Throwback Post: Facing Challenges Being an Advocate – D iz for Different Review


November 10 2012:

Thank you tons and tons Terry Torpet Vasenden for the beautiful review on Amazon … I appreciate it so dang much … Can’t wait to give you a big ole HUG!!!!!

“Camilla’s love for her children, her struggles and successes, and her insight of how to navigate the whole ride will inspire you to be a better parent, search for and find joy, and make every moment count. Camilla shares her story of how to enjoy the journey – even when it isn’t always the path we planned or even imagined. Lots of practical tips for all of us, and tons of great resources/action plans for those facing the challenges that come with being an advocate for a child.” – Terry V.

Don’t Let the How Stop you from the Why

I’m housecleaning on my blog! Cleaning the 20 pages of “draft” status posts. Most I’m trashing or adding to my digital journal. Yet, I’ve come across some that I feel moved to share.


Last week a student asked if a woman in a video I shared with them was me. Student T said, “No, that’s not her. She doesn’t have the money to film something like that.” I said, “Do you think I would let that stop me from moving forward with a project I knew needed to be brought to the public?”

Student T asked how I would do it without money. I said, “You don’t focus on that. You focus on doing it, begin it, take that first step, share it and the help you need to make it happen will come .. as long as it’s something that benefits others. And as long as you don’t lose your focus on whatever it is. You don’t want to let the how stop you from doing it for the why …”

I also shared the story of how my book came to be … If I had not taken that first step and began writing it, there would be no book. I had no idea how I would pay for the expenses in publishing a book ….

I posted the above on facebook and had also saved my response to the beautiful comments that were received …

Honestly y’all, when the students make some of these comments this stuff just flies out of my mouth … before I can even think about it. Next thing I know my heart is racing, my face is warm and I’ve shared some really cool words with them.

However, sometimes I forget to take my own advice. I have just come to the understanding of precisely why I am teaching this class. I have been questioning this for weeks and have been telling myself there is a reason I am doing it and the reason will become clear eventually.

I get it now. It’s not only for the students. It’s for ME and Team TLC too. What I share with Thomas and Lillian, what I share with the students, the books I’m reading during this time, the conversations I’m having with others is all perfectly synchronized like waves rolling up to shore … back and forth, back and forth …


There’s no better feeling than listening to your inner voice, having faith in it and your choices and the moment you understand it all … So much love and hugs and smiles to all y’all!!!


October 2018 Additional Information:

In September 2014 I taught a blogging class at High Desert Montessori. The above is a conversation from that class.

I cannot remember which of two videos I had them watch. Yet, I know it had something to do with one of the “Success for Teens” modules we were covering on that day.

It was either this one ….

or this one …

If you’re interested in the story of how “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” came to be, go here …

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

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

Amazing news! My 17 year old daughter, Lillian Darnell’s debut book, “Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories” is 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:
[catlist name=blog]

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

This is a continuation post and the last of the series.

Below is an excerpt from Part One:

” …. 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

Below is an excerpt from Part Two:

” …. 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 ….”

Go here to read the rest if you missed it …

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

“D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” was written by me in 2011 and published in 2012. There’s an interesting story on how the book came to be written so if you’d like to read that story go here …

Purging, Weight Loss, and Writing a Book

I wrote the bulk of the book in about three months. When I began writing I had no idea how it would get from the initial writing into a published book. Yet, I did not let that stop me from writing. I knew I was to write, so I wrote. Every morning I got up 30 minutes earlier than I had been, sat outside on the patio, with an expansive view of majestic Mount Rose, and wrote for thirty minutes to an hour every day.

It was either during writing the book or just after I had finished that I began researching how to self-publish one’s book. I decided to use Amazon’s self-publishing arm, CreateSpace. Having no money to invest in this book, was a major factor in choosing this option.

I found friends who were willing to be test readers and editors. I had an idea of what I wanted for the cover; yet, during that same time came across artwork that I fell in love with. The art is created by a young man, D.J. Svoboda, with autism who I had been connected with through a mutual Chromosome 18 friend. I was inspired to ask D.J. if he would like his artwork on the cover of my book. He excitedly answered back with a resounding “Yes”! Another friend designed the initial cover for me at no charge.

D iz for Different Books Shipment of 5 Received 1.11.18

With the cover designed and the book having been reviewed by several others, I dove into Createspace to attempt figuring out how to make what I had into a book! I began to stumble and wasn’t sure how to proceed as it seemed I needed to have Word. I have been an Apple Mac user since about 2000 and have not used Microsoft products since then.

At about the same time, I received a phone call or email from Diana Michelotti to let me know that she is D.J’s manager and wanted to talk about the use of his art on the cover of the book. I contacted Diana and she wanted me to send a few chapters of the book for her review and approval for D.J.’s art.

Not too long after I sent the chapters to Diana for review, I heard back from her that she loved what I had sent and was deeply moved by the content. She wondered who I was going to have edit the book and who would be creating the layout of the book. I told her that I was going to do it myself; that I was stuck for the moment, yet, I would figure it out.

I explained that I had absolutely no money to pay someone for their services. She responded with, “I will do this for you. And, I will not charge you. This is what I do for a living and I want to help you.” She further stated that she believed in the message I was sharing and wanted to help get the book created.

Free Hugs and Smiles Thomas and Camilla at D iz for Different Table 2013

So began the journey of working with Diana. It was a lengthy process as there was much more editing needed than I had anticipated. It was the greatest lesson in patience that I think I have ever experienced. And, I did not handle it in the highest and best way possible, in my opinion.

This was at the very beginning of the huge shift I was beginning to make. A shift of living a spiritually based life; rather than whatever you would call I had been living. I did not see being patient as a lesson at that time. I saw it as an annoyance, something I could not control, and it was bringing forth anxiety and anger. I can see it all clearly now and definitely process these events differently now.

“What a blessing and privilege it has been to work with Camilla Downs and be a part of the creation of ‘D iz for Different.’

Like a bird leaving its nest for the first time – I hope this book spreads its wings, takes flight and reaches those who need to hear Camilla’s inspiring story.” – Diana Michelotti

Less than a year after I began writing it, the book was finally finished and published in May 2012.  And, it was written, created, and published with no money. It was a huge learning experience being the first time I had done anything like this.

Another aspect of the book that came together in perfect synchronicity were the review blurbs. I met the Ziglar family at a conference in 2010 and had kept in touch with Zig Ziglar’s daughter and grand-daughter. When the time came, I asked Julie Ziglar Norman if she would like to write a review blurb. She loved the book and agreed!

A connection I had made through a local networking group approached me one night to say she had been working with someone she thought I should connect with. She connected us via email and after he emailed me back I went to his website only to discover that this person is Jim Stovall!! Author of The Ultimate Gift which was also made into a movie. He was happy to offer a review blurb. I LOVE the movie, by the way!!

There was much I did not include in the book. Not to mention that my writing has evolved since this book and has a completely different flavor now. Don’t get me wrong. I love the book and it’s contents. I still have faith in what I wrote; I can simply see the difference now. The content is mind and brain heavy and not so much from the heart. I barely skimmed the surface of my essence with the book and, in fact, some of my views have shifted a bit since its writing. And, as stated earlier, I have become deeply spiritual since ‘D iz for Different’ was birthed into a published book.

I see it all as part of the process and part of my journey. We all change throughout our lives. Some more so than others. This book was supposed to be “light” and to only skim the surface. It was the toe dip into the author’s ocean for me. A toe dip to test the waters. I am thankful it was met with such a warm reception and enthusiasm.

There is much I wanted to say in the book, that I did not say for fear of offending or turning others away. Fear. What a lesson it has to teach us. I no longer have this fear as one could most likely surmise by reading the writings that currently come forth. Fear is simply love going in the opposite direction and I have tipped the scales so that fear and love have embraced in an ecstatic burst of love creation through writing.

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

Well, I had not intended all of this to come forth. Yet, there it is. In all it’s grace and glory! Once it turns on, I cannot turn it off until it’s finished!

Back to the book …. The book reached #2 in the Self-Help Category and #1 in Special Needs Parenting on Amazon. The last I checked it had a 4 and 1/2 star rating on Amazon. Sales have absolutely fallen flat and I no longer market the book. In 2013, I let shame and fear that the book was no good take over and I abandoned further marketing.

‘D iz for Different’ is about to receive a facelift by way of a new cover as this cover seems to no longer be in sync with my heart. I love and adore D.J. and this does not speak less of his beautiful art, nor does it speak less of the hard work Diana put into it. This is all about me and what my heart dictates.

So … YES! A book can be published with no money!!

And stay tuned for the updated cover!!

And, stay tuned for the next books to be published. There will be another book coming near the end of this year or beginning of 2019.

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:
[catlist name=blog]

D iz for Different Kindle Release


FREE for the next three (3) days! 12:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 28, 2013 through midnight, Tuesday, April 30, 2013. Help me out y’all! Even if you never plan on reading “D iz for Different“, please take a minute to download it while it’s free! The more downloads the book receives the more exposure it will receive. Go here for the kindle version of “D iz for Different”.

Feel free to leave a comment here when you download or tag me on facebook! Also, feel free to share this post or the facebook event with your friends. If you comment here, tag me or post on my timeline that you downloaded the book during this 3 days, I’ll draw one person to receive an autographed paperback version of “D iz for Different“!

I’ll owe you a big hug when next we see one another!

(iPhone, iPad and Android users can get the ebook for free also by downloading the free Kindle app!)

Special Needs Book Review Interview: Hope and Guidance

Hope and Guidance to Parents of Children with Special Needs: Interview with Camilla Downs

Since her book’s publication, Camilla Downs has undergone her own professional transformation with a career change from social media consultant to special needs parent coach and mentor, offering hope and guidance to others parenting kids with special needs. Congratulations Camilla on all your achievements! Thank you so much for introducing your book, D iz for Different: One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance in a guest post you can find here. I am looking forward to learning more about Camilla Downs and her next book in this post for our Author Interview Series.

Lorna: When asked what is your book, D iz for Different: One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance about? What do you answer?

>> Camilla Downs >> In general this is a self-help book for anyone looking to reach acceptance of themselves, those needing to dig down deep for the courage within themselves, or someone looking for guidance on finding the gift in a situation or event. Specifically, this is a book for parents of children with special needs to reassure them that they are not alone and to encourage and inspire them. Each chapter is a letter of the alphabet and each chapter concludes with a Tip for the Journey. Read the entire interview by clicking here.

Thanks Lorna d’Entremont for the pleasure of having you interview me!!

KOLO 8 Daybreak News Segment – January 4 2013

On Friday, 1.4.13, I was on KOLO 8 Daybreak News with Annie Goni-Stewart, eWomenNetwork managing director. Had to be there at 6:00 am … How exciting to be dressed and outta the house at such an early hour! We talked about eWomenNetwork Reno/Carson/Tahoe/Vegas/Sierra Nevadas Chapter and my book, ‘D iz for Different’.

Walking into my very first eWomenNetwork event in July 2007 was one of the most positive life enhancing decisions I had made up to that point in my life. I am blessed with such amazing friends and support. I have a very long list of how I’ve been blessed by being a member. The car I own came through an eWomenNetwork connection. The teaching I did at UNR Extended Studies came through an eWomenNetwork Connection. Seriously, down to some of the clothes I wear and food in my fridge! And what I didn’t get a chance to say in the interview is that the two BIG endorsements I received for my book came through eWomenNetwork. I was fortunate to meet the Ziglar family at the 2010 International Conference in Dallas. I stayed connected with Julie (Zig Ziglar’s daughter) and DeDe Galindo(his granddaughter) and that friendship let to Julie Norman endorsing my book. Another eWn Member, Debe Fennell, connected me with Jim Stovall, author of the book and movie, The Ultimate Gift. That led to his endorsement of the book! When we bring our authentic selves to this amazing group of women and come with a give first, share always philosophy ….. Wishes and Dreams Come True!!!

View the segment here …

Susan Hill facilitated all of this, so the three of us went our for coffee afterwards. Cheers!!

2012 Most Popular Posts

It’s always fun and useful to look back through the previous years posts and pull out the most popular. I really enjoy when those I follow take the time to pull together the most popular posts on their sites just in case I missed something or want to revisit a post that is thought provoking. So, here ya go! Just took the time to take a stroll down my blogs memory lane!! Enjoy!

The Story Behind the Book Cover Artwork

Time to Just Be

I Wish I Wasn’t an 18p- Girl: Moment of Defeat – Take Two

Journey to Magical Moments – The 19th Annual Chromosome 18 Conference

Lillian and Being Different Presentation

Steps out of Darkness


Go here for 2011 Most Popular Posts Y’all! May each and every one of you have a Happy and Blessed New Year!!

Reno Plum100 Celebration and Awards


This gallery contains 10 photos.

Thank you Ashley Graham for making ALL this happen! You are a rockin, fabulous and amazing woman!! Thank you Jeramie Lu for the FABULOUS photos!! We had FUN doing this photo shoot y’all!!! Here’s one of the pictures Jeramie took!! … Continue reading

The Story Behind the Book Cover Artwork

I’ve been asked about the reason behind the choice of artwork for the book cover …. So, here’s the story behind the book cover artwork …

I’m a member of The Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society based in San Antonio, Texas because my daughter, Lillian, has 18p- (meaning she’s missing a piece of her short arm of chromosome #18). The C18 Registry is for all who have a change in their chromosome #18. Through the C18 Registry I met Mark Sogard, who is uncle to Liz Cody, who is daughter to Jannine Cody, who founded the Registry about 22 years ago.

Mark and I are connected online via Facebook. Mark lives in North Carolina and attends Hope Church. Through attending his church he met and knows Daniel (D.J.) Svoboda. D.J. is a very talented young man, who also happens to have autism. D.J. was 29 yrs old when he and I met online … through facebook. Mark sent me a message one day, maybe a year or so ago, that I should connect with D.J. as he felt we just needed to know each other.

Excerpt from D.J.’s biography in the beginning of ‘D iz for Different’: “Growing up, D.J. was teased and bullied. These negative experiences inspired D.J. to create the land of Imagiville; a safe place in his imagination where everyone is treated kindly and accepted just the way they are. Through his art and public speaking he brings Imagiville and the Imagifriends to life and uses them as a vehicle to spread a message of hope, inspiration and awareness that those with autism and special needs are special just the way they are.”

This is why D.J. and I were drawn into one another’s world. His mission and message are so similar to mine. When I began writing the book, I had a spark of inspiration to ask D.J. if he would like his artwork on the cover of the book. The rest is history!!!

If you and I are connected on facebook you will see D.J. commenting frequently on many of my posts …. especially posts having to do with the book. D.J. is one of the kindest, most positive people I have ever “met”. I’m grateful that Mark followed his instincts in connecting us and grateful that D.J. is getting to experience having his artwork on the cover of a published book!!!

There you have it … The story behind the Book Cover Artwork!