical order, or perhaps geographical from south-west to north-east.

The point is to assure your readers that you know where you're going and will help them enjoy getting there.

Hopefully my readers will enjoy getting to one or more of these free Hallowe'en events in Toronto.
"Triple Jack O'Lantern" image by wwarby
Since we buy pumpkins at Hallowe'en anyway, with the intention to make lovely decorative Jack O'Lanterns, we may as well make good use of the fine and healthy fare found in this autumn squash.

My "Hallowe'en Ideas for Healthy Eating with Pumpkin" explains some of the why and how for preparing food before carving a decoration.

Promoting Healthy Food for Hallowe'en

As always, DeHaan Services ("Pumpkin for Healthy Eating at Hallowe'en") and my Xanga blog ("Pumpkin is More than a Simple Jack O'Lantern") simply promote my article.

One Tasty Writing Tip

While the DeHaan Fitness article's focus is on healthy food during a specific holiday, this writing tip looks at the process of cooking up the concept.

As I've noted in some previous tips, it's important to read widely to find useful concepts. In this case, inspiration came from a small article that touted the value of pumpkin as a healthy autumn vegetable.

As regular readers know, I always credit my reference material. The fitness article also noted a Squidoo Lens whose author included advice on raising your own pumpkins from seed, through carving the Jack O'Lantern and cooking the remains.
"TorontoHenge October 2011, Image #7" by Mike DeHaan
Having written two photo-essays for Environmental Graffiti about TorontoHenge, I surprised myself by posting a blog item in DeHaan Services to inform my readers how they could experience it for themselves.

"Look Out for TorontoHenge in Oct. 2012" explains when and where to head to a street with a long east-west view and watch for the sun to rise or set in the distance. My first attempt, in October of 2011, was pretty spectacular even though I didn't have very tall buildings to flank the setting sun.

As always, my Xanga blog ("The Annual Autumn TorontoHenge for 2012") also publicizes my article.

One Competitive Writing Tip

This DeHaan Services blog post counts in my "Toronto Events" category since it does occur regularly and is both interesting and free to experience.

I had been intending to go back through my notes and take another set of photographs this month. However, some of my competitors, the Toronto Star newspaper and the Walrus periodical, published forecast articles.

So I decided to follow suit in DeHaan Services, rather than set out on an expedition to hunt the elusive images next week.

My writing tip is simply to remain open to notice and learn from whatever the competition may do. In a sense, the Toronto Star used one of my genres, to advise people to have the experience ahead of time. They may yet simply take an image and print it the next day; in which case they would emulate what I had done twice before.

In my view, it's really great to let readers know of upcoming events. The more publicity others generate for some annual Toronto event that I cover, the more chance of someone searching for more information...and hopefully I would have covered that base also.

That's especially true if my article actually does cover more background than what my competitors carry, especially when it comes to TorontoHenge.
"Metallica Zombie in Toronto in 2009" image by Josh Jensen
Toronto zombies walk for the Heart and Stroke Foundation for the first time in 2012, as DeHaan Services reveals in "The Upcoming Charitable Toronto Zombie Walk 2012".

They will eschew brains in favour of a 5Km shamble downtown from City Hall's Nathan Phillips Square.

This is their tenth annual autumn Toronto event, but the first for this charity.

Yes, Toronto zombies will enjoy music and make-up as well.

More Publicity for my Zombie Walk Article

Faithful readers know that my Xanga blog ("Zombies Walking for Charity in Toronto in 2012") always adds publicity for my articles.

One Undead Writing Tip for a Zombie Walk

Today's writing tip is simply to match the tone of your article to the subject matter.

While it's still possible to watch a zombie movie in Toronto in order to experience terror or shock, both the Toronto Zombie Walk site and every other article that I've researched has taken a very lighthearted approach.

Since the Toronto Zombie Walk takes a tongue-in-cheek attitude towards its own activities, it seems fair to keep my article upbeat also.

I take a much more serious approach to fitness or health, for example. If the article were to discuss an actual religious belief in the creation of a zonbi by vodou magical practices...that would be a different matter, also.

However, the 2012 Zombie Walk in Toronto is simply another annual autumn Toronto event for fun and, now, also for an important charity.
"Beach Studio Tour" image modified by Mike DeHaan from Beach Studio Tour web site
Since the Beach Studio Tour uses more than a dozen scattered venues, my "A Wide-Ranging Fall 2012 Beach Studio Tour in Toronto" could not name them all, let alone provide directions.

Since the official site offers a variety of maps anyway, I decided that DeHaan Services would add value to the readers simply by making them aware of it, and guiding them to some easy ways to make the most of that site.

Promoting the 2012 Beach Studio Tour Article

As always, I also promote my article in my Xanga blog ("An Autumn 2012 Beach Studio Tour in Toronto").

Two Reliable Writing Tips

Allow me to double-down with a pair of writing tips.

First, it was clear that my usual "mark up a map" image would be utterly useless. The Beach Studio Tour covers quite a large territory, so my map would not be as helpful as the one provided in the brochure. The official site even has a map for each venue...something that I was certainly not about to replicate.

Their site does have a couple tricky navigation points, however, so I decided to copy part of the image and highlight one trick that wasn't obvious.

The first writing tip is to find something helpful and useful for your reader.

Second, I had initially forgotten to put a border around my image. I think I'd suggested this before, to help your picture stand out on your web page. It's especially important if the image's background colour is too close to the web site's background.

This image truly faded, or "bled", into the DeHaan Services background. A few moments and a solid border later, the image was improved.

Remember that some picture licenses, whether from Creative Commons or elsewhere, may forbid you from making any alterations. Other specifically permit changes. Follow the rules!

So the second writing tip is to ensure your image stands out from the background of your site. If the license permits you to add a border, strongly consider doing so. Some pictures don't need this treatment, if they have their own border or have strong colours throughout.

Just be sure to give your reader something of value, even if you have to make an "artistic" border for a plain work-horse image. That's what I tried to do in writing about the 2012 Fall Beach Studio Tour in Toronto.
"Ed Whitlock at Paradiso Restaurant" image by susayoun237 (Susan Young) under "attribution and share-alike license"
Featuring Ed Whitlock for the Toronto Marathon of 2012 was an easy choice when I wrote "Brief Results of the 2012 Toronto Waterfront Marathon" for DeHaan Services.

Publicity for my article to wrap-up the 2012 Waterfront Marathon in Toronto

Following my usual practice, my Xanga blog ("2012 Toronto Waterfront Marathon Wrap-up") also publicizes my article.

One Wrap-Up Writing Tip

My wrap-up writing tip is that it's sometimes good to offer a wrap-up, or closing, article after publishing a preview.

Regular readers may have noticed that my DeHaan Services articles usually preview Toronto events, rather than report on my experience after attending.

Restaurant and entertainment reviews are well and good, because they are written from a first-person point of view and, especially, because the readers probably have the chance to go and enjoy the experience themselves.

Reviewing an annual event is different, since readers are unlikely to remember to attend the activity next year.

Therefore DeHaan Services presents previews.

The truly interested readers may then attend and garner their own impressions.

In the case of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, however, I also highlight Ed Whitlock and Fauja Singh in the preview. It can be tricky to find the results if you're not used to digging through the news releases, so I think it adds value to include the follow-up information.

In this case, I had to work a bit to learn how Fauja Singh did in the 5Km. (Read my DeHaan Services article for the details!).

From a writer's view, the wrap-up article is a good way to cover a familiar topic with relatively little effort. I don't follow-up every event in Toronto, but some deserve that effort. The
"Map for Alexander the Great Parkette in Toronto" image by Mike DeHaan from Google Maps
The 2012 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is such a big, annual autumn Toronto event that it deserves at least two articles.

In DeHaan Services, "Special Notes for the 2012 Toronto Waterfront Marathon" presents several options for spectators to view and enjoy the race. It presents some other notes, as well. The main focus is on the event, rather than on the athletics. You might wonder why a small "parkette" is featured in the DeHaan Services article, so go ahead and read it.

In contrast, the DeHaan Fitness "Seniors Running for Fitness and Glory in Toronto Marathon" article moves from two senior runners, Ed Whitlock and Fauja Singh, towards inspiring people of any age to begin and maintain personal fitness programs.

Publicity Fit for Twin Articles about the Waterfront Marathon in Toronto

Naturally my Xanga blog has an article, "Preview for the 2012 Toronto Waterfront Marathon", which covers similar promotional ground.

Let's Run through a Double-Barrel Writing Tip

If memory serves, I'm serving a second helping in this writing tip.

The 2012 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon truly provides far more material for articles than I could cover in a week.

The two articles that I did write have some minimal overlap. Certainly I researched both at the same time, and logged the notes together.

However, it would not make sense to emphasize an "autumn Toronto event" in my Fitness blog; nor to pursue both "seniors exercise" and "where to watch the marathon runners" in the same DeHaan Services article.

So, for an encore performance as a writing tip, consider writing multiple articles from one basic inspiration; but only when they will focus on different themes and potentially appeal to different audiences.

Hopefully my two approaches based on the single 2012 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will toe the line I just set for "appeal".

    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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