History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Fun for Friday: Writing Prompts from Bustle

Posted By on August 9, 2019

Writer at work on a typewriterIf you’re searching for the perfect prompt to get you going, check out this list of 21 writing prompts from Bustle! While many of them are better suited for novels than short stories, there are plenty of ideas that could work at a variety of lengths!

Don’t Forget to Check Out My Patreon

Posted By on August 8, 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!

I’m getting close to my first goal, which involves a monthly video of me reading one of my stories or an excerpt from a longer piece! So if I get enough patrons, 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’ve also got a new self-published collection of fantasy stories, Denizens of Distant Realms, coming out later this month. A $3 a month pledge gets you an ebook copy of my new self-published collections and novellas (and even novels, if I self-publish those in the future)!

Review of The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar

Posted By on August 7, 2019

My latest book review is up at Mad Scientist Journal, this time for a non-speculative fiction book! The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar is a historical fiction book about the women pilots of the WASPs during World War II. It’s a wonderful look at a little-known piece of history, with compelling characters and excellent writing.

If this sounds like your sort of book, you can check out my review here or pick up the book here!

July 2019 Recap

Posted By on August 6, 2019

Dipping my toes in the Atlantic OceanBy the numbers:
Stories out at the beginning of the month: 101
Acceptances received: 3
Rejections received: 73
Stories withdrawn: 5 (+1)
Resubmissions: 128
New Submissions: 9
Stories out at the end of the month: 150

I had a huge number of submissions in July, and I finally received some acceptances to go with those! I haven’t signed the contracts for two of them yet, but I have signed the third, so I can announce that “Nochnaya Serenada” will appear in a special World War II themed issue of Curiosities later this year.

I wrote nine poems and finished a short story this month; one of those poems is for a themed call and hasn’t gone out on submission yet, but the other eight poems and that story are looking for homes. I also finished two flash pieces for a contest and the first draft of toad. I ended up scrapping the boots idea because I discovered that I’d read the call for submissions I was writing that for incorrectly, and I didn’t have time to finish it. And I’ve finished the first draft of the Lady Huntsman novella!

In August, I’m doing another Write Like You’re Alive challenge, but I’m sticking strictly to poetry this year. So that means I should be finishing 31 poems this month, plus my other writing. Which is:

  • One more contest story
  • Revise toad
  • Write the first draft of pockets
  • Start the first draft of Marsh 3
  • Revise the first contest story
  • Start editing briar (novel)
  • Write some book reviews

I may also have some Brass & Glass 3 edits to work on, and I’ll be putting out Denizens of Distant Realms this month!

Time Off from Writing

Posted By on August 5, 2019

The USS Constitution in Boston HarborWe spent the last week of July visiting the Northeast U.S., which was a place that Jeremy had never been, and I had barely been (save for a quick conference trip to Rhode Island some years ago). It was ridiculously hot the entire time we were there, and the wifi in the hotel that we spent most of our time was intermittent. So it meant I had a lot of time to NOT work on writing.

We managed to visit six states on our trip: Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. (And with those five new states for me, I have only six states in the entire U.S. I’ve never visited. Unsurprisingly, two are Alaska and Hawaii. The other four are North Dakota, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey. Amusingly, I looked into extending my trip and going to New York. But that didn’t happen because it would have been an expensive side trip to see my favorite K-pop band, and Jeremy wouldn’t have been able to go with me for that part of the trip.)

We got to see loads of historical stuff. We went to Salem (Mass.), Mystic Seaport (Conn., where the Mayflower II is currently undergoing repairs), Plymouth (Mass.), and Plimoth Plantation (the recreation of what Plymouth looked like in the 1600s) for our history fix. We also stopped in Providence, RI, to see H. P. Lovecraft’s grave, and drove out to Provincetown (Mass.) so we could see the Atlantic Ocean. We literally drove far enough into Maine so we could stop, put our feet on the ground, and say we’d been there. And we had dinner at a brew pub that was mostly in Vermont, but just a little bit in New Hampshire!

We capped off our trip by spending part of a day in Boston, where we went to the New England Aquarium (SO MANY PENGUINS!) and took a harbor tour, which wound up being very neat, as we learned a lot about the way Boston is pretty much continually growing by putting more wharves into Boston Harbor.

I did VERY little writing work. We went to a Starbucks one morning to do a little bit of work, and a wine bar another afternoon for the same. But even without doing any actual work, we were absorbing LOTS of information that will feed into our writing, including the aforementioned Boston continually growing bit (which is relevant to the Cobalt City Universe). So by taking a little time off, I got to relax while also refilling my brain!

Fun for Friday: Three Unrelated Things

Posted By on August 2, 2019

Today has some unusual and unrelated things to put together for a story or poem. A graffitied room with a blurry person standing behind a graffitied chair beside a table, a mama bear and young bear in the wild, and a cartoonish cityscape.


“Hashtag TPE” out now!

Posted By on August 1, 2019

Students on a campus tourBroken Eye Books has begun posting the stories in It Came from Miskatonic University to their Patreon, and my story, “Hashtag TPE,” is available now! It’s the story of a campus tour leader trying to keep all of her charges alive (and get them to enroll) during a tour of the Miskatonic University campus.

This is my fourth trip into the Lovecraftian universe, though this is the first time I’ve written a humorous story set in that universe (my other three all verge on horror, as they involve the King in Yellow). This was a fun little story to write, and I hope you’ll like it too!

If this story piques your interest, the It Came from Miskatonic University anthology will be out later this year with more stories set at a Miskatonic University where at least some of the characters are in on the existence of the mythos!

Review of Claiming T-Mo by Eugen Bacon

Posted By on July 31, 2019

Cover art for Claiming T-MoI’ve been a reading machine lately, and my first of several reviews is up at MSJ today! Claiming T-Mo is a wonderful speculative fiction, multi-generational novel involving otherworldly beings and family relationships.

You can read my review here or check out the book (out on August 13) here!

Nineteenth Century Pageantry in Unfixed Timelines

Posted By on July 30, 2019

Cover art for Unfixed TimelinesIn nineteenth-century America, pageantry became “a thing.” Many of the pageants had backgrounds in nativism and nationalism, and others delved into racist and classist origins as well. But in spite of (or perhaps because of) heir origins, they can be a fascinating look at American culture in that time period.

They’re also FULL of all sorts of interesting fodder for speculative fiction, as many of the pageants themselves had fantastical origins. The Veiled Prophet of St. Louis’s Veiled Prophet organization, was the Veiled Prophet of Khorassan, who the Irish poet Thomas Moore wrote about in his 1817 Lalla Rookh. Thomas Moore’s fictional Veiled Prophet of Khorassan was meant to be an indictment of dictatorship and tyranny, not the celebrated fictional ruler of St. Louis who came to marvel at the city’s many advances. But the basis of a fictional character gives authors something fun to play with within the history of the city.

My story, “Tarnish,” plays in that arena, with the Veiled Prophet being an otherworldly entity who interferes in St. Louis for his own nefarious purposes. If that sounds like your kind of story, you can read it in Unfixed Timelines or at Mirror Dance!

Off on an Adventure!

Posted By on July 29, 2019

Houses at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, MassachusettsWe’re off on an adventure at the moment, so I don’t have any writing advice to offer this week. I’m looking forward to a little time off from writing and to be reenergized when I’m back!