Poetry and Photography: Nature’s Abundance

Frosty Embrace - Nature's Abundance 3.9.18

Nature’s Abundance

I feel the frosty cold
embrace as You brush
across this body.
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

I touch and hug
the beautiful,
scarred and knotted
trees that sprout
and grow from Your soil.
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

I delight in the sparkling
and unique snow flakes
as they drift from
the brooding clouds
above and lightly fall
upon this body.
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

Lo, even as I dodge
and walk through
the nuggets of
geese waste left
behind by these
majestic and
interesting creatures,
I feel and Know
your Abundance.

Yes, I feel Your abundance
I Know it now.

It’s been a long road
getting to this
glorious and bountiful place.
Yet, I have arrived.

I have arrived
to the freedom
of Knowing this …

I am made of bits
and pieces of You.
You are made of
bits and pieces of me.
This body and ether
mix with Your essence
as we collide.

I see it now.
All that is made
of You is Good.
ALL, I say, ALL!

Even as your form is
changed and no longer
resembles Your essence.
It is of You.
And,it is Good.

Humans take and borrow
from you to create,
grow, and make
the things we must
have to survive,
yet also the things
we think we need,
and the things we
simply want so
as to fill a void.
Grateful for your
abundance and gifts
I am.

We take your trees
and metals and we
make this mysterious
and sometimes elusive
thing called money.

We make it into
something it is not.
It is only of
You and we use it
for good, for bad,
for our benefit,
and for the benefit
of others.

One slight shift
in awareness of
what money truly is ..

That is True Freedom.
Freedom to respect
and love that money
stuff of which
contains Your essence.

Knowing, absorbing
and feeling
Your abundance
has brought on
this shift from
lack to abundance.

Thank You
Mother Earth.
Thank You
Nature.

I feel and Know
your Abundance.
You are Abundance.
I Am Abundance.
And so it is.
I Am. – 2018 Lessons from Nature

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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Poetry and Photography: The Space Within

“The Space Within”

The Space Within Poem February 2018

There is a space within
A space occupied, it was.

Occupied with judgment
Occupied with harshness
Occupied with unkind thoughts
towards others.

There is a space within
where the darkness
of judgment used to live.

Judgment lives
here no more.
Evicted.
It has been.

There is a space within.

A soft space of love
of compassion
of empathy
of understanding.

For a journey
of a thousand miles has
been lived with
the understanding
that each one of us
has traveled a similar journey.

To be sure,
not the same journey.
No, not the same.
That matters not.

Each has traveled a journey
of a thousand miles.

And each viewed not
according to their journey,
yet viewed with eyes
that flow from the heart.

A heart that knows the two
are connected,
viewed with eyes flowing
from the heart that only
knows unconditional love.

Eyes wide open to
the Truth of each one’s journey.

The Truth that judgment of another is
simply a reflection of judgment
held within one towards oneself.

There is a space within,
a space that was once filled with
the darkness of judgment.

A space that is now
available for compassion
and love for one self and others.

Space to breath easier
Space to live easier
space to live peacefully
Space to allow all to BE
and travel the paths chosen.

There’s a space within.
A Beautiful Space.

May we all release
and expose this space within
for the Beauty it reveals.
-2018, Lessons from Nature
xoxo

This poem flowed forth from the below words I had written at a different time regarding judgments and compassion. For some reason I saved them. Now, I know why.

” ……. The space within me that held the weight of so many judgments …

Judgments against people who thought and felt differently, judgments against single moms, judgments against parents whose kids act out and the kids too.

Every single time one of those judgments was released, a cushion of compassion took its place. There are still some wee judgments hiding in there.

Some that stay hidden and some that peek out to see if its safe. Within me is not a safe zone for judgments … You are released and a warm, soft, loving cushion of compassion takes your place.”

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:

Why I Make Nature Photographs

Amazing solo walk on February 14th. Just WOW!!

I love the mystery of going for a walk and listening for that strong urge that whispers,

“Take a picture now. Squat for this one. Kneel for this one. Lie down on the ground for this.”

It’s so fun to see where it leads and the photos that are made. xoxo

Solo Walk Vintage Lake 2.14.18 #1 Solo Walk Vintage Lake 2.14.18 #2 Solo Walk Vintage Lake 2.14.18 #3 Solo Walk Vintage Lake 2.14.18 #4

I feel like this Ted Talk should be included with these photos.

“Celebrate What’s Right With the World” ….

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: What Does Freedom Mean to You

Camilla Feet in the Sand 2017

Do you ever feel like running barefoot and free and howling with the moon?  … Sent with howls of love … xoxo

It is her intent to release the discomfort. She is ready to release it and be free. She is ready to live this life from love instead of fear. She is ready to be free. Free to follow her heart. Free to live in peace and bliss. Free to trust herself. Free to live as much as possible from her true Self. Free to listen.

Free to jump. Free to leap when it speaks to her. Free to write what she’s supposed to write and share. Free to dance. Free to go barefoot in the moonlight. Free to leave footprints in the sand of life’s beach and free to watch them disappear as if they were never there.

Free to experience fully each moment of life with no thoughts of what just happened, what happened yesterday or last week; or thoughts of what comes next or what will happen tomorrow or next week. Free to BE exclusively committed to that which she is immersed in the moment.

Free to sway with the wind. Free to kiss and hug a tree. Free to run her fingers along the tip tops of the grass. Free to take a nap in the sand with toes wiggling and giggling as each piece of sand makes its way through the cracks and crevices of her toes. Some getting stuck to stay for a while and some gliding on through.

Free to smile at all whose eyes hers meet. Free to hug freely and receive hugs freely. Free to let another soul know how much she cares for them without fear of rejection and abandonment. Free to receive unconditional love. Free to give unconditional love. Free to BE unconditional love.

Free to write for hours on end should her soul desire it. Free to learn the art of the making music. Free to let Love’s music flow from her heart through a magical instrument into the peaceful air that surrounds. Free to let the music surround her body and caress it with each note as it climbs to the heavens to caress the cosmos.

Free to love all beings and all animals. Free to love the grass, the bushes, the trees, the dirt, the rocks, the sand, the sky, the clouds, the soil, the water, the hills, the mountains, the snow, the wind, the rain, the thunder, the lightening …. Free to love the the wolves, the giraffes, the zebras, the horses, dogs, the cats, the pigs, the cows, the sheep, the butterflies, the birds, the fish, the frogs, the bugs, the snakes, the spiders … All BEings.

Free to scream from the bowels of her soul … F R E E D O M …. She wishes to be contained no longer. She is compelled to break free of this shell, this shield placed around her ages and moons ago. Like the baby chick breaking free from its shell, like the butterfly breaking free from its cocoon … with intense passion she patiently chips away at the shellshield built by others and by her lower self.

Like a prisoner who has no tools with which to escape, She uses bare hands and nails to scratch and tear her Self free from this shellshield. With its hundreds of gnarly scars, rough and broken with welts of pain healed over. The time has come to be released. The time has to come to have more than a peephole of an opening. Break the f*** free, saunter out, and howl with the moon. And, BE FREE …. Hallelujah …. And, so it is …

-2018, Lessons from Nature – 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:

Reflections – I Am Called to Reflect as I Begin this 48th year

Walk with Lillian Vintage Lake 1.28.18 #3

Reflections.

As I begin my 48th turn around the bright and beautiful Sun, I am called to reflect. Come, reflect along with me if you care to join.

My 47th turn around the sun proved to be the most enlightening and wild to date. I knew in December 2016 that this was to be, for I had called this into my life. I was tired of having patterns from my past, happenings from when I was a child, teen, and young adult, and the thoughts in my own mind keeping me from sharing my essence with others, spreading unconditional love and compassion to all beings and nature, and what I came here to do. I was exhausted.

I knew it was NOT going to be fun. Yet, knew I needed to walk into the internal Hell that had held me captive for nearly all my life. I wanted this. I desired it. Nothing else was as important as walking into those flames, feeling them deeply, allowing them to burn away the anger, shame, guilt, and unworthiness; and allowing the Divine within to transmute those biting and burning flames into Pure Love.

My very FREEDOM relied on doing this once and for all. Nothing else was as important. Not earning money for rent, for food, nor for gas. NOTHING!

I began to receive messages here and there in December 2016 that the Theme of the Coming Year was to be “The Shift” with the two underlying themes of “Knowing” and “Allowing”. Below, is the 2017 theme board I prepared in January 2017. You can see at the bottom of the board two phrases “Secrets of the Heart” and “Adventure of My Life”.

Well, the “Adventure of My Life” wasn’t anything like I thought! I assumed I was in for some great fun!! HA! And, indeed, I learned the “Secrets of the Heart”. Powerful secrets that we all KNOW, yet have forgotten, or have buried underneath years of conditioning that caused us to forgot the knowing of our hearts.

Camilla's 2017 Vision Board 1.14.17

So … I did it. In February I had the great fortune to receive 8 reflexology sessions at no cost; which was paired with Reiki and other energy healing modalities. This is what kicked it off. This was not merely about someone applying deep pressure to pressure points in my feet. These pressure points held the sparks of the very fires that were holding me back. During these two months of sessions, I literally had times I thought I would die from resisting feeling emotions which I dared not ever let myself feel as a child.

See, as a young child I became a master at not allowing myself to feel the weight of horrible happenings. I went into my mind and there I didn’t have to feel. There. Took care of that.

During these sessions I came to know when an old wound was resurfacing as I began to feel anxious. I would go to the bedroom to be alone, lie down, relax, and pray. I prayed that I wanted to remember whatever it was, feel it and that I was ready; that I knew I was never alone, and that whatever this was could no longer hurt me. I simply needed to let myself feel the feelings I had buried.

During these times I sobbed so heavily I thought I may suffocate and I silently screamed as loudly as I could as Thomas and Lillian were in the house too. I let myself get angry about these happenings of childhood. I let myself feel the anger in my guts, in my heart, in my throat. Then, I released into it with sobbing, sobbing, sobbing.

One evening I was deeply anxious and fearful during a connection. I really thought I would simply die from the fear of it. Yet, a peaceful calm overcame me and these words floated into my awareness … “You are not alone. Letting yourself remember this and feel it cannot hurt you. It no longer exists. It is not real. Be Still. And. Know. Be Still. And. Know”.

Those gentle and beautiful words allowed me to remember and feel things I had forgotten and some I did not even know happened for I had buried them so deep as they were tremendously painful occurrences.

Not too long after I finished the reflexology sessions, I began sessions with a Shaman Reiki healer friend. These sessions were such that I could pay what I had available to pay. These sessions continue to this day. Most of the deeply rooted happenings were connected with, felt, and released during the reflexology sessions.

The Shaman sessions seemed to be smoothing and balancing. Although there were a few more memories that bubbled to the surface. One incredibly horrific memory. I don’t think I can even describe the freedom of letting these memories and happenings come to the surface, allowing myself to feel the emotions associated with them, and to release them to the divine.

There is a quiet peace that I can only describe as the intersection of having received a deeply relaxing massage and the serene quiet of being outdoors after freshly fallen snow.

In 2017, I joined an online writer’s group that has been incredibly inspiring. I had joined a few writer’s groups in years past; yet, this one is different. It’s like a homecoming for my writer’s soul. Beautiful and amazing people all over the world. They have blessed me incredibly. So much so that the dew of their blessings drips from my eyes and rolls down my cheeks.

In the beginning of 2017 I concluded marketing Thomas’ book, “Biggest Little Photographer“. I took a few months break and spent the last half of 2017 bringing together Lillian’s book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories”. It’s official debut is tomorrow, February 27, 2018 and Lillian and I will be on KOLO 8 News at 4:30 with Sarah Johns.

I wrote dozens of poems during 2017 and deeply soulful writings. Now, for goodness sake, I NEVER thought I would be writing poetry. Yet, one day they just started pouring out of me. Actually, the words don’t pour out of me. They flow though me so fast and furious at times that I have to type like the wind to catch them all as they flow through. I actually miss some of the words due to the speed at which they travel!

I have been journal writing for years now. Yet, in 2017, I began to ask a simple question after I was done with pouring my heart out. I ask, “What do I need to know?” The answer that comes forth is always soothing, clears blocks, and provides solutions. Some of these came out as poems, some I later turned into writings that were posted on this blog.

I FEEL different now. I FEEL FREE. FREEDOM. It was always with me. Yet, I simply could not be one with it until I journeyed this path.

I have reclaimed my Wild Woman archetype and actually, at times, totally feel like howling with the moon. Note – NOT, wild as in partying, drinking wild woman. Of course, I had those days, that’s a story for another day though. Simply perform a search for Wild Woman Archetype and you’ll see what I mean.

I do plan to write about the memories that came forth. I have healed from them. They are no longer buried. I have forgiven those involved. I deeply love some of the people involved and some I don’t even know; and I absolutely DO NOT BLAME anyone for happenings of the past. For I know that everyone was doing the best they could with where they were in their own journey of life. That’s a book in and of itself. So, another time for that.

I still have a chink I am addressing and forgiving. I just connected with a piece of it a couple of mornings ago and I feel that’s the last of the big ones! After that, wee little rascals may bubble to the surface; yet, I’ve had a year of practicing. I got this!

2017 and my year as a 47 year old. WOW! Dude! You knocked my socks off! YOU set me FREE!! I am thankful to so many people who have been there for me this past year. I LOVE you all incredibly much. My heart bursts forth with a confetti of love and gratitude for your part in helping me embrace FREEDOM.

2018 is the Year of “Jump” with the two underlying themes of “Listen” and “Trust”. That’s an upcoming blog post of how I came to know that this year I was to LEAP!

I embrace this 48th year with my entire being as a FREE Wild Woman!!

Damonte Ranch Walk 9.13.16 #5

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: 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.

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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.

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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.

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