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


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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Tulip Time

April 14, 2017

Oregon’s weather is much like that of the Netherlands, which means tulips grow exceedingly well here. And once again, tulip time has arrived. It’s much anticipated because tulips bloom sooner than other flowers around here. Other than a few daffodils, nothing much is happening, except in Woodburn, Oregon, a sleepy agricultural community about thirty miles south of Portland where the fields have once again erupted in color.


I love photographing children almost as much as I like snapping pictures of flowers, and both were present in abundance. There were dozens of children out enjoying this colorful spectacle.



















I hope you spend this weekend surrounded by beauty. Take care.







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This was one of the joys of living near Holland Michigan for ten years. The tulips were wonderful!
By: Sage on April 14, 2017
What lovely photos- tulips are one of my favorite flowers! Another place to visit and take photos is in the summer in Canby Oregon. Swan Island Dahlias are amazing! http://www.dahlias.com/visitinginfoanddirections.aspx
By: Kathe W. on April 14, 2017
Delightful! I have always thought I'd love to go in a helicopter over tulip fields - but in fact I have never seen any in bloom in real life from any angle. I believe they can be found in the UK in lincolnshire, which is very flat. Have a great Easter!
By: jenny woolf on April 14, 2017
What a sight that must be in person! Is that little child mangling that poor tulip? A future botanist, perhaps :)
By: jenny_o on April 14, 2017
The pics are wonderful! What a lovely thing to look forward to every year. :)
By: Lexa Cain on April 14, 2017
I'd rather go see tulips in the Netherlands with its lax rules on certain vices. ;-)
By: PT Dilloway on April 14, 2017
So beautiful. I miss tulips (they're sporadic here) but not enough to give up this weather. I too was enjoying flowers and kids when I was out today.
By: Mitchell is Moving on April 14, 2017
Tulips are beautiful, but as I'm currently in AZ I won't be seeing too many but hopefully when I get back to the UK our garden there should have a few now in bloom.
By: LL COOl JOE on April 14, 2017
I love it when you PNW'ers take us to the tulip farms. Wow, that is almost sensory overload with all the beauty.
By: Arkansas Patti on April 14, 2017
Kids and flowers, you definitely can't go wrong there, nice pictures.
By: Jimmy on April 14, 2017
I just want a snow-free weekend!! Is that too much to ask? #snowoverit
By: Mr. Shife on April 14, 2017
Gorgeous! A lovely sight. Thanks for sharing such beauty and joy.
By: Tom Cochrun on April 14, 2017
Short but spectacular burst of color.
By: cranky on April 14, 2017
The tulips were blooming along the casino sidewalk a couple weeks ago!
By: Val on April 14, 2017
Blessed Easter to you!
By: messymimi on April 14, 2017
Happy Easter to you. You found some great color and some cute kids.
By: red Kline on April 14, 2017
These tulips are INCREDIBLE!!! One of my favorite flowers---would love to see these tulip fields!
By: marcia @ Menopausal Mother on April 14, 2017
Great photos ... which I especially appreciate because we don't get too many tulips around where I live ... the deer eat 'em.
By: Tom Sightings on April 15, 2017
We have a few daffodils up in the rose bed in front of the house, but our tulips are yet to make an appearance. Must go and visit Butchart Gardens (a famous tourist attraction near where we live) - they are ablaze with color from stands of tulips at this time of year.
By: Botanist on April 15, 2017
They are gorgeous flowers and your photos are engaging and a treat for these eyes. The last one is especially touching! Cheers
By: Daniel LaFrance on April 15, 2017
The photos of the children in the flowers are charming. They would make lovely paintings!!
By: fishducky on April 15, 2017
Fantastic pictures - so full of color! I had no idea tulips grew so well in Oregon.
By: Pixel Peeper on April 22, 2017

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