The Official Writing Challenge
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12/10/09
I may be reading this deeper than intended, but this line really struck me: "Blue darkened into black. I had no desire to go there." Your teenage MC appears to be on the precipice of his life, and it is here that he realizes not only does he not want to go into the black abyss of the ocean, but he does not want to go into the black abyss of life, either. I think this is an amazing picture of a searching kid, and I love how the dad handled the situation.
12/10/09
That tattoo made me want to LOL… What a beginning! :) You have so much "fun" in this, …. the ultimatum, Artie and his shaving, and your honeymooners! :) I, too, liked your use of "black" with the dream and then the "blue darkened into black." The depth (no pun, well okay, pun intended) of your writing and message always amazes me, truly! Wow!
You gained my attention immediately with the tatoo. Then I was amazed with the contrast between the colors of the tatoo and the colors of the coral reef your mc saw in his father's lesson/trip. The honeymooners were good for comic relief. I saw a spiral into adulthood with the teen boy, but the spot that struck a stunning chord with me was when he suddenly recognized his father's mortality. Great story on many levels.
12/14/09
A very good read and interesting story. Your description of the reefs is so vivid, I can visualize the scene underwater. I like the way you contrast the colorful specturm of corals against the blue darkened into black, which in a sense depicts the contrast of the rebellious teen at the beginning of the story and the realization at the end, of human's mortality and of God's connection to the light, the colors and love, all seemingly intertwined.
Wow...this got to me for an entirely different reason than probably most other people: I'm terrified of water and can't swim: I started to hyperventilate just reading it. In other words, you accomplished your goal: you took us on a very realistic ride- awesome!
(I did really enjoy the colors!)
12/14/09
I enjoyed this interesting story. I was wonderiing if things might have been different if dad had taken his son on this expedition before the tattoo. Who knows?

Thanks - Colin
12/14/09
This was absolutely stunning. I loved the dad's reaction to Evan trying to push his buttons with the tattoo. What a commentary on teenage rebellion, its causes, and its cures. (I wanted to smack Evan, and then hug him close.) We all mature light years when we realize that out parents won't be around forever; it's a sobering moment to acknowledge that our time is fleeting, and that we have already wasted so much of it in our selfishness.
Perfect last line,superb writing.
12/14/09
Wow. Incredible descriptions and the last line was...WOW.
12/14/09
Such thoughtful and mature story-telling. True craftsmanship.
12/14/09
I liked the story. Either very effective knowlege applied about the subject or very good research. The father son relationship was well done. I like a story that makes me think and gives me credit for being able to do so. Great visuals too under the surface. Enjoyed it. God bless.
Superb. I loved the double meaning of blue leading to black, and not wanting to go there. This outing was a true wake-up call. Well done.
Enjoyed the story. I have snorkeled in Hawaii and The Carribean, so have an idea of what the scenes were-gorgeous! I like how the son realized that his elder was also vulnerable and really did care for him.
I found myself wondering what Dad was up to. He knew what his son needed very perceptively. I like how you showed the spectrum of life and of God's love between grey and the blue to black.
I do not know a thing about scuba diving. But you made it real to me. I do know some things about relationships, and you also made the father-son relationship emotionally real to me. And the scenes were very colorful in a non-postcardish way. A REAL good story.
12/15/09
Very polished flow of communication from father to son, without being obvious: facing the fear without bravado; awareness of the danger; discovering that Dad could be vulnerable and still be respected. All against the wider backdrop of spectacular submarine beauty, with an invitation to intimacy with the God who assembled the whole package.
12/16/09
Not really much I can add to the other comments. Superb work, very detailed and realistically rendered. Got lost a little with the Tsunami dream, but found my way back quickly.
Glad Jan tossed the brick Lisa, definitely a beautiful read.
12/16/09
i love your gift of saying so much in so few words. i aspire to convey so much feeling in my writing as you do.
12/16/09
Truly masterful writing and a 5 on topic for sure. I really got into this kid's head through your characterization. I love how the colors gently broke the hatred and gloom loose from his heart, and then your story flows into this ending... that I have no words for other than WOW.
12/31/09
An altogether pleasing read. I liked the way that you threaded it so intimately with the honeymooners even though they were ultimately irrelevant to the story. I felt this stopped your piece from becoming too intense which could have been a problem given the richness of the language. So all in all, very well done.