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Second Blogiversary

July 31, 2013
Two years ago my son CJ helped me launch Chubby Chatterbox. My first post was about my quirky mother (who remains a favorite topic based on e-mails I receive). I’d hesitated to create a blog because I suspected it would require commitment—not one of my favorite things—but so many people had supported my art and writing over the years that I felt obligated to bring my “story telling” to the next level. CJ convinced me that a blog was that next level.


So on July 31, 2011, with sweaty palms and blood pounding in my ears, I pressed a button and launched my first post into the blogosphere. I sat back and waited…and waited…and waited. Two days later I received my first visitor—from Romania. I couldn’t imagine why anyone in Romania would be interested in my blog but I was pleased someone out there was interested in what I had to say. A few days later I received another visit, and this time a comment. Well, it wasn’t so much a comment as my first piece of spam, someone reminding me that the size of my penis wasn’t all it could be and offering a surefire method of remedying my diminutive situation.


It wasn’t a promising start and I admit to moments of despair. What had I gotten myself into? Did I really want to commit myself to keeping Chubby Chatterbox up and running? I concluded that my blog was a terrible mistake, but Mrs. Chatterbox had offered so much encouragement and CJ had worked so hard to personalize Chubby Chatterbox and make it attractive that I didn’t want to let them down. So I hung in there, casting a wary eye on a statistics page that indicated my biggest following was materializing in Russia. I couldn’t help but wonder if The Kremlin thought America’s nuclear launch codes were secretly imbedded in my stories.


Eventually, visitors from English speaking countries showed up, and today I’m proud that Chubby Chatterbox now contains over five hundred posts and is followed by over a thousand readers. Best of all, many of these readers are now friends.


I often receive e-mails and one question pops up regularly: Are your stories real or do you make them up? Although my banner reads Chubby Chatterbox: The Art of Pure Bull,  my stories are true. I admit to being tempted to manipulate past experiences into “autobiographical fiction” but I resist the temptation to outright fabricate. A recent story has me tossing a bucket of dirty mop water into the open car window of two women who insulted a person I cared deeply about. I was tempted to stray from the facts, improve my aim to create the ending I would have preferred, but that seemed dishonest.


In truth, I think my life is less interesting than that of the average blogger. I’ve lived sixty years without any major traumas and I have little to bitch or moan about. One blogger I follow captained a nuclear submarine while I have difficulty parallel parking. I sometimes wonder what I’m doing here, prattling on about childhood experiences, a lifetime of being chubby and gullible, and having an overbearing mother most people sympathize with.   


Several years ago I took a writing seminar taught by David Morrell, the writer credited with inventing the action/adventure. David Morrell is the author of Rambo. I’d written a few action adventures but hadn’t had any luck finding interested agents or publishers. David might have been speaking to me personally when he said, “The goal of writing isn’t to write well, but to figure out what it is that you’re supposed to write.”


I realized then and there that I wasn’t a man of action so my novels weren’t believable. So I altered my approach to write about what I knew best—what it was like growing up as a chubby chatterbox.


I’ve been surprised to discover that managing my blog has actually made me happy these past two years. In fact, I have no idea what I would have done had I not begun this journey of personal discovery. I’m honored to have you join me on this adventure and I look forward to sharing more posts on art, travel, humor and nostalgia.


In fact, there’s so much more to tell….



It's a good thing I didn't have to parallel park that submarine. Maneuvering 18,000 tons is a bitch. And happy anniversary, too.
By: Joe on July 31, 2013
I'm singing: Happy Blogaversary to you. . . . and so on. Be glad you can't hear me. I love your blog and I think your stories are great. However, on July 31, 1986, I popped out a baby girl. Even Ricky Delgado can't top that. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on July 31, 2013
I'm finally catching up with my favorite blogs after a busy couple months away. Happy blogiversary to you! I didn't realize that I started reading your blog so soon after it was launched. Your posts are always so enjoyable and you are a good friend! Thank you!
By: Nancy Felt on July 31, 2013
I so relate to your disappointment on the slow response to your blog in the beginning. I started mine about 6 months prior to yours and went awhile in total obscurity. As I look back on those early is a good thing people didn't read them. You, on the other hand have always relayed great stories. You are a talented story teller with a real flair for writing. I have been following you for a long time and have enjoyed every post you ever wrote. Plus I have always appreciated your comments on my blog as well. I look forward to hearing more of your stories in the future. Congrats on the 2 years of blogging.
By: Cheryl P. on July 31, 2013
Happy 2nd Blog Anniversary, Stephen! It would seem that the eastern hemisphere has an interest is the sizes of both of our penises. It's nice there's somebody looking after these matters for us. It's funny most of us think we lead such uninteresting lives. (except for Joe, none of us will ever be THAT cool!) I keep wondering what anybody would find in my stories that keeps them coming back. You're one of those that inspires me to keep working to deliver the best product that I can. Thanks for that, keep up the good work!
By: Ken on July 31, 2013
Happy anniversary old man :) Your stories are periodically the brightest spot in my day, so keep up the good work!
By: JT LEWIS on July 31, 2013
Happy 2nd Blog Anniversary...And many more! I have been following for just a few months and enjoy your work.
By: David Walston on July 31, 2013
Happy Blogiversary, Steve! I thoroughly enjoy each and every story you have written. It brings back so many memories of our childhood more or less how you have written them here. Yes, our neighborhood has given you many stories to write about! Keep writing!......
By: Linda on July 31, 2013
happy 2nd blogiversary! i am glad to have connected with you AND your stories AND your art. :)
By: TexWisGirl on July 31, 2013
I''m not sure how or when or through whom I found you .. or who may have been lucky enough to find you through me, and them and so on.. but I'm sure glad I did. Happy Two Years. I'm looking forward to many, many more.
By: Hilary on July 31, 2013
You have a rich and full life. I'm glad that you are taking the time to share them with us. It's a pleasure to read your blog on most days, as we tend to agree politically.
By: Michael Offutt on July 31, 2013
I guess you didn't really need to stray from the facts in the dirty water through the window story. That one kind of stands on its own! Keep blogging!
By: Fran on July 31, 2013
I'm thankful you stayed the course. So kudos to CJ and Mrs. C for their efforts. Your story telling skills portrays life that we from the baby boomer generation can immediately identify with. Happy blogiversary!
By: Daniel LaFrance on July 31, 2013
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY--so glad you stayed with it!! I also consider you a friend, though we've never actually met. I get those penis enlargement ads, too--I think it would be a great trick to enlarge a non-existent penis!!
By: fishducky on July 31, 2013
I'm thankful you stayed the course. So kudos to CJ and Mrs. C for their efforts. Your story telling skills portrays life that we from the baby boomer generation can immediately identify with. Happy blogiversary!
By: Daniel LaFrance on July 31, 2013
OK, I'll come clean -it was me who sent that second response! Seriously, Stephen, you are an astute observer of man- and woman-kind, and a wonderful story-teller. I look forward to the next 2 years, and beyond.
By: Bryan Jones on July 31, 2013
Congratulations! That's a wonderful achievement, and I hope there are many more years to come. Yours is one of the blogs I always, always look forward to reading, and you never disappoint. I love your stories, and I hope you keep them up.
By: Shelly on July 31, 2013
happy blogiversary! so glad it's beem such a positive experience for you...ya know, once you got over those wacky spammers. as for the nuke sub pilot. i have a friend whose son does that. when he got the assignment she was fond of telling people, "he can drive a used car without having and accident so of course the government has decided he ought to pilot a large multi-million dollar nuclear sub." hahahaha
By: lime on July 31, 2013
I have enjoyed reading your blog since I discovered it a bit short of two years. I started bloggin in 2006 and didn't know to look for comments- I just wrote for me and for my family/friends to keep up with me if they wanted to. Afew years back I discovered all those blogs out there and the fun of following blogs and making new friends along the way. My "aha" moment was when I went on a blog that asked us to post our responses to posted images- to write a story or poem or whatever. That was when I discovered I could write poems- I really thought I was going to write stories. So when you wrote today “The goal of writing isn’t to write well, but to figure out what it is that you’re supposed to write.” That was an epic AHAH! Thanks for your blog, happy 2nd Anniversary and thanks for being my friend!
By: Kathe W. on July 31, 2013
Congratulations! Your blog is so much fun, just as you are. Hope you have many, many more years so i can continue to enjoy reading.
By: mimi on July 31, 2013
Maybe you can't captain a submarine, but you sure know how to pilot a blog -- and we all are enjoying the ride!
By: tom sightings on July 31, 2013
Happy Blogiversary to you, Happy Blogiversary to you...wait a minute! I can't afford the royalty payment to sing that song. I would follow you no matter what the size of chatterbox tales.
By: Val on July 31, 2013
Happy Blogiversary! I have no idea how long I've been doing this nonsense. I think I'll go check. I never captained a submarine, but I ate a tuna submarine once. Does that count?
By: Al Penwasser on July 31, 2013
October 24, 2009. Good Lord, I've been running my mouth for nearly four years. I wrote about Halloween. Boo.
By: Al Penwasser on July 31, 2013
Always readable! I never captained a submarine but I looked round one once, in Amsterdam I think it was.
By: Jenny Woolf on July 31, 2013
You're always an excellent read Stephen. Keep up the GREAT work. :) S
By: Scott Park on July 31, 2013
Well, congrats!! I think the wonderful thing about blogging is that some of my favorite writers take mundane experiences and make them magic...and of course, you are one of those.
By: Tabor on July 31, 2013
Happy 2nd blogiversary, Stephen. Yours is one of the most colorful blogs I read. And not just because of your wonderful illustrations. Your stories frequently have me laughing out loud, sometimes a tear comes to my eye, but they are always a highlight of my day. Keep it up, my friend, and I'm not talking about the subject of your second comment!
By: Catalyst/Bruce on July 31, 2013
congratulations and happy anniversary. i hope it continues for a while yet. one of my faves
By: Fran on July 31, 2013
Reading the Chatterbox is always enjoyable. Thanks for the effort you put into your fine creative venture. Happy anniversary.
By: Tom Cochrun on July 31, 2013
Happy blogiversary, and congratulations. I always enjoy reading your stories!
By: Pixel Peeper on July 31, 2013
Happy blogiversary Stephen - always enjoy your posts!
By: Sam Edge on July 31, 2013
Congratulations on two years. Your stories are well written and always have a twist or two in them. Keep on blogging!
By: Red on July 31, 2013
You're blog shares a birthday with Harry Potter!!! Happy blogiversary!
By: Kellie @ Delightfully Ludicrous on July 31, 2013
Congratulations on your blogiversary and a very successful blog. It's one niche of the world where creativity and kindness pay off. You clearly and consistently offer both. xoRobyn
By: Robyn Engel on July 31, 2013
Keep up the great work!
By: John on August 1, 2013
Happy blogoversery! I'm glad you're here!
By: The Bug on August 1, 2013
Congrats Stephen. I have enjoyed your writing!
By: Kerry on August 1, 2013
This is a wonderful Blog, Stephen. Congrats on the Anniversary! :)
By: Michael Manning on August 2, 2013

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