Recently I held a poll on Twitter to determine the title for my fantasy novel. The Emerald Sword never really grabbed me, but I didn’t have any great ideas.
Then I wrote some words down from my main character’s perspective and I realized I had my title: The Tang of Fate
First I went to Twitter for confirmation. About ten people voted and as I figured, Tang of Fate won over Emerald Sword, Zamurrad, and Something Else.
It’s catchy, not quite as cliched, and it definitely helps that no one else appears to have used the title yet.
What’s it about? Glad you asked! Saucy female protagonist sees her family slain by evil sorcerer. On her way to stop badguy from turning everybody into skeletons, she makes friends with a wizard, a changeling, and a princess. And achieving her goal may doom the world with fire and ice.
I’ve always loved fantasy fiction, especially more grounded works like Dragonlance and David Gemmell’s Drenai Saga. I love Star Wars and comics of all types, as well as classics of genre and literary fiction.
After an adolescence spent following white dudes with swords around, I strive for greater diversity in my works, with POC and women as major characters I have relatively few LGBTQ characters, but the ones I have are written as people, not props. That goes for all my characters. (It’s not that hard. Bar is ridiculously low.)
Ten more things Tang of Fate will have:
- A fairy queen
- Detailed setting
- People being terrible to each other
- People being excellent to each other
- Characters who want things
- Characters who do things
- Imperfect heroes who are still heroes
- Fightin’, feastin’, runnin’ away, and makin’ sweet, sweet love
Four things Tang of Fate will definitely not have:
- Any mention of a balance between good and evil. The concept is atrocious.
- Dull, over-troped writing
- Songs about dish-washing
I’ve come across something in my writing that’s helping me a lot, and I’d like to share it with you. Now, as with most writing advice, this bit won’t appeal to everyone. Some are gonna think it’s dumb or too hard or not hard enough or … Continue reading Bad Writing Advice: Part 1 – The 4 (or 5) F’s
Hey guys. Sorry for the lack of updates. Trying to get this book done, and between work and living with parents, it’s taking forever.
As you can probably guess, I’m updating to let you know there won’t be any updates for a good, long while. When the book is done, I’ll get back to it. Probably with a new look. We’ll see.
Hey, folks! Long-time readers may remember me talking eons ago about a book called “The Emerald Sword.” I’m still working on it, but NOW I have come up with a plan to have the final draft done in just ten short weeks.
Ok, ten regular-length weeks, but you get the idea.
The novel is about a fiery redheaded girl who embarks on a quest to save her family from an evil wizard and his skeleton army and winds up embroiled in a conflict that may lead to the destruction of all she holds dear. Plus, there are werewolves, fairies, dragons, buffalo, and maybe even some chocolate if I can squeeze it in there.
Depending on how the agent hunt goes, we could be looking at publication as early as 2020 or even later! Whoopee!!
I’ve also been working on making the site more accessible to my blind visitors and those with slower internet connections. PLEASE let me know if you have trouble accessing any part of this site! I’ve been adding alt-text and image description to all my images. A bunch got erased on accident and had to be either replaced or junked indefinitely (don’t leave me alone with computers). So now most of the images on this site should be friendly to screen readers. I’m only now getting started with this sort of thing, so please be patient and let me know if I’m doing this right.
Finally, I’m toying with the idea of putting In His Spare Time up in the comic space. Probably plow through some of my back catalog before posting new material. Let me know what you think.
I’ve posted on this topic in the past, on my old blog. My feelings haven’t changed.
Escapism is often decried as immature or irresponsible. As if to say someone locked in a basement filled with spiders, frantically trying to find another way out, is somehow guilty of sloth.
Escapism is a perfectly rational response to a world filled with evil. Engage and defeat evil if you can, of course. But if you cannot, escape is a valid second option.
The human desire to escape to a better world could be seen as evidence that we are not meant to be here. That we are meant for heaven. As the good book says, our hearts know no rest until they rest in Thee.
This is not to say we should not work for a better world. Or at least that we should work to help our own neighbors where they are. But there’s only so much we can do. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. And we are so tired.
In the meantime, we have Star Wars and fantasy and superheroes to sate our yearning for a better world.
Let no one mock our escapist fantasies, our dreams of a better tomorrow. Come my friends, tis not to late to seek a better world!
Hey, kids. Here are some quick updates to what I’ve been doing.
- Final (?!) revisions to Emerald Sword are underway. Still rethinking that title. At current pace, my fantasy novel will be ready for agents around July 15 or so.
- Finished inking/coloring Bubblegum-Man #3 on the big paper. Working on #4 right now. Issue 4 may be a double-sized deluxe-edition. Once these are done, the current story arc will end. In other words, you can expect Bubblegum-Man #3 on this website within the next month or so.
- Working on Iron Man armor for Dragon-Con. I’ll be down on Sunday this year. I spend most of my time in the dealer room, scavenging comics and coveting rare action figures I cannot afford.
- Posted two new videos to the Youtubes. Here’s the good one:
I forgot to turn off the air conditioning for that first one, so…yeah.
- Started watching Rick and Morty this summer. Good stuff!
- Rebecca Cohen and Ethan Kocak still make better webcomics than me.
- Someone made a Wheel of Time -themed metal song:
So there’s that.
- This kid on Youtube wants 5 likes. Let’s help’em out:
Ok. So by now, you’re either freaking out or wondering why everyone else is. I’m going to lay off the political posts for a while. Instead of complaining and shouting on here, I’m going to start contacting my representatives. I encourage you to do the same, should you feel it necessary.
Hey folks. As you can see, we’ve gone through a couple cosmetic changes: TheOptimistsUmbrella.com is now conqcomix.net. The content hasn’t really changed that much. We’ll still be putting up Bubblegum-Man comics (issue 3 on the way, promise), as well as posting updates on my creative works and for the site as a whole under the “State of the Conq” category and blogging on a variety of subjects in the “Side of Conq” category. Bubblegum-Man will continue to use the “Bubblegum-Man” category and will still update at the top of the page. Comics like In His Spare Time and Apples and Oranges (coming soon-ish) will update with the blog postings. Hope you like the new layout! Let me know what you think. If you haven’t read Bubblegum-Man yet, now’s the time to get caught up on issues 1 and 2. Just click on the links below.
These two issues will be getting remastered in the near future, with clearer dialogue and tighter plotting. Keep your eyes out for that!
UPDATE: For convenience and old times’ sake, TheOptimistsUmbrella.com and williambrust.com will both still direct to this site.
Hello and welcome to the new Optimist’s Umbrella, the official blog of comic book writer and fantasy novelist William Brust. Some of you may remember the old Optimist’s Umbrella. I decided to go back to the old name. No regrets.
This blog will be updating weekly, barring any unforeseen responsibilities, awkward dates, or gremlin attacks.