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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Not Yet Perfect

October 13, 2013




Some of you have e-mailed to ask how my books are coming along. Slowly but surely I’m progressing. I’m nearly through a collection of The Best of Chubby Chatterbox and I’m also working on a collection called The Ricky Delgado Chronicles. My progress is uneven but I’m determined to complete these books and make then as perfect as possible. When I consider their lack of perfection I’m reminded of other projects where perfection was not achieved.


The Bent Pyramid of Sneferu shows that Egyptian architects struggled to achieve the purity of design that is the hallmark of later pyramids.




The Bi-bi Ka Maqbara was intended to surpass the Taj Mahal but falls short in every way. Compare it to the original and you’ll see what I mean.




The design of this passenger plane still has a few kinks in it.



Work to perfect my books continues.





I'll try to be patient!!
By: fishducky on October 13, 2013
ha ha. that plane... yikes!
By: TexWisGirl on October 13, 2013
I was taught that it's best to leave a few imperfections so the bad spirits aren't trapped inside. Seriously. Have a great day and I look forward to seeing your books all lined up in Powells!
By: Kathe W. on October 13, 2013
It's all in the title, Stephen. Call that passenger plane "Magic Mountain's newest attraction," and you have a best-seller. xoRobyn
By: Robyn Engel on October 13, 2013
Perfection isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Just think how boring baseball would be if there were more perfect games. Folks really like offense more than they want perfection.
By: Uncle Skip on October 13, 2013
That plane makes my back hurt. As for your books, I envy your lack of the procrastination bone connected to the finger bones.
By: Val on October 13, 2013
Never try for perfect. Good enough is fine, and it lasts longer!
By: mimi on October 13, 2013
That plane looks like a VERY relaxed cat!
By: Pixel Peeper on October 13, 2013
As much as I am up for adventure, I just couldn't fly in a plane like that. You probably mentioned this in one of your stories, but are you still in contact with Ricky D.? How cool is it that you are doing a book on his exploits!
By: Shelly on October 13, 2013
perfection is overrated. i was always taught that nothing is perfect. except perhaps you and me of course. i love the pic of the plane and i'm looking forward to your masterpieces when they are published.
By: Fran on October 13, 2013
So does that plane flap it's wings to get airborne or what? Good luck with that "perfect" thing. ;)
By: Scott Cody Park on October 13, 2013
For three years I've been "writing my book". Yup! Uh huh! Talk about slow. When I'm ready I'll be ready and so will you!
By: Bouncin Barb on October 13, 2013
Straight lines are bound to bend... eventually. Besides, I like curves! ;-)
By: Daniel LaFrance on October 13, 2013
I can wait for however, long you need. BUT I would bet your readers would think them perfect even if you don't.
By: Cheryl P. on October 13, 2013
Sounds like you have a good plan there.
By: PT Dilloway on October 13, 2013
I really like your airplane...like a piece of spaghetti.
By: red on October 13, 2013
I have a terrible case of the "perfects". But I've slowly been getting better at reminding myself that "good enough is good enough". Good luck with your books!
By: jenny_o on October 13, 2013
After all you are only human or is that humane?
By: Tom Cochrn on October 14, 2013
Remember there is no such thing as perfection. ;)
By: LL Cool Joe on October 14, 2013
You know a very good editor who doesn't charge a lot and is especially good at pointing it out when you're missing something, whether it's a plot point or a punctuation mark. I know you'll never hire me, but I have to try. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on October 14, 2013
I'm part way through a book as well, Stephen. It's far from perfect. But I do have a deadline for the end of January 2014 and as I'm only on Chapter 4 of 10 I'd better get a move on.
By: Bryan Jones on October 15, 2013
all things in good time....or is it all good things in time....or all good time things....well you get it. Oma Linda
By: Oma Linda on October 15, 2013

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