Well, it’s certainly been a while since my last update. Much of my time away has been something to do with pursuing a new employment opportunity, one, which, if it comes to fruition, will allow me to cover my bills and taxes, purchase food, clothing, and medicine, and fuel for the automobile, and pay down my debts! A living wage! Imagine that!
In addition to my pursuit of economic advancement, I have been working on my book again. I wrote at length about that plan here: https://nudnikonline.co/2016/09/08/medousa-the-second-edition/, and I have begun the process of revisions. I have already written out a confrontation between Athena and Medousa, paralleling the final confrontation between YHVH and Job, in which YHVH refuses to answer Job’s specific charges and instead reminds him how insignificant and tiny he really is in comparison to Himself. The “miniature Job” scene that Medousa hallucinates during her initial exile will be cut, and the dialogue will be reset as a conversation between Medousa and Tiresias, the blind prophet. The prologue is being rewritten so as to better reveal the longstanding rivalry between Athena and Poseidon, and I have somewhat changed and expanded the dialogue between Athena and Poseidon at the Parthenon to more clearly reflect the initial dialogue in Job between YHVH and The Adversary.
Still to be done are a reworking of conversations between the elder Gorgons and Medousa. My idea is to actually have Medousa criticizing herself to her adoptive sisters, and Stheno and Euryale will take the Job role to defend Medousa against her own ingrained self-accusations. Also, I am planning to add to the scene on Mt. Ida, so that Poseidon has the opportunity to taunt Athena over her failure with Medousa. There will also be a scene in which Poseidon grinds Medousa’s new confidence (bestowed upon her by the Gorgons and Echidna) back down, for spite. This will afford an opportunity to briefly explore the idea of Hubris in Greek drama.
Finally, I am going to get rid of the romance between Medousa and Scylla. I find it awkward and unconvincing, and I am not much of a romance writer, anyway. I had initially put it into the story, because I thought it important to show Medousa’s growth and development; She starts as a slave, the plaything of her mistress, and then, as a Gorgon, she is treated like a child by her adoptive sisters. She becomes a kind of mother figure to the orphans she rescues in Themiscyra, as well as an object of religious dread to the populace at large. I wanted to give her a fully adult relationship by the end, in order that she might become a ‘complete’ person.
However, I think it might be sufficient if she takes care of Scylla like a younger sibling, and be oblivious to how Scylla might feel about her. While it is less realistic for Medousa to never have moved on from Cynisca, it’ll make better dramatic sense, and it’ll be easier for me to write.
I may, if I ever get the money, contemplate illustrations again. While I have no intention of abandoning the gorgeous paintings Em Fripp (http://emfrippemporium.com/home.html), I would love to add the work of artist and model Ulorin Vex (http://www.ulorinvex.com/home.html). Ulorin has a unique style that impresses me as Egon Schiele as a Surrealist. I’d love to see her take on classical Greek myth.
My intentions, after these rewrites, are to again search for a traditional publisher. Everything I’ve read on the interwebs so far, suggests that this will be a fruitless and probably impossible task. Nevertheless, Medousa, in her ‘original edition’ will remain available until I find an agent, at least. Why it will be impossible, I don’t know. Most of the advice-givers online simply state that if you have already self-published a book, no reputable agent or publishing house will want it. But no one seems to say why this should be so.
Certainly, the book could be terrible on its own merits. I know it is far too long for a first novel from a nobody like me (though even at its current length, Medousa isn’t even half as long as The Brothers Karamazov.) As far as rights go, I own the copyright myself—In fact, long before I published, I applied to the US Copyright office on an early, but recognizable, version of my book. The cover illustration, I purchased from the artist herself. The only thing CreateSpace might be able to claim is the advertising copy that is printed on the back cover, and the conversion work they did for the electronic format.
It might be that a publisher or an agent will look and see the abysmal sales, and decide that Medousa simply would not sell. But, I suppose I can at least try.
And on a related note—My psychiatrist bought a copy of my book. Whether this bodes ill or not, remains to be seen. I’ll certainly keep you posted.