I’ve been working on a novel called The Tediad. It was conceived in a period of dispiriting unemployment, and perhaps fittingly, it might be completed in a similar state. It has taken me an embarrassing amount of time to finish. It’s such a terrible cliché, but you got to build your life out of something. Let me tell you, clichés are a surprisingly affordable building material.
Occasionally, while traveling down the meandering road of life, on will encounter a crossroads. In the summer of 2009, I found that myself standing at something more like a parking lot. I had just graduated from Providence College and felt both full of potential and utterly useless to the world. In that first lengthy period of unemployment, I tried pursuing various goals with hopes that something might stick.
One of those goals was writing. I had always wanted to write fiction, but I never felt like I was ready to. I had been waiting for myself to, I don’t know, reach an age where suddenly I would be a wonderful writer? I decided then to take the first step towards becoming a writer: start fumbling around as a bad one.
But what subject did I choose to mangle first?
All students at Providence College were required to take four semesters of a class called Development of Western Civilization. It was part history, part art history, part philosophy, and a hefty part theology. I appreciated what those classes were trying to do. It was an exciting intellectual buffet, but the pace was too quick appreciate any one dish. The end result was a head full of historical figures that I could tell you absolutely nothing about.
One of the first classes glanced over the Bronze Age civilizations of Greece: the Minoans and the Mycenaeans. I don’t know why, but I felt in love with this time-period. I could have enjoyed a whole semester focused on it. Perhaps it was its odd similarity to our own time. It could have been the art from this time. Maybe it was this period’s intimate connection with mythology. It was from this time that the stories of the Iliad and the Odyssey were based.
Back then, I had the strange idea of writing a comedic story about ancient Greece. Without any story writing experience, without a clear plot in mind, and with a laughably weak knowledge of the subject matter, I set off to make this travesty. I began to play the scene of a thousand Greek ships heading to sack Troy. From that I imaged one of those ships, for some reason, going in the opposite direction. And that was it. That was the image that sparked the rest of the Tediad.
Here’s the synopsis:
Dr. Phadius Gillenderg, an archaeologist of questionable integrity, presents to the world a forgotten Bronze Age myth about the less-than-legendary figure Tedieous. Tedieous is a timid potter from the largely overlooked polis of Spiphica who ends up entangled in both the events of the Trojan War and the machinations of the Gods of Olympus. Meanwhile, his hometown companion Kareena is left behind. She decides to strike out on her own journey to rescue Tedieous. Independently, they must learn to navigate through a supernatural world of strange islands, mythical creatures, bickering gods, heroes, villains, and a seemingly endless supply of epithets.
I’ll be posting more about it later. I’m hoping to ship this baby out this year, so keep your eyes open.