Life Adventures – An Update from Camilla

It’s been over a month since I’ve written or published anything on my blog, with my postings being much less frequent on facebook and instagram. I felt moved to share an update.

I have been busy with finishing tasks to get my upcoming book released by the end of Summer. Here’s a peek at the cover. Almost there with the cover!

I was wrapped in details of ensuring Lillian graduated on June 1st. She was homeschooled so I was in charge of her transcript, announcements, diploma, tassel, and photo session! In addition, I attended a book signing with her at Barnes & Noble on June 1st.

I had also been in preparation for attending the 2019 Chromosome 18 Family Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We have been attending this every year since 2008 as it is the group that researches differences with chromosome number 18 and connects families world wide. We left for the conference on July 19th and returned home on July 27th.


(Group Photo from the 2018 Conference in Baltimore)

Now I switch gears to preparing for our move around September 9th. In addition, I must focus on many details and tasks that need to be completed with Lillian turning 18 years old on September 14th. YaY for Lillian! Whew for me!

I will also be focused on getting Thomas squared away for this school year as we homeschool (unschool). He and I will be doing that soon.

And …. the venture I began at the end of May is still going strong and taking much of my time. If you’re interested, check it out … Meeting the Authors.

Lastly, I’ve been keeping up with posts on The Team TLC website as that is our digital journal.

More updates to follow on some of these; especially the upcoming book. I simply wanted to check in with you on why I have not been around! Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Much love to all of you!

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving January 2018. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Peaceful Summer by Lillian Darnell – Poetry for Fundraising

Peaceful Summer by Lillian Darnell …. There’s still time to participate in Lillian’s fundraiser and get a custom poem created especially for you .. This one was created for a lovely supporter in Tasmania.

Here’s the beautiful comment from Patricia once she received her custom poem …

Dear Camilla and Lillian

Thank you! The poem is everything I hoped for and more, and paints a brilliant word-picture. I look forward v. much to seeing the image, and know it, too, will be special.

As we approach Winter Solstice here in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s particularly lovely to be reminded of the pleasures and promise of summer.

Peace.
Patricia

The donation amount is completely up to you. Go here to read why Lillian is fundraising and also if you’d like a custom poem of your own.

http://lilliandarnell.com/2019/03/27/fundraising-for-the-2019-chromosome-18-family-conference-poem-creativity/

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Shooting for near the end of July 2019 for publication date.

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

 

Latest News: Meeting the Authors

I have fun and wonderful news to share!

About three works ago I launched a website titled, Meeting the Authors, with the main purpose of the site being to interview authors. I have sent interview questions to somewhere around 100 authors in about a 3 week time frame! This is a ton of work! Yet, also fun and enlightening! I am meeting so many wonderful people around the globe!

This website was born from a love of writing combined with a love of reading what others have written. The site hosts fun, quirky, different than the norm, and interesting author interviews and short book reviews.

Being in this arena since 2012, I noticed the need for seasoned and newly published authors (whether traditional or indie) to have online outlets to receive more exposure. There are many, many incredible writers in our world and this is my small way of helping others who love the written word to know about them.

Authors have worked incredibly hard creating these books. Writing the book is only a piece of the process. The book must be edited and designed and formatted for printing as a book. There’s no relaxing once the book is ready to be birthed to the reading world! Marketing the book and keeping the momentum must be stepped into vigorously. Again, this is my small way of helping.

The site features interviews with authors and book love reviews. The book love reviews are short posts to let you know about books I’ve read and loved. I do not have the time to write full reviews. However, if I’ve read a book I enjoyed, I’ll give a brief reason why and a description of the book.

The plan is to eventually have either a podcast featuring author interviews and/or live interviews open for reader questions. You can use the “search” feature on the website to search for books in your chosen genre.

It is my hope that you discover a new author or book that inspires you, helps you to heal, teaches you something about history you never knew, ignites your imagination, delights from head to toe with romantic tales, or helps you tap into your inner detective and sleuth to solve mysteries. And everything in between!!

If you are an author or blog tour organizer, please visit the Contact page to see further details and get yourself on the list to be featured. The interviews are currently booked through November 2019 (can you believe that? after only THREE weeks). However, I have left room to accommodate book launches and am happy to continue scheduling interviews.

If you’d like to support this endeavor, click on over and check it out. Go here for Meet the Author interviews and here for Book Love. And for further support you can “like” the facebook page, follow on instagram, and sign up to receive new posts through email or through WordPress Reader (right hand side bar of website).

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, fingers, and toes for your love and support!

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Coming Soon!! “Words of Alchemy” is the latest book coming to life! Cover is currently being created and we are shooting for July 2019 for release date!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

 

The Magic She Carries in Her Heart – Book Review of Where Would You Fly

Lillian and I are deeply grateful for this wonderful, heartfelt and thorough review … So lovely that my eyes pooled with liquid gratitude when I read it last night. Thank you Katie!! 💜💜💜


(Lillian at the Barnes & Noble book signing in November 2018)

Excerpt from the review ….

” …. I also loved the beautiful drawing and photos of Lillian and her family. This really made the book feel even more special. I also think reading about how special Lillian is can only make you feel blessed to be able to see the magic she carries in her mind and heart …. ”

Please visit the below link to read more and if you feel moved, we would be incredibly grateful for you to “like” the post and/or comment.

My Review of Where Would You Fly?: and Other Magical Stories Author Lillian Darnell

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

 

Latest News: Words of Alchemy – Coming Soon

Celebration time! I finally finished Round 1 of filtering through writings for the next book! Many more rounds to go. Yet, getting that first one completed is nearly the hardest!

“Words of Alchemy” is under way and is a collection of poetry written from 2013 to current – the words that alchemized my life experiences over these past 6 years. I have the book cover designed in my mind. Hope to get an actual digital image soon.

I cannot believe I wrote that first poem in May 2013 – birthed by visiting Fallen Leaf Lake and Mount Tallac. I still remember how wild it felt having these words populate my mind and how compelled I felt to set them free. It was the beginning of the alchemy.

I never would have dreamed I would write a poem. Much less, having kept at writing them for 6 years. I’m sure mine aren’t considered traditional or classic poetry; but I’m also sure everyone knows what I think about labels. That’s right. Screw em.

I spent 2 hours researching what is considered poetry vs verse vs prose. It caused my head to spin and wonder what the heck. People spend valuable time and space arguing about what is a proper poem. Yet, if that makes them joyful … GO FOR IT!

I woke up the morning of April 25th with the feeling … perhaps knowing … that a huge cycle has completed for me. It is a most interesting feeling. Like I’m coming back around to interests I had as a child, remembering what excited me, what I loved doing. It’s not all there yet. All I know is … something pivotal has completed.

Writing and sharing snippets through social media is also healing and a way of shedding what no longer serves. When I write I can hardly contain the emotions I feel inside. The emotions are as hot as lava and as sweet as honeysuckle – from the pit of my belly all the way up to my throat. I am, indeed, compelled to share my experiences.

An excerpt from a previous post titled “The Alchemy of Writing” ….

” ….. Everything I write has been experienced and lived by me. When I sit to write, at times I listen to music, and at others I write in silence. I lay my fingers to rest on the keyboard of my well worn laptop. I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and type a few words.

Camilla's laptop 7.14.18

Once the first few words appear on the screen, something within takes over. My heart begins to race with the excitement of opening a meticulously wrapped gift. I become lost in another dimension. My fingers and hands become warm, the veins in my hands rising like miniature mountains. Interestingly, forming a large H on my left hand and a large Y on my right hand. (Which happened as I was writing this passage ….. !!)

Left hand Typing 7.14.18 Right hand Typing 7.14.18

The words begin to flow as fast and smooth as water running from a faucet. I type as fast as my fingers and hands will allow. For which I am thankful for having had typing class in high school.

At times, I notice I have forgotten to take a breath for fear of missing the words that are streaming forth. Yet, I know the words I miss will return at some point or they will land with another to share in their own way. In the past I fretted over the words that go away. Now I know that it matters not. All comes forth in perfect timing.

The Alchemy

Writing is my witness, my alchemy, my soul song. Writing is my therapist, my medicine, my best friend, my parent, my sibling, and my lover.

It is the way I connect with life so that I can release it and to also receive advice, solutions, and be consoled. Writing alchemizes what I experience; guiding me to the lesson I am to learn, memories I am to remember and release, and to the Knowing of why I am experiencing whatever it is.

This is not to say that writing replaces any of these roles, it simply enhances them.

The Vow

I vow to write.

I vow to listen for what to write. I vow to write even if no one reads what is written. I vow to write even if it turns some away. I vow to write for the writing is the food that feeds my soul. I vow to write until the day I am no longer inhabiting this beautiful Earth.

I vow to write. And, I vow to let myself not write when the time calls for it; not feeling guilty or a failure for doing so.”

And, an excerpt from a previous post about why I write

” ….. My laptop became the couch I rest upon; while writing of my experiences became the therapist. This also serves as a tool for me to sync with life and for giving myself feedback for those experiences. Writing became an avenue to connect with and release the myriad of emotions and experiences of parenting.

The writing becomes an observer of my experiences. One that allows me to step away from the situation by pouring my heart onto the digital pages. I feel we all know in our heart the solution to tough parenting situations; or at the least, what would be the better of available options …… ” Go here to read further.

This is me in one of the pictures I love most … showcasing joy, peace and freedom … 2016 – taken by Thomas ..

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

**Become a Patron and Support my creations of photography, poetry, books, writings, and mentoring. Click on the below photo and support with an amount that feels right for you. If you’d like this to be a monthly gift, please note so in the comments. Much Gratitude to you!**

love-cards-in-a-basket-october-2016

**Current Work In Progress as of Spring 2019: A Collection of Poetry. Tentatively titled, “Liberation – Words of Alchemy”.

 

Live Your Life as a Fairy Tale – Guest Post by Lillian Darnell

On April 1, 2019, Lillian and I were a guest on the lovely Katrina Marie Hart’s blog to share a bit about Lillian and her debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories”. If it feels right, we would be grateful for you to visit Katrina’s site to read the article in it’s entirety, and like or comment with your thoughts.

Here’s a wee bit from the article:

” …… My inspirations for writing are nature, coloring, drawing, reading, something I catch myself saying, food, and holidays. Most times my writing flows through me like a river.

Some of my favorite foods are French Fries, cheese (dairy and vegan – dairy bothers my stomach), dark chocolate, snickerdoodle cookies, chocolate cake, gluten free powdered donuts, and strawberries. I really enjoy volunteering at our local library one day a week and my family and I …. ”

Visit the below link to read further …

Live Your Life as a Fairy Tale by Author Lillian Darnell.

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

Latest News: Help Spread the Word for Lillian Darnell’s Fundraiser

Want to help spread the word for my special needs daughter, Lillian? She is fundraising to help pay for our attendance at the annual Chromosome 18 conference this July in Colorado Springs.

Who wouldn’t love a custom poem created just for them? That’s exactly what Lillian is offering for her fundraising efforts. Lillian is a natural poet and loves writing poetry.

For anyone new here, Lillian Darnell is my 17 year old special needs daughter. Her condition is called 18p- as she is missing the short arm of Chromosome #18. We attend a yearly conference every summer specific to her condition. She is adamant every year that she help raise money for us to attend as it’s darn expensive for a family of 3.


(Group Photo from the 2018 Conference in Baltimore)

The poems will be nature themed, fairy themed, mermaid themed, or unicorn themed. Every poem created will be different and uniquely yours!

Please feel free to share this post with others who appreciate poetry and love supporting artists and fundraisers!

Sample poem above … Oceans of gratitude and LOVE! Visit the link below to learn more about this from Lillian …

Fundraising for the 2019 Chromosome 18 Family Conference – Poem Creativity

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

 

Latest News: Become a Patron

**Become a Patron and Support my creations of photography, poetry, books, writings, and mentoring. Click on the below photo and support with an amount that feels right for you. If you’d like this to be a monthly gift, please note so in the comments. Much Gratitude to you!**

love-cards-in-a-basket-october-2016

**Current Work In Progress as of Spring 2019: A Collection of Poetry. Tentatively titled, “Words of Alchemy”.

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

This 11 Year Old is Published

**THROWBACK POST**

April 7 2017:

I just realized that I never shared this …. xoxo

Thomas’ segment on KOLO 8 on Friday, 4.7.17, talking about Biggest Little Photographer. It’s about 2 minutes. xoxo

“Thomas is so cool! If you didn’t get a chance to see his interview Friday, please watch it here. This 11 year old is published!!!” – Sarah Johns, KOLO 8

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo

How Writing Helps Me With Parenting

Writing has been a sanity saving bridge which has led from processing parenting experiences to peace and solutions. Single parenting two children led me on a journey for which I have no map. Through writing, I create the map as I travel this wild and wonderful parenting safari.

My parenting journey has included many life lessons disguised as sinkholes, road blocks, and dead ends. My daughter, Lillian, was diagnosed at age 3 years old with a rare condition called 18p-. This chromosome deletion only affects 1 in 56,000 people. Her sibling, Thomas, is a strong willed empath who either speaks his mind or holds how he feels inside until he explodes. In 2006 I became a single parent to them, lost nearly everything, and was forced to file bankruptcy.

I have been single parenting Thomas and Lillian for the past twelve years. Lillian is 17 years old now and the main way that 18p- affects her is an inability to articulate words, anxiety, chronic pain, irrational fears, and difficulty processing strong emotions. Thomas is 13 years old with his own difficulties of being a sibling to Lillian and puberty has hit him full throttle.

Writing led me to peace and acceptance of my role as parent to these two unique and beautiful children. Writing brought peace and solid steps to take in regards to medical issues, schooling, and emotional challenges faced by Thomas and Lillian. In some situations, writing was not the only factor; yet, it has been a shining thread of grace that connected my heart and mind along this parenting journey. And still is.

Several factors led to a loosely held practice of writing every day. When I became a single parent I intuitively felt moved to learn the practice of mindfulness, meditation, and journaling.

My practice of going for a walk three times a week also solidified into a committed practice of noticing and immersing in nature. All of these practices combined with the writing practice opened my eyes to a different style of parenting, a more focused and connected style.

My laptop became the couch I rest upon; while writing of my experiences became the therapist. This also serves as a tool for me to sync with life and for giving myself feedback for those experiences. Writing became an avenue to connect with and release the myriad of emotions and experiences of parenting.

The writing becomes an observer of my experiences. One that allows me to step away from the situation by pouring my heart onto the digital pages. I feel we all know in our heart the solution to tough parenting situations; or at the least, what would be the better of available options.

Although I choose to publicly share much of my experiences through writing, one does not have to write with the intention of sharing with others. The very act of writing about experiences and feelings is deeply therapeutic. There are many writing practices from which to choose. Writing with pencil and paper, using a laptop, writing in the morning, in the evening, in silence, while listening to music, at home, in a cafe, in nature … You get the idea.

The how, when and where is a completely personal preference. The portion of the practice I have found to work best for me and those I have mentored is to first get centered in one’s heart. If you find yourself stumbling and no words flowing; this is a sign you are still centered in your mind.

Take three long, deep breaths and gently release whatever thoughts you may be having. Begin to write about the parenting issue facing you. Write about your feelings and thoughts on the issue. Once you feel finished with this portion, stop for a moment. Take three long, deep breaths once again dropping your focus into the heart.

Next, write these six words … “What do I need to know?” Don’t hesitate. Just write. Write until the words are no longer flowing. Write no matter how wacky or scary this may seem. Write no matter what crazy thoughts come to mind. Write those too.

For some of you this may not be concrete enough and seem like “fluff”; and for you, it simply may not work. Yet, I’m betting that more than half of those who try this will at least feel at peace with the situation and at most know what actions to take that are in everyone’s highest and best interest.

I have experienced parenting guidance in this way and have seen others receive peace and guidance as well. If you aren’t accustomed to writing, it may take a while to grease the writing wheels. Don’t give up. Try it for at least a month. No one has to see what you write. Delete it, tear it up, shred it, crumple and stomp on it, burn it, eat it, whatever.

Write. Write and watch the transformation of becoming a more connected and focused parent. Not only that. Write and watch the transformation as you begin to trust yourself and become more at peace with life.

©2019 Camilla Downs

Blessings,
Camilla
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” was published January 2018. Learn more and order here.

Wonderfully exciting news! My 13 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Go here to see latest soul writings. xoxo