Poetry and Photography: Listen Trust Jump

Kings Beach Lake Tahoe Listen Trust Jump 1.27.18

Listen, Trust, Jump

And she listened,
And listened,
And listened.

And she heard,
Write.
Write.
Write.

And she knew,
The time was
Approaching
For her to jump.

The time was
Nearing for her
To leap into
Her souls purpose.

And so she
Remained still.

And she listened,
And listened,
And listened.

Almost time.
Dear One,
BE ready.

2018 – Lessons from Nature, Camilla Downs

(Photo made at Kings Beach – Lake Tahoe)

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

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Incredibly Grateful for the Magic of Life

I am so incredibly grateful for the magic and mystery of life. The mind stands in a stunned state, while my heart and soul say, “Yes, this is the way it can always be.”

Immensely grateful that I am listening and writing. As during journal writing a few mornings ago, the words that came forth finally helped me to understand something that I have been confused about for years.

And once I started applying it, over the past few days …..

Simply magical and jaw dropping results. Hugely, hugely, hugely grateful to and for all of you, Mother Nature, writing, and Thomas and Lillian.

Tree Caressing Sun The Vintage lLake February 2018

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

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Short Story: Dandelion Has Questions

Dandelion 2016

Dandelion Has Questions

One warm sunny day a dandelion was born on Sunshine Hill. From the moment he arrived, he was full of joy and questions. The one question for which he could never seem to know the answer was why he was here, what is he supposed to be doing, and what is his name.

Dandelion was a great helper too. He helped others find answers and things they had lost. He had deep compassion for all beings and for Mother Earth. He was not able to physically help other beings, yet, he used his thoughts and words he shared with others to be of help.

One warm, spring day caterpillar came to dandelion. Caterpillar looked incredibly sad as she approached dandelion half dragging all of her feet. Dandelion asked caterpillar how she was doing. Caterpillar answered she was sad and worried because she looks so different from all the other caterpillars. She’s gotten so tired, she can’t think of anything else other than building a nest and going to sleep. She feels lost and confused and does not know how to be with the changes that are happening in her world.

Dandelion shared with caterpillar that even though she may not feel it, there is deep love within her. She is loved beyond anything her thoughts can imagine. Dandelion also shared with her that it is not her true self who compares her little caterpillar body to other caterpillar bodies. It is not her true self who judges how she looks and feels.

Dandelion further shared that although she does not understand, there is a reason she feels this pain and feelings of being so tired. Her heart and body are preparing for a shift, preparing for the next level of her growth. He asked her to imagine that within her heart is the love of the entire universe. The love that created all that she can see, smell, touch, and hear. The love the Sun and Moon shares with the Earth every single day. The love that is also preparing her for this huge shift which she does not yet understand.

Caterpillar thanked dandelion with overflowing gratitude as she felt so much better. She shared with dandelion that she feels much stronger, lighter, and able to continue her journey.

The next day, a great tortoise ever so slowly made his way up sunshine hill where dandelion lived. Dandelion did not know why, yet felt he had been waiting for Mr. Tortoise to come visit.

Dandelion asked, “Please Mr. Tortoise tell me my name, why I am here, and what I am supposed to do while I’m here? I’ve asked all the other animals and none of them have answered me.”

Mr. Tortoise slowly finished chewing the banana plant leaf he was eating. He looked at dandelion. Tortoise seemed to be thinking about how to answer the question.

After what seemed like forever to dandelion, Tortoise began, “My dear dandelion. You have been doing what you came here to do since the moment you were born. You came here to be the dandelion that only you can be. You came here to share divine love in only the way that you can as the unique dandelion you are.

Yes, but what is my name asked dandelion. Why, your name matches you perfectly, exclaimed Mr. Tortoise. For what you were to do while here, was already known before you came. Dandelion could barely contain his excitement. Please, Mr. Tortoise, what is my name?

Tortoise slowly turned to begin the journey back down Sunshine Hill. As he began heading away from dandelion, he turned towards him one last time. His parting words to dandelion, “As I make my way down sunshine hill, I want you to relax, quiet your thoughts, release your questions, be still in silence. By the time I reach the bottom of the hill you will know your name.”

Dandelion trusted Mr. Tortoise and knew this would lead to the answer for the biggest question he’d ever had.

Just as Tortoise reached the bottom of sunshine hill, he heard great peels of laughter echoing from above. On the heels of laughter, came a tremendous “THANK YOU MR. TORTOISE!! I know my name, I know my name, and you were right. I’ve been doing what I came here to do all along.”

Tortoise turned, raised his neck, and looking towards the top of Sunshine Hill, smiled, and, whispered, And So It Is.

What is dandelions name? The name and message that came to dandelion once he was quiet and still?

LoveSeed. LoveSeed is dandelion’s name and he is here to plant and share loving kindness where ever he goes and to whomever he encounters.

You, too, are here to share love in the way that only you can. A way that is unique to you. You may not know what that is right now. Just remember to always be you and to create and live as you feel inspired.

And never forget that a great and huge love is within you. In fact, you are this great and huge love. We simply forget this some times. It’s okay. There will always be a fellow human, animal, or plant life; who comes along to remind you of this just when you need it most.

Don’t worry about what others are doing, or not doing. Don’t worry if others don’t understand you or your creations or the way in which you share love. For that is the reason you are here. -©2018, Camilla Downs

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

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

 

Poetry: May These Words

2017 Christmas Gift to The Romano Duo (My Mom and Step-Father)

Romano Christmas Gift from Camilla 12.25.17 #1

May These Words

This I write to
to express the
gratitude that
is ever more
within me for
the depth of kindness
and love shared with
me and this little
family throughout
the years.

You two,
The Romano Duo,
Bless us more
than can be
expressed through
these mere words.

It is my deepest
desire that one
day soon the wounds
of the past are healed
so as to allow me to fully
spread the wings
of glory I mistakenly
believed were
long ago clipped.

And when this
wondrous day is upon
us it is my dream
to show you with
more than words how
much your support
and love have meant
to me.

Until this day
may these words
forever more ring
true to your ears
and settle upon your
heart with love
and light and
comforting warmth.

I Thank You Both.
I am Grateful for You Both.
I Love You Both.

Camilla 💖
xoxo
12.25.17

I love creating with recycled items! Grocery bag handle for hanging, crumpled packing paper wrapped around a thick piece of cardboard that was inside of a new wall calendar.

Poem written by me, glass stones, sun and hearts of silver and gold beads, three dragonflies with the letters T,L,C, and flower of dark green pearl beads and blue crystal bead, and yarn grass. Lastly a heart prayer box locket with a tiny gold heart in it. (Team TLC colors are blue and green.)

Romano Christmas Gift from Camilla 12.25.17 #3Romano Christmas Gift from Camilla 12.25.17 #2

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

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Can a Book Be Published With Little to No Money – Part Two

This is a continuation of the post written last week. Here’s an excerpt …

” …. so I’m going to get to the bottom line first thing. And those who are interested about the entire story can read further. Lillian’s book was published with absolutely no money paid out to anyone for the creation of the book. That’s it!

Now, there was a bit of money paid for the ISBN bar code graphic (about $20), for envelopes to mail the books once received (about $15), and for two proof copies of the book (about $15 each which included shipping).

I want to reiterate that I am not sharing this to brag or gloat. That is not my nature. I am sharing this to give hope, to share …… “

Go here to read the previous post if you missed it ..

Can a Book Be Published With Little to No Money – Part One

Now, for Thomas’ book, Biggest Little Photographer. His book did cost us a bit of up front money as it is a photography book and these are not the type of book to use Amazon’s createspace for publishing and printing.

Biggest Little Photo Cover only

When Thomas was 8 years old, he began a 365 day photography project. Every day for one year he made a photo of a LEGO mini-figure photographer making a photo. We took that little man with us everywhere!! For one full year he traveled with Thomas and Team TLC. In the beginning, I told Thomas that if he stuck with it, we’d make it into a book. A real, published book that we could sell.

And, he did stick with it. About a month or two after beginning he said he wanted to quit. I explained to him that this was okay with me. I only wanted him to think about how it would feel to quit and then think about how it would feel to continue and finish. After this, he decided to stick with it to the conclusion!

Thomas with Biggest Little Photographer Proof Book 10.4.16

Thomas and I considered our options between using an online self-publishing site and using a local Reno publisher/printer. We made a chart listing the costs and pros and cons. We had a meeting with the local publisher. After the meeting we decided to go with the local company. I would do as much as possible and they would help out minimally.

Once we decided to go with the local publisher, I began sifting through the photos to choose about 180 photographs for the book. We simply could not include all of the photos as the finished book would have had a retail price of $40 or $50. We wanted our friends and family to be able to afford the book.

I already had an ISBN as I purchased a block of ten back in 2006 or 2007 as I knew in my heart they would be needed. We’ve used four now!! I handled contacting the library of congress for the LCCN. I procured the bar code graphic. I created the book trailer and handled the marketing, and arranged book signings.

At the peak his book was being sold in about ten local stores. He was on a local radio show, The Book Hound, and made an appearance on KOLO 8 TV to talk about his book. He had an art exhibit at one of our local parks, Rancho San Rafael Park.

Thomas and Biggest Little Book on Radio 12.19.16 #1Thomas and Camilla on KOLO 8 with Biggest Little Book 4.7.17 #1Ranch San Rafael Biggest Little Photographer Exhibit Book 4.5.17 #5

Next, I grouped the chosen photos into categories. Thomas gave his input along the way and he and I decided to leave focus on the photographs and to not have a written story. I wrote the Author’s Note and Introduction and Thomas chose some of his favorite quotes. I paired the quotes with a matching theme and used the rest for the Closing as he decided that’s how he wanted to end the book.

Biggest p10

I created everything in Google and sent to the local publisher as a PDF to make it into a book format. We had already chosen the size of the book and I uploaded all of the photos into a Google photo album for easy access. Thomas and I decided on how we wanted the cover to look, then relayed that to them as well. They did a great job at making what I gave to them into a beautiful book and also creating the exact cover we wanted!

After applying as many discounts as possible I was sent the bill for their work on the book. It was an incredibly reasonable price for what they had done. At this point, I did not know how I was going to pay for it. Yet, I had a relationship that had already been established with one of the owners years prior to this. We had a level of trust amongst us and I knew if I needed to hold off on paying and placing that first order of books, that it would be okay.

The bill was sent through PayPal. My heart was racing as I clicked to open it further. Once it opened from email into PayPal; my eyes focused on the amount due. Then, a little button caught my attention. It read, “Pay with PayPal Credit – Apply Here”. I thought, “What the heck!”, I’ll give it a try. I have not had or been granted credit since about 2009, as I filed bankruptcy due to a divorce. All of our bills were in my name and I paid on them as long as I could … until I ran out of money. Therefore, the bankruptcy.

Biggest p54

Every time I have applied since then, I always get a denial. So, with high hopes and an intention that it would go through, I applied. And …. it did! Not only that, but much more than I needed to pay the bill. So I was able to pay for the first order of books too! Although I am still paying that bill, plus some, as I used it to purchase the books when we placed orders. And, I am totally okay with that. It was worth it!

And, that’s how Thomas’ book, Biggest Little Photographer, came to be a published book!!

Biggest Little Photographer Books to 2017 Conference 7.10.17Biggest Little Book at Buy Nevada First Shop December 2016 #1Biggest Little Book at South Valleys 12.9.16 #2

I will continue with my book in a third post!! Go here to read Part Three which covers my book …

Can a Book Be Published With Little to No Money – Part Three

You can go here to read about Lillian’s book and what sparked these posts.

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

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Poetry and Photography: Liberate This Soul

Cloud Dancing with Full Moon 2017

She was tired.
Tired of trying to figure it out.

Tired of trying to make things work.
Tired of manipulating circumstances
to make things work.
Tired of trying to control situations to make things work.

Tired of living in confusion.
Tired of the suffering
created by way of her thoughts.

Tired of the chains that
bound her to the suffering.
Tired of dragging those
invisible chains through life.

Tired of not loving herself.
Tired of not being loved.
Tired of the responsibility of it all.

Tired of questioning her every decision.
Tired of hiding the Truth from herself.
Tired of running from her own self.

Tied of the darkness within.
Tired of the pull of the ego.

What she craved.
What she desperately …..

Go here to read more …

Liberation by Camilla Downs

“When we resist change, it’s called suffering.” -Pema Chodron

When I shared this poem a friend shared this quote. When I first read the quote, I thought, “I’m not resisting any change. There’s absolutely no change happening in my life.”

Then I thought about it more. It’s true there is no outside change occurring for me. Yet, good golly, there’s tons of internal change. And there was my aha moment. Resisting the change to let it all go. All the control. All the manipulation. All the likes and dislikes. Let it all go. Surrender and allow what will happen naturally if “I” get out of the way.

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

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Poetry and Photography: Can I Handle The Changes

Fall Leaves and Trees Vintage Lake Path with Can I Poem 12.2017

Can I?

The changes.
Create fear,
they do.

We’re all getting older,
life is not as it was.

What is this strange
thing happening?

It is true things change,
nothing stays the same.

What is happening?

Can I handle the changes?

It’s all changing
I’m changing
they are changing
nothing is as it was.

There’s no stopping
the changes.

It’s the one thing
we can be sure will
arrive – changes.

Why do the changes
create such suffering?
Why do the changes
have to be experienced
in isolation .. loneliness?

Why does one allow
the mind to create such
suffering with the changes?

Why can one not
be in the midst
of the changes.
and simply shift
one’s perspective?

That’s not how
it is anymore.
Got it.
Let’s move forward.

Why can this not be
done with releasing
that which was and is
no longer?

Why does the change
seem to have suffering
as its sidekick?

Can I handle the changes
happening in my life?

Why does one crave
sameness?

Why does one want
the comfort of
knowing how it
is to be?

Why does one
want to experience
change with
another by their side?

Can I handle the changes
of my life?

What other path
is there?

Embrace the change
Shift one’s perspective
Go with the flow
And know one is truly not alone.

or

Resist the change,
want what is no longer,
and create suffering
for oneself and those
one loves.

I know what this
heart chooses
And will never forget
what the heart will
always choose.

Every morning meditation
and in every moment
this is the place
I will attempt to Be.

Give up, I will not …..

Embrace
Shift
Go with the flow
And know.

Come my child
Let it Go.

This is the Way
of non-suffering.

-2017, Lessons from Nature

A bit of background on this writing …

I believe that everything in life stems from one of two places … Love or Fear. And difficulties with change stem from fear … fear of losing what one thought one had; when in reality it’s gone the second after it occurred.

When I wrote this I had been immersed for the last five months in the creation of Lillian’s book and getting it finished. I had not been able to go on as many walks, had not been writing as much, had not been having my solo dance parties (ha!!), and not doing my wee little yoga poses.

It has caught up with me. The one thing I would not let go of is meditating. Every morning. It has been the saving grace. I have been practicing meditation for the past 6 or 7 years and it has been truly amazing.

Don’t get me wrong, I so much enjoyed creating this book for Lillian. I really do enjoy the process. When I work on something big like this, it’s hard for me to focus on anything else. I become immersed in it with intense focus.

Most of the time I have chosen not to focus on the enormity of being a single parent. I mean truly a sole parent. No weeks or weekends with the other parent. Making all decisions alone. And homeschooling the past two years with my Mom and step-father having moved two years ago, has really added another layer to the enormity.

I had been feeling closed, disconnected, discombobulated, and weighted with a darkness … I had been in my head the past five months working on her book. Which is incredibly useful for editing, grouping, and organizing. Yet, draining when time is not taken to stay connected to the Divine heart.

So … I chose to write  and I felt so much better afterwards. Writing is therapeutic and spiritual for me. It opens my heart. Then I had a dance party! WOW!! I wrote and danced to connect and release with the humanness and felt so much better the next day! Seriously. Incredibly better.

I openly share what I am experiencing and I do this through my writings. Back in 2009, I kept getting an internal message that I was supposed to openly share my life and our family life for the benefit of others. I ignored and struggled with that for some time. I finally began to listen and have not turned back.

For I know if I am experiencing something, another is or has experienced it and what I share will be of benefit. I don’t concern myself with what others think about what I share and if it turns some away. I let that bother me and hold me back for far too long. What matters most is the person who needs to hear the messages I share.

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

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is arriving November 2017. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Poetry: May You Ever Know

Camilla & Thomas February 2016 Date Day #2

Finished Thomas’ Christmas Gift!

I so much loved making this. I like to use recycled items so this is on a piece of cardboard. The top and bottom border, flower stem, and two hearts are candy wrapper (Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Honey Mints) as Thomas loves the color and we save them (and I love that they are only 3 ingredients).

The tree is from an old calendar, the cow is from an old issue of Edible Reno-Tahoe magazine, the house and cat are from an old Trader Joe’s circular, and the rest is glitter glue! Made to hang with a piece of old hemp shoe string. About 5 years ago a friend gave us rolls and rolls of this hemp string. Still using it!

He loves trees, cows, and cats, and I know he would love living in that house … xoxo

Dearest Thomas

May you always ask questions,
May you always engage others in conversation,
May you always seek to understand.

May you ever know there are times when silence is the Way.

May you continue to be an explorer in the sea of knowledge,
May you filter that knowledge through the knowing of the Heart,
May you love this life and live it to the fullest.

May you ever be connected to the knowing of your Heart,
May you ever still hold compassion for all beings, animals, and plant-life,
May you ever hold the desire to advocate for what speaks to your Heart.

May you always be aware of your connection to Nature,
May you always continue to explore Nature’s beauty,
May you always see the beauty when others see it not.

May you ultimately discover that all the answers lie within You.
May you continue to yearn for walking the trails and woods of Nature,
May the peace and warm feelings instilled by this continue to fall upon you as gently as snowflakes fall upon the Earth.

May happiness and joy ever be woven into your life,
May happiness and joy sprout in every nook and cranny of your days,
May you always be reassured that all is happening as it should and all is okay.

May you ever stay true to the compass of your Heart.
May you ever know that the Heart is where my love for you resides,
May you ever know that my love is eternal, throughout all of time, and all dimensions.

I love you,
Camilla 💖
Mom
xoxo
1.14.18

Thomas Christmas Gift 2017 #1

Thomas Christmas Gift 2017 #2

Thomas Christmas Gift 2017 #3

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

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Poetry: May You Always Know

Camilla & Lillian Rancho July 2015

Finally finished Lillian’s hand made Christmas gift! xoxo

Dearest Lillian

May you always live with an open and light heart,
May you always live knowing you are unconditionally loved,
May you always live knowing and allowing peace, joy, and abundance.

May good fortune smile and shower upon you,
May joy stalk you and be hidden in every nook and cranny of your life,
May peace float always above you as a puffy cloud in a bright blue sky.

May the shadows ever be there to bring delight and laughter to your world,
May the suns rays ever bring a smile and tender joy to your life,
May you never lose your sense of wonder with all things that most have lost.

May you always hear the sweet sound of the magical bell.

May you always know, even after I am long done with this body,
that my love for you is eternal and never ending.

I love you,
Camilla 💖
Mother
xoxo
1.11.18

Lillian's Christmas Gift 2017 Finished #2

Lillian's Christmas Gift 2017 Finished #1 Lillian's Christmas Gift 2017 Finished #3

Lillian's Christmas Gift 2017 Finished #4

I think it was in 2012 when I began making each of them something handmade that incorporated some type of writing from me. It brings me such joy and I feel even if they don’t fully appreciate it now, they will cherish it some day. And, if they don’t, that’s okay too. For once I make it and give it as a gift, I release it.

I like to use recycled items when creating hand made gifts. This is a piece of cardboard. The top and bottom accent are from an old wall calendar which features flowers. The star, bird, and sun are from another old calendar. The flowers are from a really old Highlights magazine. The hand drawn decorations are with glitter glue. And, last, I’ll attach a piece of hemp shoe string to use for hanging the piece. A friend donated boxes of this hemp string to us many years ago. Fun!

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

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest Articles:

Can a Book Be Published With Little to No Money – Part One

I recently read a post in a writing group from someone about envy arising in some members when it is announced that other members finally have a published book! The writer of the post was not being unkind. She simply wished to share why envy is not called for in this situation.

While I don’t agree with the reason indicated, I do agree that it’s in our best interest to catch the feelings of envy and jealousy when they arise. Notice the feeling. Physically feel it and release it. And, by the way, I am not immune to having these feelings either. If they do sneak up, I try my best to do what I previously describe above.

And, when you feel ready, replace it with joy and gratitude for the abundance of the world and celebrate the success with this person. As just because they have accomplished this does not mean it is less likely that you will, it does not take away from your efforts at doing the same. Instead of “Why Him? or Why Her”, think “Why Not Me?” …

On the opposite end of envy and jealousy is inspiration and the knowing that you too can accomplish that which you desire.

As long as you believe it and you believe you are worthy of birthing it to life. Those who are meant to assist will appear.

The writer of the post concluded that the reason that these individuals are published is because they had the money to do it. She is a published author of several books so was speaking from her experience. Her thoughts were that if you have enough money, a publisher will publish the book as long as it fits their criteria and that the publisher doesn’t care if it’s good or not; as long as you pay them.

She further indicated that family and friends will request free books and the author is lucky to receive 10 free books from the publisher and that there are those who become upset when referred to amazon to purchase the book. I do not relay this to contest or argue as that’s not my nature. I fully understand that this may be the experience of some, perhaps many. I only want to present that there is another way and there are those with a different experience.

I’d like to share my experience now that I’ve published three books. Oh my gosh! I’ve published three books! Wahooo!!! Let’s celebrate!! ….

I’ll begin with the latest. My 16 year old daughter, Lillian’s, book – “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories”.

Matte v Glossy Where Would You Fly Book January 2018

This will be quite lengthy, so I’m going to get to the bottom line first thing. And those who are interested about the entire story can read further. Lillian’s book was published with absolutely no money paid out to anyone for the creation of the book. That’s it!

Now, there was a bit of money paid for the ISBN bar code graphic (about $20), for envelopes to mail the books once received (about $15), and for two proof copies of the book (about $15 each which included shipping).

I want to reiterate that I am not sharing this to brag or gloat. That is not my nature. I am sharing this to give hope, to share light with others who may feel that which they believe they are supposed to share with others may never come to fruition. Please don’t give up. If you know you are supposed to share something, begin to take steps. Start where you are. Don’t let the “How” of something five steps away stop you from taking the first step.

Lillian and I began writing stories together when she was four-years-old as I felt then that I was supposed to write and she wanted to write too! Lillian has a chromosome deletion that affects 1 in 56,000 people (named 18p-).

Where Would You Fly Updated Cover 9.2017

One of the main ways it manifests is her ability to articulate letters and words. She is largely unintelligible when she speaks. If you’re interested in learning more about Lillian you can go here on my blog and visit her blog here. To learn more about her book go here.

Shortly after we wrote a few stories together she began writing her own stories, poems, and songs. I made it clear that one day we would write a book together. At 16-years-old she is now a published author!

I didn’t know how I was going to make it happen. Yet, I have this quirky thing about me where I do not let the how stop me. I simply get started with where I am and with what I have.

In late Spring 2016 I began sifting through Lillian’s blog posts and handwritten stories. I remembered that years ago a fellow chromosome 18 mom had let me know she was a graphic designer. At the time I was working on websites and social media for businesses so that’s how her message came about.

Camilla and Lillian with Where Would You Fly Book 12.22.17

I messaged Kate and asked how much she would charge to create the book cover and if she was able to help layout the book using Amazon’s createspace (Amazon’s self-publishing arm). I sent this message knowing full well I did not have the money to pay, yet, again, I do not let that ever stop me. I ask. I continue moving forward. I figured if I knew how much she charged, I would have a number to keep in mind for accruing.

Kate messaged that she would help us for no charge. So began the journey of bringing the book to life. I spent hours and hours and hours pulling together the stories, organizing them, and editing them. Kate spent hours and hours and hours creating the cover and having a hell of a time maneuvering through createspace.

If you perform a search for createspace and reviews/opinions, you’ll see what I mean!! Kate was a trooper. She would not give up! The interior would be perfect on her end. Then, after uploading to createspace, it would go all wonky. Random spaces and markings in the book. It was no picnic for her!!

I performed the editing of the book with Thomas, my 12-year-old, as an assistant editor. I have a dear junior high school friend who edited the Forward and About Author section for me (since I wrote those, I needed someone else to edit).

I already had an ISBN as I purchased a block of ten back in 2006 or 2007 as I knew in my heart they would be needed. We’ve used four now!! I handled contacting the library of congress for the LCCN. I procured the bar code graphic.

I researched and created the copyright page information and the Publisher’s Cataloging-in-Publication data; including the dewey decimal number classification. I also requested and received book endorsements. I will be creating the book trailer, the press release, and handling the marketing, and setting up book signings.

I have not had any family member or friend ask to receive a book for free. I, however, have offered it in trade to a few people as I didn’t have the money to pay for services (haircut, mandala class for Lillian).

That goes for Thomas’ book and my book too. No one ever asked for a free book. However, I did gift and trade some books. I am also not shy of telling others that our family earns more money when the book is purchased directly from us as opposed to purchasing on Amazon.

However, we are happy whichever way people choose to purchase. The bottom line is it doesn’t matter where they purchase it. Yet, they may never know or understand how it works if I don’t share the information.

I will continue with Thomas’ book and in a second post and my book in a third post as this one has gotten way too long!! Stay tuned …. Part two to follow next week. Go here to read Part two …

Can a Book Be Published With Little to No Money – Part Two

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

Amazing news! My 16 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is published. Learn more and order here

Wonderfully exciting news! My 12 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

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