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Annie Oakley was a gunslinger


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Born Phoeby Anne Mosey on August 13, 1860, became an incredible target shooter and an expert marksman.  Her talent was so good that she toured as a part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.  Because of her showmanship and her ability to handle a gun, she became known as the very first women in the United States to be known as a superstar.  Oakley also was variously known as “Miss Annie Oakley”, “Little Sure Shot”, “Watanya Cicilla”, “Phoebe Anne Oakley”, “Mrs. Annie Oakley”, “Mrs. Annie Butler” and “Mrs. Frank Butler”.

But Annie was a gunslinger, a gun fighter, just as good as any man was, if not better.  This was proven when she won a contest against Frank Butler who bet a Cincinnati hotel owner he could out shoot any fancy shooter.  Annie, only fifteen years old at the time, did so with ease.  It wasn’t long after that Butler began courting Annie, and they were married in 1876 (it should be noted, Annie was only 16 years old, and that’s kind of creepy by today’s standards).

Annie Oakley wasn’t the only woman to wield a gun and be branded a trick shooter.  Martha Jane Canary, who wasn’t involved in a traveling wild west show, became known as Calamity Jane.

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Jane’s bigger claim to fame was he claim of being an acquaintance of Wild Bill Hickok.  But she was a professional scout and frontierswoman, and helped Wild Bill fight against the Indians.  While many may have heard stories of a brutal nature, Jane is said to have been best known for her kindness and compassion, especially to the sick and needy.

While Jane was older than Annie Oakley, Jane’s exploits didn’t begin until Annie began her life in the showman’s circuits in the east.  Jane was already in Wyoming and South Dakota by this time.

The point is, we often hear stories of women like Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane and the first thought is that they are trick shooters.  When in fact, they do exactly the same thing that men are already doing (in Annie’s case, even better).  These two aren’t the only gunslingers of their kind; Belle Starr, Pearl Hart, Harriette Tubman, Kitty Leroy, and Sally Scull just to name a few (to read more about some of these women, click here).

For the longest time, the only gunslingers that were taken seriously were men.  This was even reflected in the media we consumed.  From books to television to movies (and even radio serial series) gunslingers, or the heroes of the story were always men and the women were there only to be saved or the love interest.  It`s taken a very long time, and there`s still a great deal of resistance, to portray women as gunfighters in their own right.

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The Quick and the Dead starred Sharon Stone as `The Lady” and she co-produced the movie that came out in 1995.  The premise was a reversal of the old story of the gunfighter who would roll into town looking for the man who shot his family.  Instead of it being the lone gunman it was a woman who lost her family as a child, and came back seeking revenge in a contest of quick draw between combatants in a lawless town.

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Bandidas starred Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz as two Mexican women who sought revenge against a cruel gunman who worked for a New York bank (played by Dwight Yoakam).  The gunman used intimidation and murder to get his way to have a rail line built through farmer’s lands.  Hayek and Cruz’s characters go onto a series of bank robberies to thwart the efforts of this gunslinger.

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True Grit that came out in 2010, is based on the novel of the same name, written by Charles Portis in 1968.  The book was adapted to film in 1969 and starred John Wayne.  The 2010 version includes Hailee Steinfeld, Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper.  The story is another about revenge, where Mattie Ross hires the assistance of Marshal Rooster Cogburn in hunting down the man who killed her father.  Mattie is an intelligent and even stubborn young woman who tries to dictate the hunt for the killer.

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This CBC series is being released shortly in October of this year.  Strange Empire is a story who’s heroes are women.  Set in the 1860s along the Alberta-Montana border, three women set to act out revenge when the men in their town are all killed and the women forced into whoring.  It stars Cara Gee, Melissa Farman and Tattiawna Jones.

The trope of revenge is used in each of these examples, but it’s a familiar one when it comes to westerns.  The difference is that when the trope is used it’s used for men who want revenge against a cutthroat gunfighter.  It takes on a different light when it’s women who are the ones seeking revenge.  Often when it’s women thrust into the roll of a gunfighter seeking revenge, it’s treated more like a comedy (such as the feel from Bandidas) than an actual drama.  This idea needs to change.

Women are just as capable of seeking revenge as men are.  They are just as adapt at gunfighting as men.

Annie Oakley wasn’t a trick shooter.  She was a gunfighter.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2014 in Fun, randomness

 

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Tales of Six Gun & Sorcery : Shameless Self Promotion


Tales of Six Gun & Sorcery : Shameless Self Promotion.

It’s time for another round of shameless self promotion.  There’s nothing wrong with it, after all.  I didn’t write a book to be humble about it.  I’m humbled by the process, but not be the result.

From 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.

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

Also, I have a tumblr dedicated completely to the adventures of the gunslinging elves.  Click the link and follow it above.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2014 in Black Mask and Pale Rider, Writing

 

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The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider at Goodreads


The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider at Goodreads

Rinna
Rinna rated it 3 of 5 stars
Dec 20, 2013

Callum Muir
Callum Muir rated it 4 of 5 stars
Nov 05, 2012

There’s been two ratings on Goodreads for Black Mask & Pale Rider (which sits at 3.5 stars out of 5), and it looks as though there are two more people who have it marked as to-read.

I love getting ratings on the book, but I’d love to even read a review. What did the reader like, what did they not like… that kind of thing. Ratings are awesome, but they don’t really matter if there’s not a review. Yes, I do know that often times readers can’t put into words how a book made them feel (even I’m lazy that way, and I need to do a review of a book I recently finished).

If you’ve read (by you, I mean all of my followers) The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider, please give it a review. Either at the site where you bought it, at goodreads, on my about page at wordpress, or send me an ask here. I appreciate any feedback that’s well crafted and considerate.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2014 in Black Mask and Pale Rider, Fun, randomness, Writing

 

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A 10 Book Layout


For the rewrite of Black Mask & Pale Rider, the series is going to end up being ten books long.  Each focusing on the location that the four elven riders will end up in.  This so far is just a layout, and it may change.

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Shani and Pania are introduced, along with their companions, Verit and Scales.  They discover the fabled gate between worlds, discuss the situation for a time, and eventually walk through.

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Shani and Pania find themselves in very different parts of a new world, as Shani learns she is in Carrolton, Arkansas, and Pania is in the young city of Chicago, Illinois.  The year is 1863.  This new nation, not yet 100 years old, is torn by war.  Shani and Pania have one goal in mind; find each other, and find a way home.

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After the two elven gunslingers meet up outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, they travel along the road toward a small village not far from Reading.  It turns out the village is plagued by a vampire.  Shani and Pania determine they need help, and make a call across the planes to Shani’s sister, Wren.  It is here that the three learn someone on Earth opened the gates, someone who wished to capture and enslave an elf.

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Having put down an ancient vampire, the three ride on south, stopping in the peculiar town of Franklin, West Virginia.  On the outside, it is a normal, everyday town.  But it is protected by outcast orcs, peace loving goblins, a mischievous leprechaun, and a werewolf who has become a United States Marshal.  And here in Franklin, the Devil’s Rider has come to haunt.

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The three return to their homeworld, delivering the final story of an ancient evil that plagued the elven world, as Wren presents the very story of the last years and death of this elven mage to the librarians at the House of Wisdom bordering the Desert of Semerkhet.  But they know they must return to Earth, and put an end to an even greater evil.

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The three come to Oxford, Mississippi, where a vicious band of outlaws controls the townsfolk with an iron fist.  Only the figure of J. C. Walker fights back as best he can.  This old Confederate soldier finds himself between a rock and a hard place when he accepts the assistance of Shani, Pania, and Wren, along with a Chinese migrant worker named Ming.  Can they put down the villainy that is Dorval and his boys?

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The deep south.  The three riders make it to Shreveport, Louisiana.  They follow the clues that will hopefully lead them to a powerful sorcerer and necromancer, but find themselves partnered with a newly freed slave as they investigate the strange occurrences at the Kingston Plantation.  They also meet a new ally in the lost Yoruba Elven Princess, Abisayo Temililou.

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Having transported the recently freed slaves from the Kingston Plantation across state borders and into the Free State of Indiana, the four riders hope to find some solace in Bloomington, Indiana.  What they discover is a lich.

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The experience of the Iron Horse, as the four elven gunslingers meet up with the charitable and reserved Reverend Carter Stewart.  But this train becomes a death trap that only the five can put down, as an old foe proves she wasn’t as dead as one would expect.

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The last stand.  Pania is stricken by malady.  Abisayo reaches out to those they have met through the world of dreams.  As the three elves find refuge for Pania, a group of First Nations people protects them, as Chief Whitecap agrees to find a cure for Pania.  Meanwhile, Slowhand Adams, Aurela Dorchester, Sherrif J. C. Walker, Marshal Martin Derringer, Ezekiel Morgan, Dieter van Bueren, Shontaya Jackson, Ming, and the Reverend Carter Stewart hit the trail to put an end to this evil once and for all.

Creative Commons License
The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider by Tim Holtorf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at https://taholtorf.wordpress.com/bmamppr/the-series/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://taholtorf.wordpress.com/.

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2014 in Black Mask and Pale Rider, Writing

 

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Book Review: Carmilla


I just finised reading Carmilla, a gothic tale about the first vampire story ever published.

Carmilla-Book

Here’s a quick synopsis of the publishing details from the wiki entry and from the Amazon page.

Carmilla is a Gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. First published in 1871 as a serial narrative in The Dark Blue, it tells the story of a young woman’s susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire named Carmilla. Carmilla predates Bram Stoker‘s Dracula by 26 years, and has been adapted many times for cinema.  Although Carmilla is a lesser known and far shorter Gothic vampire story than the generally-considered master work of that genre, Dracula, the latter is heavily influenced by Le Fanu’s short story.

The character of Carmilla is listed as a fictional lesbian on the wiki entry as well.  Now for the premise of the book.

Carmilla takes place from the point of view of the young woman, who is seduced by Carmilla.  Everything takes place from what she sees and experiences.  A quick synopsis of the book can be summed up in this Editorial Review from Publisher’s Weekly.

Generally acknowledged as a major influence on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, this novel, originally published in 1872, is the very first vampire thriller. Le Fanu, often compared to Poe, was a Victorian writer whose tales of the occult have inspired horror writers for more than a century. Seemingly by happenstance, the mysterious and beautiful Carmilla comes to stay with the young and virtuous Laura. Laura, who has been living a lonely existence with her father in an isolated castle, finds herself enchanted with her exotic visitor. As the two become close friends, however, Laura dreams of nocturnal visitations and begins to lose her physical strength. Through much investigation, the gruesome truth about Carmilla and her family is revealed. Though the basic premise of the story, that of evil targeting pure innocence, is familiar to anyone who is vampire savvy, this haunting tale is surprisingly fresh, avoids cliche and builds well to its climax. Particularly interesting are the sexual overtones that develop between the two women. Follows’s reading is flawless. In particular, her ability to capture Laura’s naivete so convincingly will have listeners feeling almost as shocked as Laura as the unwholesome truth unravels. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

The book itself was a very fast read, and contained a lot of the kind of prose found in novels and novellas published in the late 19th Century.  The language is flowing and robust, but quite easy to read.  Very good descriptions of the characters are given, and even the actions that each undertakes, although, all of that through the eyes of the young woman, Laura.

This book is an excellent addition to anyone who likes gothic tales, and in particular, vampire stories.  As what is considered the very first vampire story, it’s also of interest to note that it contains heavy lesbian connections while leaving a lot to the imagination of the reader.

For those looking for a book which contains queer representation, plus a good gothic tale, this early (even first) vampire tale is one to look for.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2014 in Fun, randomness

 

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It’s the day after my birthday, so…


…shameless self promotion!

From time to time I’ll post up information about the first book I’ve written, called theAdventures 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.

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.

 

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Let the research begin


So yesterday, I let it slip out that a friend of mine (Claire) began talking about making The Heroic League Project into an actual webcomic.  Right on!  Very cool!

I know less than nothing about writing comic scripts.  Yeah, I’ve written two novels, and even that process was long and tedious.  There’s a lot of background stuff that has to be done in writing a novel.  Everything has to be described.  So a lot of questions began cropping up; do I describe each panel; how do I set up dialogue; is this like writing a script for a stage play or television show which I also know zero about doing?  I needed answers, and I need to learn.

Fortunately, I live in the 21st Century, and there’s a thing called the Internet!

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One of the first sites in a google search (Creative Comic Art: Tutorial On Writing Comic Script Basics), plus three books I can purchase to help learn the comic writing process.  I’m all about learning what other writers have done before, especially if it means I don’t have to nag people (warrenellis, ruckawriter, kellysue, gailsimone, and mattfractionblog, you are wonderful writers whom I follow on tumblr, but I’m pretty sure you don’t want me nagging you about writing comics, ergo, THE INTERNET!)  Tip for the kids: the Internett can produce some good search results along with a large amount of crap.  You just have to be able to filter out what you don’t need from what you do need.

That one site alone won’t be the be all and end all of my research.  I’ll also most likely look into the three books they suggest.

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Which, I’ve also put all three of them on my wishlist at Amazon.ca (’cause, I’m Canadian and buy stuff through the .ca, not the .com).  Which reminds me, here’s my wishlist!  My birthday’s only 9 days away!

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2014 in Fun, randomness

 

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