Why I Left Camp Early – A Life Update

The first few days of Camp were great and I was really pleased with the progress I was making.

Then life did that thing where it gets in the way.

Over the past couple of years my partner Chris and I have been saving up to buy a house. Late last year we reached our goal when an unexpected lump sum of inheritance came our way.

We started looking in January once the Christmas madness was out the way. As Chris is on a fixed term employment contract we were told we had to wait a couple of months to see if it was renewed. Thankfully it was.

So we started the process again in March only to be told that we were still going to struggle to get a mortgage. I could go into more detail about how ridiculous this is considering our combined annual income and how much we have saved up but, I will spare you the rant that would ensue.

It became clear in late March that Shared Ownership (a part-rent, part-buy scheme) was the only way we were going to get onto the property ladder. We could have carried on renting but after 15 years of doing just that I want to be able to knock a hole in a wall! #LifeGoals

A week ago (so the end of the first week of camp) we discovered our perfect house. This meant that instead of spending my evenings writing I was spending them filling in forms. And making spreadsheets. And digging out paperwork.

Fingers crossed all of this comes together for us although, if it does it will mean I will miss the next round of camp as well – as we will be moving into new house! šŸ™‚

Normal-ish service will now resume here until the point that my books start disappearing into boxes…

I’m ‘Away’ at Camp

Have you heard of CampNaNoWriMo? This April I will be taking part of the first time and I am really excited to dive in. I won NaNoWriMo back in November last year and I still don’t fully understand how I managed to write 50,000 words so quickly! [Read about my NaNo adventure here]


Here is what I have declared as my plan for Camp:

Back in November I had an idea. That idea grew, evolved and tangled itself into 50,000 words under the title ‘The Lion, the Witch and the New Kid.’

I’ve revisited the story a few times but still have yet to untangle the mess completely. During Camp I am planning on revising the story and coming out with a piece of fiction that is aimed at younger readers than previously (upper KS2) and a more straight forward adventure. I would expect this to be about 35000 words long.

The only ‘problem’ is that camp will eat into my reading and blogging time. If I am going to do it (and I really want to), I need to focus on my writing. I’m going to #YAShot2018 on April 14th which other than taking me away from my computer for a day, I’m sure will help my story progress.

So apologies for it going quiet here @MystoryNotes. You can follow me @PhiliBWriting to see how things are going throughout April. Expect some entertaining GIFs along the way!


Why is Daniel a boy?

I’m getting geared up for Camp NaNoWriMo next month and as part of that I am thinking about my main character Daniel.

Lets take a quick step backwards. Back in November I wrote 50,000 words of Daniel’s story. It is a tangled mess of a story and during Camp I plan on untangling it.

I have been thinking a LOT about why Daniel is a boy. I have thought about whether I should change him (or rather the main character) in to a girl. I have thought about whether the gender of the character matters to the story.

I am feeling a pressure to represent, to be diverse, to be inclusive.

That is part of the reason why Daniel is in the care system. He is looking for a family. He is looking for somewhere to fit in and something to be a part of.Ā Lets face it, aren’t we all? But some children are more than others. I’ve taught those children, and those children are the inspiration for Daniel.

So I haveĀ come to a ‘simple’ conclusion. Daniel should stay a boy. HeĀ isn’t going to be overtly masculine.Ā He is going to be bullied for being the new kid. He is going to have experiences of the care system. He is going to have magical foster parents. Literally, they are wizards from another world. Those are the bits that are important to the story, at least this one.