Archive for April, 2007

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 23 on Stands/Club W This Thursday

April 30, 2007

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Today is also the day that the new Night Life magazine is out with the new ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ columns!  You don’t want to miss the next five issues, and from the response that ‘The Best Laid Nervous Breakdowns’ (a rant about the insanity of wedding planning) got, you definitely don’t want to miss this week’s issue!  So what are you waiting for?  Go pick up an issue now!

Also, now that April is over, I’m going to cool my heels a bit with the book promotions for If They Can’t Take A Joke.  However, I’ll be doing a bit of standup this Thursday at 7 pm at Club W on Delaware (just past Chippewa) this Thursday along with the musical genius of Michael Bly.  I was so busy for the last two weeks of April that I forgot to add the calendar listings, so make it out if you can.  It’s the only event I’m doing this week, so be there or be square!

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5 New Big Words Print Columns!

April 29, 2007

     Anybody who’s been on the bimontly email newsletter list for awhile (which you can subscribe to for free by emailing bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading) should know how neurotic I am about giving away all my good material.  Well, I’ve been getting neurotic about giving away too much of my backlog for free in the weekly Big Words I Know By Heart print column in Night Life.  So what was my solution this week?  I’m going to tell you what  my solution was this week if you’ll just gimme a second. 

In the span of a week, I wrote five BRAND SPANKING NEW COLUMNS that will be debuting in the print edition of Night Life magazine.  Next week, I’m running ‘The Best Laid Nervous Breakdowns’ (regarding the insanity of wedding planning).  For the first week of May, I’m going with a commentary about the Bass Pro debate (‘Fishing For Solutions’).  By the second week of May, I wrote a commentary about the Sabres bandwagon (‘Change Of Season’).  For the third week, I’m rolling out a rant about grilling (‘Lucky Charms: Now With More Bell Peppers!’) and for the final week of May I’m running ten commandments about summertime (‘Wife Beaters & Rollerbladers’).  So if you want to read them, get out there and grab a copy of Night Life every week!  You can catch ’em there first!  I’ll reprint the Buffalo-centric columns here, but that’ll be after they run in Night Life.  And this is my idea of Rest & Relaxation after a month of promoting…

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Alma Mater: Buffalo State Aftermath

April 26, 2007

     I was having a terrible day yesterday until I actually did my reading at Buffalo State for the Rooftop Poetry Club.  Traffic was horrendous, some old person took ten minutes to use the ATM machine, just a rotten day.  I popped over to the Buffalo Spree offices for the first time and got to meet Elizabeth Licata (the editor in chief) and drop off a comp copy of the book for review purposes.

Then I got to Buff State and the Visitor parking section was chock full, so I had to risk parking a mile away and possibly getting a ticket (which I didn’t, thank god).  The turnout was not spectacular, but we had a tight knit group of students and poets who showed up during miserable weather and I read a brand new piece (‘The Best Laid Nervous Breakdown’) that I wrote this week about how brutal wedding planning is.  It’ll be going into the Night Life print column this Monday, so you don’t want to miss out on the new issue.  It felt nice to be back on campus for the first time in three years and to feel like I belonged on some level.  I wish that the Club was around when I attended as a student, and I plan on popping back in for their other events after all the book promotions are over.  Many thanks to Lisa Forrest for setting up the event and Sarah Reis for splitting the bill with me.  I truly enjoyed my time there yesterday and once the podcast is up on their site, I’ll pop a link up here. 

     Afterwards, I realized that my Club W appearance downtown is next Thursday, so instead of staying home (which I wanted to do more than anything), I went out.  First I hit the Green Buffalo to hang out with some of the gang from Salon On The Avenue (where I get my hair cut) and then I popped over to the Hidden Shamrock.  Both places were mobbed with Sabres bandwagoneers.  Where were all these fans five months ago?  Sports posers fascinate me.  So I had a few doubles of whiskey, a few frosty Guinnesses, and a few Bud Lights before Michael Bly showed up.  I gave Mike some posters for the event (which I’d been meaning to do, but haven’t had the time) and attempted to chat with him, but he was getting talked up by some fans.  My buddy Brendan showed up (late) and we shared one more Guinness until I begged off early at 10:30. 

     I’ve got about two more weeks of promotions and then I’m taking a break for the rest of May.  I am dog tired from all these promotions and out of my mind for scheduling so many so close together.  I’m still working on setting up some spots for June, but they’re not going to be as intensive and all encompassing as the rest of this month has been.  I realized this Monday that I’d really like to have more free time to a)enjoy and b)write some new material.  Crass Menagerie is at the 70 page mark and I’m starting to get nuerotic about running too much of my backlog in the print column.   

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 22 on Stands/Buffalo State this Weds./Sansone interview in the new Buffalo Spree!

April 23, 2007

There’s still a whole lot going on this month and here it is Monday again, which can mean only one thing: that there’s a new Big Words print column in Night Life magazine.   We’re up to Week 22 on my weekly humor column and I threw a real gem in this week, ‘Bad Coverage’, my blind rant against people who use cell phones in public.  Scoop up the latest issue of Night Life if you want to read it, because it’s another rant from Crass Menagerie, which won’t be out in book form until 2009! 

Also, I’ll be appearing at Buffalo State College this Wednesday (two days from now) for the Rooftop Poetry Club at the Butler Library in Room 310 at 4pm.  The event is open to the public (as well as students and faculty), so feel free to attend.  I’m looking forward to setting foot back on Buff State soil for the first time in almost two years, and it will be fun to find out what the students today make of me. 

 I also got early reports today that Buffalo Spree subscribers have received the May issue with my ‘Ballad Of Gregg Sansone’ interview edit.  The May issue should be in bookstores within the next two weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for that one.  This is my first published article with Buffalo Spree and I’m very proud and excited to be freelancing for them on a regular basis.  It’s a slick, well edited magazine and I look forward to contributing my talents on an ongoing basis.

That’s all I’ve got for today.  I’ll post more throughout the week.  In the mean time, I just discovered that there’s a fifth Monday in April, so I need to either whip up a new column or throw a previously unpublished essay in for next week’s Big Words edition exclusively in Night Life magazine!  Sayonara for now,

Tom Waters

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Talking Leaves Elmwood Appearance

April 22, 2007

Whelp, it was a beautiful day in Buffalo today and I had my signing at Talking Leaves on Elmwood Avenue.  Unfortunately for me (even though Jonathan and I planned our event at Elmwood two months ago), Just Buffalo scheduled an appearance at Talking Leaves on Main Street with Pulitzer Prize winning poet Carl Dennis.  La de da. 

I showed up at twenty after one (way too early) and the bookstore was beautiful.  It was my first time in there and I got to see Alicia Hoffman, an old, old friend from way, way back whom I haven’t seen or corresponded with in almost six years.  When I self published my first book (Soup To Nuts), Alicia went out on a limb and booked me for a comedy showcase with three professional comedians.  I’ll never forget that.  Alicia and I got caught up a bit and then we set up our table.  Then it quieted down.  I sold one hardcover.

I was happy about the one hardcover (because it’s someone who wouldn’t normally buy the book), but the day and the event were pretty much a dud.  I never play well downtown for some reason.  I do better in the suburbs where people aren’t as concerned about wearing what the hep people are wearing and reading what the hep people are reading.   Maybe I’m just not elitist, liberal or pretentious enough for the Elmwood crowd.  Lord knows that once the reviews hit that that crowd will attempt to be hip and pick up the book, so I guess I’ll make nice then.  It would be really great if they could formulate their own opinions and take a chance instead of having to be told what’s good in the paper and following the herd blindly.  Cest la vis.  The book is still raking in money, so I’ve got no complaints.  I talked to my superstar agent Buddy Dow at Trafford and he’s forwarded the book on to their traditional publishing house for possible inclusion, which could be huge.  Keep your fingers crossed for me and maybe I can learn to turn my nose up at the world like half the crowd on Elmwood, too!

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Another (grueling) Day in Paradise: WYRK with Clay & Dale & Dialog w/Scott Leffler Aftermath

April 17, 2007

After an entire half an hour of free time last night to eat and watch ‘Two And A Half Men’, I went to bed early so that I’d be chipper for my WYRK appearance in the morning.  The locomotives going through Lancaster had otherwise to say about it, as apparently their schedules changed last goddamned night and were running every five minutes throughout the night tooting their horns. 

I got up at six thirty in the morning so that I had time to make coffee, take coffee, drive downtown, get lost once and have two or three cigarettes before my first big break on the FM dial.  After finding the Lafeyette building in the heart of Buffalo, I hopped upstairs (still a bit groggy) and settled into WYRK’s green room area after meeting with the program director and going over the agenda for the appearance.  Then I met Dale Mussen (sp?) in the hallway and joked about qualifying for Dale’s time warp after I made a joke to a co-worker last week about the banana splits.  I gawked at all the platinum albums they had on the wall signed by the Dixie Chicks, Toby Keith and Dierks Bently like a starstruck fanboy while I waited to go on. 

They put me on at 8:10 (ahead of schedule) and we got down to it.  Clay and Dale were really, really nice guys and they made the appearance really comfortable while disarming any nervousness I may have had.  The show went smoothly and they gave away four copies of the new book to the first four callers on the line.  I gave Clay and Dale each a copy of the last two books for their personal reading enjoyment since I’m such a firm believer in the station and their show.   I can’t thank the folks at WYRK enough for allowing me the opportunity to come on and talk about the new book and to meet the two hosts from a morning show that I’ve been listening to for years.  In case you haven’t picked up a copy of the book yet, they’ll be giving away four more copies of If They Can’t Take A Joke tomorrow morning during their ‘Worst Joke Wednesdays’, so don’t you dare touch that dial!

After getting home around nine thirty, I had an hour and a half of down time for a quick power nap before I did a phone interview with 1340 AM for Scott Leffler’s ‘Dialog’ program.  Scott and I found a good groove together and ad libbed our interview for twenty minutes joking about my bar reviews, the book, the perils of engagement and other topics.  This was my second time on Scott’s show and I think we achieved a better sense of chemistry today than we had on my first show.  I’m never sure how to gauge people the first time I meet them which doesn’t necessarily make for great radio, so the second time was a charm.  Thanks for the solid plugs out in Lockport, Scott!

After that, I drove out to Talking Leaves and dropped off some copies of the book for them to sell in the store at their Main St. and Elmwood locations, so if you live downtown and you want to pick a copy up from a local business, there you have it.  I dropped my zoom lens off at a camera store downtown for service and then got home around two, completely shot and depleted from the days activities.  I collapsed and took a nap and woke up to find a message from 97 Rock regarding an appearance I’m working on setting up.  Cross your fingers for me and hopefully I’ll be going there next!

I’ve got one more appearance tomorrow night at the Lancaster Public Library at 7pm (they advertised that I’ll be promoting First Person, Last Straw for some reason, which is fine, I suppose) and then I’m done for a few days before my book signing at Talking Leaves Elmwood on Sunday.  I’m totally beat but with the book taking off as well as it has I’m considering setting up some dates and appearances in June.  Time will tell… 

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 21 on Stands/Caz Coffee Aftermath/WYRK tomorrow!

April 17, 2007

Long day, long week, no energy.  Sorry to be tardy to the party on the Monday update, but I left work and left straightaway for the Caz Coffee Cafe in South Buffalo for a reading/book signing along with featured reader Carrie Spadter and readers Susan Marie and Charles Forness.  We had a phenomenal time, the coffee was great, the crowd was decent, and I sold a pretty decent amount of books for an appearance that took place in awful weather during a Sabres playoff game.  I am definitely going back there in about two months to do another reading when the weather is nicer and the Sabres are done winning that cup!

Since it’s Monday, you should know by now that a new issue of Night Life is on stands with a new print edition of Big Words I Know By Heart.  This week I decided to run ‘Babes On A Plane’, a recent fan favorite that I wrote after my trip back from Florida.  It’s a bit scathing, but readers love when I get worked up, so I went with it. 

I just got home and it’s after ten o’clock, so I’m going to leave it at that.  If you’re driving in to work tomorrow around 8:30 AM (or if you have the day off), I’ll be appearing on the WYRK morning show on 106.5 FM with Clay and Dale!  I love the station and I’m a huge fan of Clay and Dale’s, so I’m looking forward to mixing it up with them and I’ll even be donating copies of the new book for an on air giveaway, so if you want a free copy of the book, tune in!  Talk to you soon,

Tom Waters

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FYE Williamsville Aftermath/3 Days In A Row

April 15, 2007

Saturday was a good day.  I got to visit my parents (they just returned from Florida) for all of a half hour in the morning and then I had to shoot up to FYE on Transit and Wherle for their in store promotion.  After missing Katie (the promotional manager) on the phone for the last six to eight weeks and not having any of my messages passed along, she wasn’t sure what to make of me.  We set up a table near the front with a nice array of books new and old and I got down to it a little bit before noon.  I met a nice older couple who drove all the way from Lockport (after hearing my appearance on Brian Kahle’s show on Tuesday) to pick up a copy of the book.  Boyd, the husband, was a collector of rare books and a former nudist.  He looked like a sweet old man who could be anybody’s grandfather, so I was worried that the new book might offend him before he dropped that bombshell.  Then another pleasant older man from Clarence who’s a practicing magician stopped at the table and grabbed a hardcover.  We swapped stories about vaudeville and the ancient order of magicians.  Older folks don’t necessarily fit my demographic, but perhaps my demographic is evolving, which is nice to know. 

Paulie, the brother of one of my buddies from high school, stopped up with his girlfriend and bought a copy of the bar book.  A Clarence mom who was working on her autobiography shot the breeze with me for awhile about writing and then came back with her two daughters to pick up a hardcover.  It was a steady day leading up to four o’clock and I wanted to make one more sale to round out the afternoon, but it looked like it wasn’t going to happen.  There was a good hour and a half where I just acted like a goofball to grab customer’s attention, playing with my slide whistle, my butterfly yo yo, and scampering around on the sales floor by wheeling my chair across the tiles.  Then, as I was packing up, a man came forward with his wife or girlfriend and said ‘Confrontational humor, eh?  Sounds a lot like me!’  He turned out to be a lawyer who commanded a paralegal firm.  He scooped up a hardcover at the last minute.  I was happy.  I didn’t sell as many books as I did a week prior at the FYE in Hamburg, but I sold a lot more copies of the new book, and they were all hardcovers, so I made the same amount of money! 

I got home and there was a fat check from the Buffalo News for two of my Gusto Club Watch reviews.  I had no idea what they paid for them (and it doesn’t really matter to be honest, because I’m happy to be writing for them), but they pay pretty well!  I can make some pretty good money this year if I keep up my assignments with them.  Then I crashed out and delegated the rest of the evening to some r&r with friends watching the BBC ‘The Office’ boxed set that I picked up after my stint at FYE.  I’ve never seen the show, but it’s pretty damned funny. 

This upcoming week, I’ve gotta push for the burn, because I’ve got three or four big appearances three days in the row.  If I can make it through this week, the rest will be downhill.  On Monday, I’ll be appearing with legendary local poet Carrie Spadter at the Caz Coffee Cafe in South Buffalo at 7pm.  Then I’m up early Tuesday morning for an interview with Clay and Dale on Country 106.5 FM WYRK at 8:30 am.  After that interview, I’m doing a phone interview with Scott Leffler for his Dialog show on 1340 AM at 11 am.  If I’ve got any gas left in the tank on Tuesday, I’m going to pop over to the Uncle Hal studios for a bit to celebrate the Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal’s 30th episode.  Wednesday night at 7pm, I’m speaking at the Lancaster Public Library for a reading/Q&A combo.  It’s a busy week, so I’m forcing myself to relax so that I’ve got the energy to make it through. 

I’m amazed at how well the new book has been doing and it feels like the momentum from all of the other ones is kicking in.  FYE asked me to make a second pass some time in June.  The Buffalo News informed me that their review of the book should be going in within the next month.  This all goes to show you that if you stick around long enough and keep hammering away at what you believe in, people can’t help but take you seriously eventually.  I look at all of this as PR in the bank for the next humor collection, which is by far the best collection I’ve ever written.  For now I’m focusing on talking up If They Can’t Take A Joke, though, which is no slouch by any means. 

I wanted to throw some pictures up, but my camera is still on the fritz and I couldn’t figure out how to use my parents’ memory stick from their digital camera.  I’ll have to show you another time.  Talk to you tomorrow during the regular Monday update,

Tom Waters   

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The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal Episode 29/Kahle & Co. Aftermath

April 13, 2007

I left the house at 10:30 in the morning (to mail out a comp copy of the book to Buffalo Rising before my first radio spot) yesterday and, after back to back radio interviews and a Gusto Club review assignment at Whiskey Joe’s, got home at 12:30, but that’s show biz, folks!  Listening to the comedic gold right now that took place in the studio during what will soon be the legendary 29th episode of the Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal makes it all worthwhile.  I’m not asking you, I’m telling you, you NEED TO HEAR THIS SHOW!  My last appearance (episode 24, I believe) was off the chain, this one is five miles off the reservation.  Hal and I channelled some kind of stupendously hilarious insanity yesterday for the almost two hour episode and you won’t want to miss one second of it.  By the end of the episode, everyone will be offended and we should end up lynched or in chains by the end of the week.  Click on over RIGHT NOW at:

 www.powunclehal.com

 Kahle and Co. on 1340 AM was a great time and Brian worked in some solid plugs for the new book before I read ‘We Love You, Buffalo! Good Night’ from If They Can’t Take A Joke.  Brian also told me that he’s starting a new television show that will air on Time Warner television shooting from his home, so I’m pretty psyched about that, too.  I’ve been on Kahle’s show almost a dozen times by now and aside from being a broadcasting legend, he’s an all around nice guy and a consummate professional.  I also set up a phone interview with Scott Leffler late next Tuesday (after my radio time on WYRK) for his Dialog show around eleven am on 1340. 

Directly after the WLVL interview, I popped onto the Millersport Highway to the Uncle Hal grotto and we hammered out the show with loving care in three hours.  I wanted to drop off some books at Talking Leaves, but I was spent in every sense of the word after the show and drove home for an hour and a half coma before heading up to Whiskey Joe’s around eight thirty.

I had a great time up at Whiskey Joe’s joined by my friends Gregg Sansone and Anonymous Drinking Buddy X.  We loaded up on whiskey, fingers, wings and their spectacular ranch seasoned french fries and I made it home after midnight having only seen my fiancee for five minutes that day.  Lindsay’s been a real trooper this week and no one misses being home more than me, but this is how it goes.  In five more weeks, it’ll all be over and I can breath a sigh of relief.  If you take anything away with you from this post, LISTEN TO THE UNCLE HAL SHOW BECAUSE IT IS COMEDY GOLD!  Visit the site, laugh your butt off and post some comments.  I can’t say enough about this podcast, so you’ll have to listen yourself!   

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Monday Update! Week 20 on Stands/Happy Dyngus Day!

April 9, 2007

Whelp, now that I’ve survived the volley of promotions over the weekend as well as Easter, I’ve decided to counter my crippling exhaustion by going out drinking for Dyngus Day, one of my favorite drinking holidays of the year!  I made a vow this year to make it out for St. Patrick’s, Dyngus Day and Cinco De Mayo, and goddamnit, I’m going to do it!  Since I need a pre-party nap, I’m going to make this Monday update brief.  The new issue of Night Life is on stands with ‘On Being A Large, Land Based Mammal’, my essay from If They Can’t Take A Joke about being a fat man.  As for other things, I’m planning on being on Brian Kahle’s radio show Wednesday at 12:30 on 1340 AM and I’m going into the studio the same day to co-host for ‘The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal’ pod cast.  That’s all I’ve got for you, now.  I’ll write more when I have time and I’ve rested up.  Happy Dyngus Day! 

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FYE & Don’s Atomic Comics: Long Day, Big Success!

April 8, 2007

Today was grueling, but overwhelmingly positive!  I woke up at eight (because I’m neurotic like that when I have a big day ahead), left the house at ten thirty for the FYE Hamburg book promotion and got there a half hour early.  Store Manager Greg Baumgartner had a swank leather chair and a cherry spot right in the front of the store set up along with some great signage and posters for the book advertising the event.  I was a little frustrated to find out that there was an afternoon Sabres game (I don’t follow hockey unless I’m in a bar), but I brought my A game regardless and talked up last minute Easter shoppers regardless.  After settling in to my spot early and merchandising my books for maximum visibility, I talked up the random people who got sucked in by the book cover and started racking up some sales.  I met a nice woman with a family who lived in Toronto and wrote erotica.  She and her husband bought three copies of Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish.  I met another nice woman from Binghamton who bought a hardcover copy of If They Can’t Take A Joke for her husband, who loved humor collections.  I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in years who scooped up one of the remaining copies of First Person, Last Straw.  And there were others.  Four hours came and went and I racked up over a hundred dollars in commissions, which isn’t too shabby.  The afternoon was a total success, and for big box store promotions, I would rather meet total strangers and get to know them so that they can read the book and tell their friends in other towns and countries than run into existing fans.  I was really pleased.  I can’t thank Greg and the staff at FYE enough for their support and their genuine hard work that went into making the in store promotion such a huge success.  The store will be ordering additional copies of the book once it hits Ingram as well as Baker and Taylor, so I’m going to try and stop back for another event in either late May or June.

After going home and recharging the batteries by sacking out for a half and hour, Lindsay and I took cans back and I invested some of my royalties towards picking up beer for the Tom’s Atomic Kegger 2 promotion at Don’s Atomic Comics in Lancaster.  Three cases of beer and two eight packs of Guinness, to be precise.  It’s a tax deduction, so I didn’t sweat the expense.  I got a receipt and headed out to Don’s before seven pm.  Friends, fans, and thirsty patrons started shambling in after seven o’clock and began racking up the book sales.  Some of my fans picked up some comics at the store for the first time and a lot of Don’s fans plunked down their hard earned cash for various copies of the book.  We all had beer.  And more beer.  Don, Ian, Brad and I cracked jokes, played lude and lascivious music and talked a lot of smack among each other.  I got to meet John Kindelen (sp?), another contributor for the YourHub project.  I’ve read his work and I knew he was a big comic fan, so it was nice to know that he shopped at Don’s as well.  Don kept track of the book sales.  By the end of the night, I made over three hundred dollars in sales on the new book along with the previous two.  I turned around and dropped a hundred or more on a new Batman limited edition sculpture and some comics.  We closed shop a little before twelve and agreed that this was the best Don’s Atomic promotion we’ve ever had for one of my books.  Don, Ian, and the rest of the crew at Don’s Atomic are like family to me and this is why I try to run a promo at Don’s shop every time I’ve got a book out.  Thanks again, guys.  For all the ribbing we inflict, it means a lot to me.

I don’t know if it’s the book cover, the momentum or the all around effort, but the new book is really taking off.  I’ve honestly sold more books in a week than I did in a month with the last collection.  Maybe I’m just due.  Don tells me it’s my best book yet.  Whatever it is, it’s reassuring that I don’t have to worry as much about recouping costs and I can focus more on bringing new readers into the fold while keeping my original base of fans happy at the same time.  I may not enjoy actively promoting year round, but it’s a comfort to schedule the bulk of my events with longstanding contacts that I have an ongoing relationship with.  It makes things a lot easier and I know what I’m getting. 

If the coming weeks are as succesful as this one, then the next book will be paid for before I start hashing out the details.  It’s already written, but I don’t even want to think about it right now.   All I can think about is the vacation I’m taking in May, the month of sleep I’m going to desperately need after this is over with, and the mountain of comics that I’m looking forward to having the time to read.  In the mean time, Happy Easter to everyone who isn’t working in the morning.   Mainly, people who aren’t me. 

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Clarence Center Coffee Co. This Thursday (tomorrow)/FYE Hamburg & Don’s Atomic Comics This Saturday!

April 4, 2007

Now that we’ve got the actual launch of If They Can’t Take A Joke out of the way, there’s the next six and a half weeks of promotions to contend with and look forward to.  If you live in Clarence, enjoy coffee, or just need a reason to go out this Thursday (tomorrow, April 5th), I’ll be doing a full reading at the Clarence Center Coffee Co.  in Clarence Center on the corner of Goodrich and Clarence Center Rd.  I’ll be there from 7pm until whenever reading some selections from the new book along with some other favorites as well as taking requests if anyone wants to hear something specific.  And of course, I’ll be selling copies of If They Can’t Take A Joke, Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish and the handful of copies I have left after Sunday of First Person, Last Straw.  If I don’t get a decent turnout at the Coffee Co. this time (this’ll be the third time I’ve done a book event there over the course of three books), I won’t be returning.  With marketing, they say ‘if it works, great, if not, don’t do it again’.  Well I’ll try something two or three times before I give up hope on the idea, so I’m hoping to see a crowd of some kind.  It’s a really nice place and I grew up in Clarence, so represent, Clarenconians!

Tonight (Wednesday), I’ll be heading up to see Michael Bly at his regular Wednesday appearance at The Hidden Shamrock around nine pm.  Now that I got the hardcover editions of the book in, I need to drop off his comp copy of the book for doing such a fantastic job performing on Sunday during the launch.  Plus I enjoy his music, so I’m spending one of my ‘off nights’ this month listening to his set.  If you’re free tonight, stop on up and show Mike how much we appreciated his endeavors on Sunday!  I only perform my nonsense six weeks out of the year, but performers like Michael Bly are like gypsies.  They’re out on the road 300+ nights a year busting their humps to make a living and pick up new fans and I respect that.  While I’m good at reading on stage, I don’t necessarily enjoy it all the time, so I only do it when there’s a book out.  Stop up to the Shamrock and say hello to Michael Bly tonight though if you’re free!

This Saturday is a double header for promotions for me, though, and I’ll be at FYE in Hamburg doing a book signing from noon to four pm and then we’re doing the big Tom’s Atomic Kegger 2 at Don’s Atomic Comics in Depew from seven pm to eleven pm.  The management at FYE assures me that store traffic the day before Easter is gigantic, so we’re hoping to take advantage of the extra influx of holiday shoppers to schlep some copies of the book.  I’ll have a table set up somewhere in the middle of the store, so you’re welcome to sit down with me and chat for a while.  Four hours is a long time to sit in any one place, so I can use all the company I can get as far as people I know while I’m getting assaulted by people I don’t.

As for Don’s Atomic Comics…if you went to the last kegger, you know to show up.  Once again, if you buy a copy of one of my books at the event (or bring one), you get to drink free beer all night…period.  That’s the only catch.  I’m getting my readers drunk!  Now how many other writers will pay for YOUR beer?  It’s usually the other way around where writers are concerned.  I get a tax deduction on it, so I’ll be happy to do it.  In addition to that, Don is offering 20% off on his entire inventory of comics, trade paperbacks, figures, sculptures, toys and collectibles, so if you’re a fan of comics and beer, you don’t want to miss this one.  The last one in November of ’05 was a riot and this one sounds like it’s going to be bigger and better than the first.   On a personal level, I’ve been buying my comics from Don’s (and ONLY from Don’s) for the last seven years, so it would mean a lot to me if you could make it out to support the event.  Don, Ian, Brad and the rest of the crew at Don’s Atomic are like family to me.  We argue constantly, make frequent gay jokes about each other’s personal orientation, and we’re always having lofty and geeky discussions about Don’s undying love for Alan Moore, my neverending love for all things Batman, and Ian’s penchant for large, hairy, burly men.  Just kidding, Ian.  So it’s a busy week. 

And before I forget, Wil (my editor at Acid Logic) assures me that the new issue is coming out ‘sometime this week’, so check back there as he’ll be running something new of mine.  The site address is:

 www.acidlogic.com

That’s all I’ve got for today.  Tonight, Michael Bly at The Hidden Shamrock, 9pm-whenever.  Tomorrow, Clarence Center Coffee. 7pm.  Saturday, FYE Hamburg noon-4pm.  Saturday night Don’s Atomic Comics (Tom’s Atomic Kegger 2!) 7pm-11pm.  I’ll seeya at one, two, all or none of them!   Thanks,

Tom Waters  

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 20 on Stands/Desiderio’s Launch/Engagement Party a Smashing Success!

April 2, 2007

 Holey moley, was last night fun!

Thank you SO MUCH to everybody who came out to attend the official April Fool’s launch for ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ along with my surprise proposal/engagement to longtime live-in girlfriend Lindsay.  It’s Lindsay’s birthday on April 3rd, I’d been planning the entire debacle for six months along with everyone in her family (who was in on it and kind enough to keep it a secret) and it came off swimmingly.  After opening the evening at Desi’s with ‘8 Simple Rules For Doing Something With Your Life’ (the unemployment rant) and then following with ‘Speak Now Or When You Get Around To It’ (an essay from the new book about the pros and cons of marriage, fittingly), I brought Lindsay up on stage and popped the question.  Then we left the stage and Michael Bly (who had been practicing the song for weeks at my request) played a moving rendition of ‘I Can’t Keep This From You’, our Elton John song from Peachtree Road (a song we listened to when we started dating). 

The next hour and a half was a blur as people congratulated the both of us and then everyone descended on the book table to purchase their own signed copies of If They Can’t Take A Joke, Clean Up After Me I’m Irish, and my remaining copies of First Person, Last Straw.   A great many people bought me a congratulatory shot of Tullamore Dew whiskey (my favorite at Desiderio’s), and after Michael Bly’s fantastic set, Lana and Hund took the stage.  They rocked the place out in their award winning style and wrapped up the whole soiree around ten thirty.  Bly along with Lana and Hund raked in some pretty good money donation wise from the concert goers, so I thank you for that, too.  Lindsay and I finally relaxed after the show wound down and then my friend Becky asked if I’d read again, so beer in hand, I went back up and read some material that wasn’t necessarily suitable for all ages: ‘Babes On A Plane’ (from next year’s Slapstick & Superego) and ‘Bad Coverage’ (a cell phone rant I wrote for ’09’s Crass Menagerie). 

We wound down at the bar and had some pints of Guiness with Jay Desiderio, Matt, Doug, Allie and the rest of the staff at Desi’s while we packed our stuff up, put the chairs up and closed the doors on the best book launch I’ve ever had.  Once we got home, Lindsay started flipping out (in a good way) and we watched the new episode of Reno 911, ate some leftover chicken wings from the buffet (thanks, new mom in law!) and turned in for the night.

I don’t know if I can top the launch with the rest of the promotions, but I’m certainly going to be a lot happier going forward.  Next stop is on Thursday at the Clarence Center Coffee Co. at 7pm on the corner of Goodrich and Clarence Center Rd.  I’ll be doing an hour long reading (providing that there’s a sizable crowd) followed by a book signing and a few of their delicious cafe mochas. 

And there’s a new Big Words print column in Night Life today.  In honor of yesterday’s events, I submitted ‘Speak Now Or When You Get Around To It’ for those who were unable to make the launch and the proposal.  Now that the secret is out (and it was most certainly NOT an April Fool’s joke), I can breath a sigh of relief and get on with the show.  Many thanks also to Trina (a fan of the print column who I met last week who showed for the launch) and Chuck Sankey (a fellow YourHub humor columnist who’s pretty funny in his own right who showed up at the launch and bought some books). 

Big thanks go out to Michael Bly and Lana and Hund for volunteering to play at the launch.  They’re music was a perfect complement to the event, I think they made a lot of new fans, and Lindsay and I will remember April 1st, 2007 for the rest of our lives.  Thanks also go out to Jay and Bobby Desiderio and the entire staff of Desiderio’s for being like a third family to us in the last six months.  The restaurant has become like a home to us, and we rarely if ever miss a Tuesday for karoake, irish whiskey and great company.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  And thanks also to all of you who showed up last night.  You’ve ALL got an invite to the wedding!  I promise that I won’t be shilling a book during that occassion.  The only reason I timed the proposal yesterday was because the book launch was a perfect reason for both sides of Lindsay’s family to show up without her getting suspicious.  That, and I was a nervous wreck all day yesterday and she just chalked it up to pre-show jitters.  What a great year it’s been and we’re only into the fourth month!

I’ll be posting pictures from yesterday’s bash on my YourHub site, so click over there if you want to relive the magic…

Try and make it out to Clarence on Thursday, grab the new print edition of Night Life and I’ll update soon,

Tom Waters     

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Buffalo Small Press Book Fair Aftermath/D Day for ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ Launch at Desiderio’s!

April 1, 2007

April Fool’s Day is finally upon us!

After six solid months of planning, scheduling, networking, schmoozing, freelancing and old fashioned writing, it’s time to kick things into high gear and do what I was born to do (but don’t enjoy all the time): PROMOTE!  Today is the official launch date for my fourth humor collection, If They Can’t Take A Joke: Confrontational Humor For The Casual Bibliophile.   Being neurotic beyond words, I got up at seven this morning because my subconscious knows that this is a big day and I’ve got plenty of worrying to do before the big show tonight at Desiderio’s on Broadway and Bowen at 7 pm. 

I’m thinking about writing a travelog regarding the promotions this month because a)I’m really starting to enjoy writing travelogues and b)this will give people an idea of how insane, exhausting and erratic promotional junkets are.  The next month and a half is going to be physically and mentally draining on me, and odds are that I won’t be writing much when I come out of it for awhile, but those are just the negatives. 

There are a lot of positives to focus on for this book and the next six weeks.  I’m going to sell a boat load of books and there are a lot of great appearances with longstanding contacts that I’m really looking forward to (Don’s Atomic Comics, FYE, Clarence Center Coffee Co., Talking Leaves, etc.).  I’ve been dealing with some of these people since Soup To Nuts: A Decade Of Satire by Thomas Waters (my first self published book in 2001, for those of you who don’t know) and I only get to see some of my contacts and professional friends unless I’m promoting a book.  So it’s been almost a year and a half since I’ve been out on the circuit in clubs, bars, coffee houses and book stores to do the meet and greet, the hard sales pitch and the shaking hands and kissing babies thing.  Luckily, I’ve still got some gas in the tank after yesterday’s seven hour plugathon at the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair.   

One of the other positives is that I actually have books on hand to sell this month, and hopefully plenty of them.  I’m not getting the hardcovers until Wednesday or Thursday, but I should have them in time for the FYE appearance next Saturday in Hamburg (12-4) and the Don’s Atomic Comics appearance next Saturday in Depew (Tom’s Atomic Kegger 2! from 7pm-11pm).  That, and I’ve broken a lot of new ground in terms of new places, bigger promotions and radio appearances. 

Hopefully when the dust has settled I can hammer out some television spots, but I literally won’t have the time to even think about it until May.  There should be enough momentum from the launch this month that we’ll grab somebody’s attention on one of the big three networks locally or perhaps even nationally.  We’ll see what happens. 

The Small Press Book Fair yesterday was a phenomenal success and I got to see a lot of old friends in The Biz as well as meet new people while shilling copies of my book at the same time.  Buffalo State College’s Rooftop Poetry Club was kind enough to share their promotional table with me and I got to meet Lisa Forrest (one of the librarians at Buffalo State as well as one of the founders of the Rooftop Poetry Club and an ardent project coordinator for many of their multimedia spectaculars including their current Slide project, which coordinates spoken word with visual art) along with Sarah Reis (sp?), who we decided will be be splitting the bill with me when I appear on campus at the Butler Library Room 310 at 4 pm on April 25th.  This will be the first time I’ve been on campus in almost three years, so I’m looking forward to ‘heading back to my roots’ and ‘rediscovering where I came from’ and all that jazz.  Where the hell was I?  All this plugging is exhausting!  Oh yeah, the Book Fair…moving on…

ArtVoice’s Managing Editor Geoff Kelly was there and I haven’t seen him in eons, so we traded some anecdotes, I snapped some shots for the YourHub site, and I got him a comp copy of the new book for review purposes.  I spoke briefly with Michael Kelleher, the Literary Director for Just Buffalo Literary Center and we spoke about how the anthology is coming along.  He told me that the word of mouth on the floor throughout the day regarding the anthology was like wild fire, which was a positive.  I told him that Alycia and I were considering extending the submission period and he understood.  We’ll see if submissions spike in the next couple of months, though. 

I also said a quick hello to Jonathan from Talking Leaves, Christy (a very old friend from WAY back in the day), one of the new owners or proprietors of Rust Belt Books, and exchanged pleasantries and insults with Livio Farrello, part of the unholy triumverate that forms Slipstream, one of the longest running literary journals in Buffalo.  Bob Borgatti (one of the other founders and co-editors of the journal) is a much nicer person, or at least less abrasive (but who am I to accuse anyone of being abrasive?).  It was very nice to see him again.  I’ve got an interview with Bob in the new book that was originally intended for ArtVoice that they never ran for some reason, so Buffalo readers will be seeing it first in If They Can’t Take A Joke.

I also got to meet Charles Forness and Susan Marie, two of the writers whose work was accepted for the Just Buffalo anthology that Alycia Ripley and I are working on.  They were very nice and we schmoozed for a bit and they are planning on coming out to see me and Carrie Spadter read at the Caz Coffee Cafe on Monday the somethingth this month.  I don’t even remember, but the listing will be in the paper.  I got to meet Amy Greenan, an avid Zinester who bought my book a year ago (First Person, Last Straw) and said she really enjoyed it.  

I got along famously with James Ostrowski (sp?), a lawyer who wrote a fascinating book about everything that’s wrong with Buffalo politics.  He had a lot of interesting things to say and by the end of the day, we were hamming it up and promoting each other’s books shamelessly to fairgoers who approached our table.  James also has a podcast, so he and I talked about getting together at some point down the road.  Once I unpack all my materials from yesterday, I’ll give you the full spelling of his name along with the title of his book, which I purchased.   And I met Una Crow (is that your real name?), a tiny girl who was tremendously friendly who sold me a zine called Monstress, which was filled with prose, art and poetry.  Amy and Una helped me plug the book and lent me some of their sharpies and glitter pens to write some cheesy tag lines on some cardboard displays to get my books moving. 

I went three hours without selling anything and then BOOM, everyone was hitting me up at once.  There was a solid hour of sales, meeting and greeting, and then the rest of the day was spent gathering email addresses for the newsletter, shaking hands, telling fifteen thousand different people what the book was about over and over again, and generally hamming it up with James.   I got there at eleven in the morning, the fair started at noon, and I left at six o’clock, spent, tired and ready for a nap that I didn’t get.   After entering all the new information into the batcave, Lindsay and I popped up to Desiderio’s to finalize plans, have a few drinks and to catch the Michael Bly Band play the day before our launch together.  It was a fruitful day and it’s probably going to be very typical of the promotional days that I have set up throughout the next month.  For all the pictures, click on over to the YourHub site (the link is at the bottom along the BlogRoll).   Many thanks again to Lisa Forrest, James Ostrowski, Amy Greenan, Una Crow and the organizers of the first Buffalo Small Press Book Fair for such a phenomenal event.  I made some great money yesterday along with a lot of other local artists and made some solid contacts. 

So now it’s time for the real show.  At the time of this writing, I’ve got less than eleven hours before it’s curtain’s up and the book is released into the wild.  This baby’s got some legs, so it should be a long and bountiful junket.  I’ll see you all at 7 PM sharp tonight at Desiderio’s on Broadway along with Michael Bly and Lana and Hund.  Get there early as parking is limited and you don’t want to miss one second of this star studded spectacular!  Bring your book buying shoes!         

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