History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Fun for Friday: Rainy Day Photo Prompt

Posted By on April 6, 2018

Out of focus figure behind a rain splattered windowIt’s almost always rainy in Seattle, especially this time of year. So today’s Friday fun is a photo prompt of a rainy day. What I love most about this photo is how the figure in it is completely out of focus and obscured. That means it could be pretty much anyone!

Maybe you want to write about this unknown person approaching, or maybe you want to write about the person observing from inside. Or maybe there’s another idea that this photo presents!


Drumroll Please: Brass and Glass 2 Subtitle!

Posted By on April 5, 2018

Cover for Brass & Glass Book OneI’m happy to announce that after a long session of brainstorming, we’ve come up with the subtitle for the second book in the Brass and Glass series.

If you’ve been following my blog for a long time, you may already know that Brass and Glass: The Cask of Cranglimmering was originally just called by the subtitle. Brass and glass was actually a phrase used in the book that the editors at Razorgirl Press loved. Between that and the fact that spelling Cranglimmering isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do, we moved that to the subtitle.

But this means, of course, that the subsequent books in the trilogy needed to have subtitles as well.

Which means that it is now: Brass and Glass 2: The Long Cursed Map! I’m super excited to have this title in place, because it’s quite evocative. If you’ve read the first book, suffice it to say that you know what map it refers to. If you haven’t, get on that! Brass and Glass 2: The Long Cursed Map will be out in May, so you’ve got plenty of time to read the first one now!


Comparing Books and TV/Movies

Posted By on April 4, 2018

Cyberpunk cityOnce upon a time, I was one of those people who always insisted on reading a book before watching the movie or TV show it was based on. This failed spectacularly when it came to V for Vendetta–I finished reading the graphic novel DAYS before I saw the movie, and then came out of the movie complaining about how different it was. Because of this and other similar reactions, Jeremy has finally convinced me that if I want to love a movie or TV show, maybe I shouldn’t read the book first.

I didn’t take his advice when it came to American Gods, deciding I wanted to reread the book right before the show started. In that case, I only complained minorly about a couple of tweaks that they made to the plot. But none of them have been quite substantial enough to really annoy me. And in this case, I know that Neil Gaiman is involved with the show, and he’s agreeing to the changes that are being made. I trust him enough to suspect that he’s making these changes for a reason.

When it came to Altered Carbon, however, I didn’t read the book first. I ordered it when we had a couple of episodes left, but I waited until we were done to start reading it. And I think, overall, I’m glad that I did. There were a number of changes between the book and the TV show. But having watched first and read second, I’m better able to sit back and consider the changes from a storytelling perspective. Why did they make this change? To raise the stakes for the character in the show. Why did they combine those two characters into a single character? To simplify things.

At any rate, if you haven’t watched Altered Carbon, you should. And if you’ve watched it and enjoyed it, check out the book too, and see what you think about the differences!

March 2018 Recap!

Posted By on April 3, 2018

Stormageddon would like to be a gamer cat. He rolled a 5, and he thinks that’s pretty good. For a cat.

By the numbers:

Stories out at the beginning of the month: 25
Acceptances received: 2
Rejections received: 17
Stories withdrawn: 0
Resubmissions: 19
New Submissions: 1
Stories out at the end of the month: 26

Pretty standard month in terms of rejections and resubmissions. I had two acceptances, as well! One doesn’t have the contract signed yet, but the other is that “The Glorious Dead” will be reprinted at Bards & Sages Quarterly in July! The one new submission is a weird little spooky story, which I’m hoping to find a good home!

Aside from the submission front, in March, I finished my first round of revisions on Brass and Glass 2, and met with my editors to get their notes for the second round of revisions. I also worked on a few stories (damsel, shipping, twin witches, and rain) and finished “house” (the aforementioned spooky story), wrote a book review, and critiqued a story for the Fairwood Writers workshop at Norwescon. The list may seem a little brief this month, but we went to Philadelphia and Norwescon and launched a book for DefCon One Publishing, so it’s been a busy month in other arenas.

In April, I need to:

  • Finish my revisions on Brass and Glass 2. There’s a tight deadline on this mid-month, so it will take up most of my time until it’s done.
  • Start writing Brass and Glass 3
  • Finish revising shipping
  • Finish writing damsel
  • Start writing a new story, codename: “spy”
  • Review another book

I’m headed to Missouri for 10 days at the end of April, so hopefully I’ll be able to knock a lot of this out before then. I’ll probably get SOME work done in Missouri, but I’ll be visiting with my mom and sisters, so there may be more laughing than working!

Quiet Monday

Posted By on April 2, 2018

Mug of teaI’m back from Norwescon, and I’m working on getting my head around all of the things I saw and did while I was there. There will be posts about that soon, but for today, I’m trying to have a bit of a quieter day, despite needing to catch up on a great many things!


Fun for Friday: April Writing Prompts

Posted By on March 30, 2018

April Writing Prompts

April is just around the corner, so it’s time for April’s writing prompts!

This month, the words are mostly spring themed, but there are all sorts of interesting directions you might take words like “awakening” or “thrive,” for example. There are a few other things tossed in for good measure, include a couple of words that can be made from the letters of April (but those are harder to find when the month’s name is shorter!).

Check back on the last Friday of each month (or occasionally the first day of a new month, when that falls on a Friday) for my History That Never Was writing prompts!

Text version of the prompts:

  1. Rabbit
  2. Baseball
  3. Awakening
  4. Bloom
  5. Chirping
  6. Daisy
  7. Diamond
  8. Fair
  9. Green
  10. Hatch
  11. Kites
  12. Lush
  13. New
  14. Pail
  15. Pastel
  16. Puddles
  17. Rainy
  18. Renew
  19. Stubborn
  20. Rip
  21. Shower
  22. Earth
  23. Sprout
  24. Sweetpea
  25. Assist
  26. Thrive
  27. Umbrella
  28. Verdant
  29. Warming
  30. Floral


The Marsh Sisters are Coming Back!

Posted By on March 29, 2018

Cover art for The Trouble with the Tick-Tock TabbyThe protagonists of The Trouble with the Tick-Tock Tabby, Marigold and Chrysanthemum Marsh, are at it again! Their latest tale of excitement and mystery, “The Magnificent Matter of the Mischievous Monkey,” has been accepted for publication! I’ll give more details once the contract is signed, but suffice it to say, I’m excited to get another tale of the Marsh sisters out into the world where young readers will be able to read it!

There’s a theme to the titles of all of the Marsh sisters tales, and once upon a time, I thought maybe I’d try to write one for every letter of the alphabet. I’m not sure that I’ll ultimately go in that direction, though I suspect that there are plenty more adventures that my favorite girl detectives could have in steampunk Dover!

Review of The Bathwater Conspiracy by Janet Kellough

Posted By on March 28, 2018

Cover art for The Bathwater ConspiracyMy latest book review is up at Mad Scientist Journal. Today, I’m reviewing The Bathwater Conspiracy by Janet Kellough, which was a fast read for me, both in terms of book length and the page-turning quality of the story. I read the whole thing in under 4 hours on the plane back from Philadelphia!

I don’t read a lot of mystery novels, but this one injects a speculative fiction element to the mystery, so it was a lot more appealing to me than a mystery where the characters and situations could be pulled directly from the real world.

I’ve added a content warning to my review that I want to share here as well, before you go read my review: “It should be noted that the book does feature off-screen sexual assault and brief descriptions of the brutalized murder victim. Though the topic is handled in a respectful fashion, it may dissuade some readers from this book.” I think it’s important for readers to know what they’re getting into prior to reading a book, and this one definitely merits a content warning.

Don’t Forget: Norwescon this weekend!

Posted By on March 27, 2018

Norwescon 41Here’s a reminder that Norwescon is this weekend, Thursday through Sunday! And if you’re going to be there, you can find me on the following panels, readings, and autograph session. I’ll be at the DefCon One table in the Dealer’s Room most of the rest of the time!


The New, New Doctor

2:00pm – 3:00pm @ Cascade 7 & 8

Dawn Vogel (M), Kat Marier, William Sadorous, Kathy

Reading: Dawn Vogel

5:30pm – 6:00pm @ Cascade 4

Dawn Vogel (M)

Never Mind the Bollocks: – Punk in SF

6:00pm – 7:00pm @ Cascade 10

Alexandra Renwick (M), Dawn Vogel, Cory Skerry, Jon Lasser



Comic Book Adaptations

10:00am – 11:00am @ Cascade 9

Dawn Vogel (M), Dylan Templar, Joseph Brassey

SF/F Battle Royale

3:00pm – 4:00pm @ Cascade 9

Erik Scott de Bie (M), Dawn Vogel, Brian D. Oberquell

Anthologies Joy

7:00pm – 8:00pm @ Cascade 11

K.G. Anderson (M), Jennifer Brozek, Jaym Gates, Dawn Vogel


Star Wars’ Ever Expanding Universe

1:00pm – 2:00pm @ Evergreen 3 & 4

Dawn Vogel (M), Donna Prior, Patrick Hurley

Autograph Session 2

3:00pm – 4:00pm @ Grand 2

Chris Pramas, Galen Dara, Ken Liu, Matthew Wedel, Nicole Lindroos, Barth Anderson, Tina Connolly, Fonda Lee, G. Willow Wilson, Joseph Carriker, Kat Richardson, Nancy Kress, Sandra M. Odell, Tanya D., Curtis C. Chen, Dawn Vogel, Nisi Shawl, E. Lily Yu, Eva L. Elasigue, Jack Skillingstead, Joseph Brassey, K. C. Alexander, Lee Moyer, Meg Elison, Pat MacEwen, Patrick Swenson, Rhiannon Held, Scott James Magner, Dean Wells

Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading

8:00pm – 10:00pm @ Cascade 12

Marta Murvosh (M), Dawn Vogel, Amanda Cherry, Jude-Marie Green, J Tullos Hennig, Janka Hobbs, Tina LeCount Myers, Chrysoula Tzavelas

Tips on Reading Aloud

Posted By on March 26, 2018

Icon of person reading a bookThis past week saw me at two separate readings. The first was my friend Amanda’s solo reading for her debut novel, Rites & Desires. But we also put together a Cobalt City group reading, where I read one of my unpublished Cobalt City stories, along with four other authors in the shared universe. And I’ve got two more readings coming up at Norwescon this weekend–one solo and one with other Broad Universe members. And because I love a challenge, I’m reading two different pieces for Norwescon–a portion of Brass and Glass 2 for my solo reading, and a piece of a short story that will be published later this year for the Broad Universe reading. So reading aloud has been on my mind a lot.

The best advice I’ve ever received on doing readings has all come from Mary Robinette Kowal. She’s a talented author who also has a background in performance, so she knows what she’s talking about. And she’s collected all of her reading tips here!

If you’ve been reluctant to do a public reading of your writing, read through some of Mary’s great tips. You may find that they ease some of your concerns about reading aloud!