Like everyone else during these difficult times, authors need to find new ways of connecting with people. While public readings are out, I can at least send you a bit of laughter and tell you about my new book in this new YouTube video. Be safe and be well. https://youtu.be/po-__9bbUxU
I just read this great article by Alain de Botton in The NY Times about one of my favorite books – The Plague by Albert Camus. It’s not what you’d call a fun read. In this book and others, Camus wrote about the absurdity of life, since it always involves death from which there is no escape for any of us. Those familar with my own books know that I usually write about an alternate meaning of absurdity, as in silliness. And right now, we could all use some silliness (hint: for temporary relief, any film by Monty Python, Mel Brooks, or Steve Martin).
In his story, Camus described a virus that spreads uncontrollably and eventually kills half the population of a town in Algeria. The people of the town refuse to accept this fact, as the deaths pile up. Through it all, the main character Dr. Rieux works to save lives and ease suffering. Quietly he goes about his job, like the many doctors and health care workers today, in our current crisis. “It may seem like a ridiculous idea,” Rieux says, “but the only way to fight the plague is with decency.”
With so much we still don’t know and a vaccine still a long ways off, that may be our best weapon right now. Read the article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/19/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-camus-plague.html
Here’s another advance review of my latest book which might get you thinking about someday writing your own book of life stories.
“We all have stories. But few of us can tell them like Gene Twaronite. In turn, his stories amuse, instruct, entertain, and inspire. You’ll smile, chuckle, laugh out loud, wince, and often identify with the life lessons shared in his memories and musings. Best of all, you might decide to turn on the computer and record your own stories. Now that’s fine writing!”
Suzanne Barchers, EdD; Advisor and Chair of Board of Directors for Lingokids, Madrid, Spain; author of approximately 300 books and songs for educators and children
Meanwhile, you can buy my latest absurdities here.
My Life as a Sperm is now available in Kindle. You can order it here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08547BJM2
Just wanted to share this advance review of my new book My Life as a Sperm.
“How appropriate that Gene has chosen to group together a wonderful compendium of his off beat life events into one easy to read and entertaining volume. Whether he’s digging for bones or in pursuit of the Rolling Stones, his bi-coastal adventures are packed with wry observations and of course his own unique infectious twists of humor. It was especially enjoyable to relive the chapters from when he was foraging in our area and I’m happy to report they remain as timely and as delightfully ‘absurd’ as ever.”
Barry Fain, Publisher, Providence MediaSee more about this book here amazon.com/mylifeasasperm/genetwaronite
I’m excited to announce that my latest book is now available in print. You can order it here.
Get ready. Announcing the imminent publication of my newest essay collection, My Life as a Sperm, providing shocking details of this silly writer’s life. Read “The Whitest Man in America,” “A Painless Guide to Trauma,” “My Interview with Terry Gross,” “How I Lost Miss Maine,” and “Sex Toys After Fifty,” and much more. Stay tuned.
A former out-of-print bookseller, I have always been fascinated by the descriptions used to sell books. I have observed that, as the rarity of the book increases, so does the flowery language dealers employ in seeking truly stratospheric prices for them. And I decided that there might be a poem there. The result is this poem you can read here: http://star82review.com/7.4/twaronite-assemblage.html
By Gene Twaronite
I can take you further than a ship. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The Little Prince
I liked him from the start.
People don’t stop and talk
with snakes anymore, especially
about things that matter.
He wished to go home to
his little planet and the vain
silly rose he loved
more than life itself.
He asked me about my poison
and thought I was his savior.
But I wanted only to tell him a story
to live in for a time and forget.
He tried to make me bite,
but I slipped past him in a yellow flash.
I saw him faint and fall to the sand.
But he did not die.
He thought his body was
too heavy and his planet too far.
He thought he needed poison
to leave behind his mortal shell.
But he had everything he needed,
right there inside of him.
As he made his little planet live for me,
so he made it live again for himself.
And you don’t need a snake for that.
First published in New Myths https://sites.google.com/a/newmyths.com/nmwebsite/poems/the-yellow-snake
I Just finished rereading Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic tale The Little Prince. It is a book I have returned to many times, and I always find something new there. To those who think of this as merely a story for children, think again. It is a story that works on so many levels it defies classification. If you have somehow made it into adulthood without ever reading it, I urge you to find a copy before it is too late and you lose all connection to your childhood and turn into a fossil.
Here’s a poem I wrote after my recent visit with the prince:
My planet is a trifle bigger than
the one the Little Prince lives on.
Instead of just three, it has
a dozen volcanoes which erupt
in iridescent salute every time I
visit and never need cleaning.
Mine has a waterfall that falls
straight up into the sky where
the stars are always laughing.
There are baobab trees by
the score with roots going
deep as they please without
breaking up the place
and not a single sheep
to menace my one silly rose
visible only with the heart
who speaks to me when I’m sad.
And one yellow snake
when I want to go home.
First published in the literary journal Star*Line Fall 2019