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Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Clean Getaway, by Nic Stone

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Participating in the Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays blog hop,  hosted by Greg Pattrige of Always in the Middle , with loads of reviews of Middle Grade fiction (books for roughly ages 8-12).  This is a review of the audio book. Title: Clean Getaway Author: Nic Stone, read by Dion Graham Publication Info: Penguin Random House audio, 2020, 4 hours. Hardback by Crown Books for Young Readers, 2020, 240 pages. Source: Library Publisher's Blurb: How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma: * Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED. * Fasten Your Seatbelt: G'ma's never conventional, so this trip won't be either. * Use the Green Book: G'ma's most treasured possession. It holds history, memories, and, most important, the way home. What Not to Bring: * A Cell Phone: Avoid contact with Dad at all costs. Even when G'ma starts acting stranger than usual. Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the Ame

Weeekend photos: Mt. Kenya

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Continuing with our Africa saga, today we are heading for Mt. Kenya, for a 7-day circumambulation of the peaks. The other posts from this trip: Arusha , Tarangire National Park , South Serengeti Part 1 , South Serengeti Part 2 ,  the rest of the Serengeti tour ,  Ngorogoro Crater , and Mt. Meru . Another ancient and extinct stratovolcano , Mt. Kenya (second highest mountain in Africa at 17,057') has a summit made up of a number of volcanic "necks," with the mountain eroded out from around them. These peaks, with the exception of the 3rd highest (Lanana, 16,355') are technical rock climbs and far out of our bailiwick. Our mission was to hike most of the way around the mountain (actually a giant "U" that almost, but not quite, connects the loop) and to summit the "trekker's peak--Point Lanana.  This view from Shipton hut on the NNE side of the mountain shows the main summits (I can't distinguish Batian and Nelion; they may both be in that separ

Writer's Update: Slogging through Editorial Mud

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It has been a while since I had much of a writer update. If you notice I've been a bit thin on the book reviews as well, the two are related. There's been a lot of travel since the first of the year, even for me! The inevitable side-effect is less writing, and a bit of a struggle to get back in the groove now that I'm home for a bit. Here's the current status: Washed Up With the Tide (Seffi Wardwell #2): I'm in the early stages of what I hope will be the final edit (to be followed by polishing and proof-reading). I've been dealing with some plot issues but think I might have a grip on it now. I also met last week with my cover artist and hope to have a cover soon, after which I'll set a publication date and open the book for pre-orders. Short stories: After a long hiatus when I wasn't getting around to finding new places to submit (and the rejections of the last items out), I now have two stories out on submission. Working on the novel makes it hard for

Weekend Photos: Mt. Meru, Tanzania

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Continuing with the Africa saga, today we are climbing Mt. Meru, at 15,000' the 5th highest Mountain in Africa. This stratovolcano is frequently used as a training/ascclimatization climb for Kilimanjaro, but our ambitions were more modest. The other posts from this trip: Arusha , Tarangire National Park , South Serengeti Part 1 , South Serengeti Part 2 ,  the rest of the Serengeti tour , and Ngorogoro Crater .   Our Mt. Meru climb was a 3-night, 4-day outing, totaling about 22 miles (nearly half of that on summit day) and nearly 9200' up and down.  Entering the park We're going clear up THERE? We saw and heard culebra monkeys, but this was the best photo I got of one. The warm invitation to trek and explore is interesting, as you are required to get a permit and hike with an armed ranger. Because we were a little late, we started with a ride in a jeep, cutting 2 or 3 miles off our first day's hike (to catch us up to the group already hiking with the ranger of the day).