RSS

Tag Archives: book

Black Like Me


If anyone remembers the title of the book which I’ve used as the title of this post, it was a work of non-fiction by journalist John Howard Griffin.  The book details a six week period of Griffin’s life as he traveled by Greyhound buses and hitchhiked through the racially segregated states of Louisianna, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.  At the time, 1959, race relations in America were particularly strained and Griffin wanted to chronicle the hardships black people faced.  The book was more a journalistic study, but to make it accurate Griffin had his skin darkened by a doctor and passed as a black man.

I read the book in high school, and unfortunately books in high school went unremembered because we had to read them.  Though, apparently I do remember the book, if not the entire content.  But I was reminded of that book with the recent news that has been popping up lately about former NAACP Chapter President in Spokane, Washington, Rachel Dolezal.  It was revealed that Dolezal, who has been passing as black, is actually white.  Unlike Griffin, she wasn’t doing it to do a series of journalistic articles to study the hardships of black people (and even Griffin doesn’t get a pass with that, really).  For Dolezal, it was personal gain, though some would argue that her attempt at bringing about change as the head of a civil rights organization is a good thing.

Sure, that’s good an all, but if you’re white, then stay white.  Don’t try and pass as something you’re not.

Out of the story, there’s a lot of calls that Dolezal is “transracial”, an attempt to compare Dolezal’s life to that of Laverne Cox or Janet Mock.  Both of whom are trans-women.  But the case of transgender is completely different than transracial.  Transracial already happens to have a root in adoptions, especially those children who are black who are adopted by white parents.

At best, Dolezal is dodging questions, and some might say out right lying about her past.  As she claims she is black, or identifies herself as black.  I might want to identify as a potato, but seriously no amount of imagination is going to turn me into a spud.

The one really damaging thing this has done is focus attention away from the number of black youth killed by police in the United States.  Though it might be said that this is another example of the continued appropriation and degradation of an entire culture.  Let’s face it, the majority of white people like parts of black culture, and can do so safely in the comfort of their white lives.  But when it comes to interacting with black people, that changes completely.

Is the United States, and to an equal extent Canada, living in a post racial society?  No it isn’t.  Especially when there’s a huge number of innocent black youth being killed and white people attempting to claim a heritage that isn’t their own.  In a way, Dolezal’s story can be compared to Griffin’s.  Both have tried to claim they were black, both have lived as black people for a good number of years, and both used this to propel their own personal gains.  All under the guise of civil rights and investigative journalism.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 17, 2015 in Life, randomness

 

Tags: , , , , ,

2014 Challenge


https://i1.wp.com/24.media.tumblr.com/b1991597823f61cbfb93dfb37338abb4/tumblr_mykj9jxLDe1qb0j8no1_r3_500.png

graphic borrowed from prettybooks

So I’ve decided to take the 2014 challenge and read 50 books this year.  I’ve gathered a list of 25 of the 50 books this year.  In total, it means I have to read about 4 books a month.  Which isn’t too bad (unless you’re like me and you read slowly).  My list thus far includes book both on my shelf and on my kindle.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bc6c2huCEAAcyNj.jpg:large

Here’s the complete list of the first 25 books:

  1. The Sincerest Form of Flattery – John Walker
  2. The Blame Game – John Walker
  3. In The Details – John Walker
  4. Hal Spacejock – Simon Haynes
  5. Above Ground – A.M. Harte
  6. The Time Machine – H. G. Wells
  7. The War of the Worlds – H. G. Wells
  8. The Lost World – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  9. Carmilla – Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  10. Treasure Island – Robert Lewis Stephenson
  11. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
  12. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  13. The Wind In The Willows – Kenneth Grahame
  14. White Fang – Jack London
  15. The Call of the Wild – Jack London
  16. Never Cry Wolf – Farley Mowat
  17. Paradise Lost – John Milton
  18. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  19. The Bells of El Diablo – Frank Leslie
  20. The Last Ride of Jed Strange – Frank Leslie
  21. The Haunted Mesa – Louis L’Amour
  22. 22 Milo Talon – Louis L’Amour
  23. Riders of the Purple Sage – Zen Grey
  24. Destry Rides Again – Max Brand
  25. Faith & Fire – James Swallow

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 1, 2014 in Fun, randomness

 

Tags: , , , ,

Shameless Self Promotion


Because I like reminding people that I did, in fact write a book.

Two, actually.  If things go well, the second will actually be a larger part of something I’m working on now.

I also must edit another book.  I’ve been letting it sit for over six months.  It’s a little thing called Rocket Fox.

Here’s a little synopsis about the book, which is a western/fantasy.

Elven magic meets gunslinger grit. What happens when two elven travelers find themselves in the United States in the middle of the Civil War? The Adventures of Black Mask and Pale Rider tells the story of two elven women who’s curiosity gets the better of them.

The wild ride takes them from the Union to the Confederacy and back again. Along the way they make enemies and friends and learn a little bit about this world, and about themselves. An adventure of six guns and sorcery.

The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider isn’t the only book I’ve written, Canyons of Steel is also available.  Here’s a quick synopsis.

What happens when an old gun hand makes a decision to turn his life around and set a new course? In Canyons of Steel, Johnathon Tiberius Walker makes the choice of turning his back on the underground military of the Red Hand and try to make right his own sins. All because he wants his daughter to live in a better world than he does.

Both my first book, Black Mask & Pale Rider, and my second book, Canyons of Steel, are available for purchase online through many different online book sellers.

Lulu.com (where both books were published)

  1. Tim Holtorf Author Spotlight the front page store for my books on lulu.com.

Amazon.com (both in paperback and in kindle versions)

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider
  2. Canyons of Steel

Amazon.co.uk (both in paperback and in kindle versions)

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider
  2. Canyons of Steel

Amazon.ca (price not listed and currently out of stock)

  1. Canyons of Steel

Barnes & Noble (for the Nook)

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider

iTunes iBook store

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider

At present, I am working on a science fiction adventure called Rocket Fox.  If things go as planned, it should cover nine books in total.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 2, 2013 in Fun, randomness

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s NaNoWriMo


This year’s project is different than year’s past.  I’m delving into the world of superheroes, but it does have a familiar ring to it.

It’s set in the same world as what I created for Canyons of Steel.  It begins in 1971.

theheroicleagueproject002A group of heroes from Britain, Canada and the United States who come together to prevent a massive terrorist attack and uncover the conspiracy of those wanting to escalate the attack.

The original heroes of this long story are:

  • Britannia (Melanie Coopers)
  • Canadien (Jean Pierre Turgeon)
  • Mannekin (Donelda Stewart)
  • Free Spirit (Regina Morgan-Simms)
  • Yellow Jacket (Richard Hargrove)

They are based on some of the superhero archetypes found in comics, some being patriotic figures, dark avengers, pulp hero style detectives, magic users and what not.  There are feats of bravery, powers of invincibility, car chases, and even touching moments with family.

This year’s NaNoWriMo is called The Heroic League Project.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Canyons of Steel, Flag on my Backpack, Writing

 

Tags: , ,

Somethings I shudder at when I hear them


ireadbannedbooks1

There’s something that really makes me look at someone and sort of judge them when they say something.  I know you shouldn’t judge people, it’s not only wrong but just plain rude.  But in this case, I just can’t help it.  It’s a simple thing they say, and from a few short words I formulate an opinion of them.

There are many sentences or phrases that have been said that I do this with.  I sometimes think I shouldn’t, but I do.  This reaction started with the most innocent of sentences.

“I don’t read books.”

First, I’m not the most prolific reader.  I have said before that I find reading very difficult, but I do it because there is an escape, a place where I go that the author takes me, and my difficulty becomes lessened.  It takes me a little longer, but I get there eventually.

But when I hear someone say this, the first thing I think is “why? why do you not read books? why could you possibly not read books?”.  I just cannot understand why a person wouldn’t want to read a book.  They’re marvelous, wonderful, thought provoking and challenging.  Maybe that’s the reason why, that some books challenge a person when they read them.  Books, such as those I read in high school, like To Kill A Mockingbird, Flower For Algernon, Lord of the Flies and even Grapes of Wrath (though, my high school self found this book a slog, and while my adult self recognizes the imagery of it, it’s still a slog).  Today, there’s books that push those boundaries again, such as the Harry Potter series, Judy Blume’s books, Game of Thrones, and Hunger Games to name a few.  Strangely, each of those books I mentioned has been challenged to be banned in certain areas of North America.

I often think when someone says they don’t read books, that they are denying themselves the chance to expand and explore in a way that they don’t often do such things.  To read is to get a glimpse into the mind of the author, even if only briefly.

Maybe reading some books is too challenging, where ideas are brought up that make the reader uncomfortable.  That’s not always a bad thing.  Books should make us feel a tad uncomfortable, because not only are they telling us a story but they are relaying information to us.  Books, even fiction books, can be a tool to educate.

I suppose some find that difficult to handle when they are met with a fact that is opposite of something they thought they knew since they were a child.  Personally, I find it enlightening and wonderful when I learn something new.  It’s moving forward, it’s progress.

That one phrase can so easily lead to other phrases that make me shudder, but I won’t go into them now, perhaps another time.  This post is getting rather long at the moment.  Keep in mind, we’ve been taking part in Banned Books Week, and a lot of the books I mentioned earlier have been challenged.  Maybe take the time to explore the list of banned books in your area and try to find a copy and read it.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 28, 2013 in Life, randomness

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Another round of shameless self promotion


Another reminder, that yes indeed, I have written a book or two in my time (two, to be exact).

First, picture of a cute fox.

tumblr_mpqw8w6G3r1qh3h23o1_500Now onto the books.

bmprfront-smallFrom time to time I’ll post up information about the first book I’ve written, called the Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider.  Here’s a little synopsis about the book, which is a western/fantasy.

Elven magic meets gunslinger grit. What happens when two elven travellers find themselves in the United States in the middle of the Civil War? The Adventures of Black Mask and Pale Rider tells the story of two elven women who’s curiosity gets the better of them.

The wild ride takes them from the Union to the Confederacy and back again. Along the way they make enemies and friends and learn a little bit about this world, and about themselves. An adventure of six guns and sorcery.

The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider isn’t the only book I’ve written, Canyons of Steel is also available.  Here’s a quick synopsis.

5.83x8.26_Front_EN-smallWhat happens when an old gun hand makes a decision to turn his life around and set a new course? In Canyons of Steel, Johnathon Tiberius Walker makes the choice of turning his back on the underground military of the Red Hand and try to make right his own sins. All because he wants his daughter to live in a better world than he does.

Both my first book, Black Mask & Pale Rider, and my second book, Canyons of Steel, are available for purchase online through many different online book sellers.

Lulu.com (where both books were published)

  1. Tim Holtorf Author Spotlight the front page store for my books on lulu.com.

Amazon.com (both in paperback and in kindle versions)

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider
  2. Canyons of Steel

Amazon.co.uk (both in paperback and in kindle versions)

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider
  2. Canyons of Steel

Amazon.ca (price not listed and currently out of stock)

  1. Canyons of Steel

Barnes & Noble (for the Nook)

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider

iTunes iBook store

  1. The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 28, 2013 in Fun, Life, randomness

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yann Martel – 10 Writing Tips


234607-yann-martel

This nicely goes hand in hand with this earlier post.  And a happy birthday to Yann Martel, who was at one time an author in residence at Saskatoon’s Francis Morrison Library, and was also a scholar in residence at the University of Saskatchewan.

From Writers Write Creative Blog:

Happy Birthday, Yann Martel, born 25 June 1963

10 Yann Martel Quotes

  1. I write at any time of day in any place, so long as it’s quiet and I can set up my computer. I’m a slow writer, given to playing Spider Solitaire when stuck. Otherwise, my writing habits are blindingly boring. I just sit down at the computer and write.
  2. Any writer will be happy and good only if they know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.
  3. Art is a gift: you create and then you give away. How readers receive that gift is their business. If they hate it, that’s their response to it. Others respond by liking it. Either way, that is their interaction with the book, which is no longer mine.
  4. Fanatics do not have faith – they have belief. With faith you let go. You trust. Whereas with belief you cling.
  5. I’m still learning my craft.
  6. Every book I’ve written has been a different attempt to understand something, and the success or failure of the previous one is irrelevant. I write the book I want.
  7. It’s true, too, that I’m tired of using books as political bullets and grenades. Books are too precious and wonderful to be used for long in such a fashion.
  8. I had good teachers when I was a kid…in a sense, a great teacher does what a great novel does. It gives you a sense of wonder, and you come out of it both entertained—a great teacher makes learning fun—but you also come better because you know more. Hopefully not just in terms of facts, but also in terms of wisdom.
  9. Just do it. Get it down on the page. Work hard. And then let go. Ask yourself why you want to write. You have to be clear about that.
  10. I couldn’t imagine writing without research. I don’t know anything. And I don’t like books that look inward; I like books that look out. To me, the research is a way of exploring what it means to be alive.

Yann Martel is a Canadian author. He won the Man Booker Prize for Life of Pi.

Source for Image

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Fun, randomness

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: