History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

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Stories withdrawn: 0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).

Novella

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

Editorial

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.

November 2016 recap

Posted By on December 5, 2016

By the numbers:
Stories out at the beginning of the month: 22
Acceptances received: 0
Rejections received: 12
Stories withdrawn: 1
Resubmissions: 12
New Submissions: 1
Stories out at the end of the month: 22

Really tidy numbers this month. I had one story that I withdrew from a potential market after no response in almost a year. I had another story (a reprint) that had been making the rounds, but there wasn’t really anywhere to send it. So I’m holding that one for either a perfect reprint market or for a project I’m hoping to work on after the new year begins (UT1). No new acceptances, but I’ve got one story on hold for consideration!

I spent November at a convention, then sick, then doing shows, then sick again, and then doing more shows. So it’s been a rough month for writing, especially with the need to do a bunch of crocheting. I haven’t finished Kyra quite yet, but it’s close. (So close! 3 chapters left!) I finished blues and am waiting to polish that one up. And I polished up “green,” which is my one new submission for November. I also reworked my planned writing schedule, which is now scheduled out to the beginning of 2020. I might have a few ideas that I’ve been working on.

In December, I’m going to finish writing Kyra, polish up blues, and expand the story I mentioned last month. Then I’m going to outline a new book (BG2), which I plan to write in January, February, and March. I’m also doing a little bit of research, if I get a chance, for the project I mentioned above (UT1), which will get into the full swing of things early in 2017.

October 2016 recap

Posted By on November 8, 2016

By the numbers:
Stories out at the beginning of the month: 22
Acceptances received: 1
Rejections received: 8
Stories withdrawn: 0
Resubmissions: 9
New Submissions: 0
Stories out at the end of the month: 22

My recap this month has been delayed because we’ve just returned from our usual long November weekend of gaming and hanging out with friends and not getting a thing done. But seeing as October was a pretty slow month, that’s not too much of a problem. I’ve still got a lot of stories out on submission, but I haven’t heard back on many of them.  I did hear back on one, though–“One for Every Year” will be reprinted by Digital Fiction Pub, under their QuickFic banner. I’ll post again when it’s out!

My October was largely devoted to craft show stuff, but I did finish writing all of the pieces for Camp Haunt, and I made some progress on Kyra. I also finished writing a game that we playtested over the weekend, which required much more writing than I anticipated it would. Now that the playtest is over, we’ll eventually make some tweaks and try it again. Though we do have a number of people asking us to run it again for them.

November is going to be me finishing up the first draft of Kyra and the first draft of blues (finally!). I’ll also start on revisions for green and work on expanding an older story that could benefit from another thousand words or so. And then after Kyra is done, I’ll start working on finishing another of my abandoned novels, briar (which was supposed to be my NaNoWriMo last year).

Untethered Authors Disclose Their Story Inspirations for the Anthology (two involve Clippy!)

Posted By on October 17, 2016

Untethered - High Resolution

Where do authors get their story ideas, anyway? In honor of the book release for Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology, four authors divulge their inspirations.

Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology is a fictional collection of twenty stories about the intersection of magic and tech, so real life phone interaction must have meant something, right? Maybe. You might be surprised by the truth.


H.M. Jones: My story is probably one of the more satirical tales. It’s about a girl who loves her iPhone more than any other thing–her new job, her current crush, even her dignity. She either imagines or is correct in assuming that her iPhone loves and supports her, too. That’s for the reader to decide. My inspiration was my cousin. She says her phone is her best friend. It does more than any human does for her, she can shop on it, talk to her lesser friends, do homework and listen to music, etc. She loves taking selfies and posts them often. I like that she is unabashed about her love of technology. She won’t be shamed for it. Neither will Nessa.

Raven Oak: My husband was complaining about the Freemium model that has taken over mobile gaming and how dependent game studios are upon it working. The annoying pop-ups used reminded me of Microsoft’s Clippy, that annoying paperclip in the Office Suite who would constantly say things like, “I see you are writing a letter. Do you need help with that?” It tried to be helpful but was really insultingly irritating for me, as is the Freemium Model. I decided to write a story based on that.

Manny Frishberg (writing with Edd Vick): We wanted to write a story that combined the idea of a ubiquitous Personal Digital Assistant (sort of Siri with a vengence) and Big Brother-ism. Experience with versions of Microsoft Word’s “helper”–from Bob to Clippy–also informed the story, in the back of our minds, at least. Also we have been exploring the opportunities for speculative-crime fiction.

Jonathon Burgess: I’ve always wondered how Siri would really react to the questions we ask of her. Also, giant monsters. I was obsessed with giant monsters while I wrote my story.

Kris Millering shares “When I started writing the story I had a Windows Phone, but I actually bought an iPhone while I was in the middle of writing it. The purchase had an influence on the story because I, too, had no idea what all of these apps were, and it occasionally seemed like apps I’d never seen before simply showed up on my phone.”


Want to see what these authors did with the concept of a magic iPhone? Pick up your copy of Untethered: a Magic iPhone Anthology in ebook or trade paperback today. Find it at Amazon.com, Nook, or wherever you prefer to grab your books.

September 2016 recap

Posted By on September 30, 2016

By the numbers:
Stories out at the beginning of the month: 21
Acceptances received: 0
Rejections received: 18 (+1)
Stories withdrawn: 0
Resubmissions: 19
New Submissions: 1
Stories out at the end of the month: 22

The numbers for September are really clean and easy. No acceptance, but I did finish a new story (rain) and get that out for submission. The +1 under rejections is for a market that returned my story because they were revising their user agreement. They invited me to resubmit the story, but unfortunately, their new terms were not favorable. I pulled another story, which I don’t think ever got a code name, out of circulation because I’ve had several editors suggest that it ends too abruptly. Since it’s not super long at the moment, I figure I can safely write a little more on it. And I do have one story out to two markets right now–they both allow for simultaneous submissions, and I am beginning to think that the first market might be inactive.

In terms of other work, I finished the first draft of “green” and started on the first draft of “blues.” I also continued working on Camp Haunt. “Green” still needs revisions, and “blues” isn’t quite done, but it’s getting there. Both of these are historical fantasy stories–“green” is set in the 1880s, and “blues” is set vaguely in the 1920s or 1930s–I have a little bit of research to do for that one that will solidify that date. They also both have a touch of horror to them, but I wouldn’t classify them as horror stories. You’d think they’d be perfect for working on in October, but …

For October, I’m actually taking a writing break from short stories. This is primarily because I have a LOT of conventions and craft shows coming up in the next three months, one of which caught me by surprise, so I’m frantically crocheting in every spare moment. But I’ll still continue working on Camp Haunt, which I should be done writing as an epistolary serial novel by mid-October. (It will continue to be posted three times a week on Channillo for a few more months, though.) After that’s done, I’ll change gears and work on finishing my NaNoWriMo novel from 2013 (codename: Kyra), which was the last year that I “won” NaNoWriMo (finished 50,000 words). I still have about six chapters to write before the novel is done, though, which makes it the novel I’m closest to having completely done. So it’s first on my plate for finishing. I’ll return to short stories (and continue working on this novel) in November.

August 2016 recap

Posted By on August 31, 2016

By the numbers:
Stories out at the beginning of the month: 23
Acceptances received: 2
Rejections received: 17
Stories withdrawn: 0 (2)
Resubmissions: 17
New Submissions: 1
Stories out at the end of the month: 21

August’s submissions look about right to me. I had a photograph that I submitted as part of the 31/31 writing challenge accepted, so that’s one of my two acceptances. The other is that my story, “Nochevieja,” is going to appear in Cobalt City Christmas 2: Christmas Harder. It’s a fun little Huntsman story featuring Sarah Castile home for the holidays, and the Castile family’s New Years Eve tradition, stemming from their Spanish ancestry. (This was also my one new submission for the month.)

The withdrawn stories were not withdrawn per se, but I have a couple of stories that I’ve been trying to sell as reprints that I have pulled from circulation because I’m running out of markets that will take reprints of their length/publication history/etc. They’re just on hold, though–something is likely to open up eventually that will have an interest in them, I’m sure!

Outside of the submissions, I finished the first draft of “rain,” and started writing “green.” I’ve also been chugging along on my serial novel, Camp Haunt, and I’ve come up with a plan to start working on some of my old neglected novels. We’ve also been chugging away on getting Fitting In (for MSJ) ready to publish, and I’ve been helping Jeremy keep his stories/publishing on track.

For September, my plan is to finish the first draft of “green,” start the first draft of “blues,” and revise “rain.” I’ll also keep on trucking with Camp Haunt, and another project that’s been simmering in the background, which I’m not quite at a point that I can announce officially.

“Miasma” at Liquid Imagination

Posted By on August 30, 2016

My short story, “Miasma,” has just been reprinted by Liquid Imagination, along with a super creepy piece of artwork! This is a reprinted story that originally appeared in NonBinary Review in their King in Yellow issue. Oddly, I have a couple other King in Yellow stories or other projects in the works right now, or nearby on the horizon … sometimes things just really stick with you!