Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste

Prologue

Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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Blog

The Worst "Selfie" Ever, or the Best?

August 18, 2017
We live in the age of the “selfie.” They’re everywhere on social media, and people are even buying selfie sticks so they can extend their reach and get better images of themselves. I-Phone cameras even have a key that reverses the camera to focus backwards, making it super easy to snap a picture of yourself.
           
The first selfies were, of ...

 + photos!,  read more

Flying Without a Net

August 16, 2017
 
 
 
Last night I did something in bed I haven’t done in years. I was contentedly lying there, dreaming I was King of Bloggers and had finally figured out the difference between further and farther, and a while and awhile, when it happened. Mrs. Chatterbox was on the far side of our king-size bed and in no position to monitor what was going on. That’s when it happened. I felt ashamed when ...

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The Guitar Player

August 14, 2017
Last week I finished my painting of a guitar player, based on a photograph a fellow blogger was kind enough to give me permission to use as a photo reference. I’m not familiar with the person in the photograph (country blues singer/songwriter Charlie Parr from Minnesota) and was more interested in creating a genre piece rather than a portrait. I was captivated by the golden Rembrandt quality of the image.
     ...

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America's Great Pastime: Conclusion

August 11, 2017
Check out Part One (Here).
 
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My difficulties as an umpire fell into two categories: first was a lack of familiarity with the rules of the game, conveyed to players and spectators by the erratic methods I used to communicate my decisions; second, my co-umpire (Mrs. C.) found it all but impossible to remain impartial and not show favoritism to the hardworking smallest kid ...

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America's Great Pastime

August 9, 2017
Summer is the time for reruns, which this is, and sports. Many bloggers have great tales to tell about their athletic prowess. I’m not one of them. But there was a time when I was coerced into participating in a baseball game. Those of you who know me are right to assume it didn’t go well.
           
Mrs. C. and I were attending one of CJ’s Junior ...

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Twenty-One Years

August 7, 2017
 
Last week was National Night Out, a time for the community to come together and enjoy free pizza and ice cream on a summer night while mingling with the police in an effort to build bridges between citizens and our municipal government. Readers of this blog know that Mrs. Chatterbox works for our local police department. In addition to managing over a hundred volunteers who save our taxpayers more than a hundred ...

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