History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

January 2022 Writing Prompts

| December 31, 2021

Tomorrow begins a new year, which is also a great time to take on a new writing challenge! This month, I’ve got some words derived from a couple of non-thematic lists I found, mixed in with some totally random words. So you may discern some themes from day to day, but hopefully the inclusion of […]

“Maija Spencer, Internet Witch” in Intercity Illusions

| December 30, 2021

Another one of my Drawlloween stories, I have vague memories of “Maija Spencer, Internet Witch” being written either on a plane or in a car (the plane while moving or the car while parked) on a trip to Missouri in 2018. Either way, I wrote it quickly and then cleaned it up later. It’s still, […]

Review of Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

| December 29, 2021

Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi (Razorbill, 2017) is a gorgeous young adult fantasy novel touching on power and inequity with an epic background of magic. The protagonist, Taj, is an aki who is able to eat the sins of other people to keep them pure. He’s recognized by his peers as being one […]

Dark and Creepy Books

| December 28, 2021

If you want some creepy, spooky, or otherwise dark reads for your to be read pile, I’ve got two of options for you! Volatile Figments is a collection of contemporary fantasy short stories in which the protagonists deal with the darker side of the supernatural. There are some horrific moments in some of the stories, […]

Writing Advice from Sherlock Holmes

| December 27, 2021

I like to share interesting author advice that I come across, and this post about 10 Elementary Tips for Writers from Sherlock Holmes struck me as a neat approach. Because it’s not writing advice from Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s what authors can learn by emulating Sherlock Holmes (definitely with less of the opium and breaking […]

Fun for Friday: Winter Photo Prompts!

| December 24, 2021

This week, I’ve got some winter themed image prompts that might also work for speculative fiction. Maybe they’re all related, and maybe they’re three very different places! The first image depicts a large but very slender crescent moon above the sun, which is above a bank of clouds or low hills, above a reflective surfact. […]

“One-Tenth” in New Moons Under Which to Sleep

| December 23, 2021

“One-Tenth” was one of my early attempts at writing science fiction that had a solid science background behind it. It also involved more math than I enjoy. But the end result turned out pretty good, presenting a statistician with an ethical challenge: how do you choose who lives and who dies when supplies are inadequate […]

Black Comic Book Festival Online!

| December 22, 2021

If you’re looking for an awesome online festival, check out the 10th Annual Black Comic Book Festival, online from January 13-15, 2022! It’s free to attend virtually. If you happen to be in the New York area and want to attend an in-person event, there are also some in-person events, including a shopping area. You […]

“The Sky Rock” in Old Legends and New Fables

| December 21, 2021

Sometimes, you’ve just got to write a silly story with talking birds and poop as the punchline. And that is, in its essence, “The Sky Rock.” It’s a very irreverent look at what Huginn and Muninn, Odin’s ravens, might get up to while they’re surveying the world for their boss. It’s a slightly different tone […]

NaNoWriMo 2021 Thoughts

| December 20, 2021

For the first time in a while, I tried to complete NaNoWriMo this November. If you’re not familiar with this annual event, it involves writing 50,000 words in the month of November. Which, for the record, is sort of a lot. I first tried NaNoWriMo in 2009, and I won … technically, in that I […]