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 wellβ€”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.

β—Š

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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Fourteen Years

September 11, 2015

 

 

 

 

Today is the anniversary of 9/11. I wish I had something meaningful to relate on this occasion. I wish the loss of so many lives had led to a better world so all those people wouldn’t have died in vain. I wish we were still as united as we were on that tragic day fourteen years ago, even though the mortar for that unity was grief. I wish for a lot of things. An old expression said it best: If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. 9/11 made us all beggars, and at times it seems like no one is riding anymore except haters and warmongers.            

           

It’s probably foolish to hope and pray for a better world where everyone is respected and no one abused or exploited, but the only way I can honor those lost on that fateful day is to be that foolish person.

 

 

 

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Comments

27 Comments
I think that's beautifully said. Meanwhile, I'm afraid we need to overcome the haters and warmongers - wherever they are.
By: Mike@A Bit About Britain on September 11, 2015
Yes, that is all we can do when we forget that we have more in common than not with both our own countrymen and across the globe. Dividers are strong these days.
By: Tabor on September 11, 2015
without so called foolish persons we would have bankrupt souls....somehow we have to overcome this undeserved hatred from religious extremists. I cannot believe this is what Mohammed wanted.
By: Kathe W on September 11, 2015
14 years ago? Gosh, you'd like to think something good came out of all that tragedy, but you are right, we are still at war, and haters and warmongers still appear to rule the world.
By: LL Cool Joe on September 11, 2015
Well said.
By: Susan Swiderski on September 11, 2015
Amen.
By: The Bug on September 11, 2015
All we can do is keep believing.
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on September 11, 2015
You wrote this beautifully and I agree and I also will keep wishing
By: Birgit on September 11, 2015
“It’s probably foolish to hope and pray for a better world where everyone is respected…” I don’t respect everyone, and I don’t even see that it would be virtuous to respect everyone, so I don’t understand what you’re saying here. I guess you mean that you try to hold onto the thought that no matter how they behave, everyone has good within themselves, and that this is what you respect, but I don’t even believe that. Yesterday, I heard about Islamic State men selling and raping women as spoils of war. Is there any good in these people? I doubt it, but I really don’t care. I would kill every damn one of them if I could. I guess that to you, this makes me like that which I hate, but I don’t see it that way. I rather try to think of evil people as like rodents. I used to trap rodents and release them at the edge of town, but that just meant that I was passing along the problem to someone else, so I did two things. One is that I took measures to keep them out of my house, and the second was that I killed every one I could catch. I think this is what need to be done to those human rodents who abuse and exploit others.
By: Snowbrush on September 11, 2015
Nicely put, Stephen.
By: Catalyst on September 11, 2015
If only enough of us were so foolish. It's a dream I have, too. Alas, I fear the repercussions of that day will be with me until the end of my days.
By: Al Penwasser on September 11, 2015
Call me foolish too.
By: Akansas Patti on September 11, 2015
Well said, my friend. :)
By: Scott Park on September 11, 2015
I TRY to be the person you want everyone to be!!
By: fishducky on September 11, 2015
Thank you, Stephen. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on September 11, 2015
Fellow foolish person here.
By: Pixel Peeper on September 11, 2015
We have to hold on to hope. Without hope we all lose. I like your kind if foolishness.
By: red on September 11, 2015
Nicely said, Stephen. I think being foolish sounds like a good idea.
By: Mr. Shife on September 11, 2015
We must never, ever give up hope. It's okay to be "foolish" in this case.
By: Marcia @ Menopausal Mother on September 11, 2015
If only everyone felt like this!
By: John on September 12, 2015
14 years?! Holy cow that's a long time. I'd just married my Egyptian husband when this happened. I remember telling him that the US would never send troops to Iraq for revenge unless there was very solid evidence of their guilt. Ha! Showed how much I knew. No one I knew in this country supported the disaster or relished it. But there's a LOT of conspiracy nuts here and many thought it was staged by the US gov't to give them a reason to attack the Middle East. (Yes, Middle Easterners and most 3rd world residents ARE that stupid -- they hate their own gov'ts and think all gov'ts are led by deceitful dictators.) I'm happy to see that the shoe's on the other foot now. Now it's the ME that has its hands full with terrorists, extremists, and assassinations. What goes around comes around, and they're being taught a real good lesson by ISIS.
By: Lexa Cain on September 12, 2015
If we are to "beat swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks" then we must dare to be "fools" who believe in peace and strong enough to live against war.
By: Tom Cochrun on September 12, 2015
And i'll be a fool along with you on this point.
By: mimi on September 12, 2015
I have faith that we can all do better and will all be better, Stephen.
By: Michael Manning on September 13, 2015
I didn't have any words this year for the anniversary of that day. Sadly I found myself in some piss poor mood and was honestly just ready to fling poo. I hate what the world has become these days, I hate that I was blind to it for so long. Or has this all just gotten worse in the last few years! I dont know, it' bothers me so. My heart breaks for all of those who died and those who lost someone. True tragedy. I also pray it's not fooling to pray for our world, because it's one thing I do still pray for. THe crazy, mixed up world.
By: Hey Monkey Butt on September 13, 2015
We went to our local ceremony commemorating 9/11 -- it is always heart-wrenching to hear the relatives call out the names. If only everyone was as foolish as you ...
By: Tom Sightings on September 14, 2015
On 9/11 my wife and I were in Seattle preparing to set sail for Alaska. We noticed many American Flags flying at half-staff. Yet strangely not all.
By: Daniel LaFrance on September 25, 2015

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