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 #32

November 10, 2013







When I was given an assignment to create sixty illustrations for a CD to be called Business Fundamentals, it seemed like a good idea to include a conceptual illustration depicting a bean counter. I worked a long time to create the endless supply of beans in the background and I was sure someone would use this piece for a newspaper or magazine article. Unfortunately, this was not to be. My “Bean Counter” has yet to be published. 




That is a pretty accurate depiction of what us bean counters do, lol.
By: PT Dilloway on November 10, 2013
I would think that that illustration would go viral in accountant offices around the country.
By: cranky on November 10, 2013
I bet it did take a long time painting all those beans, just think how easy that would be in photoshop now! Shame it didn't sell!
By: LL COOL JOE on November 10, 2013
This is amazing!
By: Izdiher on November 10, 2013
awww. as a former bean counter, i like it.
By: TexWisGirl on November 10, 2013
I love this! Very clever. Beautifully done. It's so hard to predict what will be commercial and what won't. I would have thought this would be used often.
By: Mitchell is Moving on November 10, 2013
Great metaphor. Put a cup of freshly brewed coffee on his desk. Then it could be viewed as taking stock of his coffee beans. Just a thought
By: Daniel LaFrance on November 10, 2013
Make it into a mini print to be framed and hung on the doors of bean counters everywhere!
By: mimi on November 10, 2013
I don't understand why it didn't sell--I think it's GREAT!!
By: fishducky on November 10, 2013
At least he doesn't have to count rice!
By: David Walston on November 10, 2013
Coulda bean soup! ( sorry I love puns) I also think this is a great image- should have taken off like a rocket ship! Chhers and have a great day!
By: Kathe W. on November 10, 2013
I say that dude should chuck the beans and head to Vegas to make his living (illegally) as a card-counter. I get a gambling vibe from the visor and green tabletop. Which, perhaps, says a little too much about me.
By: Val on November 10, 2013
I really like it, and I'm glad you've published it here. Have a good week, Stephen. xoRobyn
By: Robyn Engel on November 10, 2013
An infinity of beans! What a fiber source! Great picture-
By: Shelly on November 10, 2013
I agree....it should have been a big hit!
By: Eva Gallant on November 10, 2013

By: on November 10, 2013
I really like the guy in this painting. He looks very serious as a bean counter should.
By: red on November 10, 2013
My husband is a bean counter. The guy in the picture should look more frustrated and be pulling his hair out!
By: Pixel Peeper on November 10, 2013
Awesome illustration. Sorry it hasn't amounted to a hill of beans. (I couldn't resist).lol
By: Bouncin Barb on November 10, 2013
Very clever, but I think the problem is that bean counters don't like to be known as bean counters.
By: tom sightings on November 10, 2013
I think tom, immediately above, hit the nail on the head. Accountants are so much more than bean counters. So unless they want to take a little poke at themselves, they aren't likely to buy this.
By: jenny_o on November 10, 2013
I like it. I imagine it would be appropriate with many magazine articles. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on November 10, 2013
Stephen: I submit to you that it will be published. The right person hasn't seen it. I'd also advise you to "break the mold" with whom you might submit it to! This WILL be published! ;)
By: Michael Manning on November 10, 2013
What caught my eye was the fact that this bean counter is not pasty white, but of some other ethnicity...do you think that is why it idid not sell...or am I being racist? I once though we were all over that skin color thing, but these past years have made me realize we have so far to go.
By: Tabor on November 11, 2013
A great image Stephen I am surprised it was never taken up.
By: John on November 12, 2013
I never understand why the illustrations that never sold...never sold. I think that is great. Maybe the same personalities that are bean counters don't find humor in being called a bean counter. Still...it's a great illustration.
By: Cheryl P. on November 12, 2013

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