History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Fun for Friday: Random Word Generator

Posted By on June 8, 2018

WordsSometimes, you just need to find the right word.

Sometimes, any word will do.

If you’re in the latter situation, you may enjoy the Random Word Generator. It does exactly what it sounds like–generates a random word. Or words. You can specify things like the first and/or last letter, the number of syllables, or the word length.

I can see some definite uses for this outside of random fun. If you’re writing a poem and need a word with a specific number of syllables, here you go. Or if you just want a REALLY random writing prompt, you can click through this a few times until you get a word that engages your writing brain!

The word it gave me to start with (with no requirements given) was “sail.” So there you go. Your random word for today. Or you can go and get your own!

Brass and Glass 2 in the Wild!

Posted By on June 7, 2018

Cover art for Brass & Glass 2It’s been almost two weeks since Brass and Glass 2: The Long-Cursed Map made its debut, and it’s almost time to come see it in person for yourself!

Next Thursday, June 14th, I’ll be at the Indie Author Event at Brick & Mortar Books in Redmond, 6-8 p.m., with 19 other authors! We’ll be talking about our assorted books and signing copies of them! So be sure to stop by if you’re in the Seattle area to find out about a whole lot of awesome books from local indie authors!

Review of Transmigrations by Eddie Louise

Posted By on June 6, 2018

Cover art for TransmigrationsThis week at Mad Scientist Journal, I’ve reviewed Transmigrations, the steampunk time travel adventures of Doctor Petronella Sage and Erasmus Savant (of the podcast Sage and Savant). It’s a little bit steampunk, a little bit mad science, a little bit espionage, and a little bit sci-fi! If you like any or all of these things, check out my review or check out the book itself!

Want to hear me read stories?

Posted By on June 5, 2018

Link to my PatreonWould you rather have someone read you a story, or read it yourself? If you prefer the former, have you considered backing my Patreon? I’m getting close to my first goal, which involves a monthly video reading from me for my patrons! So if you back, you’ll get to see my face reading my words. And while I can make no promises about the helpfulness of kittens, Stormy and Foggy MIGHT decide that they need to help me read, because clearly I’m just awful at being a cat, and they like to help.

Summertime Excitement

Posted By on June 4, 2018

Sunny summer dayWith the end of the school year comes the joys of summertime, including a lot of vacations. For authors, vacations can be a disruption to their normal schedules. But they’re also very valuable as a way to recharge your writing “batteries.”

While you’re out and about on your summertime adventures, take a moment to look at the sights from a writer’s perspective. If you wanted to include this location in a book, what are the details you’d include? You don’t have to write them down, but just taking a minute to think about it will help you to keep your mind sharp for future writing, while still letting yourself enjoy your time off!


Fun for Friday: Art Prompts!

Posted By on June 1, 2018

Fantasy artworkRecently I was trying to come up with some prompts to give me ideas for a flash fiction piece, in preparation for some of the flash fiction contests I’m doing this summer. I figured randomly generating some ideas was a good way to practice in advance of getting the real prompts from the contests.

In looking for good prompts, I came across Art Prompts. Though it’s a site designed to give artists ideas for what to draw, it also works really well for authors looking for story ideas. In my case, I pulled a prompt from the character, object, and situation categories, and came up with a neat little idea for a flash piece to work on this weekend!

May 2018 Recap

Posted By on May 31, 2018

Did you know the Land of Oz was in Aberdeen, SD? I didn’t either. (It’s part of Storybook Land, and it’s because L. Frank Baum lived in Aberdeen for a while.)

By the numbers:

Stories out at the beginning of the month: 27
Acceptances received: 0
Rejections received: 30
Stories withdrawn: 1
Resubmissions: 36
New Submissions: 2
Stories out at the end of the month: 33

Things are ramping up for me in terms of submissions! Part of this is that I’m participating in a challenge related to submissions, so I’ve been on top of keeping my stories out there. I also pulled some stories that had been languishing in the pile of “I can’t find a market for this” and found them some markets. Having more things making the rounds and submitting aggressively means more rejections, but that’s a statistic that I’ll accept! Also, with the withdrawal and one rejection, I’ve resolved the last of my stories that were still outstanding from 2017. So everything that’s out now was submitted in 2018!

I finished two new things this month–one was damsel, and the other was a poem that I wrote on my phone in a single morning and had ready to submit by that afternoon.

In addition to the done things, I worked on a few different stories. One that I’ve codenamed HgMx is started, but I’ve had some false starts with it, and so it’s still not quite done. I also have continued working on twin witches, and I’m making some progress there. Spy got backburnered, because I’m not sure what I’m doing with that story yet, and I was writing a lot of stuff that didn’t seem like it needed to be in the story. I hoped to be 2/3 of the way done with Brass and Glass 3 by the end of this month, but my travel slowed that down a bit–I’m almost there, but not quite! And I finished 3 book reviews, down from 4 because we needed to post some other things at MSJ that weren’t book reviews!

I think that all of my travel is finally winding down, and I’m looking forward to spending a couple of months at home with not a lot going on.

In June, I’m planning to:

  • Get to the 2/3 point in Brass and Glass 3.
  • Finish twin witches, revise it, and get it submitted.
  • Finish the first draft of HgMx.
  • Write a couple of poems.
  • Write 3 book reviews.
  • Work on Austenworld again.
  • Editing for Battling in All Her Finery.

That’s a lot of work for June, but with less traveling, it’s doable! Looking forward, I’m signing up for some flash fiction contests over the summer, and I think those are going to be a blast. They don’t start until July, though.



Have you checked out Mad Scientist Journal lately?

Posted By on May 30, 2018

Mad Scientist Journal logoWhen I’m not working on my many writing projects, I’m the co-editor over at Mad Scientist Journal. Here, we publish a piece of fiction every Monday, told from the perspective of the world of mad science. We also share book reviews and other neat things on Wednesdays, and talk about real world science on Fridays.

We’re also going to be open for submissions during the month of June. If you’ve got something you’d like to send us, the requirements and information can be found here!

And, as a note, we’re always looking for books to review. The backlog isn’t too bad right now, so if you’ve got something you think we might like, check out our book review policy here!

Brass and Glass 2 now out!

Posted By on May 29, 2018

Cover art for Brass & Glass 2In case you were waiting for Brass and Glass 2: The Long Cursed Map, I’m pleased to say that it’s now available!

If you’re interested in a signed copy, let me know! I have physical copies (which aren’t available yet on Amazon). I’ll also be at some events in the coming months, where you can see me and get a signed copy!

The first event will be the Indie Author Event at Brick & Mortar Books in Redmond, on Thursday, June 14, from 6-8 p.m. I’ll be there with 19 other authors, and we’ll be talking about our books and signing!

The second event will be Spocon in Spokane, Washington, from Friday, August 10 through Sunday, August 12. I won’t have a table here for selling books, but my books will be available through the Marmot Market, I’ll be appearing on panels, and I’ll be happy to sign books for anyone who has them!

The third event will be at the Handmade and Haute Craft Show in at the Dryer Masonic Center Tacoma, on Saturday, August 18, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For this one, I’ll be representing DefCon One Publishing, but I’ll also have my books from Razorgirl Press. And if you’re a fan of my crocheted stuff, I’ll also have eyeball cat toys and F-bombs for humans and cats!

I may add more events to the summer, especially since July is currently wide open for me! So stay tuned!

And then there’s The End

Posted By on May 28, 2018

The End written in the sandLast week, I talked about getting lost while writing a story. This week, I’m back to talk about endings.

Figuring out where to end a story can be tricky. I like to have my endings all tied up neatly, and I like to end things with someone saying or doing something really clever. But that’s not always the best ending.

I’ve written a number of things where a beta reader read my story and then emailed me to make sure they had gotten the whole file. “That’s it? That’s how it ends?” they would ask. And in general, the answer was yes. That may mean I’m not the most qualified person to talk about how to write endings.

I think the most important thing to remember is that you want the ending to be satisfying to your readers. You as the author should like it too, but if your readers don’t like it, it could spoil an otherwise great story.

Rather than give any suggestions, let’s talk about endings in the comments. How do your favorite stories end? Post a quote (and tell us where to find it), or paint it in broader strokes and talk about the types of endings you prefer!