Dominos That Brought Us Here

Updating my author website feels like setting another domino in a line that’s tumbling over.

Excerpted from

The Mythoversal Newsletter

Mythoversal restores inclusion and diversity to classical texts, rediscovering traditions erased by centuries of gatekeeping.

The Mythoversal Newsletter brings author commentary, mythological movie reviews, and occasional essays to your inbox.

I wouldn’t be redoing the author site if I didn’t have a web serial in the works. I wouldn’t have a web serial in the works if I hadn’t gotten into a routine of posting material every week. And I wouldn’t have gotten into that routine if not for the COVID-19 pandemic.

And that’s life, isn’t it? We’re so focused on lining up our individual dominos that we sometimes lose sight of the line—how we got to where we are, and where we might be headed next.

So I thought it might be useful this week to take a step back.

Mythoversal as a Pandemic Project

In the early days of the pandemic, during a time of closed libraries and distance-learning, I turned one of my old manuscripts into a series of weekly poems that told a story in the world of Greek mythology and put them online as a public service. These poems were accompanied by notes, commentary, and tips for teachers and parents.

Those initial poems about Pyrrha of Thebes would become the basis for my Becoming Hercules serial. The website they were posted on would become the basis for the current Mythoversal site. The notes and commentary would become the basis for this newsletter.

A follow-up story posted to Mythoversal retold the first book of the Posthomerica of Quintus of Smyrna. Quintus’s story of Amazons at Troy is a 2nd or 3rd Century echo of a much older story that developed alongside the works of Homer. But the version that’s come down to us is flawed and felt too insubstantial to be a proper counterpart to the Iliad and Odyssey, so I fleshed out the characters and their cultural background.

The process of restoring diversity, inclusion, and equity to Quintus’s story became the basis for Mythoversal’s signature approach to classical texts. The Mythoversal version of the Amazons at Troy is currently being edited for publication. A Mythoversal version of the Iliad, currently on hiatus, has also been undertaken.

Before the pandemic, I had a manuscript that might have only ever lived on my computer drive. After the pandemic, and largely because of the pandemic, I have a website, a book manuscript, an upcoming web serial, and a signature approach to classical texts.

Of course, taking something good out of an international tragedy does nothing to lessen the pain caused by so many deaths and so much suffering. It does nothing to address the ongoing tragedy in my country, the United States, that despite our shared experience during this once-in-a-century natural disaster, our society as a whole hasn’t taken the opportunity to come together in support of each other. Instead, it feels like the major factions have drawn different lessons from the past year and are farther apart than ever.

But those grand national-scale dominos are beyond the scope of this essay.

Before the pandemic, we each had our sets of dominos in a line. For many of us, that line was altered and set in a different direction with new dominos we hadn’t ever considered. In a reopened, vaccinated, kinda-sorta back to normal world, those new lines will continue. Some will lead to great things, and I hope your line of dominos is among them.

I appreciate your company on this journey toward a post-pandemic Mythoversal in a post-pandemic world.

Happy reading!

—Greg R. Fishbone
Mythoversal Author-in-Residence