History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Fun for Friday: NaNoWriMo (or other writer’s block) Help!

Posted By on November 15, 2019

Writer at work on a typewriterIf you’re doing NaNoWriMo this month, you may very well be surfing past my website because you’re stuck. Your characters and plot have gone off the rails (if they even had rails to begin with), and you’ll do anything other than try to work on you novel right now.

You need these prompts, which the NaNoWriMo site says will get you out of a NaNoWriRut. They’re also useful for non-WriMos who are stuck, as they can spark ideas to get your story moving again!

Cross & Circle and Designing My Own Covers

Posted By on November 14, 2019

Cover art for Cross and CircleI’m now to a point in my writing career where if I need a cover for a book, I hire a professional. But for many of my early self-published books, I designed my own covers. The majority of them were photo manipulations of photos I had taken.

For Cross and Circle, though, I had to do the art myself, for the most part. I didn’t have any images of pecked crosses, so I made my own. With a bit of warping and layering of textures, I was able to get a striking book cover that may not tell you much about the contents, but at least it worked as a reasonably good book cover. It’s one of my favorites that I designed myself (though I am pretty proud of all the covers I designed), in large part because I was able to restrain myself and not go too overboard with it. Some stock photography might have jazzed it up a bit more, but I didn’t want this book to look like a romance novel (because it’s not). So the simpler cover was perfect.

Cross and Circle is available on Amazon or through Channillo!

Review of Into Bones Like Oil by Kaaron Warren

Posted By on November 13, 2019

My latest book review is up at Mad Scientist Journal, for a surreal Gothic-styled novella called Into Bones Like Oil. This book reminded me about the best parts of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, but geared toward adult readers rather than younger readers. The book just came out yesterday, so you can grab it right away!

You can check out my review here, or the book here!

I’ll Be at GeekGirlCon!

Posted By on November 12, 2019

Geek Girl Con logoThis weekend, I’ll be joining DefCon One Publishing at GeekGirlCon, on Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17. We will have a full array of our books there, including things I’ve written and edited! Come see us in the Vendor’s room this weekend at the Washington Conference Center (across the street from the big Washington State Convention Center)!

Additionally, I’m moderating a panel on GMing for Beginners at 10 a.m. Sunday in the Samus room. I’ve been on a similar panel in the past, but it’s a great panel for learning more about being a GM or even to get some tips if you’ve been GMing for a while!

When Sickness Overtakes Productivity

Posted By on November 11, 2019

Illustration of a woman with a thermometer in her mouthI got back from vacation last week and had one productive day before getting sick for the rest of the week. So I’m way behind on pretty much everything in my life right now, including writing.

Some folks are able to write through their sicknesses, and normally, I’m one of them. This time around, though, I’ve been really knocked back by this illness. Though I’ve wanted to keep working through it, I’ve forced myself to rest and take it easy, in the hopes of getting better faster. I’m on the mend, and hopefully everything will be back to normal sooner rather than later!

Fun For Friday: Three Autumn Images

Posted By on November 8, 2019

It’s time for another photo writing prompt, and as we ease into November, I thought some lovely autumn photos might do the trick. Of course, if you look at them in a certain way, this could also be creepy, especially the house in the last photo.

The first photo is leaf-strewn stone stairs, with a short stone wall on one side of the path, and a chain link fence on the other side. The second photo is aimed at tan boots being worn by someone wearing black tights and a gray or dark olive green skirt, with some autumn leaves on the ground and in the foreground. And the third photo is a two story gray house with a green roof in a clearing, surrounded by trees with colorful leaves. There are also colorful leaves on the ground, and a person wearing a blue shirt (or with really long blue hair) and a short brown skirt, carrying a while umbrella. I think there’s a gravestone near the house, too.

Have fun making these into a delightful (or delightfully creepy) autumn story!

Patreon Reminder!

Posted By on November 7, 2019

Link to my PatreonHave you checked out my Patreon lately? It’s a way for my fans to throw a small amount of money my way to support my writing!

If you back it, you get the opportunity to see some of the things I’m working on in various stages in the process. Sometimes it’s snippets from a short story or novel, and sometimes it’s a little bit of poetry. I also post weekly updates about my writing, though those are available to anyone who checks it out (even if you don’t back the Patreon).

If I get enough patrons, I’ll also start doing video versions of some of my stories, poems, or excerpts from longer pieces. So you’ll get to see my face, reading my words. I’d love to have the chance to do more readings, and while I could do them anyway, I’d like them to be a special treat! I might also offer a question and answer about the Brass and Glass books, if enough people are interested!


What I’m Reading, Watching, and Listening To, Early November 2019 Edition

Posted By on November 6, 2019

Clip art of headphones, TV screen, and cat reading a sheet of paperReading: Comic books, in theory. In reality, I’ve mostly just been re-reading things I’ve written as I revise them.

Watching: We’re slowly working our way through Legends of Tomorrow, when we have time. We’re still on season 2.

Listening To: My favorite K-pop boy band, Monsta X, just released a new album, Follow, so that’s on heavy rotation right now. Even if the first video they dropped from it almost made me cry.

October 2019 Recap

Posted By on November 5, 2019

No, I have not adopted another cat. This is the cutie I catsat for in October.

By the numbers:
Stories out at the beginning of the month: 164
Acceptances received: 4 (+5)
Rejections received: 80 (+5) (+1)
Stories withdrawn: 3
Resubmissions: 89
New Submissions: 5
Stories out at the end of the month: 163

October was a much more typical month than September was, in that I didn’t finish a whole slew of poems and start sending them out into the world. Instead, I had pretty normal looking numbers. I sold two poems, “The Lovers Across the Strait,” which has been published by Star*Line, and “He Who Is in the Place of Embalming,” which will be published next year. I also sold two stories, one of which I’ve signed the contract for. “Swift Vengeance,” a flash piece, will appear in The Weird and Whatnot in March 2020. The other story doesn’t have a contract yet, so I’ll hold off on announcing that. The other five acceptances in October are for poems I wrote as part of the August challenge, which I didn’t count toward my submission numbers. But nonetheless, five of my poems will be appearing in an anthology with other participants in the challenge, and I’ll post more about that when I have the information!

For the weird parenthetical notes after the rejections, those were five pieces for which the markets did not respond, and one market that went on hiatus and returned stories. The three withdrawals were for poems that were sim-subbed at the time they were bought, so I pulled them from the other markets. The five new subs were two flash, one short story, one poem, and a novella.

This October, I did Drawlloween again, though I focused on poetry instead of prose. There was one day I started a short story, and a few days I missed due to being overly busy with other projects, but I still finished 22 poems, and have 3 more to complete soon, along with that short story. So 26 out of 31 isn’t bad!

I didn’t finish “science!,” but I did finish “pockets” and revised my flash piece (and another one). I also finished the revisions on briar and decided to revise wasteland (which was the novella I finished).

In November, I need to revise and start submitting my poems from October, outline my next novel (codename: “beagle”), write the first draft of a short story (codename: “boats”), and write some flash and reviews and other assorted things. Nothing too onerous, because November starts my busy season for craft shows, which almost always correlates to a decrease in writing.

A Brief Break

Posted By on November 4, 2019

As I told friends recently, “I feel like I’ve been running three marathons at once.” This was a result of finishing up a novel and a novella by the end of October, plus a very hectic two days of work as everyone tried to get things to me before I went on vacation.

And now I’m enjoying that well-deserved vacation. The novel is off to beta readers, and the novella has been submitted to a small press.

Tomorrow will be back to the grind of work and writing, but for right now, I’m taking a break!