Archive for the ‘rants’ Category

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Travesty & Mockery iBooks/Pulp 716 next Saturday!

November 4, 2016

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

Travesty

Mockery

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

Sincerely,

Tom

 

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Travesty Inbound!

July 20, 2016

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Hey all!

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

Stay Tuned,

Tom

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Wardrobe Malfunction

May 2, 2016

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

I have never been mistaken for a peacock.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can pull off capri pants, right?
Tom Waters

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Discourse Correction

April 4, 2016

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

Say something once, why say it again?”

-The Talking Heads, ‘Psycho Killer’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Waters

 

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Dante’s Double

March 1, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fired up,
Tom Waters

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Breath Of A Salesman

February 1, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Second prize is a set of steak knives,

Tom Waters

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

January 18, 2016

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

 

 

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

See you soon.

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Creature Of Habit

January 4, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vaping in the boy’s room,
Tom Waters

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On Dasher, On Dancer, On Prozac (Updated)

December 14, 2015

 

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Author’s Note: This little ditty is from my 2008 book If They Can’t Take A Joke (Authorhouse).  I think about this one every time the holidays come around and it deserved some rewrites and revisions.  This is good practice as Travesty approaches the finish line, because I’d like to rework every essay in the manuscript one final time before its release in the Fall of 2016. 

Happy Holidays!

Whelp, I’ve survived the holiday gauntlet. From Thanksgiving until January 1st, there is no reprieve. No sanctuary, no shelter, no quarter from family, family meals, stress, anxiety, depression, aggravation, noise pollution, and hustle and bustle on a scale of mental exhaustion. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Why not celebrate the holidays by running your immune system into the ground, gaining weight, drinking like a fish, and maxing out your credit cards? Holidays are hell on adults, always have been, always will be.

I didn’t really notice it until this year, but more people collectively lose their shit this time of year than any other. I don’t know how I kept mine together aside from the fact that everyone lost their mind around me while I watched. I’m reminded of the relationship between Hunter Thompson and his trusty sidekick in the film/book Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas; one of the two always kept their wits about them while the other loses them. They took turns. I made it straightaway up until three or four days before New Year’s before commencing into total collapse.

My grandfather died five days before Christmas, a fact which never escapes anyone in my family. It’s been six years, but deaths in the family are like cattle brands. Nobody mentioned it this year, but I’m sure we all thought about it. Looming like the ghost of Christmas past, memories of my grandpa and his subsequent passing left an indelible mark on our holidays forever. It seems as if the good ones always go around the really important occasions. That, or there are too many holidays to count, and it just appears that way. Maybe that’s the end result of old age and the stress of the season. I felt my age this year, and perhaps the burden of Christmas shopping and card sending and table settings will put me six feet under when I get older, too.

I’m so sick of shopping and hunting and gathering that I’m considering moving to another country next year between the months of November and March. Maybe I’ll move to Iceland, where they still believe in faeries, Bjork’s music career, and where they have a holiday that celebrates and encourages adultery (I’m not making this up). I’m not a big fan of standing in line on Black Fridays. Leave that to the fucking soccer moms. I don’t chase down bargains or make the six a.m. toy runs the stores like to torture us with. It’s complete madness. Nothing will get me out of bed before eight o’clock (unless, of course, I’m still awake from the night before). By December, people get a glazed, psychotic look in their eyes standing in the checkout lanes. Desperation, exhaustion, and materialism bear down on their tiny brains. Stupid people are much more likely to lose their minds around the holidays because they have less of it to go around. You see them screaming at cashiers, elbowing their way through toys, and clothes-lining Christmas carolers.

One expends a lot of energy participating in family meals, get-togethers and holiday jaunts. Entire days off are chewed up driving to a destination, sitting and talking with loved ones, having a meal, exchanging gifts, toasting champagne, and so on. This leaves you with the feeling that not only don’t you have any free time, but there’s a microverse of frenetic activity that’s taken its place. While I prefer to nap frequently and laze about on days off running the occasional errand, these become a thing of the past in the winter months.

Nothing makes you feel more alone than holidays, especially New Year’s Eve. We’d all like to picture ourselves kissing our intended at the stroke of midnight rather than basking in our own solitude. This is one of the many factors that pushes people right over the edge into insanity. Seasonal violence has a cause and effect. It’s modus operandi is the surmounting pressure that drives people to drink and play bumper sleigh ride with their new luxury sedan, strip the Christmas lights off the tree and hop off of a chair, or gobble up that bottle of sleeping pills like a tender morsel of Christmas ham.

Let’s not forget the big two stressors, either: finances and weight. The average American gains twenty pounds between November and January. So many holiday snacks within reach; fruitcake, turkey, Christmas cookies, egg nog, and scotch. One month on the lips, a new year’s resolution on the hips. Most people worry year round about their budgets, and racking up gifts on multiple credit cards doesn’t help. It’s a holiday recipe for a breakdown.

It’s a good thing the holiday triathlon only comes once a year. It’s probably not any one factor that freaks people out so much as the sum of all of them. That, and the end of another year and the realization that we didn’t do nearly as much as we wanted to in the months preceding it. Expectations for the coming calendar combined with disappointment over the previous one. The thought that we’re getting older at the speed of light, and that another year has gotten away from us. Should old acquaintance be forgot….just give me one solid day off. And let me hide out from family, friends, and shopping centers.

Checking the expiration date on my NA eggnog,

Tom ‘yuletide’ Waters

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‘Aqua Vita’ goes live on BuffaloComedy.com

May 6, 2015

Aqua Vita

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

Check out the new essay here:  Aqua Vita

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

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

Talk to you soon.

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

March 2, 2015

It's All About The Benjamin

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

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

It’s All About The Benjamin

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

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

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‘Time Served’ Goes Live on BuffaloComedy.com

February 2, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Waters

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

January 7, 2015

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

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

Milkie’s On Elmwood 522 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo

(716)882-5881 Admission is free.

Signed first edition books available from $15.

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

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

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

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

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‘Bat To The Future’ Appears on BuffaloComedy.com

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

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

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

Bat To The Future

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

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

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

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

See you in the funny papers,

Tom

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New Year, New Deal

January 1, 2015

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

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

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

The Big Words I Know By Heart RadioHour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

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

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

Starting 2015 with a bang,
Tom

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You’re Doing It Wrong: My Three Month Experience With Logitech Customer Service

December 26, 2014
"The #1-selling case for iPad" according to Logitech's packaging.  It's safe to say that there are one or two design flaws.

“The #1-selling case for iPad” according to Logitech’s packaging. It’s safe to say that there are one or two design flaws.

Before I get started, let me qualify myself. I’ve worked in customer service (in one form or another) since I was sixteen years old. Whether it was on the front lines during Christmas in retail, being the first line of defense for a home security company, managing a locally owned movie theater and just about everything in between that you could think of, I have a pretty good grasp of what good service is and how that trickles down from a corporate or privately held company philosophy. The golden rule remains that you should treat other people the way that you’d like to be treated. Some insist that the customer is always right. That’s not a belief I subscribe to, but within reason, you should try to take care of the customer’s needs.

That being said, my three month ordeal with Logitech is (without a doubt) the worst experience I have ever had with any company in my entire life. I am appalled at the leaps, hurdles and bureaucratic bullshit that I had to endure to fulfill a replacement for a product that was well within warranty. After what I went through, I would never recommend them as a company to anyone. Quite to the contrary, I will most likely go out of my way to tell people NOT to do business with them or support their products. Here’s what happened. Up until three months ago, I loved Logitech. They make a lot of electronic accessories and I was familiar with their headsets and game controllers from my time as a manager for Electronics Boutique. Their accessories were always a bit more expensive than their competitors, but they were also better designed, sleeker and longer lasting than their counterparts. They gained a reputation for having responsive, durable accessories with inspired design.

Over the summer I bought an iPad Air. When looking around for a keyboard/carrying case combo, I naturally selected Logitech’s Ultrathin Keyboard Folio ($99). It’s a compact case that was advertised (on the packaging) as the “#1Selling Case for the iPad”. This may have more to do with the prominent marketing and merchandising of their product in Apple stores than the quality and durability of the product itself. The case functions with magnets on the bottom (near the keyboard) and a pair of plastic bordered clips at the top rather than the all-inclusive left and right mesh-gripping sides that I’ve seen on similar products.

Shortly after I bought the case my iPad fell out onto the floor. I was walking with the iPad in the upright position, so one could argue that it was my fault. I wasn’t running, I wasn’t jerking the case up and down while moving, I was just walking with the case in order to keep busy during a commercial break on the show I was watching. Luckily, the iPad wasn’t damaged. I wasn’t as lucky the second time. The next time it happened (about a month later), the iPad fell down a concrete set of steps and cracked irreparably across the screen in multiple places. It appears as if the two tiny plastic border clips at the top weren’t as tight in their grip on the iPad as they were when I bought the product. Thankfully, I purchased Apple Care with the iPad, and was able to replace it for a $50 fee. As for the case, I noticed a hairline fracture on the border clip at the top right. AT NO TIME did the Folio case fall to the ground. I had to apply some Gorilla Glue to the crack, which made the entire case combo look ridiculous.  A week later I set the iPad on a counter with the case closed and my new iPad slipped and fell onto the floor. The right border clip had cracked and fallen off completely. This is just poor structural design.

On or around October 15th of this year I filed a warranty claim through Logitech’s website. I included my entire original receipt information, warranty information, serial number and manufacturer number as requested. The generated response by a Lani V. informed me that the company would get a hold of me within seven to ten business days. They didn’t. I followed up with the company and sent an email on October 26th including pictures of the damage. By November 5th, I still hadn’t heard from anybody via phone or email, so I re-sent my previous email. Twice. I sent a new email referencing my case number on November 9th explaining the entire experience and asking for a new case as well as some sort of reimbursement for the damage directly caused as a result of using their case. No one from Logitech called or responded to my email.

By November 19th, I called Logitech at their non-1-800 number, waited on hold for twenty minutes and spoke to a Daryl L., who didn’t leave his name in the body of the email he sent me. Much like my original email over a month earlier, Daryl L. told me that the case was covered under a two year warranty and that I would be receiving my replacement. He had me re-send my original email (which I had already sent multiple times). We got disconnected. A few days later on November 22nd (when I had time to dial long distance and sit on hold for awhile), I called Logitech again to make sure that my replacement was sent out. I’m not sure who I spoke to that particular time as I have no notation in my emails and they never offered their name on the phone or email. In my experience, if a customer service representative won’t offer you their name it’s either because they’re doing something they’re not supposed to do or because they don’t want to get in trouble. The email I sent out THAT day was another trio of pictures displaying the structural flaws of the case along with all of my warranty information (serial #, manufacturer’s #, etc.) all over again.

Another month passed. I was amazed that I still hadn’t received my replacement and had long since purchased a Belkin Folio case for $20 less with better functionality, a longer charge cord and a better grip on the iPad itself. Out of determination and sheer curiosity at just how long Logitech was going to draw this fiasco out, I called Logitech again at their non-1-800 number and spoke to someone else who didn’t offer their name. This was last week, December 17th. When I asked why it was taking so long to reach my home, the male customer servicer rep blamed it on UPS. In my almost forty years on this planet as a manager for a video game retailer, a shipping and receiving employee for big box stores and as someone who’s ordered plenty of things online that ship via UPS, I have NEVER known UPS to take one month to ship anything to anyone anywhere for any reason. It sounded like a complete cop-out and there is zero doubt in my mind that this customer service rep was trying to shift the blame away from Logitech and onto anyone else. I finally received my replacement Folio keyboard on Christmas Eve this week, over three months after filing the initial claim through Logitech’s website.

This isn’t a case of one person dropping the ball. As a result of this experience, it’s my firm belief that there is a major systemic failure at the core of Logitech’s customer service philosophy. From a lack of response emails to a lack of any accountability by any of the three or four reps I spoke with on the phone to a daisy chain of procedural warranty filing and photograph sending to actually blaming another company, anybody else for their total failure to live up to their product, their warranties or their customers, I am left with the impression that 1) Logitech makes a shoddy product that breaks the tablets said product is designed to protect, 2) Logitech really doesn’t give a shit about their customers after they buy their products and 3) Logitech will go out of their way to avoid accepting responsibility for their products at every single level of their customer service department from their website straight on through to their live customer service department. The three months that I spent with Logitech were without exception the WORST customer experience I have ever had with any company in retail or out of it. I am flabbergasted that they have any brand name reputation at all if this is the way that they treat most customers when they have an issue. Please don’t support the company, their products or their way of doing business.

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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Big Words Video Episode V: ‘Love Stocking’

December 19, 2014

Big Words Video V Publicity Shot

Yikes!

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

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

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

Here is Episode V:

 

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

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

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

Merry Xmas,

Tom

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

December 2, 2014

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

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

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

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

Thanks,
Tom

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

November 26, 2014

 

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

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

Recording and producing these shows is entirely too much fun!

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 18, 2014

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

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

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

November 4, 2014

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great week!

Tom

 

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

October 25, 2014

image

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Tom

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

October 6, 2014

Morning!

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

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

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

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

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

(716) 348-1430

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Hope to see you there!
Tom

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

September 29, 2014

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

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

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

Reading & Signing w/author Tom Waters

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

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

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

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

Breaking Dad

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

See you in the funny papers,
Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode II: BJs Off TheTable

September 25, 2014

Whew!

Another new episode of Big Words Video is in the can.  I was a little under the weather (having battled a cold for the last two weeks), but the results are pretty damned funny.  Guest Kyle Kaczmarczyk and co-host Jenny O were a mismatched pair made in broadcasting heaven.  I’m not really sure how or why the show wound up in Black and White (that wasn’t intentional), but we’ll chalk that up to the Big Words Poltergeist.  Methinks that producer Richard Wicka may have done it on purpose in preproduction.

Here’s your synopsis:

Tom hunkers down with New York Times bestselling writer/artist Kyle Kaczmarczyk  (Fubar, Igor: Occult Detective, The Misadventures Of Silent Boy) about adolescent bathing, prenups, The New New 52 and other shameful joys.  Co-host Jenny O. shows concern about being dropped from Facebook.

Please watch the newest episode here:

PLEASE take the time to click on the link, watch the show, ‘Like’ the show and Share with your friends as early and often as possible.  Word of mouth is everything.

Thanks are in order to Kyle, Jenny and producer Richard Wicka for a great ‘webisode’.  I’ll be back on the attack in a month with an unexpected guest and an ‘interesting’ co-host!

Thanks!

Tom

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Big Words Video 2.5: Points Of Articulation

September 25, 2014

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Tom

 

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

September 21, 2014

The Misadventures Of Silent Boy by Kyle KaczmarczykHey all,

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

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

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

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

Talk to you soon!

Tom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned,
Tom

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

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

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

What a rush!  

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

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

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

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

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

August 23, 2014

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

Big Words Video 1.5: The Jon Elston Ice Bucket Challenge

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

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Travesty Back On Track, Icarus In A Holding Pattern…

August 13, 2014

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

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

See you all in three days time,
Tom Waters

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

August 7, 2014

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

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

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

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

Yours very truly, Tom Waters
Twitter: @tomfoolery444

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

August 4, 2014

Big Words Warhol Fan Pic by Marisa DillingerHey all,

All my life I’ve been terrified of change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what now?

It’s time to change it up a bit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Waters

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

August 3, 2014
A room full of narcissists.

A room full of narcissists.

Okay, folks!

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

Sterlace & Saracki #45: Wholesome To The Max

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

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

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

@tomfoolery444

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

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

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Auto Bio, Twitterverse & Mr. Sterlace Approaching…

July 30, 2014

Okay…

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

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

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

Talk to you sooner than you think,

Tom Waters

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

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


 

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Preliminary Artwork Compliments Of Six Shot Studios For Icarus On The Mend: Memoirs Of A Manic Depressive

July 12, 2013

icarus cover

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

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

December 29, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters            

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

December 10, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned,

Tom Waters

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The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour Finale Roast

December 6, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Big Words Finale Bonus Round!

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

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

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

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

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

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

Enjoy,

Tom Waters

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

November 17, 2011

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

 

Episode 67: ‘Tricky Dicks & Pregnant Possibilities’

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

 

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

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

 

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

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

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

 

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

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

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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

November 15, 2011

Saying goodbye is a bitch.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Counting down,

Tom

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

November 7, 2011

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

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

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

We look forward to seeing you in December,

Tom Waters

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Big Words Radio Episode 66: ‘Tight Rope’

October 26, 2011

There are some days you just want to forget.  Yesterday was one of them.  After spending the majority of my birthday hungry and alone, I wasn’t exactly at the top of my game for the show.  Here’s your synopsis:

 

Episode 66: ‘Tight Rope’

Tom and co-host Brian Bogucki stammer through an interview with veteran journalist Joel Meadows, the editor in chief at Trip Wire magazine. Tom laments the worst birthday he’s ever had, Joel rolls with the punches and Brian does his best impression of a mime.

 

To hear the show on Think Twice, here’s your direct link:

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

 

To download the episode with a smaller audio file or to listen to bonus episodes and additional clips, click here:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

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

 

Thanks are in order to Joel Meadows for rolling with the punches for a show that wasn’t our level best.  Thanks also to Brian Bogucki and (as always) producer Richard Wicka for being on board for this disaster.  We’ve got two more shows left.  Join me next month when I sit down with producer Richard Wicka to figure out how and when the program went so horribly wrong.  After that, we’ve got the big finish in early December.

 

Thanks,

Tom

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Completely Clueless: Duff’s Wings On Dick Road Couldn’t Buy A Clue With A Free Gift Card & A Hundred Bucks

September 9, 2011

Back around November of 2009, Duff’s Wings opened a new location on Dick Rd. in Cheektowaga.  I’d never had their wings but (as an aficionado), people had been telling me about them for years.  You probably know by now how passionate I am about chicken wings.  For the last twenty years my buddy Ron and I have been getting a double of wings every Sunday like clockwork, so when they opened up in Cheektowaga, we decided to try them out.  We fell in love with the sauce and the size of the wings were fantastic.  We ordered them every single Sunday like clockwork.

Flash forward to around June of 2010.  President Obama chose the Dick Rd. location to try out what Buffalo had to offer and the ‘Hottie with a smoking body’ news story was born.  After that, Ron and I never got an accurate order.  For seven straight months beforehand we ordered a double of wings (ten flats with Suicide, ten drums Hot) and they never got it wrong.  After the Obama visit, they couldn’t seem to get anything right.  Both of us adhere to routine, so we kept ordering for another month or so.  Then we gave up.

Every couple of months I get a hankering for their Suicide Sauce and fool myself into thinking that they’ve righted the ship.  They haven’t.  I ordered a double of wings this evening and asked for mostly flats Suicide Hot and Saucy.  I got home and found a single of wings Hot and a single of wings Suicide and they were all Extra Crispy.  Unbelievable.

Most popular franchises are at least consistently mediocre and that’s why they keep branching out.  Duff’s Wings can’t even pull that off.  Duff’s has gotten 100% of my orders wrong since mid-2010.  Not even one order has been correct.  As a bar reviewer for the Buffalo News since 2007, I’ve been conditioned to support local and avoid chains.  Here’s another experience to reinforce it.

Duff’s on Dick Road needs either new management or a staff that knows how to clean out their ears with Q-Tips before they take a phone order.  I’m done with that location, I’m done with their wings and I’m done with the entire franchise.  You’ve fucked up your last order with me.  In the short run, that doesn’t matter since they continue to fill the restaurant with tourists eager to walk in the footsteps of our current president.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that restaurant trends change, and some day people will just stop showing up.  That’s when you learn to depend on your regulars, and if you don’t take care of your regulars, you might as well close your doors.

I look forward to the day that Duff’s closes their doors in Cheektowaga.  They haven’t lifted a finger to go above or beyond and they haven’t even approached the bare minimum of competence where I’m concerned.  In a city full of places that cook chicken wings well along with restaurants that make things the same way every time and actually write an order down and cook it correctly every single time, they’re playing Russian Roulette with the company’s profits.

Buying my wings everywhere else from now on,

Tom Waters

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

September 8, 2011

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

 

Episode 65: ‘Anal Bleaching Changed My Life’

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

 

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

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

 

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

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Have a great week,

Tom

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

August 25, 2011

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

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

 

Episode 64: ‘Story Of My Flife’

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

 

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

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

 

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

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

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

 

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

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

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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

August 11, 2011

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

 

Episode 63: ‘But We Digress’

 

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

 

Sh*t Show: The Bonus Round

 

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

 

You can listen this instant by clicking over to:

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

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

 

Thanks,

Tom Waters

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Big Words Radio Turning Point

July 26, 2011

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

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

 

It’s up to you.

Tom Waters

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‘Sweet Is The Smell Of Success’

July 11, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

 

Thanks for being a part of it,

Tom Waters

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

July 1, 2011

Here we go again…

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Tom Waters

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Tom Tweets!

June 28, 2011

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

 

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

 

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

 

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‘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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Cheers & Jeers: Events As They Develop

June 8, 2011

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Race you to next week,

Tom Waters

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Two New Big Words Episodes Live From Stockman’s

June 7, 2011

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

 

‘For Real: Mockery Live At Maryan’s’

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

 

To hear the show, click here:

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

 

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

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

 

To hear the show, click here:

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

 

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

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

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

Thanks,

Tom Waters

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

May 29, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To hear the show online click on the link below:

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

Tom’s Atomic Bonus Round: ‘Parting Words’

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

To hear the show online click on the link below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping busy,

Tom Waters

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

May 16, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks,

Tom Waters

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

May 11, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.

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

Tom Waters

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

May 1, 2011

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

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

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

You can listen to the show by clicking here:

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

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

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

http://independentstream.podomatic.com

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

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

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

Resting up for the rest of the week,

Tom Waters

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

April 19, 2011

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

and:

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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Wrapping Up Loose Ends/Semi-Retirement

April 14, 2011

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

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

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

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

http://www.randomthoughtsbrokenmind.blogspot.com

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

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

Please don’t for both our sakes.

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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

April 11, 2011

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

 

Episode 59: A Big Basket Of Shameful Joy

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

http://www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

Talk to you soon,

Tom Waters

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

April 3, 2011

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

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

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

http://best.artvoice.com

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

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

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

Tom

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Tom’s Atomic Comic Giveaway Art

April 3, 2011

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

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

April 1, 2011

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Tom Waters

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Commence Mockery in 3, 2…

March 31, 2011

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

 

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

 

For an excerpt of Jolene Zanghi’s interview,

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

 

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

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

-If They Can’t Take A Joke (HC) $20

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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

March 21, 2011

Okay…

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

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

www.best.artvoice.com

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Waters

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

March 20, 2011

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

Episode 58: ‘Your Own Personal White-Out’

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

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

http://www.bigwordsmevio.com

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

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

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

Enjoying long, sticky white donuts,

Tom Waters

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

March 15, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Big Words Radio Episode 56: Straight Up Gangsta

March 11, 2011

Episode 56 Synopsis:

T-Rex, J-Dog and Chromey drop the knowledge on that dude who was in Wall Street on that tv show, that politician who took his shirt off for dudes who were really chicks and how the man is trying to bring us all down.

Give it a listen right now at:

http://www.mevio.com/episode/272473/episode-56-straight-up-gangsta

Thanks to Chrome Dome Mike for ‘bringing the heat’ and J-Dog for rolling with the punches.  This episode was EPIC, yo.  One love.

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

March 5, 2011

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Mockery Soft Launch, Doubt It Publishing Blow Out!

March 1, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Miscellaneous

February 8, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Big Words Radio Presents The Busted Stuff Boxed Trifecta!

January 28, 2011

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

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

 

Here are your synopses:

 

Episode 54: Maccatoy Vs. Nixon

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

www.bigwords.mevio.com

 

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

Tom Waters

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

January 2, 2011

Happy New Year everybody!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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Big Words Radio Episode 51: ‘Altered States’

December 18, 2010

 

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

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Voices From The Herd Reading Booked For Monday, December 6th@Desiderio’s!

November 9, 2010
     I’m overjoyed to announce that the writers, poets and talents behind Voices From The Herd: An Anthology For Buffalo, NY will be reading and signing copies of the book at Desiderio’s On Broadway (5827 Broadway Avenue on the corner of Broadway and Bowen) on the dinner theater stage on Monday, December 6th at 6:30 p.m.  We realize that the holiday season is a busy time for everyone, which is why we planned the event early in the month before things get too hectic.
     This is a great opportunity to enjoy a wonderful evening of free entertainment in a fine dining atmosphere, support local arts, contribute to a great cause, buy a reasonably priced book for Buffalo readers and expatriates and help out the Just Buffalo Literary Center all in the same night!  Copies of the book will be available for sale ($13) throughout the event, but supplies will be limited.  We strongly encourage you to buy a copy ahead of time through lulu.com.  Royalties are sent out directly and quarterly to Just Buffalo and so far the book has raised almost $300 for the organization. 
I’ll be recording the event for podcast inclusion for my show on thinktwiceradio.com and we’ll announce attending artists as the date approaches.  In the four years that I’ve lived in Lancaster, Desiderio’s has become a second home to me in addition to my first choice for all of my book launches.  Desiderio’s has earned a reputation for excellence at multiple locations for their exceptional food, personalized service, comfortable atmosphere and unique entertainment.       
In addition to the Voices From The Herd live reading, they’re launching ‘My Three Angels’, a play by Sam and Bella Spewak from Dec.4th through January 30th. It’s the story of three convicts who come to the aid of a good family in need. Call early to book a reservation at 683-7767. Dinner/show packages range from $36-46 depending on your entree. Thurs, Fri, Saturday dinner is 6 p.m. (Show is 8 p.m.). Sunday Dinner is 5 p.m. and Show is 7 p.m.
Desiderio’s has also announced Tom Sartori’s Holiday Caberet on December 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th. Ring in the holidays with a Buffalo native who became a singer, songwriter and recording artist who went on to play all over the country. Tom returns to Buffalo in December to perform the songs of the season with many of the Holiday Tunes you’ve come to love over the years. You’ll definitely leave Desiderio’s with the Joy of the season in your heart.
I truly can’t wait for the Voices From The Herd event on the 6th.  In a season of giving, we’re looking forward to giving you great entertainment while we all give something back to the Just Buffalo Literary Center.
Happy Holidays (in advance),
Tom Waters
Co-Editor

Voices From The Herd

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Big Words Radio Episode 48: Captain Olive Oil & The Plastic Fantastic Funbags

October 29, 2010
Synopsis: After almost a year without a new show, Tom hops back into the driver’s seat rip-rearing to go with Buffalo music legend and accomplished cocksman Sir Gregg Sansone and Griffin Sansone, a new breed of texting, time signature defying, You-tubing Buffalo musician. Designated driver/co-host Minnick is also present in a physical capacity and the near-acceptable range of his speaking voice contributes something of barely perceivable value to the show. Tom’s star-studded wedding reception remains a point of pride and a bone of contention for all involved.
To hear the show in all of its audial glory, click on: http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
Mevio is giving me a headache with a new design overhaul, but eventually I’ll figure it out and upload the show there, too.
It felt REALLY good to get back to working on the show.  You can rest assured that I’ll have another show by the end of November.  Thanks to Gregg, Griffin, Minnick and producer Richard Wicka for lending their time and talents to the best comeback show ever!
After having so many headaches with brand name adult film and comic book celebrities in terms of making sure they commit to a studio date, going through hoops to contact them in the first place and then rescheduling when they invariably spaced out and forgot what the studio date was even after a one week courtesy reminder, I’d like to go ‘back to my roots’ for a little while and get back to what made the show fun in the first place: great guests and highly offensive comedy.
If you’re interested in being on the show in November, please feel free to email me at bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com.  In the mean time, enjoy the new show!
Thanks,
Tom Waters
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Mockery Alert

October 21, 2010

Wandering away momentarily from the Buffalo Arts Council scandal, I’d like to talk about my next book.  Code named ‘Mockery’, I’m planning on throwing a curve ball right past home base.  So to speak.

With three years of new material in the can and nine books (including the Voices From The Herd anthology), I’m in no hurry to release or promote something new.  Unless it’s something special. 

The idea hit me like a ton of bricks and after doing a million promotions, in-store appearances and readings over the last ten years, it was time for a change.  I thought about what I enjoyed reading, what made sense and honestly (after both Breathing Rooms), how the content naturally fit.  It’s time for a book devoted to what I do best: comedy.

Over the course of a weekend, I took about 300 pages of essays and picked out my favorites.  The lean, mean beasts of the pack.  Out of all of the available material, I harvested 130 choice pages of concentrated hilarity and lined them up to mirror the pacing, timing and structure of a standup comedy routine, with light laughs and superficial material at the beginning leading in to the crux of my angst and closing out with a strong, steady finish that brings it all back around. 

I’m a slow learner.  We’ve been over this.  But personally, as a reader, I’ve always enjoyed reading essay collections that top out at around 130 pages.  I love Andy Rooney, but he runs too long for his own good.  The funniest book I’ve ever read (or in all likelihood, will ever read) is Steve Martin’s Pure Drivel, which closes out at 130 tight, well constructed pages.  It’s high time to follow the path that Hemingway and Fitzgerald carved out.  Less is more, and economy of line packs more of a wallop than a whopper of a book in weight.

The material I’ve chosen has a flow that’s refreshing compared to my previous collections.  I’m very excited, and it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten worked up over my own work.  With a new direction and a vastly evolved battle plan, I’ve got a fresh start.  I’ll be hammering out a lower price point, too, which will attract a larger base of readers.

Slapstick & Superego was a beautiful project and a great book, and I’m proud of the material, the appearance and the layout.  I jumped ship on the promotions though simply because I was exhausted from promoting.  With Mockery, I feel energized because everything feels new again, so Slapstick will get the readings and signings it deserved right alongside Mockery

I’m proud to note that graphic designer Evangeline Barbour is heading up the cover design and interior of the book.  We’ve got a very specific look for this book that appeal to my vintage graphic novel sensibilities.  Fan favorite Mike Hilliard (better known as Intentionally Bald Mike) will be penning the intro.  I’m also in the midst of discussions with web/graphic designer Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios) for a brand new web site due out before or at the same time as the book launch that wows, informs and titillates.

            The sad news is that you’re just going to have to be patient for the new book, as I’m taking my time with this one.  Tentatively slated for a spring of ’11 release, I’m going to make sure this baby is perfect before we deliver it to the rest of the world.  Trust me when I say it’ll be worth the wait.  Throw your preconceived expectations out the window and strap yourself in for a reading experience that’ll make you laugh yourself into a brain aneurysm.  I’m not even kidding.         

Stay tuned,

Tom Waters

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Monday Big Words Update: S&S Launch Saturday, WYRK tomorrow, John Valby Thursday!

August 24, 2009

            It’s gonna be a busy week.

            Tomorrow morning, I’ll be driving downtown to talk to Clay and Dale at Country 106.5 FM (WYRK) to give away some books on the air and discuss the big Slapstick & Superego launch at Magruder’s this weekend.  If you’re listening in, I should be on some time after 8 a.m.      This Thursday, I’ll have the distinct pleasure of interviewing John ‘Dr. Dirty’ Valby at the Think Twice Radio studio for Episode 41 of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour.  Valby is a Buffalo music legend and I look forward to finding out what makes him tick over the course of the hour. 

            And this Saturday, the Slapstick & Superego book launch is finally hitting at Magruder’s in Lancaster from 6 p.m.-10 p.m.  After responding to your feedback from a questionnaire last spring and tailoring this launch to reader responses, I truly hope that there’s a record turnout for this event since this is my first booking at Magruder’s and I’d like it to be successful for both of us.  For those attending, the launch will take place on the second floor of the building.  Signed copies of the book will be available for $19.99, so bring your wallet and a sense of humor!  September looks like it may be too hectic for any readings or in-store promotions, so this will probably be your only chance to get the book before October!  Don’t miss out!

            Night Life Magazine drops this week with ‘Babes On A Plane’, a rant about, well, babies on planes from Slapstick & Superego. 

            That’s all I’ve got for today.  I hope to see you all this Saturday at Magruder’s and wish me luck tomorrow and Thursday!

            Tom Waters

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Monday Big Words Update! Slapstick Launch Revisited, Infringement, Kahle & Co. Visit, & John Valby Booked For Big Words Radio!

July 21, 2009

Okay, I’ve got a helluva lot of ground to cover this week, so I’ll attempt to do it as quickly as possible…. First off, if you didn’t catch the announcement last week, the official book launch for Slapstick & Superego is going down on Saturday, August 29th at Magruder’s Restaurant (2nd floor) from 6-10 p.m.. Signed first editions will be available for $19.99, so mark your calendar and round up the calvalry.

Secondly, I’ll be at the Buffalo Infringement Festival this weekend as well as next weekend to hawk some books and perhaps read some new material. For times and locations, click on over to their web site at: http://infringebuffalo.org/showInfo.php?id=51.

Next Wednesday, I’ll be popping in to talk to long-time pal Brian Kahle about the new book and the book launch during his ‘Kahle & Company’ radio show on 1340 AM at 12:30 on WLVL. Brian’s a great guy with a loyal following and I always make a point of popping in on his show every time a new book comes out, so tune in if you’ve got the time.

And speaking of radio shows, I got confirmation this weekend that John ‘Dr.Dirty’ Valby will be appearing on the next studio episode of Big Words Radio on Thursday, August 27th at 7 p.m.! John is a legend in the Buffalo music scene and I’m exhilarated that I’ll have a chance to sit down and talk to him about his illustrious career. As far as Big Words Radio goes, I’ve posted over 30 existing shows onto the new sister site at http://www.bigwords.mevio.com. In seven days, the show has been downloaded 70 times so far and their audience is just getting their first taste! The stat breakdown is pretty comprehensive, and it gives me the benefit of a full breakdown on individual episodes downloaded, most popular shows, etc. All 50+ shows should be up on mevio by week’s end.

And finally, Night Life magazine drops this week with Part 1 of ‘Perpetual Estrogen’, a categorical look at the universal rules regarding women. Grab a copy on stands everywhere!

With a clear launch date, I’ll be devoting more time this week to setting up promotional spots leading up to the launch as well as a bevy of appearances throughout the fall following the launch. The motto for the S&S junket will be ‘less is more’: less appearances with more publicity behind each individual booking. After coming out of a six month junket with both Breathing Rooms, I’d rather make each spot count than exhaust myself with an obstacle course of endless spots. The next twelve months should be twice as successful and just as busy as the last twelve.

So stop out to Infringement this weekend, tune into 1340 next Wednesday and I’ll drop you all a line later this week!

 Sincerely,

Tom Waters

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Monday Big Words Update! Recognition, Expansion & Promotion

July 6, 2009
What a difference a few days make!
    Brian Meyer from The Buffalo News was kind enough to let me know that ‘Cherish Your Freedom On Independence Day’ (the My View piece that ran on July 4th) was their #1 article on buffalonews.com for July 4th and the better part of July 5th!  I was hoping that the article would strike a chord with readers, but I had no idea it would hit home with so many!  I was astonished last year when I found out that the Town Of Lancaster sealed ‘Lancaster Feels Like Home To Me’ into a 100 year time capsule, but this is quite a milestone in its own right.  Thanks to all of you who read My View and thanks for all the kind words of praise.  It means a lot. 
    In addition, I’ve been spending some time this weekend getting the word out online on The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour.  Without getting into too much technical mumbo jumbo, I’ve syndicated some of the earlier shows on to podomatic.com and listed the show on a great deal of directories and feed aggregators.  This basically means that there’ll be more online beacons for the uninitiated to find the show.  While the mypodcast.com site has plenty of room and looks sharp, they’ve been having some problems with tracking accurate statistics in the last six weeks, so I’m looking at some alternatives for setting up shop down the road.  In the mean time, I’ll be experimenting with some of these other free hosting sites and seeing which one works best before setting up shop for good on another site.  If you want to check out, become a fan of, or subscribe to the sister site, here’s the address:
    http://www.bigwordsradio.podOmatic.com
    The stats for the show on podomatic are pretty all-inclusive and they give me a better indicator of how well each show is doing, how many people are listening, etc.  My goals for Big Words Radio Year 2 are to reach a larger audience, book bigger and better celebrities, and scale back on the number of new shows in order to strive for quality over quantity.  I’ll be implementing a lot of these goals over the course of this summer.
    And later this month (as well as the beginning of August), I’ll be taking part in the Buffalo Infringement Festival downtown to promote Slapstick & Superego before the official launch.  I’m still ironing out the details for the launch, but here are the dates, locations and times where you can catch me during Infringement:
    7/25 9pm Nietzsche’s (Part of Space Alien Love Fest)
    7/26 5pm – 7pm Rust Belt Books (Solo)
    7/26 5pm – 8:30pm Rock Harbor Yard (Part of Zombie Fest)
    8/1 9pm Nobody’s Art Center (Part of Nobody’s Pirate Party)
    8/2 8pm Nietzsche’s (Part of Infringement Awards Ceremony and Closing Party)
    A big thanks goes out to organizer Josh Smith for working around my hectic schedule to make this happen as well as the rest of the organizers for the Buffalo Infringement Festival.  This will be the first time I’ve taken part in Infringement, so I’m looking forward to the experience and I’m intrigued to meet and greet with some of the other artists, poets, musicians and writers taking part in the event.  If you’re calendar is free at the end of July or the beginning of August, come out and say hi!
    And finally, Night Life magazine hits the stands with a vengeance today with ‘How To Be A Slob -or- Why Martha Stewart Won’t Return My Phone Calls’, an older essay from Zany Hijinx. 
    That’s all I’ve got for you today.  Lindsay and I are still working on getting a word processing program for our loaner, so I’m holding off on writing anything new since I abhor Wordpad and would rather wait to write on something I’m familiar with.  I’ll talk to you all in two days,
    Tom Waters
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2 New Shows! Episode 40: ‘Septuagenarian Stew’ & Will Holton Live @ The Tralf!

July 2, 2009
    Yesterday’s show was ridiculous!  A big thanks goes out to Mike ‘ring a ding’ Mariani and Gun Nut Brendan for bringing their A game and keeping the dialogue snappy and laugh-out-loud funny.  You won’t believe it until you hear it:
 
Episode 40 Synopsis:
    With no celebrity guest in sight, Tom viciously attacks his good buddy Mike. Gun-nut Brendan returns as co-host emeritus to get a few cheap shots in while mourning the loss of Michael Jackson.
 
    And I finally finished editing and posting Will Holton’s fantastic concert from mid-April at the Tralf.  I’m still peeved that the hour of conversation we had in November was lost (due to a technical glitch with the recording program I work on), but I’m glad his music made it through the process:
 
Will Holton Live At The Tralf:
     National recording artist Will Holton plays out to a sold-out crowd at the Tralfamadore in downtown Buffalo during a multi-city tour to promote the release of his debut album ‘Always’. 
 
    Thanks again to Will Holton and Tony Shep for the VIP passes and Jesse Rejewski of JR Audio for full access to the sound boards during the show.  The sound quality is top notch and if you enjoy jazz, you’re in for a treat.
 
    To hear both shows online, pop on over to http://www.bigwordsradio.mypodcast.com .
    To subscribe for free on iTunes, search ‘Big Words Radio’ in the Podcasts section.
 
    And with that, I’m completely caught up on the older shows!  Next week, I can start recording some new material and causing more mayhem in the greater Buffalo area.  Have a great rest of the week and enjoy the shows!
    Tom Waters   
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Monday Big Words Update! Episode 39 up, more copies of S & S en route…

June 23, 2009
After an amazing party/show anniversary on Saturday (and some serious editing on Sunday), Big Words Radio Episode 39 is now online.  Here’s your synopsis:
 

Synopsis:
     Tom looks back on a wildly successful first year for The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour by throwing a party. Former co-hosts reflect on their experience on the show, SoCo Mike commits a serious faux pax by using a vintage Robin The Boy Wonder glass for his cocktail, and special musical guest The Pheonix Resistance rock it out with an original composition (‘Neverending Grace’).
 
To hear Episode XXXIX, click on: http://www.bigwordsradio.mypodcast.com
 
To subscribe to Big Words Radio on iTunes, log on, click on ‘Podcasts’ and search ‘Big Words Radio’.
 
    And the first batch of Slapstick & Superego came and went in rapid succession.  I’ve got another payload of first editions in transit as we speak and should have them in by Wednesday, so if you want one, speak now or forever hold your peace, because they’re going fast!  Early first impressions on the book have been overwhelmingly positive, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the general public thinks once they get their hands on the book late this summer. 
    As far as the yet-to-be-published episodes, I spent last week working on April Foolfest 2.  For a two and a half hour spoken word/music concert, there’s a lot of editing to be done.  Much like the new book, I’d rather take the time to get it right the first time than release an unfinished product, so keep your eyes peeled on the web site and hopefully I’ll be done with it some time this week. 
    And Night Life magazine hits the stands this week with ‘Docker Bums’, an essay about the increasing laziness of our modern world.  With limited access to my backlog, I’ve had to resort to some reprints until the computer crisis passes…
    And that’s all the news that’s fit to print this Monday.  Thanks to everybody who made the party such a huge hit, thanks to everyone who helped/participated on the radio show in the last year, and thanks to the new owners of Slapstick & Superego!  I’ll have your Quixote Wednesday Update for you in two more days…
    Tom Waters
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Monday Big Words Update! Purgatorio

June 1, 2009

The last two months have been very frustrating.  It seems like every project I’ve been working on has gotten trapped in limbo and things aren’t progressing at a speed that I’m comfortable with or the timeline I was originally working with.
     After personally proof-reading my correction proof for Slapstick & Superego and submitting the typos and various errors that crop up with any manuscript, I uploaded the newest revision and ordered a copy of the revised book.  I got the new copy in the mail over the weekend and there are five NEW typos that cropped up and can’t be ignored.  I was hoping to have some copies of the new book on hand for the Big Words Radio Anniversary Party on June 20th, but it’s getting down to the wire and it’s not looking good at this point.  I can’t plan an official launch, I can’t schedule radio interviews, and I can’t really do much of anything in terms of promoting or scheduling the new book until the new book is DONE, so I’m stalled yet again and I’m not sure how long it will be before the book measures up to the standards I’m holding it to.  One way or the other, this new book is going to be perfect.  No typos, no mis-prints, no formatting hiccups.  As the third release from Doubt It Publishing, the presentation of the book needs to be as tight as the content within, so unfortunately, I’m going to wait patiently until the finished product is, well, finished.
     The entire month of April was spent designing the new Big Words Radio web site and moving each show over individually under a different format.  As a result of this, there are still six to seven hours worth of archived shows that I’d like to edit and post before planning/recording any new shows.  Potential guests are chomping at the bit and I’ve even talked a number of talented local and national artists about doing new shows, but I can’t set a date or start researching new shows until the old ones are up online.  And I can’t do that until we get our computer back from repairs.  The new motherboard for my PC was supposed to be in last Tuesday and it got delayed, so I have no f*&#ing access to the sound files that I’ve been anxious to work on since last week.  So any new radio shows are on hold for a bit longer.
     With a final deadline approaching for the Buffalo Anthology Project, Alycia Ripley and I agreed to block out some time in May and June to begin reviewing the final slate of submissions and start adding the accepted works.  While I’ve made some headway updating accepted authors and while I have access to the submissions that haven’t been accepted or rejected via email, again, I don’t have access to the anthology file itself because it’s on a hard drive that isn’t physically HERE right now.  So I get to wait that one out, too. 
     And after the fiasco at Mitchell’s Tavern this previous Friday (if you didn’t read about it yet, scroll down), my editor at the Buffalo News and I decided that we won’t be publishing the review because he doesn’t want to send a staff photographer to a bar where their reviewer and his friends got jumped without provocation while the employees watched outside (on camera) and did nothing to stop it.  
     I’ve got a lot more to discuss about the Mitchell’s Tavern fiasco, but it seems like the perfect topic to go into at length for a little something I like to call ‘Quixote Wednesday’.  All of us directly involved are truly livid about the incident, and from what you’ve all told me since posting, you’re not too pleased about it either.  I’ll start airing my grievences two days from now on the official site this Wednesday, so I’ll talk to you all then.
     And before I forget, part one of a brand new essay (‘Oral Technique’) hits the stands in Night Life magazine today.  It’s an article about the impending one year anniversary for the Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour that I wrote on my AOL email since I don’t have a word processing program on our loaner computer.  
     Color me frustrated,
     Tom Waters

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Big Words Radio One Year Anniversary Party!

May 1, 2009

What?: Big Words Radio One Year Anniversary Party!
When?: Saturday, June 20th from 3 p.m.-3 a.m.
Where?: Tom & Lindsay’s Lancaster Grotto Mansion
Who?: Friends, fans, listeners, and (especially) anyone and everyone who’s ever been on, exposed to, or involved with the show!  Former guests & co-hosts are encouraged to attend for drinks, dinner, and an opportunity to roast Tom for individual 5 minute audio clips.  The sound files will be combined for a 1 year anniversary show pod-cast.  
What The Hell Should I Bring?: A sense of humor and some booze.  Failing that, soda or a snack and proof from a doctor that you fractured your funny bone.
When The Hell Should I R.S.V.P.?: ASAP!
What The Hell Can I Expect?: Pre-launch copies of Slapstick & Superego available for sale and signing(specify if interested in RSVP as copies will be limited!), complete insanity and bedlam, a healthy meal (barbeque cookout weather permitting), a live musical guest (or guests) and a liver transplant shortly afterwards.

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Monday Big Words Update! Sansonne Benefit Aftermath/April Foolfest 2 THIS WEDNESDAY/Busted Stuff Deserves An Apology…

March 30, 2009

The Gregg Sansonne ‘We’ve Got Your Back’ Benefit at the Colonel Weber Post in Lackawanna yesterday was a huge, huge success! Well over 400 people bought tickets and came out in droves to support Gregg before his upcoming surgery fundraiser. Busted Stuff, The Mick Hayes Band, Only Humen (with a two song cameo from Michael Bly) and Black Widow rocked the crowd down to the foundations with an entire day of great music and multiple sponsors contributed their time, food, gift certificates and other goods and services in support of Gregg’s procedure. Thanks (personally) to Mazia’s Pizza in Clarence, Desiderio’s on Broadway, Salon On The Avenue in Lancaster, and Don’s Atomic Comics(!) in Depew for helping me to bring something to the table from my end of the benefit.

I also had a real blast emceeing the benefit! I did so well with the audience that one of the organizers (who runs a non-profit organization for kids) asked if I’d emcee for one of their events because she liked my quirky, irreverent hosting style. For my first time doing this sort of thing, I’m just glad I didn’t blow it. You can judge for yourself later this week, though, because the ENTIRE BENEFIT was recorded directly from their sound board for Think Twice Radio! If I can ever get a day or an evening off to visit the studio this week, I’ll be dropping off a boat load of new shows that are well overdue for Big Words Radio as well as the Monsters Of Verse Project site. I’ll keep you posted when they’re posted.

Moving on, April Foolfest 2 is going down THIS WEDNESDAY starting at 7 p.m. at Desiderio’s on Broadway. This Wednesday will be the 2 year anniversary of the original April Foolfest book launch for If They Can’t Take A Joke. Michael Bly performed and I popped the Big Question to Lindsay. Lindsay’s birthday is this week, we love Desiderio’s, Lenny Revell will be performing, and I’ll be reading selections from Slapstick & Superego. Not to mention the fact that the event is FREE! How many more reasons could you need to come out and have a great time? This show is going to be a knockout (we’ll be recording this one as well), so suit up, drive out and meet us at Desiderio’s on the corner of Broadway and Bowen!

The early questionaire responses have voted unanimously for a late summer book launch at Desiderio’s. I’ll be locking down a date this week, and factoring in all the responses, I’m going to shoot for an early August event on either a Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening. Once it’s confirmed, I’ll let you know.

A new issue of Night Life hit’s the stands today with Part Two of ‘A Preacher, A Rabbi & A Minister Walk Into A Bank…’ pt. 2 of 2, a religious lambast going all the way back to First Person, Last Straw. And finally, I’d like to thank Dave from the Buffalo super-duo Busted Stuff. A few years ago, we had a misunderstanding that I took public. Dave was enough of a gentleman to speak to me calmly and collectively about what happened and we shook hands and moved forward. In addition, the band sounded about 300% better than when I heard them two years prior when they played the benefit and they were pretty damned good to begin with. So thank you, Dave. I’m glad we could settle our differences and make some plans for the future. The up side of the reconciliation means that you can look forward to hearing Busted Stuff play on Big Words Radio some time down the road. It should be a hell of a show.

Talk to you all in two days on the official web site for the Quixote Wednesday Update,

Tom Waters

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

December 30, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Waters
Poetry Editor

Alycia Ripley
Fiction Editor

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

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

buffaloanthology.blogspot.com

Thank you so much for your interest in the project,

Tom Waters

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

December 11, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

 
Tom Waters
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Big Words Radio One Man Mobile Unit Episode XIII: The Intentionally Bald Mike Show!

October 22, 2008
Yo yo yogurt!
 
    Last week, while I was enjoying my voluntary exile on ‘this half-Lake of Rushford’, Intentionally Bald Mike took the prestigious honor of hosting the Intentionally Bald Mike Show on Big Words Radio.  In this ‘reversal of roles’, Mike used his vocal ‘shotty’ to blast both barrels of comedy directly at yours truly.  Dark Knight lines were employed, Guinneii were pounded down in rapid succession, Red Bull was funnelled through our mouths after three hour mini-comas, and local yokels were goofed on within the vicinity. 
 
-Cost of a novelty whoopee cushion, railroad whistle, plastic hand-clapper and portable half-tambourine: $9
-Cost of a twelve pack (bottles) of Guinnei: $12.95
-Cost of gas driving to and from this ‘Hotel of Belfast’: $8
-Cost of restorative and miraculous powers of Red Bull: $4
-Bar tab for one evening with Tom & IBM: $40
-Cost of dry wood for cabin stove in the middle of nowhere: $5
 
-Cost of implicating, insinuating, and infuriating Tom’s former company of employment:
 
Priceless. 
 
Tune in to all the madness and government cheese references by clicking on over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
Big thanks go out to Intentionally Bald Mike (best host EVER), Richard Wicka’s phenomenal audio work, the Belfast Hotel, and last but not least, Gamestop for providing such great cannon fodder.  Soak it up, kids!
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Monday Big Words Update! Week 97 on stands/Breathing Room inflation/Episode XII: ‘The Honeymooners’ UP NOW!

October 6, 2008

Oofa!,

Even though I was on honeymoon all last week at what turned out to be Snyder Beach in Irving, NY with my lovely bride (Mrs. Waters), I still got a lot done.  First order of business…

The new Night Life magazine assaults stands today with a month that’s almost completely devoted to poetry.  Except for this week.  This week you’ll find an ‘uncut’ and longer version of ‘My People’ in the Big Words I Know By Heart print column.  ‘My People’, in case you didn’t read it in the Buffalo News My View section, was a piece about inheriting a second family upon marriage.  Topical!

     And unfortunately, Lulu.com (my distributor and marketer for both Breathing Rooms) is implementing an at cost hike across the board for their goods and services.  This is the way the wind blows, and I apologize, but in order to clear a profit from Vol. II, I’ve adjusted the price to $14.95 for the paperback copy.  Again, sorry.  The book is still over 100 pages and from a competitive standpoint, that’s STILL not a bad price.  Check your local retailers and prove me wrong in the poetry market, kids. 

     And last but DEFINITELY not least, Lindsay Waters and myself recorded a knockout Big Words Radio One Man Mobile Unit show on location from the beautiful patio at Root Five in Hamburg during our honeymoon.  It’s very, very offensive and explicit, so if you’re one of those people who doesn’t ‘get it’ or if you can’t handle Don Rickles style comedy, don’t bother listening.  If you’ve got a broad sense of humor and you’re immune to political correctness, then by all means dive in with both feet at:

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

Think Episode IV (the ‘Auntie Linda’ episode) squared.  It’s brutal, but my wife gives it as good as she gets it.  And I am now the proud owner of a brand new, right off the production line model of a Roland Edirol portable professional grade digital recorder.  Yeah!  I’m planning on doing one podcast a week until I collapse or until my voice box disintegrates.  Doing the show is just too much fun to stop now, and it’s gathering some great momentum.

That’s all I’ve got today even though there’s a lot more in store.  A little bird told me yesterday that you can look for a nice sidebar on yours truly in the December print issue of Buffalo Spree magazine.  Get your subscriptions in now!  Talk to you later in the week,

Tom Waters

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Big Words Radio Episode XI: ‘Get Your Stinkin’ Hands Off Of Me, You Damned Dirty Apes!’

September 18, 2008
Heyo!
 
    Co-host and staunch Republican Gun Nut Brendan and myself (the only co-host I’m too afraid to be insulting to) filled an hour after adult film star Brandy Dean stiffed after two months notice jabbering about the NRA, Tarantino, the upcoming Election, gun rights and the reanimation/cloning of Ronald Reagan.  Much Guinnei was consumed.  I honestly didn’t think that the Auntie Linda episode (episode 4) could be topped, but as Patrick Swayze says, ‘we had the time of our lives’.  Tune in, click over, or dial it up on the intraweb over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
    You NEED to listen to this episode.  A huge thanks goes out to Brendan for doing such a tremendous turn as a co-host and a right-wing genius.  Thanks to Richard Wicka for putting up with the both of us.  And a big thanks goes out to Greg Sterlace (who’s leaving for Arizona with his wife shortly) for inviting us both on his television show in early October.  More news on that as it develops.  Above all else, listen in.  Enjoy!
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Sunday Newsletter Update: Radio Episodes 8.5 & 9 Up!

August 31, 2008

 

Yep,
    I wanted to write sooner.  I wanted to get the last episode up sooner, but it wasn’t meant to be.  Rich (my producer) had to go in for some medical tests and everything came up rosy.  If there’s one thing the two of us have in common, it’s our love for a holistic lifestyle.  Right.
    Life has just been insanely busy lately.  I’ve been wanting to write more comic reviews, but I haven’t had time.  A week and a half ago, I had a Gusto assignment at Hennessey’s Pub out in Alden.  Last Saturday was my bachelor party, which I decided to make a podcast out of.  That turned into episode 8.5 (since I spent more time partying than recording, it was only a half an hour).  On Sunday (amidst a shit storm of aggravation), I wrote three poems.  Then I got lost somewhere on the 279 and ended up sleeping in my car.  This is why I hate large highways. 
    On Monday (after explaining to my wife, her parents and a few other people that the ‘reports of my death were greatly exaggerated’), I met up with ArtVoice Managing Editor Geoff Kelly at Mulligan’s Brick Bar downtown to record on location.  We had a knockout show and for some reason on a Monday afternoon at a bar on Allen there were six people who were unfamiliar with the term ‘inside voices’.  The podcast turned out great regardless. 
    Tuesday was my night at Desi’s.  On Wednesday, I returned to Buff State to chime in and sit in to enjoy Lisa Forrest’s Rooftop Poetry Club get together.  It was therapy that was well needed.  Weds. night I had a quiet night in with the wife.  That was well needed too.
    Thursday I was at work all day for the most part.  Friday was more work and another quiet night in with the wife. 
    Yesterday I had an assignment for ArtVoice that I had to be vague about.  I’ll just say that if you’re a true Elton John fan, you might be familiar with a certain reverse psuedonym that’s going to be popping up soon in their pages. 
    Check out the podcasts, though.  You can find both over at:
 
http://www.thinktwiceradio.com/tom-waters/tom-waters.html
 
Episode 8.5 Tag Line
 
Tom commemorates his bachelor party with the drunkest podcast yet, strange boobs in the face, Mighty Taco, and projectile vomiting.
 
Episode 9 Tag Line:    
    
Tom sits down and pounds out the magic with Buffalo Wonder Boy and ArtVoice’s Managing Editor in Chief Geoff Kelly. Mayhem ensues, stout is purchased on Jamie Moses’ corporate credit card.card.
 
    The two Breathing Room poetry books STILL aren’t done.  I am now a month over my personal deadline for them and the first volume had better be finished come next week or somebody is going to be in hot water.  My layout person is still working on them and I don’t understand how the pdf can be so difficult when I knocked out Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish in a weekend.  I guess we’ll see what next week brings.  Volume I should be ready for order by the second week of September.  I’ll be in Las Vegas that week for work. 
    I think that’s just about everything.  I’m about three weeks away from my wedding and the majority of my immediate families (and friends, for that matter) hate my guts or think I’ve lost my mind altogether or both.  These things will happen.  In September, the Buffalo News will be running an essay I wrote about my new in-laws in their ‘My View’ section.  That makes my second accepted submission for the year and they allow three per person, so I’ll have to whip something else up as soon as ‘Our People’ runs.   
     Things are really starting to come together career-wise.  Word of mouth on something or other (or perhaps ALL of it) is hitting the ground running and I’d like to think that the money should be around the corner.  Geoff Kelly and I were talking about career goals, aspirations and objectives on Monday and I told him my conclusion was that ultimately, I wanted to keep busy.  Writing is a compulsive therapy for me now.  It’s something I’m going to do no matter what.  I’m knocking on wood here, because every time I say something like that, I block up for eight to twelve months.  There’s still too much to be done.  And I don’t give a shit about recognition anymore, inclusion, or critical fanfare.  I want to make money.  I want to provide for my new three unit family.  I want to be able to leave my job in two to five years so that I can do this full time.  I’m ready.  The steps are in place.  All I have to do now is keep at it.
    I’ll drop you a line again when I have a chance.  Take care of yourselves, Big Words readers.  Seeya on the flip side.
 
    Tom Waters
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Monday Update On Weds./Week 92 on stands/Fall Of Rome…

August 27, 2008

Now most of you know what a neurotic obsessive I am with my web site(s).  So the fact that my computer was demolished thanks to some ambitious hacker with a Trojan Worm this previous Friday caused me a great deal of grief.  For the second time this year, I had to have my computer restored to its default settings so that I could get back on track.  I’m very fortunate in that my future brother in law is a computer wunderkind, so he had it back up and running in a day and a half….

     The other good news is that Rich (my producer at Think Twice Radio) scored me a 15 Gig Ipod for 42 dollars.  So now I get to learn how to upload my 600 CDs (mostly Elton and Dylan) onto this thing.  It’s third generation, but what are you gonna do?

     Over the weekend, I recorded 12 and a half minutes of my bachelor party, read my opening intro and recorded a five minute ‘Question’ segment.  Somehow this worked out to be about a half an hour Big Words Radio Show (episode 8.5).  Check that out over at:

www.thinktwiceradio.com

     I’d give you a direct link to my feed on Think Twice, but the net still isn’t cooperating fully.  I’ll re-edit later on…

     I also recorded episode 9 on Monday at Mulligan’s Brick Bar with Geoff Kelly (managing editor at ArtVoice).  It was a great show, but my producer has been tied up with work obligations, so to the best of my knowledge, it’s not up yet.  It should be by week’s end, so I’ll get back to you as soon as it is.

     This weekend was hell and back and back around again.  I’m still coping with the emotional and psychic fallout.  I really wish that anyone who’s ‘concerned’ about my ‘erratic behavior’ and feels that i should ‘slow down’ could walk a mile in my shoes this summer.  A less durable person would have taken their own life by now or a whole bunch of other people’s and then their own by about mid July.  Four of my friends have had complete meltdowns, the world is crashing down around my ears and I’ve written two entire books, launched a radio show and freelanced my ass off on top of a forty hour plus weekly job.  So yeah, I’m going to be a little erratic.  Deal with it. 

     Five years from now, I’ll look back and see the upswing.  I’ll look on this time as the sheer amount of career leapfrogging I’ve been doing as a writer.  So I would do it again a million times.  When I can quit my day job and do the radio thing or the writing thing full time, things will be a lot easier.  I’m not the praying kind, but if you are, say one for me.  I’ve put my time in.  I’ve been writing since I was 13 and I’ve been on the radio for seven years in one form or another, so it would be really nice to make $40,000 to start to do what I love.  I’ll get there, but it would be nice to get there faster.  It infuriates me to think that there are so many talentless clowns who fell ass backwards into union jobs that I’ve worked my ass off to get to.  It’ll happen, but it really needs to happen sooner rather than later before I snap completely or lose everyone and everything I care about. 

     But I digress.  Week 92 of Night Life is on stands with a Big Words ‘uncut’ column of ‘Love Letter To Lancaster’.  I wanted to run it in August, but I didn’t get around to it.  Later today, I’ll be dropping in on Lisa Forrest’s Rooftop Poetry Club at Buffalo State, my old haunting ground.  Rooftop and the Center For Inquiry remain my two favorite poetry reading venues.  I’m going to try and record the reading for Think Twice, but we’ll see what happens. 

     ArtVoice has also decided to run my graphic novel reviews.  And they’ve given me the green light to do three Pro-Buffalo PD interviews.  At least one writer in this goddamned town should be an ultra conservative, so if it’s gotta be me, so be it.  It’s early in the morning, so I’ll leave you with that.  Four days without the web or a computer has left me behind the eight ball, so I’ve got other things to do. 

     Listen to the radio show.  Grab a copy of Night Life.  We can branch out from there.  Peace out,

Tom Waters