Posts Tagged ‘carrie gardner’

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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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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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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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Monday Big Words Update!: The Last Fandango

April 27, 2009

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

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

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

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

Dullroar25@hotmail.com

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

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

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

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

Tom Waters

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Monday Big Words Update! More More More!

November 18, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheerio!

Tom Waters

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

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

 
Tom Waters
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Buffalo Anthology Update(s), New Links on the Anthology Site, MOV Episode III up by 9 p.m. Eastern TONIGHT at the latest…

November 8, 2008

Since it’s more of a peripheral project (and has it’s own site), I’d rather not repost the three or four new blogs from the Buffalo Anthology Project here.  This site is all about me.  The Anthology Site is about everyone involved.  Some of you are interested in that book and some of you aren’t, so I will leave it up to you.  I spent far too much time this morning trying to get everyone on that end up to speed as to what was going on (or wrong) in my brain and where we all stood with the project.  I also added a mountain of links that probably should have been there in the first place.  Feel free to check the whole ball of wax out over at:

http://www.buffaloanthology.blogspot.com

And since most of you are overloaded with more information about my writing than you could ever possibly want or need, I’ll just piggyback this on to the blog we’re in right now.  The Talking Leaves reading will be up on the Monsters Of Verse podcast site by 9 p.m. tonight.  Yesterday was a rotten whore of a busy day that started around 5 a.m. and ended somewhere close to midnight.  There is NEVER enough time to do everything.  Lindsay and I will be riding out to Think Twice today and uploading the last reading (which turned out to be a hell of a lot of fun, as per usual with Jeff and Carrie).  For those of you who weren’t the dozen or so attendees who made the event, give it a listen tonight at:

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

I need to get away from my keyboard, my computer and my study.  Like most human beings, I’m poorly designed when it comes to relaxing and enjoying any sort of free time.  I’ll be spending the rest of my day ‘working’ on that.  Research commences in 5, 4, 3, 2,………

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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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Greg Sterlace Show #702 Up Online Now/The Big 33/30,000 Served and Beyond Site Hit Update

October 25, 2008

     Last night, I popped in to the non-stop party known as the Greg Sterlace Television programme.  For episode 702 (and as a dry run for this evening), I wore some makeup.  Think Pagliacci only more psychotic.  Think about the man who laughed.  I’m sure you’ll figure it out, and even if you can’t, just follow the bouncing link over to:

http://sterlace.com

There’s a heaping helping of liberal mentalities, but someone had to be on the front lines to report back to base.  No poems were read, but comedically, we had a hell of a time. 

And today, as you may or may not know, is my 33rd birthday.  I’ll be commemorating the event with two of my best friends in the world, JR Finlayson and Carrie Gardner.  In case you haven’t caught the listing yet, we’re rolling out the Monsters Of Verse 2.0 TONIGHT at the Center For Inquiry on Rein Rd. (across from UB North) at 7 p.m.  SHARP.  Books will be available from all of us ranging from $5-$15, so hit your local ATM ahead of time.  We’ll be partying at an undisclosed location nearby afterwards, so if you don’t make the show, you’re not going to know where we’re going.  We’re planning on reading for roughly an hour total for our cumulative performance, as it’s always better to leave listeners wanting more.  By tomorrow night, the inaugural reading (along with all future appearances) will be popping up on the Think Twice Radio site (www.thinktwiceradio.com) under the NEW Monsters Of Verse banner.  Look for it Sunday night! 

And thanks for stopping by the official site yesterday.  You’re continuing interest in the Gamestop fiasco has driven site hits above and beyond the 30,000 served mark.  Here’s the current rundown:

10/24: 111 Unique hits

10/25: 30 Unique hits (so far)

Spread the word.  I’d rather be a Liliputian in an army of them than a lightning rod on a roof by himself.  Any and all assistance is appreciated.  

That’s all I’ve got for today.  Oh, one more thing.  The Buffalo News accepted another one of my My View submissions, which puts me at their 3 submission max for the year.  That’s a big deal to me, as I’ve never reached the max before in a calendar year.  The piece in question should be hitting the paper some time in December, and it’s a good one.  This gives me time to focus on landing some prime real estate in RD Pohl’s poetry section now, which I have yet to find purchase on. 

Time to get into character.  The next six months should be one hell of a snake oil show.  Seeya in the funny papers,

Tom Waters

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Breathing Room Volume I: Free Verse First Editions Available NOW!

September 14, 2008
Gang,
 
    After two years of writing, two months of selection, proof-reading, spell-checking, brainstorming and another two months of exceptional interior layout design by Nicholas Peterson, I’m very, very proud to announce that the first volume of my two volume poetry brainchild is finally ready for purchase!  I received my first 20 copies and with a reading in Rochester coming up in less than two weeks, the odds of obtaining a copy from me are pretty slim and grim.  Please, PLEASE feel free to order directly from my distributor at the following link as soon as possible:
 
http://www.lulu.com/content/2962892
 
    After looking over the inaugural batch of the first volume, I can honestly say that this is the most professional book I’ve ever been honored to be a part of.  It was definitely a group effort, though.  This book wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless spell checking and irreplaceable feedback from Carrie Gardner as well as the far-above-par layout skills of Nick Peterson.  The same team is (or already have) pitched in on Volume II: rhymes & relics, which will be available by the middle of October (just in time for the first Monsters Of Verse booking at the Center For Inquiry on Saturday, October 25th).
    The book is also available as a download.  Don’t feel bad either, as I make more money through the web site on downloads than I would from print copies.  If you absolutely have to have a physical copy of the book, contact me as soon as you can as supplies are painfully limited for the next two weeks.  I promise to sign every copy of every book purchased and that’s a fact.  In addition, I’m offering a money back guarantee on all saleable condition copies that any of you are willing to try if it’s not your cup of tea.  Men who have read the book (in one sitting, every single one of them) have been more ardent supporters of these two books than women, and women have been pretty fond of it, too.  Give it a chance.  You’ll be surprised. 
    Another chapter of my life is complete.  I’ve got more good news but I’ll save it for another day.  So start your engines.  Start ordering now.  After Slapstick & Superego drops next May, I’m out of the Print On Demand business altogether.  I’ve got enough networking connections, enough tools and contacts at my disposal, and a firm enough grasp of the marketing/publishing hierarchy that it’s high time to go into business for myself.  Ladies and Gentleman, after two (and soon to be three) very successful ventures as publisher, proprietor and CEO of Doubt It Publishing, I’ll be going into business for myself. 
 
     Order the new book.  Order two.  Or five.  Here is the retail breakdown:
 
    Trade Paperback: $14.99 (154 pages)
    PDF download: $9.99
 
    And please, let me know what you think.  The money back guarantee is not a fluke.  If you’ve read the book and you don’t like it, I will pay out of pocket including the shipping charges.  And lest I forget, Lulu’s standard USPS shipping is lightning fast.  Many of you have complained in the past about the long wait times for online ordering and you’re not going to have that problem with Breathing Room.  My first twenty copies were printed, bound and on my doorstep in six days.  Not business days, but six calendar days.  Scoop up a copy.  I’ll give you all a shout out sooner than you think.  Thanks for entering a new phase in my life with me,
 
Tom Waters
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Monday Big Words Update! Week 91 on stands/Heaven’s To Megahertz! Episodes 7 & 8 Up Online Now!

August 19, 2008

A busy, bustling seven days.  Four podcast episodes for Think Twice in seven days.  A score of poems, a few rants, some networking, some marketing, some booking work on the Monsters Of Verse gigs…I don’t know where to begin!  Whelp, how about the beginning?

These Monday updates are supposed to be about the Night Life Big Words I Know By Heart column, so let’s get back to that.  Week 91 assaults the newstands today with the third and final installment (conclusion) to ‘Alia Iacta Est’, the serialized print version of the Buffalo Rising jihad.  I’m still not done with them by a long shot, but I thought that print readers might want to be in the loop and it’s a good venue for talking even more trash.  Night Life’s got my back through and through, which is why I’m so loyal to them.  

     Saturday night, Carrie and Ron Gardner came over to our posh Lancaster bungalow to record podcast episodes 7 and 8 of the Big Words Radio One Man Mobile Unit!  The reason why I waited so long to post the Monday update today was due in large part to the fact that I was waiting for Rich to post episodes 7 and 8.  I appreciate his efforts and due to a seperate studio booking yesterday, we were unable to ‘put the tracks down’ in their entirety yesterday, so there was a two day delay in posting them up online.

     Episode 7 is an informal interview with Carrie and her ‘man candy’ Ron Gardner regarding her career, Ron’s music, composing, poetry and a lot of other uncomfortable topics.

    Episode 8 is an informal ‘concert’ we held in my dust-caked hell hole of a basement with a PA system and the third member of the Monsters Of Verse, JR Finlayson.  We were all very pleased with the results.

     Dial both of the new episodes up on your Ipods at the intraweb address provided:

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

     I’ll leave it at that.  Monday is supposed to be ‘date night’ with the wife and I’m cutting into it, so I’ll scoop you all with more of ‘the knowledge’ later in the week.  That’s all, folks!

Tom Waters

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

August 14, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 5, 2008

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

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

-Drum Roll Please

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

-Drum Roll, Please!

Merry Prankster

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Waters

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Friday Press for ‘Monsters Of Verse’ in the Buffalo News…

June 6, 2008

It came to my attention that R.D. Pohl (the prestigious editor of the poetry section in the Buffalo News) ran a piece about our upcoming event in his ‘Arts Beat’ blog on the Buffalo News web site.  I really appreciate the plug because you can’t beat free promotion and an endorsement from him is like a blessing from the pope in this town, honestly.  The once a month Poetry page is regarded in Buffalo as the Holy Grail in terms of poetry submissions (to date, I’ve never had anything accepted, but then again, I’ve only submitted once), so I know that the literary community takes note of any announcements R.D. Pohl has to make.  Thanks, R.D.!  Carrie, Shaky Stage and myself owe you one!

http://buffalonews.typepad.com/artsbeat/2008/06/liz-mariani-boo.html

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Monday Big Words Update! 2 Weeks to Monsters Of Verse/3 Weeks Until Big Words Radio!

June 2, 2008

     It’s really bizaare how these short forays back into creative activity gather their own momentum, isn’t it?  The new material continues throughout June in the pages of Night Life magazine with ‘The Great Recession’, one of my shorter pieces about the rise in gas prices and the effect it’s had on the economy which, unfortunately, was rejected as a My View submission at the Buffalo News.  You can’t win ’em all, and sometimes, they’ll reject pieces that were too similar to recently published works.  I don’t read the News every day, so perhaps someone beat me to the punch.  At any rate, I’m running the piece in the Big Words column because I think it makes some valid points and it’s a subject that everyone can relate to, and that all of us have been griping about for months.

     Moving on to other business, the Monsters Of Verse show at Desiderio’s in Lancaster (8 PM) is two weeks from today (Monday the 16th)!  Carrie Gardner, Shaky Stage and myself are starting to get really excited about the performance and Carrie and I have decided to make the rounds at the Center For Inquiry open literary reading this Wednesday at 7 pm to see some old faces, meet some fresh ones and promote the event to a demographic that’s perfect for it.    If you received an Evite or a Myspace event invite, please take the time to RSVP either way so that myself and the crack team at Desi’s have an idea of what sort of crowd to expect/prepare for.  I also mentioned during the middle of last week that Think Twice Radio will be sponsoring the event and recording the entire performance for future podcasting purposes, so if you show up, clap loudly and laugh heartily! 

     Also, now that I’ve agreed to take Think Twice up on their offer for my own radio hour, I’ve been putting the pieces together for the first three or four shows.  Guests have been booked, formulas have been employed, formats have been cobbled together and three weeks from yesterday (Sunday the 22nd), the Big Words I Know By Heart radio show will be born!  May god have mercy on us all.  I don’t want to let too much out of the bag too soon, but I’ve got some big plans for the show.  You won’t want to miss out on the first episode, I can guarantee you that. 

     And in case you missed it, I logged a rather extensive play-by-play on the David Fincher critique I’ve been laboring away on for the last year and a half.  If you’re a fan of the director (or just curious as to what the hell I’m talking about), scroll down to ‘Finding Fincher’. 

     And that’s all the news that’s fit to print this week.  Scoop up your copy of Night Life, fill out your dance card on Evite and Myspace Events, and count the days down until the Monsters Of Verse and the Big Words I Know By Heart radio hour.  A storm’s brewing over Buffalo, and some call it Hurricane Buy My Book!  Just kidding.  Talk to you next week (or sooner),

Tom Waters

     

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Monday Big Words Update! Week 79 on stands/3 Weeks to the Monsters Of Verse/Think Twice Radio Gig Tomorrow!

May 26, 2008

Whelp, after a week of kicking back and freezing my ass of in Rushford and three days and two nights at Lindsay’s folks’ cabin in Angola, I can honestly say I’m rested and relaxed and ready to get back to the grind.  With no real promotional plan or upcoming book to promote, the engagements are piling back up anyway.  Gusto ran the Riley St. Station bar review on Friday and last Monday saw the conclusion to ‘Perpetual Estrogen’ in my Big Words I Know By Heart column in Night Life magazine.  Today, ‘Quiet Time Or Else’ hits the stands in the pages of Night Life magazine, a blind rant on the agitations of uncontrollable noise pollution.  Tomorrow (after a long delay dating back to last August), I’ll be hunkering down in the booth with poet, promotional wunderkind and music reviewer/interview Susan Marie for her show, ‘This is NOT the apple’ on Think Twice radio.  I’m not sure when it will be done with production and so forth, but keep checking over at: www.thinktwiceradio.com for details and I’ll throw up a post when I’m sure. 

     And after years of talking about it and originally missing a scheduled headline reading at the Center For Inquiry that we booked a year in advance, Carrie Gardner and myself with finally be sharing the stage together (along with the band Shaky Stage) at Desiderio’s on Broadway on Monday, June 16th at 8pm.  For all the details, scroll down to the previous post, but we’re three weeks away and this will in all likelihood be the ONLY time I’ll be performing on stage and signing the final batch of first edition hardcovers for If They Can’t Take A Joke at $20 a pop.   That night isn’t really about me, though.   The spotlight is on Carrie and Evil Is A Terrific, Rubbery Goblet, her phenomenal collection of very accessible and newby friendly poetry and prose which she’s selling for a cool $10.  I read it in one sitting, I’ve been a huge fan of her work since I interviewed her for ArtVoice back in 2004, and this is her first book of collected work.  If you can make it out that Monday and bring friends, do so.  And the gang at Desiderio’s have become (as I’m sure you know by now), dear, dear friends of mine.  I’ve reviewed a million bars for a million different papers over the years, but Desi’s is the only place where I hang my hat and I consider it a second home.  I’ve also come to know the band members for Shaky Stage and they’ve got some great songs and a rock-solid stage act in their own right.  We’re three weeks away.  Mark your calendar, rally up some people and make the trip.  You’ll be glad you did. 

That’s all I’ve got for today.  After being out of town on and off for so long, I’m chasing deadline on some new columns for Night Life for June, so I need to hammer out at least one more new piece for next month.  Have a fantastic Memorial Day and I’ll drop some more knowledge on you later in the week,

Tom Waters   

 

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