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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The Psychology Test

June 19, 2013

There are scores of psychology tests but to my knowledge this is the shortest, the only test that’s actually fun to take, and in my case the only accurate one. Take a moment to answer these five questions honestly and you might discover something you didn’t know about yourself. Feel free to write down your answers, and don’t over think your responses; your first thoughts are the most revealing. The answers are revealed at the end.


Question #1  Imagine that you’ve just awakened from a deep sleep to find yourself walking on a path in a forest. What time of day is it?

Question #2 While walking on the path in a forest you look down and find a cup partially buried in leaves. Describe the cup and what do you do with it?

Question #3  The path in the forest leads to a body of water. Describe the water and what do you do?

Question #4  After leaving the body of water you continue on the path until you encounter a dwelling. Describe the dwelling and what do you do?

Question #5  You continue walking beyond the dwelling until you come to a wall. Describe the wall and what do you do?



There are no right or wrong answers to these questions, but psychologists tend to interpret these answers in the following way:


Question #1  People who awaken in the morning or early afternoon tend to be more optimistic than folks who awaken in late afternoon or evening. People who awaken walking in a forest in the dark of night have issues to deal with.

Question #2  This question is tricky because it doesn’t matter what the cup looks like. You could have described a precious object or a discarded paper cup. What matters is what you do with it. People who keep the cup tend to be more materialistic than those who leave it where they found it.

Question #3  The body of water represents your sex drive. Are you thirsty? Did you drink the water? A large pristine lake prompting you to take off your clothes and dive in says much more about your sex drive than if you describe a stagnant pond brimming with leeches.

Question #4  Your description of the dwelling isn’t as important as whether or not you go inside. The dwelling represents society. People who enter the dwelling tend to fit into society and need people more than those who see the dwelling and just pass by.

Question #5  The wall represents death. Did you envision a tall stone wall stretching endlessly or did you think of a small hedge easily stepped over? People who conjure a wall that’s easy to climb over—and do so—are much less afraid of death than those who can’t scale the wall and retreat in the direction from which they came.


Here were my answers:

#1   Morning. I’m definitely a morning person and I do consider myself an optimist.

#2   The cup was a jewel-encrusted chalice and I kept it. I admit that I’m a materialistic person with a healthy respect for nice things.

#3   I was really thirsty when I reached the water (a flowing stream in my case) and I used the chalice to drink my fill.

#4   The dwelling I envisioned was a cozy cottage and I peered in the window. I did not go inside. Maybe this is the reason I have few close friends and have usually been self-employed.

#5   The wall was made of stone and only a few feet high. I stepped over it and continued on my way. I’m not a big fan of pain but death itself doesn’t frighten me.   



How did you do? Is this test hogwash, a mere parlor game, or did it reveal the real you?


Oh dear; I'm an impotent materialistic misfit with a death phobia!
By: Bryan Jones on June 19, 2013
Very interesting and some of it rings true but not all. 1.) The morning. 2) It was a white cup that I emptied of leaves and left there. 3) The water was clear and calm, I didn't drink from it, I looked at it, and let the water run through my fingers. Which actually probably does describe me sexually. 4) It was an old shed with a door, I opened the door but I didn't go in. 5) A large old brick wall, with ivy growing over it. I quickly looked for the gate and rushed through it. Hmmm.
By: LL Cool Joe on June 19, 2013
I would say it was night because obviously I go to bed at night so it's not like I'd be waking up in mid-afternoon. I didn't realize we could keep the cup. Probably should have read the directions more carefully.
By: PT Dilloway on June 19, 2013
Like it!
By: John on June 19, 2013
Noon, left it, stream checked it out then crossed it, log cabin-peaked in and then walked past it, a typical New England rock wall...stepped over it. Interesting, but Hog Wash!
By: Cranky Old Man on June 19, 2013
Very, very interesting. I did learn some new things about myself~
By: Shelly on June 19, 2013
I don't know what my responses mean on some of the questions. I walked through the beautiful forest at high noon, I found a glass cup and it was half full of clean water so I drank it, I took a refreshing swim in the lake, I knocked on the door of the house (when no one answered I moved on), and when I came to the wall, it only blocked the path and rather than climb over it I went around it. I figured I'm too old to climb stone walls and I might get hurt. Going around it seemed much more sensible.
By: Michael Offutt on June 19, 2013
Maybe a little too close for comfort...but then I also believe in fortune cookies. #1 Late afternoon #2 It is a rusty brown coffee mug. I pull it our of the dirt and try to clean it with my hands to see if it tells me a story or if it is worth saving. #3 It is a small river. I stop and sit on a nearby log and look for wildlife and wait for the sunset. #4 I poke around the dwelling but am hesitant about going inside. It looks deserted, but you never can tell. #5 The wall is a dry set rock wall which I can crawl over. I carefully do that. Thus I have learned I am not optimistic and I am materialistic. Regarding sex I guess I am a normal slightly neutral person who gets easily distracted! Question #4 is correct, I am not big on society. And, yes, I do not fear death...just lingering disease.
By: Tabor on June 19, 2013
I answered everything almost like you (but lake instead of stream). The only big difference was that the wall was a 10-ft brick wall and I was determined to get over it somehow, even if I had to go back to the path to find sticks and stones to make a mound -- I was gonna get over that dang wall!! So I'm a materialistic, misanthrope with ... a death wish?? LOL
By: Lexa Cain on June 19, 2013
Fun stuff. I was a morning walker who found a pond. I .. ahem.. took photos of the wildlife inside and then just put my feet in. The dwelling was a lovely cottage. I peeked inside, but didn't enter. The wall was low. I sat on it for a while and then stepped over it and continued on my way. Oh the cup.. it was blue enamel and I removed the leaves and sat it upon a stone so that the person who lost it might find it. And I took a picture. Because that's what I do. ;)
By: Hilary on June 19, 2013
This was fun. Here are my answers: #1 Mid Morning; #2 It is a plastic cup with cracks in it. I push it to the side with my foot to see if there is anything of value near the cup; #3 It is a wide and shallow creek with smooth ripples. I am mesmerized by the trickling sound and the flow of the water. I bend down and stare into the water and at all the living creatures such as bugs, pollywogs, tadpoles, etc; #4 It's an old abandoned house painted white. The windows are dirty and there is tall grass all around. I'm getting ready to go inside and then I get distracted and keep walking; #5 The wall is made of stone and is about 8 ft. tall and 20 ft. long. I touch the rock and I wonder if the wall is partially missing or was just never completed. I walk around it to the other side and examine the area.
By: JarieLyn on June 19, 2013
Very interesting. I didn't answer the questions and won't but got a kick out of your answers and their meaning. Have a fabulous day. :)
By: Comedy Plus on June 19, 2013
I answered quickly as you suggested and my answers were very similar to yours. I didn't know though whether to go into the cottage or not as I have a bit of a dog phobia, and I couldn't see a way over the wall. It was a good quiz!
By: Sharon Bradshaw on June 19, 2013
#1 - It was morning. #2 It was a tin cup which I emptied of dirt and leaves and took with me. #3 A small lake, which I waded in. #4 An old abandoned cabin, which I carefully entered and looked around. #5 It was a high wall and I think I walked along it.
By: Bruce Taylor on June 19, 2013
This test is fun. I don't know if it revealed anything about me or not. I awoke in the morning. I found a pretty teacup and kept it. I swam across the lake. Then I went in the cottage to check it out. I climbed over the wall and kept going. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on June 19, 2013
laughing at your first commenter. :) it did coincide w/ several of my traits. :)
By: TexWisGirl on June 19, 2013
1. It was afternoon--I don't do mornings. 2. A plastic wine glass with the stem missing, so that there's a hole in the bottom of the glass. That happened to me once while I was drinking red wine. I left it there. 3. The ocean where dolphins were "dancing" against the background of a beautiful sunset. I watched them. I go in & they serve me dinner. It's a stone wall, waist high. I sit on it. Am I normal?
By: fishducky on June 19, 2013
It was mornigng (optimist), a coffee cup and I picked it up (materialistic), the water was cool and I washed my sleepy face (?), I wne tin the house (social), and I leaned on the wall and rested (?). It was fun, but there were too many variables that I missed all together.
By: Scott Cody Park on June 19, 2013
Oh, this was fun! 1. Morning (I'm definitely an optimist). 2. It was a pretty cup made of fine china, and I left it (I consider myself somewhat materialistic, but less than average). 3. A small, beautiful lake, and I took a picture of it (not sure what this says about my sex drive, but I think Hilary is my long-lost sister...where is her blog? I would love to check it out now!). 4. A nice, rustic log cabin...I walked past it after I took a picture (I'm definitely Hilary's sister) 5. Tall stone wall, covered in vegetation like ivy. I just walked along it, because that's where the path led (not afraid of death...but the wall was tall...hmmm).
By: Pixel Peeper on June 19, 2013
Well, let's give the armchair psychologists some practice. 1. Afternoon. 2. A styrofoam cup with a broken rim, full of leaves. I left it as it was. 3. A sparkling lake. I stood at the edge and thought about fishing. 4. A log cabin. I peeped in the front window, saw nobody, then sat on the porch to watch others pass by. 5. A tall brick wall. I walked along it, to the right, until I found an archway to go through.
By: Val on June 19, 2013
Revealing the real me would be a big stretch. Just imagining answers to these questions is a challenge. To be blunt about it? It's B.S. It's fun though.
By: Red on June 19, 2013
That was a pretty cool test.
By: Bad Word Mama! on June 19, 2013
I thought this was rather interesting, and on the whole my responses did describe my approach to life. Very interesting!
By: Jenny Woolf on June 19, 2013
This reminds me of another such test i read once. My answers were 1. How should i know what time it is? You asked! But if it's anything past first thing in the morning, we are burning daylight, people. 2. It was a broken plastic recyclable cup and i picked it up, fussing about the twit who littered, and hauled it out of the woods with me so i could recycle it. 3. When i got to the sea, i walked along the shore and enjoyed the waves lapping up over my feet. 4. The beautiful, low stone house that looked as if it had grown there was friendly and inviting and i walked up and knocked at the door, intending to meet whoever lived there. 5. The wall was the garden wall behind the house, pretty and covered in roses, low enough to see the woods behind it. There, am i weird enough yet?
By: mimi on June 19, 2013
Very clever. I'm a paper cup man, myself, but I guess that doesn't matter. My question is: which is the better sex life, the large pristine lake or the stagnant pond with leeches? I mean, the large pristine lake seems kind of sterile and antiseptic doesn't it, while the stagnant pond ... that's dirty man! In any case, I imagined a salt water cove. What does that mean? I have a large sex drive, but cannot taste the waters? P.S. I guess you can tell what I'm interested in!
By: tom sightings on June 19, 2013
My answers weren't too different from yours. Although my stone wall was more imposing and I turned back. And my cup was a horribly boring and disgusting plastic thing half-filled with dirt which I emptied out & then put the stupid ugly cup in my pocket to add to the recycling when I got home. omg please give me a fancy chalice instead.
By: Kerry on June 19, 2013
Interesting ... but I'm going to have to side with Dr Freud on this one and say sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I'm not one for psychological mumbo jumbo.
By: Kellie @ Delightfully Ludicrous on June 20, 2013
I recognized this test almost immediately as one I got from psyche majors when I was at University in the Sixties!!! I remember it so well because we gave the test to my parents and roared with laughter when we heard their differing answers. I particularly remember their answers to the 'cup' and the 'water'. My father's cup was porcelaine with ornate gold filigree -- my mother's a tin measuring cup! I don't think I'll tell you about the water .... ;-)
By: The Broad on June 20, 2013
It's either hogwash, or the truth hurts. According to this, I'm a pessimistic, materialistic, sex starved societal misfit who fears death. Yeah, the truth hurts. xoRobyn
By: Robyn Engel on June 20, 2013
well this was big fun! 1. I am an early morning girl 2. It was a teacup and I dug it up and kept it! 3. Lake and I swam and kayaked 4. A log cabin and I went inside 5. A rock wall- I sat on it and climbed over it. I'll be passing this onto my friends! and oh thanks for all your nice comments- much appreciated! Take care and have a lovely day!
By: Kathe W. on June 20, 2013
It was morning, I ignored the cup. Came upon a lake and took a deep drink; knocked on the door of the cottage; climbed over the wall....not sure how much of that is me...I am optimistic and not materialistic...should have jumped in the lake!
By: Eva Gallant on June 20, 2013
morning; coffee cup; rinsed the cup and filled it with water to drink; knocked at the door and went in; beat against the wall to see if someone was on the other side who would answer Fun, but I don't take these things seriously. Btw, I'm an optimist. :)
By: Anita on June 20, 2013
the only response i am not sure i agree with is the cup one. i saw a grody plastic cup and i took it with me only so i could throw it away because i regarded it as litter that did not belong in the forest. i don't think that response relates to materialism because i didn't want the cup for myself nor did i want it remaining there junking up the pristine forest.
By: lime on June 22, 2013

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