Archive for the ‘book reviews’ Category

h1

Big Words Video 48.1: ‘Only Gambling’ & 48.2: ‘Leaf In A Storm’

March 2, 2018

6ADD4F4B-75B5-42FC-A007-1D5EB521EECD

I normally ask an upcoming guest for ONE video clip to supplement the show.  Poor Frank got propositioned for two.  He’s promoting his new book ‘Only Gambling’, but I didn’t want to ignore his rich history on the Buffalo music scene.  So there you have it.  Frank’s homework was more complicated than guesting on the show!  He came through with flying colors, though.  Big Words Video 48.1 is a quick forward to Pusateri’s book complete with fancy graphics and a ticker-tape banner along the bottom read by the author.  You can get a taste for the stream-of-consciousness writing style in the book right HERE:

The flip side of the coin is an original song written & performed by Frank’s band Only Humen.  Check that one out right HERE:

A sincere thanks goes out to Only Frank for putting the time in to create two great clips.  A sincere thanks goes out to YOU when you FREE SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel.  I may have said this before, but if you’re not subscribed, you’re missing more than half of what the show has to offer.  Find out what you’re missing by seeing the show in the order it was intended for, bonus clips and other additional SECRET content.

#BigWordsVideo returns in March!

Tom

 

h1

Big Words Video 36.1: Gaia B. Amman-‘Blame It On Nico’

March 30, 2017

IMG_2288

Often before the studio episode I’ll give my guests the option of shooting their own Big Words Video Bonus clip in advance to save time in post-production in the studio.  Once in a blue moon, they do just that.  Author Gaia B. Amman did a great job with her Bonus clip and I joked with her that her title credits and bumper ad at the end of the clip were more professional than anything the show has ever done, and she humbly admitted that she did everything on iMovie.  Check out her reading of Chapter 1 of An Italian Adventure HERE:

One of the many things I was impressed with about Gaia was that she seems to have her marketing, publicity and audio/visual plan all figured out, so thanks to her for prepping a clip ahead of time.

#BigWordsVideo will return NEXT WEEK with jazz great Van Taylor.

Seeya soon,

Tom

 

h1

When Severed Ears Sing You Songs by Justin Karcher

March 14, 2017

IMG_2265

 

“Trying to create miracles for all us dumb fucks

Who just want to see one curse reversed

Before our muscles betray our bones”

-from ‘I Want Michael Fassbender to Hold My Hand and Tell Me Everything Will Be Okay…’

Chapbooks have traditionally been a signal flare or a forerunner for a larger body of work. Sometimes the flare peters out on the way down, and there are other instances where they are strung together before being combined into a bigger collection of poems. When Severed Ears Sing You Songs (2016, Ghost City Press) by Justin Karcher is more of an about-face or a stylistic sidestep after his longer Tailgating At The Gates Of Hell (2015, Ghost City Press).  Fast, funny and philosophical while simultaneously walking the tight rope between timely and timeless.

The city of Buffalo is Justin’s muse. He creates mirth and magic and wonder out of the sub-mundane, the poverty class and the lost souls in a lost city. The phenomenon to Karcher’s poems is that I wrestle cognitively with whether or not they are clever non-sequiturs strung together to suit or if all of the poems are one patchwork diatribe touching down on distinctive benders, evenings we’ve all regretted or dark corners of the city and our scarred psyches at the same time. I’m not sure I want the answer anymore, but I enjoy struggling with the riddle. And there’s a wry gallow’s humor to his work that connects with the reader in a way I haven’t seen in poetry for some time. Too often we’re weighed down with a sort of 18th-century morose self-importance in 21st century poems that shouldn’t exist.

This chapbook strikes me as a writer becoming comfortable with his style, easing into his poems like you’d slide your heel effortlessly into a pair of formal shoes. He has his voice and now he’s checking off every octave. The age-old polarities of sex and death have gotten wonderfully muddy within the pages of ‘Severed Ears’. Now we’re venturing into the ache, the loss, the regret and the existentialism of half-remembered love and the sorrow and sometimes-dread of being alive. Somehow in all of this Karcher gives me hope for the city because if it can cause so much pain, then it means more than Post-Industrialism, decline and decay.

-Tom Waters

h1

Travesty Now Available!

August 19, 2016

image

I’m pleased to announce that Travesty, my 12th book, has been released!  After five years of writing it on and off (before and after Icarus On The Mend, my limited print run memoir), proofreading, polishing and then collaborating with Mark McElligott on the wraparound cover art as well as graphic designer Bill Dyson on the interior, fonts and book design, Travesty is live and ready for purchase.  You can buy the book direct from lulu.com HERE:

Travesty

There’s also a permanent Quick Link on this site’s ‘Link Section’ for return visitors.  For reasons having mostly to do with my work schedule, I will not be actively promoting the book until late October, so you can buy BEFORE the official launch on lulu. Amazon.com, B&N.com and other fine retailers in the mean time.

This book was a direct sequel to my 2011 humor collection Mockery, so if you enjoyed it, you can get more of what you loved here.  Every book evolves in some unpredictable way while I’m working on it, and this one went from my trademark psychotic rage-based rants into more of a throwback silliness that I had when I initially started writing in my teens.  It’s also the first collection that was laid out according to theme instead of a chronological table of contents.  Three essays were cut, the proofreading process was rigorous and the final edition underwent a font size expansion for those of us who don’t like to squint.  I’m very proud of it, and McElligott and Dyson both did a terrific job with the small suggestions and concepts I bounced off of them.

In addition, this is the first Doubt It Publishing title to be launched with it’s own ISBN number.  That may not mean much to you, but that’s a serious sea change in the way I’m doing business and the way the book is distributed.  At 40 years old with 12 books behind me, I’ve started making an effort to preserve what I have while planning for the future.  Travesty is not my final book, but I’m taking a break before I chart a new course.  I hope you enjoy it.  This won’t be the last time you hear about it.  Please help spread the word by Sharing the link on your social media, ‘Like’ the book on Facebook,  List the book if you’re a Goodreads member and by all means, tell all your friends!

Sincerely,

Tom

h1

Travesty Inbound!

July 20, 2016

travesty cover jpeg

Hey all!

After five years of working on the book on and off, rigorous rewrites, edits and scrubbing for typos, #Travesty, my eleventh book of humor, is almost ready!  It clocks in at a respectable 204 pages and it’s going to retail at $19.99.  Above, you’ll see the gorgeous wraparound cover with art by Mark McElligott and fonts William Dyson II.  I’m really excited about this book.  I’ve put a lot of myself into this book.  I can’t wait to share it with all of you, but not yet.  It’ll be ready this fall from Doubt It Publishing!

Stay Tuned,

Tom

h1

Poetry Month: Pleasures Of The Damned

April 25, 2016

image

I still had a few lingering thoughts about Poetry Month, so I thought I’d run my 2008 review of Charles Bukowski’s Pleasures Of The Damned.  It was the poet’s final and mammoth posthumous publication.  Bukowski’s impact on free verse cannot be overstated, and without his influence, there would be no Breathing Room(s).  This review originally ran in Buffalo Rising. -Tom

As far as Charles Bukowski’s work is concerned, you either enjoy his work or you don’t. As far as I’m concerned, any artist who can pen 54 books is worth looking into. Almost two years ago, a friend of mine read a poem of his aloud, with a roaring campfire in the background, during a summertime couple’s cocktail get-together–and I was hooked for life.

I’d rather read books, listen to music or watch films from an artist who’s consistently above-par than fixate on the tiny visionaries who knock one or two dingers out of the park and then disappear. It’s a testament to the poet’s already extensive and prolific career that he passed away in 1993, and Ecco books has been publishing uncollected volumes of his work practically every year since. Even death couldn’t shut Bukowski (aka: ‘Henry Chinanski’) up. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and The Pleasures Of The Damned: Poems, 1951-1993 (Ecco, 2007) marks the final note in a swan song the dead, drunken lout has been singing for fifteen years beyond the grave.
The final note plays like a familiar variation on an old jazz standard because a lot of work previously published in other collections makes a return visit in the pages of this fanatic-magnet of a hardcover. Bukowski’s heirs must have scoured the final drawers in his writing nook for one last run at the residual checks, as a smattering of new, previously uncollected verse can be found peppered throughout.

It doesn’t help that I just recently tore through The Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems 1946-1966 (Ecco, 2002) along with The People Look Like Flowers At Last: New Poems (2007). Make no mistake, I don’t regret the purchase, and jump at the chance to buy any hardcover from a writer I’m enthusiastic about. It’s just a bit of a letdown to find out that I’ve already read more than seventy percent of the work within.

If you’ve read Bukowski’s work and you don’t own much of it, or if you want something literary and high-minded to show off on the coffee-table nook for your pretentious cocktail guests or in the bathroom for quick laughs and heartwarming forays into the fragility of the human soul, buy it at once. If (like me), you are systematically collecting everything the author has written and you’re starting with the larger volumes first and working your way down to the slimmer collections, you might want to hold off. There are better posthumous selections out there and they’re all marked up at boutique prices in whichever eccentric local book retailer or soulless conglomerate you can find them.

And for the uninitiated, Buk’s work is certainly worth reading. He was a champion of the underdog and an anti-elitist in the best possible sense of the term. A drunkard, a womanizer, a socially challenged citizen and a compulsive (and mostly successful) gambler at the race track, but a genius just the same. His work truly appeals to poetry lovers who think that they hate poetry. That’s how I got sucked in, and two years later, I’m still voraciously devouring every last verse in whichever books I haven’t bought yet.

Many critics bemoan the fact that his work was more structured, honest and true in the poetic sense before he become an underground sensation among skid row types, loose women and those who aren’t afraid of five to ten stiff drinks. While this may be true, the testament and the sheer weight of his own Akashic library will live on forever. His style of free verse has left a generation-spanning cacophony of enthusiasts, acolytes and derivative hacks. Present party included.

h1

Bat To The Future

March 21, 2016

image

Author’s Note: With BuffaloComedy.com having gone the way of the dodo (where this piece originally appeared in January of 2015) and Batman Vs. Superman just 5 agonizing days away from its theatrical release (which I’m not laying any bets on until I see it), I  thought now might be a good time to revisit my reflections on the 75th Anniversary Year of the Dark Knight Detective.  This is an essay from the upcoming book Travesty.   

By the time you read this, the year-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Batman in Detective Comics (in 1939, for those of you who don’t have a calculator nearby) will have come and gone. He’s a character who has endured the test of time, and you may know Detective Comics by their abbreviation: DC. I caught hell some years ago for defending the cultural importance of the impending theatrical release of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008). It was a week-long troll battle in a lesser publication and I hate to be the guy who said I told you so, but I was right, Buffalo. That film changed the superhero film forever and demolished most (if not all) box office records. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. What follows is a personal recollection/celebration of the mythos. Dates and citations have been left out, messed up or guessed at because the author is lazy.

I’ve been a Batman fan almost all of my life. As a child, I got into the comics around the same time that I caught the syndicated reruns for the high-camp television version with Adam West, three separate Catwomen and the famed ‘Bat-usi’. This led of course to Batman:The Movie, which we have to thank for the ‘Bat Shark Repellant Spray’ incident. The utility belt can only hold so much. The Caped Crusader has gone through a lot of incarnations over the decades he’s traveled through, which may be one of the secrets behind his staying power. While it was corny and cheesy (‘camp’ is an ironic form of comedy that borders on being an endangered species), the tv series hit home for at least a few seasons.

The ’80s was a great time to get into comics since the medium was growing up in terms of maturity and readership. Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns made such a gritty impact on the pulp multiverse that college courses are still taught dissecting its importance. The story zeroes in on Batman coming out of retirement in order to stomp out the threat of a mutant gang, subvert government opposition to superheroes and to square off with Superman. Miller followed this up with Batman: Year One, a mini-series that focused on the roots of billionaire Bruce Wayne’s lifelong war on crime.

Toward the end of the decade, comic icon Alan Moore applied his craft to The Killing Joke, a one-shot story where the reader is taken through a retelling of The Joker’s origin, Commissioner Gordon’s daughter is crippled by same, the Commissioner’s sanity is tried by The Joker and Batman’s is questioned at the close of the arc with a punchline and a recurring pattern of raindrops. The Joker postulates throughout the book that the difference between sanity and insanity is just one bad day. Batman tries to prove him wrong.

In the early ’90s, mainstay Grant Morrison took a turn with Arkham Asylum: A Serious House On Serious Earth. I re-read this book almost every year and always come away with something new in this layered psychological examination of the aberrant psyche. Batman infiltrates the asylum (which the inmates have taken control of spear-headed by the Joker) and tries to keep his head while everyone else’s is long gone. This is interspersed with the story of how Arkham Asylum came to be, which is quite haunting to say the least.

Meanwhile, in the single issues, there was the groundbreaking A Death In The Family, a story arc that was revolutionary because DC set up 1-800 lines so that readers could vote on the fate of Robin at the hands of (you guessed it) The Joker. For you younger readers, people used to have phones in their house attached to the walls that we called ‘Land Lines’. A 1-800 number was a ‘toll free’ number that residents could ‘dial’ on said Land Lines. Spoiler alert (not sure if it’s a spoiler alert twenty five years later): the readers killed off Robin. Luckily, nobody ever stays dead in comics for some reason, and that particular Boy Wonder (there have been around four) came back in Under The Red Hood.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

The Divine Pop Comedy

February 8, 2016

image

Author’s Note: With the release of Wonderful Crazy Night (Elton and Taupin’s 33rd album), this seemed like a good time to revise and post this excerpt about the ‘aught’ albums from ‘Reg Soldiers On’, a 50+ page long-form essay about Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s lives, careers and their discography from my 2009 book Slapstick & Superego.  I’ll be posting a new essay this Friday about the three studio albums that followed once I’ve had a little time to digest the newest release.-Tom

Composer/Performer/Legend Elton John and longtime lyricist and classical poet Bernie Taupin’s trio of studio albums from 2001-2006 were a fruitful, fascinating journey, and I’m sure that there’s more to come. From a fanatic’s standpoint, Songs From The West Coast would have made a perfect swan song for the performer. I don’t regret that he’s lived and recorded since, but the album is so perfect, and so close to the roots of Elton’s glory days in the ’70s that it’s near-impossible to trump a second time in his career.

Elton even claimed in his classic bridge-burning interview style that this would be his final studio album. Listening to the tracks, it’s no surprise that this was the first series of songs in ages where Elton and Taupin composed the album together in person. It brilliantly refers back to the roots of his success while avoiding all references to such. ’Emperor’s New Clothes’ (a Billy Joel homage), ’Dark Diamond’ (with Stevie Wonder on harmonica), the sublimely simple and existential ’Birds’, and the retrospective yet hopeful ’This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore’ stand out as hallmarks to the late musician’s career. Taupin draws from a reserve of inspired lyrics for this album with stunning skill, and drives it home with ’Original Sin’ and ’I Want Love’, a song that shows us the team is still capable of sucker punching us into a state of romantic catharsis: /A man like me is dead in places/Other men feel liberated/I want love on my own terms/After everything I‘ve ever learned/.

Elton’s boyfriend future husband David Furnish was photographed for the album cover as the cowboy. Director of Operations Bob Halley was captured for the shoot as the man being handcuffed to a squad car outside of the diner. This series of videos was nothing short of astonishing, with Robert Downey Jr. lip synching Elton’s vocals to ‘I Want Love’ to Justin Timberlake portraying an uncanny ‘70s Elton in ‘This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore’ to Liz Taylor and Mandy Moore showcasing the video to ‘Original Sin’. With a small handful of duds, it’s a shame that ‘West Coast’ came out a week before September 11th, 2001 in the States. It could and should have fared much better on the charts if it wasn’t for the deep psychic and socioeconomic impact of the terrorist attacks.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Clarence Sun Print Interview

April 15, 2015
Mockery by Tom Waters: An essay collection formatted to mimic a standup comedy act.

Mockery by Tom Waters: An essay collection formatted to mimic a standup comedy act.

Two weeks ago Clarence Sun Editor Alicia Greco interviewed yours truly for a feature interview leading up to my recent reading and book signing at Milkie’s On Elmwood.  Whelp, the interview ran on Saturday and the book event was a real hit at Milkie’s and I liked the venue so much that I booked it again in the fall!  To read Greco’s interview, just click on the pretty link:

You’ll find our interview on Page 2.  Kudos to Alicia for doing a great job of balancing information with revelation.

As for the reading, I have some video clips from the show that I’m working on, so you’ll see those soon.  Last week was a busy one so I’m playing catch up.  Talk to you soon!

h1

‘It’s All About The Benjamin’ goes live on BuffaloComedy.com

March 2, 2015

It's All About The Benjamin

Writing Travesty has been entirely too much fun so far!  And the more I think about it, the more I would prefer to let the book’s release slip to 2016 rather than rush publication.  We’ll see how the year plays out, though.  I’ve been approaching my writing and, by extension, the release of any future books from an entirely different perspective.  I don’t want to rush books anymore.  I don’t want to cut corners or shove a second draft out.

Anyway, the latest essay (‘It’s All About The Benjamin’) went live on BuffaloComedy.com this morning.  It’s a categorical humor essay about early parenting.  It went through about four different drafts and re-writes before I was happy with it, but I’m pretty proud of the finished product.  If you’re a parent, you’ll really enjoy this one.  Even if you’re not, there are a lot of laughs per sentence here:

It’s All About The Benjamin

I was reluctant to go back to the well so soon where being a single dad was concerned, but after putting some thought into it, I reached the decision that ‘Write What You Know’ overrides any other factors in play.  This essay was originally 6 or 7 rules and kept building until it reached 10.  There’s not a lot of fat on this piece.  I tried to write (and re-write) it efficiently without a lot of extraneous exposition.  I hope you like it.

Please take an extra minute to give it a FB Like, a Retweet or a ‘Share’ on any of your various social networking.  I’m happy to share some of my works in progress for free and this is a small way that you can return the kindness.

h1

2015 Reading & Signing Announced April 12th @Milkie’s On Elmwood!

January 7, 2015

In the midst of implementing my overall plan for 2015, I’ve spent a few weeks working with Ed Becher, the booking agent for Milkie’s On Elmwood.  After a volley of emails and phone calls, we finally scheduled, booked and confirmed a date and time for my first reading and signing of the year.  Here are the details:

Book Reading & Signing w/local humor author Tom Waters Sunday, April 12th 2 p.m.-4 p.m.

Milkie’s On Elmwood 522 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo

(716)882-5881 Admission is free.

Signed first edition books available from $15.

I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about Milkie’s lately.  It’s refreshing to discover so many new businesses in the city who are open to ‘out of the box’ promotions as well as supporting local artists.  This is an event that I’m really looking forward to.  With a four month lead time, I hope you all have time to join me!

As far as Icarus On The Mend: Memoirs Of A Manic Depressive goes, I am over the tipping point on the limited print run of special edition hardcovers sold.  There are now less than 25 copies available for sale.  Hopefully I will still have some copies on hand for the Milkie’s reading.  If you are interested in a signed hardcover and would like one beforehand, I can be reached at:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

That’s all for today.  I’m sure I’ll be booking some other readings this year, but Milkie’s may be the only reading I commit to before autumn arrives.

h1

‘Bat To The Future’ Appears on BuffaloComedy.com

January 5, 2015
2015 marks the end of DC's year-long celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Batman.

2015 marks the end of DC’s year-long celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Batman.

Since we’re on to a new month and a new year, I’ve got a brand new essay up on BuffaloComedy.com.  It’s on a topic I’ve covered before and most likely will cover again: Batman.  I couldn’t resist the urge to comment on DC’s ‘Batman75’ celebration, so I punched up ‘Bat To The Future a longer essay about the comics, the films, the cartoons and the games with next to no accuracy where chronology is concerned and proudly so.  You can check it out right here, gang:

Bat To The Future

Please take the time to read, Share on any and all networking platforms and to Like on that pesky Facebooks.

When I punched up the first draft I considered putting in the research and including citations along with writing the piece in chronological order.  That notion went out the window pretty quickly.  Much like ‘Reg Soldiers On’ (my essay from the 2009 book Slapstick & Superego)   I opted for a free-association format instead.  This may invite immediate attacks from the sort of comic fanboys who quote chapter, verse and issue number, but so be it.  I thought the piece might be more approachable to the casual reader by not taking that route.

I’m pretty proud of the four essays that have run so far with BuffaloComedy.com and hope that the next eight will follow suit.  Editor Kristy Rock and I have settled into a comfortable routine of submitting two pieces so that she can select one.  That way half of the new material can go live in a timely manner and the other half can be saved for the manuscript of the upcoming book Travesty.

There’s another great announcement to make, but I’ll save that for tomorrow.  Best not to give everything away all at once…

See you in the funny papers,

Tom

h1

Striking Gold At The WNY Book & Arts Center

December 7, 2014

The Book Reading & Signing today at the WNY Book & Arts Center was something of a fourth quarter Hail Mary.  Is that an appropriate sports metaphor?  I certainly don’t know.  At any rate, attendance wasn’t looking too good from the outset, but a really nice crowd showed up from Amherst, Depew, Lancaster and Buffalo proper, and not only that, they showed up with money!  I’m very grateful to have readers who know that the best way to support local, living authors is with their wallets.  I’m a happy camper after this particular reading, and I certainly wouldn’t mind circling back to WNYBAC again some day.  After two readings in two months, though, this old dog is tired.  That’s it for the live promotions for a little while, at least.  Maybe I’ll see you all on the front lines sometime in the spring.  In the meantime, here’s a clip from today’s 2 hour marathon reading.  Thanks are in order to Rosemarie Williams at WNYBAC as well as all of you who came near and far to see me.  As far as the YouTubes go, you’ll see me (not the other way around) in less than two weeks!

Sharing the Buffalove (ugh…),

Tom Waters

h1

Polar Vortex! ‘McKinley’s & Mad Hamburgers’ from Slapstick & Superego (2009, Doubt It Publishing

November 18, 2014

For those of you who braved the elements last night and made it out to Hot Mama’s Canteen for the book reading and signing, a great time was had by all.  A big thanks goes out to everyone at Hot Mama’s for making it happen.  I will definitely do another one down the road.  Their ‘Navajo’ wings alone are reason enough for a return trip, and it was one of the friendliest venues I’ve ever dealt with in terms of bookings.

For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a rant from last night.  Please take the time to Watch, Like & Share!  Enjoy:

h1

Book Reading & Signing Announced for December @WNY Book & Arts Center

October 6, 2014

Morning!

I’ve scheduled and secured one more signing for the end of the year. Here are the pertinent details:

Book Reading & Signing w/local humor author Tom Waters
Location:
WNY Book & Arts Center
468 Washington St.
Buffalo, NY

Mockery by Tom Waters: An essay collection formatted to mimic a standup comedy act.

Mockery by Tom Waters: An essay collection formatted to mimic a standup comedy act.

Date & Time:
Saturday, December 6th
2 p.m.-4p.m.

(716) 348-1430

FB Event Page for WNY Books & Arts Center Reading & Signing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can assure you that between this event and Hot Mama’s Canteen these are the only book promotions I’ll be doing for the remainder of the year. If you’ve been to one of my readings before, you know how much fun they can be. If you haven’t, now would be a good time to find out. Both events are very important to me. Bear in mind that local musicians play out six and seven nights a week and most people wouldn’t think twice about heading out to see them perform. As a local author (at best) I host only a handful of events a year. Support your local artists! As always, I give discounts on anyone buying multiple books or multiple copies. Someone will probably be filming the event for future inclusion on one of my show sites. Again, please mark your calendar, book a sitter and make this date. With any luck, I will still have copies available for the limited edition print run of Icarus On The Mend: Memoirs Of A Manic Depressive.

Hope to see you there!
Tom

h1

New Reading & Signing Announced and The Start Of A Beautiful Friendship…

September 29, 2014

At the risk of going all Dr. Seuss on you, I’ve got Bombshell 1 and Bombshell 2. It’s a busy day for announcements!
Bombshell 1 is that I’ll be doing my first reading and signing in almost three years in November. Here are the pertinent details:

Slapstick & Superego: rants and scathing social commentary by Tom Waters (2009, Doubt It Publishing)

Slapstick & Superego: rants and scathing social commentary by Tom Waters (2009, Doubt It Publishing)

Reading & Signing w/author Tom Waters

Date/Time:
Monday, November 17th from 8-10 p.m.

Location:
Hot Mama’s Canteen
12 Military Rd.
Buffalo, NY
14027
(716-783-8222

The owners tell me there may or may not be accompanying live music, so I’ll let you know if that happens. They’re a newer restaurant with a really cool pinup/rockabilly sort of vibe/decor/staff and they’re already getting a great reputation for good (and spicy) food, so I’m looking forward to this one. I’ll be selling and signing the very limited editions of Icarus On The Mend for $50. Once again, there are only ever going to be 50 copies in existence for this hardcover. If you want one, you should probably head on out for this one. I’ll also have copies of my other books starting at $15. I usually give a discount if you’re getting multiple books. So that’s Bombshell 1.

Bombshell 2 is this: I’ve been talking to Kristy Rock (the editor in chief) at http://www.BuffaloComedy.com for the last week or two. She’s got a sharp site with a solid focus on all things comedy in and around Buffalo. Not to mince words, but I’ve always identified with the term comedy versus humor when it comes to my books or anything else. I’m going to be contributing to BuffaloComedy.com for the foreseeable future. Want to read a new essay? Sure you do! You can check out ‘Breaking Dad’ (an excerpt from the upcoming book Travesty) right here (just follow the bouncing link):

Breaking Dad

As always, please take the time to ‘Share’ and ‘Like’ and all of that other fun stuff. That’s enough big news for one day. There’ll be more next week.

See you in the funny papers,
Tom

h1

Thoughts on a Gone Girl

September 12, 2014

Gone Girl Teaser Poster
I’ve been fascinated with director David Fincher since his shocking feature film debut with SE7EN (1995). Alien 3 (1992) doesn’t really count, because Fox retained final cut and, in doing so, butchered the film. This is well documented and Fincher has voiced his disgust with it’s production in more than one interview. Since the, he has failed to disappoint. His filmography (The Game, Fight Club, Panic Room, Zodiac, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) is (in my mind) flawless. He endures as my favorite director, and I feel that he is the Alfred Hitchcock of my generation.
I’ve always wanted to write a critical analysis on his life and work, but have a sneaking suspicion that it would break me. Having written a critique about the life and work of Bret Easton Ellis (which was included in the publication of If They Can’t Take A Joke, 2007), I realize that I have an obsessive and meticulous tendency to throw myself into research work completely. That, and although it may be morbid, I would rather praise Fincher’s complete body of work than appraise a filmography that is always already in progress. I am such an ardent supporter of Fincher’s creative endeavors that I named my son Benjamin after The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.
On October 3rd, Fincher’s Gone Girl opens in theaters starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. It’s based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn. I just finished the book and it’s an intriguing contemplation on the identities we present when we start romantic relationships versus our actual identities, which bleed through over time. The book is about the disintegration of a five year marriage followed by the abduction and/or possible murder of character Nick Dunne’s wife Amy Elliot Dunne. What follows is a suspenseful unraveling of media aggression, police procedure, public relations, predatory litigation and premeditated character assassination. I’d rather not get into spoilers for the sake of readers, but the conclusion was silly and unsatisfying. It didn’t seem faithful to the characters. Luckily, it’s rumored that Flynn (who also wrote the screenplay adaptation) changed the ending for the screen version.
I look forward to Gone Girl with eager anticipation. While many film buffs look down their nose at The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and/or Panic Room, I don’t share their opinion. It should also be noted that Fincher recently executive produced and directed the first two episodes of Netflix’s popular original series House Of Cards (starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright). Notorious for filming multiple takes to find the best organic and natural scene for every film, Fincher is a relentless perfectionist. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

h1

Dennis McDougal’s Dylan & “Idiot Wind” Lyrics

September 8, 2014

Robert Zimmerman, a.k.a. Bob Dylan

I just finished Dennis McDougal’s  Dylan (2014), a brilliant new biography about, well, Bob Dylan.  In addition to being thoroughly researched and meticulously documented, it gave me a new appreciation for the artist, the man and the mystery shrouding his personal life.  Some artists just aren’t as candid about their lives as others, and Dylan himself is notorious for misdirection, half-fictions and flat-out lies.

I was especially fascinated by the production anecdotes behind Blood On The Tracks, which author McDougal claimed to be one of the very first breakup albums in the history of rock and roll.  Dylan was so intent on making sure that the album was perfect that (after re-shuffling the track order), he scrapped half of the songs and re-recorded them weeks before its release.  Many Dylan fans consider the album a return to form for the first time since his famous motorcycle accident in 1966.

I’ve always loved Blood On The Tracks.  As an album, it took you on a journey from start to finish.  Sadly (in this post-iTunes era), the concept of a thematic album is a thing of the past.  Out of a newfound appreciation for the album, I thought I’d share the lyrics for one of my top 5 all-time favorite Dylan songs, “Idiot Wind” from Blood On The Tracks: 

Someone’s got it in for me, they’re planting stories in the press
Whoever it is I wish they’d cut it out but when they will I can only guess.
They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy,
She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me.
I can’t help it if I’m lucky.

People see me all the time and they just can’t remember how to act
Their minds are filled with big ideas, images and distorted facts.
Even you, yesterday you had to ask me where it was at,
I couldn’t believe after all these years, you didn’t know me better than that
Sweet lady.

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth,
Blowing down the back roads headin’ south.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
You’re an idiot, babe.
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

I ran into the fortune-teller, who said beware of lightning that might strike
I haven’t known peace and quiet for so long I can’t remember what it’s like.
There’s a lone soldier on the cross, smoke pourin’ out of a boxcar door,
You didn’t know it, you didn’t think it could be done, in the final end he won the wars
After losin’ every battle.

I woke up on the roadside, daydreamin’ ’bout the way things sometimes are
Visions of your chestnut mare shoot through my head and are makin’ me see stars.
You hurt the ones that I love best and cover up the truth with lies.
One day you’ll be in the ditch, flies buzzin’ around your eyes,
Blood on your saddle.

Idiot wind, blowing through the flowers on your tomb,
Blowing through the curtains in your room.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
You’re an idiot, babe.
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

It was gravity which pulled us down and destiny which broke us apart
You tamed the lion in my cage but it just wasn’t enough to change my heart.
Now everything’s a little upside down, as a matter of fact the wheels have stopped,
What’s good is bad, what’s bad is good, you’ll find out when you reach the top
You’re on the bottom.

I noticed at the ceremony, your corrupt ways had finally made you blind
I can’t remember your face anymore, your mouth has changed, your eyes
Don’t look into mine.
The priest wore black on the seventh day and sat stone-faced while the building
Burned.
I waited for you on the running boards, near the cypress trees, while the springtime
Turned Slowly into autumn.

Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,
From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol.
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth,
You’re an idiot, babe.
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

I can’t feel you anymore, I can’t even touch the books you’ve read
Every time I crawl past your door, I been wishin’ I was somebody else instead.
Down the highway, down the tracks, down the road to ecstasy,
I followed you beneath the stars, hounded by your memory
And all your ragin’ glory.

I been double-crossed now for the very last time and now I’m finally free,
I kissed goodbye the howling beast on the borderline which separated you from me.
You’ll never know the hurt I suffered nor the pain I rise above,
And I’ll never know the same about you, your holiness or your kind of love,
And it makes me feel so sorry.

Idiot wind, blowing through the buttons of our coats,
Blowing through the letters that we wrote.
Idiot wind, blowing through the dust upon our shelves,
We’re idiots, babe.
It’s a wonder we can even feed ourselves.

h1

Travesty Back On Track, Icarus In A Holding Pattern…

August 13, 2014

It’s astonishing how much effort goes into maintaining an existing bibliography.

Even if I never wrote another word, there’s still always work to do. Updating bios, links & the book list itself, porting galleys over to new devices, selling from my current inventory when I’m not even expecting it and overhauling or editing from my database of essays. It’s not a full time job, but to do it properly it probably could be.
Last week I said that it would only be a matter of time before I started writing again. Well, that time has come. I dusted off the current manuscript for Travesty (the follow up book for Mockery) and started quietly adding to it. Working on any project (like the new video show) sparks a certain momentum in the creative part of my brain, so everything else is falling into place. A third of the Travesty book is already complete, which leaves roughly a hundred more pages. Piece of cake.
It occurred to me a few days ago that I’ve had a book published (under the Doubt It Publishing imprint or through other publishers) every other year for the past twelve years. That doesn’t even seem real to me. I just plug along and write one essay at a time. They pile up into a book, the book gets put together, proof read, designed and packaged, released and then promoted.
Icarus On The Mend: Memoirs Of A Manic Depressive was a much different project than anything I’d worked on up to that point (2010-2012). It took a lot out of me, and I wanted to take a break after writing it. Due to personal problems, the limited print run hardcover was never effectively promoted in clubs, stores or libraries. I’m not done with it yet, but I’m certainly not going to promote it at present.
The idea for Travesty was largely inspired by working with Mark McElligott on publishing and promoting his book, Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind. He reminded me that essays (rants, whatever you’d like to call them in this day and age) don’t HAVE to be sixteen pages long and that often, they’re funnier and punchier when they’re short. I went back to basics when I started writing Travesty. When I first started writing consistently for a deadline (for the Clarence High School Advocate, which I was also the Editor In Chief on), I punched out essays on a Brother electric typewriter and wrote each one in one sitting. Essays (at heart) are designed by nature to be written (or read) in one sitting. They shouldn’t be an ordeal that’s digested piecemeal. There’s a real joy in returning to the roots of how I got started in this messy business to begin with.
If time (and routine, and my track record) is any indicator, Travesty will be in readers’ hands by the fall of 2015. I have no timetable for the mass market two volume trade paperback launch of Icarus On The Mend. When all 50 copies of the limited run hardcovers have found a home, Icarus will fly again, so to speak.
And I’ve been mulling over sharing some of the new writing here on the web site. I don’t want to give the entire book away, but I’ll drop a morsel this Friday just to give you a taste of what’s going into the pot. This Friday I’ll post ‘Your Great American Novel’, an essay about the aggravations of being approached when people find out that you’re a writer. After seven days online, it’s going back into the vault. Sound fair?

See you all in three days time,
Tom Waters

h1

Final Artwork For Icarus On The Mend Limited Run Hardcover by Six Shot Studios

July 26, 2013

Final Artwork For Icarus On The Mend Limited Run Hardcover by Six Shot Studios

Sharp!

h1

The Willy Wonka Theorem

January 10, 2012

Time to face facts.  Doubt It Publishing cemented the publishing house with Voices From The Herd: An Anthology For Buffalo, NY.  Despite the time involved, anthologies are an easy project to attract local writers.  The project was a colossal success and the proceeds that the book has earned for The Just Buffalo Literary Center will resonate for years to come.

Lightning struck twice when heretofore unknown Mark McElligott sent his manuscript along for Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind, which was easily one of the funniest books I’ve read in fifteen years.  While Mark (and the contents of his book) aren’t exactly family friendly, we found a niche for his talent and his book continues to entertain while finding a new audience.

The open reading submission for 2011 was less than satisfactory.  I’m slightly saddened to announce that there won’t be any Doubt It Publishing Author Of The Year this year because, truth be told, I put all of my eggs in two or three baskets.  Not one, but three promising manuscripts passed my desk that held promise.  One had potential but it wasn’t polished enough.  Another had stellar character development but the author’s needs and requests were unreasonable.  The final project was perfect but the person behind the collection couldn’t commit.

I’ve spent the last ten years interviewing writers to find out what works and what doesn’t.  What behaviors succeed, what personality traits work and which ones don’t.  In the same sense, I’ve spent a lifetime learning what it means to run a successful publishing business.  Many schools in the music business open their doors to anyone willing to collect a paycheck and find themselves on the verge of bankruptcy within a few years.  Other ventures weed out new creative endeavors after a short time and turn to subsidy publishing, choosing only to publish and copyright their own work.

Doubt It Publishing is an ideal.  A publishing house that was built to foster new, subversive and talented Buffalo authors and save them from the pitfalls and aggravations that I’ve gone through for the last ten years.  This won’t be a vanity house and it won’t be a catch-all for any author coming down the pike.  It has to be an imprint that welcomes those of you promising enough to make the cut who are willing to put as much work into promoting your book as you did writing it.

2012 is a wash.  The Doubt It Publishing docket for this year has failed.  So we grow, evolve and adapt.  Here’s the decision moving forward: The Call For Submissions will be year round from here on out.  As the Publisher and Editor In Chief, I will no longer depend on any one writer or any one manuscript.  There will no longer be a six month reading period.  If you have a promising work and you want to publish and promote it next year, I want to work with you.  The business model remains.  I’m still looking for one book to work with, but I’m swinging the submission gates wide open.

Tell me what you’ve been working on, Buffalo.  You’ve got all year to do it, and every year from here on out.

Please send your sample chapters, query letters or entire manuscripts to: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

h1

Book Signing Dec.4th From 4-6 p.m. w/Mark McElligott

November 7, 2011

After a four month flurry of promotions together, Mark McElligott and I are still a bit tired and weary.  Nevertheless, we are planning some book events during the busy holiday season.  On Sunday, December 4th, we’ll both be at Talking Leaves on Elmwood from 4-6 pm signing copies of Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick, Mockery and Mark’s breakout hit Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind.  All three books will be available for $15.  Talking Leaves currently has all three books in stock at both their Elmwood and Main St. locations.

I’m also in the process of setting something up at Dog Ears Books in South Buffalo for December, so stay tuned for news about that.  On top of that, Mark’s shown an interest in booking an event at Café Karma in Lockport, so odds are strong that we’ll book something for him there.

Even when we’re not busy, we’re busy.  I’m promoting lightly on Poke The Scorpion until my calendar frees up, so please try to make it out to Talking Leaves if you want a copy.  My time for the next month is deeply invested in proof-reading an editing a possible manuscript for next year and everything else is on a back burner for the time being.  While my poetry books have never been blockbusters in terms of sales, they’re steady sellers over the years and they mean every bit as much to me as the humor books or other projects.

We look forward to seeing you in December,

Tom Waters

h1

Poke The Scorpion Publicity Junket Rescheduled For Late October

August 13, 2011

I try to follow my instincts, and my gut tells me that it’s a smarter idea to promote Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick during the actual Scorpio season, which runs from October 23rd through November 21st.  While the book is already out online, it makes more sense to promote it effectively during the boom season for the rest of my tribe, so to speak.  While I’m not superstitious and while I don’t cling to too many pat philosophies, there are too many parallels and far too many coincidences associated with the Scorpio sign that are worth giving tribute to.  The entire book is devoted to the Scorpio mentality along with scorpions as a species.
While my poetry collections make up a very small percentage of my overall revenue, the new book is still worth hitting the road and promoting.  Some people shut down instantaneously when you even mention the word poetry, so they’re not going to even be receptive.  Other people’s ears perk up at the notion of something new and innovative.  Others can be converted given the right circumstances.  That’s the market I’m going after.  It’s my wish to incorporate a few readings, signings and related events along with some old tricks that have worked in the past.  Mark McElligott will be joining me on the journey in Buffalo and beyond.  The Monsters Of Verse will get back into the habit this fall with a few coffee houses and a few bookstores.  I’m entertaining the idea of even doing some guest bartending stints just for the hell of it.
Breathing Room Volume I was wildly successful considering the miniscule hopes I had for it.  Volume II did just okay by comparison, but it was weirder, so that’s okay.  The few people who picked up the first batch of Scorpion books have called it ‘the best poetry book I’ve written so far.’  It may be my last.  Locking into that frame of mind is difficult to do, but I’d be happy to go out on a high note where poetry is concerned.
Please enjoy your summers and free up a few weekends in late October and November.  Poke The Scorpion will be hitting you where it hurts soon enough.  In the mean time, I’ll be crouched in a small dark place waiting to strike.  Like most scorpions.
Thanks for staying tuned,
Tom Waters

h1

‘Sweet Is The Smell Of Success’

July 11, 2011

After four long rewarding and exhausting months of promoting Mockery as well as Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind  in the newspapers, on the radio, on the web and in bookstores, coffee houses, bars and anywhere else that would have us, Mark McElligott and I have earned a much needed break for the rest of the summer.  Our little tour was tremendously successful despite spotty attendance, unusual time slots, double bookings (in two separate cases) and other Spinal-Tap-esque occurances.  Mockery is on track to outsell every book I’ve released so far and it’s been selling faster than any book I’ve sold so far.  My wife remarks that every book looks better and tighter than the last.

Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick will be fun to promote, but it’s going to be more of a Travelling Wilburys deal: getting together with old friends and just having a good time for the sake of it rather than running full steam ahead to make money.  I’ve decided to wait until September for any serious promotions but I may pop up in a few unusual places in August.  I was asked to be a celebrity bartender for the third week in August and I may accept.  Mark and I have already booked a convention show at the Marriott in October.  Aside from that, I’m at ease for the next month and a half.  I’ve never traditionally enjoyed promoting books in public settings but this time around was different.  Mark McElligott was a true joy to partner with and we had more laughs than I ever would have expected.  I think that carries through on the live concerts that we decided to post on Big Words Radio.

Brennan’s Bowery Bar was a smash hit last night.  We had a solid turnout and it’s the first reading I’ve ever had where the average book sale was three different copies.  We made a boatload of cash and I’m grateful for every penny we made.  Thanks are in order to Dave Shatzel, Eve Barbour, Jen O’Hare, Lynn O’Hare, Eve Barbour, Nicole Cook, Fred Peterson, Joshua Hanzlion, Jeff Collins and everyone else who turned out last night.  It was the best way to end a long and winding promotion and we’re going to head back to Brennan’s in the fall for the same deal.

As for the rest of the Mockery & Random Thoughts junket, thanks are in order, so here goes: Eve Barbour, Brian Platter, Stephanie Rhinehart, Ryan Miller, Jennifer Lysiak of Metro Source, Jolene Zanghi from Bee Group Newspapers, Brian Kahle, RD Pohl from the Buffalo News, Geoff Kelly from ArtVoice, Dee’s Firehouse, Don and Jon from Don’s Atomic Comics, Maryan’s, Nance Gardner Lang, the Lancaster Public Library, Dog Ears Bookstore in South Buffalo, Jonathan from Talking Leaves, Christy from Rust Belt Books, Tom and the rest of the gang at Finnan’s, Dave Waters, Dave Lopian, Duane Muth, Stockman’s Tavern and every single one of you who were kind enough to come out and see us.  It’s been a long strange trip and this tour of duty is finally over.

This autumn will be a whole different animal.  Mark McElligott will be joining me for some of the promotions while Dave Waters and JR Finlayson will be partnering up for others.  We’re setting our sights for larger territory and we won’t stop at any state line either.  We’re well equipped to take Buffalo by storm all over again and we’re popping out to Rochester, Alfred, Philadelphia, NYC and possibly Charlotte, NC if a few free plane tickets come our way.  This year has been an incredible turning point so far and the last ten are truly starting to pay off exponentially.

 

Thanks for being a part of it,

Tom Waters

h1

‘Scorpion’ Rising, Icarus Ascends & Rust Belt Books On The Horizon

June 22, 2011

While Mockery is winding down and Mark McElligott’s Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind is still gaining momentum, I’ve been quietly preparing to go full steam ahead with promotions this fall with Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick.  Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios) and I finished the book in record time.  While I originally set a deadline for the final version of the book at August 1st, it’s already done.  You can buy the book in advance by clicking your way over to:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/poke-the-scorpion-with-a-sharp-stick-selected-poems-2008-2011/16069791

Please click the FB ‘Like’ tab to the right of the book and feel free to review, comment or rate the book while you’re there.  There’s a ten page preview of the contents on the page in order to give you a sneak peek at how the book looks.

Starting on July 1st (through the end of the month), I’ll be running a 30% off sale on lulu for those of you interested in buying the book online.  This should offset their shipping rates and make the book more affordable to those of you who live out of state who are interested in picking up the third poetry collection.  After that I’ll be doing a soft launch on Sunday, July 10th at Brennan’s Bowery Bar in Williamsville at 6 p.m. along with Mark McElligott and a live musical performance by Dave ‘The Real Deal’ Waters.  If you’re a former classmate from Clarence High School, it sounds as if the classes of ’92, ’93, ’94 and beyond will be dog piling into Brennan’s on the same day for an informal reunion.  At last count, there will be no less than 50 other alumni showing up, so this event is shaping up to be a real barn burner.  Signed First Edition copies of Poke The Scorpion, Mockery, Slapstick & Superego, Breathing Room Volume I & II, and If They Can’t Take A Joke will be available along with Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind by Mark McElligott and 12 Priests & 3 Gnomes by David Waters.

The hard launch for Poke The Scorpion will hit in August and Mark and I will start touring and promoting in Rochester, Buffalo, Alfred and beyond.  While I was apprehensive about releasing two of my own books in the same year, it was a necessary evil I had to carry out in order to devote the time and energy it’s going to take to bring Icarus On The Mend in on time for a fall 2012 launch as a numbered hardcover limited edition of no more than 50 copies.  I’ll be devoting at least six months to proofreading, editing and re-writing the manuscript so that it’s grammatically correct as well as entertaining from a pacing standpoint.  One year later in 2013 I’ll be retiring the hardcover format and launching two smaller volumes of the same book with the intention of releasing a third volume when I get older.  Somewhere in the interim I’ll release Travesty, a return to shorter form where my bombastic essays are concerned.

Mark McElligott and I will both be reading this Sunday at Rust Belt Books on Allen St. in the heart of downtown Buffalo at 5 p.m.  We may be a little late, so please be patient with us as we’re both driving from the suburbs.  We’re paying to rent the space, so attendance and book sales for this event will be crucial.  The turnout will determine whether I go back to Rust Belt books or not, so if you live downtown, make Sunday count for us please.  This is the first reading I’ve done at Rust Belt in almost a decade.  Mark is polished and primed and almost pitch perfect where his timing and delivery are concerned.  Stockman’s, Caz Coffee and Finnan’s were good practice for breaking his teeth on audience response and now he’s ready for prime time.  Look out, Buffalo, because we’re ready to make a sizeable entertainment dent in the collective populace for the rest of this year and we won’t stop until we win you over.

See you this Sunday,

Tom Waters

h1

Final Wraparound Art For Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick

June 12, 2011

h1

Cheers & Jeers: Events As They Develop

June 8, 2011

Okay, here’s the rundown for this particular week…

 

Doubt It Publishing Author Mark McElligott will be reading selections from his breakout debut book Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind  this Saturday at Caz Coffee Café at 7 p.m. in South Buffalo.  Our turnout was less than ideal at Finnan’s Pub last Sunday, so it would be really nice to see some of you who might be remotely interested in supporting local arts actually show up.  While we both realize that the weather is nice out, we’re in the final stretch of a three month junket and we’re busting our asses to get his book out to a new audience.  If you live in (or near) South Buffalo and you’re free on Saturday, please show some support and stop out to see us at Caz Coffee Café.

Most marketing and PR experts would suggest that I shouldn’t complain about a lack of turnout because it makes me look whiny or it makes us look bad.  I simply don’t care.  Mark and I have both invested a great deal of time and money into publishing two books and promoting them and it seems as if (now that the weather has improved) most of you have no interest in discovering just how funny his book is.  Please prove me wrong.  Clear up your schedule, skip a forgettable trip to the beach or a laughable summer venue and come out to see something real.  If you’re the sort of person who needs a newspaper to tell you what you should be interested in or what you should spend your disposable income on, take a chance for once and discover the actual art scene in Buffalo versus the Reader’s Digest abridged version.  Copies of Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind will be available for $15.

On the whole I’ve been deeply disappointed with audience turnout for this junket.  I have no control over it and there’s no way to analyze it, but many of you have let us down.  It’s easier to do nothing than it is to do something, so take comfort in your complacency.  To those of you who continue to show up for the book launches, readings and signings and those of you kind enough to tell your friends, spend money at our scheduled venues and spend your hard earned money to support our work, we really appreciate it.  If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t be able to continue creating and publishing new books.  If there were more people like you in Buffalo, there’s a strong possibility that we’d actually be able to make a living wage doing this and we’d be able to produce a larger body of work, but odds are that that will never happen since most people in Buffalo (again) need to be told what art is worth buying by their local media like lost and sluggish sheep.

I appreciate the cross section of you smart enough to make your own decisions and the fact that you march to the beat of your own drummer.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making your own informed decisions based on internal judgment instead of a deep-seated need for peer approval or a desire to have someone else tell you what is and isn’t entertaining.  If you receive this message via email, I understand that it’s infinitely easier to delete this message than it is to take the time to read it and react or respond to it, so for those of you who are reading this right now, thank you.  To those of you who reply or react by showing up to a reading, thank you even more.  I’ll get off my soap box now.

At the time of this writing it is now June 9th, so the Doubt It Publishing call for submissions is now wide open until November 1st.  Again, if you’re a local (Buffalo) writer and you have a completed manuscript or a draft in the realm of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or short stories, please send your manuscript in at: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com.  One of you will be chosen for publication in 2011 and I’ll give you the full force of my attention and publicity skills to ensure that we both turn a tidy profit on your brain trust in addition to setting up a slate of appearances and book signings.  If you’re willing to put in the work, so am I.

Thanks in large part to graphic designer extraordinaire Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios), Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick is coming along at a brisk pace.  The book should be available by August 1st at the rate we’re going, but I won’t count my chickens yet.  The format size is being developed so that it bridges Breathing Room Volume I and II.  The size of the book will be somewhere in between both, which says a lot about the content.  The cover looks gorgeous and I couldn’t be happier with the bold design choices that Brian has made for the interior.  For those of you daring enough to jump head first into a poetry book, you’re in for a pleasant surprise this fall.  JR Finlayson, David Waters and a host of other local poets and I will be touring throughout Buffalo after the festival and concert season in autumn to promote the book as well as other books.

This Sunday I’ll be returning to Think Twice Radio to interview broadcasting icon Brian Kahle for The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour along with local artist and blogger John Kindelan.  We’ll be talking about censorship, the line that’s blurred between advertising an investigative journalism and the current state of Buffalo broadcasting.  The conversation will be bold and uncompromising, but I’m sure you’ve come to expect that from me.  Your frequent (and often vocal) encouragement has molded me into the person I am today.

These are exciting times.  While my pace may be brisk and my candor unforgiving, it’s all because I’m building the framework for a larger plan.  The first ten years of my professional career as a writer are over.  I’m headlong into the next ten and the scope and landscape of a grander design is well underway.  For those of you willing to participate and play along, I’m eternally grateful.  As for the rest of you, you’re missing out on something very real and extremely fun.

 

Race you to next week,

Tom Waters

h1

Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick Cover Art

June 7, 2011

h1

A Few Acres Of Ground To Cover: New Books, New Shows & A Reality Check

May 29, 2011

What a productive week!  After telling multiple newspapers that I had no intention of writing an essay collection ever again, I found a way to write another essay collection: make it fun again.

Unlike any book I’ve written to date, it started with the title: Travesty.  My goal is to make every piece live up to the title of the book and to make sure that every single rant is shorter, funnier and more offensive than anything I’ve written to date.  I also set a few ground rules: nothing longer than three pages, every rant has to be written in one sitting and I can’t cover a topic I’ve covered so far.  I started last week with one rant about the supposed Rapture and haven’t stopped.  One third of the book is already done.  The only problem is that I have no idea when to release it.  Doubt It Publishing has a full dance card for the next two years, so I may have to piggyback it with the numbered hardcover release for Icarus On The Mend in the fall of 2012 and I’m leaning strongly towards that.

Pre-production on Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick (my third collection of poetry) is progressing at a rate that’s astonishing and well ahead of schedule.  Brian Platter (the graphic designer behind Six Shot Studios) has taken the bull by the horns and he’s tackled the book head on with a bold look, some daring choices for the title and content fonts and a beautiful presentation where the headers and footers are concerned.  For those of you who were trusting enough to make the leap along with me where Breathing Room Volume I and II were concerned, you won’t be disappointed.

The content has evolved since the original two poetry books to the point where I’m no longer aping my own heroes and I’ve developed my own voice where poems are concerned.  While it’s not necessarily a jumping off point, it is a progression, so we’re working overtime to create a size format that bridges the jump between Breathing Room Volume I and II.  If you buy this book this fall, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the growth.  Two major national literary magazines (The Chiron Review and Chronogram) have already gotten on board with three different poems that they’ll be publishing in short order.

I devoted a week to submitting the content to the top poetry trades in the country along with putting the final touches on the manuscript and it’s already paying off.  While poetry books don’t pay off as well as my rant collections, it’s a labor of love and something I would do whether I turned a profit or not.  This new book means a lot to me and Six Shot Studios is doing a spectacular job on the appearance.  Expect the specialty format this fall by the time Mark McElligott and I get very serious about touring on a regional scale.

Last night I reconnected with two dear friends in person for the first time in three years: Greg Sterlace and Paula Wachoviak (sp?).  Greg and Paula are back in town for a limited time and he’s taken back the reins for The Greg Sterlace Show, his wildly popular Time Warner program spanning back over the last ten years.  The results of the show taping were horrific and hilarious at the same time.  For those of you who catch it on TV, it’s the epitome of cringe comedy.  I’ll have a link for you in a week or two, but in the mean time, here’s a sneak preview of a small percentage of the wrongness at play here on the Mr. Ski Mask show that Mark McElligott and I taped almost a month ago.  Click your way over to:

http://sterlace.com/episodes/index.php/2011/04/the-greg-sterlace-show-832

And finally, there are two new belated episodes of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour available online as well as for free on iTunes.  Almost a month after the actual in-store event (I had to pick up a new SD Card Reader), I hammered out the content and edited it for full-scale enjoyment this morning and posted these two abominations.  Here are your links and synopses:

Episode 61: ‘My balloon knot will stay firmly tied’

Tom kicks off a comic book promotion at Don’s Atomic Comices with a star studded cast of special guests including Carrie & Ron Gardner, Monster Matt, Terry Kimmel, John Kindelan, Michael Hoffert Jr. and Brian Platter.  Newcomer Brian Bogucki gets blindsided while Mark McElligott rolls with the punches.

To hear the show online click on the link below:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/282800/episode-61-my-balloon-knot-will-stay

Tom’s Atomic Bonus Round: ‘Parting Words’

Tom closes out an evening of hilarity and insanity by getting a few more cheap shots in at Terry Kimmel’s expense and dropping a few promotional plugs for once.

To hear the show online click on the link below:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/282797/tom-s-atomic-bonus-round-parting-words

-You can also conveniently subscribe to the show for free on iTunes by searching ‘Big Words Radio’ under the Podcast section as well as the Comedy listing.  The Literature category is a dead link that is no longer active, so please subscribe and the entire library will be at your command!

May was a horrible month for the show in terms of downloads and requests, so I implore you to visit the sites or subscribe to the show.  Without a noticeable increase in traffic I see no reason to keep devoting so much time to working on pre-show prep, research, questions, guests, recording time, production and posting time.  If you enjoy the show, please tell your friends, spread the word and download at will.  Big Words Radio has been booming since September of 2010 and it’s crushing to see the latest numbers.  For a show production that costs me so much in man hours without collecting any monetary revenue, I could really use your help.  Download, listen and tell your friends.  Unlike some other podcast hosts, I don’t cook my numbers.  Despite some recent turbulence that has zero bearing on this month’s numbers, I would really appreciate your ears (and your feedback) on the show.  I’ve spent four years slaving away on a free hobby and it would mean a lot to me if you pitched in and clicked a link or shared the show with the people you know.  All I ask for is a spreading contagion on my stats by the end of June.  Please help me out.

Mockery is selling better and faster than any book that preceded it, so thank you so much for that.  Every appearance has been positive and the book is breaking down barriers heretofore unheard of.  You have no idea how grateful I am for all of the people who have come on board and spread the word about my work and my book.

Three people in the same week commented or asked about the level of my output lately (a lot) and I wish I had an answer for all of you.   I’m in a good place.   The big picture is clicking comfortably into a lifestyle that leads me to bigger and better things along with the ability to write more and publish more often.  Things will only get better from here.  Doubt It Publishing is not a short term subsidy house or a slash and burn print on demand concept, it’s quickly becoming a reality.  I’m going to have to make a hard decision in November when it comes around to picking a new Author Of The Year to work with.

At the risk of sounding insincere or faux-humble, here’s what’s always guided and informed me: William Carlos Williams.  He was a popular poet, a family man and a practicing physician.  After a full overtime shift and an appropriate amount of time eating dinner and tucking his kids into bed and spending time with his wife, he added some hours to his waking existence to writing poems.  I’m an artist from Buffalo.  This is the only option that any of us have for expressing ourselves.  If your work means that much to you, make the time for it.  That’s it.  None of us are busier than William Carlos Williams was, so what’s your excuse?  If what you have to say and want to say is important, you’ll find a way to express it and make the time to do it above and beyond every other responsibility that you have.

I’m nobody special.  Writing is the way that I cope with a world that I can’t grasp or deal with without figuring it out on paper.  None of us are heroes or gods or legends and the majority of us do it because we need to.  Otherwise we’d lose our minds without the outlet.  All of this is work.  All of this is important and vital and crucial to me.  Whether it’s a mountain or a mole hill, this is what keeps me relatively sane.

Thank you so much for making it a lucrative side business.  In another ten years, I hope to make it a career.  Please help me work towards it.

Keeping busy,

Tom Waters

h1

Back On The Horse: Call For Submissions & Two Important Promotions This Week

May 16, 2011

As previously stated, Doubt It Publishing is rolling forward in June with this year’s round of submissions for our 2012 Author Of The Year.  From June 1st through November 1st I’ll be reviewing full length manuscript submissions for fiction, nonfiction and poetry.  Doubt It Publishing is looking for: humor, horror, short stories, self-help, memoirs, essays, rants, poetry and suspense. If your book is gripping and engaging I want to see it!  Send either a query, sample chapters or full manuscript to: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com.

There is no reading fee or entry fee of any kind.  The only criteria is that you must reside in the Buffalo area and possess a talent for writing along with a willingness to work hard promoting your book when it comes out next year.  As 2011 Author Mark McElligott knows, marketing and campaigning for his book (Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind) is every bit as important as writing it.  You can review the Author Agreement details at http://www.doubtitpublishing.blogspot.com or by joining the open Doubt It Publishing group on Facebook.  If you know someone who’s working on a book, please pass the word along.  Again, I am only picking (and working with) one author per year so that I can give them my undivided attention as well as the full brunt of my networking, marketing and media experience.  If you have any additional questions, feel free to email me at: bigwordsmalbag@yahoo.com.

Getting back to Mark McElligott, he chose to promote alongside me shortly after I launched Mockery, so while I’m starting to wind down on appearances for my book he’ll be taking the baton and running with it in the coming months.  This Thursday I’ll be reading and signing at Talking Leaves Books on 3158 Main St. from 7 p.m. (SHARP!) to 8 p.m.  Talking Leaves is another venue very close to my heart because it’s local, I’ve done a promotion there for almost every book for the last decade and it’s a great store.  Somehow Jonathan has a knack for stocking the ONE Bukowski book that I don’t own every time I visit.  If you like poetry, they’ve got one of the largest selections in the tri-state area and they feature a comprehensive and diverse selection of local authors.

This Saturday, Mark McElligott and I will both be reading at Stockman’s Tavern on 9870 Transit Rd. in Swormville (between Amherst and Lockport) from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Stockman’s is a great bar with a great crowd, so please mark your calendar and make the time to come out and join us.  This will be Mark’s first full-length reading, so please join me in welcoming him and his incredibly funny new book Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind.  Copies of Mockery and Random Thoughts will be limited, so either show up early or buy both on http://lulu.com  for the low low price of $15.

I’ll see you out on the town this week.  Ladies and gentleman, start your submissions!

Thanks,

Tom Waters

h1

Elston Takes The Gold, Mockery Sells Through & A Few Surprise Books Launching…

May 11, 2011

The ArtVoice 2011 Best Of Buffalo Awards came and went and Jon Elston (the resident playwright for the Road Less Travelled Theater Company) won for Best Writer.  To be honest, there’s no one I’d rather lose to.  Jon’s a talented and prolific writer in addition to being a great guy and we’ve known each other too long to let something as petty as an awards show get in the way of our friendship.  Congratulations are long overdue for Jon and his accolades are well deserved.  I suppose I’ll just have to campaign harder and start earlier next year when it comes to AV’s poll process.

On to more pressing business and the importance of timing, though.  A funny thing happened on the way to the Caz Coffee reading: I checked my inventory and somehow I’ve gotten down to two remaining copies of Mockery.  The book has performed so well for the initial slate of launch events that my first payload is depleted.  The book is doing very well and it’s selling a lot faster than I expected, surpassing the break even mark (recouping production and design costs) and far exceeding it.  More copies are on order and they’ll be in stock in time for the Talking Leaves Main reading next Thursday (7 p.m.) as well as the reading and signing at Stockman’s Tavern with Mark McElligott on the 21st (7 p.m.).  If you want or need a copy before then, you can pick one up at either Talking Leaves location or order direct from my distributor at http://www.lulu.com.

As far as book releases go, I’ve always tried to release no more than one of my own books for year.  That policy is changing.  With the amount of people who have voiced their interest in the autobiography (Icarus On The Mend), there’s another side project that’s been scooted front and center in order for me to release an Icarus limited-run numbered hardcover in the fall of 2012 (50 copies) followed by a two volume trade paperback launch in 2013.  The manuscript for the memoirs is massive, and it’ll take no less than six months to proof, edit and revise.  After promoting Mockery and doing some light piggyback promotions in the fall with Mark McElligott, I’ll be blocking out some time to dig my heels in and get the work done.

This week I finalized the structure and the basic manuscript for Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick, my third book of poems.  Unlike Breathing Room Volume I and II, it’s a step in a different direction: an original one.  While both Breathing Rooms were an homage to the people who inspired me to write poetry (Charles Bukowski, e.e. cummings, Rosemary Koethe and Tracy Zullo, respectively), Scorpion shows evidence of an emerging, original voice.  Like any writer (and much in the same manner in which I started out writing essays), I aped my favorites.

The wake of that process has a momentum of its own, and the result is an amalgamation of some standard tricks along with quite a few new ones.  The Breathing Room  books were never blockbusters in terms of sales, but the content was important to me, and they’ve sold slowly and steadily enough to warrant a third collection.  The response I’ve gotten from those of you who enjoy poetry as well as those of you brave enough to try something new has been overwhelmingly positive encouraging.

The only speed bump in working on the layout was dealing with comments from many of you that Volume I: Free Verse was the best book I’ve ever written.  How in the hell do you top a comment like that?  With hard work, frequent revisions and a liberal dose of elbow grease.  Much like the pre-production on Mockery, I’ve gone out of my way to creative a cohesive, seamless book that can be read in one sitting.  Anything that didn’t feel right got tossed and anything written after the initial draft that felt like it belonged alongside the source material was added.  I hope that you’ll be pleased with the results.  Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick is slated for a September release this year.  I’ve already got an artist working on the cover art (mixed media) and Brian Platter from Six Shot Studios will be working on the interior design and cover layout.  More details as we get closer to the launch.

Meanwhile Mr. Mark McElligott is doing quite well with his Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind.  His debut collection of rants broke even the week it came out (within two days of sales) and the word of mouth on how funny the book is has been generating a lot of referral sales.  While my humor leans towards the universal, sarcastic and psychotic, his headspace is a lot more user friendly.  Mark’s manuscript won me over with his unique voice, his left-field observations and his bravery in the face of self-deprecation.  It’s paying off.  Doubt It Publishing’s first release from a single author is a hit.  The book will continue to reach new heights (and sales records) once we actually begin promoting it next Saturday at Stockman’s.

And finally, I’d like to work a plug in for an old friend and comrade.  JR Finlayson (whom you may remember from the Monsters Of Verse) has released Multiples Of Eleven, his first full-length collection of poems for the clever price of $11.11.  To buy a copy of the book, click on over to:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/multiples-of-eleven/15597052?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/1

With one new poetry book out and another one on the way could there be a Monsters Of Verse revival?

I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.

Have a great week and I’ll keep you posted,

Tom Waters

h1

ArtVoice’s 2011 Best Of Buffalo Nominations/Mockery Promotions Thus Far…

May 1, 2011

After a turbulent week of surprises, promotions and nominations, it’ll be nice to relax for a few days.  The first month of promotions for Mockery is over leaving three months and change for the rest of the scheduled readings and signings.

The Lancaster Public Library reading went off without a hitch and even though the Sabres were busy losing the playoffs, we still had a great turnout with plenty of books sold.  Fellow Monsters Of Verse alumni JR Finlayson made a surprise appearance and read a few selections from his upcoming book Multiples Of Eleven (due out soon).  The evening took an unexpected turn when a few members of the crowd requested (and encouraged) a few passages about manic depression, so I read a piece from First Person, Last Straw along with some of the Jekkyl & Hyde poems from both Breathing Rooms.  Thanks to everyone who attended for making it such an intimate and interesting evening.  I’ll definitely keep the Lancaster Library in mind should Mark McElligott and I decide to promote locally in the fall.

On the same day, Minnesota podcasting great Gary Holdsteady and I recorded Episode 60 of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour.

You can listen to the show by clicking here:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/278282/episode-60-i-was-hoping-to-get

-Or (as always) you can subscribe to the show for free in the podcast section of iTunes under the ‘Comedy’ category.

Gary and I have been great friends for years and this was one of the few episodes where I didn’t work off of notes or pre-formulated questions.  Our rapport (and his conversational candor) was strong enough that we ad-libbed the entire show with great results.  To hear Gary’s podcast you can listen on iTunes by searching ‘Independant Stream’ or you can listen online by clicking:

http://independentstream.podomatic.com

Thursday proved shocking when ArtVoice announced their 2011 Best Of Buffalo nominees.  Somehow all of you managed to get me on the ballot for their Best Writer category.  The winner hasn’t been announced yet, but regardless of the outcome, I’m deeply grateful to all of you who voted in addition to every one of you who have supported my work for the last ten years by buying a book, making a reading or spreading the word.  I don’t put a lot of stock in contests, but a lot of people look to them to decide what’s hot and what’s not and with the new book out, it can’t hurt to campaign a little bit more.  Keep your fingers crossed and I guess we’ll see who takes home the gold soon enough.

Last night we had a four hour marathon at Don’s Atomic Comics in Depew for ‘Tom’s Atomic Comic Giveaway’ with special guests Mark McElligott (Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind) and Michael Hoffert Jr. (host of ‘It Came From The Longbox’ on http://www.thinktwiceradio.com).  Don and I have done a promotion for every book since Soup To Nuts and his shop is always a favorite destination during the tour.  The sale went great, I recorded a lot of great audio and a few other surprise guests turned up including Monsters Of Verse alumn Carrie Gardner, Monster Matt, John Kindelan and Brian Platter from Six Shot Studios.

The events for this book have been wildly unpredictable compared to previous years.  Te ones I’ve expected to do well haven’t and the ones that I thought would be a waste of time turned out to be anything but.  It’s hard to predict an outcome for anything in Buffalo with so many conflicting events (sporting and otherwise) and such a melting pot of cultural tastes.  Mark McElligott and I are going to keep plugging away until the end of July at a steady pace with our heads up.  Next Saturday (May 7th) I’ll be reading and signing copies of Mockery at the Caz Coffee Café on Abbott Rd. in South Buffalo at 7 p.m.  If you’re free that night I’d love to see you there.

Resting up for the rest of the week,

Tom Waters

h1

Wrapping Up Loose Ends/Semi-Retirement

April 14, 2011

There’s a lot of new business this week, so I’ll try to cover it all quickly and efficiently.  First and foremost, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for me in ArtVoice’s 2011 Best Of Buffalo polls. Regardless of the outcome, I truly appreciate everything that all of you have done for me over the years.  You’ve all encouraged my tantrums, supported my work and continued to stand behind me every step of the way.  There is no way to properly express my gratitude for everything that all of you in the Buffalo community (and beyond) have done.  Thank you for riding along with me through all of the peaks and valleys.  I won’t get my hopes up about all this awards business, but I guess we’ll find out together.

Secondly, I’m incredibly proud to announce the early release of comedic ingénue Mark McElligott’s book Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind from Doubt It Publishing, the little publishing house that can and will.  Mark’s a remarkable talent with a one-of-a-kind sense of humor and I’m looking forward to introducing his comedy to newer and larger audiences in Buffalo and beyond.  To buy an early edition of his book, feel free to click on the quick link:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/random-thoughts-from-a-broken-mind/15436437?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/1

Mark will be along for the ride this Saturday at Maryan’s at 7 p.m. to show his support.  The two of us will be riding each other’s coat tails for the next three months and then some, so please pop out and give him a warm welcome.  You can either get behind his work now or hop on the bandwagon mid-summer after his work has been lauded and praised by most of the right critics and crowds in Buffalo.  Either way, Mark and I will be storming your doorstep to wring the belly-laughs right out of you.  Support local and hop on this particular book tour not because newspaper a, b or c tell you it’s the hip thing to do but because you can formulate an opinion on your own.  To read a few of Mark’s sample essays, click on over to:

http://www.randomthoughtsbrokenmind.blogspot.com

And finally, on to a tiny bit of nasty business.  After almost a month of provocation from two individuals recently, I was forced to take action.  After facing the consequences of their actions, they had a sudden crisis of conscience.  Let’s get something straight if we can.  I’m getting older.  I’m slowing down, time is at a premium and if it were up to me, I’d be much happier to be left alone and move away from the whole ‘waging war with fill in the blank’ phase of my life.

I’m a married man who’s 35 with ten books under my belt, a publishing house, a radio show that’s a hell of a lot of fun to do and a loyal audience.  I have nothing left to prove and I don’t pick fights or jump into pissing contests for the sake of pride.  As a blanket statement for those of you who wish to attract my immediate and undivided attention be you a publication, radio show, web zine, individual or an author in your own right I beg you to listen carefully when I say this:

Please don’t for both our sakes.

Think like a journalist, gather your facts and draw an informed opinion before you make the hasty decision of taking a run at me.  My fuse gets a lot longer as I get older but that doesn’t mean I won’t employ the full brunt of my investigative knowledge to maximum benefit if you get my dander up.  Kindly leave me alone.  If you want to exorcize your inadequacies or any other number of neuroses on someone rather than seeking therapy, be smart and don’t…pick…me.

I would truly like to be left alone.  Aside from the book promotions, I’m trying to move further away from any kind of public presence, personality or finely tuned image.  Hopefully in five or ten more years my family and I will have a house in the country that’s no less than forty five minutes away from a normal shopping center where I can listen to Bob Dylan, drink whiskey on my porch and an incoming phone call will be a major event.  Please keep this in mind should you choose to wage a war against me.  Poor etiquette will no longer (nor has it ever been) tolerated.

That’s it for today.  Sorry for the negative backlash, but this had to be addressed.

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

h1

Big Words Radio Episode 59: A Big Basket Of Shameful Joy

April 11, 2011

I’m going to apologize right off the bat for behaving myself.  I respect writer/artist Mark Kalesniko and I value my friendship with Atomic Don too much to batter either of them vocally on the show.  While I goof around on most of the shows, I played this one straight and we had fun despite my apparent professionalism.  Here’s your synopsis:

 

Episode 59: A Big Basket Of Shameful Joy

Tom dials up Mark Kalesniko (the writer and artist for the new book Freeway by Fantagraphics) along with returning co-host Atomic Don to talk about Asian women, working for Disney and ‘the acid shits’. Diets are changed, beers are consumed and Mark plays along with the boys like a champ.

 

 

To hear the show in full audio quality, click on over to:

http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html

 

To hear all 81 episodes including the new one along with bonus clips, out-takes and additional episodes, click over to:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

You can also subscribe for free to The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour on ‘the iTunes’ by searching ‘Big Words Radio’ in the Podcasts section.  Dial it up and rate high, folks!

 

 

Thanks to Mark Kalesniko and Atomic Don for rolling with the punches.  Thanks are again in order to producer Richard Wicka for putting up with/dealing with my horrendous artistic temperament before, during and after the show.

With a recent cancellation for my May show, I’m putting a call out for a new guest!  If you’re a local artist, musician, writer, painter, etc., now would be the ideal time to get ahold of me.  Kindly send me a query email at: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com.  The Big Words I Know By Heart One Man Mobile Unit will be taping in about two or three weeks, so speak now or get lost in the vacuum.  If you have an observable talent and a small degree of conversational savvy, now’s the time to let me know!

That’s all for today.  I’ve got a few more aces up my sleeve later this week, but I’m saving them for the time being.

Talk to you soon,

Tom Waters

h1

‘Tom Waters Mocks You’ in ArtVoice Daily, AV’s ‘Best Of Buffalo’ Awards

April 3, 2011

Artvoice Managing Editor Geoff Kelly was kind enough to punch up a quick and engaging blurb (with cover photo) about the new book online for their ‘ArtVoice Daily’ section.  To view Geoff’s write-up (with one of the more scathing samples from the book), click over to:

http://blogs.artvoice.com/avdaily/2011/04/01/tom-waters-mocks-you/

Thank you to Geoff and ArtVoice for the wonderful mention.  And again, I’m asking all of you to take the time and (if you’re willing), vote for me for Best Writer and Best Radio Personality in ArtVoice’s ‘Best Of Buffalo’ Awards.  Every little bit of promotion helps for Mockery and AV has a lock on the downtown Buffalo audience.  Please consider me for these two crucial categories by logging in at:

http://best.artvoice.com

This isn’t an ego thing.  I’ve never officially ‘run’ for either category before, but with the new book out, winning (or even being considered) would be a great help.  And finally, if you’d like to hear ‘Stop The Press!’, my interview with Geoff Kelly from Big Words Radio (way back in August of 2008), click over to:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/164954/episode-ix-stop-the-press

Have a great week and I’ll talk to you all soon,

Tom

h1

Dee Day: Mockery Book Launch & Two New Pieces In The Buffalo News

April 1, 2011

After trimming Mockery to a fault of any essays that were decidedly serious or introspective, there was a lot left on the cutting room floor.  Now whenever I launch into a whirlwind of a book promotion, I try and get some more publishing credits in locally and nationally to raise awareness.  A few months ago I decided to send in an essay about coping with manic depression for most of my life without any regard for what the public’s reaction might be and no idea of the long-range consequences knowing full well that it would be accepted.  It ran today in The Buffalo News’ ‘My View’ Section.  Here’s the link:

 

http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial-page/from-our-readers/my-view/article381948.ece

 

(You’ll also find a new breed of Club Watch review in this week’s Gusto.)

 

I haven’t touched upon this aspect of my life often before (mentioning it briefly in two or three other books) because it’s something I’m incredibly uncomfortable discussing when I’m depressed and I’ve always felt that it was a moot point when I’m manic.  A lot of people treat their diagnosis or an ailment as a crutch and I’ve never thought of bipolar disorder in those terms.  After years of dealing with it, I look at it as a gift that comes with consequences.  While I’m concerned about how the general public will react to it (anger over condoning the avoidance of prescription medications or an outpouring of sympathy over the illness itself), it’s high time to stop hiding it.

We’re at the top half of the 21st century and I won’t be part of the moral minority that still perceives any mental illness with blinders on.  That and I have an autobiography (Icarus On The Mend) due out in another year and a half that delves a lot deeper into my struggles and triumphs with manic depression.  The bottom line is that my wife and I both feel that I can function effectively in society without the benefit of medication for now.  We’ve both researched the topic thoroughly.  Those diagnosed typically get worse as they get older (longer and more debilitating depressions mainly) and our average life spans are drastically shorter due to symptom-related health hazards.

I’m hoping (rather foolishly) that the two of us can find a kind of Beautiful Mind-like cognitive anecdote to stave off the worst of the highs and lows.  This piece will be misunderstood and most likely controversial, but you and I both know that this isn’t my first rodeo in either department.

We’re mere hours away from the official launch for Mockery at Dee’s Firehouse at 7 p.m. tonight.  All in all a pretty good week in terms of print media saturation.  Whatever my life span may be, I truly hope Buffalo remembers me when I’m gone.  In the mean time, let’s have some fun tonight!

 

Tom Waters

h1

It Begins! Radio Appearances, Print Interviews & A Very Important Birthday…

March 21, 2011

Okay…

There’s a lot of ground to cover this week, so I’ll try and hit all the bases.  This Wednesday, Mark McElligott and I will be high-tailing it out to Lockport to make an appearance on Kahle & Co. on 1340 AM (WLVL) at noon.  We’ll be talking about both our books with my longtime pal Brian Kahle.

ArtVoice has started taking ballots for their 2011 Best Of Buffalo Awards.  I’ve never really rallied the troops for this contest before, but with a new book literally right around the corner, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, so please take the time to log on and vote at:

www.best.artvoice.com

If you’d be kind enough to vote for me for the Best Writer and Best Local Radio Personality, I’d be deeply grateful.  I cast some votes for my favorite bars, comic shops and local artists while I was there, too.

The Mockery Book launch is NEXT FRIDAY at 7 p.m. at Dee’s Firehouse in Depew with special musical guests One Hot Minute!  I really hope to see you out there so you can meet Kathy (one of the best bartenders in Buffalo), Dee and the rest of the gang!  First edition copies of Mockery will be available for the low, low price of $15, so show up on time because they’re going to go fast.

Interviews will be hitting Lancaster Source as well as The Lancaster Bee by the end of this week.  I’ve got a new My View bombshell hitting the Buffalo News either by the end of this month or the beginning of April.  This isn’t exactly a quiet week in terms of promotions, but this is the calm before the storm.  This is the last week of quiet private life (more or less) before a four month junket of readings, signings and book promotions for two books that are definitely going to do very well for Doubt It Publishing.

And finally, my dear friend Gregg Sansonne is celebrating his 50th birthday this Saturday at Griffin’s Irish Pub on 81 Abbott. Rd. in South Buffalo at 8 p.m.  Ten years ago I was starting off with Night Life magazine writing bar reviews when we ran into each other by dumb coincidence while he was starting out as a tremendously talented musician at Route 66 (now closed) downtown.  His performance bowled me over.  His piano playing and his vocals amazed me and they still do.  Please join me, my wife and the rest of Gregg’s friends for such a monumental milestone.  Gregg has been a wonderful person to a lot of people and it’ll be nice to share the occasion with him.

Have a great week and I hope to see you all soon,

Tom Waters

h1

Big Words Radio Episode 58: ‘Your Own Personal White-Out’

March 20, 2011

Okay, this episode was just plain wrong, there’s no two ways about it.  This month (for the radio show) has been a real rollercoaster ride of comedy between the ‘Huge Stuff I Rember From Repetition Dude On The Move Station’, and the comedic brutality unleashed upon Mark McElligott.  It’s in everyone’s best interests if we all just have some quiet time to ourselves to reflect on what we’ve done and who we’ve wronged until Fantagraphics journeyman Mark Kalesniko enters stage right in April to talk about his new masterpiece Freeway. For the time being, here’s your synopsis:

Episode 58: ‘Your Own Personal White-Out’

Tom sits down with Doubt It Publishing Author Of The Year Mark McElligott (Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind) and tears him a new one.  In addition, they make some cheap wisecracks about previous co-host Terry Kimmel, statutory rape and the mentally handicapped.  All in all a good show.

To hear the new show this instant click your way to victory at:

http://www.bigwordsmevio.com

-or you can just subscribe right now for free by searching ‘big words radio’ at ‘the iTunes’ store and clicking on the Comedy listing.

The show has toned down a bit in previous months so it was refreshing to have a guest on who I was positive about being able to handle a relentless barrage of jokes that were far beyond wrong.  This is literally the worst show I’ve done on an offensiveness scale since July of 2009, so it was a treat to take the kid gloves off and go to town on an unsuspecting mark (in this case, Mark).

A big thanks goes out to Mark McElligott for being such a great sport.  In addition to getting a taste of what you can expect from his upcoming debut collection Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind, the two of us will be hitting Buffalo with a vengeance this summer to promote both of our books together in a reading frenzy.  Please click, download, subscribe, laugh, rate high and enjoy.  I’m taking a well-deserved break from podcasting until mid-April.

Enjoying long, sticky white donuts,

Tom Waters

h1

Spring Event Calendar For Mockery and Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind from Doubt It Publishing

March 15, 2011

While these appearances are far from final, here are the events we’re currently looking at for April through June.  When I add more dates, I’ll update this list.  Mark your calendars and get ready to laugh, folks!

Friday April 1st, 7 p.m. to midnight: Mockery Book Launch at Dee’s Firehouse, 4628 Broadway Ave., Depew 651-0711.  Reading and signing at 7 p.m. followed by a live performance by One Hot Minute (Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band) at 8 p.m.  First edition copies of Mockery by Tom Waters available for $15.

Saturday, April 16th, 7 p.m., Mockery Book Signing at Maryan’s, 4921 Broadway, Depew  683-0590.  Live musical performance by David Waters (Whiskey Suicide).

Tuesday, April 26th, 7:30 p.m.  Reading and Signing with author Tom Waters (Mockery) at the Lancaster Public Library, 5466 Broadway, Depew

Saturday, April 30th, 8 p.m. to midnight.  Tom’s Atomic Comic Giveaway! at Don’s Atomic Comics, 6354 Transit Rd., Depew 684-5981.  Buy a copy of Mockery by Tom Waters and get a free back issue.  Midnight madness discounts on graphic novels and collectibles.  Special Guests Josh Tonn (Costumed Crimefighter Comics, Stupid Funny Comics), Mark McElligott (Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind) and Kyle Kaczmarzcyk (The Red Eye, Pulp, Monster Matt’s Bad Jokes Volume I).

Saturday, May 7th, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Caz Coffee Café, 668 Abbott Rd., Buffalo 825-7806.  Reading and Signing with Tom Waters, author of the humor collection Mockery.

Thursday, May 19th, 7 p.m., Talking Leaves Books, 3158 Main St., Buffalo 837-8554.  Reading and Signing with Tom Waters, author of the humor collection Mockery.

Saturday, May 21st, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Mockery Book Reading and Signing at Stockman’s Tavern (9870 Transit Rd., Depew 688-9896) featuring Tom Waters with live music by musician Chris Squier.

Saturday, June 11th, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Caz Coffee Café, 668 Abbott Rd., Buffalo 825-7806. Reading and Signing with Mark McElligott, author of the humor collection Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind.

Sunday, June 26th, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Doubt It Publishing presents a book reading by Mark McElligott (Random Thoughts From A Broke Mind) and Tom Waters (Mockery) at Rust Belt Books (202 Allen St., Buffalo, 885-9535).  Admission is free, signed first editions of both books available.

h1

Mockery Book Launch Flyer by Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios)

March 5, 2011

h1

Mockery Soft Launch, Doubt It Publishing Blow Out!

March 1, 2011

Okay gang,
Are you ready for the big secret? I hope you’re sitting down (and why wouldn’t you be if you were at your computer?). Here it is:

-Mockery, my ninth new collection of ONLY funny rants is actually available for purchase RIGHT NOW!

The book launch doesn’t happen until April Fool’s Day (7 p.m. at Dee’s Firehouse in Depew with live band One Hot Minute). Even the local press hasn’t gotten a complimentary copy yet! And I’m going to sweeten the pot on top of all this:

-All of my lulu.com titles will be 10% off until April 1st INCLUDING Mockery.

Slapstick & Superego and Breathing Room Volume I & II AND Mockery are all available for 10% off the cover price. If you order ANY or ALL of these books any time between now and April 1st, you save money, AND you can pick up Mockery for less than what I’ll be charging throughout the launch. Think of it as a huge, wet kiss for all the years that all of you have helped me make money with your continued support doing what I love.
There are some great things in store in the next four months, so a) if you live out of town or b) if you want to save money or c) if you’d rather not make the bar appearances because you’re giving up fried food, having fun or guzzling hooch for Lent, now’s a great time to scoop up some great books. Mockery is going to retail at $15 (my lowest price on a humor collection in over 5 years). You can buy it now for $13.49. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

To buy Mockery this very instant, click here: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/mockery/15050885

To visit the entire Doubt It Publishing Shop on lulu.com and save on my last three titles,
click here: http://stores.lulu.com/tomwaters

No gimmicks, no hustle. Please rate high when you visit each individual book. Three years ago I decided to publish two little poetry books on my own because I assumed they wouldn’t make any money. They made a decent amount of money for me, so I branched out. Like e.e. cummings, Allen Ginsberg and a score of other writers, I decided to go into the publishing business. Help me to turn this publishing house into a legitimate one.
Thank you so much. Mockery is a knockout collection and it’s unlike any rant book I’ve released to date. I designed the book to mimic a standup comedy act with light jokes and quick rabbit punches at the beginning, big belly laughs in the middle and a soft, fuzzy feeling at the end. The flow and pacing are better than anything I’ve done to date. I really hope you like it.
So what are you waiting for? BUY MY NEW GODDAMNED BOOK ALREADY!
Start your engines,
Tom ‘literary prostitute’ Waters

h1

Miscellaneous

February 8, 2011

            A lot of projects are in the planning stages currently and it’s more a matter of juggling and strategy than inspiration and execution.  Book 9 (Mockery) is in the last legs of pre-production and designer Eve Barbour and I are aiming for a hard April launch.  I’ve always been fond of doing book launches on April Fool’s Day (which falls on a Friday this year), so don’t be surprised if you hear about a large public event and bookstore insertion then.  At $15, it’s the lowest launch price of any rant collection I’ve ever released, so I’ll be shooting for volume rather than profit margin. 

            After that, Mark McElligott and I will be going into pre-production on his book, Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind while we schedule appearance dates at the same time.  We’re looking at a summer release date for his book around the same price point.  While Mark’s never published a book before, he’s got a diverse back ground in music, cartooning and stand-up comedy that should translate well on stage once he gets up and running.

            As for the radio show, Eisner and Harvey award winner Dylan Horrocks (Hicksville) will be talking to me and co-host Terry Kimmel on Thursday, February 24th.  Mark McElligott returns as my guest in March and in April I’ll be discussing the hilarious and often controversial books of Mark Kalesniko (Alex, Mail Order Bride). 

            After agonizing over how and when to release the autobiography (Icarus On The Mend), I’m leaning towards publishing a limited print run of 100 hardcover first editions in 2012 for around $29.95 with no complimentary copies for the local or national media included.  Everyone who knows about the book wants to get their hands on it right away, so I might as well give you all what you want.  Once those hundred are gone, I’ll release two volumes of trade paperbacks for $15 each with complementing photo negative covers and possibly an additional chapter. 

            As for the third poetry collection (Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick), I’m not sure how to gauge demand for the book, so don’t be surprised if it’s released alongside one of the autobiography print runs.  While both Breathing Rooms reached (and exceeded) the 100 copy mark, they’re more a labor of love than a concerted business decision.  Poetry is a tough sell in any market, so I was glad to net over $2000 on the first two in the first year.  The third collection will be the last for a long time, so hopefully readers will enjoy the aftermath to Breathing Room by realizing that the content is new and unusual, not just scraps left over from the first two books. 

            I’ve never had this much material on the slate before at any one time.  Hopefully by 2013 I can buy back the rights to Born Pissed and Zany Hijinx, relaunch them with better cover designs, tighter editing and a lower price point.  If there’s one single piece of advice I can offer budding writers, it’s this: Don’t publish with America House.  There’s no reason why you should give 90% of your royalties away to a publisher for a manuscript that you put 100% of your effort and inspiration into. 

            It’s a bittersweet situation to be in.  I’ve got three years before I have to write another word.  I’m considering writing a novel, but for the time being I’m going to rest and relax since this is the calm before the promotional storm.  Thank you for reading and supporting my work.  People often ask me ‘Do you make any money off of your books?’ and my answer is always that I wouldn’t keep putting them out if I didn’t.  From a fiscal standpoint, 2011 is going to be a great year to make money while making people laugh at the same time.

h1

2011: Veni, Vedi, Veci (‘I came, I saw, I conquered’)

January 2, 2011

Happy New Year everybody!

            2011 is going to be an incredibly busy year for myself and Doubt It Publishing.  I’m not even sure where to begin, but I guess we’ll proceed chronologically.

            The deadline for Doubt It Publishing’s Author Of The Year has come and gone and it’s time to make the announcement.  I’m proud to let you all know that I’ve chosen Mark McElligott’s Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind for publication this year.  It’s an uproariously funny collection of hilarious, ‘out there’ rants that made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions.  His sense of humor is a blend of Woody Allen, Dave Attell and Steve Martin.  He’s goofy, perverse and tremendously talented and we’re both looking forward to showcasing his work to a much larger audience this spring!    

            I’ve got a full slate of new bar assignments for the Buffalo News Gusto that I’ll be knocking out at a rate of one bar per week.  After reviewing The Dog House in Alden, I was saddened to discover that they closed until further notice before I had time to do the write up.  My condolences to the owners as well as the staff there for the unfortunate incident that led to their shutting down.  I had a wonderful time when I went and there was a roofing accident a week later that led to their demise. 

            At the end of this month (on Thursday, January 27th at 6 p.m.), The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour will be recording live on location by hosting a free concert with 2010 Buffalo Music Award winners for Best Rock Duo Of The Year Busted Stuff at Dee’s Firehouse on 4628 Broadway Ave. in Depew.  If you’re free, we’d love to see you at this event!  Dave and Cynthia are great people and they’re incredibly talented, so I look forward to hearing them play again.  They’re also launching a debut CD of original music around the same time frame, so hopefully they’ll have copies on hand to sell.

            As far as my autobiography goes, the first draft is finished.  Icarus On The Mend: Memoirs Of A Manic Depressive clocks in at a hefty 430 pages (so far) and if the book gets any larger upon revision, I may have to split it into two volumes from a cost standpoint.  I’d prefer not to charge more than $30 for the book in a soft cover format, so that could be the direction I take when the book is released in either 2012 or 2013.   The book is unlike anything I’ve written before, and while I’ve been guarding the manuscript for its explosive content and the cacophony of sensational revelations within, I’ll be auctioning off the second draft this spring.  The current bid is at $50.  If you want to read the book before it comes out, feel free to email me with a bid before spring.

            In February, I’ll be interviewing artist/writer Dylan Horrocks (Hicksville), who hails all the way from New Zealand.  This will be a studio show for The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour.  His breakout book was just republished this previous summer from Fantagraphics press and it’s one of the best graphic novels I’ve ever read.  Don will be co-hosting with me.

            By April, my ninth collection (Mockery) will launch online and in stores.  It’s a 130 page collection of nothing but finely tuned rants and the book is layered like a stand up comedy act.  This is the first book where I’ve worked diligently on the pacing of the humor throughout the book and the effect on readers should be noticeably different and vastly improved.  It’ll retail for $14.99 and while I never say never, this may be my final essay collection.  Eve Barbour (of Eve Barbour Designs) will be working on the cover layout and interior and Ryan Miller took the cover photo (a black and white picture of me laughing at a little girl who dropped her ice cream cone).  I’ve started working on a fiction novel which I’m not prepared to discuss in any capacity yet as the work is still fresh. 

            I’m not sure what the back half of 2011 will hold for me, Doubt It Publishing, Mark McElligot and The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour, but I’m certainly looking forward to it.  This is going to be a great year and I look forward to taking the journey with all of you.  As always, stay tuned to the web sites for more details as they emerge.  To sum everything up, get ready to laugh.  A lot. 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

h1

Big Words Radio Episode 51: ‘Altered States’

December 18, 2010

 

Tom and co-host ‘Stoner Steve’ dial editor, publisher, author and musician Wil Forbis up on ‘the Skype’ to talk about their collective illicit drug use, Wil’s magazine (Acid Logic), Wil’s band (Wil Forbis & The Gentleman Scoundrels) and a variety of other topics about the West Coast, pop culture and who can blow any of them.
 
To hear the show in full audio quality, feel free to click on over to:
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
or to hear the show along with ALL of my previous episodes, you can visit:
http://www.bigwords.mevio.com
 
    A big thanks goes out to Wil Forbis for publishing me for over a decade and for agreeing to be on the show.  Thanks also to Richard Wicka for recording and producing this episode as well as accommodating our multiple drinks situation in studio.  Thanks to Stoner Steve for lending some comedic value to the show and hanging on to the experience for dear life. 
    My next guests will be Buffalo Music Award ‘Best Duo Act Of 2010’ Busted Stuff.  We’re recording a live concert on location at Dee’s Firehouse on Thursday, January 27th around 5 p.m.  Mark your calendar and meet us out there for the fun!
 
Thanks,
Tom Waters 

h1

Monday Big Words Update! Convergence

July 13, 2009

            Thank GOD I’ve got a word processing program again.  After six weeks without one, I’m surprised that I made it without clawing the walls like DeSade.  The only problem is that I’m blocked now, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering that there’s a lot of other things that need immediate attention.

            I’ll be devoting most of my free time this week to a) working on the Buffalo Anthology now that the final deadline came and went, b) writing a review on Kyle Kaczmarzcyk’s newly released Red Eye trade paperback (for ordering info visit: http://www.zombieworx.com), c) meeting on Tuesday with a certain Lancaster establishment regarding a late August book launch for Slapstick & Superego (and not the place you’d think), and d) porting the radio show over to some new sites. 

            At the risk of confusing the hell out of everybody, the stat tracker on mypodcast.com. has gone haywire and isn’t recording the amount of downloads performed since the beginning of June.  This is a serious issue and it doesn’t appear as if anyone is monitoring the site for maintenance purposes.  So if it’s not too much trouble (or if you haven’t heard the original shows yet), I’d prefer it if you listened to the show at either http://www.bigwordsradio.podomatic.com or http://www.bigwords.mevio.com.  After signing up and uploading to about two dozen sites in the last week, though, Mevio appears to be the site where I’ll be permanently moving my base of operations.  They’ve got unlimited space, easy upload interface, and a lot of other positive factors in their favor.  The podomatic site is restricted in terms of space, so I’ll be uploading one classic Big Words show per week and phasing out the oldest one if you feel like subscribing from there.  This whole process should take about a month to complete. 

            As for the official web site (http://www.tomfoolery4.wordpress.com) the unique hits took a sharp uphill climb yesterday to the tune of 90 unique hits (with the majority of hits coming from the Mitchell’s Tavern fiasco).  Stats are important to me because I like to see what shows and posts are getting play and which ones aren’t.  I also broke down and joined Twitter, so if you want to add me, you can find me under tomfoolery4. 

            Okay, enough technical mumbo jumbo.  Thanks for all the feedback on last week’s Quixote Wednesday post.  The general consensus is that I should keep bitching when I feel like it, so if I’ve got a bone to pick on a Wednesday, I’ll post it.  If I don’t, I’ll write some time later in the week just to check in with you.  Sound good?   Fair enough.

            That’s really all I’ve got for you this week.  Scoop up Night Life magazine this week for ‘Beating The Shakes’, a summer repeat about the evils of coffee addiction.  Cross your fingers for me tomorrow and hopefully I’ll have an announcement on the S & S launch! 

            Have a great week,

            Tom Waters

h1

Massive Dirty Bomb Update!

April 10, 2009

If you haven’t been reading any of the graphic novel reviews and updates at The Dirty Bomb over on the official Don’s Atomic Comics (!) web site for the last three months, then I just feel sorry for you, because you’re missing out.

As of today, I posted two more reviews and one massive update with privileged Big Words Radio info as well as some more celebrity news over on the Dirty Bomb.

I haven’t been re-posting Dirty Bomb info here because you’re just going to have to go over there yourself if you want to find out. I try to throw a little something extra onto each site that I write for, whether it’s Acid Logic, Comics Bulletin, Facebook, Myspace, or any other intraweb-enabled thingamajiggy.

So GO TO THE DIRTY BOMB already! Do not pass go or collect $200! What the hell are you waiting for, an engraved invitation? Oh, a site link might be useful, eh? Fair enough. Here’s your link, so go check it out!

 

 

http://donsatomiccomics.com/WordPress/

h1

Monday Big Words Update! Tying Up Loose Ends…

April 6, 2009

After a long, strange trip for over six months with the Monsters Of Verse promotional junket, JR Finlayson and myself are in the final furlong and we can see the finish line for this particular race. We’ve got about four weeks of scheduled bookings and appearances and then we’re done. Part of me is relieved and the other part of me will miss sharing the experience (and some fantastic conversations) with so many other talented poets, writers, disc jockeys, musicians, graphic designers, cartoonists, etc. What’s so nice about this trip through the spanking machine is that we can all look back whenever we want by listening to the entire tour (or the better part of it) on the Monsters Of Verse site at thinktwiceradio.com. I’ve been putting a lot of the tour to bed from a psychological standpoint in the last few weeks and even considered ’retiring’ both Breathing Room volumes to their rightful place on the shelf next to my other collections so that I can move on and focus on other projects. Four more weeks.

Our next official stop will be at Caz Coffee Café from 7-9 p.m. in South Buffalo on Saturday, April 25th . The lineup will include (but won’t be limited to) JR Finlayson, myself and Kyle Kaczmarzcak. From what my calendar says, this will be one of the final two engagements for MOV.

As for everything else, I’ve been quietly working on a volley of assignments for ArtVoice. If you nab a copy of this week’s issue on stands, you’ll find a small piece that I wrote about the Center For Inquiry and author William Lobdell’s book Losing My Religion in their In The Margins section. Once May rolls around, I should start knocking out assignments in rapid succession, but in the mean time, it’s been a matter of how much time I have in my week to devote to which project based on priority.

This week’s issue of Night Life kicks off the second week of the month with part one of ‘Pronunciation’, a brand new four part essay about our wedding and everything surrounding it within a six month window. It’s a more somber piece and it clocks in at around 6 pages, but the pacing seems warranted given how much information there was to disseminate.

And I’m almost done proof-reading the only copy of Slapstick & Superego on the face of this planet before forwarding the corrections off to VLR Designs. I originally wanted the book done by May and it appears as if I’m the one holding up the production slate right now. I’ve been looking at the presentation and appearance of this collection as the new template for all Doubt It Publishing book releases going forward, so we’re all putting a lot more perfectionism into this collection than any I’ve worked on to date.

Additionally, I’m unsure as to whether or not poke the scorpion with a sharp stick (my next poetry collection) feels finished at 100 pages or not. The Pre-Launch Questionaire sent out a few weeks ago worked wonders on what readers would like to see happen with Slapstick, so I may be ‘test-paneling’ responses for the ideal poetry collection according to readers likes and dislikes in the future as well. That collection, though, is at least six to seven months down the road.

Finally, I keep forgetting to thank Christopher Schobert from Buffalo Spree for his spectacular write-up/review/interview of Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse in the December issue of Spree. Thanks, Chris. You did a stupendous job and quite a few friends brought it to my attention. There’s also another local write I wanted to thank and I had no idea the article came out until someone sent me a link about two months ago. Charity Vogel from the Buffalo News wrote a very nice blurb back in November regarding both Breathing Room collections and I just wanted to take the time to thank her for her efforts. You can still check out her write-up over at:

buffalonews.com/entertainment/booksliterature/story/481433.html

 

Many people don’t realize just how many complimentary copies go out (and have been going out) for every single collection released so far to almost every single newspaper, radio station and bookstore in town (for the last ten years) and how little many of these media outlets do to return the favor. Even a tiny paragraph on a slow news day can work wonders for a title. It’s always the same guilty parties, too, which is surprising and frustrating. In most cases, complimentary copies come out of my pocket. Ideally, it would be nice to see more write-ups, calendar listings and reviews in the future, but I’ll be exploring some new options and improved business practices with all Doubt It Publishing titles from here on out.

For the current poetry collections, a lot of the old guard has kindly relented and started taking notice in print, in bookstores (locally and nationally) and on the radio. Breathing Room I & II aided in improving the learning curve in terms of how to effectively market and sell a poetry collection. This summer, fall and winter, Slapstick & Superego will be a quantum leap. Mark my words, Buffalo, because the Doubt It Publishing name-branding will commence in about two to three more months.

h1

Monday Big Words Update! Slapstick & Superego Final Stages/April Foolfest 2 Next Week/Gregg Sansonne Benefit THIS SUNDAY!

March 24, 2009
While this is an exciting time, for many reasons that I can’t divulge, the next six months will be highly irregular. I’m happy to report that I’m currently in possession of the only copy of my next book on the planet and I’m re-reading it (a painful process for me) for typos.

Slapstick & Superego is so close to the finish line that I can taste it, and in many respects, it feels like the first actual book I’ve released. Instead of a resume or showcase-style format, this book was planned from start to finish as a rant collection. No interviews, no poems, no projects, just rants. It is the first concept book from start to finish, and I’m very proud of it. In addition, the introduction (by Alycia Ripley), the wraparound cover (by Ian Chrystal) and the interior layout (by Victoria Robinson) are all second to none. Early response has been through the roof, and the team effect is something I’ll be implementing as Doubt It Publishing moves onward and upward.

In the same regard (for reasons I can’t necessarily go into), I’ll be holding ONE event for the book in the next six months. Once I’m satisfied with the look of the collection, and once I’ve signed off on it, I’ll be holding a singular launch over the summer and then there won’t be any other events until November or later. After the Monsters Of Verse tour, this will be a serious change in the way I’ve done business for the previous six to eight months. Instead of promoting a few times a week, I’ll be plugging, interviewing, reviewing and doing radio spots for one event only and then disappearing into the woodwork until the holiday season.

In case you forgot, April Foolfest 2 is going down next week with musical guest Lenny Revell at Desiderio’s on Broadway at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1st. In light of the fact that Slapstick arrived in my mail box early, not only will I be showing the editing proof off to anyone who wants to see it, but I’ll read a few rants from the book from 7-9 (along with selections from both Breathing Rooms) as well. If you want to see the book before summer comes around, next week will be the time to do it. Anyone who’s been to one of the book promotions at Desiderio’s knows that they’re an event to remember (and that they tend to run all the way up to last call), so if you’re free, make it out to a free evening of tirades and truly inspiring music by new pal Lenny Revell! Aside from the last few MOV events and the Slapstick launch, you won’t be seeing too many public appearances from ‘this guy’ until the holiday ads start running on television and in your local papers, so make a point of coming out!

And closer up on the map, I’ll be emceeing for dear friend Gregg Sansonne’s ‘We’ve Got Your Back’ benefit THIS SUNDAY! Gregg is undergoing some serious (and much needed) back surgery that will put him out of the local performing circuit for at least a few months. Gregg has been like a brother to me, and he played my wedding as a gift for Lindsay and me. If you have this Sunday open (from noon to six), pop on out to the Colonel Weber V.F.W. Post and fork over the measly twenty bucks to see Black Widow, Busted Stuff, Mick Hayes and Only Humen rock the joint out for the better part of the day. There will also be a Chinese Auction, games, raffles, food and a cash bar. I’ve never emceed before, so I hope I can round out the bill without screwing anything up.

Tickets will be available (in limited quantities) at the door, but if you want to secure some in advance, feel free to contact me via email

(bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com) or you can feel free to call Nicole (one of the organizers) at 341-4073. I can’t stress what a great friend Gregg has been to me and many others in the Buffalo music community over the years, so PLEASE come out and support my buddy in his time of need!

 

h1

Let The Dirty Carpet Bombing Begin!

February 21, 2009

Good news, comic book lovers!

For the last few weeks, Don, Ian, Brian Platter and myself have been building a new patch of real estate on the super-information off-ramp we call the intraweb. As of today, the site becomes a reality. If you steer yourself over to the official Don’s Atomic Comics web site, you can click on ’The Dirty Bomb’ and find dualing comic book reviews, comic related rants and engaging posts from Ian and myself. I’ve been a big fan of Ian’s Dirty Bomb over the last two years and the two of us decided to team up in classic superhero fashion and join forces to combine our readerships.

From here on out, those of you who have been following my graphic novel reviews over on Comics Bulletin will be able to read them days, even weeks in advance before they go up over there. Comics Bulletin has been very good to me in the last few months, but Don has been good to me for almost a decade, and we had a very appealing idea: share the reviews with the regulars I shop with. Long and short, that’s my goal on the site. I’m sure a lot of other things will happen as a result of the new site, and Ian and I are looking forward to the curveballs that will come across the plate.

For your convenience, I’ve posted a direct link here on the home page to the right along with the 5 million other direct links provided. There are two posts up already, so pop on in, read some exclusive content (!) and say hello!

We’re entering a brave new world and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Thanks again to Brian Platter of Six Shot Studios for doing the hard work by creating the site, Don for letting us set up shop on his official site, and to Ian for crossing swords with me yet again (in that way). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Don’s Atomic Comics is family to me. Now you get to meet my twin brother Ian. And read what he has to say on a semi-regular basis. Tread lightly, ladies and gentleman, and treat him with the same respect you’d treat me with. He’s an Irishman too, and I certainly wouldn’t pick a fight with him (or, for that matter, try to beat him when it comes to drinking good scotch), so keep that in mind. Ian is also a great writer, and I’ll be tuning in just as often as everyone else to read what he has to say.

I’ll wrap up there. Enough work for one Saturday morning! Click your way over to:

 

 

http://donsatomiccomics.com/WordPress/

h1

Monday Big Words Update! Complete MOV/Tom Event Calendar (for now) For 2/09-5/09!

January 26, 2009

Tom's Atomic Poetry Kegger!

Tom's Atomic Poetry Kegger!

 

 

Oof!,
I’m still pretty beat, but I’m scaling back and taking it easy before the big MOV horse and pony show starts rolling again on Saturday, February 7th at FYE and Don’s Atomic Comics! Early response for Tom’s Atomic Kegger at Don’s has been through the roof and it looks like we’re going to have a real hit on our hands!

My time is severely compromised today, so I’ll make this short and sweet. Grab the new issue of Night Life this week for the newest Big Words I Know By Heart print column. I’m pretty sure that (in light of recent events) it was a review of ‘Fun Home’ by Allison Bechdel, but I can’t view the original email I sent out with my January block of columns.

Also, I’ve been toiling away on the next two Big Words radio shows and they will definitely be up by the end of this week. Stay tuned to the site for details. And if you’re not a Myspace person, I posted a boatload of publicity photos up on Facebook for your enjoyment. And now, the Official Monsters Of Verse Calendar (so far!) for the next three months! There are a lot of other venues and appearances in the works, so this WILL be subject to change. The dates below are set in stone though, so start marking your calendars and JR Finlayson, myself and a lot of talented writer/poets will see you out on the road! Let the games begin! Talk to you all on Wednesday when the Quixote Update hits,

Tom Waters

 

Monsters Of Verse/Breathing Room Bookings Winter/Spring 09

Saturday, February 7th, 1-4 p.m., FYE, Transit, Signing (Monsters Of Verse w/3rd Monster Artist/Writer Kyle Kaczmarczyk)

Saturday, February 7th, 6 p.m.-?, Don’s Atomic Comics!, Tom’s Atomic Poetry Kegger w/Monsters of Verse! Free beer for anyone with a poetry book by JR Finlayson or Tom Waters, 20% store discounts on comics and collectibles for everyone who brings a girl. Special Guest Comic Artist/Writer Kyle Kaczmarczyk (The Red Eye, Zombie Works Publishing).

Sunday, February 8th, 2-4 p.m., Talking Leaves Elmwood, Signing (Monsters Of Verse w/3rd rotating Monster TBD)

Friday, February 13th, 7 p.m., Borders Books & Music, Hamburg, Signing (Monsters Of Verse w/3rd poet Susan Marie)

Wednesday, February 25th, 7 p.m., Big Words Studio Date with Guest Alexis Amore (adult film star); co-hosts Intentionally Bald Mike and Alie

Wednesday, March 4th, Perry Nicholas reading, CFI 7 p.m. (attending, not reading)

Thursday, March 12th, 7 p.m., Think Twice Radio (Five Minute Video Series taping, Tom only)

Saturday, March 14th, 6:30 P.M., Chow Chocolat (Monsters Of Verse)

Wednesday, March 25th, 7 p.m.,, Big Words Studio Date with Guest Sara Jay (adult film star); co-hosts Intentionally Bald Mike and Alie

Wednesday, April 1st, 8 p.m., ‘April Foolfest 2!’, Desiderio’s on Broadway, Lancaster (Tom only with musical guests to be determined)

Saturday, April 25th, Caz Coffee Café, 7-9 p.m., Reading (Monsters Of Verse w/3rd rotating poet TBD)

Wednesday, May 6th, 7 pm, Center For Inquiry (Monsters Of Verse w/3rd poet Christina Wos Donnelly)

(Finn gone from February 9th-19th)

 

h1

Newsletter Feed: One Bigass Sit. Rep! Two new podcasts, two new articles and a whole bunch of other stuff!

November 7, 2008
Whew!
 
    You’d think that being jobless would resemble some manner of paradise involving sitting on my ass, eating government cheese and doing absolutely nothing, right?  Wrong.  In the last month, I’ve put more time into my career (writing) now that I don’t have gainful employment than ever before.  I can honestly say that I’m going through one of those quantum leaps marketing-wise.  The kind I haven’t enjoyed since way back in 2001.  Most of my days have been spent schmoozing on the phone until the battery dies out on my portable, writing any number of different personal projects and assignments, blogging and working on my sites as well as those of others, and spending what little time is left in the evening taking care of things around the house and spending time with my wife while shoehorning research into other side projects. 
    Yesterday alone, I got up at eight in the morning, got a good running start at life and didn’t stop until around midnight.  Aside from a ten minute nap, I didn’t stop.  When I get a full-time job, it’s going to be a bit of a relief, because I’ll have the sort of structure again where I can allow myself to rest once in a while.  Even after getting a molar pulled last week and suffering from related migraines, I felt guilty taking a portion of two days in the last seven to relax and recuperate.  With as many hours in the day as I have at my disposal, I still feel as if there isn’t enough time to accomplish everything I’ve been setting out to do. 
    Bret Easton Ellis told me during our interview a few years back that he treated writing like a job, ‘clocking in’ at 9 a.m., breaking for lunch and then banging out of work around 5 p.m.  I wish I could stop that early.  While tiring, I realize how crucial the time I’ve been given is.  I’ve decided that I’ll be taking this holiday season away from the horrific nightmare that is retail to actually enjoy spending time with my family (new and old) for the first time in 16 years in addition to working on the multitude of projects that are currently under construction or already in progress.  As you may or may not know, the next two essay collections (Slapstick & Superego as well as Merry Prankster) are complete.  I haven’t penned a shred of new poetry for two weeks, but Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick (the next poetry collection) is well over 140 pages without even including the freaky 50 page project I worked on in July (‘Rock/Pop Goes The Weasel’).  And then there are the freelancing assignments….
    My beloved editor at Gusto (Brian Connelly) is apparently moving me up to the big leagues in terms of freelancing and I couldn’t be more grateful.  In addition to the Club Watch bar reviews, he’ll be phasing me into their ‘Tell Me’ section at the very FRONT of Gusto (page two after the front page), conducting interviews with artists, writers and musicians on the cusp of making their big break inside as well as outside of Buffalo.  In regards to that, I’m going to humbly request that if any of you know of an artist (preferably a musician or band) with an upcoming gig in November or December who doesn’t have a firmly established fan base and deserves a wider audience, please email me at once with biographical as well as contact information.  My musical tastes tend to run about twenty or thirty years behind, so I’m woefully ignorant where current up-and-comers are concerned. 
    ArtVoice has also given me the green light on one of two projects I hatched during the idea-storm I was besieged with on my honeymoon at Silvercreek in early October.  With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I’ll be writing a piece about the hot spots to hit on the day before Thanksgiving, which happens to be the biggest party night of the year, eclipsing even New Year’s Eve and/or St. Patrick’s Day.  Again, if you happen to be ‘in the know’ on a bar, club or pub that blows the doors off business wise before the turkey hits the table, drop me a line.  My deadline window is one week, and I NEVER miss deadline.  It’s one of the qualities that’s reinforced my reputation as a serious writer in Buffalo and I’m certainly not going to call that into question now. 
    Yesterday, I had the pleasure and privelage (sp?) of recording an hour long show plus with my podcasting hero Uncle Hal from the Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal show.  He was my first choice after being offered my own show at Think Twice and with zero notes, bullet points or questions, we managed to fill 70 minutes worth of the most offensive, irreverent comedy imaginable.  If Hal didn’t have an appointment, I seriously would have gone for two hour-long shows in a row.  I raced Episode XV out as soon as I could and my producer Richard Wicka at Think Twice uploaded it at once.  I strongly encourage you to listen at once over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
    I had some issues finding the new episode with more luck refreshing on Internet Explorer, so if you don’t see Episode XV (and the subsequent ‘Bonus Round’), click Refresh and cross your fingers.  I’m not sure if the site is experiencing technical difficulties, but I’ll be getting to the bottom of it over the weekend.
    In addition to the Big Words One Man Mobile Unit, the Monsters Of Verse are full steam ahead.  I returned to Clarence High School on Tuesday to teach my first workshop on the mechanics of poetry as well as writing in general to Ms. Foster’s Poetry Club while recording the event.  That episode (#3, for those keeping track) can be heard over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/monsters/monsters.html
    
    Once again, I experienced issues finding the newest episode of each show on AOL, so if you have Internet Explorer, you’re better off visiting the site from there. 
    And last night, the Monsters Of Verse launched their second official reading at Talking Leaves on Main St. in Amherst.  JR Finlayson, Carrie Gardner and myself kicked off the evening in alphabetical order with fifteen minute sets of amusing, insightful and philosophical poems that the crowd really seemed to respond well to.  Due to a small snafu regarding our start time (I forgot that we started at 6 p.m. instead of 7), we read for an additional forty minutes for the sake of entertaining those who showed at or shortly after 7 o’clock.  Twenty minutes of the second set were lost from the digital recorder, so if you weren’t there, you won’t get to hear it once the non-stop rock block of genius goes up online.  Depending on where my day (and my weekend) take me, Episode IV of the Monsters Of Verse should be up on the web by Sunday afternoon at the latest.  I’ll shoot you all an email when I’m positive that it’s up. 
    I’ve had a lot of time to think in the last four weeks.  One of the things I was turning around in my head yesterday was just how…overjoyed I am to have two like-minded creative maniacs to tour Buffalo and beyond with for the next six months.  With Jeff Finlayson and Carrie Gardner on deck, I honestly couldn’t ask for two other people I’d rather be out and about reading with.  Aside from sustaining, supporting and inspiring each other, they remain my dear friends and I’m not so much surprised with how well our collective dynamic is growing and improving so much as I’m pleased with the results.  Maybe we’ll hate each other come the beginning of May, but I doubt it.  Their talent, professionalism and their knockout prognostication skills continue to sustain and inform my burgeoning poetry skills.  At the risk of getting gooey, thank you, Jeff and Carrie.  Our events (and this project) are a feather in our cap that I’m very, very proud of.  I realize that putting up with my thousand event-related emails, phone calls and frequent tantrums is far from fun to deal with (just ask my wife), and your respective patience and professionalism is slowly molding me into a better team player.  You two are the best.
    Our next stop on the quest for global spoken word domination hits next Thursday (the 13th) at Spot Coffee on Delaware and Chippewa from 7-9 p.m.  Three days later, we’ll be at my favorite bar, Desiderio’s on Broadway on Sunday the 16th at 7 p.m. with special musical guest Shaky Stage.  Attendance so far has been admirable, but where the hell have you guys been?  Carrie has brought the majority of our audience and I’m embarrassed to say that most of the Big Words army have been missing in action.  PLEASE make the time to show your face for one (if not both) of the next two events.  I’m disappointed in the total lack of support in terms of these promotions where you’re all concerned, and it would be nice to see some if not all of you out during this new experiment in our collective creative careers.  While I realize that our performances are not at the top of your list, you’re missing out.  We’ve had a great big barrel of fun so far and it’s only going to get better as we continue to sharpen our skill set on the road.  Forget everything you know about poetry and give us a try.  I promise that we won’t let you down, and the after-parties thus far have been phenomenal.  I’ll leave it at that.
    And, on a final note, two new articles popped up online this week.  This month’s issue of Acid Logic is rolling out hot at 15 mph with ‘Sawed Off Sam Walton’, a strangely topical essay about spending half of my life in the hell known as retail.  Read all about it over at:
 
http://www.acidlogic.com/retail_sucks.htm
 
    And after a month long unintentional hiatus from comic book reviews, I put my nose back to the grind and started pumping a few new graphic novel critiques and sending them off to my new editor at Comics Bulletin.  You can catch them every Wednesday on www.comicsbulletin.com.  Top Shelf Comics has been kind enough to send me more than my share of advance copies, review copies and entire libraries for research purposes having to do with the radio show, and one of the books they sent me stood head and shoulders above anything I’ve read this year.  Despite what you might think, I actually do read comics that don’t have Batman in the title.  This previous Wednesday, I gave Nate Powell’s Swallow Me Whole the credit it truly deserved.  Check that review out over at:
 
http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/
 
    You may have to scroll down a tad as my show-notes inform me that it is no longer Wednesday and there isn’t a direct link to each review.  Since the Swallow Me Whole review, I’ve been hard at work building up a stockpile of other new reviews so that there aren’t any gaps on that site.  I’m neurotic about taking advantage of each and every site and publication I write for and I hate to be tardy to the party with any of them unless it’s absolutely unavoidable.  Writing comic reviews is a labor of love and it doesn’t even feel like work to fire off 5 or 600 words about every book I shovel into my brain.  Excelsior!
    That should be all the news that’s fit to print for the time being.  Thanks are in order to: JR Finlayson, Carrie Gardner, Richard Wicka, Greg Sterlace (farewell and good luck, new friend!), Jonathan at Talking Leaves, Josh Smith, Uncle Hal, Wil Forbis, Thom Young and last but not least, my wife.  Lindsay has had to endure hell and back and back around again in the last four months.  This wrongful termination from Gamestop was another curveball that we didn’t deserve or anticipate.  She’s a real trooper, and without her love, support and reliability, I’d be well past the point of sanity by now.  I love you, chipmunk! 
    Oof.  One final word.  Now that Hal has popped onto my show, I’ll be doing a walk-on over on his.  We’ll be recording Episode 61 (or is it 62?) next week and you know I’ll give you the head’s up once it’s online.  The two of us are the politically correct equivalent of a keg full of dynamite strapped to a minivan doused in nitroglycerin whenever we get near a microphone.  The Big Words episode was brutal, but now that we’re back in the groove, our show on his site will be worse.  You have been officially warned.  Have a great weekend,

 
Tom Waters
h1

Monday Big Words Update! Week 101 on stands/CHS Workshop Tomorrow/Talking Leaves THIS Thursday!

November 4, 2008

So…..

The Monsters Of Verse are full steam ahead and this crazy rig isn’t going to let up until at least the beginning of May.  Once the calendar year closes, we’ll be investing a great deal of time and energy into booking additional events, new venues and bigger appearances from February through May.  For now, though, we’ve got plenty to keep our hands full with the events we’ve got and new engagements keep popping up without us even trying!

Moving on, Night Life magazine assaults the Buffalo/Toronto market today with a Big Words edition of ‘Unenjoyment’, a stoical look at how my life would play out after Gamestop wrongfully terminated me so that they could promote a total incompetent racist drug addict into one of their new stores in the Buffalo market.  Scoop up a copy while it’s hot!  If you were on the free newsletter list (which you can subscribe to by emailing bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading), you got to see it first over three weeks ago.  If not, now’s your chance to read it in Night Life.  With 70,000 copies rolling off the presses every single week all over the Greater Buffalo/Niagara area, there are plenty of bars, restaurants and pizzerias where you can read all about it!

Tomorrow, I’ll be making a return trip to the hallowed halls of Clarence Central High School to teach my first writing workshop to the kids in the Poetry Club, the staff at Chrysalis, the on-site literary magazine (which has grown by leaps and bounds since I graduated in ’93), and a few other stragglers who got the exclusive invite from Ms. Foster and Kevin Starr.  You can hear the entire event some time later this week when it pops up on Think Twice Radio’s Monsters Of Verse site. 

This Thursday, the Monsters Of Verse kick off their second scheduled appearance/reading/signing at Talking Leaves on Main St. (near Bailey) at 6 p.m.   Jonathan (the owner proprietor of both locations) has been extremely supportive and helpful with all of my books for the last seven years, so bringing the crew out for another hoorah was a no brainer.  You can check out his listing/brief synopsis of the book over on Talking Leaves’ official site at:

http://www.tleavesbooks.com/watersplus.htm

Jr Finlayson, Carrie Gardner and myself will be reading selections from our newest poetry collections in fifteen minute blocks (so we have time to schmooze/hawk some books before the store closes at 8 pm sharp).  I don’t like to hold up employees at the locations where we have events scheduled near close, so please show up on time, bring plenty of friends (and cold hard cash!) and feel free to join us out afterwards!

I also pounded out two new graphic novel reviews for my editor Thom Young over at www.comicsbulletin.com.  One of the two should be going up this Wednesday, when they premiere their graphic novel reviews on the site.  I’ve been pretty negligent with them lately and I get neurotic when I’m not taking full advantage of every media stream I’m plugged into, so I’ll be focusing my creative efforts (with what diminishing free time I have) on getting a few more reviews backlogged for Mr. Young.

I’m not sure if there will be a new Big Words One Man Mobile Unit episodes this week, but we’ll see what happens.  This week is pretty hectic and I’m still reeling from my molar extraction.  I feel guilty for loafing even for a day or two, but some bed/couch rest wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.  We’ll see what happens.  If Uncle Hal stiffs again (which is becoming an increasingly more common occurance lately), maybe I’ll set something up on Wednesday with somebody else. 

And DON’T FORGET TO VOTE MCCAIN/PALIN ON ELECTION DAY, Tuesday, November 4th!  The Republican party needs all the support we can muster, so make the time, hit the polls and make your voice heard!  Our nations economy and global stance for the next four years depend upon it.  Don’t let the Spendocrats win this one, even if our last contender turned into a bumbling moron.  Who knows, maybe W. can find gainful seasonal employment with the soulless jackasses currently running Gamestop into the ground?  He’s got half a brain, and that appears to be qualification enough lately….

Have a great week and see you out, about and in print in Buffalo!

Vote Republican!,

Tom Waters

h1

Big Words Radio Hour Episode XIV: ‘Keeping It Warm’; Jeff Brown w/co-host SoCo Mike

October 30, 2008
Are we really all the way up to Episode 14 already?
 
    Man, radio time flies, doesn’t it?  I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Ignatz-Award winning comic writer/artist Jeff Brown from Top Shelf Comics and, more recently, Simon & Schuster.  We talk about losing our virginity, keeping co-host Soco Mike’s bodily parts warm for him while he’s away on business in Binghamtom, and of course, there are more than a few I.B.M. jokes.  It just wouldn’t be a Big Words Radio show without them.  Sound effects were run into the ground, Frank Miller was lambasted and roasted on a spit for the opening shot, and Red Bull, our official sponsor, was plugged mercilessly (just like SoCo Mike’s wife!). 
    A big thanks goes out to Jeff Brown, Leigh Walton at Top Shelf Comics, Richard Wicka (as always) for enduring bicycle horn induced headaches, and of course, to SoCo Mike for ‘bringing the heat.  Listen in and perk up your ears over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
    If the new episode doesn’t show right away, click refresh on your web browser.  And if the show stops twenty minutes in, pause and then restart on your mp3 nav bar.  I’m getting a molar pulled tomorrow, so tonight’s show is about the most talking I’ll be doing for the next 24 hours, which is a good thing for my wife.  Enjoy!

 
Tom Waters
h1

Monday Big Words Update! Week 98 on Stands, UB Spectrum Interview/Profile Drops Today

October 14, 2008

Night Life magazine is dropping it like it’s hot today with a Big Words triple dose of Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse.  Whether you like it or not, the rest of this month from here on out is going to be Night Life poetry month, as I’ll be giving out free samples of one of the fastest growing poetry collections in the last fifteen years. 

And after a protracted discussion at the hotel lounge bar at the Marriott Hotel with a young upstart journalist from UB’s on-campus paper (Spectrum), the new issue should be on stands (free as well) starting today.  Scoop it up if you’re a student or stop on campus for a copy! 

That’s all I’ve got for today.  Oh!  One more thing.  Fellow Monsters Of Verse Founder JR Finlayson now has his very own WordPress web site with a number of selections from his upcoming book, Afterfresh.  Read all about it (Wuxtry!) over at:

http://jefffinlayson.wordpress.com/

Pending legal cousel regarding my wrongful termination suit against my former employer has been occupying a lot of my time lately, so that’s all I’ve got for you.  I’ll be leaving town from this Thursday through next Wednesday, so I’ll see you all shortly before the big one two punch book(s) launch/Monsters Of Verse Inaugural reading on Saturday, October 25th (my 33rd birthday) at 7 pm!  Take it easy,

Tom Waters

h1

Monday Big Words Update! Week 95 on stands, Home Stretch!

September 23, 2008

     By this time next week, I won’t be a me anymore.  Legally, I’ll be a we.  In five days (and after almost four years), Lindsay and I are getting married this Saturday.  I want to thank everyone in advance for their generosity, their time and their friendship (whether blood related or otherwise).  The outpouring of help leading up to this wedding has been unexpected and is one of the few things that’s kept both of us from losing it altogther.  ‘Nuff said on that. 

     Now on to more good news: The first 20 copies of Breathing Room Volume I have sold out in a record six days.  I’ve got more on re-order and I’m hoping I’ll have them by Wednesday so that I can give away a comp copy to the boys from UB Generations, who will be interviewing me this Wednesday at a remote location in Amherst that I’ll be podcasting from.  What amazes me so far is that EVERY single person has read almost the entire book in one sitting and tells me that it’s the best book I’ve ever written.  It would be Ironic with a capital I if a book written as an homage to a dying art form actually made me financially independant as a writer once and forever.  All the capital from this point out is going right back into Volume I and Volume II and then after that it’s getting rolled into Slapstick & Superego, my final Print On Demand book with Authorhouse, which will be coming out in May. 

     Since Lindsay and I will be honeymooning in glorious Myrtle Beach next week, this will be my last Monday update for two weeks.  I’m going to try and take a digital recorder down with me for one podcast, but we’ll see what happens.  When I get back, I’ve got work, Monsters Of Verse related promotions and merchandising, radio interviews, public appearances and speaking engagements and oh, yeah, there’s my 33rd birthday to deal with at the end of October.   It’s going to be very busy for the better part of this year as well as fiscal year 2009.  This is a good thing.  As long as I’m busy, I don’t have an opportunity to allow myself to get depressed. 

     So far, ArtVoice, Buffalo Spree and both UB papers are on board for book reviews, interviews or profiles on Breathing Room by November.  I’ve been working really hard on getting the Buffalo News to commit, but I wouldn’t put that in the bank just yet.  After giving them a free copy of every book I’ve ever written and paying the postage (going all the way back to Soup To Nuts), I’ve gotten a one sentence review on ONE book.  Great.  After two years of giving them my soul, I really, really hope that they’ll take care of me on these two books.  We’ll see.

     And I have no idea which essay is running in Night Life this week.  With the computer issue earlier on, my ‘Sent’ mail is still spotty, so it’ll be a surprise to all of us as to which Big Words column runs.  I’ve got to send out all my columns for next month today, so I’m leaving you with that.   If you haven’t done so already, get off your ass and order Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.  I can track individual orders too, so don’t think I can’t tell how many copies are going out the door.  Order a print copy or (I make more money on these and they’re cheaper) download a pdf copy to your computer instantaneously at:

http://www.lulu.com/content/2962892

     Not to play the guilt card, but as a newly married couple, we’ve got a house and children to start saving for.  Buy the book, read the book and enjoy it.  Do it.  NOW! 

     Seeya in two weeks, Monday Updaters!

Tom Waters

h1

Monday Big Words Update! Week 94 on Stands, Big Words Radio Episode 10(!) up now!

September 16, 2008

     The rant you know and love is coming out swinging this week in Night Life’s Big Words I Know By Heart column with ‘When In Sloan’, the now-epic, no-holds barred slam on ‘Sloanheads’ that seems to be everyone’s favorite Opening Shot from Big Words Radio Episode II.  Scoop it up on stands all week!

     And in case you didn’t catch the news flash yesterday, Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse is available RIGHT NOW!  At $15 with a money back guarantee, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be racking up your credit and debit cards and starting your pre-ordering engines direct from my distributor at:

http://www.lulu.com/content/2962892

     Until I start seeing some orders placed, I’m just going to keep harping on it all over the web and in person, so get on there, grab a copy and enjoy the verbiage!  My initial 20 copy order is down to 15 in the span of two days, so you’re better off in the short run ordering from Lulu.  Volume II should and will be done by the first or second week of October.  Best case scenario, first week.

     I also spent four hours today lining up bookings for Breathing Room, myself and the other two Monsters Of Verse for the remainder of this calendar year at FYE, Talking Leaves, The Center For Inquiry and quite a few others.  The feelers are out and quite a few weekly, daily and campus newspapers will be conducting print interviews as well as book reviews for yours truly.  Since it’s a poetry book, I need total saturation if I’m going to give these two books a fighting chance, so expect to see and hear ‘this guy’ all around town and beyond starting October 25th. 

     And finally, we’ve reached Episode 10 (technically 11) of the Big Words Radio One Man Mobile Unit!  I recorded in sunny and fierce Las Vegas, Nevada last week and co-host Curt Kusckowski and myself blasted off on mob mentality convention crowds, implants, douche chips and a whole lot more.  The opening shot was ‘Bizarro Acrophobia’, a rant from Slapstick & Superego about the benefits of being a tall man versus going through life suffering from short guy syndrome.  Click away and dial it up on your Ipod over at:

http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html

     The-that’s-the-that’s-the-that’s all, folks.  I’ll be dropping the confirmed appearance/reading/signing dates for October, November and December up first over at my YourHub events site, then Evite, then Myspace and beyond later in the week.  Stay tuned.  Same bat time, same bat channel.  And remember, I firmly believe that whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you…stranger.  Sincerely,

Tom Waters

h1

‘Fun Home’ review hits Comics Bulletin, CFI aftermath

September 4, 2008

I’ve just had two days off and I could use two more. 

Wednesday is apparently the day that graphic novel reviews go live up on comicsbulletin.com.  Thom Young (my editor over there) and I had a good long discussion yesterday morning and in the midst of it he let me know that my review on Allison Bechdel’s Fun Home had been posted.  On the re-read, I was all over the place, sounding off on homosexuality, political correctness, Elton John, David Foster Wallace, etc.  Read for yourself over at:

http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/

And speaking of Elton John, the Night Life Big Words column this week is an excerpt from my 30 page monstrosity of an exposition on the complete discography (and then some) on Elton John that’s going to be in Slapstick & Superego.  The abridged essay covers only Elton’s last three studio albums, which I feel are as perfect a swan song for such an acclaimed career as any fanatic could ask for.  The essay is titled ‘The Divine Pop Comedy’.  I’m really proud of the excerpted edit as well as the complete piece.  Scoop it up on stands this week.

And finally, I did recording duty last night at the Center For Inquiry for Perry Nicholas’ brilliant Literary Cafe.  JR Finlayson was kind enough to read two of my poems for one of the open reader slots and read one of his own from his chap book Gypsy Stance Blues.  It was a diverse night full of quite a few talented local writers including Loren Keller, Martha Deed, John Marvin, Cory Neil and many others.  Think Twice should have it up on the CFI’s banner by week’s end at the latest.

h1

Rooftop Poetry Club Aftermath/Hellblazer: Joyride Review Up on Comics Bulletin

August 28, 2008

Long day…

Got up at four am and kept going.  Worked for quite a bit and then embarked on a trip to Buffalo State (my alma mater) to see Lisa Forrest and throw my hat in the ring for the Rooftop Poetry Club open reading.  I was going to make a podcast out of it (which I was on the fence about doing), but Lisa decided not to make it an official event and restricted podcasting and/or professional photography.  We had a phenomenal time in spite of the media coverage (or perhaps because of the lack of it).

     I read three poems and the other six or seven people out of twelve read two or three as well.  It was just good therapy.  I’m not good with the sad stuff or the romantic stuff, but I read it anyway and it went well.  At the close of the event at the E.H. Butler Library, Lisa announced that there wouldn’t be another open reading for poets until November.  Doesn’t that just figure that once I get back on the horse, Buff State is stupid enough to start phasing out one of the best ideas they’ve had in a century.  There ought to be a petition to keep it monthly.  I’m talking to you, Just Buffalo.  If it’s a matter of funding, someone should throw some money Lisa’s way.  It’s a brilliant concept with a large umbrella of talented writers and it would be a genuine shame to see such a wonderful venue go under because of funding, grants, exposure and so on and so forth.  This isn’t my fight, so I’m begging anyone else to take up the cause.  Good luck.  I started a battle with Buff State over their decision to pull funding for freelance writers at The Buffalo State Record when I went to school there back in 1995-1998 and lost that battle.  As a result, I left campus and became a professional writer, so perhaps everything does work out in the end.  Yet I digress…

     In other news, one of my new editors (Thom Young at Comics Bulletin online) and I have come to the decision that we’re going to run the graphic novel reviews every Wednesday up online.  If you like John Constantine: Hellblazer, then this is your week.  I’ve got a review up right this instant for Andy Diggle’s phenomenal new vision/reboot/horrifying entrance into the series with ‘Hellblazer: Joyride’.  Check it out by clicking over to:

http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/121986238229540.htm

-And then rush out to your nearest graphic novel retailer (preferably Don’s Atomic Comics in Depew) and buy the goddamned book! 

That’s all I’ve got for today.  Long live Vertigo.  And would somebody for the love of god rescue the Rooftop Poetry Club.  I’m looking squarely at you, Just Buffalo Literary Center.  Food for thought.  There are so few decent open readings in this town and Lisa Forrest’s brainchild on the campus of Buffalo State is one of them.  Somebody save them.  That’s all I’ve got for today.

h1

‘Escape From Bizarro World’ Lances Its Way Onto Comics Bulletin

August 21, 2008

Yeah!

     That’s right, my sphere of influence continues to spread like an open sore.  My new beloved editor at Comics Bulletin and myself have agreed to throw my graphic novel reviews up once a week until further notice.  I coudn’t think of a better venue for comic book opinions, and honestly, it’s refreshing to find an online site that’s more than ready and willing to take my reviews ‘as is’ without frequent retooling (lke Buffalo Rising, for example).  Check out the ‘Escape From Bizarro World’ review over at:

http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/

     And speaking of Buffalo Rising, ain’t it sad how few comments they’ve gotten in the last two, three and four weeks?  How very pathetic.  Either no one is reading or their own contributors aren’t signing in under their psuedonyms to chime in on their own work.  Boo hoo.  What is it going to take to have Elena Buscarino’s job, I wonder?  I’m not sure, so I’m just going to keep at it.  Now that we’ve learned that Newell is no longer in charge and that so and so and what’s his face are emptying their pockets trying to keep the ship afloat, I guess we’ll just have to dig deep and try harder, won’t we?  Or failing that, destroy someone else’s life with a minimum of effort.  It’s getting SO much easier, and it’s always been ever so much FUN!

     I just talked to my beloved editor (Ed Honeck) at Night Life today along with my longstanding contact at ArtVoice (Geoff Kelly) and all is right with the world.  It’s incredible just how much mud you can sling about one person behind the scenes as well as in front of.  It helps to have contacts, networking partners and so forth.  That’s neither here nor there, though.  I’ll just say that you can’t buy a stellar sphere of influence for destroying people, now can you?

     My Deepthroat connection is mute this week.  Perhaps he’s occupied, run out of good muck to rake, or just bored.  Time will tell.  I’m sure there are other platforms and crusades I can move on to, but I’m still waiting for word from Buffalo Rising that Elena Buscarino is dead/fired/insane/committed.  If anyone else has any good scoop, I’m all ears. 

    Keep me posted,

     Tom Waters

h1

Big Words Radio Episode 6: ‘The Monsters Of Verse’ Saddle Up!

August 14, 2008

     Believe it or not, once I got my hands on Think Twice’s Marantz portable digital recorder, I had to do another episode!  Jeff Finlayson, Carrie Gardner and myself have been discussing the concept of doing a few rehearsals so that we can work on our timing, our intonation, our delivery and our familiarity with our poems leading up to the paying gigs booked from October through May for our ‘Monsters Of Verse’ Algonquian thinktank promoting poetry, our books and the general belief that no one person should be more important than anyone else. 

     We’re really psyched about this ‘tour’, as it were, with a Screening Room gig in December, a Center For Inquiry Gig in May and a bunch of other spots I’d have to check my calendar to go over.   You’ll know more about it as the dates approach.  So last week, I approached a friend of mine about doing a series of secret shows at their restaurant on Tuesday nights when it was quiet.  Since he cancelled the notion after this first podcasted concert, I guess I can give up the ghost: it was Desiderio’s.  This saddens me, but if you listen to the show, you’ll find that it was a bit…intimate for a mass audience that wasn’t primed for the experience.  Carrie came down with a sore throat yesterday and couldn’t make it, so JR Finlayson and myself took to the stage along with Lindsay (who has volunteered as a backup reader in the event that depression takes me during the slated bookings). 

     I’m really proud of the show.  After the previous two, it’s inarguable that I was capable of pushing the envelope any further (comedically), so I decided to go in a different direction.  Think of this as a ‘very special’ episode of Big Words.  I’ve still got a few more plans in the works, but get yourself up to date over at:

http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html

     I just might have one more episode up my sleeve at week’s end but we’ll see where the week takes us.  I’m also very proud to announce that my entire SLATE of graphic novel reviews (the handful that Elena Buscarino at Buffalo Rising was too half-witted to publish on faith) have been gladly accepted over at Comicsbulletin.com.  You can read the latest post (‘Country Nurse’ by Jeff Lemire) at:

http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/121864989018626.htm

    Busy busy.  By most reports from friends and loved ones lately, I need to slow down anyway, and to be honest, I hit the glass ceiling some time earlier this week and I’m starting to embark on a slow descent.  Everyone needs a rest some time, don’t they?  Whelp, it should be a nice downhill slide.

h1

Big Words Radio Episode III: Priceless! (or) ‘A Prostate Exam For Your Mind’

August 7, 2008
Cost Of A Bicycle Horn: $5
Cost Of Gas Transporting Insane and Heavily Sleep Depraved Radio Host: $3.50
Cost Of Medium Red Bull and 20 oz. Coca Cola Classic: $4
Cost Of 8 Pack, Guinness Stout: $12
Cost Of Friendship With Guest Co-Host Intentionally Bald Mike Due To Obvious and Brutal Homosexual References To His Personal Persuasion: $200
Cost Of Stomach Cramps Due To Pissing My Pants Listening To Show Two Times In A Row: $40
Cost Of Any Career Legs Up From Award Winner Alex Robinson: $4 Million
Cost Of Never Getting To Use Previously Mentioned Bicycle Horn Again Due To Giving Radio Producer ‘a headache’: $?
Cost Of Visit To Therapist Resulting In Sociopathic Comedic Freedom: $50 Co-Pay
 
Cost Of The Best Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Show Yet?
 
Priceless.
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
Every single one of you NEEDS to listen to Episode III with Alex Robinson and guest co-host Mike Hilliard.  Thanks to Alex for being such a great sport, Hilliard for taking it sitting down over and over again (You LOVED it!), and to Richard Wicka for incurring a comedically-inspired migraine.  There is no way to describe this episode.  Treat yourself and then go back and listen to the other two if you haven’t caught them.  Slide whistles and bicycle horns.  The bicycle horn for the first and, indeed, final time.  Historic.  I’ll have to think of another prop next month in the studio for guest co-host gun-nut Brendan  and adult film star call in interviewee Brandy Dean.  Enjoy,
 
Tom Waters 
h1

Monday Big Words Update: Stop The Press, I Wanna Get Off!

August 5, 2008

     If I had a request to pass along to the Fates, it would be that they didn’t let all the important things happen in the last week of each month this summer.  This makes twice now that I’ve had to phone in to Night Life magazine and essentially tell them to ‘Stop The Press!’  With a four rant block of essays already in place, I changed tack in light of last week’s events and decided to publish the Buffalo Rising campaign ala Lenny Bruce by serializing the ordeal.  Every email, every column and every late breaking event will be disseminated in a two or three part column series IN print in Night Life magazine under the auspicious title of ‘Alia Iacta Est’ (or, for those of you familiar with your Latin, ‘The Die Is Cast’. 

     There were a lot of updates I wanted to write over the weekend, but Linds and I skipped town and set sail for Lake Erie.  Some time late on Friday, I finally (after many hits, misses and total mistakes for the notion) came up with a lasting title for Essay Book Six (technically Book 9.  Are you ready for it?  Maybe we should get a drum roll going because the title is unbelievably perfect for the content.

-Drum Roll Please

First of all, you’re all (most of you) familiar with the next Rant Book Title, Slapstick & Superego.  We’ve got that one covered at least.  I’m looking at May or June of next year depending on how long the Breathing Room promotions will spill over.   But the book after that, the rant collection that’s clocking in around 107 pages thus far, is:

-Drum Roll, Please!

Merry Prankster

     I agonize over the naming of things.  This title knocks my socks off, though.  It’s an obscure reference to the ’60s, The Tarot, my lifestyle, the material and my way of life.  It works.  If it turns out that someone else has used that handle, I’m still using it.  It’s perfect, it has a nice ring to it, and I can’t think of Rant Book Six as anything other than.

     I spoke with a lot of Buffalo Industry Veterans today regarding the Buffalo Rising fiasco and they’ve all given me some sagely advice.  Whether I follow it is irrelevant, but it was nice to get their opinions.  People who have been toiling away in the business of newspapers for over a decade (and in some cases, two or three).  In many cases, this experience has opened (or re-opened) a lot of doors for me into new endeavors with old friends and new alike.  A few interviews will be finding their way into the pages of Buffalo Spree, a slick magazine publication with nationwide circulation that Elena was blinded with rage over being unable to trump.  A few others still will be finding a home with ArtVoice after Editor in Chief Geoff Kelly and I manage to trade some old journalistic muckracking anecdotes over a stout or two and come to agreement on the Buffalo Police series.  And I’m going to find a way to work something out with WNY Media, as I think they deserve a few fresh pieces from me after sticking their necks out along with me last week when no one else would.  That takes guts.

     Nicholas Peterson has joined the brigade with myself and Carrie Gardner in putting the finishing polish on both Breathing Room manuscripts.  He’s a wiz on formatting, desktop publishing and layout and he’s been kind enough to volunteer his efforts on rescuing the headers, footers, fonts and formatting headaches that have just about gotten the best of me.  I’ve already begun work on a THIRD volume of poetry (shooting for 3-400 pages for the next tome) entitled Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick which, if I’m lucky, will not be complete for another two years or so with all of the other plates spinning in the air. 

     RD Pohl didn’t see fit to accept any of my submissions for this month’s installment of the Poetry Page in the Buffalo News.  Florine still hasn’t run ‘token excuses for block’, which is understandable as they only seem to run poems once in a blue moon in the ‘In The Margins’ section of ArtVoice.  ‘poem for Lindsay’ continues to garner decent votes on poetry.com, but I’m going to need more credibility for certain parties with the poems if I’m going to move some copies.  It’ll all fall into place over the next three or four months.

     I’m lining up some phenomenal concerts/readings/performances that center again around the ‘Monsters Of Verse’ concept.  Three poets, one location, and the occassional musical guest between sets.  Carrie Gardner, Jeff Finlayson and myself will be headlining a Screening Room reading in mid-December that pays.  Carrie and myself will be featured as readers at the Center For Inquiry as part of Just Buffalo’s ‘Literary Cafe’ readings hosted by the ever-entertaining Perry Nicholas.  All signs point to yes for a launch-window (late October) trifecta reading at Talking Leaves on Main St near UB North.  And discussions are being bandied about regarding doing the official launch at the Market Arcade Film and Arts Center on Main St. downtown.  Most of these events are paying and the majority of them are going to come to pass.  The ‘Monsters Of Verse’ concert concept just feels like more of a downtown Buffalo venue, so I’ll be focusing most of my efforts in and around Buffalo, where poetry seems to thrive in multiple pockets and genres.  Buffalo Spree has even informed me that they’re willing to jump in ahead of the curve and do an Artist Profile and me, which is tremendously flattering. 

     After two months of typing furiously, my right hand is suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.  I’m afraid I’ll be taking a break from writing (and posting) for the majority of the week so that I don’t put any undue strain on the nerve and tendon clusters in my forearm.  I will, however, be running some emails that a certain Informant on Buffalo Rising has been supplying me with intel from mid-week.  The new Big Words radio show wraps this Wednesday night and Uncle Hal and I are STILL trying to find a good time window to do the 60th episode together.  We’ll hammer something out.  That’s a lot of ground covered.  Talk to you soon,

Tom Waters

h1

Buscarino Redux

July 30, 2008

In a letter sent to a pal this morning:

Tom is the one who told me you were submitting the same stories to Nightlife too after I told you they had to be exclusive to us.  You had exactly one CD addressed to you, the one (name withheld) picked up.
 
It’s too bad you feel this way, and that Tom has waged a cyber war.  I frankly thought he had quit last week after he signed of with “for christ’s sake” when I told him his next story needed a Buffalo theme.  I have to tell you I shared your email with him on that subject too, by way of enforcing the fact that that’s who we are.  You understood the Buffalo aspect, but not the exclusive.  I had no idea you felt that because you weren’t being paid you had no obligation to adhere to that policy and again, it was Tom who pointed ut that things of yours that we posted were printer verbatim on Nightlife.
 
I’m frankly stymied by the inability of some to understand that we print only Buffalo-centered exclusives.  I was willing to go for the national theme with Tom, but was given the directive to add the outlets where the books and movies could be bought/rented/watched.  This made him angry obviously.
 
As for Alycia, I have no record of having corresponded with her.  Perhaps she was looking for a job rather than to submit.  We simply are not in a position to hire.
 
As for being denied, I was assigning things to Eli and interns as they came in.  On the occasions that yours showed up later, unannounced and unsolicited, of course theirs got put on line ahead of yours.  Maybe if you’d called or come in like I asked, this could have been cleared up.
 
So, Tom’s decided to bully and form what he sees as an army of soldiers.  You’d do best to ask what the crusade is about and why your commander in chief would be willing to throw you under the bus for the sake of his vendetta…a vendetta against simple BRO guidelines…oh, and me.  The big, bad editor.  Please.
    What a selfless martyr.  Give me a break.  I fired back to Newell with the following:
 
Newell,
 
I had NO objections to mentioning local media outlets.  That is not the issue.  What I DID take umbrage with was the fact that Elena wanted me to re-write a fucking graphic novel review (the content, not the plug for area stores at the end), and put a Buffalo-centric spin on the content.  I played by the rules until she sunk to a different plateau of childishness.  You had better get that bitch back on the leash or things are going to get a lot uglier.  This is not a threat, it’s a declaration of intent.  Consider yourself warned. 
 
Cheers,
Tom
     I’m pretty sure I made myself abundantly clear yesterday when I posted this information everywhere I could think of online.  If this menopausal malcontent is looking for escalation, she’s going to get what she fucking well wishes for….
h1

1, 2, 3…Elena: Support in Defense against Elena Buscarino

July 30, 2008

     This is proving to be a crusade with quite a decent number of good soldiers.

     Immediately after sending out an emergency email and posting my ‘Open Letter To Buffalo Rising’, a veritable avalanche of emails and phone calls came in.  I’m only going to use first names because I’m not sure which people are willing to stick their necks out and which ones aren’t.   Here is just a small sampling of the support I’ve received since last evening.  

Alycia wrote me with this:

oh my god, what happened! this sounds draining and horrible! i know its none of my business but what was the batman situation? so much of what you wrote piqued my interest! i have to say that i had a bad taste in my mouth about her- i was told by someone at the news to contact her and that they’d ‘kill for a published, mediagenic author to write for them’ and after three emails and a phone mesg, never heard from her so im not surprised she’s shady. what was her one line email about?
im sure you already talked a ton about this so you might not be in the mood to share it again but friend to friend, writer to writer, if you have any spare time this week- let me know more about what happened! im so sorry about it tom- you’re a true talent and its such a shame that buffalo cant appreciate what it has and then throws tantrums when talent leaves the queen city.

And the beat goes on.  Carrie wrote me with:

     Woah.  And you copied all of those people.  Again, more proof that you are my hero.
 
What a set of BALLS!
 
I can’t wait to read their the reply.  Good for you for setting boundaries.
 
I have to get out of here now (still at work). 
 
Scott was gracious enough to offer me yet another avenue for my creative endeavors:
Tom,Richard came to the rescue this morning by saying this:

Elena doesn’t realize what a valuable thing she is giving up. If
she continues on as editor, I can see Buffalo Rising folding.

And finally, Newell responded to my email with this:

OMG. Hang on… I’m dead tired and need to get to an event, but let me get back to you in the morning. Sorry… let me have a sec to digest this.

     Now I may be a pretty prickly pair, but this…all-out war is proving to be bigger than the two of us.  It looks as if Elena should probably start seeking another job (and apparently, some psychiatric help along with a handful of prescriptions.  I truly appreciate the well-spring of ‘here here’s’ along with so many offers for help.  I know that I haven’t been easy to deal with over the years, but I would like to think that the good I’ve done for Buffalo has far outweighed all of my tantrums, outbursts and wrath-filled outbreaks.  This isn’t over.  Not by a long shot.  This proves that once again, a) Don’t f with me, because I’m going to bite back, break the skin and make it ten times worse and b) Find out who you’re dealing with before you piss in their faces.  You never know how many friends (and in what sort of positions of power and leverage) they may have.  Thanks, everybody.  Keep fighting the good fight for me because honestly, I don’t always have the strength.

 

I just recently found your stuff at BR … and thought the batman stuff was pretty cool.

If you’re looking for an outlet that will really let you do your own thing, I might recommend WNYMedia.net. There’s no print version, but their website is really cool and the way they run things there seems to flow pretty well. They’ve got a long list of contributors (including myself) and their interests go from politics to sports to theatre to … everything that isn’t politics, sports and theatre.

Anyway, best of luck and let me know.

h1

Breathing Room Volume 2 complete, first 2 batman reviews down

July 16, 2008

     After a day of writing, formatting, and overall creative overdrive, Breathing Room volume 2: rhymes & relics is done.  Now that both volumes are complete, now I need to embark on the slow, painful process of learning the desktop publishing ethic  (through lulu.com), working on headers & footers and making sure that the spelling and placement are correct.  Carrie Gardner (my esteemed and appointed Editor in Chief for the project) was kind enough to priority mail her corrections for the first collection (along with a knockout intro) yesterday.  This is the first (and only time) that I’ll be working on the typesettting and layout to not one, but two books simultaneously.  After 325 odd pages of poems, I’m finally ready to take a break.

     And in light of that, two of the Batman reviews are up and at play online.  Buffalo Rising (online) posted my review for The Killing Joke deluxe 20th anniversary edition along with Batman: Jekkyl & Hyde.  You’re welcome to read both over at:

www.buffalorising.com

     I’ll be spending the better part of this afternoon co-hosting the historic 60th episode of the Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal out in the sunny Burbank studios of Uncle Hal/Harpo Productions in California today.  The second that the episode is up I’ll let you know.  Much like the ‘I’m not even supposed to be here today’ mantra to Clerks, I don’t even have a book to promote!  Yet…..

h1

Acid Logic Update/’Final Eulogy’ in BRO/5 min video delayed (not really)

July 9, 2008

Goddamn, it’s good to be productive!

The July issue of Acid Logic is up online right now with ‘Quiet Time Or Else’, an essay about my required need for silence and tranquility.  Check it out at:

http://www.acidlogic.com/quiet_time.htm

And Buffalo Rising has seen fit to throw my review up online regarding Charles Bukowski’s final posthumous collection of poems, ‘The Pleasures Of The Damned’.  You can read all about it at:

http://www.buffalorising.com/story/final_eulogy_charles_bukowskis#sca

     And I spaced on the date for Think Twice radio’s ‘five minute video’ series.  It wasn’t yesterday.  It’s about two weeks away.  There is honestly so much going on (even without a current book to plug) that it’s hard to keep track and I’m simply hanging on for dear life and loving every single minute of it.  I believe the date is somewhere around July 24th, so you can be sure that I’ll post the link right around then.

    Last but not least, the manuscript for Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse was quietly (and ecstatically) completed Monday night around 10 pm.  I’m ecstatic.  I’m giddy.  I’m clicking my heels inside!  I went out to celebrate last night and felt a hell of a lot like Barton Fink in the USO scene of the film by the same name.  I’m feeling compelled to post a poem over on MySpace sometime today, so if you’re curious, you might want to nose around my profile if you get a chance. 

     I’ve set a two week deadline for my photographer (Shauna Seiler) for the cover concept and my editor (Carrie Gardner) for the introduction, so the book should be available by month’s end.  Not one to be lazy, I’m going to start working on the second volume in the next few days: Breathing Room Vol. II: rhymes & relics.  As I’ve said before, with the wedding fast approaching, I don’t have the time nor the inclination to promote anything in the next three months, but I’m putting my aces in my places for a gigantic book launch/concert/multiple artist reading on Oct. 25th, my 33rd birthday.  I’m thinking downtown.  I’m thinking artsy.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  More news on that event as it develops…

h1

Breathing Room taking off/back from vacation

July 6, 2008

     I never thought I’d say it, but I can’t wait to get back to work and routine.  Three weeks of vacation in six weeks time was too much madness too closely strung together.  On the tail end of it, though, I wrote a mountain of new poetry for the first time in over a year and it’s, well, I feel that it’s a turning point in terms of voice.  The Breathing Room project has been weighing heavily in my mind and it appears as if the two volume concept (completed for over a year now) won’t be the last of that brand of creativity.  With enough time, I’d like to do a soft launch with it (nothing fancy) in August or October.  Response on the material from the fairer sex has been overwhelmingly positive and for the small cross section of men who enjoy reading verse, it’s been pretty good on that end, too.

     I’ll be heading back into Think Twice Radio’s studio this Tuesday to record a video segment for Richard’s ‘Five Minute Video’ series (a high concept, stream of consciousness spot) which should be up (if I know Rich well enough) by Tuesday night.  I’ll throw you the link once it’s there. 

     And finally, my second graphic novel review (‘This Apparition Come-Batman: Lovers & Madmen) went up on Buffalo Rising Online’s web site on the fourth of July.  To hop straight over, click away at:

http://www.buffalorising.com/story/this_apparition_come_batman_lo#sca

     On the verge of near-total exhaustion, I’ll be recuperating and writing in turns at home for the better part of today.  Be it ever so humble, etc.

h1

Too Cool Review hits BRO (Buffalo Rising Online)

June 24, 2008

     After a week of punching up graphic novel reviews and one poetry collection review, Buffalo Rising has posted my first piece on Alex Robinson’s Too Cool To Be Forgotten.  According to my editor’s reports, the author interview will be hitting stands in the print issue of Buffalo Rising around the 1st of the month.  To read the book review on Too Cool, surf yourself over to:

http://www.buffalorising.com/story/the_mulligan_life_too_cool_to#sca

     Two or three other publications had a chance to run this review, but they didn’t get back to me in time.  It’s a good thing, because this new partnership with BR is turning out to be just the creative kickstart I needed.  And trust me, there’s a lot more where that came from.  So far they’ve been very accomodating with my work and tremendously helpful with feedback.  With a few exceptions, that’s a rare commodity in the WNY area. 

 

%d bloggers like this: