Archive for October, 2013

Lessons in patience from some plastic “pumpkins”

Marcie with plastic jack family

Let me begin by saying that if you are fairly video savvy, you may want to skip this post – unless you’re in need of a good laugh. Let me continue by saying that I am more video savvy today than I was on Sunday afternoon.

So it’s been a while since I did much with video, and I’ve been feeling a need to get back to it. Mind you, I’m not a savant who lost her skills, but I wasn’t really a beginner either. Still, much time had passed since my last foray into video editing, so it was time for a refresher.

My sister had told me about this idea of using plastic milk jugs as makeshift jack-o-lanterns, so of course my crafty side was itching to try it. I finally had some free time on Sunday, so I decided to go for it. I thought it might make a cute instructional video, so I decided to film myself in the process. Since I was doing this project solo, I had to film the project in many segments, which I planned to edit into one seamless video. Ah … the best-laid plans.

I have a new-to-me refurbished computer since I last played with video, so my first step was finding and installing Windows MovieMaker. Easy enough.

Next, I had to find a way to convert the video files from my phone’s camera to ones MovieMaker could used. It cost me a few bucks, but easy enough, as well.

Next, I had to upload the video files from my phone to the computer. 15 files uploaded. Piece of cake.

Then, I saved the file as a MovieMaker project.

THIS is where everything CAME TO A SCREECHING HALT … because I then deleted the individual segments of the videos.  Not just to the recycle bin, from which I might have retrieved them, mind you. No, I then went the next step and emptied the recycle bin. DO NOT DO THIS until  you have saved your project as a video.

For any who may be confused at this point, what happened was that I killed my project-in-process. The MovieMaker project was still trying to pull in the raw video segments, but I had deleted them, so it had nothing to pull. They didn’t exist anymore. So where I had previously had pretty images, I now had BIG RED Xs.


The good news is that while I was definitely disappointed, I didn’t stay in that space for very long. Rather, I quickly moved to gratitude.

What’s to be grateful for? Things like:

  1. It wasn’t an important video.
  2. I learned a valuable lesson in the process.
  3. In addition to the disappearing video segments, I did take the still at the top of this post, so all was not lost.
  4. My plastic jug jack-o-lantern project was a success, and I had a lot of fun with it.
  5. The trick-or-treaters are loving my Jack Family.

Overall lesson for book marketers? Not everything you try will succeed. You can look at your endeavors that missed the mark as failures, or as learning opportunities. You may not always be able to determine or perfect the outcome, but how you respond and what you learn are always up to you!

Here’s to a happy, healthy Halloween with lots of videos to show for it!


P.S. Here are the instructions that would have been demonstrated in the video that never was…

Jack instructions


We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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