Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 46: ‘Impresario’

January 1, 2018

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One of the most difficult parts of the job as a host with a guest like Sabrina Pena Young is wondering which parts of her varied career to touch down on.  Maybe I’m a little too OCD with my research, but as a mixed media artist (films, music and books), there was a lot of ground to cover.  So we started with her ‘New Genre’ award-winning virtual opera ‘Libertaria’ and worked our way out from there.  Perennial Co Host Terry Kimmel made a great addition, not to mention the fact that both of them are part of the Buffalo Movie and Video Makers (BMVM) together.  We had a lot of laughs and touched a nerve when it came to ‘Trolls’ while we were at it.  Check it out:

Thanks to Sabrina, Terry and, as always, producer Richard Wicka for producing and encouraging.  For all the knocks I give Terry, he’s been incremental to the show, and his help and advisement about the Buffalo film community (in which he’s very active on all fronts) has been monumental.

It should also be noted that Facebook has labeled this clip as ‘Unsafe’, so the link has been erased from their algorithm.  Going forward, I will no longer be able to promote the show on FB that way that I used to, so please do the show a favor and SUBSCRIBE (Richard Wicka’s account) to it on YouTube along with subscribing to my personal account on YouTube (Big Words I Know By Heart) for the compendium clips.  No one involved with the show makes any money off of it and it’s going to stay that way.  I made a conscious decision not to run ads for the bonus clips because it annoys me personally when I’m watching videos on YouTube.  So please SUBSCRIBE for free and show your support for the show.  We do it for the artists and the Views.

Thanks for watching and we’ll see you in a month!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 45: ‘Verisimilitude’

December 2, 2017

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As soon as I saw Arnold Palmer in Rhonda Parker’s uproariously funny speed-dating film gone horribly wrong ‘Lonely Bananas’, I knew I had to get actor Brad Spiotta on the show.  He brought the character to life with his own wardrobe choices, mannerisms and speech patterns, and the results were a riot.  Spiotta was a solid interview: humble, charming and quick with his responses.  I got a little frustrated wth Brad and Rhonda because my usual pop culture references weren’t catching with them, but it still made for a great episode.  Decide for yourself:

Thanks to Spiotta, Parker and of course Richard Wicka for supporting and enduring my nonsense.  We’ve got another stellar line-up for December, so don’t you touch that internet dial!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 41: ‘Displacement’

August 12, 2017

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Stand-up comic Daniel McArdle is young, ambitious, eager, and yes, funny in a way that draws from his strengths, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does hosting the Rust Belt Comedy Showcase at Nietzsche’s on Tuesday nights.  When I was doing my prep work for the show, every single comic I talked to had nothing but nice things to say about him, which is rare.  Former guest and Co Host Clayton Williams a.k.a. ‘The Maestro Of Comedy’ is either a natural, a savant or one of the hardest working comics on the scene, because his stand-up kills me.  Having those two in the studio together made for a really entertaining episode.  Find out for yourself:

Thanks of course to McArdle, Williams and obviously producer Richard Wicka for coordinating everything.  Comedians make perfect guests for the show because they’re fast, they’re funny, and they don’t flinch from the questions.  #BigWordsVideo blasts off into Season 4 later this month with a guest who’s been a long time coming.  Tune in to Episode 42 or Free Subscribe to the Show to find out!

Tom

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 39: ‘Agrarian’

June 22, 2017

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To be completely honest, this was an episode where I was relieved when it was over and done with.  It’s no fault of the band’s, but the Big Words Poltergeist reared it’s ugly head, we got off to a really rough start on the episode and the chemistry was all wrong.  The two main cameras that I rely on during the show were set on Demo Mode right out of the gate.  My co-host (who had a calm demeanor and would have been terrific paired with anyone else) didn’t really mesh with West Of The Mark.  West Of The Mark didn’t really mesh with me.  I’d rather not dissect and extrapolate what and how many things went wrong, but just about everything went wrong.  At the very least, we got some laughs in and nobody died.  See for yourself:

Thanks to West Of The Mark, Joe and producer Richard Wicka for getting me through this.  There’s a new episode rolling out next week and even by accident, it’s bound to go smoother than the one that preceded it.

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 38.1: Kevin Thomas Jr.-‘Afterglow’

May 2, 2017

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Returning guest and Co Host Jameel Key and I shot the breeze before the episode and  I handed over the Bonus Clip camerawork to him.  We both agreed that Jameel’s clip from Season 1 was bad.  Really bad.  Back then, I had Rob Bender ask Jameel about the evolution of a joke.  It was awkward and starchy.  So I figured I’d let him decide when and how to film Kevin Thomas Jr.  He started rolling right after the episode, which is typically when we all get up, stretch and breathe a sigh of relief.  The three of us had a really good dynamic during the show and Jameel ran with that.  Here’s the result:

Thanks to Jameel for circling back, Kevin for coming on and as always, producer Richard Wicka for having us.  You know how I mention SUBSCRIBING to the channel on YouTube?  For updates, new episodes, that kind of thing?  You should do that.

#BigWordsVideo will return this month with award-winning country band

West Of The Mark!

Tom

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 36: ‘Sequence’

March 31, 2017

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I went on the hunt about a month ago to find some good writers to guest on the show.  Italian novelist Gaia B. Amman came highly recommended and made it to the top of my list.  Her writing style is sharp and colorful, she’s not afraid of the camera and she’s got a great sense of humor.  Her Italian Saga series of books have a cult-like following and she’s very positive and nurturing with her fan base.  I was tying up loose ends on my research before the show and my co-host cancelled an hour and a half before taping.  Heh.  The behind-the-scenes anecdotes for the show are almost as good as the show, but I’m not going to start dishing now.  Terry Kimmel shuffled some personal engagements around in order to co host the show at the eleventh hour.  Here’s the end result:

Big thanks go out to Gaia for jumping through all the pre-show hoops and delivering a really professional #BigWordsVideo bonus clip, and for being a truly entertaining guest.  I owe Terry a large debt of gratitude for showing up under duress and bringing his A game. And as always, thanks to Producer Richard Wicka for wrapping it all up and putting a bow on it.

Please FREE SUBSCRIBE to Richard Wicka’s YouTube as well as mine (bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com) for updates on new episodes, bonus clips and other hidden content!

That’s all, folks.

Tom

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

March 30, 2017

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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

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 31: ‘Emanata’

November 28, 2016

Comic writer/artist Jason Yungbluth and I share the same twisted mindset.  We originally met back in 2002 for one of my very first ArtVoice print interviews (back when I was freelancing) and hit it off right from the jump.  His ongoing comic Deep Fried stands next to Reid Fleming: World’s Toughest Milkman as one of the funniest, most off-the-wall comics I’ve ever read.  His art isn’t the weaker end of the bargain either.  Going back through his issues to prep for the show, I picked up some strong shades of R. Crumb, a little Bill Wray and his own distinctive style, which is just…fully realized.  As co-host Mark McElligott put it, ‘He’s got IT.’  After the interview, Jason moved to Rochester to blaze his own trail and find a larger comic market.  This was the first time we’d been in the same room together since ’02.  It was more fun than I expected.

Thanks to Jason, Mark and the ever-present producer Richard Wicka for a great episode.  I’ve got a soft spot for the comic book industry, and I wish I could land more local talent in the field.  Oh and hey, SUBSCRIBE to the show for updates, bonus clips, yada yada.  A thumbs up wouldn’t hurt, either.

#BigWordsVideo is doubling down in December, so don’t adjust your monitors.

Tom

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Travesty & Mockery iBooks/Pulp 716 next Saturday!

November 4, 2016

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I figured it was time to join the ebook revolution.  While studies have shown that a lot of readers are switching back to print books, I personally prefer to read digitally.  It takes up less shelf space and the books are cheaper.  In addition to designing the layout and interior for the print copy of Travesty, Bill Dyson quietly worked on the ebook editions for both Travesty and it’s predecessor, Mockery.  You can find them both for $9.99 and $6.99 (respectively) right HERE:

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And finally, I’ll be signing books next Saturday afternoon, November 12th at Pulp 716 in Lockport along with cover artist and pal Mark McElligott.  Due to old age and other obligations, I won’t be promoting Travesty as actively as I used to, so this may be your only chance to get a signed copy of it before spring.  I hope to see you there!

Sincerely,

Tom

 

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Travesty Now Available!

August 19, 2016

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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:

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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

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Travesty Inbound!

July 20, 2016

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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

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 26: ‘Matriarch’

July 13, 2016

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This was an episode I looked forward to taping for a very long time.  I saw Heather’s standup back in September (see below) and, from talking to her on and off, knew she’d be a lot of fun in the studio.  She’s a natural comedienne, she’s funny, off-the-cuff and incredibly clever.  After two co-host hopefuls dropped out, I tapped Brian Bogucki at the last minute and it turned out that he had a Buffalo Comedy connection! Six degrees of Buffalo, indeed.  We all had a great rapport right off the bat before the cameras started rolling.  Some shows are painful to watch afterwards and this wasn’t one of them.  I thought the pacing was great, the jokes were organic and the conversation just flowed.  I wish every comic was this ‘on’ when they came on.  There’s a lot more coming down the pike, too.  In the mean time though, see for yourself:

Thanks to Heather, Brian, and of course producer Richard Wicka for allowing all this insanity in his home every single month.  PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!  #BigWordsVideo will return in roughly two weeks with Rochester director Charlie Simmons!

Tom

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Big Words Video 26.1: ‘Lewd & Lascivious’ & 26.2: ‘Lysergic’

July 5, 2016

Comedienne Heather Stack is self-assured, conversational, and yes, really funny on stage.  Since she was originally booked for #BigWordsVideo back in October of 2015, I met her out at her open mic at The Tudor Lounge the month before to shoot some footage.  What follows is her opening set as well as a bonus bumper clip between other comics.  As Heather (and Tyrone Maclin) have explained to me, one of the host’s duties while running an open mic for other comics is not to run too long.  It was fortunate that Heather got a good opening set in before an evening of other great comics.  See for yourself:

 

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Wardrobe Malfunction

May 2, 2016

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Author’s Note:  The good news is that the rough manuscript for my next book Travesty is finally complete.  The downside to is that I’m completely exhausted, so I didn’t write anything new this month.  As a result of that, I’m re-running this popular rant about my lack of fashion sense.  It originally ran on BuffaloComedy.com in early 2015.  Enjoy!-Tom 

I have never been mistaken for a peacock.

My fashion sense makes no sense whatsoever. Throughout my life I’ve been clueless as to what’s hip, what’s sensible or even what’s practical where my wardrobe is concerned. I got off to a very rough start. Early childhood photos feature our hero wearing hand-me-down plaid bellbottoms (long after they were trendy and before they made a comeback), soccer jerseys (which, if memory serves, I only played soccer for a week until a girl kicked me in the shins and I discovered a lifelong disgust for orange rinds) and a candid middle school church play photo where I’m wearing loud orange dress pants with a rayon/polyester flannel. All of these pictures have been destroyed so that no boy ever makes the same mistakes that I’ve made. In 40 years, my dress style has improved at more of a slight geological pace.

Our grammar school Phys Ed coach nicknamed me ‘Tommy Shoelaces’ because I could never be bothered to tie my shoes. There’s a rare First Communion photo with a light gray dress coat and elbow patches, for godsakes. In high school, I accidentally bought a woman’s trench coat from Burlington Coat Factory and wore it for months before somebody pointed it out to me. I didn’t wear jeans until I was about 26 because I thought it was a sign of conformity and now they’re almost all I’ll wear. They’re easy, comfortable and hold up in hardworking environments.

The story goes that Einstein had five identical suits because it saved him from wasting valuable problem-solving when it came time to pick out an ensemble every day. I have also never been mistaken for Einstein. Tim Burton always wears black because it’s an easier wardrobe choice. This hasn’t helped his directing choices as of late. Most men are inherently too lazy to bother figuring out what they want to wear every day. This is a running theme.

It was brought to my attention just this year that turtlenecks are not cool, that they’ve never been cool and that no man should be caught dead wearing them. I never received this alert when it originally aired. What’s wrong with turtlenecks? They worked for Steve Jobs! An entire generation of beatnicks ran with them and they did okay. All of a sudden some fifty years later they’re not ‘hep’ anymore? That’s the problem with fashion trends: they’re so fleeting. I can’t keep up even if I tried or paid attention.

On a sunny day a month ago I notice that a lot of men were wearing soft, almost effeminate pastel plaid short sleeve shirts. I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing one of those. It seems to me like there’s an upper echelon of pretty men who are on the crest of what’s in and what’s out and then there are the great majority of middle-aged men who just grab whatever passes for the new style that happens to come off the rack at Target or J.C. Penney’s. I literally just figured out in January that a ‘Moto’ leather jacket was short for ‘Motorcycle’, which explains why the cuffs are shorter. Perhaps someone pointed that out to me, too.

The women in my life are either very tolerant, love me anyway (with the exception of my ex-wife) or they’re content to make small, subtle suggestions as to what I should or could wear. Or they just assume that I’m stubborn, resistant to change and generally cantankerous. They’re right on all counts. The bulk of my closet (which could never be remotely misconstrued as resembling a wardrobe) consists of free videogame vendor t shirts from a prior job, bizarre impulse purchases from high school that I don’t even fit into anymore but tell myself I may fit into again some day, a few eclectic sweaters that would have made great stand-ins on ‘The Cosby Show’ and comic book themed shirts riddled with cigarette burns from my part time job at a comic shop that’s been closed for at least two years. So to summarize, if you took a cursory glance at my shirts and pants you’d assume that I’ve never gotten laid, will never get laid, and have no plans to get laid even by accident.

Some people want to stamp out world hunger and others aspire to a Pulitzer, but it’s my lifelong dream to have a tailored suit sculpted to my hairless and misproportionate gorilla-like-carriage that I can wear for all of the weddings and funerals that I don’t get invited to. A year and a half ago I stumbled onto a really comfortable $8 cotton shirt. I bought four of them in four different colors. There’s a cargo shorts drawer that’s more of a graveyard for shorts that are destroyed as well as jean shorts, which no one has ever deemed to be in season for any season that occurs on this planet. It would take me three or four incarnations just to be looked down upon by a metrosexual, and I guess I’m okay with that. It’s easier to accept that you have no clue how to dress than to try really hard and fail miserably. Are feather boas coming back around? That’s okay, I don’t have any yet anyway.

I can pull off capri pants, right?
Tom Waters

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Discourse Correction

April 4, 2016

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“When I have nothing to say my lips are sealed.

Say something once, why say it again?”

-The Talking Heads, ‘Psycho Killer’

Talk doesn’t have to be cheap. One of my bugaboos is meaningless small talk. I would rather wait out a long, uncomfortable silence than fill the void with inane chatter that accomplishes nothing and fails to further conversation. In my line of work, it’s referred to as an ‘ice breaker’, but during the rest of my waking life, I’d vastly prefer a dead vacuum of words instead of offering up nonsense.

It’s been said that you should never talk about politics, religion or the weather. I don’t remember if that was in reference to sales, getting your hair cut, foreplay or simply polite discussion between strangers, but nobody abides by that rule. People who talk about the weather make me fucking nuts. In Buffalo, debate and dissent regarding the weather is a living, breathing, malleable organism, and everyone has a talent for locking and passing along the most far-fetched, fantastical forecast. Given a range of light flurries or the next ice age, your average horse’s ass will throw out ‘Fred The Weather Clown is calling for a meteor the size of Brazil made of solid black ice followed by a flurry of dippable Dots.’ Out of a hundred predictions, average temperatures and year-over-year norms, it’s never a middle-of-the-road prediction. Maybe that says more about the dolts who drudge it up to perfect strangers, maybe not: ‘Team Hurricane 3000 claims an 84% chance of Armageddon preceded by lakes of fire and spotting in women aged 55 to 60.’ It must be Biblical fact then.

Sports fans make the rather large assumption that you also like talking about sportsing. I don’t. My friend Rich plays into this and seems to think he can reach a common ground with people and find out more about their thinking process by knowing about sports and talking with his friends about it. I’m not willing to go that far. I really don’t understand the return on investment sitting on my ass on the couch for entire Sundays yelling at the television. There is enough in my life to upset me without transferring my ambitions and personal happiness onto a corporately held entity parading as a franchise. What I really don’t get is people droning on about sportsing out in public while their sport of choice is currently in progress. If it was important to you, wouldn’t you be at home having a discussion with your television while it was airing?

And religion is a non-issue. Most sane people don’t engage, foster or bring up religion with strangers. Most of us are spiritual and not religious, whatever that means. A great many of us sacrifice live bait to our Aztec snake gods naked during a blood moon while coated in Hershey syrup in a very private and personal way, so we don’t feel the need to bring it up or indoctrinate others. The people who bring up religion as an ‘ice breaker’ are typically the people I run screaming from. I have nothing against religion since it’s never done anything grievous or humiliating to me, but I have no interest in discussing it with people outside of my role-playing, Safe-Word-uttering coven. The less said the better.

If anything, politics are offered up without any solicitation, urging or insistence, and the people who normally inject it into the atmosphere are also the people with the most militant, half-cooked, far left or far right of center viewpoints anyway. I’m surprised at the political non sequiturs I hear without any forewarning or lubricant. Things like “All my taxes go to Albany, thanks very much, Mr. Governor!” from the affluent upper-class doctor or “It’d be great to own a small business if it weren’t for Ralph Nader.” from the guy with 45 bumper stickers and a man bun. I try not to engage or encourage these kinds of people because their jumbled calls to arms can only invariably be followed by rampant bigotry, generalized silliness or unfounded carpetbaggery or skullduggery.

*Confession: I’ve wanted to include both the terms ‘carpetbaggery’ and ‘skullduggery’ into an essay and felt that this was my best shot. I hope that some day you will grow to accept and embrace my decision.*

Finally, there is what passes for what’s left of the Monday morning water cooler discussion. A great majority of us don’t have the indulgence of a water cooler at our place of business, haven’t personally seen a water cooler in 2.5 years, and have never had a discussion as a result of being in the vicinity of a water cooler. Now that we live in a hip, post-‘cut the cable’ revolution era where there are 7,000 different stations, streaming services, Viewmaster Exclusive one hour puppet passion plays and other programs, we’re at a loss for a universally shared experience.

If it’s a reality show or a talent competition, my emotional investment is -7 multiplied by zero fucks, carried by I Really Don’t Give A Shit. Whatever that adds up to, that’s where I stand on either program. I don’t need to know which industry darling won the finals at the Polynesian Breakdancing Awards or who took home the gold on ‘Bosnia’s Got Marginal Saucier Skills’. The point is that there are more shows than there are people now, so whatever you watched or downloaded or uploaded into your retinas last night that was exciting isn’t necessarily a show that anyone else on your continent tunes into.

I understand that it’s difficult to find common ground with complete strangers in everyday life, but I would rather be myself or dive right into the meat of a conversation than default to small talk because it’s easier. The weather doesn’t matter to me, I’m not hardwired for sports, religion is a landmine and a lot of people have horrible taste in television. I guess you could call me a real people pleaser.

Tom Waters

 

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Bat To The Future

March 21, 2016

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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 ?

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 23: ‘Schadenfreude’

March 16, 2016

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The Buffalo standup comedy scene is on fire, and Allie Brady is one of the comics who’s right at the center of it.  After interviewing 3 comics so far (with more on the horizon), it’s fascinating to explore each of their individual voices, styles and, by extension, their acts.  Brady has this slight pause before she delivers a brutal politically incorrect punchline that I really admire.  In the studio, she was fast, relentless and hilarious.  To top it off, her website (stilltoosoon.blogspot.com) is one of the funniest projects I’ve read online in a very, very long time.  Britney Hoffman was a little deer-in-the-headlights in the Co Host Hot Seat, but I thought she rounded out the dynamic quite nicely.  Roll that clip!

A big thanks goes out to Brady, Hoffman and the always-lovely Richard Wicka for putting it all together.  PLEASE SUBSCRIBE for new shows, bonus clips and other additional content.

Tom

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Dante’s Double

March 1, 2016

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You could fill Lake Erie with the amount of hot sauce I’ve ingested.

Nothing would live, grow or thrive there, so basically, it would be the same lake. I’ve been eating chicken wings at least once a week since I was around 17. Technically, chicken fingers were my gateway poultry. My buddy Ron and I got together every week to play video games and we commemorated the event with chicken fingers. And hot sauce. When I got my first apartment, I got my first fryer. Shortly thereafter, I gained about 40 pounds. Studies show that those two events were interconnected somehow. With no self control and the understanding that I was too lazy to deal with the mess of making wings at home, a new tradition was born: wings once a week. This is the point where I could say ‘A hero is born.’ or ‘This is the stuff of legend.’, but my artistic license expired yesterday. It’s best in this situation to borrow from the poorly named 1980’s Fred Ward star vehicle Remo Williams and go with ‘The Adventure Begins’. Cinephile Note: The adventure began and ended with that horrible movie. Let’s get back to the wings…

There are a lot of things that Buffalonians lay claim to: losing at football, losing at hockey on a technicality, losing on ‘Best Places To Live’…you get the picture. Chicken wings really did originate in Buffalo though, at the famous Anchor Bar in the city. Chicken wings happen to be the one thing about Buffalo I embrace. In the rest of the country they travel under the nom de plume of ‘Party Wings’ (makes sense), ‘Hot Wings’ (I like to use that one because it drives my boss into a fit of rage) and yes, ‘Buffalo Wings’. Hot Tip: If they’re listed as ‘Buffalo Wings’ on a menu, you’re probably at a chain restaurant that doesn’t have the faintest idea how to make chicken wings and you’ll end up with a soggy, buttery embarrassment in a plastic basket. ‘Buttery Embarrassment’ also happens to be how I refer to the loss of my virginity. Chicken wings are deceptively simple in their execution. Cook until crispy, douse in hot sauce with a fire hose and mix with butter for those with indigestion.

Around here, the base hot sauce is Frank’s Red Hot. I was not paid for that endorsement, but would like to be. Most places use Frank’s. In the rest of the country I’ve seen diners that give you a 2 oz. shooter of Tabasco for 30 chicken wings (I’m not sure how that would even work), Sriracha (which I’ve never had but would like to try) along the southern border and a lot of sad kitchen-made pastes that were more ketchup than anything else. Spoiler Alert: Ketchup does not resemble hot sauce in any way, shape and especially not form. My palate is so accustomed to Frank’s Red Hot that I’ve gone off in search of other strains of sauce. As a hot sauce enthusiast, you build up a tolerance to heat over time. Useful Factoid: A unit of heat with peppers is measured in ‘Scovilles’, whichb were named after the inventor of the system.

Unlike the rest of my family, I have the constitution of a billy goat. My older brother gets an upset stomach after oatmeal and my younger brother chews on Tums like they’re Tic Tacs. I was not paid for either of those endorsements, but would begrudgingly accept payment in the form of check, money order or chicken wings. By the time I was 25 or so, I’d worked my way up from Medium wings (half butter, half hot sauce) to hot wings (all hot sauce) to more explosive options. Sauces that incorporated jalepeno peppers (they deliver that extra mule kick to your mouth at the end of every bite) habanero peppers (which add a very distinct flavor to the sauce while incinerating your insides) and eventually, ghost peppers. Ghost peppers are no joke. On the Scoville scale, ghost peppers reside somewhere in the vicinity of Dante’s final circle of hell, if that circle included screaming, crying and praying on the toilet all at the same time.

Many argue that the hotter wings that are available aren’t enjoyable. While there is a small subsection of guys who feel the need to prove their masculinity by devouring wings they normally can’t handle, often can’t handle during their demonstration, and definitely won’t handle ever again without a medical staff on standby, some of us have worked our way up to it. Crying is a factor. It’s more of a chemical reaction than an emotional catharsis. It also takes place if you happen to wipe your eyes with the same napkin you used to wipe your sauce-spotted hands with. Or if you don’t wash your hands and scratch your eye hours later. Don’t do this with ghost peppers. Ghost pepper sauces will make you their bitch. Plain and simple.

I hate to say it, but I may have reached an age where I have to start traveling down the heat index. My endurance with the hotter sauces may have reached its apex. For every cause there is an effect. That, and I can’t imagine carrying an IV of blue cheese around with a stainless steel diaper when I’m 50. It’s time to put on the brakes a bit. Blue cheese is for punks. It’s an easy way out of the heat that serves to mask or neutralize it. Milk neutralizes the pain, too. I prefer soda. My Buffalo brethren insist it is called pop. They’re wrong. That’s neither here nor there, though. I like a nice cold glass of Diet Dr. Pepper with my wings. I was not paid or coerced by the good people at the Diet Dr. Pepper bottling plant, but would feign refusal and quickly accept large monetary gifts in the form of gold doubloons or solid ingots stacked in a triangular fashion.

Nowadays, I order a double (20) of wings every Thursday because you get a price break per wing at 20 and I can always finish them off for an additional meal time. The additional meal time may take place before I get up from the table the first time. There’s a great debate between drums (drumsticks) or flats (the actual wings) with solid arguments for both. Drums are easy to eat in public and they tend to crisp up better if you prefer yours crispy. I’m a flats man. My dad was a flats man and his father before him. We’re flats people. Honestly though, I like flats because they’re more tender, they soak up more sauce, they taste better on the reheat and they don’t have as much gristle as the drums. Believe me, I’ve done the research.

By a stroke of luck (and the one good genetic card dealt to me), my severe height has cancelled out any blood pressure issues that might accompany someone who eats a double of wings every week. It’s right on par. If I were a superhero, that would be my super power: Slightly Average Blood Pressure. Villains everywhere would tremble at the sight of my triage. I’ve been training for this all my life. Now I just need an outfit that’s stain resistant to the corrosive concoctions I crave.

Fired up,
Tom Waters

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 22: ‘Balladeer’

February 24, 2016

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John ‘Dr. Dirty’ Valby is pretty close to my heart.  His sense of humor and his career are ideal for the show.  The man really is a living legend, and I’m pretty honored that he promised to come back on the show every year for the long haul.  So far, I’ve tried to avoid a ‘swinging door’ policy for guests, opting instead to let former guests circle back to co-host or welcoming good co-hosts back.  John Valby is the only exception.  He’s funny, he’s talented and he’s the opposite of politically correct.  Again, he’s perfect for the show.  With a last-minute drop-out in the Co Host Hot Seat, Night Life Publisher (and longtime pal) Ed Honeck came through in a pinch.  They have some shared history together which helped with the overall dynamic and comfort level.  You can watch Episode 22 of #BigWordsVideo right HERE:

Thanks are in order to Valby, Honeck and Richard Wicka for being so accomodating.  PLEASE SUBSCRIBE to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel on Youtube for bonus clips, new episodes and other associated buffoonery.  This was a fun episode to shoot.  I look forward to having John back on next February.

Tom

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Big Words Video 22.5: ‘Medley’

February 24, 2016

Producer Richard Wicka got such a good sound from Tom Sartori’s clips over the summer that we decided to utilize the same set-up for John Valby by wiring him to the Home Of The Future.  John (who brought a satchel overflowing with lyric notebooks, stray notes and even lyrics written on the back of crossword puzzles) treated us to a medley of some of his classic favorites with updated verses as well as some material from his newest album Keep Calm And Valby On.  See for yourself right here:

Thanks are in order to Richard for his enduring patience and Valby for indulging us.  If you like what you see and you’d like notifications for new bonus clips as well as the history show…PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!  #BigWordsVideo will return in March with award-winning comedienne Allie Brady!

New rant next week!

Tom

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Reg’s Retirement Plan: Elton John In His ’60s

February 12, 2016
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Photo Credit: The Guardian

Author’s Note: I desperately wanted to keep writing and researching this piece, but I’ve never missed a deadline, even if it was self-imposed.  There were a lot of other avenues I could have gone down, but decided to polish it off and send it off into cyberspace on time.  And I would like to blame WordPress’ style difficulty for the lack of italicizing for album titles, etc.  A longer version will most likely end up in my next book Travesty.  I hope you like it! -Tom

Any fanatic will tell you about the law of diminishing returns. Elton John fans are no exception. After hearing the classic songs, the classic albums and the go-to ballads for lazy radio DJs, we get burnt out. I could happily go the rest of my life without hearing either version of ‘Candle In The Wind’, but as a completionist, I own the 40th Anniversary Edition boxed set for Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (with the original track, remastered), the quickly rushed post-Diana B-Side ‘Goodbye England’s Rose’ (the A Side was ‘Something About The Way You Look Tonight’ from the Big Picture album), the moving version mere days before throat surgery from Live In Australia, and every live album and DVD wherein Elton has trotted the ballad back out. During a vicious feud with The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards, Keith told an interviewer that Elton made his career and his fortune from ‘dead blondes’. Hardly true, but it’s another factoid floating around in my head from my years as a faithful fan.

The point is that any fanatic is hungry for new material or a different spin on the greats, whether it’s a new studio release that’s just so-so, a just-because live album or the opening of some metaphorical vault full of master tapes, alternate tracks and raw cuts. I’ve heard ‘Your Song’, ‘Bennie And The Jets’, ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’ (the radio has made me hate it) and the dreaded ‘Candle In The Wind’ almost as many times as Elton has performed them, which is why I don’t listen to them that often. So when there’s a new addition to the discography, I greet it with open arms. I run the album into the ground on repeat in my car, scour the internet for videos (since that’s where they premier now) and troll for print interviews from the latest junket. I’ll say this much: for two guys who are a whisper away from 70, Elton and Taupin are still giving 100%. Is it is good as their first wave of success from ’69-’74 when they were churning out two albums a year for their contractual obligations with Dick James? It’s not a fair comparison.

Despite all the coke and the casual hook-ups from the ‘80s and his Never-Ending Shopping Spree, Elton might bury us all. With sobriety, a steady tennis regimen and a quadruple bypass he’s still going strong. Thank God. We’re lucky to have him. It’s incredible to ponder that little Reginald Kenneth Dwight started out playing saloon songs in corner taverns when he was 15 and he’ll still be pounding the ivories this March when he turns 69. He’s had more Top 40 hits than Elvis Presley, he’s been knighted (which used to be reserved for the rare elite and not just every other British musician over 50) He won an Academy Award as well as a Grammy for Album Of The Year for The Lion King. His musical Billy Elliot has been in production for over a decade. He’s outlasted almost all of the artists from his era and shattered so many records that he’s become peerless. He’s been called a living legend and a national treasure, but to most he’s known as the ‘Rocket Man’. Once he broke his habit of staying on the Billboard Charts (or once they stopped being relevant in the wake of the music industry imploding as a result of iTunes), his new releases tapered off to a trickle. He reached a stage as an artist where he took his time to make sure each album was what he wanted before he put it out. Let’s look at the last ten years.

Elton and Vegas were bound to find each other. It just makes sense that Elton would sign a 3 year deal with Ceasar’s Palace in so that nations of adoring fans could find him instead of touring around from ‘the end of the world to your town’ (‘Captain Fantastic’). The first show took place in February, 2004. 3 years came and went and kept on going. In addition to limited-city world tours by himself and a tour with Billy Joel in between, The Red Piano revue in Vegas morphed into The Million Dollar Piano in 2011. It was filmed and re-marketed as a concert film with the usual lineup of popular hits. Surprisingly, a long-playing gem from Caribou (‘Indian Sunset’) was included on the main concert film. A bonus concert covered some songs that were off the beaten path.

Why don’t we call Elton John and Leon Russell’s The Union (2010) what it was: the resurrection of Leon Russell figuratively and literally. It was also Elton’s attempt of ‘having to go back to go forward’. The album got off to a very bumpy start. According to interviews with John and Russell while they were promoting its release, Elton tried to farm the idea out to occasional touring mate Billy Joel. While his boyfriend David was cycling through his iPod on vacation, Elton was moved to tears when he heard Leon Russell, who was an even bigger star than Elton when they met during John’s big U.S. week-long debut at L.A.’s Troubadour back in 1969. Few pop stars share Elton’s enduring popularity, and Russell faded away from the spotlight into obscurity.
Billy Joel wasn’t interested in the project. I remember a plum line from Joel with USA Today where he claimed that Elton told him he should put out more albums, while Joel told him he should put out less. For those who remember, Joel announced his retirement from songwriting on his final studio album River Of Dreams (1993). I get into this argument often, but I have more respect for Elton because he keeps composing, recording, performing and aiming for new heights instead of giving up and cashing in when his coffers get light. That, and I’ve always had the sneaking suspicion that Joel’s lyrics and subject matter aimed squarely and deliberately at the heart (and purse) strings and struggles of the blue collar working class whereas the bulk of John & Taupin’s songs are decidedly more cerebral, poetic and classically centered. But I digress.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Breath Of A Salesman

February 1, 2016

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One of the first things I learned about fine-tuning my pitch was a little trick called ‘clearing the mechanism’. No matter what I’m in the middle of when an Up (my turn on the sales rotation) comes in to look at *Widgets*, I’m trained to take a step back, clear my head and check my breath before I give a couple or a One-Legger (husband or wife flying solo without their significant other) my undivided and complete attention. Let’s face it: Nobody wants to buy anything from someone who smells like they stumbled into a garlic clove patch for lunch, stuffed an entire can of spinach between their teeth or a salesman with pretzels and coffee breath issuing from their word-hole. I take a moment, focus on the journey we’re about to embark upon together and roll into it.

Paunch is a dead giveaway for a good salesman. I’ve met a few energetic, wiry, skinny types, but on the whole, you can spot a top earner by the love handles spilling over his belt. A guy who’s a top performer is also a guy who’s putting food on the table, eating well, or splurging his Spiffs (cash incentives for upselling) on fancy dinners out. The gut also has a lot to do with avoiding real work. Born salesmen are noticeably absent when manual labor is going down, electing instead to follow up on Leads, Prospect a fresh Up, ride a desk, smoke a cigarette, decide to get lunch or play with their phones. While I don’t own a smart phone, I still know how to play Scrabble, troll *Social Media* and check the weather. Go figure.

I never thought I’d wind up in sales. Some children can tell you by grade school that they want to grow up to be a lawyer, a fireman or a claims adjuster for a multinational corporation. Those kids were boring then and I find them boring now. At last count, I’ve had 38 jobs. Maybe not that many, but I’ve got a desk drawer full of name tags, personal business cards for companies and stores that don’t even exist anymore, lanyards and other assorted company memorabilia that hold no resale value except as mementos of associate positions and career paths that have been derailed, stunted or emergency ejected. If you take a cursory glance at my resume from five years ago, you’d find that I have a strong background in management, customer service and retail. I’m surprisingly happy, fulfilled and neither pressured nor coerced to admit that I’m good at it. We’ve all had jobs that we suck at where we drag our feet in every morning, count the minutes, keep our heads down and do our best to barrel through it. At least I have. This job isn’t that for me.

Salesmen get a bad rap. Most people conjure up a stereotypical used car salesman in their heads: Insincere, cheesy, and sleazy. I am none of those things. While I have a great fondness for cheese (especially ALL the Jacks), it has never rendered me cheesy. When I’m deep into a pitch selling *Widgets*, I try to find the warm, fuzzy place in my heart where Empathy resides. When I’m at the top of my game, it’s because I found that sweet spot. I wear my heart on my sleeve, which is shocking considering that I’m such a sarcastic asshole the other 98% of the time that I’m awake. From what I’ve gathered, all of us save the very best of ourselves for that window of opportunity when we’re making money based on our personality. It’s the nature of the beast.

Developing a pitch is like crafting your own lightsaber or finding your own spirit animal, take your pick. It’s a fine-tuned dress rehearsal tailor-made to the customer you’re dealing with and spun from your best attributes. For me, it’s equal parts empathy, customer service, humor (naturally), informal interview, body language and honing my listening skills. Hearing what people are saying and giving them ample time to talk are easier said than done. We’re conditioned to run our mouths and take what we hear on the surface, so it’s taken some time to be more considerate and to keep my word-hole shut. People love to talk about themselves, so in a lot of scenarios, just letting a couple or a person open up and actually listening when they do will seal the deal.

We all follow a Process where I work. I’m not going to tell you what that process is. There are blood oaths involved, animal sacrifice, full moons…just kidding. I’m just not going to reveal the mystery. My best analogy is that our Process is similar to a classic symphony. We all have to hit on the same notes, but the way that we play them and the inflections we give them are our own. Ego gets in the way once in awhile, and when that happens, I typically start to misfire. Whenever I think that my way is better I start tanking, and it takes a painful reappraisal of what I’m doing wrong to get back to the basics. Admitting that I don’t know everything and that my style or my opinion can sometimes be wrong. This is earth-shattering stuff to accept if you’re an old dog who’s reluctant to new tricks.

We are an impulsive, flashy and cynical lot. My boss collects watches. Another boss plays tennis and skis like there’s an Olympic medal at stake. I collect dress shirts, computers, movies, essentially anything pop culture that isn’t nailed down when my commissions come in. Most of the salesmen I work with treat golfing like it’s a religion. Golfing’s not for me. Like most sports, it takes too much time, there’s too much open exposure to the sun, I’m not a patient man, and as an Irishman, I’m a sore loser. And a sore winner.

I could pen a motivational manual about our cynicism. ‘Buyers are liars’ is a common mantra in sales. People will say whatever they can to get out of a closing scenario and skate out to ‘think things over’, ‘talk to the wife’ or ‘sleep on it’. All of those excuses are bullshit. I’ve learned to look for the real reason behind the Stall and dig for an honest answer. If an Up walks out the door, I’m trained to react emotionally as if they aren’t coming back. Let it go and move on to the next one.

One of my favorite lines out of all the training sessions, webinars and philosophical tracts I’ve attended, watched and read is this: Life is interesting, so be interested. I couldn’t agree more. The people I meet and talk to come from all different walks of life. They all have their own families, stories, hopes, dreams and aspirations. Like I said, when I’m deep into a pitch and really nailing it, it’s when I’m diving into who people are and what makes them tick. Following up on what they’ve told me and finding out more. And it always helps to pop an Altoid after we’ve all had fried blooming onions. You may not know this, but they’re curiously strong.

Second prize is a set of steak knives,

Tom Waters

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 19: ‘Recluse’

January 18, 2016

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I’ll let you in on a little secret: I have a bucket list of guests in my head for the show.  While I’ve been apprehensive about doing two shows a month this winter for fear of the law of diminishing returns in terms of viewership, three is absolutely out of the question.  In spite of this, forces converged on the Home Of The Future studios this afternoon and I ran into my old pal Jim Pray.  He’s not a celebrity per se, he doesn’t have anything to promote, and he’s sworn off doing any radio or video spots for the last four years.  He’s in my Top Ten on the bucket list.  I’ve been wearing him down and it took a lot of coaxing to get him to sit down and do a show with me.  It was worth it.  I’ve met a few people in my life who are hilarious because they’re being hilarious when they don’t know it.  Jim’s one of those people.  I’m glad to count him as one of my friends.  We did a show with no script, no co-host…no net.  Give it a watch right HERE:

 

 

So yep, three shows this month.  Just like that.  Buffalo Pundit and Daily Public commentator Alan Bedenko is coming on in about a week.  Do you know at the end of the movie credits how they say ‘007 Will Return In’?  That.  That all over.  Tom Waters will return in #BigWordsVideo 20!  Subscribe and Share, folks, Subscribe and Share.

See you soon.

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Creature Of Habit

January 4, 2016

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‘I’m still waiting on my Fruity Pebbles.’

This is not a sequence of words in the English language that any grown man should ever say to another human being. Hearing that line at an e-cigarette purveyor made me seriously reconsider the overall manliness of the guy who uttered the line, my own masculinity, and the choices behind my decision to join the e-cigarette demographic. Vapers at large are a douchey and superstitious lot. I have a serious issue identifying or comparing myself with them.

They fall into the same camp that subscribes to unemployable and scary homeless derelict beards and their accompanying beard oils, effeminate pastel flannels which I am also not a fan of, and sturdy combat/work boots worn by those who will never see combat or gainful employment. The term ‘e-juice’ is also a phrase that I’m uncomfortable with. It sounds disgusting. And the hundreds of different flavors are often embarrassing to say aloud. Pink Kiwi Dildo, Green Tea-Bag and Root Beer Ball Sac spring to mind. I’m a creature of habit (clearly), so I stick with Peanut Butter Cup (not exactly an affirmation of my Man Card) during the day and Cuban Cigar at night.

Over a year ago I decided to quit smoking because I couldn’t bear the thought of dressing my son up and taking him outside during the winter to feed the monkey. That was my line in the sand, and I felt like I’d be the worst father in the universe if I did that. It was not a conscious choice to avoid cancer or take better care of myself. After smoking between a pack a day to two packs for the better part of twenty five years, I gave it up because I was unwilling to make my boy an unwitting accomplice to my habit.

Little did I know that to many people, it’s a lifestyle. There are accessories, a level of mechanical aptitude for advanced e-cigarette smokers (rigs, mods, and erector set bongs), and a practiced and self-entitled pretentious sense of cool that accompanies blowing billowing clouds of mist into the atmosphere. When I was a kid, most corner stores had candy cigarettes for kids. They were bubble gum sticks packaged to look like cigarettes that let off puffs of powdered sugar when you blew on them. It was a great way to teach kids how to smoke before they were allowed to smoke. Looking back, I can’t believe that something like that would make it past the marketing phase, but they were different times.

Cigarette smoking (and e-cigarette smoking, by extension) aren’t any more sophisticated, cool, hip or European than the candy cigarettes were. We’re all blowing cancerous candy clouds of smoke. When I see a kid crossing the street with a tricked out brick contraption billowing great goddamned plumes of vapor, it doesn’t look terribly cool to me. I won’t argue for or against electronic cigarettes, but the logic behind it makes sense to me. Rather than ingesting a few thousand poisons, I’m taking in the one that counts: nicotine. The devil I just met is better than the devil I know.

When I initially went into a shop and made my first point of contact, my only request was for something small. Size doesn’t matter to me, and it didn’t seem practical to put my mouth around some monstrous metallic cock in public. I don’t understand how we live in a post-Industrial culture that can cram a computer into a wristwatch, but the technology hasn’t come far enough along to create a nicotine dispersal unit that’s smaller than the candlestick in Colonel Mustard’s Den or a box of Cracker Jacks. Many devices are built to house a pair of batteries that would outlast five nuclear winters; I just wanted something small that would fit into my pocket and make it through a typical day. Three devices later, I found a rig without serious structural flaws that did just that.

Somehow I have more paraphernalia now than when I was a pothead. Instead of pipes, one-hitters, roach clips and rolling papers I have miniature e-cigs, medium rigs, small droppers, larger bottles, ‘wicks’ (which aren’t really wicks per se, but metallic cylinders or ‘atomizers’ that are referred to as wicks) and battery chargers. Every component, part and parcel has a ‘No Garbage Can’ logo on it, so the unused garbage may be as difficult to dispose of as uranium, old prescription drugs, guns, porn or E.T. cartridges. Not that I’m speaking from experience…moving on, then.

I know too many people who have tried to quit cigarettes cold turkey only to go back to it. There are more still who turn to e-cigarettes after decades of smoking thinking that they can step down and quit within a few weeks. I’m giving myself a few years to gradually wean myself off of nicotine. There are actually days when I forget that I have my device with me, or I realize that I haven’t puffed on it for a few hours, which is pretty incredible considering that I used to smoke every hour on the hour like clockwork. Unless I’m stressed, it’s often an afterthought. Or when I’m in the mood for the infused flavor blast of Pink Kiwi Dildo.

Vaping in the boy’s room,
Tom Waters

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‘Aqua Vita’ goes live on BuffaloComedy.com

May 6, 2015

Aqua Vita

This was more of a traditional rant that just flew out onto the page when I was writing it.  After the small, silly controversy that ‘Cosmopolitan Cop Out’ caused last month on BuffaloComedy.com, I decided to follow up with a harmless, silly little ditty about a time-honored subject that I’ve covered dozens of times: dentistry.

Check out the new essay here:  Aqua Vita

Please give it a Read, give it a ‘Like’, ‘Favorite’, ‘Retweet’ or any other number of sharing and liking functionality on whichever social media you’re navigating at the time.

As part of a larger whole, Travesty is well on the way to completion as a book clocking in at around 170 pages.  The body of work that the book represents thus far is well-rounded, concise and should be a pretty damned entertaining read if I do say so myself.  I’m not going to put this book out until it’s just about perfect, but we’re on target for April of 2016.  It’s been a long wait for this book, but it’ll be worth it.

Talk to you soon.

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode VIII: ‘Tomahonky’

March 24, 2015

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Just when I think we’ve pushed the envelope as far as it can go, we manage to go that little bit further.  This episode of Big Words I Know By Heart was an absolute delight and easily the most offensive show yet.  While I try to home in on one topical joke for every show, there was a glaring hot button issue that was screaming to be made fun of.  If you’re a Buffalonian (or perhaps, even on a national level), you know what I’m talking about.  We went there and we kept going there.  Standup comic Jameel Key was a great guest to have and Rob B. rounded out the trifecta nicely.  Enough gabbing though, here’s the show:

Please take the time to ‘Like’ the show on YouTube and if you want, you can Subscribe to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel for free and get updates whenever a new show hits!

Thanks are in order to Jameel Key, Rob B. and producer Richard Wicka for another great show.  Science Fiction author Diane Meholick is on deck for the next thrilling installment in April!

Seeya soon,

Tom

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Big Words Video 8.5: ‘Deconstruction’

March 24, 2015

Before we shot the Bonus Clip as a companion for the show episode, Jameel and I talked about the evolution of a joke in relation to doing standup; where it starts, how it opens on stage and where it ends up. For the video, Co-Host Rob B. delivers the probing question and Jameel Key does a damn good job of explaining his process:

Please take the time to Subscribe to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel on Youtube and take an extra moment to give it a Like or Share on all of your 58 social networking apparatus.  I will be phasing out my multimedia blitz going into Season Two of the show in August, so if you would like automatic updates a free subscription is the way to do it.

Thanks again to Jameel and Rob for blocking out the time in the studio.  You’ll be seeing me very soon for Episode IX!

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ArtVoice’s ‘Best Of Buffalo’ Polls are now OPEN!

March 22, 2015

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Hey all,

ArtVoice’s prestigious and king-making ‘Best Of Buffalo’ ballots are now open.  Please take the time to register and vote for Yours Truly as well as any and all friends of my show.  You can sign up and vote right HERE:

ArtVoice Best Of Buffalo

…and here are my recommendations, talented people and loyal friends of #BigWordsVideo.  As long as you have an email address, you’re eligible to vote.  This is a really big deal for a lot of these people, so please take the time to vote.

Best Website: BuffaloComedy.com
Best Poet: Marina Blitshteyn
Best Local Writer: Tom Waters
Best Photographer: Nancy Parisi
Best Video Artist/Filmmaker: Emil Novak Sr.
Best Burlesque Performer: The Stripteasers
Best Standup Comic: Jameel Key
Best Movie Theater: North Park
Best Jazz Musician: Will Holton
Best Rock/Blues Musician: Tommy Z.
Best Jazz Act: Will Holton
Best Rock Act: Black Widow/Widow Maker
Best Country Act: Blood Money
Best Original Music: Busted Stuff
Best Acoustic Act: Michael Bly Band
Best Local Hip Hop: Art ‘Way Of Life’ Shepard
Best New Band: Folkfaces
Best Open Mic: Wednesday’s At Milkie’s On Elmwood
Best Club DJ: DJ Soma
Best Female Vocalist: Lana Notaro Hergert
Best Male Vocalist: Michael Hund
Best New Restaurant: Hot Mama’s Canteen
Best Chef: Bob Desiderio
Best BBQ: Al-E-Oops
Best Beef On Weck: My Little Margie’s
Best Burger: Grover’s
Best Steak: The Red Osier
Best Ice Cream: Taffy’s
Best Wings: Penora’s
Best Fish Fry: My Little Margie’s
Best Italian For Family Dining: Desiderio’s/Lancaster Ale House
Best Stellar Restaurant Service: Desiderio’s/Lancaster Ale House
Best Bookstore: WNY Book & Arts Center

Happy Voting & Good Luck, Everybody!

Tom

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‘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.

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode VII: ‘Lady Business’

February 4, 2015
The one and only 'Dr. Dirty', John Valby.

The one and only ‘Dr. Dirty’, John Valby.

It’s no surprise that John Valby was the perfect guest for my show format.  He’s a talented man with a foul mouth who’s never compromised his art and he’s always given the public what they want: more dirt!  Big Words I Know By Heart Episode VII was a joy to do.  Valby was on the Big Words Radio podcast back in ’09 and this was a nice extension of that interview.  What amazed me about Valby was just how much everyone in Buffalo loves him.  Across the board.  Leading up to the show, every single person that I talked to had a positive Valby story to impart.  He’s one of a kind and we’re lucky to have him.  Enough yakking though, here’s the episode:

If you like the show, please take an extra second to ‘Like’ it on YouTube and feel free to Share the link with your friends.  Going one step further, I now have a ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ CHANNEL on my account (Tom Waters) with the entire history of the show (Bonuses and all) in chronological order.  If you enjoy the show, why not subscribe?

Thanks are in order to Mr. Valby, co-host Lee-Lee and as always, producer Richard Wicka at the Home Of The Future studios.  Season One of Big Words Video is now over halfway complete and it’s just going to get better from here!  Thanks for watching, thanks for sharing and stay tuned, folks!

Tom Waters

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Big Words Video 7.5: ‘Parody’

February 4, 2015

I’ve worked very hard to make the Big Words Video bonus segments more like bookends or complementary segments to the interview shows.  Now that the technology has been upgraded, Big Words Video 7.5 may be the last segment to be filmed on location at The Home Of The Future studios in Buffalo.  At any rate, this clip was a very special one.  Seeing John Valby at ease behind a keyboard and warming up before he launches into a litany of obscenities was really something special.  Here it is:

Please take the time to ‘Like’ the clip and ‘Share’ with all your friend.  In addition, I would encourage you to Subscribe to my YouTube page, where I’ve set up a Big Words I Know By Heart channel in chronological order for everyone’s convenience with all of the episodes thus far along with their matching Bonus clips.  Enjoy!

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‘Time Served’ Goes Live on BuffaloComedy.com

February 2, 2015

Time ServedAs you can probably guess from the accompanying picture, it was finally time to write about my divorce.  Sometimes I write to vent, sometimes I write just to laugh and once in awhile, I write as the only cathartic and therapeutic way to process a turbulent life event that I’ve gone through emotionally.  I’m sure you can guess which category this essay falls into.

There were a lot of avenues I could have taken when writing about my divorce and in the end I decided to touch down on all of them instead of dwelling on any aspect specifically.  With all of the Buffalo Comedy pieces I’ve fallen into a routine of giving each essay one last look-through and one more edit before it’s ready for prime time, so to speak.  You can be the judge, jury and executioner on the final product:

http://buffalocomedy.com/2015/02/time-served/

If you read it and like it, please take an extra minute to ‘Like’ it on the dashboard at the bottom OR ‘Share’ on your networking platforms.  This was a really important writing exercise that I had to work through and while I’m never positive that any edit is perfect, I’m pretty happy with the finished product.

‘Time Served’ will eventually appear in my upcoming book Travesty.  The book is already halfway done, but I’m making a concerted effort not to rush it so the publication date might just slip to 2016.  Thanks are in order to Buffalo Comedy editor Kristy Rock for navigating through my neurotic emails and appeasing my silly whims throughout each submission process.  Now it’s time to go to work on the next one.

Tom Waters

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Big Words Video @The 2014 Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards!

January 24, 2015

On Wednesday this week (January 21st), Night Life Publisher Ed Honeck celebrated his birthday.  The Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards also took place at The Cove in Depew, having been rescheduled due to the Winter Blast or whatever the hell you want to call it that took place last November.  Thanks entirely to Ed (and our long, long, very long history together), Big Words Video had the exclusive rights to the Music & Club Awards.  I was less than happy with the results.

The ceremony and the shows were fantastic.  The artists, performers and bands who volunteered their time so that we could interview them were great.  My co-host Timmy C. was on point as I expected him to be.  The lighting was deplorable, though.  This month I upgraded to a new camera for the new and improved Big Words One Man Mobile Unit (a term you might remember from the podcasting days of yore).  I didn’t get familiar or comfortable with the camera before we started shooting with it.  So in the final analysis, the blame rests on my shoulders.  What we’re left with here is a shoddy end product.  Clips 1-3 are passable by amateur video standards and 4 and 5 are just downright awful where lighting is concerned.

I spent the better part of a day uploading, tagging and scripting the clips and grappled with whether or not I should post them for the public at all and the decision I came to was this: post the videos warts and all.  Big Words Radio went through the same growing pains in 2008 so it shouldn’t have come as any surprise that I went through the same thing again.  I didn’t learn from history so I was doomed to repeat it, end of story.  I’ll do better next time, sound good?

Here’s your breakdown for the clips which were uploaded in chronological order:

Clip 1: Lana from Black Widow

Clip 2: Jack McArdle from 12 Pack Jack

Clip 3: Vid from Nerds Gone Wild

Clip 4: Busted Stuff

Clip 5: Tommy Z. & Damone Johnson

I owe a huge debt of thanks to Ed Honeck, all of the artists who participated and the staff and proprietors of The Cove for giving us free reign throughout the building.  If there’s one thing I realized at the awards it was that I’ve been out of the game for so long that I don’t recognize most (if any) of the newer players in the Buffalo music industry.  Black Widow is an institution.  Tommy Z. is an institution.  Busted Stuff just took home their 6th award in a row and I’ve loved 12 Pack Jack since the first time I saw them at Double D’s Queen City Grill some 7 years ago.  Get the picture?

Big Words Video will be back for the next ceremony for more clips, more guests and a better battle plan.  As for these five videos, please take the time to Like & Share as always.  If you really want to be my best friend, ‘Subscribe’ and keep yourself up to date with all things #BigWordsVideo.  And yes, we came for the buffet.

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Big Words Video 6.5: ‘Recitation’

January 14, 2015

The Bonus Clips continue to entertain and surprise me.  While I hold the reins pretty tightly for the actual show episodes, my guests are encouraged to do whatever they like for the companion videos.  Emil Novak Sr. opted to perform a script reading for ‘Frankenstein’s Patchwork Monster’ with actor Bill Kennedy.  The result was intimate and intriguing.  Viewers can see how Bill and Emil breathe new life into the Frankenstein lexicon and their back-and-forth banter gives us all a behind-the-scenes look at the cameraderie on set for the film.  As always, please take the time to click the ‘Like’ icon on YouTube and feel free to Share the clip.  Enjoy!

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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.

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‘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

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New Year, New Deal

January 1, 2015

2015 is going to be an exciting year for me as well as my company, Doubt It Publishing. For the first time in my life I have a solid battle plan as well as the means to implement it. My vision for the next year in a nutshell is this: Expanding the legacy I have and preserving it at the same time. While some of you may argue that ‘legacy’ is too strong a word, let me proactively counter by saying that every one of us leaves a legacy in our wake either intentionally or unintentionally. If I’m being optimistic, I’ve still got half of a lifetime left. I’d like to make it count. What follows is a specific outline of my plans for the radio show, the video show, my own bibliography and a possible catalog for Doubt It Publishing in the coming year:

I don’t want to lose what I’ve already accomplished. Discovering that The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour had gone offline and off the grid on iTunes (as a direct result of the website Mevio closing their doors) really stung. To date, I’ve ported the 100+ episodes of Big Words Radio twice to two different websites. The process is arduous and time intensive. I really didn’t want to see the show disappear forever from public view. Thankfully (as a result of my renewed passion for reading), I stumbled onto a website that will hopefully never go away. It’s a non-profit project to preserve the best of the internet for generations to come encompassing audio, text and video. Think of it as a PBS for the information age.

The website I’m referring to is the Internet Archive. I’ve been secretly and quietly uploading episodes of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour chronologically and placing them there in what I hope is their final resting place. They’ve been uploaded under a Public Domain license, which means that anyone who reaches my shows can listen if they like, share with whomever they like or download the shows for free. Episode V was just uploaded yesterday, and I’ll continue to post the entire catalog as the year plays out. You can view, listen and download the current shows available here:

The Big Words I Know By Heart RadioHour

For your convenience, I’m also posting a Quick Link on my website here to the RIGHT of this article. If you listen or download, please take the time to write a brief review of the episodes you peruse.

As for Big Words Video, there are some amazing shows in store for you all and they are all confirmed and booked through to the very end of 2015. Filmmaker and comic book proprietor Emil Novak (Queen City Bookstore) will be my guest in two weeks. Who else is coming on? ‘Dr. Dirty’ himself John Valby, Graham Nolan (the comic creator of Batman’s Bane), Public publisher Geoff Kelly and possibly Tom Sartori, to name just a few. I’ve learned from producing four years of the radio show that it’s a smart move to plan ahead, always have a backup plan and always be prepared. Filming the show (as opposed to interviewing guests over the phone or via Skype) has forced me to give the content more of a local focus. There is a wellspring of talented writers, comedians, musicians and other entertainers with no sign of drying out, and I will continue to help celebrate the homegrown talent we have on hand locally and regionally until further notice.

Big Words Video Episode I: ‘Hang In There, Baby!’ has already passed the 400 view mark on YouTube and from what I’m seeing, it looks like the show keeps picking up new viewers with every episode. Not only that, but the people who watch appear to be cycling back through the other shows as well. Later this month I’ll be exclusively filming on location at the 2014 Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards, and with more equipment and a looser leash on Youtube just around the corner, you can expect to see a marked increase in show production in late August when Big Words Video kicks off Season Two. In the meantime, you can support the show by ‘Liking’ and ‘Sharing’ it on Youtube as well as Subscribing to my YouTube Videos (bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com) for the Bonus Episodes as well as my producer’s (Richard Wicka). It’s been a great deal of fun so far and it’s just going to get better.

As for my books, I own all publishing rights to the last 8 out of the 12 books that I’ve penned since 2002. There’s a larger plan for that too, but I don’t know if I’ll have the time or the resources to get around to that particular wrinkle. As a reluctant and late adopter to the digital revolution, I am hard at work designing multi-format ebooks for my entire catalog. I can’t give you an exact date because I want to make sure that it’s done right (and some editing may be applied to each individual title before they go live), but I can promise you that by year’s end, Mockery and no less than one other title from the Doubt It Publishing roster will be available on iBooks, Kindle format and all other ebook devices.

As far as BuffaloComedy.com, my alliance with editor Kristy Rock will continue until at least October of this year. The freedom I’ve been allowed on the site to write, do and say as I please has been much-needed, and it’s a comfort to know that my sense of humor is still intact after weathering one of the most tumultuous times in my life. Her only request was one for positivity, and that single instruction has helped to drastically change my writing, which is directly coloring the content to Travesty, my next book.

Regarding Travesty’s completion, there is less than a third of the book left to pen. That being said, I am in no hurry, and it will not be released until it is near-perfect. After writing 12 books and releasing 15 in the short span of 11 years, I sincerely feel that I don’t have anything to prove anymore, and should subsequently relax and take my time with any future endeavors. Travesty may come out later this year or early next year. Unfortunately I can’t be any more specific than that. It will come out when it’s ready.

With Doubt It Publishing, I’m reminded of the near-inescapable fate that many independent music and book publishers eventually reach. If history is any indicator, I may be doomed to a catalog that largely shares my last name. I wish this wasn’t so, and will try to do what I can to combat it. The doors are still wide open for local or regional authors looking to find a home for their work. I am going to put on my thinking cap this year and try to find some viable writing talents with fresh and subversive voices fighting for the chance to be heard. If you or someone you know has written a great manuscript that has a fighting chance in a competitive marketplace, queries and sample chapters can be sent to my attention at:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

Where readings and signings are concerned there will be more, plain and simple. The last two readings were successful financially, so it would be foolish not to continue. Once the winter months recede, you can count on me hitting the road with a PA system, a few boxes full of books and a bicycle horn. Now that I’m older I don’t see the benefit of booking three and four appearances a week for three month campaigns anymore, but I’ll be picking and choosing some select venues and peppering them throughout the summer and fall.

This is a remarkable time in my life and I’m grateful for the cornucopia of opportunities (and mediums) I have to channel all of my creative needs. As always, thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the trip with me.

Starting 2015 with a bang,
Tom

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Big Words Video Episode V: ‘Love Stocking’

December 19, 2014

Big Words Video V Publicity Shot

Yikes!

Some times when I finish a show I wonder if I’ve gone too far for the sake of envelope-pushing comedy.  I try to create a microcosm where political correctness not only doesn’t exist, but a world where it never happened in the first place.  I come from the school of Don Rickles, Lenny Bruce and yes, Andrew Dice Clay, where you should be able to make fun of anyone at any time for any thing for the sake of a good laugh.  So in the end, I hope the answer is that I’ve gone ‘just far enough’.

With that out of the way, Big Words Video V was a rollicking riot with dynamic duo Busted Stuff and old pal Buffalo Charlie in the co-host hot seat.  Here is your synopsis:

Big Words I Know By Heart Episode V: ‘Love Stocking’Tom talks to 4-time Buffalo Music Award-Winning Duo Busted Stuff about the gift of divorce, Harvey Weinstein, Kwanza and the square root of a bucket of ass.

Here is Episode V:

 

I would like to think by this point that most viewers are indoctrinated into this brand of humor.  If not, too bad.  Thanks are in order to Dave and Cynthia for dodging all of the interview shrapnel laid at their feet, Buffalo Charlie for weathering out the Big Words Poltergeist and to Producer Richard Wicka for tolerating my never-ending seat rearrangements in the studio.

As always, please take the time to Watch, Like & Share on YouTube.  Also, please take the time to watch Busted Stuff’s amazing performance in the bonus episode, Big Words Video 5.5 (link right below this post).

I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday no matter what that holiday may be!  I’ll talk to you all in a month, maybe sooner…

Merry Xmas,

Tom

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Big Words Video 5.5: Serenade

December 19, 2014

This was a really phenomenal Big Words Video Bonus compliments of Dave and Cynthia from Busted Stuff.  It’s no accident that they’ve won Best Rock Duo at the Buffalo Music & Club Awards for five years running.  They performed a live rendition of their original song ‘Pray To Rain’ from their album Bitter Cold that gave me goosebumps.

This is the first time I shot the bonus using YouTube’s Capture app. It allowed me to shoot in widescreen in 1080p and the upload time was much faster than what I’ve been accustomed to with iMovie.  Please take the time to Watch, Like and Share on YouTube.  A big thanks goes out to Busted Stuff for such a powerful performance!  Enjoy!

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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

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‘Unplugged’ (an excerpt from the upcoming book Travesty) is up on BuffaloComedy.Com!

December 2, 2014

Three months ago, when Buffalo Comedy Editor Kristy Rock and I were in discussions about my coming on board, she told me that she wanted positive material. For those of you who have followed my writing for any length of time, this is a tall order. So far I’m enjoying the challenge, and it’s actually changing the content for the back half of Travesty, the collection I’m working on right now. My partnership with Buffalo Comedy is something I’m committing to for at least a year, and so at least on my end, I’ve been very pleased with our relationship.  I’ve had good experiences with Buffalo publications as well as bad ones and so far this one falls under the ‘Good’ heading.  Kristy has been professional, helpful and she’s always followed through with her end of the bargain, so she’s aces in my book.

This month starts off with ‘Unplugged’, an essay about willfully reducing my exposure to television. I was concerned that the piece wasn’t funny enough to fit the parameters of the site, but Kristy passed it with flying colors. I often approach writing an essay from two different angles; sometimes I focus on the message primarily, and other times I focus on the humor. In rewrites, I work on finding a balance between the two, but occasionally humor doesn’t ‘fit’ with the overall theme. None of this is here or there, though, and I abhor those who spend more time explaining what their work is about than the elapsed time it takes to appreciate it, so I’ll let you judge for yourself. Feel free to read ‘Unplugged’ right here:

http://buffalocomedy.com/2014/12/unplugged

Please take the time to ‘Like’ ‘Unplugged’ on Facebook, ‘Share’ and of course ‘Retweet’ on Twitter as well as your five dozen other social media outlets. Like Buffalo Comedy says, ‘Sharing Is Caring’. My hope is that you’ll be able to see a bigger picture at the end of these twelve essays. I’ve changed, and so has my writing along with it. That’s enough naval gazing for one day, though. Enjoy!

Thanks,
Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode IV: ‘Pudding Pops and (You Guessed It) Michael Hund

November 26, 2014

 

Promotional shot for Big Words Video Episode IV by Richard Wicka.

Promotional shot for Big Words Video Episode IV by Richard Wicka.

Recording and producing these shows is entirely too much fun!

For Episode IV of Big Words Video I finally (after years of nagging him) got Night Life Publisher Ed Honeck into the studio.  If you locked the two of us into a room together for a weekend, we would still be talking when you opened the door on the following Monday.  Ed is a dear friend who helped me get my start in the world of Buffalo journalism way back in the year 2000 and we’ve been busy ever since.  A half an hour only gave us the opportunity to chip away at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to clubs, strip clubs, bars, bands, musicians, music awards, newspapers and the people who run them.  As a matter of fact, I think between myself, Ed and Big Words Video Producer Richard Wicka, we probably know (or have met) just about everyone in Buffalo.  Here is your synopsis:

Big Words I Know By Heart Episode IV: ‘Pudding Pops and (You Guessed It) Michael Hund

Tom spends the remainder of ‘Snow-vember’ (sans co-host) with Night Life Magazine publisher Ed Honeck to discuss the impending Music & Club Awards, musicians, strippers and something or other about a town called Ferguson.

As always, please take the time to ‘Like’ (on YouTube) and ‘Share’ the episode (on YouTube).

Thanks are (as always) in order to Richard Wicka and esteemed guest Ed Honeck.  The last minute no-show of my co-host didn’t slow us down one bit.  Award-winning band Busted Stuff are up on deck for Episode V in December!  Stay tuned, folks!

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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:

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‘Grant Me The Rigidity’ appears on BuffaloComedy.com!

November 4, 2014

imageFor those of you who follow this blog, you’ll remember that I spoke of buffalocomedy.com being a new home for me about a month ago.  After a few discussions with editor Kristy Rock, I’ve decided to write for them once a month.  Well, that month is up and there’s a new essay up there about my recovery.  Wanna read it?  Whelp, click on the link below and take a ride on that superinformation highway, folks!:

 

 

‘Grant Me The Rigidity’, an excerpt from the upcoming book Travesty

Since I’m not a big fan of spending ten minutes explaining what a piece of writing is about for a rant that will take about six minutes to read, I’ll just say that I spent a lot of time thinking of an appropriate way to write about my experience in recovery.  The policy in the Program that I belong to is not to write about it at all.  That’s just too bad. I felt that it would be a betrayal to my readers NOT to include this experience in my lexicon.  I’d rather catch hell (and I’m sure I will) in the short term from my fellow members than suffer from the sin of omission.

It should also be noted that the agreement that I struck with Kristy is a positive one. My new editor wants material with a positive leaning, which is actually a challenge for me.  I think that the resulting writing over the course of the next year will be a happy change of pace.

As for the last go-round, I submitted two previously unpublished essays.  Kristy picked the recovery piece.  Suffice it to say that I have a lot of new material at my disposal, so at best, you’ll be privy to less than half of it as the months roll forward.

Please take the time to click the link above, read the rant, ‘Like’ on Facebook and ‘Share’ via any and all social media that you engage in.  I hope you enjoy the piece.  I’m coming up on one year of sobriety at the end of this month, so the article means a lot to me.

Have a great week!

Tom

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode III: ‘Cork Va-Jay-Jay

October 25, 2014

image

Another solid show!  Now that we’re three episodes in on Big Words Video, we’re starting to hit our stride.  Here is your synopsis:

Big Words I Know By Heart III: ‘Cork Va-Jay-Jay’: Tom goes a round with author D. Mark McElligott (Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind)  to talk about his forced retirement, his new novel and the natural arc of lady parts.  Co-host Terry Kimmel denies any association with taking part in human sacrifice.  You can watch the new episode right HERE: 

As always, please take the time to ‘Like’ & ‘Share’ the show on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and beyond.  Word of mouth means EVERYTHING as the show is still technically new.

Thanks are in order to Mark and Terry for putting up with my abuse in the name of comedy.  I am forever indebted to producer Richard Wicka for making the magic happen behind the scenes.

I’ll see you all in a month.  I’m bringing in the big guns for Episode IV and it’s going to be a star-studded event.

Enjoy!

Tom

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Big Words Video 3.5: Oratory

October 25, 2014

For this Big Words Video Bonus, Mark McElligott read an excerpt from his book Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind (2011, Doubt It Publishing).  Please take the time to ‘Like’ & ‘Share’ on Youtube.  Thanks!

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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

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Big Words Video 2.5: Points Of Articulation

September 25, 2014

The bonus segments are turning into off-the-cuff guerilla film clips.

Much like the podcast, I have faith that the show format(s) will evolve with every ‘webisode’.  For this bonus clip, Kyle Kaczmarczyk and myself thought it would be fun to let our action figure avatars do the talking.  We continued the interview while playing make-belive.  Please take the time to click on the link here:

Also, please take the time to ‘Like’ each clip and ‘Share’ ad infinitum.  This segment was filmed in 1080 High Definition, which was totally unnecessary considering the backdrop, but perhaps funnier within the context.

Enjoy!

Tom

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode II (& 2.5) with Kyle Kaczmarczyk & Twitter Modifications…

September 21, 2014

The Misadventures Of Silent Boy by Kyle KaczmarczykHey all,

We’re only a few days away from filming Big Words I Know By Heart Episode II (and 2.5, respectively) on ‘the Youtubes’.  The first episode was so much fun that I can’t wait to get back into the studio.  My guest this time around will be New York Times best-selling comic book writer/artist Kyle Kaczmarczyk (Fubar, The Red Eye, The Misadventures Of Silent Boy, Igor: Occult Detective and many other titles).  Kyle and I have a long history together.  He was around for the first season of the Big Words podcast and he’s accomplished quite a bit since then.

My co-host will be Jenny O., who’s practically a sister to me.  This will be her first time on the show and I can guarantee you that she’s going to be hilarious.  Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view), she’s exactly like me, but female.  So (in a word), she’s completely insane.  It should be a blast.

I’ll post the link as soon as both shows are up.  Word of mouth is everything, so please be sure to Like, Share and Comment.  If you haven’t seen Episode I (and 1.5) yet with guest Jon Elston, feel free to click on the Big Words Video Links in the ‘Links’ section to the right of this post on the Home Page.

On a side note, my Twitter account is now Private for reasons that are really nobody’s business but my own.  You are welcome to follow me @tomfoolery444, but again, you will have to request access in order to follow my Tweets.

Talk to you soon!

Tom

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A Triumphant Return To Acid Logic re: Buffalo Bills Fans, Travesty Keeps Truckin’, Big Words Video 2 Approaches…

September 7, 2014
Acid Logic's accompanying cartoon for 'An Open Letter To The Rest Of The Country (and also the planet) re: Buffalo Bills Fans'

Acid Logic’s accompanying cartoon for ‘An Open Letter To The Rest Of The Country (and also the planet) re: Buffalo Bills Fans’

This is not to brag, but I’ve got enough publishing credits to last me a lifetime. In the last ten years, I’ve written, worked for, contributed or been published in enough papers, magazines, ezines and quarterlies to last me a lifetime. I’d like to think at this point that I can pick and choose when, where and why I publish with anyone from here on out.

That being said, though, there’s a special place in my heart for Acid Logic, one-man publisher/editor/juggernaut Wil Forbis’ online ezine of pop culture. He was one of the first national web sites to publish my work nearly fifteen years ago, and we’ve kept in touch ever since. He was also a guest on the now-defunct Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour, promoting Acid Logic as well as his book (same title, with essays from AL over the year penned by Forbis) and his music CDs. As a longtime Californian, Forbis and I just clicked. Those of you who have been following for awhile may also remember that Forbis wrote the forward to First Person, Last Straw, my third collection of essays in 2005.
It is also with the spirit of blind rage that I have towards Buffalo Bills fans that I decided to publish with Acid Logic again for the first time in many years. Forbis’ timing is impeccable; the new issue of AL rolled out today while (in Buffalo), thousands of mindless drones are rallying together for the Buffalo Bill’s Home Opening Game. “An Open Letter To The Rest Of The Country (and also the planet)” rolled out today with top billing. If you missed it here, you can catch the rant here:

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

In other news, the writing on Travesty (my next book) is really starting to gather momentum. The book is almost halfway done. Like any other collection, it’s sure to find its own central theme by accident. It’s been a lot of fun so far. I’ve decided to drop my name from each essay for the very first time in the book’s layout. It seems redundant, and honestly, I’m too old to keep doing the nickname thing after every rant. It was a gimmick that caught on very early in my career and it’s high time to retire it.
And the next ‘webisode’ of Big Words I Know By Heart is a little more than two weeks away. Comic book impresario Kyle Kaczmarczyk (Igor: Occult Detective, The Red Eye, Pulp and the award winning Fubar) will be joining me in the studio on September 24th along with co-host Jenny O.
I’m trying to find a delicate balance in my life where creativity is concerned, so I will make an effort to update more consistently here in an effort to keep you in the loop and up to speed. There has to be a happy homeostasis between overworking to the point of burnout and dropping off the grid for too long and losing readers (or viewers) in the process. I haven’t had it before, but it seems possible now. A lot of things seem possible now.

Stay tuned,
Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode I: ‘Hang In There, Baby!’

August 23, 2014
Jon delivers on his promise to be an effective 'power bottom'.

Jon delivers on his promise to be an effective ‘power bottom’.

What a rush!  

Big Words Video Episode I is now live, in the can and uploaded directly to ‘the Youtubes’ so that it can offend Buffalo, the country and also the planet!

Here is your synopsis: Tom launches his programme on ‘the Youtubes’ with dear show-biz pal Jon Elston (3-time ArtVoice Best Of Buffalo playwright) to discuss the pros and cons of Lou Gehrig’s disease, snuff films, and the merchandising opportunities of Robin Williams’ untimely demise.

Please be so kind as to follow this link: Big Words I Know By Heart Episode I: ‘Hang In There, Baby!’

Numerous thanks are in order to Jon Elston for being such a good sport (now an elite part of the Big Words I Know By Heart 2-Timer Club), co-host Jon 2 for somehow making me look like the good guy (well, not necessarily the good guy, but not the really bad guy), producer Richard Wicka and Big Words Video Theme Song composer Jay Desiderio.  This episode could not have gone any better than the way it played out.  Please see the post below for additional bonus content!  Big Words Video will return on September 24th!

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Big Words Video Episode 1.5: The Jon Elston Ice Bucket Challenge

August 23, 2014

For those of you who are participating in the ice bucket challenge or any of the other stupid shit that everyone is doing on Facebook, Jon Elston has a thing or two to say to you after he gets douched with a bucket of ice.  Here’s your link right here:

Big Words Video 1.5: The Jon Elston Ice Bucket Challenge

Thanks again to Jon Elston for being a great sport, speaking his mind and following the trends that ‘the kids’ are into these days.  Please click the link, watch and like!  If you want more Big Words Video bonuses, subscribe!

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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

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An Open Letter To The Entire Rest Of The Country (and also the planet), Re: Buffalo Bills Fans

August 7, 2014

'I'll hold the ball and you kick it, Charlie Brown'-Peanuts by Charles M. SchultzDear Entire Rest Of The Country (and also the planet),

Just so we’re on the same page, not everyone in Buffalo is a histrionic half-wit.

I write this today to inform you that there are a large number of people who live in and around the city of Buffalo who don’t give the faintest shit about football. I happen to be one of them. I am literate, I have the ability to stand upright and I also have the capacity to reason. While I realize that these are all qualities that are sorely lacking in Buffalo Bills fans, I implore you to entertain the notion that not all of my native Buffalonians are part of the same rowdy crew of simpletons who fly off the handle when their favorite losing team is in jeopardy of being relocated.

As someone who can’t stand football, I was thrilled at the remote possibility that the Bills might be moved somewhere else. Anywhere else. No matter who seems to be on the team, they have a real knack for consistently losing every year including their three consecutive losing Superbowls back in the early ’90s. Many Bills fanatics still wax rhapsodic about those years (“We came so close!”), and often cling to this era more tightly than any ideals, values or belief systems that they may have had before they started wasting the majority of their free time watching football, talking about how they would have personally coached/threw/defended a better game the next day, or drying out in the drunk tank after exposing themselves outside the stadium afterwards.
As an outsider looking in (even though I’m geographically in the same place), I find the fans’ cries of outrage, indignation and mob mentality exponentially sillier than even you do. The concept of projecting all of your hopes and dreams onto something outside of yourself (let alone a ‘team’ that changes key players every year, so, by nature, isn’t really the same ‘team’) that you have zero control over is asinine. To place said hopes and dreams onto tenured losers is even more ludicrous. Every single year, the fans convince themselves that their Champions will succeed (with no proof or even a hope in hell that they’ll perform any less horrendously than the previous season) only to sink into a blind rage and/or complete apathy after a few losing games.
I never voted for the Buffalo Bills (or their fans) to be our Champions, our Gladiators, or to represent me, my town, or our general attitude. All of us in this great city are doomed to the stereotype of rabid idiots who lash out at the rest of the country whenever this precious team is brought into question. Reacting like that conveys a serious inferiority complex, which I’m sure you can agree on. I could care less what happens to them, how they’ll rank in the upcoming season (prediction: tragically awful), or whether or not they’ll end up being relocated to another country.
If I had any say (which I don’t), I’d move them as far away as possible. The fans’ interaction with the Bills is akin to a really bad romantic dalliance where both parties fall in love and break up every year. Like any doomed relationship, it would be best for both parties (the fans and the team) to ‘get some space’, ‘find themselves’ and possibly ‘see other people’. We all know (universally) that long distance relationships don’t work, so the heated passion and blind rancor that fans go through cyclically would eventually taper off and disappear. All Buffalonians might find a useful hobby, get some exercise (which takes place no less than five feet away from your favorite television armchair) and could very well lead fulfilling, fascinating lives of their own, thus eliminating the need to live superstitiously and vicariously through a sports franchise that doesn’t give a flying fuck about them aside from their money and truly blind loyalty. And as a result, you (i.e. the Rest Of The Country and also the planet) would no longer lump us all in as ignorant, superstitious and drunken jackasses.
There’s a great sense of civic pride in this part of the world, but it’s woefully projected onto the wrong thing, in my humble opinion. We have amazing food (perhaps you’ve heard of our ‘Buffalo Wings’; we’ve got other food here too, FYI), an artistic community spoiled with a wealth of diversity, renowned architecture and no shortage of festivals, fairs, concerts and phenomenal music. Do you remember the Goo Goo Dolls? They’re still here, in the event that you forgot about them. Have you heard of snow? We still have some left if you want to share.
That’s about it for now, Entire Rest Of The Country (and also the planet). Thanks for understanding. If you’re ever interested in running news segments about something besides blizzards (those only really happen from August until the middle of May) and Bills fans (they really only make up about 80% of the populace according to our last census), let us know. We’re not going anywhere. Aside from the literally thousands of people relocating like rats off of a sinking ship for better jobs, lifestyles, opportunities and taxes. Aside from them, let us know.

Yours very truly, Tom Waters
Twitter: @tomfoolery444

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A Fond Farewell To A Buffalo Broadcasting Legend

August 6, 2014

Brian Kahle

Just a quick note today for an old friend who was more than a ‘showbiz’ friend.

I just found out (from Ed Honeck at Night Life) that Buffalo broadcasting great Brian Kahle passed away last year.

I originally met Brian in Clarence in 2002 when he was going business to business for his own company, Magic Marketing.  He was smooth and friendly and he always had a natural smile on his face.  I followed up with him about some help promoting my first published book, Born Pissed.  We ‘took a lunch’ at the T.G.I.Fridays in Clarence.  He quoted me a price for a marketing package (it was too high for me, I’m cheap) and picked up the tab.

Somehow or another I wound up on his Night Life Radio show (probably because I wrote bar and exotic club reviews for Night Life) in 2003 in order to promote my second book, Zany Hijinx.  The radio station was housed next to Spot Coffee on Delaware and Chippewa.  While I was waiting to go on Brian’s show with my friend, former mayor Jimmy Griffin (who Brian mixed it up with on AM Buffalo) came walking out after a friendly interview with Brian.  Somehow they’d patched things up and they were on friendly terms again.  That’s just one example of how genuinely friendly Brian was.

Over the years we kept in touch.  Brian moved his radio show to WLVL in Lockport and I went on a number of times.  Any time I had a new book he was happy to let me come on and hawk it.  He always researched before his show, he was always professional and at his core he was a DECENT guy.  There’s a shortage of them in Buffalo journalism, broadcasting, hell, anywhere in Buffalo.  We’d talk before and after every show just to get caught up on our personal lives.  He launched a television show with Time Warner and was very successful with it.

Towards the end of Big Words Radio he agreed (without flinching) to come on as a guest on the show.  I fired away (like I always do) with my usual nonsense and he played right along.  He even told me later that he lost a date because of his association with the show.  He didn’t care.  You can hear the show at this address: http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/audio/11062a.mp3

Brian Kahle was from the old school of broadcasting.  He did his research, he was what I think of as a class act, and he had the quality of being a NICE person.  You can’t fake that.  He and I often talked about how blurry the lines between journalism and advertising have become in newspapers, magazines and on the radio.  The media has devolved into a vehicle for their advertisers, printed solicitations for future advertisers, or attempts not to piss off people who just might advertise at some point.  He knew it and I knew it.  Traditional journalism has all but gone the way of the dodo, and Brian was one of the last guys who tried to toe the line.

I will genuinely miss him.  Buffalo has a little less integrity now that he’s gone.  And in terms of broadcasting, I hope that Buffalo will never forget his contribution, which was palpable.

Rest in peace, Brian.

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For Immediate Release: Big Words Video Now In Pre-Production: Call For Artists

August 4, 2014

Big Words Warhol Fan Pic by Marisa DillingerHey all,

All my life I’ve been terrified of change.

I’ve fought it tooth and nail. I’ve raged against it. I’ve run away from it. I’ve denied its very existence as a force at work in my life. And do you want to know something? It happened anyway.

Change is the only constant in our lives. It’s taken me 38 years to realize that the best way to deal with change is by surrendering to it. Ironically, changing yourself is next to impossible. With a lot of help in the last nine months, I’ve been able to do that.

I’m not the same person anymore. It’s that simple. This change came at great personal cost. In order to accomplish this, I had to let go of everything I was and almost everything I valued. Much of my life was in ruins anyway, and I was disgusted with the person I’d become.

It’s funny how you can go through your life expecting it to have a set trajectory: college, prestige, courtship, a bibliography, a column, a marriage, a radio show, etc. And then life takes a turn, or hops off the tracks and all of a sudden you’re in uncharted territory. So what do you do? The map book goes out the window, all the clothes that were packed for the trip are no longer valid and even the North Star is out of sight.

What did I do? I put my foot on the gas.

My old life is gone. Kaput. Dead and buried.

Out of the ashes came a life I never expected. Not even in my wildest dreams. Somehow I’ve found a way to look the world square in the eye without flinching now. Somehow I’ve found a way out of the vicious, vindictive pattern I perpetuated, lashing out at anyone nearby and often at the people who meant the most to me. When the world didn’t respond the way that I wanted it to, I flipped my lid, sat in the middle of the floor and threw a good old fashioned tantrum until there was nothing left to salvage.

With change as a constant, though, it came as no surprise to find out that mevio.com had closed their doors forever. This means that The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour is no longer (and may never be again) on iTunes. Luckily, producer Richard Wicka kept a secret stash of shows out of sight on one of his websites, Think Twice Radio. Again, you can click the new link to the right under The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour to explore and listen to the archives.

Richard and I resumed conversation a few weeks ago after a long vacuum and I told him I was afraid of the chain reaction that he would trigger if I set foot inside his Home Of The Future. What a fool I am. The fuse lit the second I started talking to him again, perhaps sooner.

I spent four years grinding out episodes of Big Words Radio from 2008-2012 and Richard was with me every step of the way. When he initially asked me to host a show, my internal logic was ‘Why not? It’s something new and I’m up for the challenge.’ It turned out to be one of the most enjoyable projects in my career. Doing the show was cathartic, therapeutic and downright fun. At the top of our game, the show was pulling in about 3,000 unique hits a month. That’s not too shabby for a stupid little podcast with schticky sound props that we picked up at dollar stores. In that four years, I had the pleasure of interviewing cartoonists, writers, musicians, adult film stars, actors, directors, editors and a whole host of other fascinating subjects.

So what now?

It’s time to change it up a bit.

On August 22nd, Big Words I Know By Heart is going video. Once the show is edited and buffered it will be posted to YouTube as soon as possible compliments of Richard Wicka, one of maybe four great mentors that I’ve had throughout my career. I suggest that you type in ‘Richard Wicka’ ON YouTube and subscribe as quickly as you can. As of August 23rd, Big Words Radio will change its spots to Big Words I Know By Heart Video! And don’t you worry, there will be plenty of bonus clips up on my own account on YouTube above and beyond the half hour format that Richard and I are adhering to. You can find my account by searching ‘Tom Waters’ or ‘bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com’.

With a change in the media all the old rules have to go out the window. A visual medium is an entirely different animal. With a few exceptions, the guests will have to be local artists who can appear in person instead of national celebrities. As a result, the focus will shift to more of a Buffalo-centric format. My sense of humor has evolved. I’m faster and sharper and will go straight for the throat with more severity than I’ve ever been capable of. Comedy is murder, and Aristotle said that all humor is derived from cruelty, so let’s see what sort of wholesale butchery we can commit together, eh?

There are a lot of plans in the works. The wheels are already in motion and the trajectory is no longer up to me if it ever was. It’s high time to make as many people laugh as I possibly can at their cubicles, their home computer desks or yes (goddamnit), on their smart phones. Keep a keen eye trained on the YouTubes and be ready on August 23rd because I’m not going to start out with any soft punches. And please tell all your friends. Word of mouth (or so I’ve heard) is a wonderful form of promotion.

If you’re a Buffalo artist, whether it’s music, writing, painting, drawing, sculpting, cooking or anything else that’s entertaining in a visual spectrum, I’m taking all comers. Feel free to email me at: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com to book a studio date sooner rather than later. The show will air once a month until further notice.

And you probably want to know what’s going on with my writing. My answer to that is: It’s only a matter of time.

I’m not playing the Buffalo promotional game by the current establishment’s rules anymore (if I ever did). I’m not taking my ball and going home. I’m taking my ball and building a better playground. Podcasts are dying. Newspapers are folding left and right. Marketing has evolved into a free form of networking, hash-tagging and viral games of connecting the dots. If you’re an established member of local or national media and you want to be involved, you’re in. If not, that’s fine too.

If you’re a viewer, reader or listener who’s new to the party, thanks for joining us. You couldn’t have picked a better time than right now to hop on board. For those of you who have followed me, supported me and encouraged me since the beginning, thanks for hanging in there. Things are going to get interesting again. Things are going to get very entertaining and offensive and funny and thought provoking again.

See you at the picture show in less than three weeks.

Tom Waters

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Sterlace & Saracki #45: Wholesome To The Max, Good News & even more good news…

August 3, 2014
A room full of narcissists.

A room full of narcissists.

Okay, folks!

The Greg Sterlace Show appearance is in the can and is now live on ‘the YouTubes’.  You can view the show in all of it’s highly offensive glory at:

Sterlace & Saracki #45: Wholesome To The Max

We had a fantastic time.Show producer Richard Wicka assures me that the episode will air on Time Warner Cable some time in September on a Friday at 7 p.m.  I’ll believe that when I see it.  Someone is bound to get sued as a result of this episode and picketing against The Home Of The Future may be a distinct possibility.  Whatever the case, it’s just good comedy.  Many thanks to Sterlace, Saracki, Amy Smardz & the rest of Greg’s band of merry pranksters for having me on the show and making it happen.

As for The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour, there’s good news for those of you who are late to the party.  The majority of the shows are in fact still available online.  All  you have to do is click the newly revised link to the right of this post in my ‘Links’ section under ‘The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour’ and you can listen to four years worth of podcasts.

And for purposes I’m not yet ready to reveal, I now have a Twitter and Instagram account.  It’s time to get with the 21st century.  You can follow my exploits on Twitter and Instagram under this handle:

@tomfoolery444

I’ve got a really Big announcement to make tomorrow.  I’ve been toiling away on a new project and I’m almost at a loss for Words.  If only there were a Video clip I could quick-link to explain said project…

Check back with me tomorrow.  Onward and upward, gang.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Auto Bio, Twitterverse & Mr. Sterlace Approaching…

July 30, 2014

Okay…

So the last time I posted with any regularity, Icarus On The Mend was about to launch. I did a limited print run of 50 hardcover copies at $50 a pop.  There are still copies available for those interested.  My intention (eventually) is to launch a two volume softcover set of the autobiography, but the limited edition hardcovers have to move first.  This is mostly my fault as I held a poorly promoted launch event and then did absolutely nothing afterward.  If you would like a copy (by hand or by mail) you can contact me at: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com.  I also have a Twitter now.  And an Instagram.  Half of you may be overjoyed to hear that and the other half are most likely repulsed.  It’s a brave new world.

We live in a world of constant and instantaneous gratification and/or promotion.  Since I’ll be promoting something new soon, I’m hopping on board.  If you’re inclined to ‘The Twitter’, you can follow me at: @tomfoolery444.  I also have an Instagram: ‘tomfoolery444’.

So what am I going to be promoting?  None of your business!  Not yet, anyway.  Let’s  make it through the Greg Sterlace Show fiasco first on Time Warner (not bloody likely) and ‘the Youtubes’.  The name of his new show is ‘Sterlace & Saracki’.  Dial it up on your Youtubes.  I’m sure it’s a riot.  We film this Saturday.  Since it’s a visual medium, I decided to eschew the goatee that I’ve had for the better part of the last twenty years.  New and Improved Tom, New and Improved Look.  And yes, I also have five points of articulation along with Kung Fu Grip.  Picture Enclosed.

Talk to you sooner than you think,

Tom Waters

This is my giant head.  If you need a more lengthy explanation, you're an idiot.

This is my giant head. If you need a more lengthy explanation, you’re an idiot.


 

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A Return Of Sorts To The Greg Sterlace Show…Things Have Changed

July 27, 2014

I realize that it’s been a long time in blog years since I’ve posted. Well a lot has happened in my personal life in the last nine months. I’ll get to that shortly…
Next week I’ll be appearing on Greg Sterlace’s new talk show at Richard Wicka’s Home Of The Future Studio in West Seneca. His live action show appears on Time Warner Cable as well as ‘the Youtubes’. Those of you who have followed my misadventures may remember that the last time I appeared on his show, I made a joke so outrageous that the episode was banned from public broadcast at the last minute. There’s no telling what sort of trouble and mayhem may occur this time, but Richard assures me that YouTubes standards and practices are much more lenient than Time Warner’s. I’ll throw a link up for all of you next week. Sterlace is back in Buffalo where he belongs and it’ll be nice to see him, his wife Paula and Richard in one fell swoop.
I’m sad to report that Mevio.com, the site that hosted the entire episodic run of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour, has folded. This means (unfortunately) that the bulk of that show has disappeared from the SuperInformation Highway forever. If you still have older episodes on your ‘Itunes’, you may want to hang onto them, because for the time being, I have no plans to host the show elsewhere. You can still listen to a handful of the final episodes at: http://www.thinktwiceradio.com.
As for my personal life, I’ve been going through a divorce since November of last year. My son Benjamin is now fourteen months old. I’ve also stopped drinking, which may come as a shock to many of you. A lot has changed. I’ve changed more in the last eight months than I have in the last twenty years.
The good news is that my sense of humor has returned and it’s sharper than it’s ever been. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how my penchant for creativity will fit into my new lifestyle, if it fits at all, and how to implement a creative outlet without reverting into the vindictive, egotistical maniac that I’ve portrayed so well for the last ten or so odd years.
I don’t have an answer to that question yet, but I’m working on it. Just because I’m working on becoming a better person doesn’t mean that comedy has become extinct in this brave new world.
I may ramp up my persona and magnify it despite the kinder, gentler person I’ve become. I might try NOT to do that thing where I gain some momentum as a writer or a broadcaster and somehow manage to piss everyone off and ruin everything in the process. Time will tell. Whatever the case, I do not regret the past nor do I wish to shut the door on it.
Stay tuned. Things are about to get interesting again. America is all about second acts and second chances and the curtain hasn’t even gone up yet. The intermission is almost over and the show will resume shortly.

Sincerely,
Tom Waters

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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!

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Big Words Radio Episode 70: ‘Rack-tastic’

March 15, 2012

To be honest, this was one interview where I had no idea what questions I was going to ask.  We’ve never had a rapper on the show before!  Like any other episode, though, once we started recording everything fell into place.  Here’s your synopsis:

 

Episode 70: ‘Rack-tastic’

Tom talks to Buffalo rapper Lex about his breakout E.P. ‘Threshold Of A Dream’. Co-host Billy Dyson fumbles through stock questions while Lex bad-mouths WBNY.

 

-To listen to the show in full audio quality, click here:

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

 

-To hear the latest show as well as the entire 100+ episode history of Big Words Radio, click here:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

-You can also subscribe to the show by searching ‘Big Words Radio’ on ‘the iTunes’.

 

Thanks are in order to Lex for rolling with the punches (he never bad-mouthed WBNY), Billy Dyson for withstanding my abuse and knowing when to interject, and producer Richard Wicka for stifling his rage when we showed up an hour and a half early to the studio and still managed to start the interview ten minutes late.

 

Enjoy!

Tom Waters

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Doubt It Publishing @The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair

February 17, 2012

The show must go on!

 

While I’m not sure if I’ll be able to attend or not due to work obligations, Doubt It Publishing will have a table at the event along with a catalog of books on sale at The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair.  Doubt It authors Mark McElligott (Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind) and David Waters (12 Priests & 3 Gnomes) will be at the event to hawk their wares, sign some books and meet and greet with attendees.  The boys will also have copies of If They Can’t Take A Joke, Slapstick & Superego, Mockery and Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick for sale.

This will be the third year that Doubt It Publishing will participate in the event.  The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair takes place on Saturday, March 24th at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum in downtown Buffalo from noon-6 p.m.  For more information, feel free to visit:  http://www.buffalosmallpress.org/

 

Buy our books already!

Tom Waters

Publisher, Author

Doubt It Publishing

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Big Words Radio Episode 68: ‘I Was Wakened By Rage’

January 16, 2012
We definitely started the New Year with a bang.
    Yesterday’s show was unpredictable, volatile and flat-out hilarious.  Atomic Don contends that it’s the best interview I’ve done on the show thus far.  I’ll say that it definitely belongs in the top ten.  Here’s your synopsis:
Episode 68: ‘I Was Wakened By Rage’
Tom aggravates the bejesus out of artist Tony Millionaire (Maakies, The Drinky Crow Show) by waking him up earlier than his regularly scheduled noon morning perambulations. Atomic Don does his best impression of Ed McMahon and the boys regale each other with tales of hard drinking, great cartooning, Newt Gingrich and anti-Semitism.
-To hear the show in full audio quality click on over to:
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
-To hear all 100+ episodes including bonus shows and additional clips click on over to:
http://www.bigwords.mevio.com
-You can also subscribe to The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour for free on ‘The iTunes’ by searching ‘Big Words Radio’ in the podcast section and clicking on the Comedy listing.
    We knew Tony Millionaire was going to be a good fit for the show, but I had no idea that he was going to be ideal.  The man was literally engineered for Big Words Radio.  A huge thank you goes out to Tony, Atomic Don and Producer Richard Wicka for orchestrating the perfect storm for our first foray into Season Five.  While Atomic Don gets a ‘runner’s high’ after jogging around for a few hours, I can always tell when we’ve had a good show because I get a warm, fuzzy feeling that lingers after we’re done taping.  This was one of those shows.
    Cartoonist Tom Beland (True Story, Swear To God) is on deck for February 7th along with co-host Michael Hoffert Jr. (It Came From The Long Box).  We’ve all got a tough act to follow, but it looks like Season 5 is off to one hell of a great start.
Enjoy,
Tom Waters
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Out With The Old, In With The New

December 29, 2011

2011 was truly a banner year all around.  If someone told me this time last year that I’d launch three books in the span of 8 months while working on two more and holding down a full time job, I’d tell them they were nuts.

Mockery got better media exposure than my last three books combined and went on to sell more copies faster than any other book I’ve released.  In terms of sales it’s second only to If They Can’t Take A Joke.  It continues to sell steadily even though the inaugural push is over with.

Mark McElligott’s Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind was a resounding breakout success from a talented and previously unheard of writer.  Together we managed to find a larger audience for his idiosyncratic brand of humor in his hometown of Lockport as well as throughout Buffalo.  And while there was no real launch campaign for Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick, it’s turned a tidy profit since its release in August that would make its previous poetry predecessors proud.  The collection was received as an entertaining step forward compared to both Breathing Rooms.

            Somehow this year I also managed to get banned from Time Warner Cable and earned a film credit for the music video ‘I Wanna Be Oprah’ (which is still available on YouTube).  I guess we can chalk both up to being in the right place at the right time.

While doing some site maintenance this morning I realized that some of the links to the right here were broken.  I updated all of them to ensure that they were functional, so for those interested, you can now click on Born Pissed and Zany Hijinx to buy my first two books or click on ‘The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour’ link to go right to the show.  All of the links on the right-hand sidebar are fully operational again, so browse at your leisure!

Speaking of Big Words Radio, Season 4 turned out to be the magic number.  Somehow despite the over-the-top comedy and subversive, offensive content the show turned out to be the Little Podcast That Could, finding an audience of over 3,000 listeners per month.  Season 5 promises to be just as crass and irreverent as it’s always been, so stay tuned!

The next two years should be light duty compared to this one.  I’m putting the finishing touches on Icarus On The Mend: Memoirs Of A Manic Depressive before working on the cover and interior design with cover artist Derek Patrick Evoy and graphic designer Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios) for a firm signed and numbered (50 copies only) hardcover release date of October 25th, 2012.  Exactly one year later the book will appear again in two trade paperback volumes for the general public.

It remains to be seen whether there will be a 2012 Doubt It Publishing Author Of The Year.  The book I devoted countless time into proofreading, editing and consultation on fell through due to contract negotiations and after Voices From The Herd I have zero interest in extending a call for submissions.  I am working with someone on something else but time will tell if the concept bears fruit or not.

Thanks for such a spectacular year, everybody.  I look forward to a productive and financially successful New Year!

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters            

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‘Notorious’: The Big Words One Man Mobile Unit @The 2011 Buffalo Night Life Music Awards

December 10, 2011

For those of you who weren’t in on it (drum roll please), The Big Words Finale was an elaborate prank that took five months to prepare for.  The joke’s on you, Buffalo!  You didn’t think you’d get rid of me that easily, did you?  Contrary to my cries of woe before the ‘final episode’, new and improved stats on both web sites have revealed that Big Words Radio is tracking at over 3,000 downloads a month.  And for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I had no idea there were so many of you with such a twisted sense of humor, so the show must go on!

Moving on then, co-host Minnick and myself set ourselves loose this week at Page’s Paradise Island for the 2011 Night Life Buffalo Music Awards.  The Big Words Poltergeist struck not once but repeatedly, as the batteries I charged before the show died, we lost a sizeable sound clip with Best Duo Act Busted Stuff and I had a number of headaches posting the show properly on Mevio.  Thankfully all the bugs have been worked out.  Here is your synopsis:

‘Notorious’: The Big Words One Man Mobile Unit @The 2011 Buffalo Night Life Music Awards

Tom and returning co-host/designated driver Kevin Minnick get tanked up during the VIP open bar at Page’s Paradise Island while rubbing elbows with Brian Kahle and his trusty new assistant Rebecca.  0-60 Scott brings the hammer down while The Blues Hounds bring the house down.  The boys find two fantastic new reasons to see Black Widow live, Tom receives an award of his own from Busted Stuff and Michael Hund from Widow Maker says hello.

-To hear the show along with all 100+ episodes including bonus clips, click your way over to:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com.

-You can also subscribe to the show for free on ‘the iTunes’ by searching ‘Big Words Radio’ and clicking on the Comedy listing in Podcasts.

-This episode will also appear later next week at:  http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html

I’d like to thank all of the musicians as well as Brian Kahle for entertaining our questions with a good sense of humor.  I thought we were going to get kicked out last year so it was shocking that we amped up our obnoxiousness and were greeted with open arms.  Thanks are also in order to Ed Honeck from Night Life Magazine and Page’s Paradise Island for allowing us in the door and supplying us with emergency backup batteries.  Thank you also to Kevin Minnick for putting up with my abuse in a public setting for a return tour of duty.

There’s a very big year on the horizon for Big Words Radio.  Cartoonist Tony Millionaire will be coming on the show in January with Atomic Don and award winning musicians Strictly Hip, 100 Proof Justice and Widow Maker are all confirmed.  Dave and Cynthia from Busted Stuff are also discussing an intimate return visit.  Things will only get bigger and better as we continue onward and upward!

Stay tuned,

Tom Waters

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The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour Finale Roast

December 6, 2011

After 100 episodes, who knew that my former co-hosts would have so much pent up rage towards yours truly?

Seriously though, Friday’s Finale taping was everything I was hoping for and more.  After some exhaustive editing and splicing work over the course of the weekend we’ve got nearly two hours of creative variety and hilarious lambasting coming your way.  Here are your synopses:

The Big Words Radio Hour Finale Roast Pt.I: ‘Fag Hags & The 99%’

A star-studded cast of co-hosts from the catastrophic history of the program turn up to kick Tom in his baby nuts on the way down for the craptacular finale to a four year run of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour.  Intentionally Bald Mike leads the charge, playwright Jon Elston gets himself into trouble, poet/comedian Josh Smith tears Tom a new one, Gun Nut Brendan enjoys what’s left of his Tullamore Dew (after Tom ‘has his way’ with it), Timmy C. reminisces about ‘Foamy Cokes’, Diabetes Dave laments his mom’s last pap smear, and all of the co-hosts in attendance launch an intervention with painfully poor results.

The Big Words Radio Hour Finale Roast Pt.II: ‘I Was Just Looking For Q-Tips & Polyps.’

Zombie Chris comes out of seclusion to discuss ‘the Meeghan double dip’, Tom’s old roommate Charles ‘Chezzie’ reflects on their magical bachelor years and refines his comedy routine, Doubt It Publishing wunderkind Mark McElligott further incriminates himself, Intentionally Bald Mike and Gun Nut Brendan return to cross a woefully small sword, rock star Michael Bly makes an unexpected cameo with his girlfriend Danielle and Intentionally Bald Mike blows a gasket over some shocking news about the show.

The Big Words Finale Bonus Round!

Hawaiian and/or Filipino wind-up car enthusiast Terry Kimmel shares a magical fantasy with Tom in the lead role and Chezzie sharpens up his comedy routine with mixed results.

To hear all three finale episodes along with every episode in the show’s history, click your way over to:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

You can also download the entire catalog for free by searching the Podcast section and clicking on the ‘Comedy’ listing on ‘the iTunes’.  Part I & II of the finale will appear on http://www.thinktwiceradio.com by the end of the week.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone who called in and showed up to tear me a new one.  Thanks for making the Finale so memorable.  A very big thank you goes out to Intentionally Bald Mike as well for being such an influential force from the humble beginnings of the show all the way to the end.

Well what the hell are you waiting for?  Download the damn shows already!

Enjoy,

Tom Waters

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Big Words Radio 67: ‘Tricky Dicks & Pregnant Possibilities’

November 17, 2011

Last night’s show was pitch perfect.  For the final studio episode of The Big Words I  Know By Heart Radio Hour I couldn’t have asked for a better guest, co-host or program.  For four years now producer and Think Twice Radio creator Richard Wicka has kept mostly silent for over 100 shows.  Until now.  Here’s your synopsis:

 

Episode 67: ‘Tricky Dicks & Pregnant Possibilities’

Tom rounds out his last show in the studio with Think Twice Nucleus Richard Wicka and co-host Carl Theil. The boys talk about their love lives, Occupy Wall Street, smelly hippies and an unexpected caller (Greg S.) weighs in without really bringing much to the table.

 

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

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

 

-To hear the newest episode along with bonus clips and the entire history of the show, click your way over to:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

-You can also subscribe to the show for free on ‘the iTunes’ by searching Big Words Radio in Podcasts and clicking on the show under the Comedy category.

 

Thanks are in order to Richard Wicka (who was a lot more candid and forthcoming with his answers than I expected), Carl Theil for bringing some class and actual big words to the show and Gregory Sterlace for calling in during the show (a bit of a first for us).  I got a little choked up during the end, but overall it was a magical evening.  Rich, Carl and I have had a lot of great discussions during meals over the years so it was great to finally capture our dynamic on the radio show.

We’re two weeks away from the Big Words Finale Roast, so in the mean time, I hope you enjoy this show as much as we loved doing it.

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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T-Minus Two More Episodes: Big Words Radio Slowly Says Goodbye

November 15, 2011

Saying goodbye is a bitch.

 

It just hit me today that Big Words Radio is nearing a very real and definitive end of the road.  After being a guest on Susan Marie’s ‘This Is Not The Apple’ on Think Twice Radio in June of 2008, producer Richard Wicka asked me if I’d be interested in doing my own show.  I was reluctant, but after chewing on it for a few hours I figured ‘Why the hell not?’

It took a few shows to get my legs, but somehow the format figured itself out.  With my marriage, stress and an unexpected firing, the show turned into my therapy along with a launching pad for some of my favorite local musicians, national comic book artists and writers, adult film stars and a never-ending roster of great co-hosts.  Intentionally Bald Mike soon gained favor as a crucial part of the show.  Insanity, tell-all comedy and schmaltzy sound props quickly became the order of the day.

I can’t believe that it’s been four years.  I can’t believe that I’m two shows away from saying goodbye.  Between three or four different web sites, iTunes and a number of incarnations, put-ons and lurches and upsurges in the rest of my life, this is it.  It was a peripheral hobby that looked promising until it wasn’t.  Listeners started disappearing over the summer and the numbers kept getting worse.  Not one to go down with a sinking ship, I made a clear decision to ride out on a high note.

Tomorrow I’ll be coming full circle by interviewing the man who helped me to get the ball rolling: Producer Richard Wicka.  In three weeks time, every co-host who’s ever appeared on the show has a standing invitation to get back at me for all of my taunts, attacks and threats over the years for the Big Words Radio Finale on Friday, December 2nd from 6-8 p.m.  If you’ve been a co-host in the past and you’ve relocated, please phone your roast in to: (716) 823-1750.  Mention the roast at the beginning of your message and we’ll splice it into the last show.

There are too many people to thank who’ve been involved with the show so we’ll do that another time.  Early on I decided to formulate a persona that was clearly over the top compared to the voice I employ in my books.  Walking in the footsteps of heroes like Don Rickles, Lenny Bruce and Andrew Dice Clay, I figured that I’d host a show that I’d want to hear.  The kind of show that made me die laughing as a kid.  A format that made fun of everything.  Offensive, ridiculous and insane.  I hoped that people would get the gist of the spirit of the show.  I was wrong.

There was a boom in 2009 when the show split onto MyPodcast.com, but downloads and site hits have started vanishing in the last six months.  I guess my brand of comedy is a bit too extreme.  In 2002 I used to run out of breath hearing industry greats like Opie & Anthony in the studio with a rogue’s gallery of stand up comics tearing into each other.  I wanted to make a show that appealed to the comedian’s comedian.  For awhile it looked like it was working.

Best not to drag it out.  Chalk this up to closure.  I’m walking into the studio one last time and then we’re recording the Roast in December.  It’s tough to say goodbye to something that turned into such splendid therapy, but I strive to focus my efforts on projects with the largest audience.  Big Words Radio no longer falls into that category.

Counting down,

Tom

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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

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Big Words Radio Episode 65: ‘Anal Bleaching Changed My Life’

September 8, 2011

While Big Words Radio is winding down for the big farewell in December and I continue to toil away on the autobiography, I find myself more and more nostalgic.  That being said, it was a once in a lifetime treat to have my best friend of over twenty years Ron and our mutual friend and former coworker Mansel on last night for one of the last four or five shows.  Here’s your synopsis:

 

Episode 65: ‘Anal Bleaching Changed My Life’

Tom and his two friends of over 20 years (Ron and Mansel) reminisce about old girlfriends, great asses, getting stoned out of their tree and how Mansel bagged his trophy substitute teacher before the altar.

 

To hear the show in all of its audio glory, click on over to:

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

 

You can also listen to all 95 shows along with bonus clips and out takes at:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

And lest we forget that you can subscribe to the show on ‘the iTunes’ by searching ‘Big Words Radio’ and clicking on the show under the Comedy listing.

 

Greg Sterlace, Paula Wachowiak and Robb Nesbitt also made a surprise (albeit silent) appearance last night in the studio during the taping, so I’d like to thank them as well for showing up during the tail end of the program.

It’s been decided.  I’ll be holding a Finale show on Friday, December 2nd from 6-8 p.m. and rounding up as many former co-hosts as I can so that we can see the show out in style for a good old fashioned roast.  The site hits and downloads just aren’t what they used to be.  Most of you have tuned out, so it’s time for me to move on to something else.  After four years it depresses me that I have to shut down so soon, but it just doesn’t seem worth it anymore.  Despite this, I’ll be following the year out to its natural conclusion.

I’d like to take a moment to thank my producer Richard Wicka for seeing some sort of promise in me that I haven’t fulfilled.  The show got off on the right foot, but somewhere along the line I took things too far and never regained my composure.

I’d also like to thank Ron and Mansel for coming back into the fold before the show finished up.  It meant a lot to me to link back up with some old friends who have known me for so long.

Back in June of 2008 I tried to come up with a comedy show that was extreme.  Something that pushed the envelope and made people laugh uncomfortably and effortlessly.  I guess I tried to hard and that most of Buffalo didn’t get what I was trying to do or didn’t care.  Whatever the case, it’s over.  Four more months and then the fat lady sings.

 

Please tell a friend or share the link to the show so that we can end on a positive note.

 

Have a great week,

Tom

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Big Words Radio Episode 64 ‘Story Of My Flife’ w/ Greg Sterlace

August 25, 2011

Everything comes to an end eventually.  I spoke with my producer Richard Wicka last night after the studio show and my numbers for The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour are grim, so it looks like I’ll be closing the doors on the show by year’s end.  It saddens me to see my audience disappear, but that’s what’s happening.  The good news to that is that I’ll be doing a farewell show in December and I’m welcoming all of my co-hosts back for the opportunity to roast me one final time.  I’m lobbying Rich to see if we can work out a two hour or two episode show for the occasion.  If you’ve ever co-hosted the show, I encourage you to join me in the studio (or over the phone) one final time for a good lambasting.

Last night’s show was spectacular.  Here’s your synopsis:

 

Episode 64: ‘Story Of My Flife’

Returning guest of honor Greg Sterlace is on the receiving end of a whiskey-less Tom while co-host Timmy C goes for the extra point.

 

To hear the show in full audio quality, click here:

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

 

To hear all 94 episodes of Big Words Radio along with the new show, click here:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

You can also subscribe to Big Words Radio for free by searching Big Words Radio on iTunes and clicking on the show listed under Comedy.

 

I’ve got about four more shows and then it’s light’s out on Big Words Radio.  I’m grateful for all of the celebrities, artists, musicians, adult film stars, writers and cartoonists who have brought something fresh to the show.  British journalist Joel Meadows will be calling in for my next studio show in October, so I have that to look forward to as well.

Please listen to the new show and spread the word.  I’m trying to go out on a high note.

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour Episode 63: ‘But We Digress’ & ‘Sh*t Show: The Bonus Round’

August 11, 2011

A decade ago I used to bust a gut listening to Opie & Anthony on FM Radio.  The shows I loved the most were the ones where they had a gaggle of other comedians on and they’d devote the entire program to just tearing into each other with their claws out while they offended the living shit out of everyone else.  There’s comedy and then there’s a comedian’s comedian.  I’ve strived my entire life to be the latter.  I think we pulled it off on this show and the bonus round was just a hot mess, but still fun to record.  Episode 63 could be the closest embodiment to what I’ve been trying to do with The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour in the entire four years that I’ve been doing it.  Here are your synopses:

 

Episode 63: ‘But We Digress’

 

Tom welcomes back Big Words Radio favorites Gun Nut Brendan along with Intentionally Bald Mike in the co-host hot seat.  The sparks fly when politics are brought up, everyone gets yelled at for setting their two-fisted drinks down on the table and things get really wrong really quick.

 

Sh*t Show: The Bonus Round

 

The gents get hillbilly drunk on Guinnei and cheap whiskey and keep the meter running while they run off at the mouth about politics.

 

You can listen this instant by clicking over to:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

You can also subscribe to the show for free if you want to see us keep going by logging in to your iTunes and choosing Big Words Radio under the Comedy listing in the podcast section.  Please tell a friend, listen in your car or post a link on your own FB page or web site.  This show needs all the help it can get during such a fabulous summer where most people don’t take the time to consider downloading new comedy on the go.  We had a really great time last night.  Shows that fun should be criminal.  Since Think Twice Radio was experiencing technical difficulties you can look forward to hearing a studio show toward the end of this month.  The guest is yet to be determined.  If this is possibly the last year for Big Words Radio I’m going out with a bang instead of a whimper.  Stay tuned.

 

Thanks,

Tom Waters

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Big Words Radio Turning Point

July 26, 2011

The fourth year for Big Words Radio could be the final one.

 

Downloads have been dropping steadily for the last two months.  I like to stay productive, but I don’t see a discernable benefit to putting so many man hours into punching up a prospectus, booking guests and slaving over the production, sound editing, intro and outro music and everything else involved with each show if the audience isn’t there.  This time last year the show was on a roll while it was nearing extinction on Mypodcast.com.  Roll the calendar forward by twelve months and we’re moving in the wrong direction.  I’m not quite sure what’s happening or where my crowd went where the radio show is concerned.  The books are selling better than they ever have.  Site hits here & everywhere else have been blowing up.  The new Twitterverse following is growing exponentially.  Big Words Radio is dying a slow death & it doesn’t make sense.  Like some hosts I could pretend that the show is better than ever, but I deal in facts and abide by honesty.

Here’s what’s going to happen: If I don’t see a marked increase in free subscriptions on iTunes or a spike in downloads on Mevio.com by the end of this summer, the show is over.  It’s that simple.  I’m not going to keep investing what little free time I have into trying to make people laugh with over the top outrageous comedy if you’re not down with the cause.  In for a penny, in for a pound.  Now’s the time to show me if you’re listening because if you’re not, I’m not doing it anymore.  I’ll pick up my toys and go home.

Maybe the podcasting boom has burst.  Maybe all of you are busy this summer (very probable).  Maybe my readers only have so much time that they’re willing to devote to waxing my ego.  I get that.  In case you haven’t noticed though, I deal in absolutes.  If the show isn’t growing, then it’s time to close the door.

My career as a writer is turning a very sharp corner this year in an incredibly positive way that I never imagined it would & it’s all happening this year at a lightning pace.  As a podcaster, not so much.  Half of my life is most likely over, so I’d like to make good use of the next half.  Please let me know how to invest my time wisely.

Some radio hosts and some writers can create without one person reading or listening.  I’m not that kind of person anymore.  I’ve got too many plates in the air to play by those rules.

If you want the show to go on, hop onto iTunes & subscribe to Big Words Radio in the podcast section under the ‘Comedy’ listing.  Download your ass off.  There are almost 92 hours of material that’s pretty damned funny.  It’s been a good run, but it might be time to hang up my hat and say farewell.

If you don’t have an iPod, surf on over to:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

Download 5 episodes.  Download 92 episodes.  Tell a friend.  Listen in your car.  Please spread the word.  It’s been real and it’s been fun, but this could be the tail end of it.

 

It’s up to you.

Tom Waters

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Poke The Scorpion Book Giveaway Contest

July 13, 2011

This month I’ll be giving away three random signed copies of Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick.  What do you have to do to get it?

 

1. ‘Like’ Poke The Scorpion on FB by following this link:

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/poke-the-scorpion-with-a-sharp-stick-selected-poems-2008-2011/16130225?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/1

 

2. Rate the book on lulu.com.

 

3. Post a link on your Twitter, FB, Google + or any other website you may have.

 

4. Leave  a comment on this post.

 

5. Drop me an email at bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with ‘Contest’ in the subject heading.

 

Final deadline is August 1st, 2011.  Whether you live in Buffalo or beyond, I’ll hold a random drawing at the end of July.  If you’re local I’ll hand you a copy at the first scheduled reading or signing for Poke The Scorpion in August.  If you live out of state or in another country, I’ll send you a signed copy out of pocket.  I’d like to launch this book with a bang and I need your help to do it!

 

Game on,

Tom Waters

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‘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

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Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick: 30% Off Soft Launch Orders!

July 1, 2011

Here we go again…

It’s July 1st and (as promised), I’m proud to announce the heavily discounted soft launch of Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick, my third collection of angry, funny and oversexed poetry.  While I wouldn’t say that this go round is tamer than Breathing Room Volume I and II, it is softer somehow.  I wrote the bulk of the book right before and right after my wedding, so there’s a soft sense of acceptance and inner peaceto the body of work that sets it apart from the other two books.  I’m very proud of the collection for the leap forward in originality as well as the design and the format.  For those of you willing to take a chance on something different, you won’t be disappointed.  From now until August (when I plan on promoting the book in Buffalo), Scorpion will be 30% off if you buy direct on lulu.com.  Here’s your quick link:

 

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/poke-the-scorpion-with-a-sharp-stick-selected-poems-2008-2011/16130225

 

After four solid months of interviews, press releases, and appearances for Mockery, I’m ready for a break.  Mark McElligott, Dave ‘The Real Deal’ Waters and I have one more outing at Brennan’s Bowery Bar next Sunday (The Brennan’s Boxed Trifecta) on Sunday, July 10th at 6 p.m. and then I’ve got a month off before we kick back into high gear.  I’ve never felt that summer was a good time to promote because there are too many other events going on to compete with, so we’ll be resting up and waiting out the season before we get right back into it this fall.

For those of you who helped to make Mockery my fastest-selling book, thank you.  It’s on target to be my best-selling humor collection to date by year’s end.  There’s a momentum to all of this that seems to be catching up to me this year in a good way.  Hopefully most of you will make the leap of faith over to Scorpion and join me for the second half of this year.  Things are only going to get better from here on out.  There’s a lot left to accomplish.

Enjoy your 4th of July and buy my new damned book!

Tom Waters

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Tom Tweets!

June 28, 2011

For those of you interested in following me on Twitter, my profile name is (you guessed it) ‘tomfoolery4’.  Here’s a quick link to make it easier for everyone, too:

 

http://twitter.com/#!/tomfoolery4

 

I’m committing to one post a day until further notice.  I don’t see what all the fuss is about, but it’s another form of free media that we can all dogpile onto en masse.  With luck, I’ll have an ongoing project up on YouTube by the end of the summer.  More on that if and when it happens…

 

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Big Words Radio Episode 62: Auto Erotic Ass Pixelation (w/Brian Kahle)

June 13, 2011

On the playback, I felt that last night’s show with Brian Kahle couldn’t have been any more perfect.  Brian was charming, funny and well-spoken.  John Kindelan was funny, engaging when it was called for and well-spoken.  It was just the right blend of offensiveness, revealing answers and intelligent responses.  If every show was like this one, I’d do it a hell of a lot more often.  I made a conscious decision a year ago to devote one calendar year on the show to booking guests that I had an existing rapport with versus landing national celebrities and wound up somewhere in the middle.  The proof is in the pudding right here.  Here’s your synopsis for Episode 62:

 

Episode 62: Auto Erotic Ass-Pixelation

Tom settles in for a bucket of scotch while he trades industry stories with Buffalo icon Brian Kahle (Magic Marketing) and co-host John Kindelan (theboompage.com).  The boys discuss mustaches, helipads and their enormous financial largesse.

 

To hear the show, click here:

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

 

You can also hear the new show (along with every previous episode and bonus clip) here:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

I applaud Brian Kahle for his frank and candid discussion as well as his career as a whole.  For a Buffalonian, I couldn’t have any more respect for him as a person.  It was a genuine thrill to be in the same room with two of the biggest marketing influences of my lifetime (Brian and Richard Wicka).  Thanks to both for making this show happen.  Thanks are also in order to John Kindelan for taking the time out to co-host.  He did a bang-up job of rolling with the punches.

I’ve got some entertaining things planned for the next two shows that should prove to be fun for listeners.  You’ll find out more in July.

Thanks for tuning in,

Tom Waters

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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

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Two New Big Words Episodes Live From Stockman’s

June 7, 2011

More news later in the week, but for now here are two new live performances for Big Words Radio.  It took awhile to work on the audio for these, but here are your synopses:

 

‘For Real: Mockery Live At Maryan’s’

Tom returns to Stockman’s Tavern (where he recorded and thoroughly enjoyed his bachelor party in 2008) for an evening of comedy and music.

 

To hear the show, click here:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/283569/for-real-mockery-live-at-stockman-s

 

‘Is That A Frampton Reference?  Dave Waters Live At Stockman’s’

Dave Waters regales an indifferent and easily offended crowd at Stockman’s Tavern.

 

To hear the show, click here:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/283568/is-that-a-frampton-reference-dave-waters

 

‘Stockman’s’ was misspelled in the synopsis as ‘Stockan’s’, so we all have my wireless keyboard to thank for that.  Sorry, Stockman’s!

The last episode (‘My Balloon Know Will Stay Firmly Tied’) went straight to the top of the download charts with over 600 downloads in two days!  Please keep up the great work and keep listening!  I hope you enjoy the new shows and I’ll be recording a new studio show this Sunday with broadcasting giant Brian Kahle.

More on everything later this week.  I’m in a hurry, so I’ll talk to you all soon.

Thanks,

Tom Waters

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Mockery Live At Maryan’s/Talking Leaves Now In Stock!

April 19, 2011

Saturday was a banner reading for Mockery at Maryan’s.  Even after a losing Sabres playoff game, the crowd was into the material right from the jump and the laughs were legion within minutes.  I’ve been telling Mark McElligott (who’s gearing up for his own slate of readings soon enough) that the events you’re positive will do well often don’t and the ones you never expect to succeed end up surprising you.  It’s always a crap shoot and you can’t predict any one promotion, so the best thing to do is try everything once and stick with what works.  Due to the great audio (and the great crowd), I’ve posted two separate concert shows up on Mevio as well as iTunes.  Here are your synopses:

‘In The Crease: Mockery Live At Maryan’s’: Tom takes to the stage after a losing playoff game for the Buffalo Sabres at Maryan’s in Depew and by some miracle manages to win the crowd over.

-To hear the above episode on Mevio, click on this link:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/276964/in-the-crease-mockery-live-at-maryan

 

‘Love Those Water Boys’: Dave ‘The Real Deal’ Waters rocks out his first live musical set in almost two years at Maryan’s in Depew.

-To hear Dave’s half of the concert, click here:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/276963/love-those-water-boys

As always, you can subscribe to The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour on ‘the iTunes’ by searching Big Words Radio and clicking on the show listed under Comedy.  If you’re a current subscriber, then you already have both episodes!

Thanks so much to Dave ‘The Real Deal’ Waters, Nance, Sam, Val, Mike and the rest of the spectacular staff as well as the crowd at Maryan’s.  If every reading and signing went that well I’d never stop touring!  There are no promotional events this week since it’s Easter week, but I’ll be gearing back up again next Tuesday the 26th at the Lancaster Public Library (7:30 p.m.) and then Don’s Atomic Comics on Saturday, April 30th for my Tom’s Atomic Comic Giveaway promotion from 8 p.m. to midnight!  The book promotions at Don’s always have a special place in my heart because a) I’ve done something there for every single book I’ve released, b) it’s always a great time and c) I’ll make a boat load of cash!  To hear how the last promotion went (Tom’s Atomic Poetry Cliffhanger), you can click on:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/166205/episode-xxx-tom-s-atomic-poetry-cliffhanger

and:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/166196/tom-s-atomic-poetry-cliffhanger-the-shocking

And finally, Mockery is now available at both Talking Leaves books locations, so if you live in the city and you can’t make it out to any of the suburban events, feel free to pick up the new book at the Main Street or Elmwood locations.  Talking Leaves has been another long time friend for every single book over the years.  While it’s a hassle to set up some promotions, Atomic Don and Jonathan at Talking Leaves have never needed more than a phone call to iron out a date and time and for that I’m grateful.

I hope you all enjoy your Easter and perhaps I’ll see you out on the road next week!

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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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

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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

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‘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

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Tom’s Atomic Comic Giveaway Art

April 3, 2011

Flier design by Kyle Kaczmarczyk (The Red Eye, Pulp)

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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

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Commence Mockery in 3, 2…

March 31, 2011

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be embarking on a three month promotional junket for Mockery, what may be my final essay collection.  After a short break to allow ample time to focus on Mark McElligott’s Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind, we’re taking our act on the road to Alfred, Rochester and parts unknown.  I feel strangely peaceful about the upcoming launch and subsequent events.  Two interviews hit Buffalo this week with Metro Source Lancaster and the Lancaster, Depew, Cheektowaga and Clarence Bees.  To read Jennifer Lysiak’s interview,

 

click here: http://www.metrowny.com/news/900-442-Waters_releases_ninth_book_April_1.html

 

For an excerpt of Jolene Zanghi’s interview,

click here:  http://www.clarencebee.com/news/2011-03-30/Lifestyles/Making_a_Mockery_of_pop_culture_human_behavior.html

 

The full Bee interview will be available in four weeks.  In the mean time, you can pick it up on stands throughout Western New York.  Night Life magazine is also running some additional press about the impending launch this week.  A big thank you goes out to Jennifer and Jolene for taking the time to sit down with me at Dee’s to talk about the book, the promotional events and what I’ve got planned for the future.

Tomorrow is the official launch for the book at Dee’s Firehouse on 4628 Broadway in Depew at 7 p.m. with special musical guests One Hot Minute.  If you’ve been to a reading before, then you know how wacky and unpredictable each one can be compared to the next.  If you haven’t, then I look forward to winning the rest of you over.  I’m going to try to read something different at every event so that if you come to more than one you’ll be appropriately entertained.  In addition to having a limited amount of First Edition copies on deck for sale ($15), these are the other books I’ll have on hand:

-If They Can’t Take A Joke (HC) $20

-Breathing Room Volume I and II (Trade Paperback) $15 each

Voices From The Herd: An Anthology For Buffalo, NY (Trade Paperback) $13

 

I plan on stocking Slapstick & Superego at other upcoming events but I wanted to make sure I had a decent stockpile of Mockery to start off with.

Throughout April I’ll be contacting more of the local press and setting up more radio interviews on the FM dial.  Please help me to make this launch (and the subsequent readings) events to remember.  The turnout we’re expecting so far sounds excellent. As we transition from my book to Mark’s, I hope that you’ll give him the same level of attendance and laughter that you’d give me.  For those of you willing to take a chance on a new author, you’ll find Mark’s collection to be every bit as funny as anything I could come up with.

Thanks for all your support and encouragement over the years.  A huge thanks goes to Dee, Kathy and the rest of the madding crew at Dee’s Firehouse for making tomorrow’s launch such an easy venue to schedule and for buying multiple copies of the new book in one fell swoop.  Thanks are also in order to Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios) for the great promotional flier and to One Hot Minute for performing tomorrow night.  There are some great shows lined up for the spring and summer.  I can’t wait to see you there!

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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Big Words Radio Presents The Busted Stuff Boxed Trifecta!

January 28, 2011

Yesterday was an incredible day across the board.  Dave Abbatoy, Cynthia McCaffrey, co-host Mark McElligot and I really had a blast together recording the interview portion of the show at my Lancaster grotto.  Some rough questions were asked and they weathered them out like champs.  I got both of their last names wrong and they brushed right past it like true professionals.

Shortly after taping the interview, the four of us skedaddled down to Dee’s Firehouse in Depew, where Dave and Cynthia gave a once-in-a-lifetime performance to a packed house.  Former co-hosts Zombie Chris, Diabetes Dave and Charles ‘Chezzie’ Amabile were all in attendance along with a large cast of good friends and thirty patrons.

 

Here are your synopses:

 

Episode 54: Maccatoy Vs. Nixon

In less than an hour, Tom manages to f#*$k up both Dave and Cynthia (Busted Stuff’s) last names while offending everyone in the room in addition to his wife.  Pitch-hitter co-host Mark McElligott delivers the ‘opening shot’ and the gang gets misty about Buffalo music while Tom considers stapling the back of his wife’s head.

 

Episode 53: Busted Stuff Live At Dee’s Firehouse (pt.I): The Devil Went Down To Depew

Busted Stuff opens with a scorching set to an increasingly packed house at Dee’s Firehouse on Thursday, January 27th, 2010.  Tom and his cohorts manage to drain four pitchers, a score of finger sandwiches, a double of wings and more than a few doubles of whiskey.  The crowd rejoices.

 

Episode 52: Busted Stuff Live At Dee’s Firehouse (pt.II): Bringing It All Back Home

Dave Abbatoy and Cynthia McCaffrey bring it home for the two point conversion with a once in a lifetime set list of covers, fan favorites, Tom’s favorite version of Peter Gabriel’s ‘In Your Eyes’ and a live version of their award-winning Live Lake Local Music Compilation song ‘Pray To Rain’.

 

A huge thanks goes out to Dave and Cynthia from Busted Stuff for contributing so much of their time and talent to a free show as well as my off-color sense of humor.  Thanks also to Dee, Jim, Cathy, Melissa and the rest of the gang at Dee’s Firehouse for hosting their event at their fantastic bar and restaurant.  If local bands or artists contact me in the future (and believe me, they will), I’d love to do it again at Dee’s.  Thanks are in order to Mark McElligott for co-hosting with a week’s notice and everyone who showed up for the show, ordered drinks and food en masse and helped to make the night one to remember.  So when can you listen to these historic episodes on ‘the iTunes’, you may ask?  They’re already posted.  I rushed home after the show, produced all three and uploaded them before I conked out for the night, so search ‘Big Words Radio’ on iTunes (the show listed under Comedy, NOT Literature), subscribe and rate high!  If you don’t have ‘the iTunes’, you can just as easily hear all three shows over at:

www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

Have a great rest of the week and I’ll talk to you all again in late February when I interview graphic artist/writer Dylan Horrocks with co-host Terry Kimmel!

Tom Waters

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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