By: Cynthia Bermudez | March 20, 2019

Saturday was the Writers of Kern Spring Conference. I had my first vendor table. It was pretty cool. I made a few sales, which was nice. A few people stopped by and asked questions about my works.


I made this flyer to give out. Partly as a receipt but also as a advertisement for my other works. My Stripe account wasn't functioning but that's okay. It's working now. Lol. But other than that, I was well-prepared.


I offered a free digital comic with purchase. So I'm finishing the comic. The offer still stands for anyone who purchases a chapbook.


I'm not sure how to market the chapbooks. Lol. Someone at the conference asked me what my marketing strategy was. Uh...


I don't have a strategy. Does paying for Facebook ads count?

My first vendor table at WOK Soring Conference

Afterward I took a nap. But after that I went to a birthday party at the Padre Hotel.


The Padre is a famous tourist spot in Bakersfield. It has been listed as one of the most haunted places in America. The Long Island Medium, Theresa Caputo, did a show about the hotel.


So I've always been curious about this hotel. I've never had an opportunity to see the inside of it.


The birthday party was on a patio. We had our server who brought out a stream of appetizers. There was an open a bar. A friend of mine bought me a martini that was freaking strong I felt my liver shrink with just the smell of it. 

One of the best things about moving back to my home town is reconnecting with old friends, reminiscing about our times together, like soldiers trading war stories of long-forgotten battles. 


I also met some interesting people. 


What I loved about the Padre was the ambience. The bistro string lights, the fireplace, etc. The night was cool. The slight breeze was warmed by a blazing fire. The DJ played a mixture of Mexican music and old school latin dance mix.


Remember Stevie B? Lol


If you've ever been to a nightclub in the San Joaquin Valley in the last...I don't know, twenty years, you've Partied Your Body to Stevie B. 

Today on my way home from work I stopped by the little fruit cart. Every day the fruit man stands outside waiting for customers. He always gives a generous serving. 


Now I'm back to the grind. I have deadlines, which I am grateful for. 


This weekend will be all about the work. Working toward my deadlines. Creating ads for my chapbooks. Coming up with a marketing plan (or maybe just buying an ad or two). And preparing for Wondercon. I'm going with the family this year, so I'm thinking it will be more subdued, and that's okay. 

This is a picture of the fire at the Padre. Fox Theater, another historical building in Bakersfield, is seen in the distance.

By: Cynthia Bermudez | March 15, 2019

I still have time to finish the blog challenge, but I didn't my weekly post. I need to have twenty-six posts by May 6th.


Tomorrow I'm attending the Writers of Kern Spring Conference. Members get a free half-table. I opted to pay an additional $10 for a full table. This is my first vendor table, so I'm pretty excited about it.


I'm happy that I was able to get advanced copies of book two of Brothers. I have both hard and soft copies. I've been writing a lot! Yay. And I've been coloring and lettering my first comic. 

I'm realizing so much as I'm coloring this comic. One, the original script definitely needed a lot of work. Storytelling via static images is something I hope to get better at. It is a different way of thinking as your conveying  a lot of the story through the images, colors, etc. So I have to correct my "Comics" page soon. Right now, I'm thinking of breaking it up into three or just cutting some of it and making the comic shorter. This is because the script needed work. 


I have completed six chapbooks of collected works. Most of my publications. I revised a lot of them, too. I'm so happy with how they turned out. I'm particularly proud of Conversations with Shadows. I illustrated it. I feel inspired to do more. More chapbooks. Another illustrated poetry collection. New stuff. I will be selling the chapbooks at the conference, too.


I already made my first sell. One of my oldest and best friends bought one copy of each of my works. Retail so I think it counts. Lol. I often feel alone in my creative endeavors, not really having the moral support I wish I had. Moving back to Bakersfield is changing that. Which is nice. My friend was just as excited as I was holding my freshly printed books.  


I'm also attending WC19. So I'm getting my travel plans in order for that too. Next month Camp NaNoWriMo. I set my goal at 30,000-words. That's a thousand words a day.


By: Cynthia Bermudez | February 22, 2019

What a weird expression. And what the heck does it mean? I googled it.


Source.

"a bird in the hand. Something of some value that is already acquired. Taken from the proverb "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," which means that having something, even if it is a lesser quantity, is better than taking the chance of losing it in order to attain something else that seems more desirable."


So...playing it safe? Basically.

For a long time I stayed in one place for that very same reason--the risk. I came across this post on instagram. 2017 was a year of endings and beginnings. And I'm better for it. Now, I don't like change because change is usually hard. I don't want to make anymore mistakes, because Lord knows I've made plenty. But I also don't want to live afraid. Most choices I've made out fear ended in regret. And when I leaped, I end up with something valuable, something good. An experience or a creation that didn't exist before. Like studying physics at the University. My high school academic counselor laughed when I said I wanted to go to college and told me I'd never go to college. I remember his name. I should mail him a copy of my degree. Lol. I remember a former co-worker laughed when he found out I declared physics as a major while taking my first pre-algebra class. I remember all the naysayers who warned me of the impossibility of getting published and how they write too or always wanted to write (insert book idea/memoir here), and how everyone they knew who tried, also failed. 


Sometimes you gotta just bite the bullet and do what you want and who cares if you fail. I'm glad to say that at least this I am good at. Just doing the things I want. 


Regret over "what if" (i.e. not doing) is far more greater. 


I want to add that I also remember the good voices. Like the people who believed in my writing when it was still new and really, really sucked. And like the academic counselor who didn't bat an eye when I said I wanted to study astronomy. I asked her what I do? She took out a thick book and flipped through it and read passages and thought for a few minutes and then said, "You have to major in physics." I said okay and where do I start. She said, "You have to take a lot of math." Lol. And I did. 


So anyway, my point is if you don't take any risk, you'll never get anything more than what you were always going to have. 



I'm finally beating this cold. I'm still sick but I'm through the worst of it. I made more chicken soup. This time I made it more brothy with bok choy and shirataki noodles. The soup was yummy.


This was one hell of a cold. Even my eyeballs were sick. A headache that wouldn't go away. Stuffy head. Cough. But! I still made my deadline. 👊🏽


Tonight is TV nite!!! Star Trek Discovery, Supernatural, and The Walking Dead. 


Side note, "bat an eye" or "batting an eye" is also a weird expression. 


Source.

"without batting an eye. Showing no emotion, acting as though nothing were unusual."

By: Cynthia Bermudez | February 18, 2019

Feeling better this week despite having a cold. I made chicken soup but also guzzling coffee to function, which feels counter productive. My week hasn't been too eventful. To recap...I'm worked on my writerly stuff. I also went to the Writers of Kern monthly meeting. Allen Katz was funny and interesting, very quick witted. And today I went to a birthday party. 


As part of the blog challenge, I need to write twenty-six blog posts over a thirteen-week period that started February 1. So I'm a bit behind but I'll catch up. Today's post is going to be short because my head is stuffy and I'm going to rest now.

My highlight this past week was discovering a small fruit cart by the DMV downtown. I ordered small mixed fruit with tajin, lemon, and chamoy. Yummy! And the serving was huge. 


If you're ever in Bako, stop by this little cart and buy one of these. Mixed with all the fixing. Comes with coconut, mango, watermelon, pineapple, jamaica, and cantaloupe.  That is all. Good night.

Side note: I watched this video after the Sidewalk Stories. Interesting short documentary on Larry Itilong. I recommend watching it. I might add my thoughts on it later. 

By: Cynthia Bermudez | February 10, 2019

I'm participating in the Writers of Kern blog challenge. My plan is to have at least one post up by the end of the week, a sort of weekly round-up of the things I did or my random thoughts during the week. This week I've been feeling tired and grumpy. The week before, I did receive some good news. I'm happy to be busy for the coming weeks. I told several of my co-workers my good news, though I won't announce anything just yet.


My current mood is to burrow deep into my apartment, write, sketch, gorge on movies and fiction, binge watch some shows, eat ice cream and cheese, drink sweet wine and molassy beer, and yell and wave my fist at unknown and unwelcome intruders. But...gotta work and sh*t so that aint happening.

Sidewalk Stories

Yesterday I went to the Sidewalk Stories downtown in Bakersfield. I thought all the writers and actors did a fantastic job. Each play was about five minutes long and was about a local historical figure, mini-biographies. Bakersfield has a richer history than what is widely known by those on the outside.


My top three (writing and performance) were Colonel Baker, Pancho Barnes (written by one of my friends), and Truxtun Beale. My top three for the most interesting for me were Larry Itilong, Truxtun Beale, and Earl Warren. Also noteworthy are Dick Fellows and Madge the Madam.


Below is a listing of writers, characters, and actors. I also uploaded the photos I took. I recorded some short videos and took more photos with my phone. If I have time, I might organize those as well.

I snapped this photo while walking with other attendees. One of the history buffs attending informed me this murial is not historically accurate. The boy should be barefoot.
 WritersHistorical Figure Actors 
 James Burger Colonel Thomas Baker Edward Frency
 Rossely HarmonPancho Barnes  Lorilyne Lee LaMaccia
 Chris DisonLarry Itilong  Jorge Lopez
 Robert Byrne Truxtun Beale Luis Velez, Carlos Vera
 Mandy Wallace Dick Fellows Josh Carruthers
 Stefani Diaz Charlie Ping Eric Pichardo
 Jennifer Self Flossie Haggard Laura Cruz
 Martha Warriner Earl Warren Bob Anderson
 Lois Henry Madge the Madam Janice French
 Runa Lemminn Alfred Harrell Jared Cantrell
My top three picks for best costumes were the Pinkneys, Madge the Madam, and Pancho Barnes