History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Unfixed Timelines available for pre-order

Posted By on May 23, 2017

Cover art for Unfixed Timelines
If you like alternate histories, you’ll love Unfixed Timelines! I’ve collected five of my alternate history stories into this collection, along with brief essays that talk about the real history of the events and places that I have written about. Three of the stories, “Donning the Helm,” “Veli Tis Artemidos,” and “Salt in Our Veins” are reprinted stories, while “The Glorious Dead” and “Tarnish” are new for this collection. The ebook is currently available for pre-order, and it goes live on June 1st.

From the description of the book:

Secrets buried under the sands of Turkey, the murder of a small-town sheriff, zombies at Vicksburg, otherworldly entities recruiting at a high society ball, and a daring escape from pirates. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and in these five stories, the two are blended into tales of alternate history. Each short story is accompanied by a brief essay detailing the history that the story twists.

This book will also be made available to backers of my Patreon at the $3 per month and higher level. So if you’d like to support me writing and publishing more collections like this, I’d be happy to have you as a patron!

An audio version of a steampunk story!

Posted By on May 19, 2017

The very first story that I published was “The Recondite Riddle of the Rose Rogue,” back in 2010. It’s been reprinted a few times since then, and now, it’s available in audio format as well!

This is a story with two young girls as protagonists (age 9 and 12), and it’s a very kid-friendly story, so you can listen to it with small ones around! The story was originally written due to the young daughter of a friend of mine mishearing “botanical garden” as “mechanical garden,” so it was written in large part for her. She’s a teenager now, despite the fact that in my mind, she will always be the three-year-old who saw my Halloween costume and said “it’s another beautiful princess!”

The protagonists from this story also appear in my novella, The Trouble with the Tick-Tock Tabby, where they get into substantially larger adventures!

April 2017 recap

Posted By on May 3, 2017

By the numbers:
Stories out at the beginning of the month: 17
Acceptances received: 0
Rejections received: 14
Stories withdrawn: 1
Resubmissions: 14
New Submissions: 1
Stories out at the end of the month: 15

April was a little bit more regular on the submissions front. Lots of stories to turn around, but no new acceptances. I did have one new story that started to make the rounds. And then, by the end of the month, I had a couple of stories that had returned to me that I didn’t get sent back out. That’s a project for this morning.

The writing front in April was rough. The first half of the month went well. I got another UT essay done, finished leprechaun, and made some progress on B&G2. But then we had Norwescon, followed by me getting the worst cold I’ve had in a long time, followed by a brief vacation with my family in Chicago. When I realized I was behind on things, I readjusted the schedule a bit, and here we are now.

In May, the goals are:

  • Write the last UT essay, edit all of them, and get the ebook pulled together for a hopeful publication late in the month.
  • Write the first draft of stamps.
  • Write four more chapters of B&G2.
  • Write reviews for a couple of books and an interview with another author.
  • Work on AustenWorld.

Ambitious, but I’m feeling better after my cold, and relatively well rested after my vacation. Let’s do this!

March 2017 recap

Posted By on April 3, 2017

By the numbers:
Stories out at the beginning of the month: 17
Acceptances received: 0
Rejections received: 7
Stories withdrawn: 0
Resubmissions: 7
New Submissions: 0
Stories out at the end of the month: 17

A quiet month on the submission/rejection front. Seven stories rejected, seven stories sent back out into the world. Still got a couple of stories hanging out there in submission land that I am hoping are just taking their sweet time to come back with acceptances. Two of them, in particular, are really promising!

In the meantime, I’ve been working on other writing, though I haven’t gotten quite as far as I’d hoped. Turns out that launching a book, even if it’s not self published, can take a bit of work and energy! But Brass and Glass: The Cask of Cranglimmering is out in the world now, and I’ve even gotten an email from a friend who is halfway through it!

I continued working on B&G2, though I didn’t get as far as planned. But I’m almost through chapter 5! I also plugged away some at arcology, but it ended up going on the backburner for right now. Especially since I  accidentally wrote most of a new, unplanned story (“leprechaun”) on the bus, and outlined a story that I’ve been considering writing for a while, but finally figured out the hook for it (“stamps”). I also finished up a couple of the essays for my upcoming short story collection. And I did finally finish my review of a short story collection for Girl Cooties and MSJ.

In April, my targets are:

  • Write more chapters on B&G2, with the goal being to have finished Chapter 9 by the end of April.
  • Revise leprechaun and start submitting it.
  • Finish the first draft of stamps.
  • Continue on the first draft of arcology.
  • Write another essay for the short story collection.
  • Read the novel that I just picked up for reviewing.

On top of all of this, we’re currently reading slush for MSJ‘s upcoming anthology, Utter Fabrication: Historical Accounts of Unusual Buildings and Structures. We more than doubled the number of submissions we’ve ever seen in one month, so we are frantically reading stories to select the ones for the anthology! I’ll also be helping Jeremy launch the fourth and final of his Kensei Tales serial stories, and we’ll be at Norwescon in the middle of the month. And then, at the very end of April, we’re off to Chicago for a few days to visit my brother and his family (along with my mom and youngest sister). So it’s going to be a VERY busy month!

Brass & Glass Book One available for pre-order tomorrow!

Posted By on March 24, 2017

Cover for Brass & Glass Book One

Razorgirl Press has announced that as of tomorrow (my 42nd birthday, no less), my novel Brass & Glass: The Cask of Cranglimmering, will be available for pre-order on Kindle! The book will go live on April 1st! If you like steampunk, action, adventure, pirates, whiskey, or weird monsters, you should definitely check this out! You can learn more about it here!

Edited to add: Here’s the pre-order link!

February 2017 Recap

Posted By on February 28, 2017

By the numbers:
Stories out at the beginning of the month: 21
Acceptances received: 3
Rejections received: 14
Stories withdrawn: 2
Resubmissions: 16
New Submissions: 0
Stories out at the end of the month: 17

Lots of news to share this month!

First off, I left you all hanging with my January acceptance, but I can now officially state that “Justice is Blind” will be published as a part of Bards and Sages Publications’ Society of Misfit Stories. It will be available for Kindle for 99 cents (for free if you have KindleUnlimited) on April 7, 2017.

Secondly, I had three acceptances in February. The most recent one arrived today, and I’m not able to talk about it yet, but I am SUPER excited by it. The other two were both reprints of a sort: Frostfire Worlds (part of Alban Lake) will reprint “Bringing Light to the World” in their August 2017 issue, and The Centropic Oracle, which launches tomorrow, will podcast “One for Every Year” (date TBD)!

The two stories withdrawn were one that had been sitting at a market that looked like it had dried up, and the other was based on a query that was not responded to. The former has gone back into submissions, while the latter, which is a novella-length piece, I’ve decided to self publish through DefCon One Publishing.

No new stories written in January, though I’ve made a teensy bit of progress on arcology. I wrote a couple of chapters of B&G 2, which is not as many as I would have liked, but it’s still progress. I did a bunch of research for the essays I want to write, finishing one essay and making some progress on a second. I’m still struggling to find time when I feel like I can sit and read the short story collection that I’m supposed to review–reading feels frivolous, especially when I have so many words that need writing. But I’m getting there.

In addition to my own stuff, we’ve also been putting together Winter 2017 for Mad Scientist Journal, and today we wrap up our successful Kickstarter for Utter Fabrication, which means we open the slush floodgates tomorrow!

In March, I plan to:

  • Write four+ chapters on B&G2 (should be at the end of chapter 8 at the end of March)
  • Finish two essays and start on a third for the short story collection
  • Finish the first draft of arcology
  • Start the first draft of twins (a new short story)
  • Finish reading the short story collection and write the review!

My other current project is my Patreon, which I just started a couple of days ago. There are plenty of neat rewards, but if I can get my patrons to kick in a total of $100 per month, I’ll write a piece of flash fiction from a randomly generated prompt each month! That will be fun!

January 2017 Recap

Posted By on February 1, 2017

Utter Fabrication cover art

The next Mad Scientist Journal anthology cover

By the numbers:
Stories out at the beginning of the month: 22
Acceptances received: 1
Rejections received: 18 (+1)
Stories withdrawn: 0
Resubmissions: 18
New Submissions: 1
Stories out at the end of the month: 21

Only one month in to 2017, and I’ve already received an acceptance and started a new story in the rounds. The acceptance is not quite finalized, so I’ll post more about that later. The new story that I finished was one that I came up with, wrote, and polished in a fairly short amount of time–it wasn’t one on the usual schedule. The +1 on rejections was a market that closed unexpectedly and returned all the stories they had received.

In addition to the above, I have:

One of my day job co-workers gave me a day planner, which I’ve turned into a sort of journal/tracker for my writing. So I now have a really good record of what I’ve accomplished in any given month. This goes along with my longer-term planner in a Google Doc spreadsheet, which I’ve been told is basically a Gantt chart. So I feel REALLY organized, which is good.

For February, I plan to:

  • Write more on the second book in my steampunk series (should be working on chapter 6 at the end of the month)
  • Write a couple of essays for my next short story collection
  • Review a short story collection for MSJ and Girl Cooties
  • Start writing a new story (arcology)

I’m also going to be doing a lot of work on Mad Scientist Journal in February, especially as we just launched our fourth anthology Kickstarter this morning. Utter Fabrication: Historical Accounts of Unusual Buildings and Structures, will be a collection of stories about haunted houses and other weird places. You can learn more about it (and back it!) here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bolthy/utter-fabrication-tales-of-haunted-houses-and-weir.

2016 in Review

Posted By on January 1, 2017

It’s time, once again, to look at what I’ve accomplished on the writing front this year!

My numbers for 2016:
Stories out at the end of 2016: 16
New Stories Written: 9
Old Stories Making the Rounds: 20
Total Submissions: 188
Total Rejections: 170 (+1, +3)
Total Acceptances: 8
Stories out at the end of 2016: 22

So my numbers for 2016 are pretty comparable to 2015, except that with more stories done, I’ve got more stories in circulation at any given time. The +1 under rejections is for a market that returned my story and asked me to resubmit under their new submission guidelines. But the new guidelines turned them into a non-paying market, so I chose to submit it somewhere else. And I withdrew three stories over the course of the year–all were stories I had submitted in 2015, and in almost every case, the market never got back to me, even to respond to me withdrawing the stories. I’ve got 22 stories out now, and I think three of them (at least) are in the final rounds of consideration for acceptance. So fingers crossed on that!

My goal for 2016 was to write 16 new stories. That clearly did not happen, but I did write 9 (almost 30,000 words combined), which is not half bad. I also spent a considerable amount of time working on revisions to a novel, which should be coming out next year. I’ve been holding off on talking much about this, because the release date is still somewhat up in the air, but yeah, a novel. By me. With a local small press. And it’s the first in a series. I’m kind of excited about it. 🙂

My short story acceptances for the year were:

  • “Donning the Helm” was reprinted at 87 Bedford (print and audio) in May 2016.
  • “A Dark Place” was reprinted in Disturbed Digest in June 2016.
  • “Miasma” was reprinted at Liquid Imagination in August 2016.
  • “Army of Me” was published in Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology (Cantina Press) in October 2016.
  • “Nochevieja” was published in Cobalt City Christmas: Christmas Harder in November 2016.
  • “One for Every Year” was reprinted at Quickfic in December 2016.
  • “The Recondite Riddle of the Rose Rogue” was reprinted in the 2017 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide in December 2016.
  • “The Recondite Riddle of the Rose Rogue” (audio) is forthcoming from Gallery of Curiosities.

In addition to the novel clean-up and the stories, I also wrote an epistolary serial novel on Channillo (Camp Haunt, which I plan to eventually rework into a more narrative novel), worked on a tiny piece of paid game writing, and worked with Jeremy to write AustenWorld, which is our preliminary Regency England Apocalypse World hack. I also worked a bit on three other novels, which I’ll work more on in the coming months (or years, in some cases). I released my novella, The Trouble with the Tick Tock Tabby, through DefCon One Publishing (which is our self-publishing imprint). And we edited and published Fitting In: Historical Accounts of Paranormal Subcultures through Mad Scientist Journal and a Kickstarter last spring.

I’ve already planned out my super ambitious 2017, of course. It involves:

  • 10 new short stories
  • rewriting an old piece of micro-fiction into a short story
  • 2 new novels
  • finishing up and editing a third novel
  • starting on edits to one of the new novels
  • writing 5 historical essays to accompany stories in a new collection
  • revising AustenWorld into something we might publish

Again, a huge lot of stuff that I’m planning to work on. One of the 10 new short stories has a first draft already, and 3 more of them are pretty heavily outlined. The rest are a lot less sorted at this point. And I haven’t outlined the two new novels yet, but I may be able to do those at the same time, because they’re the remainder of the series I mentioned above. The other novel just needs a couple more chapters, and then will likely require a substantial overhaul in edits, because I’ve realized that it might want to be a romance novel, which is a whole new world for me. The historical essays are to combine my love of fiction with my love of history–I have a lot of previously published alternate history stories, as well as some that haven’t found a home. So I’m collecting five of those into a collection, but I’ll be adding brief historical essays on the real history of the stories that I’ve told. I think that’ll be a fun and interesting twist. And the bones of AustenWorld look good, but there’s a lot still to be done if we want to publish a game, even if it is a hack of an existing game.

On top of all of this, I’ll keep on submitting stories and hoping to find homes for more of them, keep working on Mad Scientist Journal and our yearly Kickstarter (to launch in February), and work on more articles, readings, and other stuff for Girl Cooties, which is a website I’ve started contributing to.

Wishing all of my readers a happy, healthy, and productive 2017!

2016 publishing

Posted By on December 8, 2016

It’s the time of the year when authors are making lists of the stories and other items that they published in 2016, which are eligible for awards. And while my list is not extensive, I thought I’d do one nonetheless!

Short Stories

“Origin Story,” Black Girls Magic Lit Mag (January 2016).

“Salt in Our Veins,” Fae Visions of the Mediterranean (The Future Fire, May 2016).

“Army of Me,” Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology (Cantina Press) (October 1, 2016).

“Nochevieja,” Cobalt City Christmas 2: Christmas Harder (November 2016).


The Trouble with the Tick-Tock Tabby (middle reader steampunk mystery) (DefCon One Publishing, July 2016).


Co-Editor, Fitting In: Historical Accounts of Paranormal Subcultures (DefCon One Publishing, October 2016).

I had a large number of other stories published this year, of course, but these are the NEW stories. (Everything else was reprints!)


“Nochevieja” and reprints available now!

Posted By on December 6, 2016

I’m a little behind in announcing some story releases!

“Nochevieja,” which is the latest of my Huntsman stories in the Cobalt City Universe, appears in Cobalt City Christmas: Christmas Harder. This is another Huntsman story featuring the World War II incarnations of the Huntsman–Matthew Castile in the U.S. and Sarah Castile in Europe–but it’s set in Cobalt City, while Sarah is home for the holidays. In a way, it’s her last hurrah as the Huntsman in Cobalt City, as she settles in to a new role in Washington, D.C.

One for Every Year” has been reprinted at Digital Fiction Pub. This is my slightly creepy flash piece about an immortal young girl who finally realizes why she’s immortal.

And finally, “The Recondite Riddle of the Rose Rogue,” which holds the honor of being the first story I ever had published, has found a new home in the 2017 Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide from Dreaming Robot Press. This story features the girl detectives, Chrysanthemum and Marigold Marsh, investigating a theft from their home in the mechanical garden. These same girl detectives also appear in my middle reader novella, The Trouble with the Tick-Tock Tabby.