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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Lucy's Selfie

February 24, 2017

I don’t normally post pictures from the Internet but I’m sure everyone has Trump fatigue and some of you might welcome a brief distraction.


This image recently caught my eye. Lucy was born at a shelter in Greater Rochester, New York. No one seemed interested in the pup and it looked like she’d never find a permanent home.


Lucy’s picture was eventually added to the shelter’s website and it wasn’t long before someone called to point out something interesting in the image, something no one at the shelter had noticed. One of Lucy’s ears sported a selfie—a close likeness of the pup.


Workers at the shelter were startled when it was pointed out. Hard to believe such a striking resemblance could be missed, but such was the case, and it turned out to be more than a charming coincidence. Lucy's self-portrait has proven to be something quite serendipitous. Within two hours of her picture being posted a kind-hearted person came to the shelter to offer Lucy a permanent home. Don’t you love stories with happy endings?




The image on the left is untouched; the right one is a photoshop image of Lucy with an actual photograph of her superimposed on her ear.


Lucy was a fortunate pup, but other animals aren’t always as lucky. This cartoon by Gary Larson shows the downside of birthmarks; poor Hal isn’t going to fare well come hunting season.




I hope everyone has a terrific weekend.



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We are suckers for those unwanted pups. We've had over a dozen throw-away dogs since we've been married. I love this story. I wish the endings for them all was as good as Lucy's
By: Rick Watson on February 24, 2017
Hey I just saw an article about that on MSN.com. Maybe she'll become one of those big stars with a lot of followers on Instagram and Twitter and Snapchat like my avatar Butler Blue III.
By: PT Dilloway on February 24, 2017
Far Side rocks. Bet she was adopted quickly after that.
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on February 24, 2017
What a fascinating image and story!
By: John on February 24, 2017
Dogs beat politics any day in the week. Thanks for sharing this - I love it! I miss The Far Side.
By: Kelly on February 24, 2017
I love a happy ending to an animal story, because there are far too many of the other kind. Thanks for passing along this one!
By: jenny_o on February 24, 2017
Good for Lucy, and one of my favorite Far Side cartoons. Have a terrific weekend yourself, Stephen.
By: Mr. Shife on February 24, 2017
It makes me much happier to read about Lucy than our orange president!!
By: fishducky on February 24, 2017
It's why i am so big on preaching spay/neuter, so we don't have as many sad stories.
By: messymimi on February 24, 2017
Love that story and that ear is rather eerie. And yes, thanks for the uplifting and funny post. Much needed.
By: Arkansas Patti on February 24, 2017
Love Far Side! Now if that had been an image of Jesus on her ear instead of a selfie...
By: Pixel Peeper on February 24, 2017
I love stories with happy endings, especially about animals. That comic is hilarious! Have a great weekend! :)
By: Lexa Cain on February 24, 2017
Looks like We Love Lucy!
By: Val on February 24, 2017
The pup is so cute and glad she found a forever home...and love her ear. So very sweet. I love Gary Larson and this one is so funny. My introduction to this great comic was the boneless chicken ranch
By: Birgit on February 24, 2017
She's adorable, and yes, I like happy endings. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on February 24, 2017
That adorable puppy and her story is a nice break from the mania. Thanks
By: TomCochrun on February 24, 2017
A perfect distraction from the lunacy. Sadly... I don't think any of this will end well.
By: Daniel LaFrance on February 24, 2017
What a great picture and story!
By: Mitchell is Moving on February 25, 2017
I love The Far Side! and yay for Lucy.
By: Ellen Abbott on February 25, 2017
Yeah, the news is pretty depressing. Big thing is, the 95% of the world outside the USA are just helpless bystanders. We will all be profoundly affected by whatever the lunatic in the asylum does, but we have no say in it. Puppies are a welcome alternative.
By: Botanist on February 25, 2017
I had somehow missed this story. Remarkable!
By: Catalyst on February 25, 2017
That's pretty amazing. Glad she got a home too. But, like you said...not all dogs are as lucky. That's sad.
By: Bee BB Bee on February 25, 2017
I'm glad Lucy's ear gained her attention and she found a home. Great story!
By: LL Cool Joe on February 25, 2017
awesome story! Thanks!
By: Kathe W. on February 25, 2017
Awww...I'm glad Lucy found a forever home. Our dog is a rescue, too, with ONE blue eye. Instead of it being a turn off for me, I find it endearing. I hope Lucy's new owners find her as wonderful as K & I find Jax to be. :)
By: scott park on February 26, 2017
No matter where that deer hides, they'll find it. :-) I'm glad for Lucy. Greetings from London.
By: A Cuban In London on February 26, 2017
Yes, marketing can do wonders. There was a cat with his nose and ears removed, as he had skin damage, wasn't chosen by folks at the English shelter where he was at. Well, someone was a Harry Potter fan, and named him Voldemort, and he was suddenly an internet sensation, and soon adopted! So, if it works, I say, check that cat/dog/animal closely, who knows what u
By: Cat on February 26, 2017
sorry, hit reply accidentally... unique spots might catch someone's attention... Cat
By: Cat on February 26, 2017
Saw this on the internet the other day and found it fascinating. I also find it fascinating how many people have to write hateful things about our president.on a simple little blog.
By: Kate on February 28, 2017

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