NaNo Snippets: Siren and the Skyship

And now for the long awaited party I mean snippets I promised you!

The time has come, the blogger said, to take you on some trips

Through NaNo! Clouds and sirens, and Royal Sky Navy Ships!

Or something like that.

I hope you enjoy this glimpse at my YA Steampunk-Fantasy Little-Mermaid(-ish) 2017 NaNo novel, The Siren and the Skyship . . .


“Skyship off the starboard bow!” cried the lookout.

Auren wondered a) how the lookout had managed to see anything in this abysmal weather, and b) how anyone could possibly hear him.

* * *

In the mellow lamp-light in her cabin, Tasmania’s fine penmanship filled white pages with ink as black as the night the skyship was currently sailing through.

Nearly died today. Again.

Otherwise an uneventful day.

* * *

Rook crouched forward astride the dragon, keeping Emmy safely in front of him with his arms to either side of her as he steered the clockwork dragon into the night. He did not know if they had been spotted in the light from the explosion, or if they were being followed, and he did not intend to stick around to find out. Protect Emmy.

Navyman and girl flew with all speed through the clouds and mist, wind in their faces blowing back her fair hair, and what had escaped from the tie he kept his long dark hair tied back with. The barest silver crescent of the moon emerged from the clouds above and radiated soft white light into the dark night, gleaming on the metal of the clockwork dragon’s beating wings, and showing the looming forms of several dark stone pillars rising up in the night.

* * *

“And we’ll just be careful.”

“Always,” Tasmania said cheerfully.

“Says my reckless captain,” Gerias said, but he smiled as he said it.

“When was I ever reckless?” Tasmania said, and she breezed out the door on her way to some breakfast and tea.

* * *

Tasmania swiveled back toward Rook.

“Stirling Rook,” he said.

She frowned, looking somewhat confused. “What about him?”

“He’s me,” Rook said, knowing there was probably something wrong with the way this conversation was going, but not quite sure he had the brain power to rectify the situation.

Captain Tasmania blinked, then folded her arms and shook her head. “Impossible. Can’t be. He’s dead.”

Rook raised his eyebrows. “News to me…” he muttered. “I mean, I feel terrible, but not that terrible…”

* * *

Before Captain Tasmania could ask any more questions, a tall man with blond hair and a chiseled jaw, in an officer’s uniform, came down the steps into the infirmary room.

“Captain, you’re wanted on deck,” he said. “And how is my patient?”

“Fine,” Rook rasped warily, looking at the man.

“Mr. Rook,” Tasmania said, “this is Gerias Bridgington-Cramley, the First Mate and Medic aboard the Star Dreamer. Gerias, we have a name to our mysterious rescue: this is Stirling Rook.”

Gerias’s blond eyebrows raised. “The Stirling Rook? Admiral Rook’s son?”

Rook sighed. Not this again. “Yes.”

“I thought you were dead.”

“So I keep hearing,” Rook said.

* * *

“Why, oh, why, can’t I touch things!” Auren howled in exasperation and panic. He thought he was slowing her fall just a little, but not stopping it. The skyship was out of sight above them, obscured by clouds, and she was rapidly falling straight toward whatever was below the next batch of clouds. Auren hoped, for Tasmania’s sake, that it was one of the rope nets…

No such luck. They were near a net stretched between two pillars, with grass growing on the tops of the rock, but the trajectory of her course was aimed straight for the pillar or, worst case scenario, even down beyond that to who-knew-what—probably jagged rock or maybe a crevice down into no-man’s-land.

All Auren could think was: She’s going to die. Tasmania’s going to die and I can’t save her. And that was when he realized. I love her. It was completely a miserable thought to have at a moment like this, and extremely inconvenient too. Why did he have to care so much? But he couldn’t stop it now. Determination and anger flowed through him. He wouldn’t let it happen.

Auren bent his entire will and all his thought and strength toward becoming a wind, pushing her up, slowing her descent, fighting the air currents with wind of his own, fighting them to keep his Tasmania alive.

And as he did, he sang.

He sang with all his heart, siren song words which welled up from somewhere deep inside of him, half lullaby, half war song—a song to keep the most tired soldier fighting, to wake and put to sleep a child all at once, to say You are safe in my arms—let’s fly together, and don’t worry about anything.

Every part of his mind and wispy-wind-like body strained as hard as he possibly could and—he—slowed—her—down.

His nearly insubstantial touch that had never been able to hold anything, held her, stopped her fall, and, still singing, he slowly, gently, ever so gently, laid her very softly to rest on the green sward of grass at the top of the mist-wreathed pillar of rock.

* * *

Auren woke to find Rook standing by the side of the bunk bed, arms folded, looking down at him.

Auren stretched and yawned. “ ’Morning?” he said.

“Are you an assassin?” Rook asked calmly.

Auren blinked. “Pardon?”

“I didn’t hear you come in last night,” Rook said, as if this explained everything.

Auren yawned again and rubbed his eyes, wondering if this was a human thing to have no idea what someone was talking about this early in the morning. “I’m sorry, why is that a bad thing? I was trying to be quiet; that was just me trying to be considerate and let you sleep. What’s wrong with not hearing me come in and— why do you think I’m an assassin? Because no, I’m definitely not.”

* * *

“So . . . what you’re saying is that I’m an assassin, but I’m just a really bad one?” Auren said, incredulous. “I feel like I should be insulted, but I’m still trying to wrap my mind around why you think I’m an assassin.”

* * *

So he did the only thing he could do: he spun the wheel and steered them directly between two of the pillars. Auren had never steered a skyship before, but he knew the air and the wind currents, and if there was one thing he did know how to do, it was fly.

* * *

“Because like it or not, someone wants you dead.”

Tasmania sighed and dropped her face into her hands to rub her forehead. This was turning into a long day.

* * *

Auren had fallen in love with hammocks and abandoned his bunk in favor of sleeping on one.

“It’s like sleeping in the air, or flying,” Auren had said in raptures, completely delighted at this concept for some reason Rook could not make head nor tail out of.

Rook grunted. “We’re on a skyship. You’re already flying.”

Auren ignored him.

At least Rook had the bunk to himself now.

* * *

She saw Auren, across the deck, vault up onto the railing, rope in hand. Without hesitation, he leapt in a graceful arc, as one with the air, over the side of the skyship and out of sight into the sky below.

* * *

As soon as he was gone and the door closed behind them, Tasmania relaxed and slumped a little in her chair, grimacing. “Back to civilization, is it? Civilization can’t pluck you out of the sky when you’re falling a thousand feet through a storm. You’re very welcome for picking you up on this little not-civilization ship, sir.”

* * *

She laughed. “It’s Tasmania. Really. Or… my brothers call me Mania.”

Auren’s eyes widened. “I could never call you that.”

Her grin was infectious. “Believe me, if you’d known me as long as they have, you would.”

* * *

“I thought you were dead.”

“Yeah, I… get that a lot,” Rook said.

What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know! Thanks very much for reading — I so appreciate it! And Merry Christmas! ^_^ I’ll not be blogging next week, so I’ll see you all in a couple of weeks with the turning of the year! Love you, lovely readers! ❤

16 thoughts on “NaNo Snippets: Siren and the Skyship

  1. SNIPPETS!!!! Deborah, you lovely, you gave me my Christmas present early! Or might as well have, you know!

    I love these snippets and I can’t wait to someday read the actual book. Everyone seems just as awesome in reality as I expected them to from your descriptions.

    I love all the snippets, obviously, but some notes on my favorites:

    “Impossible. Can’t be. He’s dead.”

    Rook raised his eyebrows. “News to me…” he muttered. “I mean, I feel terrible, but not that terrible…”
    “I thought you were dead.”

    “Yeah, I… get that a lot,” Rook said.

    Poor Rook. XD Hopefully someone actually doesn’t greet him that way at some point.

    Also: “We’re on a skyship. You’re already flying.” Brilliant. XD And naturally Auren is a very bad assassin and not a lovelorn cloud siren. Because that makes perfect sense.

    I also love the snippet where Auren catches her, especially the description of his song– it’s so vivid and lovely and sweet.

    Anyway. Wonderful snippets! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EEP, thank you so much, Sarah!! Your comment made me so happy! ^_^ SO glad you enjoyed, and the fact that they seem as awesome as you thought they’d be MAKES MY DAY! 🙂

      Eheh, yes, hopefully the world will get used to the idea of him not being dead. XD Poor Rook…

      Your remark about Auren being a bad assassin versus lovelorn cloud siren made me laugh! Perfect. XD

      Oh, yay! I had a really good time writing that catching part — and it was actually during a wordwar so I was typing INSANELY fast and it still turned out lovely so I’m very please you liked it. 🙂

      Thanks so much! You’re welcome and thanks for your so-encouraging comment!! ❤


      • You’re welcome! ❤

        Hopefully indeed. Otherwise poor Rook may have to run off somewhere they've never heard of him alive or dead.

        Good! 😀

        You wrote that during a word war? Nice! I wish my word war prose turned out that nicely!

        You're very welcome! ❤

        Liked by 1 person




    “Nearly died today. Again.
    Otherwise an uneventful day.” <–LAUGHING. SO. HARD. Tasmania sounds like a RIOT. XDDD

    Who is this Emmy girl Rook is protecting???????? And wait… Does that say what I think it does? They're steering a CLOCKWORK DRAGON?!?!?!?!?!?!??! WUT WUT WUT WUT WUT WUT. THAT. IS. THE. COOLEST. THING. EVER. And just AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Okay, but Tasmania sounds like one of my FAVORITE types of female characters. Just fun and reckless and crazy. That is so funny her nickname is Mania. PERFECT. xD

    WAIT. Rook's first name is Stirling? Did I know this??? Stirling Rook. THAT IS SUCH A COOL NAME. And I am laughing soooo much about how EVERYONE thinks Rook is dead and he's getting so exasperated about it. xDDD

    OH MY GRACIOUS GOODNESS. That scene where Auren is saving Tasmania from falling!!!! CHILLS. My heart did a THING when he realized he loved her. And then he sang and the way you described a siren's songs just awakens the senses and KSDJLKDJFLKJS:DLJFLJSD. IT WAS ALL SO GORGEOUS. That one may be my favorite snippet. It was just so powerful and breathtaking! PRECIOUS AUREN BBY. <3333

    I love seeing Rook and Auren interact. They seem so different. I imagine their dynamics were a blast to write! xD

    That's so cute Auren likes to sleep in hammocks. He is SUCH a precious cinnamon roll! But also EPIC. He just JUMPED off the side of the ship? o.O I JUST LOVE HIM SO MUCH.

    I LOVED ALL OF THESE!!!!!!!!!!!! I WANT MORE. I WANT THIS WHOLE STORY. Like NEEEEED THIS WHOLE STORY! I've been utterly head-over-heels for this idea since you first mentioned it. But now seeing SNIPPETS. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS THE MOST EPIC, BEAUTIFUL THINGS EVER. The charactersssss! I love Rook, obviously. But I honestly think I love Tasmania and Auren JUST as much. They're all so different and fun and endearing in their own ways. AND THE WORLD. The wooooorld! Skyships and CLOCKWORK DRAGONS and all the sky areas and SDJFLKJSLKJDF. I WANT TO LIVE THERE. Also the writing was BEAUIMOUS. Both gorgeous but with your signature witty style. Just–

    I NEED THIS STORYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person


      I’m so so so glad you enjoyed them! 😀 And that you like the charries! They ARE kinda precious. 😉 Tasmania’s fun to write. 😛 *zips lips over Emmy* (Actually I need to work that thing into the plot more. o.o HALP my story doesn’t want to be organized. XD) YES THEY HAVE CLOCKWORK DRAGONS. Instead of helicopters/dinghies/longboats/shuttles. XD

      Yepper, Stirling Rook! I don’t think you knew… it was kinda a surprise! ^_^ I’M GLAD YOU LIKE IT. Heheh, yes, poor fellow. 😉 ALL the exasperation! 😀

      Alaksdjflkj I’m just beaming here! THANK YOU! I’m so glad you liked that scene! It was pretty special to write; and I’m amazed it turned out well because I wrote it SO fast during a wordwar. XD

      Rook and Auren are definitely interesting. 😀

      I’M GLAD YOU LIKE AUREN YAY. And you think he’s a precious cinnamon roll AND epic? YOU ARE MAKING MY DAY.

      JUST. JUST. THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH. I’m rereading your comment and wondering what to say. *flails* THANK YOUUUU! It makes me so happy that you like the characters and world and things! And I love this world/characters toooo! (Which is why I have sequel ideas. *coughcoughcough*)

      Wait, I have a signature gorgeous witty style?? THIS MAKES MY DAY AHHHH. Because that’s exactly what I go for in ALL my things! Aslkdjflskjdlfkjsldkj.

      Don’t worry, you will get it, someday! I just need to finish it. XD THANKS FOR YOUR LOVERLY COMMENT. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. SNIPPPPPPPEEEEETTTTTSSSSSS. *ahem* Um. Yes. I’m excited. XD

    *Rook says one word* OH YEAH HE’S MY FAVORITE DEFINITELY. XD But seriously, ROOK IS AWESOME. :DDD

    GAH just, the banter, the wit, the characters, EVERYTHING. PLEASE TELL ME YOU NEED BETA READERS. PLEASE. XD I mean, no pressure or anything. Just. Yeah. XD

    But REALLY. These snippets just made my DAY! <333

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwww, thank youuuu! ^____^ YOU’RE MAKING ME SO HAPPY.

      I’m pleased you like Rook! 😉

      I am not finished it, unfortunately (*distant sobbing in background*) but I would absolutely LOVE to have you as a beta reader when I finish! 😀 I definitely am going to finish this one! *is determined*

      Aww, I’m so glad you enjoyed them!! Your comment made MY day, so now we’re even! 😉 THANKS. I hope you have a lovely Christmas! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This novel sounds amazing! So many delightful snippets, but I think my favorite was the one about how Auren slowed Tasmania’s descent. Thank you for the taste of your latest work…I seriously want to read the whole thing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aaaah!!! Must–have–more!! These are so delightful. As I’ve said before, I love your writing voice. And all this dialogue is brilliant. “I feel terrible, but not *that* terrible…” I died. XD Please let me beta-read this once you have it ready for that sort of thing. *grabby hands*

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Ishness! (First of 2018!) | The Road of a Writer

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