What a joy to log onto my email and see these words:
Thank you for submitting an entry to the 2012 Catalog Essay Contest!
We are grateful for your participation.
Your essay will be reviewed shortly, and a winner will be announced on March 1, 2012.
Now, all I have to do is wait.

I know that I promised to post the full story once the deadline for the contest had passed. However, it was recently brought to my attention that doing so may disqualify me from the contest. Vision Forum was unclear about who holds the rights to my story (they have the right to publish it, etc); so, in order that I may not be disqualified before my story is even read, I will only be posting snippets of the story.

However, if I place First or Honorable Mention (*fervently crosses fingers*) , then Vision Forum will post my story on their website. If I am among the winners, I will be sure to link to their site so you can read the whole story.

For now, here are some more snippets:

A sharp scream split the frozen mist.
I tore my eyes away from the malicious waves battering my ship, and whirled toward the deck. My heart skipped.
“Murdoch!” I called, sprinting from the bridge. The men in the wheelhouse jumped as I flung the door open.
“Captain!” All three of them stood.
I strode toward my First Officer. “Murdoch, what’s going on?”
He stammered, hesitating. “W-what do you mean?”
“On deck! Didn’t you hear the passengers yelling?”
His mustache twitched. Of course he had.
“So why aren’t you doing anything?”
“I left men in charge…” he blurted.
“I put YOU in charge! Do you see what’s happening out there?”
All three men turned and stared out the window. Murdoch looked up reluctantly.
The deck teemed like a disturbed anthill, erupting with a mob of Third Class Passengers, feverishly rushing to escape the sinking ship. Pale-faced men sprinted back and forth, or else bickered with each other, hollering curses. Women and children huddled like frightened sheep, herded toward the lifeboats by the deckhands.
And only one lifeboat remained.
“Do you see the problem now, Murdoch?”
He looked down.
And now to spoil the ending:
I looked around at my men, and they smiled resolutely back at me.
I couldn’t bear their loyalty. Not after I had been so heartless to the one woman in my life who deserved all of my loyalty and love. My men were putting me first, but I hadn’t put her before myself.
I had denied my responsibility as a man: to protect.
I glanced down at the little girl. My chance to make things right. Then I knelt, and slipped my jacket over her head.
My smile was tainted by tears.
I would go down with my ship. Redeemed.
But Sarah would never know.
(However, considering the historical fact that Captain Edward Smith did, in fact, sink with his ship, the end is already spoiled. The surprises are all in the middle, and I didn't spoil any of those.)

Now, one announcement before I go. There will, in fact, be a contest this month:

The theme? IMITATION
The Assignment? To write a poem of at least 100 lines in imitation of a specific poem selected from one of the masters (E. Poe, H. Longfellow, R. Frost).

There will be a forthcoming post on Imitation, along with an example 'imitation poem'. After that  the formal Contest Announcement will be posted (along with the deadline and description of the prize), and then

And, UNTIL then . . . well . . . away to your pens, I suppose!


  1. ACK, you spoiled the ending! :P But I'm too thrilled to read more of it to care. XD The captain sounds awesome...and what a tear-jerker of an ending. *sniff*

    I hope you do really really well in the contest. ^.^

  2. Thanks! Hopefully I'll be able to share the rest of it soon - I'm just nervous about copyrights.