Archive for December, 2008


FINAL Call For Buffalo Anthology Submissions Runs From 1/09-7/09

December 30, 2008

This is it! Alycia is back in town for a brief time and we’ll be committing the next six months to wrapping up the LAST slate of submissions along with securing a publisher for the collection. Close pal Christina Wos Donnelly soothed some of my woes by emailing to say that most anthologies take two years on average. Here are some answers (along with some criteria) to answer some recent emails:

1.) If you’ve already submitted work and had it accepted, feel free to submit more material. The odds of a second (or in some case, third) work from the same author being included are less favorable than the initial submission, but if you believe your other works are capable of surviving the firing line, have at it.

2.) You will only be notified IF your submission is accepted. As working writers, we decided at the outset that chain rejection emails were infinitely nastier than no reply at all. If you haven’t heard from myself or Alycia by next year’s end, then your work didn’t make the cut. Sorry. This doesn’t mean that you’re not a promising writer/artist/poet, your work just wasn’t a good fit for the project. No hard feelings?

3.) We are still accepting poems, so feel free to submit, but the acceptance ratio will be much greater for essays, flash memoirs, historical expositions and works of fiction. The collection as it stands is top-heavy with poetry. Buffalo has a phenomenal poetry scene with a wealth of talented poets, but we firmly believe that there are still a lot of other creative endeavors and headspaces toiling away in Buffalo that deserve greater recognition.

4.) Please, by all means, SPREAD THE WORD! We want this collection to be just as succesful as you do, if not more. Just Buffalo can always use some extra help (financially and creatively), so if you have an altruistic bone in your body, push it to the breaking point. Tell your writing workshop. Tell your friends that have been writing and haven’t gotten a lot of work published on the local front. Tell your peers if you’re firmly entrenched in the heirarchy. If there’s one thing this project has taught us (and there have been a lot of valuable lessons down the road), it’s that word of mouth can hold a lot more weight than a listing in most of the notable newspapers. A Call For Works listing is all well and good, but after the day or the week-long run is over in a publication, word of mouth keeps the submissions rolling in.

5. And finally (before the Final Call For Submissions copy), if you were one of the writers who submitted for the last reading period (summer 2008), we haven’t gotten to your work yet, so don’t be crestfallen…yet. Alycia and I will be hitting the learning curve in the next six months to put this project to bed once and for all. After July, we’ll be rounding up as many accepted contributors as we can for the purpose of putting our heads together in person to decide on a finished project together. This is not a two-party system. This is not a head trip for myself or Alycia. This is a non-profit collection with the dual intention of promoting lesser known creative talents while raising money for Buffalo’s only literary center in a time of need. A finished manuscript is only the first stepping stone on the road to publishing, promoting, marketing and selling the book. Trust us on this one. Compiling the book will be easy compared to the junket we have in store one calendar year from now. We’ll need as many hands on deck as we can get to put this book out in a professional, fiscally viable manner. As always, contributions (creatively and financially) are appreciated.

And now, the Final (and Lord, do I mean final!) Call For Submissions. Happy New Year,

Tom Waters
Poetry Editor

Alycia Ripley
Fiction Editor

Buffalo Authors Alycia Ripley and Tom Waters will be considering any and all submissions of flash fiction and nonfiction (2,000 word max) as well as poetry (10 page max) for inclusion in an upcoming not-for-profit anthology about present day Buffalo. Since the submission period has been extended and the publishing window has been reconfigured to allow for a larger collection, works of fiction as well as historical or biographical essays will be given precedence over poetry submissions due to the current content of accepted works thus far. Submissions will be considered in (as well as) outside of Buffalo, and the material must be topical to modern day Buffalo life, landmarks or Buffalonians in general. All entries must be cut and pasted into the body of an email and sent simultaneously to ‘’ and ‘’ with the type of submission in the subject heading (ex: ‘flash fiction submission’).
In addition, please include name, address, email address and published works you would like listed after your name in the completed anthology. The finished book will be published in the Spring of 2010 and all royalties will go towards the betterment and continued success of the Just Buffalo Literary Center. Submission period will run from January 1st-July1st and accepted authors will be notified via email. In addition, any and all parties interested in contributing their time or capital towards publishing, producing and marketing the book are also welcome to email or query.

For more information (as always), feel free to visit the official Just Buffalo Anthology Project site at:

Thank you so much for your interest in the project,

Tom Waters


Monday Big Words Update! More Sterlace Love…Another Turn Of The Glass…

December 30, 2008


I am so goddamned glad that this year is almost over that I can’t even express it in words. The last six months have been hell in a handcart and in my experience, life kicks me in the ass every seven years. This one’s almost over and the kharma chain had damned well better hit the soft reset, because one man can only handle so much on his plate (even when half of it might be his fault). Two more days and we’re on to the next twelve months. I couldn’t be more relieved…

On Christmas Day, I went to see The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button with my little brother and even though it was three hours, I can’t wait to see it again. While everything Fincher has directed since Alien 3 has been near-perfect, this film was light years different in terms of style from Zodiac, his last tour de force. There’s a reason why everyone is predicting that it will blow the doors off of The Dark Knight at the Oscars. Because it will. I’m calling it right now: Even though most of you know how near and dear Dark Knight is to my heart, Button has a much broader appeal and Fincher has been long-overdue for a handful of the most sought-after trophies in Hollywood. Believe it, because it’s going to happen. That, and Oscar is known for his short-term memory, dead Australian or no dead-Australian.

After the film, I tried something new for the radio show. Greg Sterlace and myself did an hour and a half follow-up show via telephone and I recorded snippets of our conversation at random. I was a bit crocked by the end of the program, but decided to include the baby and the bathwater. The results were pretty funny. Here’s your snyopsis(s?):

Episode 26: The Big Words Xmas/Chanakuh/Kwanza/Boxing Day Extravaganza Happy Fun Time Hour!
Tom slurs through the phone after seven drunken hours with his little brother and an opening day viewing of Benjamin Button to talk movies, the Jewish tradition of seeing movies on Christmas Day, and to discern (and re-discern) the reason why Greg Sterlace fled from Buffalo, the city that made him a worldwide icon.

And the bonus round:

Bonus Round: Wherein our humble host blacks out and somehow manages to keep attacking the Honorable Gregory Sterlace, his comely girlfriend Paula and any race, creed or color his pickled brain can lock on to for more than thirty seconds.

Check ‘em both out (along with the previous studio show with Greg and co-host Josh Smith) over at:



I know I promised to have both of Sucker Punch’s shows up by now, but I like to bookend multiple shows and my producer and I have been having some issues and learning curves with uploading items on Filezilla. I see no reason why they won’t be up by the end of this week and I’ll drop you all a line the second they’re up on the site for your listening pleasure. Sorry, Suckerpunch! I’d rather have both shows intact side by side than pop them up willy nilly. I hope you understand.

Aside from assignments and a part-time job that’s been hardening me up and chewing up some of the time I’ve grown accustomed to spending writing and freelancing, I’ll be working on punching up a Final Call For Submissions for the Just Buffalo Anthology that Alycia Ripley and myself have been toiling away on and setting on the back burner in turns. This will give us one calendar year to wrap it up and set it loose by the spring of 2010. It seems like a long ways away, but if next year is anything like this one, I won’t have five minutes of down time for the foreseeable future.

And finally (for now), the new issue of Night Life assaults your free paper stands in Buffalo and Canada today with my final column for 2008, entitled ‘The 7 Year Bitch: Good Riddance, 2008!. It basically explores the majority of the metaphysical bitch-slaps I’ve had to deal with while holding my sanity together this year. Again, thank god it’s almost over.

That’s all I have time for today. Without the benefit of a time machine or a stop watch that puts everything outside of my study dead in it’s tracks, this is the best I can do with what little recreational time I have. Talk to you all on Wednesday with some more great Quixote Wednesday scoop,

Tom Waters


Big Words Radio Episode 25: ‘A Voice Made For Television’ with Greg Sterlace!

December 25, 2008
Ho ho Oh!,
    After a holiday meal with producer Richard Wicka, co-host Josh Smith and ‘close, personal friend’ Jim Pray at the Home Of The Future, we strapped ourselves down in the studio and brought back-up guest Greg Sterlace off the bench for a show that was much funnier than I thought it was while we were recording it.  Here’s your Christmas Eve synopsis:
Episode 25: A Voice Made For Television
Tom speaks with last-minute yuletide guest Greg Sterlace and his Ventroliquist Yoko Paula to discuss their About Schmidt-esque road-trip sojourn between massive gaps of dead air. Author, poet and performer Josh Smith (co-hosts) on Christmas Eve as he typically only celebrates Boxing Day and Kwanza.
    Consider this episode an early Christmas gift!  Surf on over to:
 for the full hour of holiday sneer!  Many thanks to Josh for understanding the difference between comedy and actual racism, Greg and Paula for suffering our slings and arrows, and Rich for putting up with me for 25 episodes now!  Great job, gang! 
    Greg and I will be doing another episode out of studio tomorrow with a slightly different skew, so you can tune into that one some time around Friday or later.  Both Suckerpunch shows are complete, so look out for them before the week is out.  I’ll drop you all a line as always once they’re up on Think Twice.  Happy holidays and have a great Christmas Day,

Tom Waters

Monday Big Words Update! December Suprises…

December 22, 2008

After yesterday’s update, I don’t have a whole hell of a lot to get caught up on. There are no less than three new Big Words Radio shows in the pipeline, but time hasn’t been on my side lately and the file uploading process I have makes it infinitely easier to just drop the shows off at the studio when the weather and the roads permit. As for the roads and the weather, lake effect snow: what’s up with that? Since the wife and I are on lockdown due to Lancaster’s ‘State Of Emergency’ and the Driving Ban, perhaps I’ll try and volley a few shows Rich’s way.

This Wednesday (X-Mas Eve) marks my next in-studio date for recording the show with co-host Josh Smith. As for a guest, we’ve got our pick of the litter and I’m not entirely sure who’s going to be on until Wednesday rolls around because I have two people on deck for the guest chair and they’re both call-ins.

As for both Breathing Rooms, I’m taking a hiatus on promoting the new books in addition to the Monsters Of Verse. The holidays are hectic enough and there’s not much point in promoting anything in Buffalo in terms of in-store promotions this late in the winter. JR Finlayson, myself and our third rotating guest poets will kick back into high gear in February once the elements and the economy are off the ropes, if you know what I mean.

It seems like forever since I got a bar review into the Buffalo News, but, well, I’ve been busy and the News has been busy. You can expect a new Club Watch (or two) within the next week or two.

And a new Night Life presumably hit’s the stands today with the final installment of ‘5 Writers, 3 Musicians, A Director, A Teamster, A Painter, A Boxer and a Game Show Host: A Study In Biographical Pictures’, a critical essay on my 15 favorite biopics.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Stay the hell at home, don’t panic, don’t find an excuse to leave the house to get milk or eggs or some such nonsense and chillax. The way I see it, this is nature’s way of telling us to get some rest and get caught up on things around the house. Thank god we’ve got whiskey, cigarettes, 800 movies, 2,000 comics and a few dozen video games. Who wants to play video games, though? Talk to you all on Christmas Eve with ‘Quixote Wednesday’,

Tom Waters


2 New Sterlace(?) TV Shows!

December 21, 2008

Oof, the holidays are murder, eh?

Everyone needs a release valve or ten.  Luckily I have a few outlets (whiskey, writing, and cheese) to vent.  If you still have it, the Buffalo News ran a new holiday piece that I wrote in Saturday’s ‘My View’ section.  Yesterday marks the tenth year since my grandfather Franc passed on and I’m not sure if it was an accident or not, but they ran the piece on the same day.  I made mention in the essay.  Early responses seem to be very positive.  It was nice to be able to honor my grandfather’s memory in such a public forum. 

Also, I made two appearances on the Greg Sterlace show this previous Friday and the Friday before.  They are already up online over at (12/15 and 12/19, respectively) and should bew running on Time Warner on Wednesdays and Fridays (check your DVR or local listings for times) on public access.  Last Friday it was the Mr. Ski Mask show with a very special gay proposal for Ski Mask.  This week (due to weather constraints), Sir Face Mask hosted the show and we spent a half hour going off on the Viewer’s Mom.  This show is bananas, yo!  I have no idea how they get away with everything they get away with, but it sure is fun. 

You can also check out some pics from the show along with a new look I’ve been working on.  I stumbled by accident onto a hybrid Dennis Miller code of dress that I’m really digging.  The pictures only run for the current week, so act fast!

Good luck getting all your shopping done and happy holidays,

Tom Waters


Big Words 2 Year Anniversary Party TONIGHT at Double D’s Queen City Grill @ 8 p.m.!

December 11, 2008

Okay, I can’t believe I neglected to blog this yet and it’s outlandishly short notice, but tonight marks the auspicious 2 Year Anniversary Party for a little column I like to call ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’.  The place?  Double D’s Queen City Grill at 1051 Sheridan Drive on the border of Tonawanda and Buffalo (2 blocks past Elmwood on the left across from a gas station).  The time?  8 p.m. to ?.  What can you expect when you show up?  Celebrity appearances, prize giveaways (books, CDs, t-shirts, movie passes, etc.), crazy stupid drink specials and food specials. 

     Also, due to a very sad event with 12 Pack Jack (my condolences, gentlemen), the Dr. Z Band will be performing from 8 p.m. to midnight!  Live blues, free swag, great food, good company!  What else do you need?

Seeya tonight at Double D’s!  Be there or rot in hell!

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