Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A new adventure: Estrada Crates

For a LONG time, I’ve wanted to connect directly with readers. That’s why I’ve done book signings, events where I present my work and even play music, and gone to the Puerto Rico Comic Con numerous years. But still, I’ve always wanted to have a direct connection with people that can’t make it to an event. So 2018 is the year where I try something different and present Estrada Crates.

I’ve mentioned before that if you want to get my books, one of your best options is Libros 787 and that is still very much the case. One of the reasons is that anyone who makes an order through their website gets a free eBook copy of any of my books just for supporting a Puerto Rican business. I might add that this is a permanent offer because these people run a good business, support local talent, and they offer a lot of hope to people back home who are wondering how to keep moving forwards after Hurricane María. That said, I also wanted to offer something different. In short, if you want to pick up some books and are in a rush, Libros 787 is your go-to place. If you want something different and aren’t in much of a rush, then read below.

I am a big fan of people who adopt a DIY ethos in regards to their goals and dreams. People who come to mind include Pearl Jam and especially Fugazi, a band who did things on their terms, and charged super cheap tickets even if they were one of the best bands of their time or any time. So I got to thinking and being a part of BookTube, unboxings have always been a fascinating thing to watch for me. People coming into contact with a little box full of surprises, the happiness when something catches their attention, and having that direct connection thanks to a personalized detail. Since this is a pilot version, I will only take a limited amount of orders and do ask for patience in case I need to put in an order for more books (a “problem” I wouldn’t mind having :D).

That said, the effort is limited to the US, Puerto Rico, and other US territories due to shipping costs and me seeing how I can handle international orders. My idea is to not charge additional tax or shipping and simply charge a flat rate where everything is included. I like things tidy like that and miss the days where you paid a fixed amount for something. In regards to International shipping, I’m still trying to decipher options because doing a test run, the cost to ship all my books internationally is about $50… just for shipping. Not happy about that but I will continue to look for options to send signed copies of my work. In the meantime, if you’re in Puerto Rico, mainland US or anywhere where reasonable USPS shipping costs are honored, here are the options I’m offering. I’ll close up with the HOW you can get your own Estrada Crate.

“Testing the waters” Poetry Crate - $20

-       2 signed and dedicated poetry collections of your choosing
-       1 original Post-it Poem
-       1 Personalized Letter

“Lyrical Likeness” Crate - $30
-       4 signed and dedicated poetry collections
-       1 Original Post-it Poem
-       1 Personalized Letter

“Well versed” Poetry Crate - $50
-       All 6 released poetry collections, signed and dedicated
-       2 original Post-It poems
-       1 Personalized Letter

“More Human than Human Crate” - $50
-       Copies of both Only Human and Shadow of a Human, signed and dedicated
-       1 signed and dedicated poetry collection
-       2 original Post-It poems
-       1 Personalized Letter

“Bilingual” Crate - $50
-       1 English poetry collection
-       1 Spanish poetry collection
-       1 copy of Twenty Veinte (Bilingual Collection)
-    1 surprise book or books of my choosing
-       2 Post-It Poems (1 English – 1 Spanish)
-       1 Personalized Letter

“Estrada Sampler” Crate - $70

-       Copy of Only Human, signed and dedicated
-       Copy of 1 poetry collection, signed and dedicated
-       Copy of Twenty Veinte, first bilingual collection, signed and dedicated bilingually
-       Copy of The Daydreams on the Sherbet Shore, signed and dedicated
-       1 Post-it Poem
-       1 Personalized Letter

The “What's in the Box!!!” Crate - $80
-    You tell me what you're into and I'll send a box specially catered to you, including signed and dedicated books, 4 Post-it Poems, a personalized letter, and surprise or four. :)

“The Kitchen Sink” Crate - $150 a (Regular price - $190)
-       All 15 of my published works signed and dedicated
-       5 Post-it Poems
-       Overview of upcoming works
-       1 Personalized Letter


1.     Contact me via DM on Twitter or Facebook
2.    Get your parents’ permission if you’re not 18 years or older
3.    Have a PayPal account or ATH Móvil
4.    Order

Btw, in regards to the box itself, I’ll be doing my best to use old boxes that either I or other people don’t use in my efforts to promote recycling. If it gets to the point where this can be a more continuous thing, I’ll be looking into options where my efforts make the smallest impact on the environment possible.

Thanks for your time and if you do order an Estrada Crate, I’d love for you to do an unboxing, and share your experience.

Peace, love, and maki rolls


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Cough drops and kindness

Connecting is as easy as putting down your phone and enjoying a slice of life for a change.  

In a time when being disconnected is as easy as opening your social media app of choice, engaging with other humans in real life runs the risk of becoming rare, unless we allow ourselves the beauty of small talk. Very recently I was at the post office to FINALLY send my first two Estrada Crates, when a random noise creeps me out and I make a cheeky comment to the lady in front of me.

She chuckled and we got to talking.

Little did I know that this woman’s name was Martha, that it’s not Down Town abbey but Downton Abbey, that Netflix is as glorious as it is a distraction from other things, that she used to work in Delta, that she now works for a dentist, that she loves her job, that her daughter is a teacher, and that she was about to celebrate her brother’s 60th birthday in the coming days and wanted to do it right.

All of this information came about from one sweet conversation between a random guy and a sweet woman. She told me she was 72, I told her she didn’t look it, and we talked about a great many things. She asked me about my boxes and I told her both were thank you care packages for people who supported Puerto Rico through #Humans4PuertoRico. We talked about Puerto Rico and the situation and she asked me if she could write to see how best to help. I responded saying I’m doing my best to find smaller focalized causes because the larger corporations leave a lot to be desired.

It was such a great conversation, and just because I engaged a random person at the post office. By the end, she gave me three Ricola lozenges because she saw me dealing with the cough and was just happy it wasn’t the flu. She also gave me two hugs. It was such a sweet conversation and she was such a lovely surprise during my errands that it served as a great reminder of how lovely it is to indulge in a chat with someone you don’t know just for the sake of connecting.

There’s life to be lived out there beyond your computers and cell phones. There are amazing conversations waiting to be had. So have them. Live. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to get a friend from it.

Peace, love, and maki rolls