Posts Tagged ‘submissions’

h1

‘Out With The Old, In With The Newborn’, a recently rejected essay submitted to The Buffalo News

July 24, 2013

For those of you who may have enjoyed reading this-T.W.

Four hours ago my baby son came into the world and I couldn’t be more overjoyed.  Friends warned me that everything would change.  Now I know that it wasn’t a dark prediction so much as a wish fulfilled, or a positive and much needed redirection in our lives.  After crying my eyes out and holding my wife’s hand in the operating room afterwards, I can’t wait for the new road ahead of us.  At six pounds and six ounces (and about a month ahead of schedule), Benjamin Waters made his smashing debut.    

            For the last three years my wife Lindsay and I have been trying for a child and our efforts finally bore fruit last September.  When she broke the news to me with a pregnancy test in one hand after work and a wry joke (‘Honey, we’ve got a problem’), I cracked a grin and embraced her in the kitchen.  It’s cemented in my mind just like our first date on October 15th in 2004.  There are moments you never forget when you’re building a life together.  Our first date, the day I told her I loved her (New Year’s Eve that same year), our wedding day and now, the birth of our child.

            Since we got married there’ve been a lot of hard times and lean months.  Worse along with the better.  I’ve often said that you can’t appreciate the great moments unless you’ve gone through some tough days.  We’ve weathered out most of the worst and moved along to the best time of our lives.  The rough times we’ve suffered through together have made us stronger as a couple and make the wonderful experiences that much more magical. 

            I’ve always been uneasy around newborns.  I even wrote an essay about it (‘March Of The Newborns’ from my third book, First Person, Last Straw).  This little guy was different.  Benjamin Waters turned me around on the entire concept.  Looking through his tiny eyes and cradling his little body in my arms in the Recovery Room I saw an entire universe that was new and fresh to a being that was about to experience everything for the first time.  Not a carbon copy of myself, but a fresh amalgamation of my wife, myself and the generations before us.  Living proof that all of our accomplishments pale in comparison to the life we create, the true legacy that we leave behind some day.

            Parents warned me about getting no sleep, changing a never-ending supply of diapers and getting peed on in the face.  Another friend explained the situation much better by saying that he never understood the concept of being willing to die for someone until he had a child.  Single people spurned the very idea of it and challenged my love of barhopping, going out on a whim or the freedom of independence.  I gladly give it all up to raise a life that we made together. 

            My study has been transformed into a baby room.  Curios, collectibles and knick knacks from my former life have been relocated, packed up, boxed away and retired.  We bought a new, safer car (not a minivan, thank God) so that my transmission wouldn’t die out when I’m taxiing little Benjamin around.  Since the shower, we have clothes for every occasion, accessories for any contingency and enough blankets and homemade quilts to cover the entire household.  Out with the old, in with the newborn. 

            Everything has changed and this isn’t even the first full day.  After a fourteen hour labor and a day filled with caffeine and one meal, I’m still too excited to sleep.  Two sets of first time grandparents are chomping at the bit to spoil our son rotten and I’m more than ready to slow down, stop being so childish and selfish and take care of our child together.  Children change everything.  For the better. 

Tom Waters

-Tom Waters wrote many Club Watch reviews for the Buffalo News along with ten books of essays and poetry.  He looks forward to an early retirement from all that and a new career in carpeting FaceBook with baby pictures.        

                

Advertisements
h1

The Willy Wonka Theorem

January 10, 2012

Time to face facts.  Doubt It Publishing cemented the publishing house with Voices From The Herd: An Anthology For Buffalo, NY.  Despite the time involved, anthologies are an easy project to attract local writers.  The project was a colossal success and the proceeds that the book has earned for The Just Buffalo Literary Center will resonate for years to come.

Lightning struck twice when heretofore unknown Mark McElligott sent his manuscript along for Random Thoughts From A Broken Mind, which was easily one of the funniest books I’ve read in fifteen years.  While Mark (and the contents of his book) aren’t exactly family friendly, we found a niche for his talent and his book continues to entertain while finding a new audience.

The open reading submission for 2011 was less than satisfactory.  I’m slightly saddened to announce that there won’t be any Doubt It Publishing Author Of The Year this year because, truth be told, I put all of my eggs in two or three baskets.  Not one, but three promising manuscripts passed my desk that held promise.  One had potential but it wasn’t polished enough.  Another had stellar character development but the author’s needs and requests were unreasonable.  The final project was perfect but the person behind the collection couldn’t commit.

I’ve spent the last ten years interviewing writers to find out what works and what doesn’t.  What behaviors succeed, what personality traits work and which ones don’t.  In the same sense, I’ve spent a lifetime learning what it means to run a successful publishing business.  Many schools in the music business open their doors to anyone willing to collect a paycheck and find themselves on the verge of bankruptcy within a few years.  Other ventures weed out new creative endeavors after a short time and turn to subsidy publishing, choosing only to publish and copyright their own work.

Doubt It Publishing is an ideal.  A publishing house that was built to foster new, subversive and talented Buffalo authors and save them from the pitfalls and aggravations that I’ve gone through for the last ten years.  This won’t be a vanity house and it won’t be a catch-all for any author coming down the pike.  It has to be an imprint that welcomes those of you promising enough to make the cut who are willing to put as much work into promoting your book as you did writing it.

2012 is a wash.  The Doubt It Publishing docket for this year has failed.  So we grow, evolve and adapt.  Here’s the decision moving forward: The Call For Submissions will be year round from here on out.  As the Publisher and Editor In Chief, I will no longer depend on any one writer or any one manuscript.  There will no longer be a six month reading period.  If you have a promising work and you want to publish and promote it next year, I want to work with you.  The business model remains.  I’m still looking for one book to work with, but I’m swinging the submission gates wide open.

Tell me what you’ve been working on, Buffalo.  You’ve got all year to do it, and every year from here on out.

Please send your sample chapters, query letters or entire manuscripts to: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

h1

Icarus Manuscript Fetches A King’s Ransom, Big Words Radio Wins An Award & Doubt It Publishing Looks For A New Author On The Roster

September 29, 2011

With such a large scale project accompanied by an enormous timeline, I thought it would be a natural idea to auction off the original manuscript (along with a copy of the hardcover when it’s released).  I started writing Icarus On The Mend last October (in 2010), spent the last two months proof-reading, spell checking and generally filling any gaps in the continuity and continue to put the finishing touches on the second read-through.  The auction started on FB this week and I’m astonished to see that the only copy that anyone can read for the next year is up to $225!  We’ll find out how much it fetches by close of business tomorrow.

A year from now, Icarus On The Mend will launch on my birthday (October 25th, 2012) in a limited, numbered hardcover edition comprised of 50 copies in an 8.25×10.75 format.  Due to the sheer size of the book (430 pages and counting in 6×9), I had to go bigger in order to make the book cost effective.  I’ve been working closely with a new artist on the cover concept and he’s researching mythology and moths for an acrylic painting due by August 1st.  Returning Doubt It graphic designer Brian Platter (Six Shot Studios) will be designing all three volumes of the book over the course of the next year from the interior to the wraparound cover layout.  Due to the nature (and content) of the book, I’m not in a big hurry to share it with everyone.  Regardless, the book is almost done and there seems to be a very large demand in the market for people to read it.  It’s been soothing to have a project that we can all take our time with for once so that we all make sure that the book is as perfect as it’s going to be by the time you buy a copy.

Once we all get around to October of 2013, Icarus On The Mend will come out in two soft cover trade paperback volumes in a 6×9 format with the addition of at least one new chapter.  Brian Platter is working on an original photo reel cover for the first volume along with an identical photo negative for the second.

The long term objective for all of this is to release a third volume some twenty years from now as a companion piece to the former two.  Many people have asked me how I can release an autobiography when my life is (in fact) not over with yet.  I decided to start writing it a year ago so that I could retain as much information as possible while it was still instantly retrievable.  After ten years of freelancing, it felt like the right time to reflect on my life in order to prepare for the future.  I also feel that my experience with manic depression might be able to help others coping with the illness, whether it’s relatives, friends of those diagnosed or people with the actual diagnosis.

The book has already drawn more controversy than I expected and it’s not even out yet.  For once I wasn’t trying to cause any trouble and it showed up to the party anyway.  The majority of the dissension came from the fact that (in almost every instance), I’ve used real names in this book.  My intent as to why I’d do this has been called into question and I’m going to address this by saying that there are two ways that you can pen a memoir: You can open up a big gray area where you edit what actually happened and try to apply a complementary image to your life or you can work on being unflinchingly honest about yourself and others.  I haven’t compromised my art so far and I’m certainly not going to start now.  I didn’t use real names as a marketing ploy and (unless the events reported could have caused someone immediate harm), I didn’t use real names to cause anything scandalous.  Again, it felt like the right thing to do and my intentions were genuine.

I’m shooting for a $40 price point on the hardcover and a $15 price point on each soft cover.  It’s been awhile since I’ve released a book in hardcover format (If They Can’t Take A Joke), so I’m not sure if this will be possible, but that’s what we’re aiming at.  I appreciate all the feedback that those of you on Facebook have provided in the interim whether it was positive or negative and I’m pretty shocked by the amount of money some of you have been willing to shell out towards the manuscript.  It’s been very encouraging and it’s given me the initiative for that final push towards polishing off what’s left that needs to be done.  This won’t be my last book by a long shot, but the production window is buying me enough time for starting a family, taking a long break (if I’m capable of taking it) or the opportunity to focus on other projects and other authors for Doubt It Publishing.

Wrapping up, it looks as if The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour is receiving a You Rock award at Bravo on October 22nd to commemorate the Busted Stuff two-party from earlier in the year.  British journalist Joel Meadows will be my distinguished guest on Big Words Radio on October 25th, Richard Wicka will be my guest in November and we’re doing the Big Words Finale Show early in December.  The Buffalo News has also accepted my third and final My View submission for the year which should be running some time in October.  They have a three submission cap and one of my goals this year was to hit all three.  There’s also one month left for promising Buffalo authors to submit their original manuscripts for possible publication as a 2011 Doubt It Publishing Author Of The Year.  Manuscripts can be sent to: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with ‘Submission’ in the subject field.

 

Have a great rest of the week and thanks for keeping up,

Tom Waters

%d bloggers like this: