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I wrote some books!


I’m back from holidays!  It’s been a while, so here’s a thing!

I’ve made mention of the fact that I’m having issues with my laptop.  So, to help me get a new laptop, here’s a thing!

I wrote two books!

The first is The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider, the story of two elven women as they travel together across the Union and the Confederacy.  Magic, monsters, gunslingers and more are wrapped up in this book.  Set during the time of the American Civil War, this book mixes high fantasy with the wild west.

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.

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The second is called Canyons of Steel.  Canyons of Steel is a modern day western that follows the decision of John T. Walker, a high ranking member of a militant organization that tries to keep power in certain hands throughout the world.  It also stars Maxwell Running Cloud and Naomi Simonson, brother and sister who take on the guises of Hawk’s Scream and Grey Kestrel.  Western, superhero and sci fi.

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.

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The link above goes to my author page at lulu.com, and you can buy them in either dead tree format or in digital format.

Thanks so much in advance!

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The Year Is 1970


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Greenpeace saw it’s birth in 1970 in a Vancouver student dorm.

After a 32-month fight for independence from Nigeria, Biafran forces under Philip Effiong formally surrender to General Yakubu Gowon.

Black Sabbath’s eponymous debut album is released; often regarded as the first true heavy metal album.

Rhodesia severs its last tie with the United Kingdom, declaring itself a republic.

A bomb being constructed by members of the Weathermen and meant to be planted at a military dance in New Jersey, explodes, killing 3 members of the organization.

The 1970 United States Census begins. There are 203,392,031 United States residents on this day.

Israeli Air Force F-4 Phantom II fighter bombers kill 47 Egyptian school children at an elementary school in what is known as Bahr el-Baqar massacre. The single-floor school is hit by 5 bombs and 2 air-to-ground missiles.

Demonstrations against the trial of the New Haven Nine, Bobby Seale, and Ericka Huggins draw 12,000. President Richard Nixon orders U.S. forces to cross into neutral Cambodia, threatening to widen the Vietnam War, sparking nationwide riots and leading to the Kent State shootings.

In Washington, D.C., 100,000 people demonstrate against the Vietnam War.

The Who become the first act to perform rock music (their rock opera, Tommy) at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York.

Air Canada Flight 621 crashes at Toronto International Airport, Toronto, Ontario; all 109 passengers and crew are killed.

The Women’s Strike for Equality takes place down Fifth Avenue in New York City.

An assassination attempt against King Hussein of Jordan precipitates the Black September crisis.

Jimi Hendrix dies in London of drug related complications.

Palestinian armored forces reinforce Palestinian guerillas in Irbidi, Jordan.

The Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) kidnaps James Cross in Montreal and demands release of all its imprisoned members. The next day the Canadian government announces it will not meet the demand, beginning Quebec’s October Crisis.

In Paris, a Communist delegation rejects U.S. President Richard Nixon’s October 7 peace proposal as “a maneuver to deceive world opinion.”

In Liverpool, England, military officials begin tests for a candidate to undergo treat for a special project called Project Britannia.

In Windsor, Ontario, a canary yellow car is often seen driving near crime scenes, often driven by an individual dressed in a yellow trench coat and fedora.  The media dubs him Yellow Jacket.

Vancouver City Police and RCMP E Division place an unknown figure only called the Mannekin on the most wanted list.

Photographers in Montreal capture the image of a young man dressed in a red and white uniform with a maple leaf on his chest.  It is overheard he calls himself Canadien, and is fighting against corruption brought on by the FLQ.

In Detroit, Michigan, a black neighbourhood finds they have their own protector, as a figure dressed in the colours of Old Glory defends the people of the small district.  She is dubbed Free Spirit.

In 1970, heroes live among us.  They witness world events along side of us.  They make news, inspire, and become subjects of suspicion.  In 1970, five origins begins the fifty year history of The Heroic League.

 

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NaNoWriMo


It’s only a few days away.  And I’m planning on trying to give it a go once again.

Five-Origins-Britannia

Five-Origins-Canadien

Five-Origins-Free-Spirit

Five-Origins-Mannekin

Five-Origins-Yellow-Jacket

I’m giving it a go this year with my super hero group.  In a full book titled Five Origins, it will contain five stories which are the origins of the first five heroes to be dubbed The Heroic League.

Britannia – Melanie Cooper is given the opportunity to server her country and be a beacon of hope.  But at what cost?

Canadien – Teenager, Jean Pierre Turgeon faces the ultimate struggle.  To don the maple leaf and help protect his countrymen against attacks by the terrorist organization called the FLQ.

Free Spirit – Patriotism was never the fore of Regina Morgan-Simms mind.  She was always a voodoo priestess, but with her powers, she manages to don the colours of Old Glory to help protect her neighbours in Detroit.

the Mannekin – Wealth and power is meaningless if it’s not used to benefit your neighbours.  This was a decision Donelda Stewart came to.  But she also realizes with her ability to observe the socialite set, she can actually see just who the real criminals are.

Yellow Jacket – Richard Hargrove had always dreamed of becoming a police officer.  But thanks to a medical condition, he was rejected for police work.  This didn’t stop him from opening his own private investigation office, finding the use of a moniker helped circumvent acquiring clues for some of his clients.

The year is 1970, the world is moving on and advancing.  Imagine a world with super powered humans, those with mystical abilities, and costumed vigilantes.  Would the world be a better place?  Or would the events of history as we know it still march on?

Playlist

  • Simon & Garfunkle – The Boxer
  • The Guess Who – American Woman
  • Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
  • Alice Cooper – Mr & Misdemeanor
  • Elton John – Take Me To The Pilot
  • The Beatles – Let It Be
  • Supertramp – It’s A Long Road
  • Stevie Wonder – Signed Sealed Delivered
  • Aretha Franklin – One Way Ticket
  • James Brown – Brother Rapp (Part I & II)
  • Black Sabbath – Paranoid
  • Led Zepplin – Immigrant Song
  • The Doors – Roadhouse Blues
  • Jefferson Airplane – Somebody To Love
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival – Have You Ever Seen The Rain
  • Jackson 5 – ABC
  • Diana Ross – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
  • The Temptations – Ball of Confusion
  • Aretha Franklin – Border Song (Holy Moses)
  • Free – All Right Now
  • Wilson Picket – Sugar, Sugar
  • Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – Tears of a Clown
 

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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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Heroic League Development


Had a very long talk with a friend of mine who has done some artwork in the past (Clarissa, she did the cover to The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider).  We were discussing the Heroic League Project.

We are seriously looking into moving forward and making it into a webcomic.  Right now it’s in the discussion phase, we’re talking character designs, fashions of the 70s, vehicles, locations, appearances of characters, and it’ll move toward some other things in the future.

But now I need to learn how to write comic scripts and set up story boarding, so I’ve got that to look forward to.

So yeah.  Webcomic.  Right now in discussion.

 

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Heoric League Project: Valley of the Damned


And early work from Canyons of Steel, as John Walker takes his team and joins agents from the FBI, CIA, Interpol, the RCMP, MI5, and the Mossad to take down a group affiliated with the old Nazi Party of World War II, a group of powerful mages known as the Weavers, and an ancient elven vampire.

Science fiction, fantasy, and super heroes collide as Walker enters the Valley of the Damned.

Valley of the Damned

Creative Commons License
The Heroic League by Tim Holtorf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://taholtorf.wordpress.com/c-o-s/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://taholtorf.wordpress.com/.

Creative Commons License
Canyons of Steel by Tim Holtorf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at taholtorf.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://taholtorf.wordpress.com/c-o-s/.

 

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Story prompts


I’ve posted this to my tumblr, but I’ll take them here as well.

Comment on this post with story prompt ideas and I’ll write short pieces with characters of the Heroic League Project.

For a complete list of the characters thus far in the project, click this underlined link thingy here, and read up on the different characters you’d like to see in a short story.  Or, just comment here with a prompt and I’ll choose the characters best fitting for it and write it.

I’ll take prompts over the next couple of days and write them up on the weekend.

 

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The Origin of Silver Spring, Saskatchewan


When I came to Silver Spring, Saskatchewan, people asked me where I was from and I’d answer with Winnipeg, and that was it. There was no follow up question of where my parents were from, though, when the two or three Palestinian families found out my parents were from Palestine, they’d invite me to dinner whenever they had the chance. Here in Silver Spring, if you’re brown, it’s not uncommon. At the turn of the century, immigrant workers from China, Korea, India, Pakistan, and several places in the Middle East and North Africa, settled in what was to become Silver Spring on land that was part of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation. The tribal council protected them, said that they were a part of their family. That may have been an ideology held over from Chief Whitecap, who greeted John Lake in the 1880s and became good friends with him. Here in Silver Spring, there’s a mosque across the street from a United Church, down the street from the Anglican Church, which is across the back alley from a Sikh temple. Here in Silver Spring, there’s a municipal police force made up of members who are Asian, First Nation, and Middle Eastern. We don’t have an RCMP detachment. Here in Silver Spring, there are cattle ranchers, wheat farmers, bankers, medical workers, teachers, and lawyers. Here in Silver Spring, being white means you’re a minority, and that’s okay. For two generations, Silver Spring, Saskatchewan has been a place where immigrants could come without prejudice. Of all the places in this bread basket province, it was Silver Spring that became known throughout many places in Asia, the Middle East, and Northern Africa. Silver Spring was the place if you wanted to emigrate to Canada, you knew you could go and be safe. Sure, we have had our problems, we’ve had crime. But for the most part, it was idiot rednecks who’d waste gas by driving down from Saskatoon. Silver Spring, Saskatchewan was like the Moose Jaw tunnels, before Al Capone began using them to smuggle rum and whiskey. Except Silver Spring was out in the open, completely visible. It was defiant to the Canadian government at the time. Silver Spring said, with one voice, we’re here and we’re not going anywhere.~Fadra Englen, from the first draft works of Spirit of the Hawk, an entry into The Heroic League Project.  Here, she describes Silver Spring, Saskatchewan, a fictitious town on the Whitecap Dakota First Nation.

I sometimes get asked the question of how I came up with a fictitious town in West Central Saskatchewan on the Whitecap Dakota First Nation.  Silver Spring arose from two separate things.  The first came from needing a place to put a character and become a part of the entire Heroic League Project.  That was Fadra Englen, a first generation Canadian born to Palestinian immigrants.  She’d become a doctor, which arose from a genetic mutation she had.  She became interested in human science.  So, that would mostly mean that she’d be better off in a larger city?  Not really, because the Whitecap Dakota First Nation is not far from Saskatoon, and is home to a large research area on the University of Saskatchewan campus.  Called Innovation Place, its home to the Canadian Lightsource Synchrotron.  Fadra could practice medicine, and continue on with her research.

Silver Spring also came about thanks to two very important parts of Saskatchewan history.  The first is much more uplifting than the second.

During the 1860’s, Chief Whitecap moved his people from Minnesota north into the South Saskatchewan River Valley.  By the 1870’s, there was interest from Eastern settlers to start a settlement on the South Saskatchewan River.  John Lake, who wanted to start a temperance colony (temperance meant no alcohol), met with Chief Whitecap who showed Lake some of the best areas to settle.  Whitecap became good friends with Lake, and with many of the settlers who came to create what would become the City of Saskatoon.  During the Northwest Rebellion of 1885, Gabriel Dumont petitioned Whitecap for warriors to fight the government and the Northwest Mounted.  Whitecap agreed but only on the condition that the settlement of Saskatoon remained untouched.  There would be no conflict that would reach those settlers.

The second piece of history comes from Moose Jaw, which aside from having a rather unfortunate and odd name, has a rather dark history.  The Moose Jaw tunnels are a series of tunnels and rooms that run underneath the city.  They are best known as being a place where Al Capone had set up a rum and whiskey running operation, to get the illegal spirits from Canada to south of the border.  There were a few Saskatchewan towns and cities that had Capone’s operations, but Moose Jaw is the most famous.  Before Capone, however, those tunnels where home to Chinese migrant workers.  Often indentured workers, they were hidden away in the tunnels, and forced to work in order to pay off debts or even some way to pay for their families to come to Canada.  Immigration Officials would often search for Chinese workers, and were often foiled.

Moose Jaw wasn’t the only place that had Chinese workers in Saskatchewan.  But it is the most famous.

Putting all of that together, I often though what if a group of immigrants settled on the Whitecap Dakota First Nation.  There’d most likely be huge amounts of paper work, politics and so on, but Whitecap’s people were very peace loving.  They were cattle ranchers, for the most part.

Thus, Silver Spring was born.  As I planned it out, it became home to people of Chinese, Korean, Indian, Pakistani, Middle Eastern and North African ancestry.  The town’s population in today’s terms would be about 3,000 to 4,000.  It would also incorporate some of the things I’ve seen happen in other communities where a non-Native populous near or on Reserve land would cohabit.  The two groups would benefit from each other.

This has become part of the Heroic League Project, in the chapter called Spirit of the Hawk.  The main characters for this story include Professor Maxwell Running Cloud, Lawrence Chaumers, Fadra Englen, Naomi Simonson (nee Running Cloud) and her son Petey, and Fena Englen (Fadra’s younger sister and a doctor of marine biology).  While set in the world of super heroes and fantastic adventures, there’s also a very human element to Silver Spring.

Both Maxwell Running Cloud and Naomi Simonson have appeared in a previously published work of mine (which I’m going to be inserting into the timeline of the Heroic League Project) called Canyons of Steel.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2014 in Canyons of Steel, Hawk's Scream, Writing

 

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Heroic League Project: Dr. Fadra Englen and Dr. Fena Englen


“I swear to Allah, if you do not get out of this surgical theater I will make you scrub and assist.”

Dr. Fadra Englen
Real Name: Fadra Englen
Born: January 15, 1974, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Affiliations: Canadian Medical Association, The Association of Canadian Medical Faculties, Canadian Health Care Association, Saskatchewan Medical Association, Shock Treatment Air Rescue Society (STARS), Medical Genetics Research Group – Saskatchewan, Medical Genetics Research Group – Manitoba
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 210 lbs
Powers: Regenerative abilities, increased strength, excellent vision, excellent hearing
Current residence: Silver Spring, Saskatchewan
History:
Fadra has always had a fascination for genetics since she was a girl.  The oldest daughter of Palestinian immigrants, she was born with a genetic mutation that doctors later learned had similar traits to that found in panthera tigris; the common tiger.  Physical changes gave her heightened strength, better than average hearing and vision, and it is still unknown why she has a regenerative ability, but wounds she receives heal over a rapid amount of time.  Hey eyes are yellow with cat like features, and her nails grow more like claws, and there is also a tell tale markings of what looks like tiger striping on her skin.  Her hair also grows at an incredible rate, which she keeps tucked neatly under her hijab.  It was thanks to her genetic mutation that she became interested in a career in medicine.  Graduating from med school at the University of Saskatchewan, she took a posting at the Silver Spring Hospital on the Whitecap Dakota First Nation due to it’s close proximity to the Canada Light Source Synchrotron in Saskatoon.  Fadra has become the go to doctor for the super hero community.  She is often consulted when those who have genetic mutations come forward, as she treats her patients like a person and not a test subject.  The super hero community came to her defense after the events of 9/11 when CSIS, the RCMP, the FBI, the CIA and MI5 wanted to question her about her affiliation with Muslim extremists.  She is a follower of Islam, and many authorities believed she had connection to terrorist activities (which she doesn’t).  Fadra is a volunteer doctor on call with the Shock Treatment Air Rescue Society (STARS), and has often gone into the air with the air ambulance helicopters that service Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“Yeah, I’m a marine biologist.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t know classical poetry.  Get a fuckin’ library card and take out a book sometime, maybe you’ll find the stick shoved up your ass while you’re at it.”

Dr. Fena Englen
Real Name: Fena Englen
Born: December 5, 1978, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Affiliations: Greenpeace, New Summit Environmental – Nova Scotia, Econet – Saskatchewan, Manitoba Econetwork, Canadian Environmental Network, Climate Action Network, David Suzuki Foundation
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 200 lbs
Powers: Regenerative abilities, increased strength, excellent vision, excellent hearing
Current residence: Halifax, Nova Scotia
History:
The second and youngest daughter of Palestinian immigrants, Fena is much like her sister, Fadra, having grown up with the same genetic mutation.  There are differences between the sisters; while Fadra is a moderate Muslim and does wear the hijab, Fena does not; Fadra is a vegetarian while Fena is a vegan; Fadra took an interest in human genetics while Fena was more interested in the natural world (which began with the chant of Save The Whales).  Fena became a biologist in order to study the effects mankind was having on the world.  She believed the continued and increased mining and use of fossil fuels was something that would increase genetic mutations not only in land and sea animals, but in humans as what had happened to herself and her sister.  She became politically active and defends the realities of climate change, and is a member of Greenpeace.  Often she has boarded the ships that have gone to protest open sea oil drilling, and has volunteered for cleanup after an oil spill takes place.  She has become a voice of the environment, going to the media whenever a spill takes place, often fighting the corporation that is trying to keep it quiet.  Fena being a Muslim is just icing on the cake for some national security organizations, as she’s already on the terrorist watch list for her association with Greenpeace.  Often called the Tiger of the Sea by NSA and CSIS officials, she is branded an eco-terrorist.  Though no organization has any evidence that can be used to hold her for any wrong doing as they have no evidence of such wrong doing.

NOTE: Fena and Fadra both have very feline like teeth, with large canines almost like fangs, they enjoy smiling at each other when they meet, displaying in a wide grin their teeth to each other.  It’s become a thing the two do, and has nothing to do with tigers at all.  Some who know them believe they actually enjoy some of the unsettled looks they get from people.

Creative Commons License
The Heroic League by Tim Holtorf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://taholtorf.wordpress.com/c-o-s/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://taholtorf.wordpress.com/.

 

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