Song of the Oceanides
by J.G. Zymbalist
GENRE: YA Fantasy
Song of the Oceanides is a highly-experimental triple narrative transgenre fantasy that combines elements of historical fiction, YA, myth and fairy tale, science fiction, paranormal romance, and more. For ages 10-110.
Blue Hill, Maine.
3 August, 1903.
From the moment Emmylou heard the song of the Oceanides, she recognized something godly in the tune. As it resounded all across the desolate shoreline of Blue Hill Bay, she recalled the terrible chorus mysticus ringing all throughout that extinct Martian volcano the day her father went missing down in the magma chamber.
Aunt Belphœbe followed along, guiding Maygene through the sands. “Why don’t you go play in that shipwreck over there?” Aunt Belphœbe pointed toward a fishing schooner run aground some fifty yards to the south.
When Maygene raced off, Emmylou refused to follow. By now the chorus of song tormented her so much that an ache had awoken all throughout her clubfoot. Before long she dropped her walking stick and fell to the earth. Closing her eyes, she dug both her hands into the sands and lost herself in memories of the volcano. How could Father be gone? Though he had often alluded to the perils of Martian vulcanology, she never imagined that someone so good and so wise could go missing.
The song of the Oceanides grew a little bit louder and increasingly dissonant.
Opening her eyes, Emmylou listened very closely. The song sounded like the stuff of incantation, witchcraft. And even though she could not comprehend every word, nevertheless she felt certain that the Oceanides meant to cast a spell upon some unfortunate soul.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
J.G. Źymbalist began writing Song of the Oceanides as a child when his family summered in Castine, Maine where they rented out Robert Lowell’s house.
The author returned to the piece while working for the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society, May-September, 2005. He completed the full draft in Ellsworth, Maine later that year.
For more information, please see http://jgzymbalist.com
NOTE: The book is now permafree on all sites.
A Word From the Author
Advice for writers
The best thing any writer can do is to work one on one with a published novelist (or content editor or line editor) who is willing to critique one of your early drafts line by line. The most ideal situation would be to send off or to email the manuscript in chunks and then meet face to face perhaps once or twice a month in some comfortable coffee house midway between either places of residence.
Then you do very little. Just sit there sipping your coffee or nibbling on your oatmeal cookie and listen as that published mentor produces the last chunk sent to him or her. At this point, the novelist/content editor/line editor will review his or her edits in such a way that there will be no confusion as to the meaning. In short order, you will get a sense of what the major problems are.
Presently I am working with a content editor living on the other side of the country, and the only way to communicate is via email. Of course I can ask for a clarification of this or that edit, but nothing beats a real face-to-face encounter. The feeling is something like that of an apprentice learning from a master or at least someone far ahead on the learning curve. It is good to feel like an apprentice by the way. It is a humbling sensation. In our time, writers and artists and musicians are becoming much more empowered due to the personal computer and the internet and so on. That’s all well and good, but it shouldn’t mean that the writer or artist or musician should let his or her ego swell. The humbling feeling that is created by master craftsman and apprentice remains a good strong fulcrum for learning. Let’s not forget that pride is one of the seven deadly sins—and pride is deadly even if you’re not Catholic.
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