A Cute Dandelion Flourish with First Edits and a Trip to The Netherlands

September 24 2019:

Submitted for the LCCN today (Library of Congress Number) and received the cute dandelion flourish that will grace the interior of the book. Thanks Kate!

September 25 2019:

Yesterday I received the lovely flourish that will be used throughout the book (Gratitude Page, Table of Contents and Chapter Title Pages).

I also received the minor edits for the non-poetry content (Forward, Closing, About the Author) from my proofreader/editor. It’s pretty cool having a proofreader living under the same roof, plus it counts towards his schooling!

September 26 2019:

I have a friend in The Netherlands that would like a signed copy of Words of Alchemy. Anyone else in that area or Europe that wants a signed book and would like to share in the shipping from here (USA) to The Netherlands? She will mail yours to you from there.

One Step at a Time

September 23 2019:

During the last week of August this was finally resolved. After having to reach out to the supervisor of the supervisors.

Now I’m working on the cover reveal for my book, happening this coming Saturday, finishing my research on Supported Decision Making and preparing documents for this (moving on to research ABLE Accounts – anyone have thoughts on these), working with Thomas to loosely lay out schooling for the next four years, and then back around to Lillian to help her set up her creations in an online store.

The Flame of Advocacy – Camilla Downs

Respite for All of Us

September 18 2019:

It’s been 3 months since I had respite. Lillian just left to spend 3 days with The Romano Duo. I’m always torn as to whether I should take a 3 day nap, madly work through the massive to do list, or do absolutely nothing (but read). Ha!!! It usually ends up being a combination of all of these. Thank you to The Romano Duo!!! …. Love you Lillian!! Enjoy your respite from Thomas and I!

Update – Words of Alchemy by Camilla Downs

September 21 2019:

Bar code purchased! Cover reveal happening Saturday, September 28th!

What a ride
This is.

Pre-order a personalized signed book for $14.40 (10% off and includes tax and free shipping). Go here and enter the total of $14.40 (or more if you’d like to throw in a tip). Want more than one book? Add $14.40 for each book. FOR U.S. ORDERS ONLY.

Arriving on Amazon November 2019 (discount and personalized signed book not available from Amazon). Comment on this post or email to Camilla Downs @ gmail . com to let me know you would like to be notified when it is available on Amazon.

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. The Alchemy of Love and Healing is what happens. 

Praise for Words of Alchemy

Words of Alchemy, a heartfelt new collection by Camilla Downs, lives up to its namesake in numerous ways. Downs spans the broad range of nature, healing, love, and parenting, while making sure we have a little fun along the way. And the bridge she creates from the mindfulness of how we see the world at large to the poetry of everyday life is certainly worth a stroll or two across its borders.” – Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Award-winning author of Painted Oxen

“This poetry collection offers contemplative words, soothing thoughts and peace to the reader.” Sue Bentley, Bestselling author of Second Skin

“Camilla Downs shares truth, vulnerability and wisdom in her Words of Alchemy collection, inviting readers to be inspired, contemplate and dive into her world of self-awareness and growth.” G. Brian Benson – Award-winning author, actor and spoken word artist 

“These poems take you on a calm and loving walk through the verses of the author’s thoughts. Alchemy is a perfect word for the title as Camilla Downs understands nature; connecting with its magical, medicinal qualities and beauty which she conveys throughout her poetry.”Ailsa Craig, Author of The Sand Between My Toes

Words of Alchemy is a chronicle of hope. These poems are an encouragement, especially when we are feeling at our lowest, to keep seeking the light that is our way forward, and focus on the real. This collection is a walk through the positive nature of life. Camilla Downs is to be commended.”Frank Prem, Author of free-verse memoir Small Town Kid

The 18th Birthday Week Celebrations

September 9 2019:

Today’s 18th Birthday Week Adventures … When one turns 18, one needs new fairy wings …. Rose Gold Fairy Wings. One also needs a new sparkling silver star wand.

We also shopped for a store bought cake to take with us to The Romano Duo’s on Wednesday for the birthday celebration there. As we were leaving, the lovely floral person gave Lillian a bright, beautiful, pink carnation. ♥️🌸🌸🌸♥️

September 10 2019:

Today’s 18th Birthday Week Adventure ….

An afternoon walk in her favorite place on her favorite walking trail. 💚🌺🌺🌺💚

September 11 2019:

Today’s 18th Birthday Week Adventure ….

After the usual Wednesday library volunteering, a quick stop in the library garden.

Followed by a birthday dinner at The Romano Duo Casa! Delicious food and birthday goodies! A vanilla confetti cake and a chocolate “cheesecake”.

September 12 2019:

Today’s 18th Birthday Week Adventures ….

A trip to Wilbur May Arboretum followed by a quick stop at Audrey Harris Park and then home for a swim. 🌺💚🌺 It was incredibly beautiful and peaceful.

If I look completely exhausted by the time we have Lillian’s live Facebook party on Saturday, you’ll know why! All for a good cause … You only turn 18 once!

Audrey Harris Park and then Swimming:

September 13 2019:

Today’s 18th Birthday Week Adventures ….

A beautiful and relaxing swim. Tomorrow’s the big day!! Last day as a 17 year old! 💚💦💦💦💚

Now. I must make the chocolate cake for tomorrow!!

September 14 2019:

Lillian’s 18th Birthday Celebration …. We had a lousy connection so had to keep starting again as our recording ended!! HA! Each one is pretty short!

September 14 2019:

We had another busy day as the 18th Birthday celebrations came to a conclusion. ♥️🌸🌸🌸🎉🎉🎉♥️

Eating cake and donuts and opening gifts. Followed by a quick September 2019 Date Day trip for fries and dessert.

Then back home for the live Facebook celebration. Which was hilarious as we had a lousy connection and had to keep restarting …. Five times!!! Hence, the 5 live videos on my timeline! Ha!

During the video Lillian shared 18 wishes for her 18th Birthday. Here they are ….

1. I wish Macy, Lauren, Kaitlin Baker, and Rebecca could come to Reno, NV.
2. I wish to be able to drink out of a cup/glass without a straw.
3. I wish to be fearless.
4. I wish for infinity art and crafts supplies.
5. I wish for infinity clothing.
6. I wish to be able to travel around the world with my friends and/or by myself.
7. I wish for the Earth to be healthy again.
8. I wish for the Earth not to die.
9. I wish to be less picky.
10. I wish to live with my friends.
11. I wish to be less vulnerable to spicy hot stuff.
12. I wish to have a dream home.
13. I wish to have a dream vehicle.
14. I wish to see Hawaii.
15. I wish to go to Florida.
16. I wish to have infinity photography supplies.
17. I wish to have more friends.
18. I wish to have two beds.

Celebrating the Number 18

September 14 2019:

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 lil 4 pound sweetheart
as I wondered and dreamed
about your journey to adulthood.

Wow! Did we take giant
twist 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 it’s 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!

Happy Happy Happiest of Birthdays to YOU, Lillian Darnell!


Lillian Darnell You Did It – Keep Believing

September 8 2019:

I am way, way late in creating this for Lillian. I had wanted to write something special, paired with a photo collage; and finally took the time to focus on it. She has seen and read this, likes it, and approves of sharing! 💜🎉

Dear Lillian,

I am proud of you.
I love you.

You did it
You continue to do it.

You shine that bright sparkling smile
Upon all who’s eyes you meet.

You did it!
From high school
You have Graduated!

You, we, did it different.
And, that is okay.
In fact, it is perfect for we.

Not everyone is meant
to do life as it has always been done.

This is what creates
the rich and vibrant soup
of human life.

There are those who follow the path
of doing it different.
There are those who follow the path
of the way it’s always been done.
No path is better than the other.
Whether the same path as another is
followed or a different path is followed.

The paths are equal.
Yet the benefit to humanity
is vast in the variety
and depth of ideas,
the dynamic expressions,
that bloom when each of us
travels the path of our hearts.

You continue each day
in the face of chronic pain,
communication challenges,
depth perception and balance difficulties,
fine and gross motor awkwardness,
emotional struggles,
indecision worries,

You continue each day
with that bright sparkling smile.

You continue each day
Knowing what you want in this life
Knowing what you want to achieve
Knowing how you want to live

You continue each day
meeting all that life has put forth for you.

I honor you.
I honor and support the fierce
warrior within you who
knows her heart’s desire.

I honor you.
I am proud of you.
I love you.


Happy Graduation to YOU!!