Showing posts from March, 2024

Weekend Photos: Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Continuing the saga of my mind-blowing trip to Africa. Given the hundreds of photos I took in Tarangire, and how amazing the animals there were, this might get long, even though we only spent about 30 hours in the park. At this point I'm totally fishing for sympathy for having to choose a couple dozen photos out of maybe 400 (after editing) from the park! We left Arusha first thing in the morning, piling happily into the Toyota Landcruiser (special safari version, and the successor to the traditional Land Rover) with all our luggage. Naturally, on the drive to the park (3 hours?) we got very excited about pretty much everything we saw. Our driver, Said, pointed out some herds of wildebeest and zebra, noting that at their foaling season they tend to migrate out of the park onto the Masai lands, where the Masai herders keep the predators away. He was correct when he told us we wouldn't see any in Tarangire NP (but we saw plenty more later on the Serengeti). Petey Possom, and our

Book discussion: Whipping Girl, by Julia Serano

Continuing my project of improving my understanding of what it means to be transgender, I finally tackled Julia Serano's foundational text on transgender politics, sexism, and the intersections between all sorts of gender-related biases. The book was first published in 2007, which makes it dated in some areas, and was updated for the 2014 re-release, which is already 10 years out of date. An afterword written in 2023 helps to keep it up to date and puts things in perspective, as we enter a new period of virulent anti-trans hysteria (made concrete by a lot of laws being floated, too many of which are passing).   Title: Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity Author: Julia Serano  Publication Information: Originally published 2007, Seal Press (390 Pages). I read the 2016 Kindle edition, with an afterword from 2023.  Source: Library Publisher's Blurb:   In Whipping Girl, biologist and trans activist Julia Serano shares her experiences and

Mystery Monday: Ada Bell’s The Scry’s the Limit

Having beta-read a later book in this series and enjoyed it very much, I was delighted to get a review copy of The Scry's the Limit and learn more of Aly's story.   Title: The Scry's the Limit. Shady Grove mysteries #2. Author: Ada Bell Publication info: Empress Books, 2021. Read on Apple Books, 133 pages. Source: Review copy gifted by author Publisher's Blurb: Now that she’s accepted her psychic gifts, Aly’s determined to solve the mystery of what happened to her sister-in-law.  Unfortunately, between work, starting classes, and her brother’s unwillingness to seek answers, Aly’s having more trouble getting answers than she expected. Just when she thinks Kevin may be warming up to the idea of helping her, they find Aly’s academic advisor and favorite professor dead. Professor Zimm was one of the school’s most beloved teachers. Who would want to kill her? The professor who could make tenure in her absence? The privileged student who hates having to retake the

Weekend Photos: Arusha, Tanzania

Since I'm still struggling to even get a good start on my photo edits from the recent Africa trip (hey, I took over 5000 shots. That's a lot of editing, even when I delete all the photos of the spot where an animal was a moment before, accidental videos of my feet, and blurry images shot in too-great excitement). The majority of this trip was organized through Popote Africa Adventures , who did an excellent job at a very reasonable price, and are completely locally owned (based in Moshi, the standard jumping-off point for climbs of Kilimanjaro). To get us started, here are a few shots from our arrival and brief tour of Arusha, our jumping-off point for our Tanzanian Safari and, later, climb of Mt. Meru. My companions on this trip were my brother-in-law, our nephew and his partner, and in this first part of the trip, a backpacking friend of mine. Packed and ready. Carry-on daypack includes such essentials as my camera and hiking boots. Strapped outside my checked bag is a waterp

Writer's Wednesday

Possibly the fact that my Wednesday post is only being written and posted after Wednesday is well along tells you everything you need to know about the state of the writer just now! I have been home from my travels for just over a week, and am *finally* getting things sorted out enough to start turning my brain to writing, though not with the focus I'd like. I chose not to do any writing work while on my Africa trip, beyond keeping my journal. Only at the very end did I succumb to the itch to write and began drafting a bit of flash fiction (not finished, which also says a lot about my state of mind--how hard is it to at least draft a story of under 1000 words?). And on the trip home (during a16 1/2-hour leg of the roughly 41 hours door to door) I finally opened the emails from my beta readers and began thinking about what they said. Flying over places we never expected to go. It was no part of our intention to have *quite* such a long trip home, but the strikes at Lufthansa sent us