Archive for January, 2007

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The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal Guest Appearance on Episode 21 is up! Click on the link RIGHT NOW!

January 31, 2007

     The title of this post says it all.  Again, if you enjoy my rants, you do not want to miss this show.  Hal and I were completely off the reservation on this show and if you follow the link, episode 21 will start playing straightaway.  The episode runs 112 minutes or so and Hal put me on last, (‘I like to save the best for last, he told me’).  I love the site, I love the show, and I plan on being back on the show repeatedly until one of us gets lynched.  Click on over to:

 http://www.powunclehal.blogspot.com/

      Make sure to check the sidebar on Hal’s site to call in and leave comments, too.  ALL phone calls and comments are aired directly on the show, so show some love!

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Monday Update: Week 11 On Stands, Possible Trafford Switch at the 11th Hour

January 29, 2007

     First, down to Night Life Magazine business.  The new issue’s out today with a scathing, scathing (did I mention that the article was scathing?) commentary on Buffalo roads and how horrendous they are (‘Morning Traffic Retort’)  in this week’s Big Words I Know By Heart print column.  I’m making this February my official ‘Driving Sucks’ month and rounding out the rest of the month in Night Life with a classic, fan favorite that’s been split up into two parts (‘Cool Hand Highway Superintendant’) and I may or may not throw a Valentine’s piece or another driving piece in for the fourth week.  People who have read my work for some time know that I always shine when it comes to writing about driving, dentists and smoking.  They are three themes that I always seem to circle back to because they constantly aggravate me.  And if you missed ‘Bizarro Acrophobia’ last week, you’re just going to have to wait until next year to read it in ‘Slapstick & Superego’, as I won’t be reprinting it here.  I only reprint the Big Word columns that I wrote specifically for the print column with a local flavor, so sorry for that. 

     One of the submitters to the Just Buffalo anthology that Alycia Ripley and myself are compiling let me know that the Buffalo News ran our call for submissions in the Sunday paper in the Arts section, so that’s getting us some great exposure for the project.  If you haven’t read the call for submissions and you’d like to submit, just scroll down until you find the ‘Call For Submissions’ entry.  This project is starting to gain a lot of momentum and the submission period only runs for another five months, so get cracking if you want to make the cut!

     And as far as ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ goes, I may be switching publishers.  Trafford has made my life a living hell for the past week and they’re telling me that they may or may not have the book out on time.  This is a serious problem that rests squarely on their shoulders, as one of the primary conditions of my signing with them was that they have the book ready for sale by April 1st.  Now they are going back on the agreement and telling me that they’re not sure if they can do it, so I’ve enlisted some legal counsel as well as the advice of Author House, a publisher I dealt with for ‘First Person, Last Straw’ who got the job done in a timely and cost-effective manner with exceptional customer service.  I don’t know why the hell I didn’t go with them for this book and I’m really regretting it at this point.  If Trafford is smart, they’ll throw in the towel and let me have me way.  Otherwise, this could get real ugly real quick.  Authorhouse was kind enough to offer me the same deal thirty days faster for a lot less money.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed because the first leg of the book launch is already scheduled and there are more artists and individuals attached to the project than just me.  If Trafford lets me down on this, they’re letting a lot of people down, and the royalties and venues missed if the book isn’t out will be tacked on to my suit.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll do the right thing…

     As for ‘Breathing Room’ (the two volume poetry collection I’m writing), my editor Carrie Spadter got the manuscript back to me thus far and not only did she really like it, she read it about a dozen times!  I have no reference point for whether or not my prose sucks, but she’s the best poet I know, so her opinion is highly valued.  It doesn’t look as if I’ll have the rhyming collection done in time for the launch of ‘If They Can’t Take a Joke’, but stranger things have happened in less time.  If it’s not ready, I’m looking at releasing four books this time next year: ‘Slapstick & Superego’ (rants and essays only), the Just Buffalo Anthology, ‘Breathing Room: Main Room-free verse’ (self explanatory) and ‘Breathing Room: Attic-rhymes & relics).  That’s a whole lot of books, but they’re diverse, so I believe that there’s a market out there for all of them.  Whatever happens in the next two months, I’m done with Trafford.  I’ll be taking at least one book to Authorhouse, self publishing the slimmer rhyming poetry collection, and we’ll see what we’re doing with the Just Buffalo anthology depending on the funding issue.  Alycia is trying to drum up some contributions from area individuals and charities, but that’s never been my realm of expertise.  More on everything as it develops…

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First Batch Of ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish’ Sold Out!

January 26, 2007

In less than two weeks, my first 50 copies of ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars’ are sold out!  I went around selling them by hand and people bought them a lot faster than I anticipated, so if you live in Buffalo and you want a copy, you’ll either have to go to the Cafe Press site or rush to Don’s Atomic Comics on Transit Rd. in Lancaster before they’re gone!  To buy directly online, click over to:

 http://www.cafepress.com/tomfoolery4.96310262

     For an experiment on a whim, this book is exceeding all my expectations so far.  I am going to order another boat load of them, but I can’t conceivably get them for another two weeks or so, so if you want one now, either drive to Don’s and tell ’em Tom sent you or visit the Cafe Press site!  ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars’ is now the fastest selling bar and club guide in Buffalo history! 

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Brian Kahle & Uncle Hal Wrapup

January 25, 2007

Another busy day down!

I got up at seven this morning, picked fellow Just Buffalo Anthology co-editor Alycia Ripley at 10:30 A.M., we drove out to Lockport for the Kahle & Co. show on WLVL, and I drove Ripley back to her palatial estate in Clarence Center.  Alycia’s mom was kind enough to make me a ham sandwich with dijon mustard after going without something to eat all morning but coffee and soda.  2 pm rolled around and I was off to the Uncle Hal studios out in Amherst/Snyder for a rousing half hour episode for the widely popular national podcast, ‘The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal’.  Hal wound me up and set me loose and if you’re a fan of my work, you REALLY need to hear this episode.  I went off ad lib for a full half hour on etiquette, common courtesy, and the state of gaming industry enthusiasts.   Hal bumped his other commitments this week and liked the interview so much that he assures me he’s putting it on THIS week’s show by Friday, so check his site and check often at:

 www.powunclehal.com

Again, you are NOT going to want to miss out on the show because it is gold.  Normally, I’d be really upset that I couldn’t read a selection but the alternative was fantastic.  We’ve got great chemistry so the show was a hit.  I can’t say enough about this podcast.  Click on the site and listen because you are going to love it! 

     I’m also posting ALL of the pictures taken today up on the yourhub site, so scroll down to the bottom here and click on the yourhub link.  Take a ride on the superinformation highway, baby!

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If They Can’t Take A Joke Update

January 24, 2007

After speaking with Trafford yesterday, it sounds like the trade paperback should be ready by April Fool’s Day but the hardcover is not going to make it on time.  This was a compromise that I recommended rather than having no book to sell when I go on my flurry of promotions, radio spots and other appearances throughout the month of April.  Most (if not all) publishers have a silly clause where they need you to ‘sign off’ on your galley saying that you approve of the overall image and that all errors have been corrected.  I realize that there will be a few errors, and I’m fine with that.  Unlike most writers, I read every essay the second I’m done with it and proof read for errors.  After that, I don’t ever want to see it again unless I’m reading it live and I’d rather invest my time writing new material.  Also unlike other writers, I’m too busy writing books to waste a year of my life waffling around and tweaking the overall look and content of my book.  ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ is done.  It’s been done for almost a year and a half now, and I’d prefer to get it out as soon as possible before the material in ‘Slapstick & Superego’ starts to get dated.  At least this way, people can pick up the trade in April and if they really want a hardcover they can buy that when it comes out later.  The profit margins are always higher on a trade paperback so it just makes good business sense.  And we’re going ahead with the original cover with the clown nose and I chose an out take with the red dot on my forehead for the back cover, so the book will have an almost mirror effect on both sides.  There’s also a pretty good chance that I’ll be selling my first and smaller collection of rhyming poetry, ‘Breathing Room: Attic-rhymes & relics’ along with ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’.  To do this, though, I’m going to need to come up with another eighty or so pages of rhyming poetry in the next two months.  I’m shooting for a slimmer, 130-150 page paperback for the poetry collection in a smaller format through Cafe Press.  The last two days have been tremendously stressful as far as all of the projects are concerned so I’ll be down for the count for a while recharging my batteries so that I’m fresh as a daisy for the book launch(es).  That is, of course, after the two radio interviews I’m appearing for today.  It NEVER ends! 

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Monday Update: Week 10 on Stands, Week 9 in ‘Slapstick & Superego’

January 23, 2007

Whelp, it’s Monday again, which means that the newest print installment of ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ is on stands in the newest edition of Night Life magazine along with a print ad for ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars’!  In case you didn’t know, I’ll be appearing at The Hidden Shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day on Transit Rd. in Depew from 6 p.m. to 12 p.m. to promote the book with copies on hand to sell and sign along with drink specials and music from the band Busted Stuff, so mark your calendar and I’ll see you there!

     This week’s column (#10) features ‘Charlie And The Asshead Factory’, the final rant in ‘If They Can’t Take a Joke’ about the agony of seeing movies in public with the public.  Last week’s essay, ‘Bizarro Acrophobia’ (about the benefits of being a tall man) is the first essay in next year’s humor collection, ‘Slapstick & Superego’, so if you didn’t grab it on stands, you’ve got a long wait ahead of you.

     I’m beginning to have mounting aggravations with publisher Trafford on their end regarding the publication of my next book, ‘If They Can’t Take a Joke’.  After jumping through more hoops than I’ve ever had to deal with with any of my publishers, they’re telling me that it may not be ready by April 1st.  I informed them that if they couldn’t have it ready that I’d be taking it to a publisher who could, so hopefully, they got the message.  One way or the other, this goddamned book will be done by April Fool’s Day.  There are too many things in place to see that date slip…

     I also found out today that my bar review on Mazariello’s will be appearing in a little daily newspaper you might know as THE BUFFALO NEWS!  That’s right, it’s finally happened and I can finally talk about it.  I’m going to be writing club and bar reviews on an ongoing basis for The Buffalo News Gusto section, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for that.  I had to tone down any number of themes and content and strip the size of my bar reviews down for a more journalistic feel, but the exercise is refreshing and it does help me get back to my journalistic roots.  Plus they pay, and money is always nice.  Look at this as the first auction in a long succession of selling out.  And speaking of, my interview with local rocker Gregg Sansonne is going to be appearing in an issue of Buffalo Spree magazine sometime this year (either next issue in April or the one after that).  They also pay.  Money is good, and I like it.

     By this point, most (if not all) local publications are running the Call For Submissions that Alycia Ripley and myself put out for the Just Buffalo anthology, and we’re beginning to see a marked increase in submissions.  This is phenomenal, as it’s raising awareness about local authors and poets and all proceeds will be going directly to the Just Buffalo Literary Center.  A glut of submissions will only ensure that we hand pick the very best prose, fiction and nonfiction for the collection, which is due out sometime in 2008.

     Also, Alycia and I will be appearing this Wednesday at 12:30 AM on the ‘Kahle & Co.’ show on 1340 AM WLVL to promote said anthology along with the rest of our shameless merchandising and self promotion.  Make sure to tune in!  I’ll also be flying in solo to join ‘The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal’ for next week’s new podcast.  If you didn’t hear the last show, you should definitely click online over to

 www.powunclehal.com

That should be everything for one week.  Matters look to be in perpetual motion towards success right now, for which I’m grateful.  Make sure to keep up so that you don’t have to take a running start onto the April bandwagon!

Cheers,

Tom Waters

    

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Big Words Site Hits the 1,000 unique hit mark!

January 22, 2007

While this isn’t one of the big time sites, I’m proud and pleased to report that today we hit the 1,000 unique hit mark after three months.  That breaks down to about 333 hits per month, which isn’t shabby.  Thanks to all of you who not only come to the site and read my egotistical meanderings but also those of you who visit every week without fail.  Make sure to tell all your friends and if you have your own site, please give me a link back.  I’ve heard crazy numbers thrown up in the air by peers and other media outlets about thousands of links a day, but show me the money!  How many sites have a hit counter right up on the board so that we know as surfers what’s bullshit and what’s not?  I practice what I preach, and I’d rather stand behind 1,000 genuine hits than pie in the sky numbers, projected demographics and other lies.  Again, thank you.  It’s always a bumpy ride with me and I thank you all for riding shot gun.  Keep reading, keep clicking, and tell a friend.  If you give me a link on your site, I’ll throw some props up here.  There’s no greater publicity than word of mouth, and that’s where you come in.  Here’s to the next 10,000 hits,

Tom Waters

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