Archive for the ‘talking leaves’ Category

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

March 31, 2017

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

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

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

That’s all, folks.

Tom

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

March 30, 2017

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

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

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

Seeya soon,

Tom

 

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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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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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Monday Big Words Update! Promotional Aftermath, Calendar Additions…

February 9, 2009

Somebody get the number of that Mack Truck!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Waters

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

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

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

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

November 4, 2008

So…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vote Republican!,

Tom Waters

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

October 27, 2008

Whelp, it was a productive weekend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Waters

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Final Calendar Of Events For Fiscal Year 2008/Some Promotional Spots for ’09

October 15, 2008

Monsters Of Verse/Breathing Room Bookings Fall/Winter/Spring 08/09:

Friday, October 24th, 7 p.m., Think Twice Studios, Greg Sterlace t.v. show (Tom only)

Saturday, October 25th, 7 p.m., The Center For Inquiry, Amherst (Monsters Of Verse)

Tuesday, October 28th 8 p.m., Clarence High School, Poetry Club, Lit Mag reading, Q/A (Tom Waters only)

Wednesday, October 29th, 7 p.m., Think Twice Radio Studios, Big Words Interview with award winning comic writer/artist Jeff Brown (Top Shelf) and special co-host Michael Hagler (Tom only)

Friday, October 31st, 7 p.m., Think Twice Studios, Greg Sterlace t.v. show (Tom only)

Tuesday, November 4th, 8 a.m., Clarence High School, Poetry Club, Lit Mag workshop (Tom Waters only)

Thursday, November 6th or 20th Main St., Talking Leaves Books, Main St. (Monsters Of Verse)

Sunday, November 16th, 7pm, Desiderio’s on Broadway, (Monsters Of Verse)

Tuesday, November 18th, 7:55 a.m.-1:35 p.m., East Aurora High School English Honors presentation(s) (Tom only)

Saturday, November 22nd, FYE Transit (Amherst), 1-4pm, (Monsters Of Verse)

Thursday, November 13th, 7-9pm, Spot Coffee, Delaware & Chippewa (Monsters Of Verse)

Saturday, December 6th, 1-4pm, FYE Hamburg (Monsters Of Verse)

Saturday, December 13th, 3 p.m. -3 a.m. Tom & Lindsay’s pad, Batman marathon party, invite only.

Sunday, December 14th, Buffalo Indie Market appearance (Monsters Of Verse)

Saturday, February 7th, 1-4 p.m., FYE, Transit, Signing (Monsters Of Verse)

Saturday, February 7th, 6 p.m.-?, Don’s Atomic Comics!, Tom’s Atomic Poetry Kegger w/Monsters of Verse! Free beer for anyone with a book by Tom Waters, additional store discounts for everyone who brings a girl.

Wednesday, May 6th, 7 pm, Center For Inquiry (Monsters Of Verse)

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Talking Leaves Elmwood Appearance

April 22, 2007

Whelp, it was a beautiful day in Buffalo today and I had my signing at Talking Leaves on Elmwood Avenue.  Unfortunately for me (even though Jonathan and I planned our event at Elmwood two months ago), Just Buffalo scheduled an appearance at Talking Leaves on Main Street with Pulitzer Prize winning poet Carl Dennis.  La de da. 

I showed up at twenty after one (way too early) and the bookstore was beautiful.  It was my first time in there and I got to see Alicia Hoffman, an old, old friend from way, way back whom I haven’t seen or corresponded with in almost six years.  When I self published my first book (Soup To Nuts), Alicia went out on a limb and booked me for a comedy showcase with three professional comedians.  I’ll never forget that.  Alicia and I got caught up a bit and then we set up our table.  Then it quieted down.  I sold one hardcover.

I was happy about the one hardcover (because it’s someone who wouldn’t normally buy the book), but the day and the event were pretty much a dud.  I never play well downtown for some reason.  I do better in the suburbs where people aren’t as concerned about wearing what the hep people are wearing and reading what the hep people are reading.   Maybe I’m just not elitist, liberal or pretentious enough for the Elmwood crowd.  Lord knows that once the reviews hit that that crowd will attempt to be hip and pick up the book, so I guess I’ll make nice then.  It would be really great if they could formulate their own opinions and take a chance instead of having to be told what’s good in the paper and following the herd blindly.  Cest la vis.  The book is still raking in money, so I’ve got no complaints.  I talked to my superstar agent Buddy Dow at Trafford and he’s forwarded the book on to their traditional publishing house for possible inclusion, which could be huge.  Keep your fingers crossed for me and maybe I can learn to turn my nose up at the world like half the crowd on Elmwood, too!

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Another (grueling) Day in Paradise: WYRK with Clay & Dale & Dialog w/Scott Leffler Aftermath

April 17, 2007

After an entire half an hour of free time last night to eat and watch ‘Two And A Half Men’, I went to bed early so that I’d be chipper for my WYRK appearance in the morning.  The locomotives going through Lancaster had otherwise to say about it, as apparently their schedules changed last goddamned night and were running every five minutes throughout the night tooting their horns. 

I got up at six thirty in the morning so that I had time to make coffee, take coffee, drive downtown, get lost once and have two or three cigarettes before my first big break on the FM dial.  After finding the Lafeyette building in the heart of Buffalo, I hopped upstairs (still a bit groggy) and settled into WYRK’s green room area after meeting with the program director and going over the agenda for the appearance.  Then I met Dale Mussen (sp?) in the hallway and joked about qualifying for Dale’s time warp after I made a joke to a co-worker last week about the banana splits.  I gawked at all the platinum albums they had on the wall signed by the Dixie Chicks, Toby Keith and Dierks Bently like a starstruck fanboy while I waited to go on. 

They put me on at 8:10 (ahead of schedule) and we got down to it.  Clay and Dale were really, really nice guys and they made the appearance really comfortable while disarming any nervousness I may have had.  The show went smoothly and they gave away four copies of the new book to the first four callers on the line.  I gave Clay and Dale each a copy of the last two books for their personal reading enjoyment since I’m such a firm believer in the station and their show.   I can’t thank the folks at WYRK enough for allowing me the opportunity to come on and talk about the new book and to meet the two hosts from a morning show that I’ve been listening to for years.  In case you haven’t picked up a copy of the book yet, they’ll be giving away four more copies of If They Can’t Take A Joke tomorrow morning during their ‘Worst Joke Wednesdays’, so don’t you dare touch that dial!

After getting home around nine thirty, I had an hour and a half of down time for a quick power nap before I did a phone interview with 1340 AM for Scott Leffler’s ‘Dialog’ program.  Scott and I found a good groove together and ad libbed our interview for twenty minutes joking about my bar reviews, the book, the perils of engagement and other topics.  This was my second time on Scott’s show and I think we achieved a better sense of chemistry today than we had on my first show.  I’m never sure how to gauge people the first time I meet them which doesn’t necessarily make for great radio, so the second time was a charm.  Thanks for the solid plugs out in Lockport, Scott!

After that, I drove out to Talking Leaves and dropped off some copies of the book for them to sell in the store at their Main St. and Elmwood locations, so if you live downtown and you want to pick a copy up from a local business, there you have it.  I dropped my zoom lens off at a camera store downtown for service and then got home around two, completely shot and depleted from the days activities.  I collapsed and took a nap and woke up to find a message from 97 Rock regarding an appearance I’m working on setting up.  Cross your fingers for me and hopefully I’ll be going there next!

I’ve got one more appearance tomorrow night at the Lancaster Public Library at 7pm (they advertised that I’ll be promoting First Person, Last Straw for some reason, which is fine, I suppose) and then I’m done for a few days before my book signing at Talking Leaves Elmwood on Sunday.  I’m totally beat but with the book taking off as well as it has I’m considering setting up some dates and appearances in June.  Time will tell… 

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The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal Episode 29/Kahle & Co. Aftermath

April 13, 2007

I left the house at 10:30 in the morning (to mail out a comp copy of the book to Buffalo Rising before my first radio spot) yesterday and, after back to back radio interviews and a Gusto Club review assignment at Whiskey Joe’s, got home at 12:30, but that’s show biz, folks!  Listening to the comedic gold right now that took place in the studio during what will soon be the legendary 29th episode of the Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal makes it all worthwhile.  I’m not asking you, I’m telling you, you NEED TO HEAR THIS SHOW!  My last appearance (episode 24, I believe) was off the chain, this one is five miles off the reservation.  Hal and I channelled some kind of stupendously hilarious insanity yesterday for the almost two hour episode and you won’t want to miss one second of it.  By the end of the episode, everyone will be offended and we should end up lynched or in chains by the end of the week.  Click on over RIGHT NOW at:

 www.powunclehal.com

 Kahle and Co. on 1340 AM was a great time and Brian worked in some solid plugs for the new book before I read ‘We Love You, Buffalo! Good Night’ from If They Can’t Take A Joke.  Brian also told me that he’s starting a new television show that will air on Time Warner television shooting from his home, so I’m pretty psyched about that, too.  I’ve been on Kahle’s show almost a dozen times by now and aside from being a broadcasting legend, he’s an all around nice guy and a consummate professional.  I also set up a phone interview with Scott Leffler late next Tuesday (after my radio time on WYRK) for his Dialog show around eleven am on 1340. 

Directly after the WLVL interview, I popped onto the Millersport Highway to the Uncle Hal grotto and we hammered out the show with loving care in three hours.  I wanted to drop off some books at Talking Leaves, but I was spent in every sense of the word after the show and drove home for an hour and a half coma before heading up to Whiskey Joe’s around eight thirty.

I had a great time up at Whiskey Joe’s joined by my friends Gregg Sansone and Anonymous Drinking Buddy X.  We loaded up on whiskey, fingers, wings and their spectacular ranch seasoned french fries and I made it home after midnight having only seen my fiancee for five minutes that day.  Lindsay’s been a real trooper this week and no one misses being home more than me, but this is how it goes.  In five more weeks, it’ll all be over and I can breath a sigh of relief.  If you take anything away with you from this post, LISTEN TO THE UNCLE HAL SHOW BECAUSE IT IS COMEDY GOLD!  Visit the site, laugh your butt off and post some comments.  I can’t say enough about this podcast, so you’ll have to listen yourself!   

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Buffalo Small Press Book Fair Aftermath/D Day for ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’ Launch at Desiderio’s!

April 1, 2007

April Fool’s Day is finally upon us!

After six solid months of planning, scheduling, networking, schmoozing, freelancing and old fashioned writing, it’s time to kick things into high gear and do what I was born to do (but don’t enjoy all the time): PROMOTE!  Today is the official launch date for my fourth humor collection, If They Can’t Take A Joke: Confrontational Humor For The Casual Bibliophile.   Being neurotic beyond words, I got up at seven this morning because my subconscious knows that this is a big day and I’ve got plenty of worrying to do before the big show tonight at Desiderio’s on Broadway and Bowen at 7 pm. 

I’m thinking about writing a travelog regarding the promotions this month because a)I’m really starting to enjoy writing travelogues and b)this will give people an idea of how insane, exhausting and erratic promotional junkets are.  The next month and a half is going to be physically and mentally draining on me, and odds are that I won’t be writing much when I come out of it for awhile, but those are just the negatives. 

There are a lot of positives to focus on for this book and the next six weeks.  I’m going to sell a boat load of books and there are a lot of great appearances with longstanding contacts that I’m really looking forward to (Don’s Atomic Comics, FYE, Clarence Center Coffee Co., Talking Leaves, etc.).  I’ve been dealing with some of these people since Soup To Nuts: A Decade Of Satire by Thomas Waters (my first self published book in 2001, for those of you who don’t know) and I only get to see some of my contacts and professional friends unless I’m promoting a book.  So it’s been almost a year and a half since I’ve been out on the circuit in clubs, bars, coffee houses and book stores to do the meet and greet, the hard sales pitch and the shaking hands and kissing babies thing.  Luckily, I’ve still got some gas in the tank after yesterday’s seven hour plugathon at the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair.   

One of the other positives is that I actually have books on hand to sell this month, and hopefully plenty of them.  I’m not getting the hardcovers until Wednesday or Thursday, but I should have them in time for the FYE appearance next Saturday in Hamburg (12-4) and the Don’s Atomic Comics appearance next Saturday in Depew (Tom’s Atomic Kegger 2! from 7pm-11pm).  That, and I’ve broken a lot of new ground in terms of new places, bigger promotions and radio appearances. 

Hopefully when the dust has settled I can hammer out some television spots, but I literally won’t have the time to even think about it until May.  There should be enough momentum from the launch this month that we’ll grab somebody’s attention on one of the big three networks locally or perhaps even nationally.  We’ll see what happens. 

The Small Press Book Fair yesterday was a phenomenal success and I got to see a lot of old friends in The Biz as well as meet new people while shilling copies of my book at the same time.  Buffalo State College’s Rooftop Poetry Club was kind enough to share their promotional table with me and I got to meet Lisa Forrest (one of the librarians at Buffalo State as well as one of the founders of the Rooftop Poetry Club and an ardent project coordinator for many of their multimedia spectaculars including their current Slide project, which coordinates spoken word with visual art) along with Sarah Reis (sp?), who we decided will be be splitting the bill with me when I appear on campus at the Butler Library Room 310 at 4 pm on April 25th.  This will be the first time I’ve been on campus in almost three years, so I’m looking forward to ‘heading back to my roots’ and ‘rediscovering where I came from’ and all that jazz.  Where the hell was I?  All this plugging is exhausting!  Oh yeah, the Book Fair…moving on…

ArtVoice’s Managing Editor Geoff Kelly was there and I haven’t seen him in eons, so we traded some anecdotes, I snapped some shots for the YourHub site, and I got him a comp copy of the new book for review purposes.  I spoke briefly with Michael Kelleher, the Literary Director for Just Buffalo Literary Center and we spoke about how the anthology is coming along.  He told me that the word of mouth on the floor throughout the day regarding the anthology was like wild fire, which was a positive.  I told him that Alycia and I were considering extending the submission period and he understood.  We’ll see if submissions spike in the next couple of months, though. 

I also said a quick hello to Jonathan from Talking Leaves, Christy (a very old friend from WAY back in the day), one of the new owners or proprietors of Rust Belt Books, and exchanged pleasantries and insults with Livio Farrello, part of the unholy triumverate that forms Slipstream, one of the longest running literary journals in Buffalo.  Bob Borgatti (one of the other founders and co-editors of the journal) is a much nicer person, or at least less abrasive (but who am I to accuse anyone of being abrasive?).  It was very nice to see him again.  I’ve got an interview with Bob in the new book that was originally intended for ArtVoice that they never ran for some reason, so Buffalo readers will be seeing it first in If They Can’t Take A Joke.

I also got to meet Charles Forness and Susan Marie, two of the writers whose work was accepted for the Just Buffalo anthology that Alycia Ripley and I are working on.  They were very nice and we schmoozed for a bit and they are planning on coming out to see me and Carrie Spadter read at the Caz Coffee Cafe on Monday the somethingth this month.  I don’t even remember, but the listing will be in the paper.  I got to meet Amy Greenan, an avid Zinester who bought my book a year ago (First Person, Last Straw) and said she really enjoyed it.  

I got along famously with James Ostrowski (sp?), a lawyer who wrote a fascinating book about everything that’s wrong with Buffalo politics.  He had a lot of interesting things to say and by the end of the day, we were hamming it up and promoting each other’s books shamelessly to fairgoers who approached our table.  James also has a podcast, so he and I talked about getting together at some point down the road.  Once I unpack all my materials from yesterday, I’ll give you the full spelling of his name along with the title of his book, which I purchased.   And I met Una Crow (is that your real name?), a tiny girl who was tremendously friendly who sold me a zine called Monstress, which was filled with prose, art and poetry.  Amy and Una helped me plug the book and lent me some of their sharpies and glitter pens to write some cheesy tag lines on some cardboard displays to get my books moving. 

I went three hours without selling anything and then BOOM, everyone was hitting me up at once.  There was a solid hour of sales, meeting and greeting, and then the rest of the day was spent gathering email addresses for the newsletter, shaking hands, telling fifteen thousand different people what the book was about over and over again, and generally hamming it up with James.   I got there at eleven in the morning, the fair started at noon, and I left at six o’clock, spent, tired and ready for a nap that I didn’t get.   After entering all the new information into the batcave, Lindsay and I popped up to Desiderio’s to finalize plans, have a few drinks and to catch the Michael Bly Band play the day before our launch together.  It was a fruitful day and it’s probably going to be very typical of the promotional days that I have set up throughout the next month.  For all the pictures, click on over to the YourHub site (the link is at the bottom along the BlogRoll).   Many thanks again to Lisa Forrest, James Ostrowski, Amy Greenan, Una Crow and the organizers of the first Buffalo Small Press Book Fair for such a phenomenal event.  I made some great money yesterday along with a lot of other local artists and made some solid contacts. 

So now it’s time for the real show.  At the time of this writing, I’ve got less than eleven hours before it’s curtain’s up and the book is released into the wild.  This baby’s got some legs, so it should be a long and bountiful junket.  I’ll see you all at 7 PM sharp tonight at Desiderio’s on Broadway along with Michael Bly and Lana and Hund.  Get there early as parking is limited and you don’t want to miss one second of this star studded spectacular!  Bring your book buying shoes!         

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Final March/April Calendar Of Events for ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke: Confrontational Humor For The Casual Bibliophile’ by Tom Waters

March 23, 2007

March/April Book Promotions for Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars and If They Can’t Take A Joke: Confrontational Humor For The Casual Bibliophile by Tom Waters

Note: These are the final dates and details for March and April.  I’ll include the May listings as we get closer to the actual month.   

Saturday, March 31st, 12pm-6pm: Buffalo Small Press Book Fair at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, 453 Porter Avenue in Buffalo.  Buy If They Can’t Take A Joke: Confrontational Humor For The Casual Bibliophile by Tom Waters a day before the official launch!

Sunday, April 1st, 7pm-12am: First Annual April Foolfest at Desiderio’s on Broadway and Bowen in Lancaster.  Offical launch for If They Can’t Take A Joke: Confrontational Humor For The Casual Bibliophile by Tom Waters in hard cover and soft cover.  Reading and signing followed by musical acts Michael Bly and Lana and Hund.  Admission is free, donations accepted at the door for musical guests.

Thursday, April 5th, 7pm-9pm: Book reading and signing for If They Can’t Take A Joke by Tom Waters at the Clarence Center Coffee Co.  (corner of Clarence Center Rd. and Goodrich in Clarence Center). 

Saturday, April 7th, 12pm-4pm: Book signing for If They Can’t Take A Joke by Tom Waters at F.Y.E Hamburg.  Located in the Mckinley Mall plaza in the town of Hamburg. 

Saturday, April 7th, 7pm-11pm: Tom’s Atomic Kegger 2!  Book signing and free beer all night for everyone who purchases a copy of If They Can’t Take A Joke by Tom Waters.  20% all comics, toys and collectibles at Don’s Atomic Comics, Transit Rd. in Depew in the Red Wings Shoes/Burgandy Room plaza.  Must be 21 or older to receive free beer.

Saturday, April 14th, 12pm-4pm: Book signing for If They Can’t Take A Joke by Tom Waters at F.Y.E Amherst.  Located on Transit and Wherle in the town of Lancaster.

Monday, April 16th, 7 pm: Reading and signing for If They Can’t Take A Joke with local poet Carrie Spadter at Caz Coffee Café, Orchard Park. 

Wednesday, April 18th.  7 pm.  Reading, signing and author Q & A for If They Can’t Take A Joke by Tom Waters at the Lancaster Public Library.  Located on Broadway near Central Avenue in the town of Lancaster.  

Sunday, April 22nd, 2pm-4pm.  Book signing for If They Can’t Take A Joke by Tom Waters at Talking Leaves Elmwood.  Located on Elmwood Ave. past Forest in the city of Buffalo.

Wednesday, April 25th, 4pm-5pm.  Book reading, signing and author Q&A session for If They Can’t Take A Joke by Tom Waters for the Rooftop Poetry Club at Buffalo State College.  Located in the campus library ‘on the rooftop’ at Buffalo State College, Elmwood Ave., Buffalo.     

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‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish’ Now Available at Talking Leaves!

February 25, 2007

     As of today, ‘Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish: A Cheap Degenerate’s Guide To Buffalo Bars’ will be available at both Talking Leaves books locations on Elmwood Ave. in the city of Buffalo as well as their original location on Main St. near Hertel in the UB area.  Supplies are limited and copies of this runaway smash hit are going for ten bucks, so don’t dilly dally!  Pick up your copy of the fastest selling bar guide in Buffalo history and find out what all the fuss is about before the big party at Hidden Shamrock on St. Patty’s Day! 

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