Stage Props and Usability

Recently I was working on the prop committee for a local production of The Music Man. This served as a nice break from my usual reading-and-writing-heavy free time activities, but it also provided a few lessons in usability that I thought I’d share here. Continue reading

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Making Your Own Luck

Long-time readers of this blog might note that I don’t talk a lot about business development or marketing as a freelancer. There are a couple of solid reasons for that: 1) I’m not particularly good at it, but also 2) I’ve been lucky enough to have clients seek my services without me contacting them directly. However, it’s not entirely luck, so today I’ll be discussing how I created my own luck. Continue reading

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Fact Checking Your Work

This post comes at the suggestion of Dr. Karla Kitalong, my former thesis director at University of Central Florida, now teaching at Michigan Technical University. She requested that I discuss fact checking, which is something I’ve had to do as a technical writer and journalist. In this world of alternative facts and “fake news” (however you choose to define it), the process can  be tricky, especially when even professional fact checkers can be caught slanting things. Where do you start? Continue reading

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Blog Style vs. Book-Writing Style

I’m in the process of giving my manuscript another once-over before I hand it over to my eagle-eyed editor for a serious review. This effort is mostly to make certain I didn’t miss any glaringly obvious errors and to make certain the editor can focus on the content as much as possible. That said, I’m finding some stylistic tics that need to be addressed in switching from blog entries to a full-scale book.  Continue reading

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When Should You Use Words vs. Numerals?

While my official designation is “technical writer,” I actually earn the bulk of my pay these days editing stuff other people have already written. As a result, I start to understand the frustrations some editors face when reviewing someone else’s work. Today I’d like to discuss the use of numbers in documents–when to spell them out as words and when Arabic numerals will suffice. Onward! Continue reading

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