Book Review: For Writing Out Loud

For Writing Out LoudFor Writing Out Loud by J.D. Estrada

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a glowing beacon of positivity! If you watch motivational speakers, this is a great supplement, and if you’re on a positivity journey, this will help you along. It’s full of excellent advice on how to: enjoy the moment, avoid judging yourself (and others!) harshly, appreciate even the most difficult times, keep a smile on your face instead of beating yourself up, and a ton more.

The book has sections that cover a specific topic, and within each section are much smaller sections (replacement for chapters) about more detailed topics within the overall topic. It’s easy to navigate so that you can look up whatever you need a boost in and read away. The small sections are about 2-3 pages on average, and the author has a very casual, relaxed way of writing, almost as if he’s having a chat with you.

If you struggle with negative self image, insecurities, seeing negativity instead of positivity, struggling through “bad days”, this book is a good one for you. Let the author talk you into a happier disposition. He’s good at it!
I’ve been reading this before I go to bed and waking up ready to attack my day. I would even classify this as a daily reader for positivity and motivation, although I usually read a few small sections at a time. I highly recommend grabbing this book and keeping it by your side as your positivity companion. It won’t let you down!

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I Have A Patreon!

I’ve wanted to create a Patreon for two years, and just this week I finally did it! What stopped me in the past? I couldn’t think of unique rewards that patrons would want from me. After I hosted The Writer’s Edge Patreon for Writers discussion with Ksenia Anske, Robert Sawyer, Lucy A. Snyder, William Bernhardt, and Jason Sizemore, my brain finally started working outside the box. The very next day I created my Patreon page!

Click here to see it!

The monthly reward levels are $1, $3, $8, $15, and $25. Each reward level includes rewards from the level before it, and all levels include early access to my pre-recorded videos.

  • I’m offering weekly original haikus for just $1 a month that you’ll see before they appear in my upcoming haiku book. Sneak peeks for almost nothing!
  • $3 gets you all manner of updates, including writing updates, a look into my research (there’s a free one of these up on my page now!), scans from my writing journals, and more. These are for your eyes only, they won’t be shared elsewhere.
  • $8 includes a once a week movie chat in either written or video format. You’ll find out about movies you may never have heard of, and if you’re a writer, you’ll see the way the characters were built, how suspense was created, and more. I have a free one of these up right now about the movie All My Sons, where I talk about what it did really well and the strategy used to slowly roll out the drama. These posts will be similar to my blog posts about Humoresque and The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry—only now they’ll be on Patreon only…and regularly!
  • At the $15 level, once a month you can send me your book blurb to critique and/or help you refine your pitch.
  • For $25 per month, you’ll get all my books and short stories for free digitally. You’ll also get upcoming ones for free digitally! I’ll share with you never before seen deleted scenes as well as the scenes I didn’t end up writing and why, and more.

I made sure to include suggestions from my Facebook friends, and thank you so much to them for their helpful input! Head on over to my Patreon page and see what I’ve got up already. I’m excited to share much more with you as my generous patron!

LOCKE AND KEYE Has A New Title!

If you’re subscribed to my newsletter, then you knew about this days ago. If not, here’s the new title for Locke and Keye, my reasons for renaming it, and why the new title works better.

To stay up on my writing news, subscribe to my monthly newsletter, where I share the passwords to locked content, exciting news no one else knows about, giveaways before anyone else finds out, my progress on the Dark Victoriana Collection, upcoming releases, and more! I share everything there before I share it here. 🙂

You can also watch this video on my Facebook page!


Listen Over Lunch: Episode 3 of Creative Edge Writer’s Showcase

We’re already up to our third episode of Creative Edge Writer’s Showcase! We had such a fun one with Miranda Oh, chick lit and romantic comedy author. Talking to her is like dipping yourself in a pool of positivity. You can’t help but smile at her attitude toward life, her books, and her readers. Visit any of her social media pages and you’ll find exactly the same thing there.

If you have any questions about the prologues in Miranda’s books, she answers them here. We also find out where the phrase “chin up, tits out” came from, and we discussed mental health and how important it is the read about it and understand it in an open forum.

Click here to listen to the podcast!

Want a preview of the interview? Click here to see two minutes of our conversation on Facebook! And don’t forget to like our page!

Tune in for our next episode on Thursday, July 19 at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, when I’ll interview multi-genre author Edward Willett, who’s about to have another new release in his prolific line of books!

Listen Over Lunch: Episode 2 of Creative Edge Writer’s Showcase

In our second episode of Creative Edge Writer’s Showcase, our guest was YA author and two time Aurora Award nominee Suzy Vadori. If you’re a YA writer, she has a lot of important advice to share, like having young adult beta readers instead of only adults, and what young adult readers critiqued about her book that made all the difference. She also discussed why YA readers want to read about difficult choices, and sometimes even making the wrong choice.

Suzy talked about the charity event she takes part in every year, which was started by fellow indie author Adam Dreece. If you’re going to When Words Collide, Suzy has been an integral part of the growth for their YA events.

Click here to listen to the podcast!

Want a preview of the interview? Click here to see two minutes of our conversation on Facebook! And don’t forget to like our page!

Tune in for our next episode on Thursday, July 5 at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, when I’ll interview Miranda Oh, a chick lit romantic comedy author whose social media is chock full of positivity.

Shadow of a Doubt…About Loose Ends

Alfred Hitchcock is a master of suspense as well as a wonderful director; that part of the 1943 movie Shadow of a Doubt isn’t in question. But an unfortunate loose end is. Hitchcock didn’t write this screenplay, so we can put him aside as having committed no crime. Whew!

Actually, this movie was very good, and if you get the chance to see it, it’s worth a watch. Classic suspense. I have only one complaint: an unfortunate loose end.

We’ve got a situation in which Charlotte, nicknamed Charlie after her Uncle Charlie, is deathly bored at home. So of course when Uncle Charlie comes to visit, she’s all excited. He’s that interesting, well-traveled, generous type of uncle who likes to spoil his nieces and nephews. But Uncle Charlie starts acting very oddly, and unfortunately for Charlie, she catches on to his strange behavior a little too quickly, even pointing it out to him and guessing at what secret he might be hiding.

At some point during the movie, as suspicions rise about Uncle Charlie’s possible link to major crimes (no spoilers here!), deadly things start to happen to Charlie. By this time, Charlie is sure she knows the truth about her uncle. So when a stair breaks as she’s going down it, and then the family car is left running in a closed garage with no key in the ignition and she gets trapped inside, it all seems a bit coincidental with Uncle Charlie’s behavior and attitude.

Here’s where the loose end jumps in. Charlie’s mother—and Uncle Charlie’s sister, Emma—pauses after the car incident and realizes that Charlie’s “accidents” aren’t a coincidence and could’ve killed her. This is a super important moment since she has recognized a pattern: “I just don’t understand it. First the stairs, and then the…” The car drives away while she’s still contemplating.

Well, Emma’s realization gets completely dropped and never picked up again. Why bother having her recognize these non-coincidences unless she’s going to do something about them or draw a conclusion that affects the story? There are two ways this could have been fixed:

  1. Eliminate her realization. I’m sure the writers put it in there in the first place because…why wouldn’t Emma put two andEmma's moment of realization. two together? But at the same time, she has been proven relatively simple throughout the movie, taking everything at face value, never asking for details, and heavily relying on her daughter to make decisions instead of making them herself. In that way, it’s plausible that she really wouldn’t connect the dots, especially since she loves Uncle Charlie so much.
  2. It was stated a few times that if Uncle Charlie left and went home, Emma’s heart would be broken. Solution number two could be the following: when Uncle Charlie announces he’s cutting his visit short, instead of Emma predictably becoming very upset (which is also illogical since she clearly recognizes a pattern to her daughter’s near-death experiences), she could show no reaction or even agree that it’s a good idea, then pointedly look at her daughter to prove she’s in the know. That would lead cleanly to the final scene with Uncle Charlie…watch the movie and you’ll know why. 

Know anyplace looking for old movie critics? Because I’m ready to take my critiques GLOBAL! No? For now, I’ll just keep posting them here.

Love old movies? Like my Facebook page, Black & White Movies at Midnight!

Monday Thoughts on Creativity: PC Penhale Writer’s Syndrome

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while, and yet Mondays are still coming around. ::sigh::

A couple of weekends ago, on both my Facebook profile and my YouTube channel, I talked about what I like to refer to as PC Penhale Syndrome. When you want to write, you’re inspired to write, you’re dying to write, and yet you just…can’t. It feels a bit like this Pablo Picasso quote, “If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes”, but for writers, we wish our fingers could do the typing and take out the brain that’s stopping us from moving forward.

I was thrilled that fellow writers in the chat at my YouTube event understood my issue. Fellow writers on Facebook left wonderful messages of encouragement. All of that helped —and thank you! Have a look at the YouTube video below to see the helpful comments that popped up during the livestream.

I want to let you know that writing every day helped a lot, and once I got going, I couldn’t stop! I think all that creative energy built up inside me came pouring out with fervor, so in that way it was great. But I don’t want to let it happen again because it’s painful until the spell is finally broken.

Even if I don’t feel inspired or have the path yet for my “main” work (i.e. the next book in the Dark Victoriana Collection), I have SO many other planned works that it’s not hard to pick one and work on it instead. So I’ll have to make sure that I use my writing time for either my main work or one of those other projects.

If you’re suffering from PC Penhale Writer’s Syndrome, watch the below video to know you’re not alone, and leave a comment so we sufferers can commiserate. Happy Monday!