Latest News: Top 10 Soul Writings for 2020

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(Spooner Lake July 2020)

Top 10 Blog Posts With the Most Views (Culled only from 2020 blog posts)

  1. Latest News: I Support Black Lives Matter – BIPOC
  2. We Are Family – A Dedication to Mary Armstrong
  3. Why Writing is Important to Me – An Interview with Clare Rhoden
  4. Educating and Re-educating Myself
  5. Sobbing in the Garage With the True Meaning of Beauty – An Interview With Marjorie Mallon
  6. Walk With Me – Words of Alchemy
  7. Writing With My Eyes Closed – Author D.G. Kaye Interviews Camilla
  8. Throwback Post: Being a Sibling to One With Special Needs and Throwback Post: I Vow to Learn and What Does it Mean to Love (all three of these tied for #8)
  9. What Led to My First Book and Five Fun Facts – Jess Interviews Camilla and
    The Path of the Heart – Words of Alchemy (these two tied for #9)
  10. Twenty Nine Favorite Movies Watched in 2019

Top 10 Blog Posts With the Most Views (Culled from all blog posts)

  1. Recipe: No Powdered Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  2. 17 Easy and Free Ideas on How to Rejuvenate Yourself
  3. Olive Oil as Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer – Oil Cleansing Method
  4. Latest News: I Support Black Lives Matter – BIPOC
  5. Happy Birthday to Me – Reuniting With Someone Special
  6. We Are Family – A Dedication to Mary Armstrong
  7. Why Writing is Important to Me – An Interview with Clare Rhoden
  8. Trees Preach the Ancient Laws of Life
  9. Book Review: I Am That Girl
  10. Educating and Re-educating Myself

Top 10 Blog Posts of All Time With the Most Views

  1. Olive Oil as Facial Cleanser and Moisturizer – Oil Cleansing Method
  2. Recipe: No Powdered Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
  3. Recipe: Almond Flour Cookies
  4. Help Team TLC with a Christmas Miracle
  5. 17 Easy and Free Ideas on How to Rejuvenate Yourself
  6. Oil Cleansing Method – Update
  7. A Moment of Defeat
  8. Taste the Wind
  9. I Wish I Wasn’t an 18p- Girl: Moment of Defeat – Take Two
  10. Lillian and Being Different Presentation

Top 3 Countries With Most Views for 2020

Top 3 Countries with Most Views for All Time

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Get to Know Me: What Songs Hit You With a Wave of Nostalgia?

I’m a member of an author/book reader facebook group, and the admins ask great questions. I decided to turn some of the questions into a “get to know me” series. I would also love to hear your answers to the questions posed in the series. Thanks Helen for asking such fun questions!

What Songs Hit You With a Wave of Nostalgia?

This is just a small sampling. I could go on and on.

Village People:

Kool and the Gang:

 

The Pointer Sisters

Sister Sledge:

Billy Idol: (so many!!) And who didn’t stand in front of the mirror trying to perfect the Billy Idol lip thing!

Duran Duran: (so many!!)

Prince:

David Bowie:

Aerosmith:

and with Run DMC

Guns n Roses:

The Cult:

AC/DC:

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Twisted Sister:

Inxs:

Def Leppard:

Metallica:

Sir Mix-A-Lot:

Talking Heads:

Dexys Midnight Runners:

I could go on and on … You get the idea, though!

What about you?

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

The 51st Birthday Celebration – Camilla Downs

February 26 2021

I’m incredibly late with posting this. I’ve had my hands so full with matters having to do with Thomas and Lillian. I did take the time to celebrate, though!

Step 1 for the 51st celebration of my birth. 💙🎉💙

Step 2 of the 51st celebrations.

Treating myself to Maya’s South Indian Cuisine

Poori & Potato Masala and Medhu Vada

I am in food heaven! The owner gifted me with this bottle of premium ginger beer as a birthday gift. I am here for every bite and swig of this deliciousness! ❤️🎉😋😋😋❤️🎉

Step 3 of the 51st birthday celebration.

Vegan chocolate mousse cake, wishes, and being serenaded by The Romano Duo, Robert, and Thomas with The Happy Birthday song.

The Romano Duo gifted me with a much needed storage cabinet, a planter, and this gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous sun catcher. 🤍🤍🤍

Step 4 of the 51st birthday celebrations.

Someone has to fix Team TLC’s dinner. May as well dance and enjoy it …. (Although, this is usually how I make dinner. I’m not getting any younger, I’m gonna dance while I can!!!) 😂😅🤣

Step 5 of the 51st Birthday Celebration

Watching the next to last WandaVision episode for the season, with one of the most spectacular humans in my life, my 2nd and last child – Thomas. With a lil bit of movie candy. 😋🖤😋

Final step for the 51st birthday celebration.

A hot epsom salt soak, with an amazing book. Reading in bed now, then I’m off to sleep. Thanks for celebrating with me y’all!! 🎉🎉🎉❤️❤️❤️🎉🎉🎉

Exciting News – Lillian’s Imaginarium is Open

Hey! Hey! Here’s the huge announcement regarding my daughter, Lillian Darnell’s, creations!

I have been working on this for months, with the help of a very incredible friend! Thank you to Kate Raina for guiding me, and getting Lillian’s creations in the proper format for digital printing and professional printing.

There are more items to add, I just needed to get this thing “live” to push myself! If you use etsy, please favorite Lillians Imaginarium. And please let me know if you see anything out of sorts. I have no idea what I’m doing, I just figure it out as I go along. Thanks to everyone who cheers us on, and supports all of our creations. Oceans of love to all of you! xoxo

For anyone new to my blog, Lillian is my 19 year old daughter. She has a chromosome difference called 18p- (which means she is missing the short arm of chromosome number 18). This affects 1 in 55,000 people. This manifests in difficulty with speech/articulation, emotional regulation, balance, and depth perception, anxiety, sensory issues, inflexibility, chronic stomach pain, and pain in general. She will be tested for autism in the near future, which will guide us, and help in better understanding Lillian.

Check it out …

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Accidental Swan Not a Fan of Rules – Haiku-Interview of Camilla

I recently participated in a Haiku style interview with the wonderful Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal. My interview was included in the January – March 2021 issue, which you can find on Kindle or by visiting the website, https://abpoetryjournal.com/store/.

1. Why did you decide to become a poet? 

Accidental swan-
words flow from nature’s beauty
heart opened to verse

2. What is your favorite style of poetry? Why?

Not a fan of rules-
free-verse is the way for me
freedom in writing

3. Who are your favorite poets?

Nature influenced-
writing of Gaia’s beauty
favorite poets

The publication is full of wonderful, moving poetry. I hope you take the time to download an issue, supporting this great publication, and the poets and artists who contribute.

I interviewed Cendrine Marrouat and David Ellis, the founders of the publication, on Meeting the Authors in December 2019. Go here to have a look at the interview …

Meet the Author: Walks: A Collection of Haiku by Cendrine Marrouat and See A Dream Within: Found ‘Poe’try Based On The Collected Poetry Works Of Edgar Allan Poe by David Ellis

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Throwback Post: Every Breath We Take is a Miracle

**THROWBACK POST**

July 23 2015:

View from Little Washoe Lake yesterday …

I share these words from the heart space, a place of compassion and love and of wanting the same for all of you. I have been practicing Loving Life and letting Life Love me in return. Some of this has to do with loving-kindness for one’s self, some to do with loving each other, the Earth, nature, and animals.

Life really loved on me yesterday. I embraced some fears yesterday morning, knowing that they are a part of me and not trying to push them away or crush them. I just let them be and in turn they did not stop me!

Then I went on to have an absolutely wonderful day. Found out that we would be able to stay in Salt Lake City from Friday to Friday as we originally planned and would not have to cut it short. I had loving interactions with everyone I came across … at Mill Street Tire getting the oil changed and tires rotated, an impromptu stop to see a friend, and getting Thomas a haircut.

As we were checking out at Whole Foods, two women came up to me and thanked me over and over again for the kindness of my son as he had helped them get something they could not reach (I was not aware of this.). Thomas was confused on the drive home and kept asking why they kept thanking him (and me).

Then when we got home, I had a message asking if I’d be interested in contributing a 2,000-4,000 word article to a multidisciplinary government journal having to do with intellectual disabilities. Later, I began to feel guilty. I chose to connect with that feeling, to see what I needed to learn from it. I learned that when good things happen, I begin to feel I am not worthy.

Well, not anymore. I am worthy and so are YOU! We do not have to accomplish spectacular things, be a certain way, look a certain way, have a certain amount of money and prestige. And, if you have all those things … You are worthy too! We are all worthy, because we are breathing and every breath we take is a miracle. Love is indeed the answer … xoxo …

**Update April 19 2021 – What an amazing journey I’ve been on. It’s wild how difficult it can be to like ourselves, to believe we are worthy, to not see ourselves in the worst light. I moved through the worst of this, leaving it behind with the dawn of 2020. However, I still have days, weeks even, where I question my worthiness.

I suppose that’s simply a component of being human. I witness as my beautiful 15 year old son has these same struggles, and feelings. May he, may all of us, stop being so hard on ourselves, and come to know how precious, beautiful and worthy we are. xoxo (Here’s the article I was asked to contribute – 

My Journey With Intellectual Disability and Relationships – A Short Memoir

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Get to Know Me – What Movie Can You Watch Over and Over?

I’m a member of an author/book reader facebook group, and the admins ask great questions. I decided to turn some of the questions into a “get to know me” series. I would also love to hear your answers to the questions posed in the series. Thanks Helen for asking such fun questions!

What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of?

True to my nature, I can’t list just one. These are just a few.

Casablanca

Harvey

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

You Can’t Take It With You

It Happened on 5th Avenue

It’s a Wonderful Life

The Avenger Movies – especially Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2

There are many I’ve seen once, and have on my list to watch again.

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Reblog: Thomas and Camilla October 2020 Date Day

October 20 2020

Thomas and Camilla October 2020 Date Day

First: House of Mexica for lunch. I absolutely love this place!! They are an all vegan restaurant and have a huge menu.

I had 3 Hibiscus tacos with a side of asada fries that we both shared. Washed down with Jaimaca. Everything was perfection!!! Who knew dried hibiscus flowers mimicked shredded meat when sautéed?

Thomas had the bacon lord burger, washed down with Horchata.

 

   

Second stop: A walk around Bartley Ranch

   

Follow this link to see more photos …

Thomas and Camilla October 2020 Date Day

A Life Changing Visit to South Lake Tahoe – James Interviews Camilla

Several months back, I was honored to be a guest on JQM Literary Chat with James Quinlan Meservy. James and covered where my first name originated, my roots, poetic words bubbling to the surface, and a life changing visit to South Lake Tahoe. Join us …

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:

I’m Camilla Downs (pronounced like Pamela, but with a “C”). I was named after Camilla Sparv, a Swedish actress in the 1960’s and 70’s. I’ve been told that I’m the great great grand-daughter of a full blooded Chickasaw Indian and Irish immigrants (haven’t researched this yet, it’s on my to do list for this year).

I have lived in Reno, Nevada, USA for the past 14 years, moving here from the Seattle, Washington area in 2006. I spent my first 18 years in Jackson, Mississippi and Houma, Louisiana. I love walking. I am out for walks anywhere from three to six days a week. Nature is partly the inspiration for my writings and poetry. The other part is a desire to process my life experiences; to give them an outlet through writing.

I have been single parenting fourteen year old Thomas and eighteen year old Lillian since Thomas was 1 year old. Lillian has a chromosome deletion simply called 18p-. This means she is missing the short arm of chromosome #18. My kids and I call ourselves Team TLC to correspond with the first letters of each of our names. During 2015-2019 we were tiny home dwellers, living in a 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 810 square foot apartment. That was one heck of an adventure!

WHAT INFLUENCED YOU TO WRITE YOUR GENRE(S)?

My latest book to publish is a poetry memoir of the last 6 years of my life. It was largely inspired and influenced by Nature, and the many walks I took during the time it was written. About six years ago, I visited Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe, California. The beauty was quite overwhelming, bringing me to tears. As I drove home, I made several stops along Lake Tahoe, sitting to take it all in. While doing this, poetic words bubbled to the surface of my consciousness. This was the beginning of a six year journey of being inspired by nature with poetic words, then later, inspired by life events.

My first book is a memoir of my journey to acceptance of myself, and acceptance of becoming a single parent to two children, one with special needs, one a genius (who is most likely on the spectrum). The influence for this book was born of a desire to share my life with others, in the hopes of letting them know they are not alone. In addition, the feedback I received for life experiences I shared on my blog and in social media, fueled the desire to share in a published book.

The second book, for which I am simply a contributor, is my daughter’s book. I collected her writings, organized them, wrote the introduction, edited, proofed, and published the book. Her book was intentionally not professionally edited so as to share her unique view with the reading world. A photo I took of her was used for the cover of the book. It is in the fiction genre as it is a collection of her short stories and poetry from 5 years old to 15 years old. The influence for this book was a desire to help Lillian have something that showcases her unique talents and skills. She and I had talked about publishing a book ever since she was about 5 years old.

The third book, I am also simply a contributor, as it is a photography book of photos my then 8 year old son took. I organized the book, wrote the introduction, and he and I chose quotes to pair with the sections of the book. The influence for this book was a promise I made to 8 year old Thomas. Before he began the 365 photo a day project, I told him that he he followed through and finished, we would publish the photographic journey as a book.

WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS?

I don’t know that I have a favorite author, book, or literary character. I love to read authors and books that enlighten me in an interesting or fun way about life, topics, events of which I am ignorant. I like authors and books that involve my emotions, books that I can’t stand to put down. The majority of what I read is nonfiction.

However, I do love reading fiction if it covers a topic I want to learn more about, or it has an inspirational message. I also enjoy fiction books that have a character solving a mystery, as long as the mystery to be solved is not someone’s murder or crime related.

Here are a some of my latest reads: On Writing by Stephen King Untamed by Glennon Doyle Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz Star Crossed by Barbara Dee The Girl with Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee The Library Book by Susan Orlean

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH POTENTIAL READERS?

What I’d like to share are words from readers, rather than myself, from blog reviews and Amazon reviews …

A beautiful testament to the love and dedication of a mother to her children, and her personal transformation using nature as a guide and companion. I was instantly transported to zenlike mindfulness by the melodic prose in this beautiful collection. Poems like “Released” will remain with me as a reminder of the healing strength of our connection to nature. The rich imagery and natural metaphors make each piece a standalone daily meditation. – Michelle S.

I have always loved Camilla’s writing. So glad she put it in a book for me, for us, to always have on hand. Her poem form is original and real. I get release and comfort in reading the selections. Godspeed to her and thank you. – Amazon Customer

Words of Alchemy is warm and personal, like being invited to sit on the author’s couch and listen to her talk to family and friends. Intimate and loving, these poems are a celebration of family, of friends, of life, of nature, and of adaptation. – Amazon Customer

What a joy it is to read this gem of a poetry book. Full of beautiful free-verse, a memoir about friends, family, relationships and the love of the nature. This is for you if you enjoy the natural world, (as I do,) if you appreciate poetry that delves into the heart and doesn’t hold back. In many ways it is an intimate and brave expression of the author – Camilla Down’s – thoughts and feelings. – Marjorie M.

This book is full of beautiful, inspiring, thought provoking poems about love, nature, acceptance, joys, fun, mindfulness and gratitude! They really pick you up and make you consider your own life and the changes you could welcome to lead a happier, fuller life while reading about Camilla’s passion and love for nature, family, friends and all the small things that a lot of us take for granted! It’s emotive, and lovely and just a stunning read for a day when you may be feeling low! It’s a feel good collection of poems that really will brighten your day! – Lynne P.

Follow the link to read the full interview on the JQM website …

JQM LITERARY CHAT WELCOMES Camilla Downs

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Throwback Post: Between the Sweet Spot and the Heaviness

**THROWBACK TO 2017 OR 2018″

Between the Sweet Spot and the Heaviness

And lo the feelings
of being trapped
are strong.

Weighing on this body
as worries weigh
upon the mind.

No way out is seen
as the mind ricochets
from thought to thought.

Most having nothing
to do with what brings
forth the heaviness
and feelings of being trapped.

Like the shell in
the ocean,
attention is focused
on one thought
until tossed
to another and
yet another
with the movement
of the ocean.
Never BEing still.

Thoughts of wanting to be
somewhere one is not.
Always thoughts of how
one gets passed this
moment – how one
survives this moment.

The moment will come.
There is no stopping it.
It arrives just
as the moment
before arrived and
the moment after arrives.

Just as the shell
in the ocean is
tossed to and fro
one feels tossed
to and fro by life.

Not knowing which
way is which.
Confusion clouds
the mind,
despair settles
within the confusion.

Following this path
knowing not
where it leads.

Looking back on
past paths with
thoughts of what
a good place it
was in the path.

All the while knowing
that in the midst of
that place one was filled with
thoughts of being trapped
and seeking a way out.

Could it be that
one will look back
on this place in
the path years from
now with thoughts of
what a good place
in the path this
was to have been?

Though it feels like
it not, this place
in the path is always
a good place to be.

As there is no way to
move forward from the past
or the future.
One can only move
forward from this
moment in time,
this place in the path.

Knowing the answers
within seems so
far from knowing
the answers without.

Seems like a
distance of eternity.

An eternity of traveling
to the sweet spot within
where life is a blissful
walk in the park.

Stopping for a bit here
Stopping for a bit there
following the nudges
that life presents.

Knowing all we need
do is always BE
where we BE. – ©Camilla Downs

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

“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.

Amazing news! My 19 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 15 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.