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 Pictures #51 & #52 & #53

September 26, 2016



We had out of town guests for the weekend and our dishwasher malfunctioned flooding our kitchen right after our guests departed. I’ve spent the last few hours emptying the water and cleaning all the traps so I hope it will work properly. As a result, I didn’t have time to write anything new so I’m turning to my Peculiar Picture File—illustrations created when I was a professional illustrator. These are based on clichés popular with art directors and all three of these have appeared in print.



The Tip of the Iceberg





Behind the Eight Ball





A Long Road to Hoe



I hope everyone has a terrific week.





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Should it be Road to Hoe or Row to Hoe? I often feel like the 8-ball guy, especially when I'm playing pool online.
By: PT Dilloway on September 26, 2016
well I hope your week goes better from here on out- water issues are a pain!
By: Kathe W. on September 26, 2016
Wonderful depictions of popular clichés. Is it me or do they not all focus on the challenges and struggles of the human experience? Hope your water woes are behind you.
By: Daniel LaFrance on September 26, 2016
Wonderful depictions of popular clichés. Is it me or do they not all focus on the challenges and struggles of the human experience? Hope your water woes are behind you.
By: Daniel LaFrance on September 26, 2016
Really sucks about the dishwasher. At least it waited until the guests were gone. Some really great illustrations there.
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on September 26, 2016
Sorry about the dishwasher, what a pain. I love the second painting, it reminds me of a Magritte.
By: LL Cool Joe on September 26, 2016
after a water break, now our washing machine is backing up...Too much water lately!
By: cranky on September 26, 2016
I wish I were a magazine editor so I could print your work!!
By: fishducky on September 26, 2016
Very cool paintings!
By: messymimi on September 26, 2016
Yikes on the mini flood. Hope you fixed it. Love how you think with the paintings. Am I supposed to see a face in the iceberg or is that just me?
By: Arkansas Patti on September 26, 2016
Wonderful illustrations, as always.
By: Catalyst on September 26, 2016
That is the toughest row to hoe that I have ever seen! And what is this thing you call a DISHWASHER? I suppose 'tis better to have a dishwasher that leaked than never to have had a dishwasher at all...
By: Val on September 26, 2016
I go back through old photographs when I don't have anything to say. Your work is remarkable. R
By: Rick Watson on September 26, 2016
Good luck healing the dishwasher. Sorry for the pre occupation but we are pleased you went to your always fascinating Peculiar Pictures file.
By: Tom Cochrun on September 26, 2016
Those are fun illustrations. Your color palette is really interesting, and I'd love to pick your brain as to why you chose the colors the way you did.
By: Michael Offutt on September 26, 2016
fingers crossed... i like the row to hoe...
By: TexWisGirl on September 26, 2016
I love anything with ships on it. Even if the particular ship is fixing to go all Titanic.
By: Al Penwasser on September 26, 2016
Very clever paintings related to common sayings.
By: red Kline on September 26, 2016
I am so sorry you had such a debacle with the dishwasher. That simply sucks but I hope it won't be too costly. I like these paintings and found the 2nd one very interesting.
By: Birgit on September 26, 2016
I hope your dishwasher woes got taken care of! Sometimes the initial flood is not the worst of it - water can cause damage to cabinets and mold issues. Did you need a dry-out company, or were you able to dry out everything yourself? A lot of people end up filing a claim with their homeowners insurance because of floods just like that.
By: Pixel Peeper on September 27, 2016
I've had my share of dishwasher problems. AARR! Hope yers is awerkin' now. AARR! Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on September 27, 2016
I love them all, but especially "A Long Road to Hoe." I think the correct phrase is a long "row" to hoe, but your talent gets you a pass!
By: Mitchell is Moving on September 30, 2016

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