History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Fun for Friday: Etymology of the Day

Posted By on April 5, 2019

Dictionary page for dictionaryIf you’re a fan of etymology, check out Mashed Radish’s etymology of the day! Though it doesn’t seem to have any recent updates, there are a ton of word origins explained, complete with fun pictures!


Upcoming Story Releases!

Posted By on April 4, 2019

Cover art for Bargains anthologyI’ve got four stories coming out in April and May, three of which are in anthologies, and the fourth of which (which actually comes out first) is a quick read!

On April 12, you’ll be able to read my story, “Brick-Red Love,” at The Arcanist. This is one of the stories I wrote during Drawlloween (using the prompt of “bride”), and I’m thrilled with how it turned out and to have found it a home relatively quickly! It’s a very quick read, as it’s just shy of 800 words.

On April 16, Swords, Sorcery, & Self-Rescuing Damsels comes out, including my short story, “Princess Last Picked.” It’s a sweet middle reader story about a princess and her friends saving the day. This story was solicited by the editor (which is a really exciting feeling, by the way) and written for this anthology. It’s also where I learned the lesson “don’t give your characters Celtic-inspired names that you don’t know how to pronounce.” I wound up spending a while on YouTube to get some pronunciations when I learned this would also be released as an audiobook!

In May, Five Minutes at Hotel Stormcove comes out, featuring my flash fiction story, “Safe Haven.” This was another Drawlloween story (the prompt was “werewolf”), but one that I wrote with this anthology in mind. The premise of the anthology is that each of the stories takes place over the course of five minutes, so it’s another flash piece, only 660 words. I’m happy that the editors loved it as much as I did!

Also in May, Bargains will be out, including my short story, “All That Transpires Under the Night Sky.” The Bargains anthology was pitched as a collection of stories about deals with otherworldly entities. Around the same time I was asked to submit a story to this anthology, I dug up an old story of mine that I had never quite finished, and I realized it would be a perfect fit for this anthology call. Two things slowed me down a little. The first was that I had included stuff in the story that I couldn’t remember what I was doing with it. (That was an easy enough thing to fix, since some of them could just be scrapped.) The second was coming up with the title for this story. Jeremy helped me pick out a key line from the story, and I went with that as the title. Bargains is currently on Kickstarter, it’s already reached its funding goal, and backers get a preview ebook! What’s not to love about that?

I’ll have another half dozen stories out later in the year, but I figured I’d get a handful of these into one post!

Short Story Recommendation: Deacon Carter’s Last Dime

Posted By on April 3, 2019

Cover art for Deacon Carter's Last DimeOne of the really wonderful things about being an author is making friend with other authors, and getting to read their stuff. My friend Nathan Crowder writes amazing stuff, and he’s just republished one of my all time favorite stories of his, “Deacon Carter’s Last Dime.” It originally appeared in Crossed Genres Magazine years ago, and now it’s available as a stand-alone on Kindle.

It’s a gorgeous little light sci-fi story about hope and people doing amazing things. It’s worth way more than the dollar he’s charging for it. Go buy it, read it, and savor it. It won’t disappoint!


March 2019 Recap

Posted By on April 2, 2019

The kittens have taken up camping

The kittens have taken up camping

By the numbers:
Stories out at the beginning of the month: 56
Acceptances received: 2
Rejections received: 41
Stories withdrawn: 1 (+1)
Resubmissions: 45
New Submissions: 2
Stories out at the end of the month: 58

It’s been another busy month, with lots of stories going out, coming back, and going out again. I withdrew one story and gave up waiting on another, but otherwise it’s been the usual progress. I do have quite a few stories that are being held for second looks right now, so that’s super exciting.

I had two sales in March! One is still awaiting the contract, so I’ll announce that later. The other is that “I Believe” will appear in a future issue of The Future Fire–more details to come when I know which one!

My February acceptance that I failed to talk about further is that “Safe Haven” will appear in Five Minutes at Hotel Stormcove, out in May, but available for pre-order now!

I finished two new stories, “soul” and “cryptid.” The latter of those is one of my Drawlloween stories that still needed work. The other is a story that I wrote as a flash piece, but then decided to expand into a short story. I also wrote four poems as part of a friendly contest, but they all need some polishing before they enter the arena of poetry submissions (which is a whole different arena than story submissions, and one I’m not 100% comfortable in!).

I wound up not making the revisions to jack, and had to backburner swan and laboratory, but instead I worked on “bat” and “goblin” and finished first drafts of both of those. I also got a little work done on “yokai.”

I also finished the first draft of briar and worked on a lot of the edits for Brass and Glass 3. I have a little more work to do on the latter before I jump into my April projects.

In April, I plan to:

  • Finish revising Brass & Glass 3
  • Revise Wasteland as part of Camp NaNoWriMo
  • Revise “bat” and “goblin” and send those out
  • Revise four poems
  • Finish first drafts of yokai and swan, start on skeleton
  • Write a flash piece

Lots to do, with our niece visiting so we can take her to Norwescon mid-month. But I think it’s manageable!

Getting the Science and Fantasy Right

Posted By on April 1, 2019

Illustration of two trees, one in silver with a flower at the center, and one in gold with a fruit at the centerFor a long while, I didn’t write much science fiction because I’m not a scientist, and a lot of science concepts just don’t stick well with me. So it was easier to write fantasy and just use magic as the explanation for a lot of things.

But I like science fiction, and I wanted to write more of it, so I had to start doing some research and finding articles that broke down the concepts into ideas that I could wrap my head around more easily. (Writing most of the posts for Mad Scientist Journal‘s Strange Science feature also helped a lot with this.)

If you’re looking for additional help with getting the science in your sci-fi right (and also the details of your fantasy correct), check out Science in Sci-Fi, Fact in Fantasy. Here, you’ll find articles by scientist, historians, and more, writing about getting those details right in your writing!


Fun for Friday: April 2019 Writing Prompts

Posted By on March 29, 2019

April 2019 Writing Prompt List

After a ridiculously slow January, it feels like this year is just zipping past. Hopefully things will slow down a bit in April so we can enjoy the nice spring weather in the Northern Hemisphere. And hopefully those of you in the Southern Hemisphere are having a pleasant autumn!

This month’s prompts are spring focused, because I’m looking forward to warm days and later sunsets!

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. Melt
  2. Lair
  3. Air
  4. Leaves
  5. Daffodil
  6. Bird
  7. Garden
  8. Eggs
  9. Weather
  10. Bud
  11. Kid
  12. Violet
  13. Worm
  14. Life
  15. Liar
  16. Nest
  17. Caterpillar
  18. Rainbow
  19. Tulip
  20. Vernal
  21. Ram
  22. Bull
  23. Chick
  24. Sparkle
  25. Clear
  26. Flower
  27. Pink
  28. Grass
  29. Sprung
  30. Golden


Let’s Talk Historical Fantasy!

Posted By on March 28, 2019

Cover art for Unfixed TimelinesOn Saturday, March 30th (that’s this Saturday!), I’m taking part in a Facebook event for authors of historical fantasy.

Along with three other historical fantasy authors, I’ll be talking about my writing in that genre. My slot is from 1:30-2:00 Pacific time, and the whole event runs from 1:00-3:00 Pacific time! You can find out more about the event (and let us know you’re interested) here!


Movie Recommendation: Captain Marvel

Posted By on March 27, 2019

Funko Pop of Captain MarvelIt took us a little longer than many people, but we’ve finally seen Captain Marvel, and I can say, without a doubt, that it’s highly recommended!

Of all the Marvel comics I read, Captain Marvel is the one I’m most consistent with, because I like the story and I like how much fun it is. The movie did not disappoint on either of those scores. The chemistry between Brie Larsen and Samuel L. Jackson is fantastic, and I imagine they had a blast filming the movie.

It’s not all fun and games, though, as there are some serious topics as well. But on the way home from the movie, Jeremy asked me if I liked it better than I liked Wonder Woman, and I said I did, because it was FUN, whereas Wonder Woman was darker. The morning after we saw the movie, I had a better way of explaining it. Wonder Woman is grimdark, dealing with the first modern war and the horrors of war. Captain Marvel is hopepunk, in that even when there are difficult things afoot, Captain Marvel knows she can handle it (and then does).

In Sight of the Finish Line for Brass and Glass 3

Posted By on March 26, 2019

Boiling oceanI’m so close to the end of my second pass edits on Brass and Glass 3 that I can almost taste it! By Sunday, I’ll be sending it back to my editors for them to review. Then they’ll have one more round of things for me to tidy up, and then it’ll go to the copy editor for a final polish.

We haven’t set a release date yet (a lot of that depends on everyone hitting our deadlines first), but look for an announcement of that in the coming months! It will definitely be this year, and then the trilogy will be complete!

When Do You Write?

Posted By on March 25, 2019

Open books and pencilsDuring ECCC, I ran into one of my friends who I don’t see all that often, and we wound up hanging out for the majority of Saturday. While we were having a late lunch, he mentioned wanting to write but never having time for it, and he asked how I got so much done with my writing while holding down a full-time job, running a craft business and a magazine, and having hobbies.

I told him that my main trick was that I write during my lunch break, and that I’d finished a first draft of a novel in about nine weeks by doing so. Aside from that, I write three nights a week, and at least part of the day on Saturdays and Sundays.

In this friend’s case, he said his lunch break was when he socializes with co-workers and reads the news. He also has a million other things going on in the evenings and on weekends. For him, like a lot of people, giving up that much free time is something they’re unwilling or unable to do. But I’ve decided that I’d rather spend my free time writing. It means I’m behind on DOZENS of TV shows and haven’t seen several new popular movies. For me, that’s an acceptable trade off that reflects my own priorities. And there’s nothing wrong with having different priorities.

The trick, however, is that if you want to write, you have to make the time for it, one way or another. For some people, it means getting up early or staying up late. For others, it means squeezing in even fifteen minutes (or more) wherever you can find it.

But even if you only manage a single page a day (roughly 250 words, or so my documents tell me), you could have 365 pages in a year. And that’s WAY longer than my books tend to run in draft format (or even in finished format). Even a page a week would add up, especially if you’re writing short stories instead of novels. It just ends up being about making writing a priority for you, and then keeping it in that position, even when you could be doing other things that are less work.