Song of the Oceanides
by J.G. Zymbalist
GENRE: YA Fantasy
Rory Slocum had only just returned home from Putnam’s General Store and Newsagent when he noticed the girl standing in the heart of the garden. She seemed to be lost in the music of the wind chimes dangling from Mother’s lilac tree. Still, despite the girl’s seeming innocence, somehow he just knew that she must be one of the Oceanides who had been taunting him all summer long.
She must have heard his footsteps in the salty afternoon breeze because she turned to look upon him. What a comely girl too.
A bit of jam and then some! He stopped in his tracks and studied her classical features.
She had plum-black hair, eyes of sea green, bold chiseled planes to her face, fine hallowed cheeks, and a sharp jaw line. How could she be anything but an Oceanide?
Slowly he advanced as far as the fog cannon where he paused a second time. Perhaps he would do something so as to entertain her, and once she realized how amusing he could be, she would tell the others to leave him be. He walked over to the lilac tree. “Look what I’ve got here!” With that he held up his copy of Sir Pilgarlic Guthrie’s Phantasy Retrospectacle.
She must have resented the whole notion that a boy like Rory would even think to approach someone like her. Grimacing, she called to another girl who had just walked up through the gale-torn bluffs. The two of them spoke in a tongue resembling the Byzantine Greek in which the drunken churchwarden sometimes delivered his public addresses.
As giddy as ever, Rory advanced a few more steps. “You know what they call this sort of picture book, do you? Down at Putnam’s, they tell me it’d be un comique pittoresque. Just like the newsagents sell down there in Paris.” Now he pointed to the picture on the dust jacket—the Oceanides’ long flowing hair and the mint-cream linen gowns reaching down to their ankles. Afterward he pointed at the girls themselves standing there in their own creamy-white gowns. “Sir Pilgarlic Guthrie, he’s the bettermost! Everything bang up to the elephant and—”
“Have you any idea how odd you are?” the first Oceanide asked. “And you’ll be beginning your fifth year in school next fall, isn’t that right? They’ll tear you apart, a beanpea like you.”
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 on sale for $0.99. Free for Kindle Unlimited Members or as part of Kindle MatchBook.
Certainly not. I’m very uncool. Still, I think it would be exciting to be married to a woman with tattoos. I certainly don’t have anything against it, and I’ve heard that some women with tattoos prefer a husband who is a little bit bland in his own tastes. Bland is definitely me.
Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
It is precisely the same. Ever since I began writing full time, I find myself lost in the page. Years blend into one another. Nothing ever changes. And that’s just fine with me. I’m very introverted.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing all my life, but I threw almost all of it away. The only thing I really have left is what remains of my NA Middle-Eastern epic. Decades ago, when I was in my twenties, I wrote the rough draft as I was night clerking in a series of Palestinian youth hostels in the Old City of Jerusalem. It’s a historical fantasy all about the British Empire during the First World War. I do plan to self-publish the piece in a few years. There is very little sex and violence, so I see no reason to query the agents.
What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Write only if you have to. Oh, and put lots of sex and violence into the text if you want the gatekeepers to like it.
Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
I believe my book, Song of the Oceanides, to have therapeutic power. My father was a physician, and my mother was a registered nurse, so I guess it’s in my blood. If you slip into my story, the cathartical elements can and will do you some good. I’m sure of it. I’m a little bit like the Blues Brothers in the sense that I sort of feel I’m “on a mission from God.” Or perhaps I should just say that I do have a conscience and do wish to write the sort of books that can help others cope with the facts of life.