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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