Review of Dragon Daily News by The Reading Nook

Here’s the latest review (Thanks, Laura!) of my new book Dragon Daily News:

“I read and reviewed one other book from Gene so when he contacted me again to read his newest work, I agreed right away. Gene has such a great imagination, and through his writing paints a picture that makes you feel like you’ve fallen right into the story. Dragon Daily News is a collection of short stories for young kids, and I honestly thought they were all so entertaining and fun!! I loved the introduction where he explained where and how some of the stories came to be, and in my opinion I think the adults that pick up this book will find that interesting, and make the stories a little richer.

“I am not yet a parent, but I’ve had a love of reading since a very young age, and it’s followed me through out the years, it’s not above me to read children’s stories, whether it be books that I read and loved as a child or books that I didn’t read as a child, but will simply bring me back to a simpler time in life when everything wasn’t so complicated. I don’t have kids of my own, but have already started collecting books to pass on to my kids when I do have them, and I hope that I can instill my love of reading onto them, and Dragon Daily News is a book I can completely see myself reading with my future kids or even my nieces and nephews.

“If you haven’t read any of Gene’s writing you should definitely check it out, especially if you’re in the mood to read something that will bring you back to the simpler times in life. This book was a quick read, but definitely what I needed to get myself through a slow, boring day at work.”  Read the complete review at:

Trash Picker on Mars

In the dim time before dawn
the woman clamped her metal
fingers over a beer bottle.
Her buckets overflowing with
litter from a dying world,
she sat and stared at the
alien landscape of asphalt.
The stars had all faded
except for the one red light
of Mars still defying the sun.
The woman smiled at the
mythical planet now
defrocked of its canals and
green men by Carl Sagan
and the Legion of Reason.
But still she dreamed.
In her electric cart she glided
over the red-gold deserts
of ancient Barsoom—
past  the fairy towers
of Grand Canal and the
monoliths of Helium where
a once great race of Martians
lived, played and died—
filling the canyons of
Valles Marineris with the
excess of their empty lives.
Out of habit she picked up a
fluted green shard, then
laughed and flung it along
with her buckets into the
trash heap of lost Martians.
Through the dark grottoes of 
Great Rift Valley she roved to
the shores of Mare Sirenum,
whose salty crust reminded her
of past ruins and distant times
when she could still cry.
For a moment she stared at the
sun, weak and small as it
rose above Olympic Mons,
igniting her in a ruddy glow.
She was the Princess of Mars
and there were still a few
unhatched eggs inside her.
And at the edge of
Candor Chasm she
bared her heart to the
silent, scouring winds.
Then into the dawn
she drove to begin her
new race of Martians.                                                                       © Gene Twaronite 2013
(Originally published by April 2013                            

Review of Dragon Daily News by BookPleasures

My two little dragons have made it to BookPleasures! For those of you who might not be familiar with this great resource for book lovers, BookPleasures is an international community of over forty reviewers that come from all walks of life and that review all genres. The site has been in existence since 2002, receives seven thousand unique visitors per week, and has posted over five thousand book reviews and over six hundred and fifty author interviews. I especially wish to thank Conny Crisalli for her thoughtful review, and Norm Goldman, Publisher and Editor of BookPleasures.

You can read the complete review here:–Stories-of-Imagination-for-Children-of-All-Ages-Reviewed-By-Conny-Crisalli-of-Bookpleasurescom/Page1.html#.UVtFu1fm824 

Maintaining a Natural Perspective

Developing an appreciation for the natural world offers many benefits, not the least of which is that it may help keep us from going insane.

Did you ever have one of those days, when you’ve just been fired from your job and you come home to an empty, filthy apartment, only to find a note from your girlfriend telling you she’s leaving you for a body builder in Samoa? And you try to grab some beer and find there is none because someone has stolen your refrigerator. Then your doctor calls with some really, really bad news … Suffice it to say that keeping your chin up under such circumstances is no easy task unless you are an unfeeling machine or have the intestinal fortitude of Job or, better yet, have learned to maintain a natural perspective.

Simply put, a natural perspective is a way of seeing things or events in terms of our relationship to that larger time frame and sphere of existence we call nature. In the afore-mentioned case, for example, instead of dwelling on your crappy karma, you can take heart in the fact that you are still alive as opposed to being one of the estimated 150 to 200 species of life becoming extinct every 24 hours. And you can be thankful that you’re not living back during the infamous Permian-Triassic extinction event, when some 90 to 96% of all species of life on earth bit the dust, so to speak. So far, the human species is still around, and so are you. So be of good cheer. Not being extinct definitely has its advantages.

Or you might consider that your probable lifespan is considerably longer than any species of mayfly, whose lifespans can range from 30 minutes to a day. And while you might think winged male ants (or drones) lucky in that they get to spend their entire lives doing nothing but eating and mating, few live longer than several weeks. Or you could have been born a gastrotrich—a tiny aquatic animal that lives only 3 days. So, unlike these other organisms, you still have plenty of time left to screw up again. Just don’t get too cocky about this. Most trees will live longer than you. And so will some animals, such as certain tortoises and fishes. There is even a kind of ocean clam said to live 400 years.

You might also give thought to old Sol—the source of life on this planet, not to mention sun tans, skin cancers and wrinkly skin. Scientists estimate that it has been around for about 4.5 billion years, going through about 500-600 metric tons of hydrogen each second just so earth can intercept its tiny fraction of total energy output and allow you to soak up some rays at the beach. At this rate, you might ask, could the sun burn itself out before you die? Not to worry. It is estimated that the sun has at least another 4 or 5 billion years before it uses up all of its hydrogen. Of course, long before that, there may be a few other issues of concern. As the sun gradually uses up its hydrogen, it will slowly become brighter and larger, so much so that in about 1.1 billion years it will completely dry out the earth’s atmosphere, making all the world’s real estate virtually worthless. And in 2-3 billion years, temperatures on earth will become too hot even for those with oxygen tanks. And after that the sun will probably expand into a red giant, engulfing all the inner planets including earth. So whatever happens to you in this miniscule time span you call a life, don’t worry. It can’t be as bad as being swallowed up by a red giant.                                                                                                                             © Gene Twaronite 2013   

Originally published in 5enses Magazine, April 2013