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

No Idea What I’m Doing While Earth Dancing With Three Positive Words – Sonya Interviews Camilla

This past July I took part in a written interview with Sonya of “A Lover of Books”. Before the interview could post, Sonya made a decision to retire from book blogging, which I fully understand. Book blogging can be intense! I figured I would share it here as Sonya put much time and effort into going back and forth with me, and pulling it together.

Sonya and I chat about having no idea what I’m doing, being a nature inspired poet, not intending to publish my poetry, how writing has been therapeutic, Earth dancing, and three positive words. Join us …

First of all can you tell me a bit about your latest book, ‘Words of Alchemy’?

Absolutely, Sonya! Words of Alchemy is a free verse poetry memoir that covers six years of my life, from 2013 -2019. Writing has been and is therapeutic for me, including writing poetry. When I began writing poetry in 2013, it was a way of processing life experiences, healing, and getting things out of my head. Words of Alchemy is a poetry collection of these events.

What do you hope readers will get out of this book?

It is my hope that readers connect with the content, causing them to laugh, shed a tear, or nod their head in agreement. If something I have written helps another to view a situation differently, opens their eyes or heart to a new way of experiencing life, or simply lets them know they are not alone, I am truly blessed.

Is this a book people can turn to when they need to relax or are after some inspiration?

Looking at feedback I’ve received, I would say yes to this. I think the best way to respond is to share some of that feedback.

“I immediately fell for Camilla’s 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.

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.” – Bill Arnott, June 2020

“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 zen like mindfulness by the melodic prose in this beautiful collection.”- Michelle S.

“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 … It’s a feel good collection of poems that really will brighten your day.”- Lynne P.

For people like myself who haven’t really read much poetry would you say your book is a good starting point?

Yes. In my mind, I divide poetry into two categories, traditional and non-traditional (free verse). I personally struggle with traditional poetry, I just cannot wrap my mind around some of it. However, that’s also the case with free verse poetry. I’ve read some that I could not follow. With that being said, I feel my poetry is easy to read and easily understandable. I’ll also say that if someone doesn’t connect with mine, please do not throw out all poetry. Poetry is so very different. It can be deeply satisfying and moving. Keep trying different authors and styles.

What was the publishing process like for you?

Words of Alchemy was my fourth book to publish. I am now officially an indie publisher, under the imprint of Loving Kindness Books. WooHooo!!

Being that it was my fourth book, it was much smoother this time around. With my first book in 2012, D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance, I had no idea what I was doing. I literally figured it out as I was going along. Before writing the book, and during the writing, I did not let myself think about how it would be published as I felt that would stifle and delay the book being written.

I wrote the book in 3 months, then set out to publish it. Friends beta read the book, with some editing along the way. A friend connected me with a young man who has autism, D.J. Svobado, and who is also an artist. I felt his artwork would be perfect for the cover of the book, and he was thrilled to donate the artwork as I offered him a full page in the front of the book to share about himself and his business.

I got stuck when it was time to upload the book to Createspace (now KDP). At about the same time D.J.’s manager contacted me to follow up regarding his artwork. She wanted to know about the book and to read a few chapters. She also asked if I had someone that would be editing the book, doing the graphic design, and uploading the book. I told her that I was going to figure it out on my own as I did not have the money to pay someone.

After she read the chapters, she offered to do all of this for no charge as she was incredibly moved by what she read. It turns out that this was an area of expertise for her. The publishing of this book was unique. Everyone who had anything to do with the book’s creation, donated their time and skills. It was amazing and incredible the way it came together.

How long have you been writing poetry?

I’ve been writing poetry since 2013. That’s when 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 sprang to life. This was the beginning of a six year journey of being inspired by nature with poetic words, then later, inspired by life events. Here’s that first poem and a couple of photos from Fallen Leaf Lake and Lake Tahoe.


(Fallen Leaf Lake – 2013)

Earth Dance

As the sun’s rays dance upon you like stars twinkling in the night sky, so shall our souls dance upon this Earth.
As you are who you are with ease, so shall we no longer struggle to be who we are.
As you adjust to the World around you without struggle, so shall we go with the flow of life.
As you release your beauty, power, and love for us to enjoy and learn from, so shall we drop the facade of our bodies and identifying with materialism and what we’ve accomplished …
And so shall we become vessels of love, joy and peace.


(Lake Tahoe – 2013)

Was it always a dream to see your poetry published?

When I began writing poetry in 2013, it was therapeutic in that it helped me process life. I did not begin writing it with the thought of publishing it one day. I had no thoughts of publishing it until mid 2019 when I knew it was time to publish another book. I had planned on writing another memoir similar to my first book. Yet, my heart kept bringing me back to the poetry. When I finally listened and took a look at just how many poems I had written, I knew that was to be the next book.

Do you have a favourite place where you do your writing?

Just as long as I’m comfortable and wearing comfortable clothes, I’m happy. I like to sit on my couch, with my computer in my lap, with the sun shining in the windows, and a lovely view through my windows.

Do you have any other writing projects on the go?

Not at the moment. I have ideas brewing, adding the ideas to my notes to come back to when I feel I’m finished with my time off. I’m also participating in many author interviews and spotlights. These are fun and tough at the same time as many of the questions pin me down for solid answers. Definitely not an area of strength for me.

Do you read a lot of poetry?

I am reading more poetry. In the past, poetry was not a chosen genre for me. Having written a book of poetry, I’m more inclined to read a variety of poetry now. I am up for giving any style a shot and want to support new poets and indie poets. With this changed attitude, I’ve come across some lovely poetry.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I absolutely love going for walks, whether that be on a manicured walking trail in the city or a dirt hiking trail in the mountains. Taking nature photographs during these walks is a hobby I’ve been at for about 13 years. Reading is another activity I do in my spare time. There’s just nothing better than devouring a wonderfully written book, or expanding the mind and heart through a nonfiction book, memoir, or poetry. Here are a couple of photographs I took on recent walks.


(Scripts Wildlife Preserve – 2020)

Can you give me three positive words?

You. Are. Worthy!

Thank you, Sonya! Thank you for having me on your blog, thank you for your time and efforts in putting this interview together. Thank you for your kindness. All the best to you!!

About Camilla:

Camilla Downs is a bestselling author, indie publisher, mentor, and mom. Nature and life experiences are a constant source of inspiration for her writing. She enjoys living a minimalist lifestyle, practicing meditation and mindfulness, reading, going for walks, and capturing nature’s essence with photographs. Camilla is the founder of MeetingtheAuthors.com and lives in Northern Nevada, USA with her two kids.

Words of Alchemy is the poetry memoir of a single mom who traveled through the ups and downs of life with reverence and reflection. This book is for those who are in need of uplifting, easy to read poetry that leaves you feeling comforted, inspired, and with a different view of how life can be lived.

Book Blurb:

In Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs invites you to walk with her to share her love of Nature and Life through a heartfelt 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. The Alchemy of Love and Healing is what happens.

Website: http://camilladowns.com/
Family Website: http://theteamtlc.com/
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CamillaDownsAuthor/
twitter: https://twitter.com/camilladowns
instagram: https://www.instagram.com/CamillaDowns/
pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/camilladowns/
Amazon Author Central: amazon.com/author/camilladowns
Meeting the Authors: http://meetingtheauthors.com/

Where to Buy:

Words of Alchemy: If you’re in the U.S. and would like a personalized, signed book – free shipping! (I will ship internationally, if the reader would like to pay the international shipping fee): http://camilladowns.com/books/words-of-alchemy/
Amazon – Words of Alchemy: mybook.to/WordsofAlchemy
Amazon Author Central: amazon.com/author/camilladowns
All of our books: http://camilladowns.com/books/

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.

An Outrageously Determined Trailblazer – Spotlight on JQM Literary

Much thanks to James for having me on the JQM Literary Spotlight today! We’re chattin’ about an outrageously determined, trailblazing, heartfelt, warrior woman and how I became an accidental poet. Join us …

FIRST, LET’S GET TO KNOW YOU A BIT. TELL US SOMETHING UNIQUE ABOUT YOURSELF:

I cheated for this one as I felt too close to myself to really nail down my uniqueness. So …. I asked my Facebook connections, what they think is unique about me. Here’s what they had to say: It is unique that my two kids are published authors, along with my two published books. Thomas’s book was published when he was 10 years old and Lillian’s when she was 16 years old. They are 14 years old and 18 years old now. Here’s the rest of what they had to say … I’m a heartfelt warrior woman, who is an Earth Mother, resourceful, creative, a problem-solver, and who is outrageously determined; trailblazing with patience, creativity, strength, perseverance, and altruism.

WHAT IS THE GENRE AND AUDIENCE FOR THIS BOOK:

Nonfiction/Free-verse Poetry/Memoir …. Any age who enjoys free-verse poetry

WHAT WAS THE INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK:

I began an incredibly deep and profound healing journey after my divorce in 2007. A major part of the healing was going for walks, lots and lots of walks, allowing nature to help me in healing. When in nature, poetic words would simply bubble to the surface of my thoughts. That was the original inspiration. Following this, I began to receive intuitive nudges to take photographs while on these walks. So began the practice of taking nature photographs and posting on social media. One day I sat to look through the photos, choosing one to share, and as I began to type the accompanying message, a poem landed on the page! It was incredibly magical. I didn’t even set out to write poetry, an accidental poet, perhaps?

Go here to read the full spotlight …

https://jqmserv.wordpress.com/2020/07/13/jqm-literary-spotlight-presents-words-of-alchemy-by-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.

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

 

Words of Alchemy on Mai’s Musings

I was invited in May to share two of the poems from Words of Alchemy on the lovely blog, Mai’s Musings. I’d be deeply grateful if you have the time to visit Mai’s blog, enjoy the poems, and share, like, or leave a comment.

For my first visit, I shared the poem titled, Emerge ….

Words of Alchemy – Camilla Downs

For my second visit, I shared the poem titled, Love is Magical (written by myself and my two kids – it’s a fun one!)

Words of Alchemy – Camilla Downs (Part Two)

Thank you for taking the 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 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.

An Intimate and Brave Expression – Words of Alchemy

“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 Downs’ – thoughts and feelings. I highly recommend.” – Marjorie M.

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.

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 Writer’s Crystal Ball – An Interview with Stefanie on The Magic of Wor(l)ds

I’m chattin’ with Stefanie on her magical blog about a writer’s crystal ball, Tibetan singing bowls, and having tea with Elizabeth Gilbert, Glennon Doyle, and Michael Singer. Check it out …

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

My name is Camilla (pronounced like Pamela, but with a C). 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 the Jackson, Mississippi area and Houma, Louisiana. I’m mom to two kids, 18 year old Lillian and 14 year old Thomas. Lillian is special needs, having a chromosome deletion called 18p-. I’ve homeschooled both of them for the past 4 or 5 years, with Lillian graduating June 2019.

I became an author with the publication of my first book in 2012, D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance. I don’t recall wanting to be an author as a young child. However, I don’t remember much of my childhood, so I may have wanted this. In 2011, I simply knew after the events I experienced that I was supposed to share my life with others by writing a memoir, showing how I processed and moved through things.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?

I can’t remember all of them. But, I do know that I enjoyed Beverly Cleary and the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew series.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?

I can’t say that there is a writer whose brain I’d like to pick for advice on writing. However, I would love to have a writer’s crystal ball to help me know what and how to write the next book(s). Do you happen to have one?

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?

I’d like to invite several non-fiction writers for tea or coffee to chat about life, digging deeper than what they’ve written about in their books. They would be Elizabeth Gilbert, Glennon Doyle, Wayne Dyer, Susan Orlean, Mary Oliver, and Michael Singer. I’m sure I’m leaving out some authors.

In regards to fictional characters, recently I really enjoyed the main characters in all of Phaedra Patrick’s books. I would love to meet them in their hometowns, spending a couple of days with each of them exploring the locations in the books, and getting to know them better.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?

When I wrote my first book, I began to get up 30 minutes earlier than usual, take my coffee and laptop to the patio, and write with Mt. Rose as company. I did not write the chapters in order, as this is an A-Z book (A is for Acceptance, B is for Better, D is for Different … ). I wrote each section as I was inspired, with the book being written in 2 months time.

In regards to my second book, Words of Alchemy, a free verse poetry memoir; I did not sit down to create a book of poetry. One day 6 years ago, poetry just began to flow. Much of the poetry was inspired by nature photographs I had taken on walks. I would look through the photographs with the intent of landing on one that would inspire a poem. Many times, I would listen to Indian flute music, Tibetan singing bowls, or Deva Premal while the poem flowed.
With all of this being said, nature is definitely at the root of any ritual or habit while I’m writing.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉

Since I write non-fiction, my ideas come from my own life experiences. I’m still working through how to write about people or events that may be uncomfortable for those who were a part of it. I suppose I’ll have that figured out by the time I’ve completed the next book. HA!

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?

I’m neither of these. This may be due to the fact that I write non-fiction. I write as I’m inspired. This may also be why I’ve not written fiction yet. HA! I would love to try my hand at writing a creative non-fiction. I’m pretty sure that will be the genre of one of the next books.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?

I do things so different, I’m not sure I have solid tips I could share. I will say the two main ingredients are to write, and have loads of tenacity. Oh, and a third tip … WRITE, just write, no matter what comes out.

What are your future plans as an author?

I’m taking this year to let myself not write, to press the reset button, to rejuvenate myself. I’ve been on a rather long, 13 year, healing journey. I’m due for some rejuvenation! After that, I do plan on writing and publishing more books. I really won’t know until I get focused on it.

Follow the link to read the full interview …

Words of Alchemy – Camilla Downs @CamillaDowns , an #Interview #QandA

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.