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Something Borrowed, Something New

October 21, 2011

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

To say that the last four years have been interesting would be an understatement.  Fate has guided my career as a writer in directions I could never fathom.  After making more money on two poetry books than I expected (which is why I published them myself), I decided to found my own publishing company (Doubt It Publishing).  After that (with the help of co-editor’s Cindy Mantai and Alycia Ripley), we released Voices From The Herd, a non-profit anthology about Buffalo with all of the proceeds being deposited directly to The Just Buffalo Literary Center.  After that, it seemed like a natural step to publish one new author a year, so fate guided my hand again and introduced me to Mark McElligott, a 50 year old cartoonist whose writing was among the funniest I’ve ever read.  Around the same time, I wrote my autobiography (which isn’t coming out until next year).

What has all of this taught me after ten years of freelancing, writing, marketing and publishing?  To follow your hunches and stay out of your comfort zone.  I had a stray thought a few weeks ago to delve into the history of Rushford, NY.  As half a native (spending my summers there as a child and taking two weeks in the off season for the past ten years), I’ve always loved it there and part of my heart will always belong there.  While I despise history books as a genre and prefer biographies and autobiographies, Rushford is the one subject that I’d be willing to sink my teeth into.

So here’s the web site for it.  This was built out of a hope that some of you will find it and find yourselves willing to loan or email me documents, memoirs or heretofore unseen information about the history of Rushford.  When I used to conduct print interviews for Artvoice, I preferred to research my subject backwards and forwards before I even started typing; Rushford won’t be any different.  Research on the town has already begun, but this is a new genre for me and a much larger topic than a single artist, so any help I can get would be greatly appreciated.

I’m astonished to find that there isn’t much in the way of books in print, web sites or archived data about Rushford.  In Buffalo you can throw a rock and find three books about Niagara Falls, The Appalachian Trail or The Adirondaks.  It’s sad that there aren’t many books in print about such a beautiful man-made place and that alone solidified my decision to start writing this book.  I’ve got a three year window to research and write it.  I’d like to give the history of the area the justice it deserves.

Here’s where you come in.  If you have any out of print books in your possession, newspaper clippings, maps, old photos of the town or oral history about Rushford (that you can back up), please email me at your earliest convenience at:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

This is a very long term project with a lot of hard work ahead for me.  Unlike the autobiography, there won’t be any play by plays, teasers or behind the scenes spoilers before the book is released.  If you live in Rushford, know something about Rushford that no one else knows or if there’s something about the town that you find important to its legacy, please email me.  You have my full attention.

Sincerely,
Tom Waters

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