History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

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Stories withdrawn: 1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Stories withdrawn: 0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!

July 2016 recap

Posted By on August 2, 2016

By the numbers:
Stories out at the beginning of the month: 20
Acceptances received: 0
Rejections received: 19
Stories withdrawn: 1
Resubmissions: 21
New Submissions: 1
Stories out at the end of the month: 23

This month has mainly been about keeping stories moving–a rejection comes in, back out that story goes. I did have one story that I withdrew, as the market was unresponsive. The rights reverted on another story, so that one is back in circulation. And I finished something new!

The something new was a little bit odd. I had signed up for Zoetic Press’s Write Like You’re Alive challenge. The idea was to write something every day of the month. I did not succeed at that, though I did pretty well. Most of what I worked on was Camp Haunt. But I also submitted a photograph and my first ever legitimate attempt at writing song lyrics. (I am not counting the weird snippets of songs I wrote in college as real song lyrics, because they never got farther than perhaps one verse and a chorus… if that.)

I came very close to finishing one of my two Cobalt City stories, but I didn’t actually finish it in July. The other one got backburnered, as did “green.”

August will be dedicated to getting that second Cobalt City story into shape (maybe not quite done, but close), and starting on writing “green.” Because I’m having a surprisingly busy crafting month in August, I’m easing up on my writing schedule. But I am giving myself a personal challenge to work on more songwriting, so we’ll see what comes of that. Could end up accidentally committing poetry again. Who knows!

The Trouble with the Tick-Tock Tabby now available!

Posted By on July 12, 2016


If you’ve been following me since the beginning, you might recognize the protagonists of my new novella, just out today! The Marsh sisters, who debuted in my very first published short story, “The Recondite Riddle of the Rose Rogue,” are back in action in The Trouble with the Tick-Tock Tabby!

From the book: “Chrysanthemum and Marigold Marsh, girl detectives, investigate a break-in at their family’s mechanical garden, and discover the culprit is a mechanical cat. After learning that the mechanical cat has only a limited power supply, they must find the cat to return it to its owner. But Dover is a big place, and there are Built Boys, a carnival, and a man called Solomon standing in their way. They’ll need help from Inspector Gaspard Greymoor and his constables in order to rescue the mechanical cat before it’s too late!”

The Trouble with the Tick-Tock Tabby is written for a middle-grade audience. It is appropriate for kids of all ages, but it’s written at roughly a 4th grade reading level. It’s available in ebook format only, at the moment, but I hope to get it into print sooner rather than later!

June 2016 recap

Posted By on June 30, 2016

By the numbers:
Stories out at the beginning of the month: 22
Acceptances received: 1
Rejections received: 14
Stories withdrawn: 0
Resubmissions: 14
New Submissions: 0
Stories out at the end of the month: 20

(My numbers seem off, but I can’t figure out why right now.)

June wound up being a strange month, in which I didn’t get as much done as I was hoping to. I’ve been keeping up with writing Camp Haunt, which is my serialized epistolary novel on Channillo, so that’s good. I’m making progress on a couple of stories in the Cobalt City universe, but neither is done yet. But we fell behind on reading through The Trouble with the Tick-Tock Tabby, which means that’s going to be slightly delayed. We’ll probably have ebooks out in the next couple of weeks, but the print books might not be until the end of July, so not in time for the event that I wanted them for. Ah well, c’est la vie!

In the midst of all of that, I do have one acceptance that I can mention! “The Recondite Riddle of the Rose Rogue” (which serves as a sort of prequel to Tick-Tock Tabby) will be reprinted in the next Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide, which is the third of that title. (I’ve also got other exciting news, but I haven’t signed the contract yet on that one, so you’ll have to wait for the official announcement soon!)

July will be more work on the Cobalt City stories and Camp Haunt. I’m also participating in the Write Like You’re Alive challenge that the fine folks at NonBinary Review are putting together. The goal is to create something every day of July, which can be writing but can also be art or something else creative. My plan is to write on my various projects AND a new story (codename: green). Assuming I can get the new story done, it will then go into an anthology that they’re putting together for those who successfully complete the challenge! Any rate, looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me!


“A Dark Place” reprinted in Disturbed Digest

Posted By on June 15, 2016

I’m happy to announce that my story, “A Dark Place,” which was originally published at Fictionvale, is now available in the June 2016 issue of Disturbed Digest. This is the second of my stories that have been reprinted by Alban Lake Publishing, and I was really pleased with how nice the print version looked! Can’t wait to have this one in my grubby little hands!