Tzalaran's favorite hangout, hence it is the name of my blog on the web. Here i'll talk about the writing of "Scales of the Assassin", working title of the start of Tzalaran's saga, and give background information on the world Tzal lives in.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Drafting is going well.  i'm able to pick up and go, and the previous post's recipe for the Horned Devil special has contributed to some very productive butt in chair fingers at keyboard.  i've tweaked and edited the opening chapter, and i'm almost through the 2nd.  If i keep at the current pace, the draft could come in way larger than my expected 90k words.  maybe over a third more.

what i'm most pleased with is that this time my narrator is coming off much more like i envision.  Time will tell, as well as revisions, but i'm fairly pleased with the dialog that has come up during the second chapter.  i'm hoping that i've crested a hill in the writing learning curve, but i'm sure another hill comes over the horizon eventually.

(On a personal note, for the first time in the ten years i've worked on this project, my wife liked my draft...  progress, as she is a voracious reader.  My youngest son takes after her, and he liked it too)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

SotF progress & a treat: the Horned Devil special

i've gotten the first chapter (out of 13) drafted to the point i'm happy.  i've always felt i was an adequate storyteller, but my writing skills were not up to par.  With this, i feel that i've done my best work to date, and tonight feels good.  The rest is plotted out and some drafted.  i'm ready to move forward and think i've found the angle i was working for.

It has been 10 years since i first started working on this project, and it has been a brutal but enlightening learning curve.   writing is one of the very rare pursuits where the blood, sweat, and tears is all validated in an instant when you revise the rough draft and realize that you need some polish and clarity, but the essence of what you envision is there.

For the first time my wife was excited when reading, and i was not overly criticized (one of her suggestions, on the first sentence i might add, did have to take place and made the opening much stronger...  prodigious readers anyway...)

and for the treat after my rambling...

The Horned Devil Special has been minted, tested, and approved.  For those who may be interested in the recipe, here it is.

in a 17 or 20 oz glass filled with ice
1 oz Kraken spiced rum
1 oz Torched cherry baccardi rum (substitute clear rum)
1 oz Cherry UV vodke (any vodka)
1 oz Seagrams lime twisted gin (substitute regular gin)
1/2 oz ameretto

3 oz pineapple juice
2-4 pineapple chunks
2-4 cherries
splash of grenadine
top off with diet squirt (that is what i use, but regular squirt, 7 up, sprite should all work.  limeade is a tasty option imo as well...)

stir well.

Inspired by the Long Island Iced Tea, this is a better tasting, and more potent alternative (Kraken is 94 proof, and is the addition to the rum, vodka, gin core of the long island, amaretto for triple sec is win to me).

enjoy!  From the happy staff at the Horned Devil, to you!
Feel free to use the recipe, just be respectful enough to give credit please.  Thanks!