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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Peculiar Picture #27

June 23, 2013




I painted this piece back in the days when I was creating conceptual illustrations on spec. This is a common practice for illustrators who often find themselves idle between assignments. Since I had no idea what these illustrations might be used for I often gave art directors various cropping options to increase the marketability of my work. This piece shows extra space at the top where a masthead might go should this picture be used on the cover of a magazine, as many of my illustrations were. To my knowledge this picture has never been printed.




Can you think of an appropriate article for this painting? 


It suggests something to do with "holding it all together" or a "missing link." Or it could be political. Lots of ways this could go.
By: Kerry on June 23, 2013
Linear links within a business team. The corporate ladder. Interdependencies within the business community. Old school business mantra
By: Daniel LaFrance on June 23, 2013
Hey, I wrote to you on my blog yesterday because I couldn't access your blog unless I joined Google+. Today, for some reason, I got here through clicking on your latest link. Snowbrush
By: on June 23, 2013
PS, No, I don't have a title, but it looks thoroughly depressing.
By: on June 23, 2013
it really captures the anguish of being just a piece of the corporate world. the agony on that guys face is not one for 'teamwork' rah rah rah. :)
By: TexWisGirl on June 23, 2013
I too thought of work. That hanging on tight or you'll lose it. Have a terrific day. :)
By: Comedy Plus on June 23, 2013
That's how I feel about being just a link in society's chain. Rather live outside the box. ;)
By: Rita McGregor on June 23, 2013
how about "Are you the Missing Link?"
By: fishducky on June 23, 2013
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Or from that old TV show: you are the weakest link, goodbye.
By: PT Dilloway on June 23, 2013
Working on the chain gang...j/k. Very well done, though~
By: Shelly on June 23, 2013
My first thought also was "missing link." Then I studied the picture some more and noticed the chain resembles a whip. So the guy in the suit and the woman in the red dress (and possibly more people down the line?) could be whipped by (work?) stress.
By: Pixel Peeper on June 23, 2013
I agree with the concept: we're only as strong as our weakest link. It could be used for corporate team-building. Though I'm not sure why that guy looks like JFK.
By: Val on June 23, 2013
When you find yourself as just a piece of a corporate chain, it's time to get out. That's what it's telling me.
By: mimi on June 23, 2013
I'm an optimist, therefore "keeping it together". Love your blog!
By: Hilde on June 23, 2013
You're very talented! Unfortunately, I haven't any ideas about an article for the people/links. :P
By: Lexa Cain on June 23, 2013
We're all just links in a chain.
By: Catalyst/Bruce on June 23, 2013
It might be a good picture for a Women's magazine. I'm struck by the fact that the woman appears to be holding things together with ease. Her arms are relaxed. The man is stretched thin and in agony. I think it shows that women are the superior sex, but we already know this. =) xoRobyn xoRobyn
By: Robyn Engel on June 23, 2013
Very creative. Are You the Weakest Link? I like Robyn's comment.
By: Charlotte on June 23, 2013
i can't think of a title. i always enjoy your peculiar pics. this one is most interesting.
By: fran on June 23, 2013
NO! But it is cool.
By: Cranky Old Man on June 23, 2013
I'm of no help... but I LOVE your work!
By: Mitchell is Moving on June 24, 2013
"Men-Still Higher Up the Chain Than Women." At least the dudes will hit the glass ceiling first.
By: Al Penwasser on June 24, 2013
I don't know, but I like it -- a lot. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on June 24, 2013
I, too, thought of "holding it together" in the corporate environment as your person holding on is in a suit and tie. Your illustrations are always so interesting.
By: Cheryl P. on June 24, 2013
I've been reading a lot about the tiny house movement lately, and the move away from assuming mortgage debt, so my first thought was "Chained to Debt."
By: Linda P. on June 26, 2013
Corporate America!
By: mindy on June 26, 2013
Corporate America's Chain Gang.
By: Kathe W. on June 27, 2013

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