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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Blog Archive


Happy Super Bowl

February 02, 2014 :: written in: All Blog Posts
        Mrs. C. and I aren't huge sports fans but we do watch the Super Bowl. I hope your team does well, whoever you're rooting for. As for predictions; I predict I'll eat too much, enjoy a few commercials and be confused by the game. Until then, some fellow bloggers forwarded these pictures. You might have seen these before but they made me chuckle.                 Have a great day.       ... read more

 + photos!,  read more

Proud Papa

February 03, 2014 :: written in: All Blog Posts
Many bloggers take every opportunity to brag about their kids, but up until now I haven’t been one of them. Yet on Thursday our son CJ completed the first round of tests to become a master automotive technician, certified by the ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.) He successfully passed tests covering the following:   Engine Repair Engine Performance Heating and Air Conditioning Manual Transmission Drive Axle and 4WD Systems      In addition to his BS from the University of Oregon in Environmental Studies, CJ has just completed a two year program earning him an AA in Automotive Technology. His mother and I couldn’t be more proud of him, especially since his grades were go ... read more

 + photos!,  read more

We're Off!

February 05, 2014 :: written in: All Blog Posts
     It seems like we just returned from India and now we’re off on another adventure. Shutting down Chubby Chatterbox before a vacation is traumatic for me and I always wait until the last moment to do so. I admire bloggers who can write and publish posts while on vacation, but I’m not one of them. My initial reactions to sights and experiences are jumbled and often change with time. I like giving them an opportunity to percolate in my mind before writing them down. It’s only recently that I’ve been taking pictures. On our last trip I met a fellow who’d taken sixteen hundred photographs over the course of two weeks. I bet he won’t remember where he was in most of those pictures, al ... read more

 + photos!,  read more

The Elusive Buddha

February 26, 2014 :: written in: All Blog Posts
16, 17, 18…      Two weeks ago I was climbing 268 steps up a mountain to the Po Lin Monastery to see Hong Kong’s largest outdoor bronze Buddha, officially called the Tian Buddha, but unofficially known as Big Buddha. A cold rain pelted me, and the fog was so thick I couldn’t see my hands in front of my face, not that I was willing to pry them from my pockets where they huddled for warmth. I was reminded of the weather in Portland when we left; our pilot announced he was closing the plane’s door so we could take off early to avoid the approaching storm, and I later learned eight inches of snow and two inches of ice began blanketing Portland fifteen minutes after our departure.     ... read more

 + photos!,  read more


February 28, 2014 :: written in: All Blog Posts
 We’d come to Hong Kong because there were no direct flights from the United States to Thailand and our choices for connecting flights were Tokyo or Hong Kong. We didn’t want to arrive at our destination with jet lag so we stayed a few days in Hong Kong. As it turned out we made the right decision because Hong Kong was drizzly and foggy, but Tokyo was shut down with a blizzard.      On our last day in Hong Kong we purchased tickets for a sight-seeing bus and drove around the city, pausing at Aberdeen Harbour, a small fishing community now circled by high-rise apartments. Here, ignoring the towering urban development surrounding them, families live on boats much as they have for centuries.    ... read more

 + photos!,  read more

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