Making a home video

Hi everone,

I’ve finished two videos and am working on how to share them with folks who want them. Here’s a picture from the one of me reading from AFTER DARK, POEMS ABOUT NOCTURNAL ANIMALS.

I think it turned out okay, maybe not as good as the videos taken with Mary Jo Fresch when we were in a professional recording studio in California, but still not too bad for a home video.

But things aren’t always what they seem so I thought I should share the back story of my videos, in case kids might want to make some videos of their own during these weeks when they are being schooled at home. Here is me practicing in my “sound booth.”

Making videos

Hi everyone,

I’ve made 5-minute videos of me reading from two books, AFTER DARK and NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T. They’re homemade on my laptop so the quality is about what you would expect, but I was successful yesterday in sharing them with another party so now I can share them with others who might be looking for material for teaching homebound kids. I used “We Transfer” to move the videos. It’s a free program that worked for me although I’m sure there are others that will do as well. My Dropbox is full so I can’t use it unless I spend time deleting stuff and I don’t want to make the effort right now. So far “We Transfer” works for some but not for everyone. Today I hope to try a different way to make these and other videos available, maybe through YouTube. I’ll let you know when I get it figured out.

My publishers remind me that these videos are good through June 30 and should be requested by or through teachers and librarians who are seeking ways to reach their homebound students during this crisis.

Video day

Hi everyone,

I’m off to the library today to make a one-minute video for a kindergarten teacher in Florida.

One of her favorite storybooks as a child was PIGGY WIGLET’S GREAT ADVENTURE and she still uses it, along with WAKE UP, SUN! A MONSTER IS COMING!, and WHEN COWS COME HOME, to help her students develop vocabulary and reading skills.

I’m delighted to know of another fan of PIGGY and am happy to make the video for her. My thanks to Krissy Sinor, Training Coordinator at The Edge Community Technology Center, Midtown Carnegie Branch Library, for facilitating my video, and to Kathleen O’Dell, Community Relations Director at Springfield-Greene County Library District, for being there to take me through it.

To video or not to video

Hi everyone,

This past week I’ve spent time recording myself in three 3-minute promotional videos, one each for NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T; A PLACE TO START A FAMILY; and CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS. I’ve intended to do this for months and wasted time searching in vain for the program I used quite a while ago when Sandy and I made a video of me reciting one of my poems, “Practice.” Jeff finally came to my rescue and determined that my program had gone out of existence and must have been dropped during an update. He installed VSDC Video Editor, which is free and easy to use.

Making promotional videos is hard work, at least for me. I forget to smile. I scratch my nose. You can hear my breathing. It’s awkward holding up a book. I fail to include an important point. The light makes my skin look creepy. Etc. But yesterday I finally got a decent take on the third book so now they’re in the file ready to use.

Next I need to set up a new DropBox account so my publishers can share the videos and we can talk about ways to use them. It’s a whole new world out there baby.