History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Fun for Friday: Writing about Cold

| November 24, 2017

In the northern hemisphere, the weather is either already cold or starting to turn in that direction, so it’s a great time to think about writing about the cold. Some authors describe the cold so well that you can feel it–I experienced this while reading the Song of Fire and Ice series in the middle […]

Fun for Friday: Weird Word Origins, Thanksgiving Edition

| November 17, 2017

Just in time to impress your friends and family members around the Thanksgiving table, here is a list of the origins of ten common Thanksgiving words. In addition it talks a little bit about what goes into some of the foods we consume at Thanksgiving, including why marshmallows really aren’t marshmallows any more! So whether […]

Fun for Friday: Autumn Leaves Story Seeds

| November 10, 2017

One of my favorite things about autumn is the leaves. I grew up in the Midwest, so for me, the colors are amazing, there’s a smell in the air from people burning leaves, and you can crunch through the ones on the sidewalk. All of these things are much less true in Seattle, but every […]

Fun for Friday: Mystery Words!

| November 3, 2017

More fun for us word nerds! This article compiles a list of fifteen common English words for which the etymology cannot be determined. What’s mind boggling to me is that several of the words on the list go together well, meaning there are whole phrases that are commonly used that people don’t know the etymology […]

Fun for Friday: More Spooky Writing Prompts!

| October 27, 2017

Since my last batch of spooky writing prompts had quite a few on the darker side of things, I decided to lighten it up this week with 7 Quick Halloween Writing Prompts that are designed for younger writers. This batch has plenty with a good Halloween theme, and they only need to be dark and […]

Fun for Friday: Spooky Etymologies

| October 20, 2017

English words come from all sorts of interesting places, but here’s a list of words with “spooky” etymologies. While some of these words may have spookier origins than others, it’s interesting to see the way words have shifted from their original roots to their modern meanings. I was particularly interested in the origins of “cobalt,” […]

Fun for Friday: Spooky Writing Prompts

| October 13, 2017

As Halloween approaches, my mind is on spooky stories, so today, I tracked down a list of 50 Spooky Writing Prompts for this Fun for Friday! This list looks like it’s chock full of story ideas on the scarier side of things, but you could probably turn some of them around and make them less frightening […]

Fun for Friday: Indulge the Purple Prose!

| October 6, 2017

October seems like the perfect time to write a spooky story, and perhaps to indulge in a bit of purple prose. “It was a dark and stormy night” is from an 1830 novel, but it’s also mocked as being part of an overly melodramatic opening sentence. But sometimes, that can be fun! So take that […]

Fun for Friday: Why is English so weird?

| September 29, 2017

As someone who ALMOST double-majored in English, with a focus on linguistics, the English language is a fascinating subject for me. But as most people who know even a little bit of English can tell you, it’s also a WEIRD language. This article does a good job of summarizing some of the reasons why English […]

Fun for Friday: A Writing Prompt

| September 22, 2017

Sometimes, the thing you need to get started on a story is just the first line. This writing prompt from The Wesleyan Writing Blog is just the place to look for that sort of inspiration. They suggest using a line from the nearest book, but you may not want to use it word for word if you’re […]