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  • Travelling Writers Have Fun - Crimson Cats Audio Books
    until you get home so you can find theoretical answers that make you quite proud Nevada City Montana Of course when you do get back home reality kicks in and unless you re careful you can find yourself back at Stage 1 perhaps even more disillusioned because somewhere in your head you thought everything was sorted Of course none of this should ever prevent you travelling because travel is inspiring and above all don t let the thoughts of abstract problems spoil the pleasure and experience of travel itself With that in mind I have compiled the Bartlett Palmer 10 Top Tips for Crossing America Keep a diary written and or recorded You think you will remember the details but you won t A small recorder helps you note interesting funny things as you come across them such as this sign outside a church Lord make me as good as my dog thinks I am Avoid the Interstates and keep to the back roads Takes longer but you see the real America not just large trucks Do NOT eat in George Nick Steakhouse in Centreville Iowa unless you like your meat frazzled to several inches beyond its normal life Never pass a petrol pump gas station without checking how far it is to the next one It s worth stopping anyway as most of them also sell pretty good coffee Do NOT stay in Motel 6 in Eureka California However Motel 6 in Boisie Idaho is excellent When in Custer City South Dakota you must visit the Dark Horse saloon 100 different beers 24 of them on tap and steaks to die for If you re running short of clean clothes check that your chosen motel has a guest laundry BEFORE handing over your credit card Do NOT ignore signs

    Original URL path: http://crimsoncats.co.uk/editorial/travelling-writers-have-fun/ (2016-04-25)
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  • Starston to Starston (via the USA) - Crimson Cats Audio Books
    of us when we first walked in within half an hour she Holly that is not Rachel was lying across our knees purring loud enough to be heard in Yellowstone Park Probably frightened the bears Holly clearly regards travel as totally unnecessary but we love it New places new people a break from ordinary routine a chance to refresh both body and mind Accounts of people s travels often make good reading as well We currently have 2 travel titles in the Crimson Cats range Everyman s England by Victor Canning and Hippos Hairpins and High Button Boots by Mary Kingsley Good travel writing is not just about the places visited but also about the experience of the person doing the visiting Victor Canning was best known as a writer of thrillers but his journeys round England in the 1930 s the observations he made and the people he met give us a pin sharp picture of the country before the 2nd World War In contrast Mary Kingsley s journeys along the rivers of West Africa in the late 19th century to collect specimens of fish and makes notes of local religions show us a very different world In particular her battles with French customs officials and crocodiles are very funny We would like to publish more travel titles but it is difficult to find good material that fits the Crimson Cats criteria interesting different not currently available in audio probably out of print Most contemporary travel writing is ruled out as the good stuff is already in the hands of the major publishers We did look briefly at an Englishwoman whose name escapes me who left England to go and live in the Rockies in western America in the 19th century and kept a diary of her experiences It

    Original URL path: http://crimsoncats.co.uk/editorial/starston-to-starston-via-the-usa/ (2016-04-25)
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  • Cathedrals Of Towering Wood - Crimson Cats Audio Books
    was all around you trees moss ferns lichen and these beautiful trees some with a circumference of 25 feet towering above you Suddenly all the stories about woods and trees seemed very real Think of the children s stories Babes In The Wood Hansel and Gretel Little Red Riding Hood The Wild Wood in Wind In The Willows Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest Moving up an age range you have the Old Forest and Fanghorn from Tolkien s Lord Of The Rings John Buchan s Witchwood many of the Inspector Morse stories have scenes in Wytham Woods in Oxfordshire there s Burnham Wood in Macbeth and the forest in A Midsummer Night s Dream and so on And speaking of Midsomer anyone who watches Midsomer Murders knows that to go alone into any of the Midsomer woods after dark means you won t come out alive Perhaps the magic of trees is that the best of them make our life span seem insignificant Some of these redwoods were saplings when William of Normandy was invading England in 1066 That s what I call endurance Endurance is what we all need One definition of a professional writer is an amateur who refused to give up They say that everyone has a novel in them well that may be true but not everyone has the ability to see that story nor the skill to express it and structure it and present it in a way that will appeal to others The word classic like so many others in the English language is used with gay abandon The true classics are those which stand the test of time those stories which still speak to us 50 or a 100 or 400 years after they were first written These are the real classics like

    Original URL path: http://crimsoncats.co.uk/editorial/cathedrals-of-towering-wood/ (2016-04-25)
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  • From Sea To Shining Sea - Crimson Cats Audio Books
    wife was English She died last year but when he learned we were English he told us about their trip home to Manchester together He also gave us the name of his daughter Juanita who lives in Gardiner Montana on the edge of Yellowstone National Park He said we must contact her when we got there and he would ring her to tell he we were coming Well he forget to do that but when we got in touch with her she and her Park Ranger husband Joe welcomed us anyway and gave us lots of helpful advice With Joe in Yellowstone Then there was Barbara and Joe from Southern California who we met in Jackson Wyoming and had a long chat with after dinner discovering we had much in common A few days later we met Linda and Allen in Red Lodge Montana They were on their way home to Iowa and we all had dinner together These last two couples look as though they will become on going friendships A few nights later we met Rod in Boisie Idaho He is a ski instructor in the winter and a kitchen designer in the summer He was on his way home from Seattle to southern Idaho and had stopped for the night We had a long chat about wine ski ing and Europe Then today we met a couple in Bandon Oregon which stands on the estuary of the Coquille River We never got their names but they come from Toronto and the lady was born in Deep River Ontario next door to where my cousin Pam lives in Chalk River And so it goes on Of such encounters stories are made My father had this knack of making instant friends and he also knew a lot of people

    Original URL path: http://crimsoncats.co.uk/editorial/from-sea-to-shining-sea/ (2016-04-25)
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  • Cor, Ain't America Big...! - Crimson Cats Audio Books
    judgement simply that you can t compare them They have nothing in common not even the language Rodeo in Montana For example we had dinner with Juanita in Gardiner Montana after she had taken us to see our first Rodeo She has a 3 hour drive to a town where she can buy her main groceries And we thought we were struggling because our nearest Waitrose is 20 miles away America close up is better than America from a distance Individually most of the Americans we have met have been delightful and seem genuinely pleased that we are taking the time to drive right across their country Another thing that has impressed us is the number of bookshops we have found many of them in smallish towns good quality bookshops where the owner knows about their stock and books in general Most supermarkets also have racks of books which once I would have described rather unkindly as airport reading I have revised this view I may not want to read stuff about nurses swooning into the arms of a young surgeon and some pseudo superhero defeating aliens from outer space but if they give people pleasure and encourage them to read who am I to criticise My dear friend and producer of many of my plays the late Glyn Dearman used to have a sign on his office wall which said Imagination is the only exact science Imagination is a great gift and it will appear in different forms but let it flourish say I Whether you exercise it or experience it it is critical to the mental well being of us all Michael Post navigation No Porridge In Yellowstone From Sea To Shining Sea My Life And Times From 5 99 for the download version Find Out More Cliff

    Original URL path: http://crimsoncats.co.uk/editorial/cor-aint-america-big/ (2016-04-25)
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  • Blog - Page 2 of 8 - Crimson Cats Audio Books
    into New Hampshire and so into Maine Our journey is for pleasure but as artists writers and producers we are always interested in other creative people And so we arrived in Rockland and the Farnsworth Museum which amongst other things houses a set of paintings by the artist Andrew Wyeth who loved Maine We wanted to see them but it was not straightforward The museum car park was full the next one we tried belonged to an estate agent the next one was bank customers only the next one insisted we had to be customers of Rite Aid or they would let our tyres down I invented the last bit but you get the idea Just as we were about to admit defeat a space opened up in the museum car park and we were in We were very glad we had persevered The paintings were mostly wonderful especially those depicting the people and the coast of Maine evoked with consummate skill in his wonderful watercolours We were also reminded how much better it is to see works of art in the flesh as it were rather than just reproductions in books If all else had failed it would have been worth having our tyres let down Michael Crimson Cats On the Road Again So it s only a few days before Crimson Cats sets out on another Trans American road trip This time we are driving from Maine to Georgia down the line roughly of the Appalachian Mountains There will be a few diversions on the way as we drift off course to meet various people who have bought our audio books and to explore anything that looks vaguely interesting Not many of the people in our audio books made it to the States in fact the only one we can think of is Jerome K Jerome who did several lecture tours there before the 1 st World War as outlined in My Life And Times However we have a large and appreciative audience across the pond The House On An Irish Hillside is very popular in America as is The Beautifull Cassandra stories from the young Jane Austen The anthology of stories verses and quotes about cats How To Own A Human is universally liked as is Everyman s England for its 1930 s observations of our own country and Every Lady A Gardener an insight into green fingered ladies from the 19 th century You can hear short extracts from all our audio books on our web site www crimsoncats co uk We travel across the back roads of America for the sheer joy of travelling meeting new people and exploring small towns but it is always an extra delight to meet people in reality who before we have only met on line We will try and blog about our journey every few days so watch this space for a vicarious and spontaneous American road trip Michael The Starston Crocodile Crimson Cats is based in the Norfolk village of Starston and a stream called The Beck runs through the centre of the village Last winter heavy rains and winds brought a huge oak tree trunk down on the flood water which then jammed itself against the sluice gate on the stretch of The Beck which runs through the village meadow This caused quite a problem but it was 3 months before the ground was firm enough for a local farmer to bring his tractor and chain onto the meadow and haul the trunk out onto the bank By then it was generally being referred to as The Starston Crocodile Having cleared the blockage the next question was what to do with this huge length of oak tree and the final solution was to turn the theoretical crocodile into reality well almost We found a local chain saw sculptor who with great skill carved our tree trunk into a crocodile seat which now sits proudly on the village meadow Our crocodile is benign of course but it reminds me of the crocodile in our audio book Hippos Hairpins and High Button Boots which tells the story of Mary Kingsley s journeys up the rivers of West African in the 1890s On one occasion a crocodile tried to get into her canoe with her and she had to biff it with a paddle to discourage it She had many other encounters on her journeys including a dead hippo floating down the river French customs officials and a local tribe of natives who were rather partial to eating their enemies Mary retained her sense of humour throughout though I suspect she would not have been impressed by the Starston Crocodile Hippos Hairpins and High Button Boots Hippos Hairpins and High Button Boots is available as an MP3 download or as a CD from our web site www crimsoncats co uk Michael Gerald Durrell Writer Conservationist and Friend A few months ago Crimson Cats had the privilege of helping the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust on Jersey achieve a specific project the production of a series of posters consisting of 1 st edition front covers of all the books Gerald wrote The Trust owns the copyright in the text of course but it doesn t own the copyright in the artwork on the front covers That copyright is held either by the original artist or the publisher The Trust was keen to have these posters as they re a wonderful summary of all the books but the task of tracking down each individual copyright holder and gaining permission to use the illustration was a daunting one However this is where we were able to help Both Dee and I were once BBC radio producers and after that we ran our own production company before launching Crimson Cats Audio Books in 2005 In all those roles we were frequently involved in copyright clearance and we knew what had to be done So we did it Even so it took several months Many of

    Original URL path: http://crimsoncats.co.uk/blog/page/2/ (2016-04-25)
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  • No Porridge In Yellowstone - Crimson Cats Audio Books
    hotel or the small fluffy ones on sale in souvenir shops just seem silly Elk in Yellowstone Yellowstone National Park is amazing all 2 million acres of it Scenery to die for buffalo black bears grizzlies wolves elk we saw all those Hot springs gorges rivers that bubble over stones before plunging several hundred feet down a waterfall Amazing The land was originally occupied by Native Americans and at many of the excellent visitor centres their stories and legends are set out These are fascinating to read not for their originality especially but more for the fact that in so many ways they reflect our own legends and folk stories about creation our relationship with the natural world our understanding of the society in which we exist our sense of community and our reaction to external threats Black Bear in Yellowstone Storytelling is universal it satisfies a basic need in us all but now I have seen Black Bears in the wild I think Goldilocks had a narrow escape Not that our ones showed much interest in porridge Michael Post navigation Ol Man Crimson Cor Ain t America Big My Life And Times From 5 99 for the download version

    Original URL path: http://crimsoncats.co.uk/editorial/no-porridge-in-yellowstone/ (2016-04-25)
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  • Ol’ Man Crimson - Crimson Cats Audio Books
    writing home to his mother in Watford while serving in the British army in Iraq in the 1940s are more real than anything about that time written in retrospect When the story concerns real people you know that what you are reading or listening to is but a section of their life A snapshot of a particular moment or period Ideally this should also be the case with fiction As Femi Euba the Nigerian writer says Your listener or reader must believe that the characters in your play or story had a life before the story started and will continue to have a life after the story has finished The Mighty Mississippi A week ago we crossed the Mississippi river from Illinois to Iowa It s one hell of a river very wide at this point and yet still 750 miles from the ocean It seemed a good parallel with story writing The Mississippi flows on for ever We arrive at a specific point follow it for a while and then leave We see a small part of the river never the whole and that part is our story Even if we were to return to the same place the river would be different It s a real skill to create a piece of writing that acknowledges the before and after as well as the piece we actually see And so the journey goes on Since I last wrote we have passed through Iowa Kansas Nebraska and crossed the Badlands of South Dakota If you ve seen the Badlands then you don t need me to tell you what they are like If you haven t then there are no words to describe them They are simply another world Tonight we are in Sundance Wyoming an empty land where there

    Original URL path: http://crimsoncats.co.uk/editorial/ol-man-crimson/ (2016-04-25)
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