Many fans have noticed the headline of my website: “Poseidon’s Scribe—Advice for beginning scribblers, straight from Olympus.” Questions have been pouring in about that, and it’s time I answered them.
Are you really Poseidon’s Scribe? Yes. It’s not the sort of thing you’d make up, or dare to impersonate.
I thought Poseidon was a myth. Does he really exist? Oh, yes. God of the Sea, Earth-Shaker, Tamer of Horses. He exists, all right. And he gets rather upset when some mortals think him a myth, so I’d believe in him if I were you, especially if you’re going near water.
The Romans called him Neptune; does he prefer to go by Poseidon? He’ll answer to either name, but I think deep down he prefers the one with more syllables.
Why does he need a scribe? I never really thought to ask him. The twelve gods and goddesses in the pantheon each have one, probably because they want their exploits preserved for posterity, but can’t be bothered to write for themselves.
What sort of things does he have you write about? Oh, you know. On this day, he created an island. On that day, he got angry at some sailors who worshiped him insufficiently, so he sent a storm. Made whirlpools, created sea-monsters, went to New Orleans in mortal form to have a good time at Mardi Gras. That sort of thing.
What is Poseidon like to work for? Officially? A great guy, a wonderful boss. (But the stuff I could tell you…!)
How did you get the job? Saw the ad, sent my resume, sat for an interview. Pretty much the same as any job. Well, except for being teleported to Olympus for the interview. He looked over samples of my writing, and must have liked them.
What does the job pay? Poseidon didn’t really get the whole ‘salary’ thing at first, so I had to be insistent. Then he wanted to pay me in gold, with a morsel of ambrosia and a half cup of nectar a month. I finally introduced him to direct deposit. Basically the salary isn’t stellar; it’s about what a Grecian earns.
What are your work hours? Irregular, to say the least. At any time of day, Poseidon can pop in and demand I write some account of him making a sea spout to terrorize people, or whipping up a squall for fun. After the first month, I got the hang of the self-glorifying language he preferred, so it’s a rare week when I need to work more than forty hours. That leaves time for my hobby, writing fiction. I’m just glad I’m not Hermes’ scribe; that poor guy has to write fast.
Where is your office? Can you work from home? I do work at home, actually, though on some occasions the sea-god teleports me to some ocean or other to see an event (or its aftermath) myself so I can describe it as an actual witness.
Do you get benefits? No. Although I keep telling Poseidon it’s a full-time job and I’m entitled to benefits, he’s an immortal and considers me a temp.
Can Poseidon fire you? Or worse? In theory, yes. There was a period, a few centuries ago when he would turn his scribes into goats or banish them to Hades if they wrote poor accounts. But that led to a shortage of mortal volunteers, so now there’s a process he has to follow. No changing into any sort of animal without thirty days advance notice, arbitration hearings, full documentation of deficiencies, access to a lawyer, etc. I think my job’s pretty safe.
How do I get a job like that? Well, there are only so many gods, and they like to hire young scribes who will serve for a full mortal career, so positions don’t open that often. If I had to guess, I’d say Hephaestus’ scribe would be next to retire, maybe in fifteen years or so. If you’re into writing about fire, metalworking, masonry, and sculpture, that could be the job for you!
There you have it. If you think of more questions, just leave a comment or click on Contact in my menu above to send an e-mail to—