Latest News: Words of Alchemy – Camilla on Chat and Spin Radio

I was recently on Chat And Spin Radio, an Internet Radio Station based in the UK. My interview begins at 1:35 if you’re in a hurry. They play awesome music, too!

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.

Positive Ripple Effect of Packing My Energy Into Poetry – An Interview on Books and Wine Gums

In mid-June 2020, I was interviewed by Emma on her lovely Books and Wine Gums blog. We chat about deciding what goes into my writings and what stays private, found poetry, why I think poetry is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, what I “pack into” my writings, imposter syndrome, wine gums, and dark chocolate …

Hi Camilla. Let’s start at the beginning. Where does a new poem begin for you? Do you have an idea you wish to explore, or do they stem from an image? Or is it something completely different?

In the beginning of my poetry writing, new poems stemmed from being in nature. Following that, the poetry flowed from nature photos I took while out for walks. After that poetry began to flow simply from life experiences. Let me expand a bit.

The first poem was inspired about 6 years ago when visiting Fallen Leaf Lake near my home in Reno, Nevada, USA. I had never written poetry before this. The beauty of the lake, with Mount Tallac at its edge, stirred something within me, bringing me to tears. On the drive home, I made several stops along Lake Tahoe, deepening the experience. By the time I got home, the first poem had formed.

During walks, I take many photographs which I began sharing on social media. I would normally say a few words about the beauty of nature. One day when I was choosing a photo to post, a poem flowed instead of my normal few words. This began to happen nearly every time I posted a photo.

After the initial period, life experiences became meshed with the poetry that flowed from the photographs. The last phase happened during journal writing. Every once in a while, a poem would flow during my morning journal writing.

I suppose what I’m saying is that it was a progression and combination of experiences that inspired the poetry.

I love that idea, the way the process has evolved. In ‘Emerge’ you talk about a ‘darkness that / Has been necessary’ and you describe your new collection as a ‘free-verse poetry memoir’ – how do you decide what will go into your writing, and what stays private?

My writings are intuitively guided. It’s usually not a conscious decision. However, on my blog, there are times when I specifically set out to write about a certain topic. As far as what stays private, I try to let myself be guided by my heart and intuition, not letting worries of what others think deter me. I hold the belief that if I’m guided to share something, there is a larger reason than I may be aware, usually that others will benefit from reading of my experiences. I trust that there can be a positive ripple effect from the experiences that I publicly share.

I love the idea of shared experiences through our reading being something we then draw upon. Which other forms of poetry do you like to explore? Who are your influences?

I love Found Poetry. I collect books destined for the trash and randomly tear out a page. I then scan through looking for words and phrases that catch my eye and cut them out. Laying them on a clip board, I keep moving from one word and phrase to another until I’ve put together a mini poem (attaching a photo). I include one in almost every signed book I mail. Wikipedia defines found poetry as: ‘Found poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning.’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Found_poetry

I also like to write a Haiku here and there. I participated in a fun Haiki author interview a few weeks ago, and had to be creative with answering.

That is so cool! Why do you think poetry is enjoying something of a resurgence in popularity?

I’m not sure I have a solid answer for this. From my perspective, I enjoy poetry because it has the ability to be incredibly powerful without needing to be 300 pages long. Perhaps that’s one reason for the resurgence. We are experiencing deep, vital shifts in humanity. Poetry captures this in short and powerful bursts.

I absolutely agree. What would you like your readers to take away from your work?

When I write and take nature photographs, my energy is packed into the writing and photograph. When a reader closes one of my books, I want for them to have felt the energy within the writing, connecting with one or more pieces of writing. Connected in a way that helps them view differently, inspires them, opens their heart, and lets them know they are not alone. Or simply brings a smile, a laugh, or a tear. Every encounter with my writings or photography need not be deep. The connection is the important piece.

Describe the process you go through when puting a collection of work together. What’s the drafting and editing process like for you?

Beginning six years ago, whenever I wrote a poem, I posted it on my blog, correcting spelling errors, not really being concerned with grammar. When I decided last year that I would gather my poetry for the past six years for publishing as a book, the first step was to gather the poems into one place. Then I read through deciding on overriding themes. Once the poems were assigned a theme, proofreading and editing for spelling and grammar followed. Proofreading, proofreading, proofreading over and over again until no further mistakes are found. For final proofreading sessions, I read the material out loud, as for some reason, mistakes stand out when material is read out loud. For me, anyway.

What is the best part of being a writer? And the worst?

There are two aspects I find to be pretty amazing. One is the wonderful authors and book bloggers that I meet online. It’s quite the feeling to connect with like-minded people around the world, and just plain fun. The other aspect is the feedback received from my writings. Hearing how words I have written have benefited others is the most magical aspect of writing.

The worst part is actually one of the best parts once we recognize it. Imposter syndrome. I’m pretty sure just about every creative person experiences it. However, I didn’t know what it was, or meant, years ago. Not knowing what it is, self doubt can become crippling and depressing. Once I was made aware of what it is, it was easier to recognize it, let it be, yet, continue to move forward with creating.

That’s an excellent way to deal with Imposter Syndrome. What other advice would you give to a new writer who is just starting out?

I feel the most important aspect is to just write. Not letting fear, or feelings of inadequacy stop you. Write every day. No one has to see anything you write. It’s for your eyes only. Until you decide it’s for other eyes. Write, have tenacity, and read books that inspire you and your writings.

Finally – wine gums or chocolate as your creative snack of choice?

Okay. I had to research wine gums. I had no idea! It would depend on my mood. If I’m feeling playful and silly, I’d go with the wine gums. If I’m feeling grounded and content, I’d go for a piece of lovely dark chocolate. Heavenly to even think about.

Go here to read the full interview …

An Interview with … 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.

Brings Nature into the Heart of the Family – Words of Alchemy

“A beautiful and heartfelt collection that brings nature into the heart of the family in a very comforting way. The links to the authors children are very endearing and makes the whole book feel ‘real’, and the poems they collaborate on are wonderful. Recommend for fans of nature poetry, wellness inspiration and especially mothers. Personal favourite would be ‘Dance’, I love the short and sweet format and the almost fairy-like tone, absolutely lovely.” – Megan

Learn more here …

Words of Alchemy

 

Gentle Courage that Unfolds into a Celebration – Words of Alchemy

Featured

“This is an exceptional collection of endlessly expressive free verse poetry, extremely moving and inspirational in a variety of different ways. It speaks of nature, healing, family, heart, unconditional love, joy, harmony in oneself, mindfulness, vulnerability and genuine acceptance of ourselves.

Camilla has approached her life experiences with a gentle courage that unfolds into a celebration of the important things that mean the most to us. Despite all of our negative times and troubles we have to endure, life has so many positive experiences to offer. Camilla navigates her own trials and tribulations when it comes to pain, heartache and sorrow, yet still weaves the words into something incredibly beautiful with every single poem she exuberantly spills on to the page.

Whether her poems are long or short, each one packs so much heartfelt emotion in their exquisitely, passionately sculpted words that you will want to read it a few more times, to absorb its essence and appreciate the purity of words that touch deep within your own soul.

My favourite poem in the collection (it was such a difficult choice, since all of the poems within have something unique to recommend them) was the one written by Camilla with her children Lillian and Thomas (Love is Magical). I had to re-read it a couple of times, as I marveled over what was written and by whom. It was exhilarating how well their different writing styles meshed together and at that point, I could really feel the bond of family between them all.

Buy this book and get taken on an enticing emotional journey that you will never forget.” – David E.

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 Calming Meditational Journey – Words of Alchemy

“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.

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

Hide and Seek with Found Poetry – Words of Alchemy

Creating more Found Poetry to hide within Words of Alchemy. Preparing to mail a book to a lovely winner in Massachusetts. Some of these still need a word or two trimmed. Found within books that were destined for the trash.

Ready to be hidden within outgoing books.

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.

Sunday Bruch with Jo of Jaffareadstoo

I was recently invited for Sunday brunch over at Jaffarreadstoo. I absolutely adore the theme of this interview. I’m all about doing things different, and this is a such unique way of interviewing someone!

What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch?

I’m bringing a cold pasta salad with Kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts, a few sweet and spicy peppers, capers, shredded vegan cheese, finely chopped rainbow carrots, small sweet peas, tossed with a tangy Rosé vinaigrette.

Would you like a pot of English Breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz?

I’m going to color outside the lines with my answer. HA! It would depend on my mood. I love a good, strong, cup of English Breakfast tea. Yet, I also immensely enjoy a cup of rich, creamy, Nitro coffee. Yet, again, if I still imbibed, I would go with a delightful, frothy, mug of Theakston Old Peculier.

Which of your literary heroes are joining us today?

Here I go coloring outside the lines again … John Muir is who I’m bringing as I’m inspired by his love and advocacy of Nature and how he expressed this in written form.

What’s the title of the book nearest to you?

Women Who Run With the Wolves – Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

What’s the oldest book on your book shelf?

I can’t just list one as I love old books!

Here are the four oldest on my shelf.

1883 – Treasures of Use and Beauty: An Epitome of the Choicest Gems of Wisdom, History, Reference and Recreation

1884 – One Thousand and One Gems of English and American Poetry

1876 – Emerson’s Essays

1894 – Representative Men by Emerson

Which book do you really want to read but haven’t had time for …yet!

‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***k: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life’ by Mark Manson …. I’d mainly like to read this as the title and subject intrigue me. At 50 years of age, I’ve already reached the point of not giving a f***k. Ha! Although, there’s that wee voice within that, at times, brings forth guilt and shame by whispering to me that I look like a fool and a jack***.

Do you have a guilty reading pleasure, and if so will you tell us about it?

No. I don’t think I feel guilt about anything I read. Then again, I’m quite picky about what I read, so maybe that’s why.

If the house was on fire which book would you rescue?

I would get my kids and myself out first, and then if there’s time, I’d rescue one of a kind family photo books.

Do you have a favourite place to settle down to read/write?

On my couch, with a blanket covering me if it’s cold, with a cup of black coffee or strong English tea, and my laptop perched on my lap. I simply cannot write by hand, as my fingers and hands start aching after about 5 minutes.

Give us four essential items that a writer absolutely needs?

Tenacity to write
Courage to write
Tenacity to keep writing
Courage to keep writing

What can you tell us about your latest novel, or your current work in progress?

My latest book is non-fiction, a free-verse poetry memoir. If you had asked me years ago if I wrote poetry or if I would ever publish a poetry book, I most likely would have wildly laughed and answered, “No”. I have learned to never say never. Six years ago, poetry just started flowing. I “listened” and I wrote. Here we are with a published book with six years of poetry! Titled, ‘Words of Alchemy’, and published December 2019 … Follow the link to visit the brunch setting over at Jaffareadstoo ….

https://jaffareadstoo.blogspot.com/2020/04/sunday-brunch-with-jaffareadstoo.html

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

“Words of Alchemy” has arrived, December 2019! 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.

 

The Path of the Heart – Words of Alchemy

The Path of the Heart

The path back home
seems littered with
suffering and struggle.

What is this insane
ability to cause
one’s self such suffering?

Suffering by way of the
thoughts that dart
here and there,
at times penetrating
the soul as if they
were a cold, jagged knife.

When one golden day
the tides of change
bring the knowing
that the path
is also littered
with Love.

A Love shining remarkably
bright and clear,
suffering seems almost
not to have happened.

The path of Love
The path of suffering
The path of struggles

The path of Joy
The path of Harmony
The path of irritation
The path of guilt
The path of Peace.

All the same path
The path that we each travel.
Made to seem different
by way of the degree
of suffering we endure.

Made to seem different
until that glorious day
that we learn
to love ourselves and
to love one another through
everything that happens.

For the things that
happen will still be;
yet, the perception
of each will shift
the more the one
loves one’s self through
the things.

The path of Love.
The path we all
shall arrive upon
one sweet day.

Oh, glory be.
We shall see. -©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.

Uplifting and Warming to the Core – Words of Alchemy

Thank you to The Book Reviewing Mum for this wonderful and thorough review of Words of Alchemy

“I was nervous about reading poetry to start with, I’ve enjoyed it in the past, but basic, easy to understand and follow poetry, so I am always anxious accepting poetry in case I cannot understand and interpret it to a point where I can write an acceptable review that I’m happy with!

I needn’t have worried! This book is filled with inspiring, heartfelt, warm, consoling, touching and thought provoking poetry which will warm you to the core!

I honestly think this book of poetry would be an amazing self help book with a different angle! As you read through my review you’ll see the many different sections of the book and how the poems are so uplifting and educational on how to appreciate everything we have and what surrounds us!

The Alchemy of Nature: the poems in this section talk about overcoming, and accepting that their may be dark times in your life and that is ok and part of life itself. That sometimes you may become consumed by the dark but that there is light at the end of the tunnel you just have to keep swimming and breathing and pushing through to accept it and to get there! Through self love, nature, appreciating the small things in life! That change is always going to happen you cannot stop it but that change isn’t always bad and to welcome change!

My favourite poem in this section was ‘Brother One day you shall me released’ its about her brother who battled with addictions and showing her brother that there was no judgement just love and support and reassurance that he would battle his addictions and make it through the other side!

Alchemy of Love: is a set of beautiful poems about the different types of love we have for family, friends, nature but also in loss and also loving yourself! It’s about letting love in, letting love consume you, not just the good points in love but also the bad!

My favourite poem in this section is called Friendship! I can really relate to this poem and really touched me!

The Alchemy of Parenting was by far my favourite in the book, as now being a mum of 2 I really felt every word and understood it and could relate! One of the first poems in this book is called ‘The Number 18’ which is a poem about finding out about her daughters chromosome abnormality and how heart breaking it was at the time but how they’ve overcome the news and live a positive and full life together where they’ve celebrated the good and the bad, the easy and the rough!

‘My Dearest Thomas’ is a Poem that Camilla wrote for her son and I found this poem really emotive as it was like reading something that explains every single feeling I have for my children!

I loved these set of poems as they really touched on the unconditional love, the true, unbreakable love, you have for your child through the easy and the hard times. Even through the times when as a family you can be unkind to each other! Love overpowers all!

The Alchemy of Mindful living: I love how in this section you can really grasp and understand Camillas connection to nature and all living things through her poetry! She is at one with nature and has accepted herself, and her life, the good and the bad. She’s found a way to accept everything which shows, through her words, that she lives a full and beautiful life and sees the good in everything!

I really enjoyed the Poem ‘The Lure of Words’ and if you are like me and love books (and you probably are I’d you are reading this) then you will enjoy this poem and be able to connect and relate! Camilla takes about the joy in a book, the feel, the smell, the sight, the escapism you get all from a book! A truely lovely poem!

The Alchemy of Gratitude: this is my other favourite part of the book! These set of poems talk about being grateful for all things great and small! for love, families, life itself, for Kindness for opportunity for every little bit that makes up nature!

I really connected with one these poems I found it so thought provoking! It’s about being grateful for something as simple as water, and Camilla talks about how the earth, the planet and everything that inhabits this planets needs water! We need water to live and water needs us! We need water in so many ways to survive yet it’s something that in these parts of the world go so unappreciated!

It made me really think about life and how sometime I can be a glass half empty kind of person! And actually if I took the time to appreciate the small things in life such as water that pay a huge part in my life and my mental health that actually if we could really grasp that, maybe we would be on the right track to life of true happiness!

The final section of this book is called The Alchemy of Fun, and although I didn’t connect with this as much it’s still full of beautiful poems, the one that caught my eye was a poem created by Camilla and her 2 children! It’s fun and it’s lovely to see a family come together to be creative!” …. Follow the link to see the full review …

REVIEW : Words of Alchemy by 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 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.