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

The First Week – Stay at Home Vacation and Social Media Break

(Photo I took on an early morning walk, Friday, July 31, 2020)

I was moved to write about the first week (July 26 – August 1, 2020), and now I know why. I feel so much better having simply gotten my thoughts out. I already know writing is therapeutic for me. However, that does not mean that I don’t fight it like mad sometimes.

Although I called the time away a vacation, if felt like anything but a vacation. The first day was fine. I read nearly the entire day. It’s been like a roller coaster ride of peaceful moments, moments of boredom, periods of sadness, and times of just not knowing what to do with myself.

I’m aware that each of these moments had an underlying cause. I’m still working through the why of all of it. Most times, I simply tried to let myself be with whatever I was feeling, as uncomfortable as it felt.

I really did not expect this to happen. I assumed I would have a lovely time, getting caught up on other tasks, and just taking it easy. For this reason, I am going to continue the break for the full two weeks. I popped into social media on Sunday the 2nd to respond to notifications, and did that a few more times throughout the week. However, I put off posting anything new until I returned fully on August 9th.

I did get much done that had been getting put off since January. Not nearly as much as still needs my attention. However, I have just felt too sad and not had the desire. Now, I’m sure some of this has to do with perimenopause.

I read a lot, deep cleaned the fridge and the freezer, mailed all 4 of our books to the Chromosome 18 Silent Auction winner, cleaned out and organized the coat closet, went for many walks (pictures will be posted on The Team TLC website), watched a couple of movies, and The Romano Duo came for a visit.

I found myself questioning so many things, about myself, about how I spend my time, my current parenting skills and style, my worth, my why, my what, my how. I’ve kept myself propped up for so long on the encouragement and accolades of friends, family, and connections. Along with keeping myself going, hustling like crazy, fueled by financial worries, and how to provide for my family. Thankfully, the financial worry has lifted. With both of these at play, I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing when that encouragement is missing from my life and when the worry and hustling is not needed.

As with all that I share, I do not share for sympathy. I share to be real, to be authentic. Life’s a bumpy ass ride at times. It’s not always smiles and joy. I choose to share as I prefer a world where we’re all much more real and authentic. So, I start with myself.

This morning I received a review of my latest book, Words of Alchemy. This review has moved me to go back and read my own book. I’ve not read it since it was published. I proofread my books, out loud, over and over until there are no errors. This ends up being around 15 – 30 times. After that, I’m done reading it for a while. I’ll leave you with the review. Perhaps it will encourage you to reread one of your favorite books, or to finally start reading that book you’ve been meaning to read.

“During this global pandemic I find that I am turning increasingly to the healing nature of inspirational verse to help to me stay grounded.

Words of Alchemy is a collection of expressive free verse in which the author shares her intimate thoughts and feelings about life, love, friendship, family, the natural world and does so with a light touch and an almost ethereal longing to be heard.

I find poetry collections intensely personal, as what seems so relevant to the poet can sometimes get lost in translation, but throughout this interesting memoir collection I felt an emotional connection to the thoughts and feelings expressed by this contemplative poet. Written over a number of years this collection is the author’s very personal journey through some of her troubled times and how she found inspiration in mindfulness and observing life around her.

Words of Alchemy is easy to read either all in one sitting or, as I did, dipping into sections at whim but guaranteed always to find something beautifully written and soothing to my soul. I found the whole collection quite charming and a pleasure to read on one of those scary days just recently when the world around me seemed such a very dark place.” – Jo of JaffaReadsToo

I also listened to Brene Brown’s podcast about shame and doodled while I did so …

(Link to the podcast … https://brenebrown.com/podcast/brene-on-shame-and-accountability/)

I’ll post about the second week in the next few days. It went much more smoothly.


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.