More Fun With Video: A Cross-country Journey

Around this time of year in 2009, my husband announced he wanted to cycle cross country. At the time, we were living in Northern California. I was freelancing and he had wrapped up a contract with a company there. So, we were free to choose any destination we wanted.

It so happened, I had a bloggers’ conference to attend in Atlanta. The timing for arrival by bicycle was tight, but do-able. So we decided to make Atlanta our destination. Since I was heading into a bloggers’ conference, I figured, why not set up a blog of our own? So I set something up in minutes at and got to posting!

As a communicator, I love experimenting with media other than text. Don’t get me wrong: I love writing. But there are things you can communicate with photos and video that are a slog with words on a page.

Armed with a wi-fi dongle and a snapshot camera, he and I packed up all our belongings and headed east. He, by bicycle, and I, in our car. Together we traversed California, New Mexico, Arizona, and other states. When I look back on our blog now, I have to giggle and roll my eyes. We were nuts!

Working while relaxing

Here’s a little video clip I shot and edited in while on vacation in Mexico a few years back. It was a lot of fun. I scraped by with my Spanish to learn about the process, leaned over folks with my snapshot camera to get the shot, and then sat on the balcony of my hotel room editing the different shots. (Any video pro will note I used iMovie and one of its templates to make quick work of the project. I think it took me about four hours to edit.)

My husband, a cigar aficionado who stumbled on this factory in Cancún, spent a day rolling cigars with some of the best. I remember them saying their best guys roll between 80 – 100 consistently good cigars a day. My husband managed to eek out 10 in eight hours. About seven in ten rollers were Cuban–real pros who practically grew up in the trade. The others were Mexican. (In the video clip, only one of the four was Mexican–and he was competing in cigar-rolling events.)

My husband after "toiling" at the cigar factory. He managed to produce about 10 cigars in eight hours.
My husband after “toiling” at the cigar factory. He managed to produce about 10 cigars in eight hours.

What I love most about communications is the storytelling aspect involved. I like to share something I learned.

When I was working at Akaku: Maui Community Television, “How-To” videos were often used to teach the filmmaking process. Because it has clear steps, like a recipe, it’s easy to determine a beginning, middle and an end, much like a good story.

In journalism and creative writing, figuring this out can actually pose a bit more of a challenge, but it is essential to communicating effectively no matter what the medium.

Confessions of an Aspiring Author

Some people feel like running marathons and completing triathlons, it seems what gets me going is the idea of writing a novel. But I think it’s high time that I actually complete this one this time.

That’s why I decided to add to the “About Me” portion of this site, a little sub-page called “C.T. Luna | Author“. I see it as a hopeful kick in the rear — something that tells me I need to put my money where my mouth/blog is.

So, here’s my confession.

I started writing novel about a year ago–actually, a little longer than a year ago. I also took an excellent online course with Hollis Gillespie, which helped me get the overall structure worked out.

I was trucking along for a couple months, writing on a daily basis, when about a third of the way into the story, an intern ended up dead in the office (of my story–not real life!).

You know how they say “write what you know”? Well, that’s when my nasty, little inner critic krept in and started niggling me with questions like, “what do you know about murders, and crime scenes, detectives and writing stories?” I spent days and days, which turned into weeks and weeks, googling things like: “crime scene investigations” and “when are crime scenes cleaned up”? Until I finally couldn’t care less about whether justice would be served for this character in my story. I turned my back on the story completely.

I threw in the towel sometime before Christmas and hoped to return to the story with fresh eyes in the New Year, but every time I thought about it, my stomach would churn at the thought of that innocent character whose life was offed for… what?

Then, I realised. My problem wasn’t my story: it was my genre! I had started a chic-lit murder mystery — not a police-beat, detective story. I started wondering how I could get things back on to the storyline about yuppie in stilettos making a wrong right. Columbo was for someone else!

I was the writer, author–nay, creator–of this story, and I could make it whatever I wanted it to be!

The Birth of CynNoWriMo

If you have flirted with the idea of writing a novel, you have definitely heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I am not one for group competitions, I am definitely one who prefers to compete against myself–to top my own bests. So…

So, I have a new goal of writing about 1,000 words a day. It’s manageable with my bite-off-more-than-I-can-chew lifestyle, and it also will bring me near (or past) the finish line by September 30.

So this is my version of CynNoWriMo. I won’t write on the blog all the time, but I will check in.

If you wish to follow this thread in the meantime, it would be a pleasure to know I have cheerleaders who are way more supportive than my inner critic.

Akaku: Maui Community Media, Brochure

Print Matter: Brochure

Akaku Brochure cover
Click the image to see a .pdf of the whole brochure!

I wrote all the copy and developed the concept for this multi-fold, bang-tail brochure. Akaku: Maui Community Media needed something that could explain the concept behind the organization — not only as a television station, but as a community resource. The “bang-tail” is a perforated, self-gluing mailer that you can tear off, and insert your check-donation into.

We were also launching the freshly-designed blog website around the time of the printing of this brochure — so we wanted to feature the website address prominently.

This was one of my first big projects for Akaku. The brochure was released in 2008, if I remember correctly.

Designer: Robert Glick of Glick Design. We also arranged a photo shoot to get some of the great photography.