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 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 #29

July 15, 2013
If reincarnation is real then it’s possible I was a mockingbird in a previous life. Mockingbirds love shiny things and have been known to steal and hide gleaming objects.  I’m not a thief but I have a similar fascination;  the more sparkly the object the better. When I started out as an artist I was mesmerized by the surfaces of things, especially various types of metal, from the mirror shine of chrome to the dusty glow of pewter or the opaque scratchiness of rust. I also have a penchant for intricate details, although I enjoy placing them in uncluttered backgrounds so the details can perform like soloists.

    

This illustration was included in my royalty-free CD Business Fundamentals, but I don’t think it ever sold. Can you think of a use for it?

 



Comments

20 Comments
I like it, but...I can't think of a use for it, it's way better than a soup can! I'd proudly display it in a casual room.
By: Cranky on July 15, 2013
It's a weather watch for storm chasers! Have a great week- I love this image!
By: Kathe W. on July 15, 2013
It is a very special time piece. It allows the viewer a unique guided view of life beneath the waters surface.
By: Daniel LaFrance on July 15, 2013
definitely should be a news station logo for their weather report! 'time for weather watch!'
By: TexWisGirl on July 15, 2013
Great energy piece Stephen.
By: John on July 15, 2013
Maybe some environmental group could use it for global warming: time is running out for planet Earth or something like that.
By: PT Dilloway on July 15, 2013
I like that last one - Time to Save the World!
By: The Bug on July 15, 2013
Cover illustration for a new edition of 20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
By: Catalyst/Bruce on July 15, 2013
I really like the answers from PT Dilloway and The Bug but I first thought of the connection to weather forcasting as some of the others did. All your illustrations are awesome.
By: Cheryl P. on July 15, 2013
I'd bet my grandfather would know, but he's no longer with us. Have a terrific day. :)
By: Comedy Plus on July 15, 2013
Oh, the cover of a book on conservation and ecology. Because time is running out.
By: mimi on July 15, 2013
some years ago i met an actress from my favourite TV show - she asked me why anyone would travel as far as i had to see someone from a TV show and i couldn't really answer other than to say - why do people travel all around the world to watch football, why do people watch planes or trains? I guess the point i'm trying to make is that art, by its definition, shouldn't have to have a use - it should just be there to please - and i really like this, so i hope that is enough>
By: don\'t feed the pixies on July 15, 2013
I think it's what a hypnotist would use to put you in a trance as you stare at it swinging backwards and forwards before your eyes. It's lovely, Stephen, thanks for sharing.
By: Sharon Bradshaw on July 15, 2013
Our climate is as intricate as a multiple motion time piece. Nice illustration by the way!!
By: Tom Cochrun on July 15, 2013
I don't have any suggestion of what it could be used for. Those who cited global warming are on track. Hurricanes are fed by warm water, so that giant one in the arctic circle must be telling us something!
By: Val on July 15, 2013
God's pocket watch! :)
By: Rita McGregor on July 15, 2013
It's beautiful, especially juxtaposed against a dark background. It looks like a completely different picture than the first. I like the others' suggestions for its use and can't think of anything better. xoRobyn
By: Robyn Engel on July 16, 2013
I was going to write exactly the same thing as PT Dilloway.
By: Pixel Peeper on July 16, 2013
I too think that a book or article on conservation. Perhaps an article which offers timescales for the bad things that they say are going to happen. Someone should write one actually. Let us know if anyone does, and uses your illustration, which would be perfect
By: Jenny Woolf on July 17, 2013
Interesting. I don't believe reincarnation is possible. I do believe that everything we are is due to brain patterns and fluids/chemicals in the brain. I also believe that these patterns and chemicals can (on occasion) fall exactly into the same place that other people might have experienced in other bodies. This leads us to believe that we have memories that are not our own. But science will show us in time that we'll be able to create our own memories or fabricate entire trips like the science fiction movie "Total Recall" At that point, reincarnation will be completely debunked because people will have to admit that memories are just place holders that our minds create.
By: Michael Offutt on July 17, 2013

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