Friday, August 14, 2015

My first book

I just submitted my very first book ever to a publisher to be considered for publication.  I sent it to Cedar Fort Publishing because I liked their mission statement.  i will probably submit it to Deserat Book as well just to see if they have an interest.  If nobody likes it then I will self publish.  During my illness I found time to write this children's book. I am excited to see if they like it.  The story has been influenced by my journey through cancer.  My daughter had a dear friend growing up named Erin Thomas.  She was always so sweet. She is also very talented in the written word.  She kindly agreed to be my editor for which I am very grateful.  The story is much better because of Erin's help.    It will be a picture book.  The illustrations are not yet complete.  When it is illustrated I hope it will be more compelling.   I had hoped that my son Jarom might be my illustrator (He drew the one picture that you will see below) but he simply doesn't have the time right now.  Anyway, I am excited to hear back from them.

Just for fun I will show you what I just submitted.  I would be interested in your feedback.  Here you go.

The Stone
Written by Eric Vogel
801 319=4570 (cell)
243 W. 1455 S.
Orem, Utah 84058
Submitted on August 14th, 2015
Word count 1312 including cover page
I envision that each numbered line would include an illustration of some sort. 
Probably a total page count of 24 pages.

1.     Once upon a time there was a stone.  It was sitting on the side of mountain.  It was big and beautiful.  It was the product of eons of heat and pressure.  When the sun shone just right it would glisten.
2.     One day a man came up the mountain.  He was a master stone worker.  He wandered around a bit and then came to stand in front of the stone.  He walked around looking at the stone from every angle.  He even made some notes.  The stone was happy to be admired and became more convinced than ever about it’s beauty.
3.     Several days later, the master stoneworker returned with others and a large cart.  They began to tie ropes around the stone and levers underneath.  The stone thought, “There is no way that they can move me, I’m too big” but, to it’s surprise, it soon began to feel itself moving. 
4.     At this point the stone said, “Hey, what are you doing?  I’m happy here.  Leave me alone!”  The men untied the ropes and withdrew a pace.  The master stoneworker approached the stone and talked to it in a quiet voice.  He said, “I know you are happy on the mountain, who wouldn’t be.  It’s beautiful here.  But you were meant for greater things.  Come with me and I will help you see a bigger world.” 
5.     After thinking about it the stone finally consented and it wasn’t long before the stone found itself loaded on the cart and being hauled away from the mountain home.
6.     It was taken to a large warehouse where it was moved from the cart and left by itself.
7.     The next day the master sontworker returned, this time carrying hammers and chisels.  The master walked around the stone looking at it this way and that.  After a time he picked up the hammer and a chisel and began to strike the stone. 
8.     At first it tickled but then it began to hurt and the stone watched while one piece of the stone fell to the ground, and then another and another.  Sometimes the master would refer to a paper that he had on table.  Sometimes small pieces fell away, sometimes large but always the pounding continued.
9.     “Why would this man want to beat on me so?  I was beautiful just the way I was” thought the stone.  “Hey, cut it out!  Quit pounding on me!” said the stone.  So, the master stopped.  He tried to persuade the stone that what he was doing would be for the best, even though it hurt, but the stone refused.  The master hung his head, packed up his tools and left the stone alone.
10.  Not long after, the stone saw a light where the door had opened again.  The stone  thought the master stoneworker was returning to try to persuade it again but it wasn’t.  Instead, it was a tall, handsome man, dressed in fine clothes but he had shifty eyes.  He seemed sneaky.   He came to the stone and said, “I heard you were here.  I hear that they have been pounding on you and telling you crazy stories.” 
11.  The stone wondered who the man was and how he knew so much.  Then the man said, “I can make you beautiful and you don’t have to suffer.  It will be so easy.”  The man held up a bottle and said, “This is my magic bottle.  I simply pour it on you and all the work is done without any pain to you.”   The stone hesitated but then agreed to let the sneaky man do what he wanted.
12.  The sneaky man then began to tell of all the wonders he could offer.  He talked and he talked.  As the man talked he opened the bottle and poured it over the stone promising that this was the easier way.    It turned out that the bottle was full of acid.  The man talked and talked and as he talked the acid began making the stone melt away.  What had been a beautiful stone was dissolving into a dirty mud puddle on the floor.  Still the man continued to talk and talk.  Suddenly it occurred to the stone that if he didn’t do something the man would keep pouring acid and soon the stone would melt completely.  The stone realized. “I’m not being changed for the better.  I am being being destroyed!”
13.  The stone told the man that he must leave.  The man smiled and said, “But I have so much more to tell you.”   The stone simply told him, “I have had enough.  Please leave and take your bottle of acid with you.”  The man wasn’t happy as he turned and left the room.
14.  A few days later the master returned.  He looked sadly at the stone.  Much of his work had been lost, dissolved away.  The stone no longer looked beautiful, just worn and common.
15.  The master left and later returned with a young man at his side.  He looked at the stone with a new look of hope.  “This is my son.  He has a gift.  If you will let him, he can make you whole again.  We can start over.”  The stone wondered how it could be possible but agreed to let them try.
16.  The master’s son looked at the stone with a look of love, mingled with sadness.  He walked slowly around and around, looking at the damage.  The stone was amazed at what happened next.  The son would stoop down and pick up the mud that had been stone and gently pat it onto the stone again.  Somehow the mud stuck and hardened into stone again.  The stone couldn’t help but notice that the acid was burning the son’s hands but the son didn’t complain, he just kept working even though it must have hurt him dearly.
17.  The next day the master stone worker returned and began again the shaping process.  It still hurt but the stone tried to be brave.
18.  Days passed, the son came often to watch the work progress.  Something wonderful was emerging.
19.  Finally the work was done.  The master stepped back and gazing at the stone and said, “Because you allowed me and  my son  to work, you have become our masterpiece.”
20.  The master stone worker, from the start, could see the potential in the stone that wouldn’t have been apparent to others.  He knew that there was amazing beauty in the stone just waiting to be discovered.
21.  And thus a beautiful stone had become more beautiful than ever.  The stone, who had become an amazing piece of art, would be admired by all who saw it for generations to come. 
22.  The master stone worker and his son were thrilled with what the stone had become and the stone lived happily every after.
23.  The End

Front Cover:  This is a parable.  It is the story of a beautiful stone.  The stone sits on the side of a mountain enjoying life.  One day a master stone worker comes along and the stone’s life begins to change.

Back Cover:  Eric Vogel lives in Orem Utah.  He and his wife are the parents of eight children.  Eric has always been fond of telling stories, especially to his children.  In 2011 Eric was diagnosed with bone cancer in his jaw.  The last four years have indeed been a journey of change.  There has been much pain in the journey but there has also been joy and, like the stone, it has certainly shaped him in ways he never expected.  And like the story, Eric has found that it is best to trust the master even when it hurts and he has felt the touch of the Son helping to heal him when all seemed lost.


  1. A beautiful story. I would love a copy when it's out. My kids would LOVE it! Much love your way.

    1. Thank you Candace. You are always so kind to me and I guarantee that you will be one of the first to get a copy as soon as it is in print. I also guarantee that it will be in print. Even if the normal publishers don't like it I will self publish if I have to. I already gave them a down payment just in case. They promised to return my money if a normal publisher want the publish the work. So, one way or another I am going to publish this book

  2. Such a beautiful story, Eric! Please let me know when you are published - I would like to buy copies for my grandchildren (and at least one for us!). I hope you will keep writing - you have a wonderful way with words. Love you!

    1. Leslie, you are so nice. I guess I am self conscious about my ability to write. Many years ago I was in an AP english class and the teacher didn't like me very well and constantly told me that I had no talent as a writer. It has influenced my self esteem and it has been hard for me to shake over the years. Needless to say, your kind words really made me feel good. Maybe they will help me overcome my feelings of inadequacy that I have had since high school

  3. Such a wonderful, well written story. I didn't want it to end. Keep us posted as to when we can purchase some books! Hope you are doing well! We loved visiting with Jolynn the other day in Costco!

    1. Dear Roma, I am so grateful to have had you as a hygienist in my office. Honestly I miss you a lot every day that I work. It just doesn't seem quite like home since you retired. JoLynne loved seeing you and Paul as well. Paul is one of our inspirations. We look at him and it fills us with hope.

  4. I love it! Faith building stories are the best!
    Love you Eric!

    1. Dear Laura. I am glad that you liked the story. You are very sweet to take the time to read it. Thanks for coming by my house the other day too. It was a joy for me to see you and hug you.

  5. A beautiful and memorable story, Eric! Thank you. We are glad that you want to publish it.

    Love, Bryce and Mary

  6. Bryce, I place great value in your opinion. Thank you. Both you and Mary have always been so good to us. We love you both

  7. What a fantastic story of hope, faith, and courage!
    It is so true, we never know what we will be molded, chiseled, or grinded in to. We have to go with the process, and it most always hurts. We have to trust the Master.
    Thanks for the nice reminder. My family would love a copy, let us know when it can be purchased.
    I'm so glad that the donut came out, that is a miracle all in itself.
    We love you and your sweet family.
    Take care!

    1. You are amazingly Nice Jessica. I am grateful for your friendship.

  8. Uncle Eric, I love this story! So descriptive and it relates directly to our relationship to our Heavenly Father and our Savior. I wouldn't strictly say it's a children's book, as it seem to me similar to Max Lucado's books that have a wonderful message for all. I can't wait to see how it turns out! Love you. -April

  9. You are very nice April. Thank you. I appreciate you.


  10. I know a couple of people that could illustrate your book. Let me know if you need some help with that