Get to Know Me: The Soundtrack of My Life

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!

Which three songs would be the first picks in the soundtrack of your life – not necessarily your favourites but the most relevant.

My tastes in music are all over the place, depending on my mood, and what I’m doing, whether I’m driving, writing, or dancing. 😂

However, if we’re calling it The Soundtrack of Camilla’s Life, top 7 would be (one for each decade). Each to represent what that decade meant to/for me. I had to do this quick. If I put too much thought into it, we’d have several soundtracks!

1970: We Are Family by Sister Sledge

1980: Come on Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners

1990: Girls Just Want To Have by Cyndi Lauper

2000: Tainted Love by Soft Cell

2010: I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor

2020 (so far): I’m Coming Out by Diana Ross

All Decades: Born This Way by Lady Gaga

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 20 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 16 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Throwback Post: Reblog: Thomas and Camilla August 2016 Date Day

Throwback Post: Thomas and Camilla August 2016 Date Day - featured image

**THROWBACK POST**

September 6 2016:

Thomas and Camilla August 2016 date day …. (Our date day got postponed by a few days as Thomas was sick!)

Ended the date with enjoying cookies after dinner. And then a starlit walk.

Little Washoe Lake ….

“Would anyone believe that playing with sticks and walking and splashing in the water would be so fun?” -Thomas

This was an impromptu stop as we drove right by on our way home from Carson City. And it was Thomas’ idea …. Kinda. As I had just thought, we should stop by the lake. Hmmm.

Thomas told me he was having so much fun and was so happy we stopped. I sat in the sand and watched him a while and then he asked me to join him. And I did. Took off my shoes and walked and splashed with him.

Cost of this date = $0 / Value = Priceless xoxo ….

    

Go here to see more photos …

Throwback Post: Thomas and Camilla August 2016 Date Day

Throwback Post: Reblog: Found the Mojo With Incredible Birdsong and Pink Blossoms While Swimming

**THROWBACK POST**

April 20 2021

I didn’t want to go for a walk this morning. I’ve misplaced my mojo lately. These lovelies cheered me on.

     

April 26 2021

This mornings walk was gorgeous, the birdsong incredible!

           

April 27 2021

Pink and white and gray. Colors for the Tuesday morning walk.

   

Go here to see the full post …

Found the Mojo With Incredible Birdsong and Pink Blossoms While Swimming

Reblog: The Wall of Love by Marco Santini Art – Featuring Artwork by Lillian Darnell

February 15 2021

This is such an amazing and beautiful endeavor. Just magical. The Wall of Love by Marco Santini Art, surrounded by artwork submitted from people around the world, including Lillian Darnell, from Reno, Nevada!

If you’re near East Harlem in New York go have a look! Lillian’s artwork is hanging on the far right. Rick zooms into hers at 6:46 if you want to see it. Thank YOU to everyone involved. It blesses me so to see Lillian’s abstract art as part of this installation with the message of love and inclusion. We love and miss you Rick Guidotti and Liz Matejka Grossman!! xoxo Keep spreadin’ the love!

 

Go here to see the full post …

The Wall of Love by Marco Santini Art – Featuring Artwork by Lillian Darnell

Get to Know Me: An Event That Changed Everything

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!

Can you pin-point an event in your life that changed everything?

My life has been a collection of crossroads. The first major one, and perhaps having an affect on all others: My parents had a nasty split and divorce when I was 10 years old. It was a complete mess, with my mom fleeing with us out of state two times.

The first time my mom’s family on one side of my younger brother and I, my dad’s family on the other side, tugging our arms. The second time, my dad showing up to collect my brother and I from school, heading straight to the airport and back to his home state. Those were some of he worst years of my young life.

I have had a string of unhealthy relationships with men. That only stopped when I quit having any romantic relationships after my divorce in 2007. There’s another crossroads. I’ve not dated since then.

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 20 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 16 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Roses With a Yule Log and a Fake Christmas Tree – Camilla on Shaz’s Book Blog

Thank you to Sharon for having me on her beautiful book blog back in December 2021. I really enjoy being a guest on blogs when the themes are different from the typical interview.

Today it’s my pleasure to welcome Camilla Downs back to the blog for the latest Festive Fun with… feature.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m mom to two beautiful people, 20 year old Lillian, and 16 year old Thomas. We live in the high desert of Northern Nevada, USA, next door to Northern California, and about 20 minutes from gorgeous Lake Tahoe.

I love going for walks, taking nature photographs, reading, and going for swims and soaks in our community’s year round pool and jacuzzi. I’m a Shared Living Provider for my special needs daughter, and volunteer 18p- Coordinator for The Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society.

My son and I are fans of the Star Wars and Marvel movies and series. We have movie night at least once a week, using a projector, and projecting onto our living room wall. It’s like being in a theater in the comfort of our own home. Lillian enjoys taking nature photographs with me when we’re out for walks. We have many memories of walks, with hundreds of nature photographs.

Describe your ideal Christmas.

My kids and I would spend Christmas week in a cozy cottage in the forest. I would wake to find a steady flow of plump snowflakes falling, the ground covered in a sparkling, thick layer of snow. While the kids are still sleeping, I sit in front of the fire, with a view of the trees, my hands wrapped around a mug of hot coffee, made from freshly ground beans. I spend time reading while taking in the beauty of the moment.

Later in the day, after gifts have been exchanged, we bundle ourselves, going for a breathtaking walk amongst the snow covered trees. When we return we unbundle, slip into bathing suits, and have a soak in the warm, relaxing jacuzzi. We end the day by watching a favorite movie before drifting into a peaceful, restful sleep.

Do you have any Christmas book traditions?

When my kids were younger, we always read, “The Night Before Christmas” before they went to bed. Sweet memories.

What is your favourite Christmas song?

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee

What is your favourite Christmas film?

This is such a difficult question. I can’t choose just one. I’m going to have to cheat!

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Polar Express (2004)

It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)

The Bishop’s Wife (1948)

The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Quick-fire questions

Roses or Quality Street? Not going to lie. Living in the US, I had to look this up on Google. I’d choose Roses as it seems they cater to coffee lovers with their flavor selection.
Mince pies/Christmas cake or Yule log? Yule log
Turkey or ham? Neither. I’m vegan. 🙂
Brussel sprouts or roast parsnips? Brussel sprouts.
Gravy or cranberry sauce? Homemade cranberry sauce.
Fake or real Christmas tree? Fake.
White or coloured lights? Coloured.
Giving or receiving presents? Giving.

Please follow the link to see the full interview on Sharon’s beautiful blog:

https://shazsbookblog.blogspot.com/2021/12/festive-fun-with-camilla-downs.html?fbclid=IwAR2f_LZm1sZdL6jhkr7KL6f1MBhw9GvC420C_xxc7ZRoKpdnKhd90W2G4OM

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 20 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 16 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Kiss the Earth with Your Feet – Thich Nhat Hanh

I’m trying to get caught up with blog posts. I’ve felt out of sorts, with being incredibly busy these past few months. 

January 21 2022

This beautiful man, his teachings, his books, the movie “Walk With Me” … All lifted me, guiding me through the toughest years of my life. I am letting flow, tears of gratitude for the peace and love he shared, and for how deeply he touched and changed my life, the lives of so many. 😭❤️💔

“The International Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism announces that our beloved teacher Thich Nhat Hanh passed away peacefully at Từ Hiếu Temple in Huế, Vietnam, at 00:00hrs on 22nd January, 2022, at the age of 95.”

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 20 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 16 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

News: Neurodiversity Learning Continues – Family Update

January 26 2022


(Photo from a January 2022 walk with Thomas – Galena Forest)

I received the results of Lillian’s neuropsychological evaluation this morning. It was as expected (plus some), however, overwhelming with much parent guilt over not having done this earlier in her life. Hot tears have been flowing on and off most of the day. This also brought relief in knowing the “why” of some issues.

I feel like I’m the middle of the rope in tug of war between helping Thomas get enrolled for dual credits for his last two years of high school, along with figuring out college, and thinking about all that needs to be addressed with Lillian. Plus addressing some of my own medical issues. We’ve got the route(s) figured out for dual credits. It’s just taking all the steps, filling out the forms, and looking into colleges to be sure the credits transfer to the 4 year degree.

I have been letting myself feel sad and sorry for myself today, as I do this all alone. Some days I’m just so damn tired. I will walk into the overwhelm, the tiredness, and let myself feel it all. I don’t believe in smooshing these kinds of feelings down, piling positivity on top of it. That does no one any good. I believe in physically feeling the shit of life.

This evaluation assessed more than autism. I’ve not shared the results as that is up to Lillian as to whether or not we share. She does have some hard core disregulation happening. These diagnoses have opened up therapies that insurance would not pay for without the diagnosis, and informed me of specific therapies and tests I did not know about. Therapies that would have been incredibly helpful earlier in life. Yet, we will start where we are.

Then, tomorrow, or the next, or the next, I’ll move back to knowing that I’m a damn cheetah, because I can do hard things. (So glad I read Glennon Doyle’s book and learned that phrase! Highly recommend her book, Untamed.)

I’m not posting for sympathy. I’m sharing because that’s part of my processing. Getting it out of my head. And I know if I’m feeling this way, others I know may be feeling this way. 🌹🌹🌹

**March 2022 Update** Things are moving along nicely with figuring out Thomas’s path. We’ll learn any day now if he has conditional approval where he’s applied, and we’ve lined up alternatives just in case.

Moving much slower with Lillian. Although she has finally looked at the report following her assessment, she and I still need to discuss next steps. She seems resistant to move forward. Hopefully, with time she will become less rigid about it.

Moving forward with addressing my health issues, too. I’ve begun twice a week physical therapy to address neck issues; which will continue for 8 weeks. I purchased a stand up desk, that adjusts to all positions so it can be used as a seated desk as well. And I’m taking the first steps in addressing my GI issues.

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 20 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 16 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Latest News: Hello There to a Haircut and Style

January 27, 2022

There’s just something about getting a haircut and style. It’s freeing, a lightening, a releasing of the past. It’s been over a year since my last cut. Selfie overload ’cause it felt so good!!

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 20 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 16 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

 

Quenches the Thirst – Camilla on Patricia’s Pen

I’m honored to have been a guest on Patricia’s Pen. Thank you Tricia!

Today on Patricia’s Pen I’m delighted to introduce Poet, Camilla Downs, who has come to chat about how walking inspires her writing. Without further ado, let’s go over to Camilla.

Inspirational Walks
Camilla Downs

Just as a cool glass of water slakes my thirst on a scorching hot day, going for walks quenches the thirst of my heart and soul to know my true self, to heal, to release, to allow joy, and to be at peace. Walking guides me in the loving way to process life, to fulfill life, to let life be, and to take action.

During the years of 2010 – 2019, I took a deep dive into healing myself, learning and practising mindfulness, meditation, and emotional connection. I left a 10 year marriage in December of 2006, becoming a solo parent to my two kids who were 1 year old and 5 years old at the time.

There was much I needed to process having to do with that, along with experiences of childhood, youth, my teenage years, and early adult life.

My way of processing life was (and is) to walk and write about what I am experiencing. During those years of healing I would write about what I was experiencing, ending the writing with asking ‘What do I need to know?’ I would then free-write a response, almost always a writing that soothed my soul, or set forth steps I may want to take.

For the past 20 years I have been going for walks. The meaning and depth of the walks have shifted throughout the years. What started as an activity simply to satisfy my desire to be active, bloomed into a walking practice. A practice to process healing, to release, to discover my authentic self, and to connect with nature.

Photo by Camilla Down taken during a walk at Scripts Wildlife Preserve – Reno, Nevada, USA – 2020
Going for a walk at least three times a week has literally kept me going when I felt I could not carry on, and propelled me into bliss in times of joy. Each time I walk I have a different experience.

At some point my writings combined with my walks and nature photography. Nearly every day when I returned from my walk, I would swipe through the photos I took, paying close attention to how my body felt. When moved, I would choose a photo, and ask what I was to share. Poetry would flow from that. It was really quite amazing for me to experience.

In the beginning of 2019, I decided I was ready to put forth another book. As I sat looking through my writings, the free-verse poetry kept coming to the forefront. I realized that I had been writing poetry for six years, with a knowing that the poetry was to be the next book.

Words of Alchemy was published in December 2019. I’ve been on a sabbatical from writing since that time, as I felt I needed a break. I feel sure that once I’m moved to write again, the words will eventually flow.

May you be inspired to explore how walking could create a shift in your life; whether that be ever so small or ever so big.

Follow the link to see the full post on Patricia’s Pen:

https://whitewingsbooks.com/2022/02/15/guest-feature-camilla-downs/?fbclid=IwAR38jZlbB79MYvHfoeQvKDgitPqQQkDwEojDIddj73UN0BMWyHNPf5PDU8A

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 20 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 16 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.