A Farewell to Agamemnon from Clytemnestra

Several year ago, I wrote a Greek myth, historical fiction Nanowrimo novel about Clytemnestra, the twin sister to Helen of Troy called Betrayed. Recently I’ve come back to it and have been revising it — and I have to say that I’m having a lot of fun. There are parts of this novel that I think are fantastic. Of course, there are other parts that still need work, but I’m getting there.

I’ve also been going over some poetry I wrote awhile ago and, funnily enough, came across this one about Clytemnestra. It’s not too bad, so thought I’d share it here.

Murder of Agamemnon, painting by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin.

A Farewell to Agamemnon from Clytemnestra


I say to Agamemnon, my husband,

Who today returned home,


From the Trojan War.

Tonight the victory is mine.

His eyes grow wide, he sits up,

Sloshing water from the tub.

I throw the net over his naked body,

And watch him struggle,

A fly in a web.

The knife at his throat

Stops his fight.

“Why?” he gasps,

Like he really doesn’t know.

I laugh.

“To gain a kingdom,

You ravaged me on the night you made me

A childless widow.

You shredded my life with your knife.

But that wasn’t enough for you.

Hate festered when

You traded a ten year battle

Leading the thousand ships,

To return Helen, my beautiful, fickle sister,

To the husband who couldn’t keep her

In the first place,

For the life of our daughter.

Iphigenia was an innocent sacrifice.

Though you have blood on your hands,

I sacrifice you to Nemesis,

The goddess of revenge.”

I look up and meet the eyes of my lover,

The usurper, Aegisthus,

And pull the knife across my husband’s throat.


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I’ve been working hard on getting healthier, and one of the things I’ve been doing is reading Writing the Natural Way by Gabriele Rico, as well as doing the exercises. I highly recommend this book, by the way — lots of deceptively simple exercises and information about how the brain works. I thought it would be fun to start sharing some of these poems here on my blog.

Today I wrote a poem following the structure of another poem, in this case, Portrait VIII by e.e. cummings. His poem was about Buffalo Bill. I’ve chosen Zeus from ancient Greek myth.



Zeus is


     who can take any form

     to seduce whoever strikes his


     and wield onetwothreefourfive thunderbolts


     By the gods!

he was powerful


          sitting on his throne in Olympus

               governing all

but where is he





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Summer Newsletter & Sale

Hello Everyone,

I know it’s been a little while, but the end of the school year caught up with me. I was also getting ready to sell my book and some felting I’ve been working on at our local Art in the Park — an annual event here in Kamloops on Canada Day. It was super fun. Here’s a picture from my booth.

Working on Betrayed

As much as I love Antigone, I am finding that I need a break from her, so I am going to spend the next little while working on another novel I have in the works called Betrayed (working title). This one is most definitely aimed at adults and is about Clytemnestra, who is the sister of Helen of Troy and was married to Agamemnon (the leader of the Greeks in the Trojan War). She’s an interesting character who is villianized in most of ancient literature because she took a consort while her husband was away at the Trojan War, then killed him upon his return. But, she does have her reasons… Her story has a lot of fantastic avenues to explore. Read more

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Author Interview: Paula Houseman

Today I am happy to introduce author Paula Houseman, who uses Greek mythology in her writing — an author after my own heart.

photo_3Tell us about your book. What is it about?

Odyssey in a Teacup re-imagines a newer, better kind of ‘normal’ … as seen through a skewed lens!

My book’s protagonist, Ruth Roth, was born in the wrong era and into the wrong family. A wild child, Ruth’s behaviour is an inadvertent up yours to a baby boomer society choking on moral purity. Ruth can’t help it, though. The standard role model in this coming-of-age story is well ‘below’ standard! It’s the ancient goddess of obscenity.

Dusted off and in fine form, the dirty goddess works through Ruth, takes all the usual elements of this genre—sexuality, friendship, love, gender, education, occupation and religion—and strips ‘em raw! And that’s how Ruth processes them. But her impropriety often lands her in hot water.

A fascination with ancient mythology helps her make sense of her turbulent reality. Ruth learns that life is really just ancient myth in modern dress—civilised … or so it seems. The idiocy she sees all around her suggests she’s not the only one at the mercy of deep, mythological forces!

But armed with a foul-mouthed goddess, who shows her the humour in everything (and always at the wrong times), is not enough to protect her from all the forces that demand conformity. With her mother’s squawking wearing her down, Ruth caves in, and loses soul.

Still, the irrepressible goddess won’t quit. Never intending to upend Ruth’s psychological and moral growth, she’s just trying to keep her real. So are her hot-looking, obsessive-compulsive cousin and best friend, Ralph (who needs to do everything twice, twice), and her two closest girlfriends—the genteel Vette with the ‘big caboose’, and the ballsy Maxi with the big mouth.

With their help, and a good homoeopathic dose of ancient mythology, Ruth finds her way back through the sludgy shame and irrational fears choking her spirit. Then just when all seems well, she faces an apocalypse … Read more

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