My Desired Super Power With a Million Pounds – Chelle Interviews Camilla

I’m chatting with Chelle of Curled up with a good book about jobs I’ve had over the past 13 years, Fahrenheit 451, Arsenic & Old Lace, the best thing I’ve done so far in my life, my desired super power, Equal Justice Initiative, and what I would do with a million pounds! Check it out … xoxo ….

Tell us a bit about yourself:

My name is Camilla (pronounced like Pamela, but with a “C”) and I live in Northern Nevada, USA in the beautiful city of Reno. We live in very close proximity to Lake Tahoe with great walking and hiking in forests surrounded by fir and pine trees, with gorgeous lakes. I love reading, going for swims, going for walks, and taking nature photographs.

How many books have you written and published?

I’ve written two books, and contributed to two others for a total of four books. I’m an indie author and publisher under my own imprint of Loving Kindness Books.

December 2019: The latest to be published is the free-verse poetry memoir, Words of Alchemy.

January 2018: My 19 year old daughter’s book, Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories. This is a collection of her short stories and poetry from the age of 5 years old through 16 years old.

October 2016: My 14 year old son’s book, Biggest Little Photographer. This is a collection of photographs that he took during a 365 photo a day project, beginning when he was 8 years old, concluding at 9 years old.

February 2012: D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance, a memoir of my journey to acceptance of becoming a single parent, acceptance of becoming a parent to a special needs child, acceptance of myself, and acceptance of financial ruin.

What other jobs have you done other than being an author?

Before I became a mom in 2001, I was a paralegal for 10 years and before that I worked in the mortgage industry. My day job for the past 18 years has been being mom to my two kids, 19 year old Lillian, and 14 year old Thomas. I’ve homeschooled (well, unschooled them) for about the past 5 or 6 years, with Lillian graduating in June 2019. Lillian is special needs, having a chromosome deletion called 18p-, so I’ve been her caretaker too.

Throughout the past 13 years, I have had many “jobs” so that I could focus on being a parent, being in charge of my own schedule. I’ve made jewelry, been a social media consultant, been a substitute teacher, Reiki practitioner, mentor, delivered newspapers, dog walking, cat sitting, and elderly visits.

Name one book you think everyone should read and tell us why?

I recently read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I know, very late to the game with this one. However, I was swept away by the story, and kept finding myself comparing it to modern times. A must read for anyone who has been living under a rock, like me. Hahaha!

What’s your favourite film of all time and why?

It’s impossible for me to name a favorite of all time. So, I’m going to share the first movie that came to mind …. Frank Capra’s Arsenic & Old Lace. We watch this every year on October 31st. My son and I love the oldies, especially Frank Capra movies. Here’s a link to the trailer …

What is the best thing you’ve done in your life so far?

The best thing I’ve done in life so far is spending the past 15 years on healing myself, getting to know myself, loving and appreciating myself; while solely single parenting two unique kids.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

My superpower would be a heightened and clear intuition. Specifically, having to do with myself, where I would be happiest and most useful at contributing to society, while also supporting my family. This is a blind spot for me. Others can see the areas in which I shine. Yet, it is not clear to me.

You win a million pounds – you give half to charity. Which charity do you pick and why?

I would donate to the Equal Justice Initiative (https://eji.org/). The work that Bryan Stevenson does through EJI is much needed, and speaks to my heart. I cannot fathom if someone I loved experienced what those who EJI helps experience. It’s maddening and heartbreaking. I watched a movie recently based on the case that Stevenson took on that created the EJI. It’s titled, Just Mercy, and it is a powerful movie.

What would you do with the rest of the money?

I would invest some of the money. With the remainder, I would take my family on a lovely vacation. Then, I would buy a piece of property, and build each of us a small house on it. My daughter will always need someone with her, or at least really close. This way she could experience being independent and I would get a BREAK from her!! Hahahaha!

What is your favourite time to write, and why?

My favorite time to write is in the morning. I feel more alert and in the zone during that time. However, I’m okay writing at any time, whenever content decides it’s ready to be written!

Go here to read the full interview post ….

Meet the Author: Camilla Downs @camilladowns

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 Number 18 – Words of Alchemy

The Number 18

Today is your 18th Birthday.
Lillian Paige Darnell is 18 years old today.

I can still see you in my mind’s eye
as a wee 4 pound sweetheart
as I wondered and dreamed
about your journey to adulthood.

Wow! Did we take giant
twists and turns,
paths less traveled.

Little did I know as I snuggled
you close, sang to you (sorry about that),
and read, read, read to you;
that the number 18 would come
to be a powerful number for you,
for us, in more ways than we could imagine.

When you were 3 years old,
As we sat eating dinner,
As the phone rang,
As the pediatrician delivered
news – 18p-, she said,
missing the short arm of
chromosome 18, she said –
that rendered me speechless,
with tears sliding down my face
into a dinner I could no longer eat.

Little did I know at the time
that this was not the horrible
news I assumed it to be.

Oh, yes. Life changing, for sure.
Yet, not in the way my mind
led me to believe in those first few weeks.

There is no way on this Earth
I could have foreseen how
life changing this would be for me.

Life changing for me so as to
let you be who you came here to be.
For that to happen unconditionally
and organically, I had much learning to do.

Not just learning about genetics,
chromosomes, DNA,
and the effects of deletions of genes.
That was the small stuff compared to
the enormity of the path that lie ahead.

As you step into adulthood on this day
It is my deepest hope that
I have made more decisions for
the highest good, than not.

It is my deepest hope that the times when I have
remembered to share and be unconditional love
stand out and far outweigh the times when
I have not been at my best.

May the wishes you wish come true.
May the dreams you dream become reality.
May the sunshine light your way ever more.
May the moon teach you its secrets.
May the birdsong always sing sweet melodies to your heart.

May you step into adulthood
with iridescent rose gold fairy
wings of the highest and brightest
as you take flight on the next
greatest adventure of your life.

I love you
I honor you
I respect you
I am grateful for all that you
have taught and continue to teach me.

You are You
And You Are Perfect!

Love,
Camilla
Mom – ©Camilla Downs

To learn more about Words of Alchemy, go here …

Words of Alchemy

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.

Poetry: Shadows – Words of Alchemy

Shadows

Do you see?

Slipped into the shadows
of your being, you have.
When sadness and lack
have settled within.
When comparison of
oneself with others
is the theme
of the day.

When appreciation
has faded and the
heart tightly closed,
you can be sure
the shadows have appeared.

When the light has
dimmed and you feel
smothered by the shadows.
Welcome the light back,
you can.

Remember all the times
Of living in the light
All the times of
joy and freedom.
All the times of
abundance and peace.
They are there too.

Do not forget them.

Remember those times
not with longing,
for this causes the
distance greater.
Remember those times
knowing they are
still there
simply awaiting
your return.

These thoughts are
the bridge that
connect the light
and darkness.
Comfortable you
are in the suffering
of the darkness.

The first
step onto the bridge
out of darkness
is the most
difficult step.

My gift to you
if you choose to see …

Life is a dance
with the light
and the shadows.

The dance of shadows cannot
be a dance sat out
if true freedom and peace
is the destination you seek.

For when you take the time
to dance with the shadows
with curiosity and patience
You will see that all of
life is a dance of contrast.

Have patience when
dancing with the shadows
of your being.

Love both the light and shadows
for one cannot
exist without the other.

Allow yourself to be free
and dance with me. – ©Camilla Downs

To learn more about the book, go here …

Words of Alchemy

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.

Open Your Mind to the Possibilities – Words of Alchemy Review

Thank you to fellow author, Helen Pryke, for this beautiful review on her Pink Quill Books blog. I am deeply touched by this expressive and warm review!

“My review for Words of Alchemy by Camilla Downs, 5/5 stars.

Camilla Downs takes us on her journey of healing, compassion and love in this collection of poems. Each one is written from the heart, and her warmth, and her love for her children shines through every word.

Nature and its healing power is very important to Camilla, and her poems instill you with a feeling of well-being and calm. She gently guides you through the chaos and difficulties of life, and shows you how just a few moments of quiet observation of the world around you can help reset your fragile state of mind.

Looking at the world through Camilla’s eyes is a calming experience, and opens your mind to the possibilities that life holds. I loved the poems about her children, and how she acknowledges their difficulties, indeed, she embraces them, and reassures her children that they are a part of them to be accepted and talked about openly, rather than suppressed. This mother’s love, her compassion, is inspiring and humbling. Highly recommend.”

To read the full review, and to visit Helen’s blog, go here …

#BookReview for Words of Alchemy by Camilla Downs

Open the Heart – Words of Alchemy

Open the Heart

Nature knows not
Her beauty without us.
We know not
Our beauty, compassion,
And peace without her.
Oh beautiful tree
The lessons thou impart to me
Open the heart to be free
Grateful to you
I will forever 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 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Powerfully Personal and Enlightening – Review of Words of Alchemy by Bill Arnott

Thank you to Bill Arnott for this lovely review of Words of Alchemy.

In Words of Alchemy, Camilla relays her story – powerfully personal and enlightening. Her words reflect a recognition of challenges and rewards, the natural world she is mindfully part of, consciously present, and admirable, ensuring she shares it with all of us.

In Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs invites you to walk with her to share her love of Nature
and Life through a free-verse poetry memoir. During her daily strolls she is mindfully present as she delves into life in the raw and experiences her heart’s observations. Camilla embraces what happens when she opens her heart and invites the written words to flow.

Camilla Downs is a powerhouse – a one-person publishing house, selfless promoter of fellow
authors, bestseller, blogger, photographer, and mom – the order of which is not prioritized. I met Camilla through online authors’ networks. We swapped books, as you do. And I immediately fell for her story – relatable, inspiring – facing challenges, overcoming obstacles, and being a role model. In other words, a good person. A person who, among other things, fuels her creativity and capacity to give by immersing herself into landscapes – communing with the outdoors, shooting photos, and writing about all of it.

Words of Alchemy is her compilation of free verse poetry touching on these issues – a sincere
and sensitive ode to life and to nature. Divided into alchemical sections – experience,
perspective, lessons and growth – we take a seat next to our author for the Alchemy of Healing.

This, from May You See The Beauty:
She awakens to discover that she has / indeed been pulling the weeds and / shifting her view.

Through the Alchemy of Love, we climb a metaphorical trail with this, from The Path:
Keep walking / Keep writing // Keep knowing / Keep loving
And through the Alchemy of Gratitude we reflect, looking back with thanks.

This, from Appreciation:
Study the clouds and the trees. / Listen to the birds.

In Words of Alchemy, author Camilla Downs relays her story – powerfully personal and
enlightening. Her words reflect a recognition of challenges and rewards, the natural world she is mindfully part of, consciously present, and admirably, ensuring she shares it with all of us.

Go here to read the full review …

Words of Alchemy by Camilla Downs

Nature’s Classroom – Words of Alchemy

Nature’s Classroom

The one supporting the many,
The many supporting the one,
This interdependent relationship you share
A lost art to we.

It’s clear to see,
The disconnect coming forth,
When the wild is taken from you,
Mirrored in the forests
Of the society of we.

Oh Mother, what a sweet
And beautiful teacher you 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

The Key – Words of Alchemy

The Key

When ignored,
the darkness within
slowly erodes this physical body
When stuffed and buried deep within,
it silently grows stronger.

At some point along the path
and at many times,
the darkness surfaces.
Fast as a bullet train
or ever so slowly as a tortoise.
It will not be denied.

Keep turning our hearts away, we can.
Yet, the darkness will not depart
until it has space to be recognized.

The darkness, the shadows,
only wish and pine for this space.
To be seen and accepted and felt
with compassion and deep love.

As the darkness is wrapped
in a loving embrace,
the transformation begins.

Acceptance, compassion and love,
serve to alchemize the darkness and shadows.

Transforming and melting the darkness
into the light.

The darkness may transform ever so
swiftly or ever so slowly.
Yet, it will transform when met
with love and compassion.

The irritation,
The anger,
The loneliness,
The despair,
The confusion.
Surface as they rub
the darkness within.
These feelings and emotions are the
key that allow an
opportunity to free oneself
from the suffering of denying
the darkness.

Freedom to live
consciously and authentically
is the gift this key bears.

Oh, glory be,
the Key of Alchemy. – ©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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

Release and Comfort – Words of Alchemy

“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

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 18 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 14 year old son, Thomas Darnell‘s book, Biggest Little Photographer is published. Be inspired! Learn more and order here.

 

A Celebration of Life and Nature – Words of Alchemy

“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