One night, a couple of years ago, I couldn’t sleep. Thoughts and images raced through my mind and pulled me out of bed. I didn’t want to wake my wife, so I grabbed my writing notebook and went downstairs. There in the dim light of my living room, I wrote a short story. It took me about twenty-five minutes to put the basics of the story on paper. It took me over two years to get it published
I let the story sit for a few weeks.
Then one afternoon at Scout Camp with my son, I was free for a couple of hours. I sat down among the pines of the Arizona high country, opened my laptop, and typed up the story. It flowed from my fingertips just as easily as it had come to me that sleepless night. I was excited.
I tinkered with the story from time to time. I trimmed it down. I changed wording. I tried to find the essence of the story and tell it in the most straightforward fashion possible. I let a few people read it. They enjoyed it, and I was encouraged.
Later that summer, I attended a seminar hosted by Orson Scott Card. I mentioned the story to him and asked for advice. He recommended a title change, and suggested that I find an illustrator. I began to think it might get published.
I started looking for a home for the story, but I really didn’t know where to start. I sent the story off to a traditional publisher and described my vision for its publication. A couple of months later, I got my first rejection letter.
The story sat, but I didn’t forget it.
As Easter of 2010 approached, I pulled it out and dusted it off. I reworked the opening and polished the prose. I gave it to a few friends to read for Easter, and everyone praised the story. But I still didn’t know what to do with it.
The story sat waiting for me to do something.
Another year went by and as Easter of 2011 approached, the story and its message haunted me. I pulled it out again and gave it another edit. I tweaked a few words and sentences, but realizing that story wasn’t commercially viable, I still wondered how to get the story out for others to enjoy.
Then, a friend sent me an article about self-publishing, and I wondered if I should try that with this story. After all, this story meant something to me, and I felt compelled to make it available.
Following the advice of Orson Scott Card, I emailed my friend Alexy Bikman who occasionally works as an illustrator. I gave her a copy of the story and asked her if she could produce some simple drawings to help bring it to life. She quoted her price, and started her work. A couple of weeks later she delivered a few simple drawings that I thought captured the vision of the story. I took those drawings and combined them with the words to make a nice illustrated short story.
I decided to publish the story digitally first, and then work on the hard copy format second. It took me several maddening attempts to get the formatting right, but I finally published the story using Kindle Direct Publishing. You can find the story on Amazon for ninety-nine cents. If you don’t have the Kindle, you can download the Kindle reader software for free. Then set up an account to purchase books, and download the book to your computer, Kindle, Nook, smart phone, or any other electronic reading device.
Here is the link to download it -
Here is the first paragraph –
Graves are often marked with headstones, because the dead, like stones, are cold and lifeless. They lie in the stony earth and return to dust, but I can tell you that the dead will remain neither dust nor stone forever.
If you enjoy the story, write a review for Amazon and tell your friends.
If you think a hard copy would be nice, post a comment here or email me.
Each story you write is important to you. After all, you gave it life. You brought it into existence. It is a part of you. This story, although small in scope and simple in plot, represents the best part of me – my core beliefs. I want others to understand how I feel. I want them to know what I know. That’s why I never gave up on “Stone.”
I hope you enjoy this Easter story.