Hello! Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here!
Today, I feel the need to do some housekeeping to bring as much clarity as possible as to what I do here and why I do it.
I have been taking notes ever since I was a little kid. Like 1st grade little. I have a large rubbermaid box full of notebooks of Cub Scout material, church notes, personal reasearch, journals, ect.
I also have several hundred pages of extensive notes from my various jobs.
This does not include the many hundreds of reports I have written during my career as a peace officer.
Writing has been a passion for me since I discovered the alphabet more or less.
I thought very little of writing fiction although I read a good bit of it growing up.
This game changed that for me.
It started innocent enough, walking around and finding virtual mines and resources by GPS and getting fit in the process. In reality, it was wasting my time, but I still wanted to play. I really cut back walking around with my phone looking for resources in all the wrong places.
There was a chat option to trade so I decided to write poems for ingame cash donations. Some folks wanted scary so I wrote a little of that too, so long as I could get a donation and play the game. A Bard and a Beast were born. Naturally, the requests went to the lowest common denominator and needed regulation and the Brother was necessary. Some of you have met this character.
Any way you look at it, new outlook on writing was born for me. While I had written a fair amount of poetry, I had never written stories until this point.
After listening to some preaching, I let a lot of my time consuming games go, but I took a few friends with me.
Some friends of note were the Bard, Beast, and the Brother. I knew these three characters very well from experience and the Resources game.
I started to blog about these characters on Blogger, but they did not seem to mesh well. After 50 posts or so, I took everything down and began journaling with their fictional lives by exaggerating experiences and putting them in a fictional world.
My father, Herb Thiel has been writing for years and I pitched the idea of writing from this perspective. He had seen some of it and thought it was a cool idea. He proposed the idea of a self hosted WordPress site.
I did not wish to paint myself into a corner and called it Brother’s Campfire. I am the oldest with younger siblings, so it fit the bill. My dad was handy with the nuts and bolts of web design and titled me The Storyteller.
And so I began a journey into something I had not really done before, telling stories.
I knew nothing about the WordPress app other than it was an excellent way to tell stories on the go with the handy tools it contained.
I started looking at the analytics and noticed only my few followers from Resources and my dad were reading it, but I was totally cool with that. After telling a few friends, my email list began to grow.
Kristian Weigman was the game changer. She was my first WordPress follower! She showed me how to find other blogs an reach out to people with like interests.
Steadily, my fan base grew. I began incorporating bloggers into my story by reading about them and having them participate. I also had my characters give out awards.
My interest in my Bard Beast and Brother stories waned and I wrote posts about it well after I was interested.
I went on to what I was more familiar with, day to day journaling, how to tutorials and fun stuff I had been doing.
What I did not realize is that when I put material out and began responding to comments and emails, I was building a community; in some cases, new family, much like Northwich in my story.
There is a sense of belonging that comes to being part of the village and the Campfire, especially if you are written in the history of it.
This sense of belonging to a fictional world spilled over into real life.
Some folks started coming to me with complex concerns in my contact page (which is ok) and others started adopting me as their real brother. (Which is ok as well)
I kind of marvelled at this transition but accepted it. It follows my line of work.
Here is my disclaimer.
(I am not liscenced in any type of counseling. I will refer you to Jesus. If you become wildly successful from my opinions, remember us little people from Northwich, La Longi. )
So, that is my houskeeping. I hope it answers a long line of questions I have recently recieved.
(My interest in storytelling has revived by the way.)