Archive for the ‘Monsters Of Verse’ Category

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

June 22, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you this Sunday,

Tom Waters

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Final Wraparound Art For Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick

June 12, 2011

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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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Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick Cover Art

June 7, 2011

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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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Two From The Vault/MOV Legacy/Busted Stuff Countdown

January 18, 2011

     They say everything happens for a reason.  Well, two weeks ago all I wanted to do was put the new Elton John/Leon Russell album onto my iPod.  Due largely to my technical ignorance, my new computer or Apple’s stringent sharing policies, I had to wipe my entire iPod and start from scratch.  After a week, I got all of my songs back on there and then some.  In the following week, I figured out how to get Big Words Radio back onto ‘the iTunes’ through their approval process and got all of those episodes back on, too. 

            You can now subscribe to The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour on iTunes by searching Big Words radio and clicking on the show listed under the ‘Comedy’ category.  The ‘Literature’ show is outdated, so I’m working on having it taken down.  As of today, the show has received over 984 downloads in 16 days this month.  That’s pretty damned good. 

            Within the past week, I’ve uploaded all 14 of the original Monsters Of Verse shows onto their own individual site.  Apple should be approving that within the next few days, so keep an eye out for it if you have an interest in poetry and comedy.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been over three years since JR Finlayson, Carrie Gardner and myself set out into the Buffalo wild to spread our wings as a traveling literary triumvirate.  Maybe it’s time for a reunion. 

            As an added incentive, I also culled the last existing episode (#58) of The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal that I co-hosted on.  Hal has moved on to other areas of interest and claims that the show is over and that he’s moving on in his life.  While this saddens me (as well as many others), I was glad to be a part of the angry magic that took place every time Hal created a new episode, and I wouldn’t be a show host at all without him, so for that I am grateful.

            And last (but definitely not least), I spoke with my uncle last week and got his permission to post his debut album online.  For the first time in 25 years, Dick Lobdell’s ‘Thank You Very Much’ is available as a free download on iTunes!  Here’s the synopsis for his music site:

            From the late ’60s throughout the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and today, country singer Dick Lobdell brought country and bluegrass to Buffalo, NY, playing at bars, juke joints, honky tonks, dance halls and concerts. He continues to perform across the country to this day. This web site is devoted to sharing that love of Country and Western music with a wider audience along with Dick’s one-of-a-kind voice, journeyman guitar playing and incomparable passion.

            You can listen to the album online directly by visiting http://www.dicklobdell.mevio.com.  You can also download the album on iTunes by searching ‘Dick Lobdell’.  My uncle and I have been talking back and forth and he has some other rare live footage that we’ll be posting in the future.  As soon as it’s up, I’ll let you all know. 

            We’re also about a week away from the big Busted Stuff show at Dee’s Firehouse in Depew, so don’t forget!  It’s next Thursday (the 27th) at 6 p.m.  They’ll be playing a 90 minute set of mostly original material from their upcoming debut album and we’ll be posting the two-part show on Big Words Radio shortly afterwards.  Busted Stuff is excited.  Dee and the rest of the gang at the Firehouse are excited.  I’m pumped.  You don’t want to miss what will arguably be the best free show of 2011, so mark your calendar, call your sitter and put on your dancing shoes!

            With two books in the can and one on the way, I’ve got a two year lease on life to do whatever the hell I want creatively.  For the time being, I’m going to work on expanding the listener base for Big Words Radio and continue to strive towards great new experiments in audio and comedy.  It’s time to welcome a legion of new fans into the fold. 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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Big Words Radio Episode XXXXVI: ‘Peep Show’ with Joe Matt!

December 10, 2009

Better late than never….

After a scheduling snafu with guest Joe Matt (without a home computer, he didn’t have time to check the original date at the library), we reconvened the phone interview at Think Twice yesterday on December 8th. This worked out well, as one of my original co-hosts dropped out (Ian Chrystal) due to the fact that he moved to New Orleans and my other original co-host (Don from Don’s Atomic Comics) couldn’t make the original studio date. During the interim, former Monster Of Verse and gifted comic writer artist in his own right Kyle Kaczmarzcyk (The Red Eye) joined the co-hosting team for the show and brought his own brand of spiced summer sausage into the mix. At any rate, here’s your synopsis:

Episode XXXXVI: ‘Peep Show’ : Tom and dual co-hosts Don (from Don’s Atomic Comics) and Kyle Kaczmarczyk pick mythic writer artist Joe Matt’s brain (Spent, The Poor Bastard, Fair Weather) about his next graphic novel project, the future of the comics industry, digital inking and Viewmaster Reels.

To hear the show in full audio quality, click your way over to: http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html  

If you want to listen to the show in addition to bonus episodes, sound clips and pretty pictures, park your butt over at: http://www.bigwordsradio.mypodcast.com

…and you can still subscribe to the show for free on ‘the iTunes’ by searching ‘Big Words Radio’ under your podcast browser.

…and finally, you can rate the show, become a fan, or post comments on individual episodes over at: http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

A big thanks goes out to Joe Matt for rolling with the punches during the show, Drawn & Quarterly Publishers for putting me in touch, Don for peppering the show with glowing praise, Kyle for continuing to tolerate my abuse, and producer Richard Wicka for playing ringmaster during the proceedings. I’d also like to bid a fond farewell to Ian Chrystal and his lovely girlfriend Rachel now that they’ve uprooted. We’re going to miss you, your pithy commentary and your surly demeanor.

My next studio date is at the beginning of February and I’m hard at work on booking a quality guest. Don and I both talked on the ride home about finding a happy balance on the show between completely over-the-top offensive comedy and an informative interview talk-show format. Obviously, I’m still working on that. Stay tuned for more episodes. I’m sure I can fit one in some time in January if the right guest(s) pop up…..

Tom Waters

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Some 3 months later, April Foolfest 2 is finally online!

June 26, 2009
    Okay, so these two took a while to edit, produce and post.  Better late than never, though, right?  As of this morning, both portions of April Foolfest are up on the new Big Words Radio site.  Here are your snyopsi:
 
April Foolfest 2: Tom & Finny
Tom reads some new selections from Slapstick & Superego and JR Finlayson reads some new poems at Desiderio’s on Broadway.
April Foolfest 2: Lenny Revell
Without the benefit of a vocal sound system, Lenny Revell belts it out a capela to a packed house at Desiderio’s on Broadway during April Foolfest 2.
 
    To listen to both shows, click on over to http://www.bigwordsradio.mypodcast.com .  Subscribe for free on iTunes by clicking on Podcasts and searching ‘Big Words Radio’. 
 
    The portion Finn and I had includes ‘Mona Lisas & Mad Hamburgers’, the Buffalo rant from the new book that seems to be a frontrunner for a new crowd favorite.  Lenny’s clip sounded a lot better than either of us thought it would, but took a LOT of editing due to long pauses, crowd interaction etc. between songs.  Live shows are a bitch to edit afterwards. 
    And again, my next studio date is Wednesday, July 1st at 7 p.m. and I’m still looking for a celebrity guest!  If you know (or if you’re in contact with) an A or B-list national talent (or Buffalo icon), email or call me ASAP!  
    Have a great weekend and enjoy the shows!
    Tom Waters 
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Monday Big Words Update!: Pekar Approaches, A Brief Respite, and What’s In Store For The Summer…

May 11, 2009
In two more days, I’ll have the opportunity to interview another one of my heroes for Big Words Radio: Harvey Pekar.

By Wednesday night (around nine p.m. Eastern), Episode 38 of Big Words Radio will be up on the Think Twice Radio web site with (arguably) one of the biggest guests to appear thus far. Pekar is a legend and a pioneer in the field of black and white indie comics and the opportunity to speak to him is eclipsing most of my activities this week.

Wednesday morning, I’ll be co-hosting and recording a hotly anticipated return to another controversial pod cast: The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal. Hal hasn’t had a new show in almost six months and after numerous technological upgrades in recent weeks, he’s asked me to join him so that we can offend the remaining civilians on the planet who haven’t found fault with our highly offensive, frequently upsetting and often hilarious pairing. Hal’s show is a bit higher on the production end, so don’t expect to hear (or see) Episode 63 until some time next week on his official site at powunclehal.com. Wednesday’s going to be a busy day.

Also, ArtVoice informs me that my interview with Center For Inquiry ghost-hunter extraordinaire Joe Nickell will be hitting the pages of their new issue this Thursday. Keep your eyes peeled for it this Thursday. On the Night Life magazine side of things, this week’s issue closes out the conclusion to ‘Tom & Twig’, a new essay about how many traits I’ve picked up from my dear old mum.

Aside from that, I’ll be taking a break from writing-related email, the official web site, and the Big Words Radio site from Thursday, May 14th through Tuesday, May 27th. After four straight weeks of building the new site up from scratch, re-tooling 35+ shows, slaving away on completing Slapstick & Superego and coming to a close on Monsters Of Verse, I could use a break. Again, please refrain from emailing from 5/14 though 5/27 as your email will go unanswered until the 27th or afterward.

I may post one final Quixote Wednesday update before the jump, but I’m not making any promises. For most intents and purposes, this will be my last online update before the last week of the month. While it would seem sometimes as if I never stop writing, even I can use a break once in a while.

June holds a soft launch for Slapstick & Superego (invite only), a One Year Anniversary Party for The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour (same day, invite only) and a heck of a lot more. Expect more new shows, a lot of forward progress on the Buffalo Anthology Project, one hell of a sharp looking new book, and a few other announcements regarding the official book launch slated for either late July or some time in August.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Enjoy the rest of your week and don’t forget to log on to Think Twice radio Wednesday night! American Splendor commencing in 5, 4, 3…

Tom Waters

 

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Big Words Radio Episode XXXVII: Necrobibliophiliacs!

May 10, 2009

 

Tom, Zombieworx Comics Publisher (and creator of the hit comic book The Red Eye as well as Pulp) Kyle Kaczmarczyk and time-travelling Tonawanda native and sci-fi author Diane Meholick (Switch In Time, Buffalo Stories, Painting Katherine) antagonize, titillate and aggravate an endless barrage of attendees at the 3rd Annual Buffalo Small Press Book Fair. Dreadlocks, Raggedy Andy Hats and bike horns prove to be a deadly combination. The event took place on Saturday, March 14th at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum. This podcast is a continuation of the Monsters Of Verse series.
 
-Subscribe on Itunes by searching Big Words Radio!
-To listen online, click over to: http://www.bigwordsradio.mypodcast.com

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Monday Big Words Update!: The Last Fandango

April 27, 2009

After oversleeping on Saturday for a 7 pm reading at Caz Coffee Café (long nap), it was a relief to discover that Jeff Finlayson, Kyle Kaczmarzcak and Diane Meholick kicked one of the last two MOV shows off without me just fine. I felt like a dick for not showing up early like I normally do, but this is another sign that it’s time for a break. We had a great time and a great show and I’d like to personally thank everyone who came out for the reading. Due to my tardiness, the event was not recorded, so if you missed it, you won’t have an opportunity to hear it online at a later date. Sucks to be you.

I can’t help but take stock of the six month run that Jeff and I have had together traveling around as the MOV and on good days, I’m very grateful for the process we went through. On bad days, it seems like the agony of being in a rock band without the money or the groupies. All in all, it was a great concept and Jeff and I have become stronger friends as a result. A lot of new material has been written as a result of our constant feedback, reading the work out, and interacting with the public. A while back, I said that I regretted ever having a part in the inception of the Monsters. I spoke too soon.

Jeff is a very talented writer and he now has a new book (and a half) of new poems that he’s drummed up because of our tour. Instead of writing a mountain of new material, I’ve learned to spend more time editing and to elicit editorial wisdom from my peers, so my third collection of poems will be a tighter, more concise collection with less dreck and more concentrate. The MOV experience was like boot camp for us, in a way. We are hardened professionals now, and the thought of reading my poems in front of an audience is no longer horrifying and frightening. Jeff and I talked Saturday night after the show and he wants to continue the moniker. Because of the Slapstick launch in the summer (and a much-needed rest after fourteen months of writing and promoting), I won’t be continuing on after May. However, Jeff will. With any luck, other area poets will join him in the hopscotch-style readings we founded together with Carrie Gardner.

We’ve got one more reading in May at the Center For Inquiry with distinguished poetess Christina Wos Donnelly hosted by Perry Nicholas and I couldn’t think of a better way to round out the end of the junket. I try never to say never, but after that, I’m out for awhile. If any area poets are interested in joining Jeff in the non-locale-specific gauntlet, please feel free to email him directly at:

Dullroar25@hotmail.com

That’s all I’ve got for today. I’m pretty goddamned tired. Tired of promoting, tired of writing (after a year and change of it) and tired of putting my face and my name out there. It’s clearly time for a break. Some writers have the ego, the drive, or the tenacity to keep plugging, promoting and assuring others that their work is worth reading and I’m not one of them. In a semi-professional career spanning almost a decade where I’ve never promoted any one book for more than three months, I’m tapping out for a bit. I’ve had enough for now. I’m sick of myself, I’m sick of both poetry books, and I’m sick of leaving my house for another scheduled engagement. It takes a certain kind of person to continually tour the circuit and I don’t have that quality. At the heart of it, I’d always rather spend any night quietly at home with my wife or quietly out at a bar anonymously. I stopped doing any of this for ego reasons a long time ago. Even this is redundant.

Make it out to the Center For Inquiry on Wednesday, May 6th at 7 p.m. for the final reading for the original founding members (plus Christina) of the Monsters Of Verse. We’ll razzle, dazzle and amaze. Ten slots are also open for open readers.

As for everything else, all of the original episodes of Big Words Radio are almost complete. The process is time consuming and aggravating, but all 35 episodes should be done by week’s end. Expect a new episode next week. And the final installment of ‘Pronunciation’ (a lengthy essay on my wedding and everything surrounding it) hits the pages of Night Life magazine this week, so scoop it up for the final word.

In two more weeks, I can have my life back. I hope it still fits. I’ll talk to you all in two days for a new Quixote Wednesday Update,

Tom Waters

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Monday Big Words Update! Tying Up Loose Ends…

April 6, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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Bonus Poem! Conduct Unbecoming

April 4, 2009

This week has been a bitch and a half and I was thinking about this poem earlier today.  It applies to quite a bit.  Instead of giving a ten minute explanation for a one page poem, though, I’ll just let you read it.  It’s from the upcoming poke the scorpion with a sharp stick, which I’ve been working on quietly with what little free time I can spare as of late.  Enjoy! -Tom

Conduct Unbecoming

i would rather tell people

exactly

how i feel

when i feel it

than mince words

pretend that there isn’t a problem

or join the longstanding tradition

of stabbing others in the back

or misdirecting my anger on those who aren’t deserving of it.

i prefer to go for long periods

without saying anything

in favor of lashing out

saying something i’d regret

or resorting to physical violence.

i choose to beat myself up

by various methods

instead of

channeling my rage, confusion or sadness

towards the people i love

& when all of these subroutines & behaviors fail me

i default

& retreat inward

for a season or three.

It’s a sad, dysfunctional, pathetic, pathological world

when i’m the misfit for carrying on as previously stated

& the norm for dealing with others

is quite to the contrary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Monday Big Words Update! Light At The End Of The Tunnel

March 16, 2009

After a weekend of promotion, very serious progress on two different upcoming books and one of the best radio shows yet, I feel a) exhausted and b) like I’m getting somewhere. At a time when I should have had writer’s block and then some by now, I have quite the reverse. If anything, I can’t STOP writing. Even after a year of high production, ideas, essays, poems, reviews and other related creations keep pouring out and there’s no end in sight. While draining, these are the sort of boom phases that sustain a great deal of professional freelance writers for years to come.

Saturday at Chow Chocolat was a tremendous success. JR Finlayson, poet/comedian Josh Smith and yours truly had a boffo turn as the Monsters Of Verse downtown in the heart of the city on Main Street, sucked down some coffee that was damned near perfect, and made some new friends in the creative community. Thanks to Scott (owner), Josh Gage & Vince Barone (The Manipulators) for hosting their weekly open mic and giving us what essentially boiled down to free rein, and the random cast of characters that showed up for the open mic collective that used to be a hell of a lot more commonplace around these parts before the landscape of our economy and our culture changed. A great deal of the evening was recorded for pod cast conclusion and I’ll be dropping the show off over at Think Twice some time this week for the Monsters Of Verse project site.

Something else very strange happened this weekend: two near-completed books surfaced! Graphic designer Ian Chrystal sent the best cover for any book I’ve released thus far and Victoria Robinson drove the point home with an interior that’s about 99% complete for Slapstick & Superego. You can get a sneak peek at book 8’s cover if you’d like to pop over and visit either my Facebook or Myspace profile site where this marvel of modern design rests comfortably and beautifully on the default profile pic. Keeping things fresh and using a rotating team for Doubt It Publishing appears to be working for a new company philosophy and I couldn’t be happier with Vicki and Ian’s commitment to perfection and their work ethic that led to bringing the project in WELL AHEAD of schedule some two months sooner than we all originally planned. This will only benefit you, the book buyer, as spring and summer unfold. How, you may ask? Whelp, I’m not going to tell you that yet, so deal with it.

And after reading out for the first time in awhile with the Monsters Of Verse, I revisited the file folder for Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick, scrapped the original manuscript and began re-assembling the key poems from scratch. After two long dusk sessions throughout the night, 100 pages are complete and I’m thinking about moving forward in the fall with a smaller book than I originally intended. Long-time fans of the site are no doubt familiar with the interactive process for each book where you’re allowed to pitch in your two cents and contribute to the preproduction of each collection via a floating test panel and I’ll be doing that with both new books in the coming weeks, so stay tuned and prepare to deliver your opinions when the time is ready.

Today (Sunday, as I write this), co-host Diabetes Dave and myself were bowled away in the studio for Episode 35 of Big Words Radio with adult film star Sara Jay. She was bright, funny, engaging, titillating and entertaining all rolled into one. Sara and Alexis have broken the stereotype and proved twice over that porn actors are far from vacuous bubbleheads who wouldn’t know their alphabet if it was in a bowl of soup in front of them. A big round of thanks are in order to Sara Jay for rendering myself and my co-host dumbstruck with a certain performance that’s NEVER been done on Think Twice Radio before and to Diabetes Dave for batting on deck as a tasteful co-host after the original two co-hosts were unable to appear. Don’t waste another moment! Read the rest of the Monday Update and click your ass over to Big Words I Know By Heart on

www.thinktwiceradio.com

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Monday Big Words Update! Updated March-May Calendar, Two MORE Big Words Episodes With Lenny Revell!

March 2, 2009

Monday Big Words Update! Updated Mar-May Calendar, 2 MORE Big Words Shows!

First off, grab your copy of Night Life this week if you want a print version of the very well received ‘Thoughts On The Flight 3407 Crash’ essay that you all saw here FIRST online! There’s a whole block of new columns rolling out this month and they’re all popping into Night Life magazine, so grab ‘em while you can.

Moving on, if you haven’t heard the historic interview with adult film starlette Alexis Amore on Episode 32 of Big Words Radio, don’t waste another second and click over now! I’m also pleased to announce that there are two NEW episodes up in addition to Alexis’ show featuring an interview hour and a fully loaded hour and a half concert episode with national piano wunderkind Lenny Revell! Here’s your synopsi!:

2/20/09 Episode 34
Tom and Lenny meet each other for the first time, forge a heterosexual ‘bromance’ regarding their love for the music of Elton John (vs. Billy Joel), and discuss the predominance (as well as their mutual disgust) of the ’97 Rock Mentality’ on the Buffalo Music Scene.
2/20/09 Episode 33a: Piano Man
National virtuoso Lenny Revell regales Tom and his fans with a number of brilliant renditions while Tom’s brain goes on tilt due to one glass of Knob Creek and a full work day.

Click over and enjoy all the podcasty goodness over at:

Thinktwiceradio.com

Lenny was a pleasure to interview and surprisingly much better than I expected him to be on the keys (and he came highly recommended, mind you). Thanks again are in order to Lenny for rocking it out even after a full work day. Give it a listen and then buckle up and mark your calendar for April Foolfest 2 at Desiderio’s on Broadway when Lenny and I will be splitting the bill starting at 7 pm with an evening of comedy, great music, potent beverages and spectacular cuisine along with Suckerpunch’s Dan Labowski.

And (since the calendar should max out your attention span for the remainder of this post, here is the newly updated Event Calendar for the next three months. Please note the addition of two very important and very exciting bookings (Brennan’s Bowery Bar on St. Patty’s Eve and Milligan’s Pub on St. Patrick’s Day). I’ll be taking a time out from Breathing Room I and II to hawk a few dozen copies of Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars, so if you want to buy a signed copy from me in person (or just buy an Irishman a drink on or near our favorite holiday), Brennan’s and Milligan’s will be the time to do so!

There’s a lot more to cover, but I’ll pop a few posts in throughout the week. Don’t forget to check back on Quixote Wednesday for the latest crusade! Thanks,

Tom Waters

Monsters Of Verse/Breathing Room Bookings March Through May 2009

Saturday, March 14th, 6:30 P.M., Chow Chocolat (731 Main St., 843-4388), Monsters Of Verse featuring poet Josh Smith

Sunday, March 15th, 2 p.m., Big Words Studio Date with Guest Sara Jay (adult film star); co-hosts Intentionally Bald Mike and Alie

Monday, March 16th, Brennan’s Bowery Bar, 5 p.m.-8p.m., St. Patrick’s Eve signing for Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars

Tuesday, March 17th, Milligan’s Pub, 4 p.m.-8 p.m., St. Patrick’s Day signing for Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars

Saturday, March 21st, Buffalo Small Press Book Fair, Karpeles Manuscript Museum, Buffalo, 12-6 pm, (Monsters Of Verse, setup begins at 10 am), special guest author Diane Meholick (Buffalo Stories)

Sunday, March 29th, 12-6 p.m., Gregg Sansonne Benefit, Colon John Weber VFW Post, 2909 South Park Ave, Lackawanna, 823-9605 (Tom Waters hosting, tickets are $20)

Wednesday, April 1st, 8 p.m., ‘April Foolfest 2!’, Desiderio’s on Broadway (5827 Broadway, 683-7767), Tom only with Special Musical Guests Lenny Revell and Dan Labowski.

Saturday, April 25th, Caz Coffee Café (688 Abbott Rd., 825-7806), 7-9 p.m., Reading (Monsters Of Verse with poet Susan Marie and artist/writer Kyle Kaczmarczyk)

Wednesday, May 6th, 7 pm, Center For Inquiry (3965 Rensch Rd., 636-4869), Monsters Of Verse w/3rd poet Christina Wos Donnelly)

Wednesday, May 13th, 7 PM, Big Words Studio Date, celebrity guest TBD

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Monday Big Words Update! Chasing My Own Deadline To The Finish…

February 23, 2009

Another grueling, exhausting weekend. We’re going to make this quick because I’m pressed for time (again).
In light of my impending Big Words radio interview this Wednesday with adult film star Alexis Amore, Night Life hits stands today with my original ‘Found In Translation’ Puma Swede Interview. Grab a copy on stands and don’t forget to tune in to the Think Twice site late Wednesday night or early Thursday to catch all the insanity.
After a lot of editing and producing work on four hours worth of material, there are FOUR (count ‘em) new Monsters Of Verse shows up online over on the Think Twice Monsters site. Here are your synopses for those:
2/15/09 Monsters Of Verse 10: FYE Transit
Local comic writer/artist Kyle Kaczmarzcak (The Red Eye, Pulp) attempts the unthinkable by promoting his work for eleven continuous hours with Tom beginning at FYE Transit. Poet JR Finlayson discusses the intensive therapy it took to recover from his ’08 press junket as a founding Monster Of Verse.
(Bonus Round included)
2/15/09 Monsters Of Verse 11: ‘Tom’s Atomic Poetry Kegger Cliff-Hanger! (pt.I)’
After spending the afternoon at FYE Transit, Kyle Kaczmarzcak continues to expose himself to Tom’s insanity as they take their show down the road to Don’s Atomic Comics in Depew for a free beer promotion. In the spirit of cross-marketing, Part II can be found over on Tom’s pod cast site, Big Words I Know By Heart (also on Think Twice). Arrow over for the surprisingly violent conclusion!.
2/15/09 Monsters Of Verse 12: Talking Leaves Elmwood
Poets Anne Foster and Josh Smith share a round table discussion with local novelist Diane Meholick and Tom Waters on a Sunday afternoon at Talking Leaves. For the first time in months, poems are recited for a pod cast show that was intended to have more readings than appearances. Irony!.2/15/09 Monsters Of Verse 13:    
2/20/09 Borders Books And Music in Orchard Park
Long time show biz friends Diane Meholick (Buffalo Stories, Painting Katherine) and Tom Waters schmooze their way through a Borders promotion by schlepping each other’s wares to unsuspecting Valentine’s Day book buyers and discussing the finer points of local and national folk music, among other things.
I also had the good fortune of recording one interview hour and one concert hour with national piano great Lenny Revell, who will be joining me on stage as part of the bill from 7 p.m. onward on Wednesday April 1st at Desiderio’s on Broadway for April Foolfest 2! This was the first time I’d ever met/heard Lenny play and he is without a doubt one of the most talented musicians in Buffalo, hands down. There’s a lot of post-production work to be done where his show is concerned, but I’ll let you all know the second it hit’s the web.
Don’t forget to check on back on Quixote Wednesday for some new information that will surprise and intrigue. This week’s curveball is a lot more shocking and unpredictable than anyone could have guessed! That’s all the time I have for today. Get caught up on all the radio shows by clicking your way over to:
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
And
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/monsters/monsters.html

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Big Words Radio Hour Episodes 30 & 31 Up Right NOW!

February 20, 2009
Hey folks!
 
Two new episodes of Big Words Radio are up and running on your worldwide superinformation off-ramp right this second!  Here are your ‘synospsi’:
 
 

Big Words Episode 30: ‘Tom’s Atomic Poetry Kegger Cliff-Hanger!’ (pt.II)
 Tom throws his first official Poetry Kegger at Don’s Atomic Comics in Depew.  Distilled spirits are consumed, comics are purchased, and a fight almost breaks out at the end of the clip.  This episode concludes Part I, which can be found by clicking on the Monsters Of Verse pod-cast show (which can also be found on the Think Twice Site).  This is what’s known as ’cross-promotion’.
 
Big Words Episode 31: ‘The Large Verbiage We’ve Shared Through Rote Activity Podcast’
 With a Democrat firmly entrenched in the White House, Thomas Waters and ’Full Head Of Luxurious Hair Michael’ attempt a show reformat that’s kindler, gentler, and a hell of a lot more liberal.  Guest Lindsay Waters upsets the new world order of things by bringing the content rating of the show from PG to NC-17. 
 
    I would STRONGLY recommend that you wait until Part I of the Tom’s Atomic Poetry Kegger show appears over on the Monsters Of Verse show site before diving head first into PT. II on my own site.  Just a suggestion, though, and odds are that you’re going to do whatever you want. 
    Tonight, I’ll be recording an back to back interview and concert shows with highly acclaimed musician Lenny Revell.  As soon as the shows are finished and posted, you’ll be the first group to know.  In the mean time, perk up your ears and click away over at:
 
 
    Have a great weekend and I’ll talk to you all on Monday for your regularly scheduled Monday Update,
 
Tom Waters
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Monday Big Words Update! A Boat Load Of New Shows On The Horizon…

February 16, 2009

This is going to be one of the shortest Monday Updates in recent memory as time is an issue today and not much has occurred…yet.

A new issue of Night Life magazine hit’s the stands today with ‘Barometric Pressure’, a very honest look at the nature and progress of my own bipolar disorder. I’m rarely this open with my readers (aside from the poetry books), so scoop it up if you want to catch a different side of me.

Borders last Friday was a great time with author Diane Meholick and we recorded the event for Monsters Of Verse pod casting purposes. Diane will be joining me again as a rotating guest Monster on Saturday, March 21st from 12-6 p.m. at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum for the 3rd annual Buffalo Small Press Book Fair. She’s a talented author and she was a joy to spend two hours with. You can catch our conversation soon on the Monsters Of Verse site on Think Twice Radio.

On Saturday, Lindsay, myself and ‘Luxurious Full Head Of Hair Michael’ recorded what will in all likelihood be the only episode of the ‘Large Verbiage We’ve Learned Through Rote Activity’ program. The Big Words format was completely reversed and after listening to the show with my buddy Ron, we were in stitches. Those unfamiliar with the previous 29 shows will have no goddamned idea what’s going on and will most likely turn the show off. Those of you who’ve heard some of the other shows will get what we’re doing and most likely piss yourselves laughing. The show isn’t up yet, but it will be very, very soon.

I spent Sunday editing and producing 6 hours worth of Big Words and Monsters shows and I’ll drop an update as soon as they’re all up. In total, there are 2 new Big Words shows and 4 Monsters pod casts going up THIS WEEK. That’s a lot of pod casting, folks.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. Stay tuned for more information this week and don’t forget to tune back in for your regularly scheduled Quixote Wednesday update! Take care and have a great week,

Tom Waters

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Bonus Valentine’s Poem! ‘Be Mine’

February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody!

This is the first new poem I’ve written in about three months.  Odds are that it will go into my next poetry collection, Poke The Scorpion With A Sharp Stick, which is due out some time in late 2010 or early 2011.  Enjoy the holiday,

Tom Waters

Be Mine

Real Love

is 3 millimeters between our open eyes

(not so much scanning as)

taking in every speckle, fleck & dilation of the pupil

in naked adulation

or the closest thing to total understanding

that two people can have among each other.

It’s:

the guerilla hug on the way out the door to work

an instinctive hand reaching for mine in our sleep

sharing a meal meant for one

sequestering ourselves from everyone else

just to be with each other

having a nap before or after bedroom elocutions

tracing the soft scent of skin

with my finger, nose or tongue

the hiccup of breath preceding a tear I anticipate the source of which is all thanks to me (and the fact of this brings about a horrid pall of shame and guilt I’m unfamiliar with)

your eyelids brushing my cheek when you wake

the comfortable feel of your ass with my hand

knowing every curve and bump and freckle and wrinkle and laugh line and chasm of sorrow on your body from back to front with my eyes closed and every embarrassing story, parable and anecdote about your life twice (most of them), the boys who hurt you and your parents who shaped you, the girls who hated you, or a world that changed us, found us, made us, dusted us off and dropped us into the same spot together so that we could find ourselves

à

HERE

Hers, His

Who fucking cares?

We made it

for now

we have one another

Today, tomorrow, next week

which makes the rest of it bearable

that has to be Real Love

or a facsimile

thereof.

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Monday Big Words Update! Promotional Aftermath, Calendar Additions…

February 9, 2009

Somebody get the number of that Mack Truck!

This weekend was a killer in the positive and negative sense of the term. On Friday night, I had a bar review I conducted with the wife for the Buffalo News. On Saturday, myself, Kyle Kaczmarzcack and JR Finlayson promoted for eleven consecutive hours at FYE Transit and Don’s Atomic Comics for my fifth Tom’s Atomic Kegger. When Sunday rolled around, I had a two hour stint promoting both Breathing Room books with Anne Foster, Josh Smith an unexpected guest star author Diane Meholick and a rag-tag cast of characters. Whoosh! The weekend is gone.

The outlandishly good news is that we kicked ass and took names. Don and the rest of us had our best crowd ever for the kegger and I the Monsters Of Verse and myself had the best turnout I’d ever seen at Talking Leaves Elmwood. Many, many books were sold and distributed throughout the greater Buffalo region this weekend and here’s some spectacular news: As of Saturday, both Breathing Rooms hit the 100 copies sold mark and kept going! For such a short amount of time with only a month or so of promotions (what with the holiday break), this is astoundingly good news for the two little poetry collections that could.

Much like Elton John and ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’, one of his most popular singles, Breathing Room I and II continue to amaze me with how well they’ve been received. Readers LOVE these two books and I’m not sure how or why, but I certainly appreciate their patronage and the avalanche of praise I continue to receive regarding both collections. Who KNEW that poetry would be the genre that set me free from a publishing standpoint? I never would have guessed it in a million years, but let’s keep those copies moving!

To avoid making this a five page update, the new Night Life is out this week with a Big Words dose of ‘Chia Chick’, an old favorite about Valentine’s Day and relationships that I like to dust off for the holiday. It’s acerbic and readers really dig out, so scoop it up if you haven’t read it in my first book, Born Pissed!

Three new shows went up on Think Twice Radio over the weekend too, so if you haven’t had a chance, check ‘em out. This previous weekend’s promotional insanity was recorded and Rich Wicka and I should have those up online by the beginning of next week.

And finally, there have been a few great additions to the Event Calendar for the next three months. Some poets have been added and subtracted, but I’m hesitant to roll the whole calendar out again, so I’ll go over the bullet points.

-Author Diane Meholick (Buffalo Stories) and poet Josh Smith will be joining me THIS FRIDAY at Borders Books on McKinley Parkway from 7-9 p.m. We’ll all be selling and signing copies of our books in honor of Valentine’s Day. And we’ll be doing it because we’re greedy and we’re starving Buffalo Artists. So swing out, buy some books and say hello!

-On Sunday, March 21st, The Monsters Of Verse will be joining the festivities at their very own table at the 3rd Annual Buffalo Small Press Book Fair from 12-6. This prestigious hullabaloo is located at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum on Richmond Ave in Buffalo and it’s a great opportunity to meet the majority of Buffalo’s literati in one day under one roof.

-Last but not least, local musician Lenny Revell has agreed to perform an hour long set of his piano-based genius for April Foolfest 2 at Desiderio’s on Broadway on Wednesday, April 1st. I’ll be ranting from 7-8 p.m., Lenny Revell will be playing from 9-10 p.m., and I’m still working on a second musical act for 8-9 p.m.. Buffalo is rife with talented musicians and I want to find a good fit for Desi’s. I’m really looking forward to seeing Lenny perform and it’s an added bonus to an event that’s sure to be a blast!

I’ll cut myself off at the knees there. There’s a lot more to go over, but we’ll save it for Friday or Saturday. Talk to you all on Wednesday for Part II of the Quixote Wednesday mini-series,

Tom Waters

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3 Bookstore Promotions in 2 Days, 3 new Radio Shows up NOW!

February 7, 2009
Holy god it’s going to be a busy weekend!
 
    First off, I’ll be at FYE Transit and Don’s Atomic Comics TODAY from 1-4 and 6-midnight (respectively) promoting both Breathing Rooms!  Show up at FYE and dogpile into the Monsters Of Verse podcast!  Or show up and bring or buy a copy of EITHER Breathing Room and drink for FREE from 6-midnight!  Yes, that is the only catch.  Don and I have been getting my readers drunk for going on 8 books now and we’re certainly not going to stop now.  Come on up, bring a girl (20% off everything in the store if you do) and let’s get WRECKED! 
    I’ll also be at Talking Leaves on Elmwood from 2-4 tomorrow (Sunday) with poet Anne Foster (a guest Monster Of Verse), so stop out tomorrow if you’re busy today! 
    All three events will be podcast and should be up in the not too distant future.  As far as the radio shows go, there are THREE new shows up right now!  2 new episodes of Big Words Radio are up as we speak and there’s a new episode of Monsters Of Verse with JR Finlayson over on the Monsters Of Verse site.  Here are your synopsi:
 
Big Words Radio:
Episode 28: ‘The Real Deal’
   
The insanity and frivolity get kicked up a few notches higher when forces beyond our control pair Tom with little brother and mad troubadour Dave ‘The Real Deal’ Waters. During guzzles of Jim Beam, Tom and Dave discuss family values, music, pizza and their love lives.
Episode 29: ‘How Dare You Sit There And Drink All Our Beer’
  
 Dave ‘The Real Deal’ Waters regales Tom and an unsuspecting Clarence audience (his downstairs neighbor) with an impromptu concert in his outside stairwell. Highlights include ‘Plastic Jesus’, ‘Texan Love Song’ and ‘The Man In Me’.
 
Monsters Of Verse Podcast:
1/20/09 Monsters Of Verse Episode 9: Dissertation
Poet emeritus and visiting professor JR ‘Jebrey’ Finlayson schools the Clarence High School Poetry Club regarding poetry, art, staying up until dawn, the joys and perils of having children, and his take on the future of the universe in just 20 minutes and change.
 
As always, you can dial up the following episodes on your Ipod at the intraweb post office boxes provided below.  Don’t forget to stop out to any of the events this weekend and be part of the madness that endless promotional junkets become!  Seeya soon,
Tom Waters
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/monsters/monsters.html
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Monday Big Words Update! Complete MOV/Tom Event Calendar (for now) For 2/09-5/09!

January 26, 2009

Tom's Atomic Poetry Kegger!

Tom's Atomic Poetry Kegger!

 

 

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

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

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

Tom Waters

 

Monsters Of Verse/Breathing Room Bookings Winter/Spring 09

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Finn gone from February 9th-19th)

 

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Monsters Of Verse Third Rotating Poet: Seasonal Positions Opening Now!

November 22, 2008

As an organic experiment, the Monsters Of Verse has changed already…..

JR Finlayson and myself will be looking at a third poet to round out the remainder of our shows for the next five months. If you have a chapbook/published book of poems/poems you would like to read out at a venue for podcast inclusion, feel free to email both of us simultaneously at:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

-or-

dullroar25@hotmail.com

Carrie Gardner will be pursuing other projects.

Again, thanks for your interest in Buffalo poetry, the anthology in general, and the Monsters Of Verse! Until the end of the calendar year, though, JR and myself will be focusing on running the gauntlet for M.O.V. We look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks,
Tom Waters

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Monday Big Words Update! More More More!

November 18, 2008

Here’s some Monday ‘Talking Points’ for ya:

-‘Sawed Off Sam Walton’ rolls out hot today in the pages of Night Life magazine’s Big Words I Know By Heart print column, which we’re quickly approaching the 2 Year Anniversary Party for at Double D’s Queen City Grill on December 11th!

-I spent two solid hours and got two solid shows from Buffalo Music Awards Hall Of Famer and blues legend Tommy Z.  We talked about some of the American derivatives of the Blues, influences, modern pop, blues and R & B, Gnarls Barkley (?) and Tom was kind enough to intersperce our discussions with crazy licks, play-alongs to some of our favorite blues standards, and many other musical expositions at his multimillion dollar recording studio/compound in the country.  As soon as both shows are up, I will let you know.

-After the interview with ‘Z’, I rushed both shows out to the studio along with 2 Live Monsters Of Verse concerts from last Thursday (Chippewa) and yesterday (Desiderio’s on Broadway).  Thanks again to JR Finlayson, Carrie Gardner and my ‘la familia’ (sp?) at Desiderio’s for making every event we organize there a time to remember.  Again, when both shows are up, you’ll be the first to know right here!

-Wednesday (if all goes according to plan), I should be sitting down with Irish rock god Kevin McCarthy for a similar session or two right before (you guessed it), the Buffalo Music Awards!  By week’s end, the all three musical explorations with three of the most talented artists in ‘the business of show’ should be up on Think Twice Radio for your enjoyment!  I might have one (technically) two more aces in the hole, but I’m not going to count my chickens etc.  If you want a hint, though, they’re one of my favorite Buffalo Bands and they have something to do with a deadly spider.  Cross your fingers for me! 

That’s it for today.  I got all my assignments done over the weekend which brings me up to speed for a little R & R for the next day or two until the rest of the week takes me away with it.  And don’t forget, Monsters Of Verse at FYE Amherst this Saturday afternoon from 1-4 p.m.!

Cheerio!

Tom Waters

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Friday Synopsis: 3 New Radio Shows, Desiderio’s THIS SUNDAY @ 7p.m.!

November 14, 2008
How goes it?
 
    Staying in line with the nutshell scenario’s for these emails (so as not to overload all of you), I’ll make this is as brief as I can:
 
-With the Buffalo Music Awards coming up next Thursday at Coyote’s, I’ve been locking down and scheduling a volley of great Buffalo Music Legends and previous award winners for Big Words Radio.  On Tuesday, I spent five hours with my ‘close, personal showbiz friend’ Michael Bly recording a ‘parter of two’ live at the Hidden Shamrock.  Thanks to Michael Bly, the whole gang at Hidden Shamrock (on Transit between Walden and Broadway) and former room-mate and co-host Charles ‘Chezzie’ Amabile for rolling with the punches!  Part 1 (Episode XVII) is the interview portion where we discuss Bly’s status as a living musical legend.  Part 2 (you guessed it, Episode XVIII) is a live concert with track’s from Mike’s Grammy Award Winning debut album (plug plug, Cliche’) along with some knockout cover songs and previously unreleased songs from his upcoming album.  Dial it up on your skype by clicking over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
    On Wednesday (after last week’s spectacular Big Words show with Uncle Hal), I popped over to his jewel-encrusted mansion/studio to do a cameo/co-host spot on The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal for Episode 61.  I can honestly say that if you combined all of the shows that Hal and I have done, you still wouldn’t approach the level of offensiveness we achieved over the course of the two-hour slam.  Every single human being on the planet who listens to the show is going to want to punch us both in the head, so pop over to Hal’s awesome program at:
 
http://www.powunclehal.blogspot.com
 
    I wouldn’t have a show or the finely tuned sensibilities on my own show (or a show, period) if it weren’t for the Associate’s degree I earned on the seven or eight shows I’ve done with Hal.  A big thanks goes out to Uncle Hal for having me back, getting us both in more trouble, and for his constant advice and support on my own show.  Anyone who’s ever listened to Hal’s show or our shows will attest to that.   If you’re not offended by ANYTHING, hunker down, grab a cold beverage and give it a listen.  Otherwise, avoid it at all costs. 
 
    I’ll be hunkering down for the next three days to finish up two very big assignments with two great Buffalo newspapers that are due by Monday.  The Monsters Of Verse show at Spot Coffee was sweet and Desiderio’s on Broadway this Sunday at 7 p.m. should be even better.  Both shows will be up by Monday night and I’ll throw you an update by then. 
 
    I’m wrapping up there.  Make it out to Desi’s if you can since it’s on my own turf, there are VERY FEW copies of Breathing Room Vol.I and II available for now, and make sure to buy a mountain of drinks, food, tip your servers and above all else (here’s the wind-up, there’s the pitch):
 
BUY OUR GODDAMNED BOOKS!
 
Love,

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

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

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

November 4, 2008

So…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vote Republican!,

Tom Waters

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Monsters Of Verse Episode II: ‘Renegade’ Waters hits Clarence High School; High School Hits Back!

October 30, 2008
Yep,
 
As you all know, I went to Clarence Central High School Tuesday at the ass crack of dawn (7:30 A.M.) to read for Ms. Foster’s Poetry Club as well as their literary magazine (Chrysalis) and a few students from their AV English Class.  I even got a little veklempt during some of the selections that were chosen for the student’s enjoyment.  Since the reading fall’s under some of the mission statements and ideals that the Monsters Of Verse aspire to, it went under the Monsters Of Verse banner on Think Twice.  Click on, tune in and drop out to the 37 minute interaction with the leaders of tomorrow at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/monsters/monsters.html
 
    A big thanks goes out to Anne Foster, Kevin Starr, and the kids who listened attentively and asked intelligent questions.  Doing something like that really makes my week because there’s no better way to get to the kids than when they’re in a class room setting.  I’ll be heading back next Tuesday to teach my first poetry workshop with the students, so wish me luck! 
    Next on deck I’m heading over to Think Twice Studios to bid Greg Sterlace a fond farewell before he and his wife Paula set sail for Arizona.  ‘Mr. Ski Mask’ will be taking over the highly contested Friday slot, and there’s been talk about having me on as a rotating co-host.  That might be fun.
    That’s all I’ve got for today.  I just got a molar pulled without sedation and the drugs are starting to kick in, so it’s in everyone’s best interests if I wrap up here.  Have a great rest of the week!

 
Tom Waters
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Clarence High School Aftermath/Jeff Brown on deck for Big Words Radio

October 29, 2008

Yesterday morning, I had forty minutes with a group of students from Clarence High School’s poetry club, as well as a representative from their literary magazine, Chrysalis.  I spent the majority of my time reading pre-screened poems from Breathing Room Vol. I and II. and fielded questions from the kids while discussing the mechanics of style, form and creativity.  After being inspired in the eighth grade to journal thanks to a guest speaker in my Science class, I feel compelled to give back and hit area schools in an attempt to do the same.  It went very well.  I’ll be returning next Tuesday to teach a workshop on poetry to the same cross section of Clarence youths.  A big thanks is due to Anne Foster as well as Kevin Starr for making the in-school appearance possible.  Yesterday’s session was recorded and should be up online by about eleven pm tonight under the Monsters Of Verse banner at Think Twice radio at the following link:

http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/monsters/monsters.html

And after a month out of the studio doing Big Words One Man Mobile Units, I’ll be returning to record Episode XIV with guest artist Jeff Brown (Every Girl Is The End Of The World For Me, AEIOU, Clumsy, Unlikely) from Top Shelf Comics along with co-host SoCo Mike. 

I’m hoping that Jeff Brown is more of a good sport about things than Alex Robinson (Episode III) was after the show.  Odds are in my favor as Brown (Incredible Change-Bots) not only seems to have a finely tuned sense of humor but also happens to be the exact same age as yours truly.  Brown is one of the few writer/artists that Lindsay took a shine to, which is saying quite a bit. 

Top Shelf has been outlandishly good to me in the previous four or five months, sending review copies, advance copies and publicity materials for a lot of their best and brightest creators.  While I haven’t had a hell of a lot of time to write any reviews, I’m planning on dropping some new critiques into Comics Bulletin’s lap in the coming weeks.  The title at the top of my list right now is Swallow Me Whole from writer/artist Nate Powell.  I was so bowled over by the book (along with the staff at Don’s Atomic Comics) that I feel obligated to shower it with praise and get some work back in to Comics Bulletin at the same time.

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Monday Big Words Update! Monsters Of Verse Podcast Site LIVE/Clarence Central High School Immenent…

October 27, 2008

Whelp, it was a productive weekend.

Aside from the Greg Sterlace Show appearance in full Joker makeup (which will be airing on Time Warner Cable on Weds. and Fri., check www.sterlace.com for more details), celebrating my 33rd birthday and performing as part of the prosiacal trifecta known as the Monsters Of Verse, Think Twice Radio got a new logo, a new show, and a new sheriff (or sheriffs) in town.  You can now find the inaugural Monsters Of Verse launch show (along with each successive show as they take place) up on it’s very own site over at:

http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/monsters/monsters.html

As for the Calendar Of Events, JR Finlayson and Carrie Gardner have the week off from any scheduled appearances.  Lucky bastards.  No, just kidding.  Our next gig together will be on Thursday, November 6th at 7 pm at the illustrious Talking Leaves books.  All three of us will be reading, signing and hawking our wares, so stop on out and tell ’em Tom sentcha! 

As for yours truly, I’ve got Clarence Central High School on deck.  I’ll be going in at the crack of dawn tomorrow to talk straight with the kids about this ‘genre of poetry’ for their Poetry Club, AV English students, and any of the editors and contributors of their literary magazine (Chrysalis) who might have a passing interest in my nonsense.  On Wednesday, the real fun rolls around, as I’ll be getting a molar yanked out of my skull in the morning and then doing a radio show in-studio at Think Twice with Top Shelf comic book artist/writer all-around genius Jeff Brown.  If all goes well, my co-host will be SoCo Mike (not to be confused with Intentionally Bald Mike, although the two are friends).  On Friday, I’ve got the final Greg Sterlace show in Buffalo to attend and then I’m pretty sure I’m done for the week.  Aside from schmoozing, handing out free review copies and making five million phone calls.  Oh, and there’s the writing, too.  Whew!

A new Big Words I Know By Heart column drops today in Night Life magazine and my AOL is doing its thing because I can’t pull up the October columns that I sent out.  If memory serves, I’m dropping three or four poems from Breathing Room Vol. II: rhymes & relics like they’re hot. 

That should be everything for today, webslingers.  If I forgot something, I’m sure I’ll keep you posted throughout the week.  In the mean time, don’t get fired from your day job!  Cheers,

Tom Waters

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