Hello, and welcome to www.vmcooney.com, a place to access samples of my writing and, soon, photography. I’m in the process of updating this site to reflect the past year, which I have spent working in Michigan’s breathtakingly lovely and unexpectedly …

I’m in the process of updating this site, so check back for updates!

The Professor Said “No Rules”

Today I finished my last ever final.  Now, three days away from graduation, six days away from a move, and nine days away from a new job in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, I wanted to look back to my favorite question …

A Woman to Know: Elizebeth Friedman

I stumbled across a one-sentence blurb regarding Elizebeth Friedman in February, while working on another story that took me into the Hillsdale County Historical Society archives.  She was a pioneer in the field of cryptology and a 1915 alumna of …

Why We Don’t Want Men to Vote

While looking through the Hillsdale County Historical Society website, I found this entertaining little piece, written by poet, novelist, speaker, and suffragette Alice Duer Miller (1874-1942) and published in a Hillsdale newspaper in 1915. Why We Don’t Want Men to Vote: “Because …

Hemingway and Mussolini

I recently read Ernest Hemingway’s article “Mussolini: Biggest Bluff in Europe,” published in The Toronto Daily Star on January 27, 1923.  The writer’s observations are not only interesting in light of the role Mussolini would play over the next few decades, but …

Much Ado About Something

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is, in essence, an Art Deco temple to the Bard, complete with marble friezes, intricate tile work, and a beautiful theater where William Shakespeare is honored the way he should be honored: through …

Why “V.M.” Cooney?

This site, my twitter (@vmcooney), and my signature all read “VM” Cooney.  However, my byline – and the name I most frequently respond to – is “Tory.”  The reason for this is a compromise made by my parents over two decades ago. The story …

Government Shutdown

I don’t think I was even vaguely aware of the existence of a Smithsonian PandaCam prior to the Oct. 1 government shutdown. I wasn’t aware of allot of things, really: including how intimately connected the U.S. Federal Government and everyday life in Washington, D.C. actually are.