THE ‘MONA’LOGUE

original ‘flooral’ painting by author V Knox

For anyone who wonders if it’s true that writers’ characters can get inside an author’s head, the answer is… absolutely. Personally, I welcome such invasions because there are iffy times when my muse and I are at complete odds.

“SPEAK FOR YOURSELF,” I said to the ‘Mona Lisa’: And so it was, when I was stuck writing a prologue for ‘Lisabetta’, the story of Leonardo da Vinci’s kid sister, she interrupted me in a pique of broken English. Without hesitation, I got out of her way and gave her the floor, so to speak (this image is one of my ‘floorals’, so named by me for a mural painted on a floor). “Okay, go for it,” I said. “I’ve lost the plot. You were there. I’m just making it up as I go along.”

The whole thing felt dictated – an ethereal telegram, delivered in a breathless stream which is how my muse behaves on a good day. I typed her impassioned speech without stopping, translating her Italian phrasing into modern speech:

“My name, Lisabetta Buti was an affront to my existence. I was Leonardo da Vinci’s beloved kid-sister, his assistant and apprentice, and the mother he was denied. We were born six-years-apart, as close as twins, and when I was old enough to walk, my brother made me a promise that we would never be parted.

And so, it transpired, in the particularly vexing season of 1503, while my brother was pressed into painting the dreary wife of a silk merchant, Leonardo was overcome, as in his earlier years, by a new quest. And with all due haste, circumstances conspired that he was able to complete the Giocondo commission, and I was cajoled into posing for a new kind of portrait. But here, my identity crisis sprouted wings because, by sheer happenstance, Mrs. Giocondo and I were both named Lisa.

It was the sort of portrait only a visionary would attempt. Leonardo believed he could capture the true essence of a human spirit in paint, which is how my life force became imprisoned in my portrait.

Not long afterwards, Leonardo kept his promise, for we remained inseparable even after my death, and I traveled with him as his sentient companion to the end of his days – a living icon painted on a small panel of poplar wood.

And as time progressed, a further humiliation was heaped upon my portrait by the title ‘La Gioconda’ (the laughing woman). One small letter is all it takes to confound history.

Everyone knows my face. No one knows my identity.” – Lisabetta (‘Lisa’ da Vinci)

 

SILENT K PUBLISHING promoting the indie books of V Knox – cozy time-travel novels for those in search of strange stories to read as slowly as possible.

 

https://www.amazon.com/V-Knox/e/B0094K0Q7Y

‘LISABETTA – a stolen glance  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K6SBB78

Posted in Books, Fine Art, Florence, Florence. Italy, ghosts, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Italian renaissance, Italy, Leonardo da Vinci, literary fiction, PAINTINGS, paranormal romance, REINCARNATION, romance, Sandro Botticelli, Second Lisa, Silent K Publishing, supernatural, the 'Mona Lisa', time travel, V Knox, V. Knox author, Veronica Knox author, women's fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NEGATIVE SPACE… THE POSITIVE FRONTIER

original art – M.C. Escher

THE ESSENTIALS of ‘NEGATIVE’ SPACES FOR ARTISTS, WRITERS, and DEEP THINKERS. Negative space, known as ‘white space’, is a misnomer, considering that white space is effectively one of the most ‘positive’ things we can see, taste, hear, feel, and smell.

FOR ARTISTS: Leaving aside the obvious daunting white space of a blank canvas, M.C. Escher demonstrates the powers of negative space in his engraving of birds turning into fish. He raised negative space to the ultimate art form where shapes gradually morph into each other to form something entirely new yet remain ultimately connected.

Voila the sublime mathematics of visual art.

The brain, well-versed in the art of visual perception, makes sense of abstract images by searching for recognizable shapes. Which is why it’s easier to copy a picture of person or an object by turning it upside down (as counterfeiters taking liberties duplicating a signature, fully understand). A bored brain, confronted with an optical illusion, is forced to work out what something is from the white shapes it is not – a mental workout that’s as good as a rest.

original art – M.C.Escher

Confusing the brain, trained to identify, define, and record, is easy. Set up an irresistible challenge by giving it a puzzle. An image with no points of reference equals a subjective play of light and colour. Voila abstract paintings. Voila Escher and his subtle nuances of optical illusion. And don’t we just love visible puzzles.

 

We also relish the subtle delight of literary puzzles and their abundant negative spaces of secrets, clues, and mysteries.

FOR WRITERS: White space is never a blank space. For authors, white space is the critical breathing space between scene changes and to counterbalance the density of long passages of narrative thought. For screenwriters, white space on the page is the do or die of getting noticed. For poets, white space allows a single word to shine.

White space in non-fiction creates visible islands of thought. White space in a novel is essential to showcase a stream of rapid dialogue. White space is a place inside the mind set aside to listen to one’s muse. It’s driving a car, avoiding pot holes while working out plot holes. White space is holding a table for one in a crowded café, writing on real paper with the perfect pen.

There’s always white space between books one and two in a series and books two and three of a trilogy and the end of a series and its a prequel. And in traditional publishing there’s an inordinate amount of white space between sending a query letter to an agent editor and receiving a reply or enduring the endless white space of silence.

FOR DEEP THINKERS: White space is the private realms of imagination, reverie and daydreaming. It’s the restorative white space of meditation, focusing on the natural rhythms between breath and heartbeats. It’s the wisdom of giving in rather than giving up – the relief when the chaos of having to work things out naturally shifts to accepting what is. It’s surrendering to the rare sanctuary of intellectual retreat, which, for me, is rediscovering the timeless philosophy of Alan Watts – the coolest Zen master to have ever walked the planet. I cannot recommend his books and captivating recordings highly enough.

And for super-duper thinkers, there’s always contemplating the benign white void of eternity.

FOR TIMING: Whiteout time is patiently listening for one’s turn in a truly boring conversation or waiting for a polite exit from the aforementioned conversation. It’s time spent blocking the relentless think tanks of surrounding chaos filled with fake news, gossip, and negativity. It’s relishing a precious hour for yourself. It’s wholeheartedly embracing ‘down time’ devoted to the joy of being lazy. It’s the pursuit of sanity, zoning out from the media blitz, ignoring much ado about nothing and the overkill of too many somethings by honouring the state of mumblety-peg.

Spa time is ‘re-creation’ time surrendering to the therapies of massage and weightless floats, suspended in isolation tanks of white space. It’s yielding to the passages of time necessary to recuperate between intense periods of creativity. It’s entering the haven of Gregorian chant, blissing out on orchestral music, or at least, drifting in a swimming pool on an air mattress island, listening to music with no lyrics.

FOR THE SENSES: White space is the time a nose requires to reset between spritzes of perfume samples, the idyllic scent of books in the hush of a library. It’s the calming sounds of a purring cat, the hypnotic ticking of an old mantel clock, and the uncanny absence of sound after turning off a computer. It’s the sight of a familiar landscape changed by a blanket of new snow. It’s savouring the heady white space between sending and receiving a love letter.

In the culinary world, it’s the art of presentation – the single amuse bouche, the art of hors d’oeuvre, and the spaces between the colours and shapes of food on a white plate that accentuates the visual experience of fine dining. The white space of a palate cleanser between courses.

At home, if you’re like me, it’s the calming spaces of white-on-white minimalist décor.

For insomniacs, it’s the white noise of a sound machine whirring an hypnotic invitation to unwind, followed by the white space of recuperative dreamless sleep. It’s the soothing track that blocks out anxious thoughts with spikes of distant thunderclaps on a flatline of rain.

In our time of quarantine, white spaces determine the rules of safe social distancing and the invisible fence-lines guarding personal spaces. It is found in the precious sanctuaries and white rooms of hospice where muffled white shoes patrol a hospital ward at night.

For those of us confined to home, it’s the communal space reclaimed in the ‘living’ room during a mandatory hiatus from watching too many movies.

White space is not the lack of, but the presence of something vital.

As for me, after three months in Covid lockdown, I feel an overwhelming need to create some white space away from social media. How about you.

Posted in art history, Books, PAINTINGS, Silent K Publishing, V Knox, V. Knox author, Veronica Knox author | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RETURNING TO THE WORLD

Mole – ‘The Wind in the Willows’ by Kenneth Grahame

MOLE WISDOM: hunker down, sleep, hibernation is a daily practise, venture out with caution, adjust slowly to the light, and listen to the wind.

 

MOLE MUSE: As an author, I’m used to working for months at a time within a self-isolating bubble, listening to imaginary characters chatting and squabbling, lost in my work-in-progress, engrossed by the big picture forever unfolding in my brain. I’ve always emerged from these literary reveries the way a mole greets the sunlight, slightly disoriented.

But I’m lucky. I live by the sea next to a serious wildwood, and the salty air soon revives me.

https://www.amazon.com/V-Knox/e/B0094K0Q7Y

Suffice it to say, my day job (the one that used to pay my bills) is over. I have returned to the freelance world as a writing coach and developmental editor. So, if you need help with these services, the internet is user-friendly with emails. I am open for business.

I write about paintings that refuse to stay on the canvas, sentient buildings, time-travel (middle-grade, Y/A, and adult) and cozy time-slip history/mystery ghost stories, and blog about the eccentricities of art history and pretty much anything that takes my fancy.

please join me for a bi-monthly newsletter: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/f7e8a1

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WAITER… THERE’S A BOOKWORM IN MY DRINK!

No, of course there isn’t. I made that up.

Why? For some reason, I was thinking about things that shouldn’t be in other things like: sand in my shoes, a card up one’s sleeve, a crick in my neck, a fly in the ointment, a flea in the ear, and… please… peas and carrots in lime Jell-O? I don’t think so! And for that matter, who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong?

Oh, wait, now I remember what triggered my odd chain of thoughts. My mind had drifted from a chapter I was writing, titled ‘Pigeons Among the Cats’, segued into how best should an unknown author attract success, and took a left turn into things inside other things. Don’t ask. This is how my mind works.

Which leaves me with another thought. Is it best to build something so success will come? Or believe it won’t and be surprised?

Surprise me! Go on. I know you want to.

SILENT K PUBLISHING promoting the indie books of V Knox – cozy time-travel novels for those in search of strange books to read as slowly as possible.

Posted in Books, Egyptology, fantasy, Fine Art, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, inspiration, literary fiction, Lost Paintings, magical realism, middle-grade time-slip adventure, mythology, PAINTINGS, Pangea, paranormal romance, PEARL BY PEARL, REINCARNATION, romance, science fiction, Silent K Publishing, supernatural, THE BEDE SERIES - V KNOX, The INDIGO PEARL, THE UNTHINKABLE SHOES -novel, TIME TRAVEL, V Knox, V. Knox author, Veronica Knox author, women's fiction, WOO WOO - the Posthumous Love Stor of Miss Emily Carr - a novel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NEVER MESS WITH SEKHMET or A HOUSECAT WITH ATTITUDE

Original oil painting by the author V Knox

NEVER MESS

WITH SEKHMET

or A HOUSECAT

WITH ATTITUDE

And never underestimate the power of a kid who loves books, especially if that kid is you, and you’re waaaaay past 37½.

 

 

Book 3 of my ‘Bede Trilogy’, ‘TOMORROW AGAIN’, is well under way, (estimated launch date, mid-August).

In the conclusion of their time-slip adventure, Kit and his twin sister Bash, newly-separated by 5,000 years, must face the same enemy after their telepathic link is severed. Bash has some surprisingly famous allies with creative inventions on her side, and Kit has some serious feline supporters at his back, including Bast and Sekhmet (that’s Sekhmet and Bast in the picture) to fight a supernatural enemy able to infiltrate small spaces, darting and stinging at will.

    Turning eighteen isn’t going to be easy.

Curmudgeonly, yet stately Bede Hall, nestled beside Hadrian’s Wall, houses earth’s vast network of time portals, with a mind of its own, but it’s the housecats of Britain that join paws with their cousins in the ancient land of Kem to perfect the art of time travel to landscapes that are positively ancestral, where the cats are Egyptian and royal and dispatch puny intruders like willow-the-wisps’ with their eyes closed.

Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland

This is Anubis, on evening watch for pesky intruders. The wall is the Roman Emperor Hadrian’s 80 mile building project c. A.D. 122 who thought it would keep out the Scots (silly man)

I hereby offer you a catty chapter from book one, ‘TWINTER – the first portal’ where the Hall’s head guardian, Anubis the cat, dispatches a fairly minor supernatural intruder – a pesky willow-the-wisp in order to prove that cats overrule the supernatural world, in case you didn’t know that already, and in the hopes of piquing your curiosity to discover all three books and their upcoming prequel written by the child ghost of Bede Hall:

[A predator breeze battered the ivy growing thick over Bede Hall so that its tendrils tapped hard like thin green fingers railing against the library windows. They picked the lead strips of the diamond latticework making a scritchity-scratching noise like rustling paper, but when the guardian crept in, the breeze held its breath and shushed the vines.

Anubis padded into the library, and in spite of himself, he balked at the overwhelming sense of unease that assaulted his bones. His ears instinctively flattened like radar panels to pinpoint the disruptive presence.

As he did so, the long halogen bulb of a banker’s lamp flickered to life under its cobalt-blue shade and made a high-pitched hum only a cat or a rogue vine could hear.

It was obvious to any cat worth dignifying, that the red library was inhabited despite anyone being seated at the table or standing at the window or browsing the bookshelves or lounging in the leather armchairs.

A warning shiver lowered Anubis’s sleek tail to stealth mode and he crouched low to the ground, gliding like a snake, slithering over the carpet – his whiskers twitching.

The cat’s senses were so finely-tuned he could sometimes detect the color of a particular sound or scent, so it was with some hesitation that Anubis explored behind the curtains.

As always, he sniffed the air for mice, straining for the sound of their shrill squeaks and the scurrying of their tiny feet. Nothing. He scanned again, this time noticing the slight quivering of the pixilated foliage waving at the window.

Anubis sprung soundlessly to the window-seat, tested each S-shaped handle with his paw, and tried to stare at the moon through the dense leaves, but all he could see was his own reflection.

Yellow eyes glared back at him, and it unnerved him to see himself looking frightened because Anubis prided himself on being fearless. Living feral had taught him how to survive by staying alert, not spooked the way he felt now.

It was his duty to earn his keep by making nightly rounds of the Hall and to hiss into any corners that reeked of magic – any crevices where a spell might lurk or a curse might hide.

His back trembled involuntarily as if some unseen hand had stroked it. He flinched, and focused his investigation on the alcove beside the fireplace.

The corner was dark and formless, but nevertheless a disruptive energy issued from it like a thinking shadow.

The emanation rippled like a transparent flag and passed through Anubis’s body making his fur stand on end, fizzling and snapping with blue static.

A chuckling sound caused the cat to spin around and hiss, landing on all four feet, claws and fangs flashing.

The sound turned a ghoulish shade of yellowy-green and disappeared out the door. Anubis followed it to the top of the stairs and watched it slip, whining and moaning, through the keyhole of the great carved doors.

He leapt back to the window and watched as the shining green string swirled into a ball and rolled past the sundial. It rose suddenly to a great height and unravelled, weaving itself into the shape of a funnel cloud, and swooped into the mouth of the maze.

A moment later a whiff of red fog flew out of its center like a smoke signal, buzzed the lake, and returned to the Hall to be sucked down the chimney.

It rattled the empty coal scuttle against the soot-encrusted bricks, settled back into the same corner where it had first drawn Anubis’s curiosity, and dissipated into the wall leaving a phosphorous cough of dust on the hearth tiles.

Anubis settled on the arm of a chair to guard the fireplace. The library shook off its ominous visitor as the first rays of dawn licked everything clean, leaving the room silently bathed in the hush of retreating moonlight. The vibrations from the curtains and the smell of antique leather-bound books alerted Anubis. He perked his ears towards a new sound – the squeaking of rusty-hinges and the unmistakable clank of a sliding deadbolt that came from the main door.

The willow-the-wisp swept up the stairs in a surge of power and met Anubis head-on.

The collision caused the cat to arch his back, doubling his size, and he gave it such a blood-curdling yowl that it evaporated in a puff of slime-green mist.

Anubis shook himself back to normal and slunk warily to his bed, mission accomplished, skittishly avoiding every creak and shadow, and once he had to stop and bat away an annoying remnant of green fog that still clung to his tail.

As he prowled through the living room a child’s face peered from the mirror over the fireplace looking for signs of life, and a window blew open knocking over a vase of flowers. An icy wind howled a cat-shaped ‘sending’ to creep up the servant’s stairwell.

There it loomed like a giant black stain with the stagnant odor of swamp-scum about it that wavered and sputtered like the light from a beeswax candle.

The last sound Anubis heard before he slept was that of a loose shutter banging in the wind that echoed the rhythmic blows of hammers shaping a huge sandstone block under a vivid blue sky.]

THE ‘BEDE TRILOGY’ – by V KNOX is a middle-grade to Y/A time-slip magical realism fantasy for advanced readers aged 12 and up that links Pangea, Ancient Egypt, Mars, and a mystical corner of present day Britain.

https://www.amazon.com/Twinter-first-portal-footprints-silence-ebook/dp/B00GQG583G/

Posted in ANCIENT EGYPT, Ancient Egyptian history, ARCHAEOLOGY, art history, Bede Hall, Books, Egyptology, fantasy, Fine Art, ghosts, HADRIAN'S WALL, hadrians wall, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, literary fiction, magical realism, middle-grade time-slip adventure, mythology, PAINTINGS, Pangea, REINCARNATION, Silent K Publishing, supernatural, THE BEDE SERIES - V KNOX, the Green Man, THE GREEN MAN, time travel, TIME TRAVEL, Twinter the novel, V Knox, V. Knox author, Veronica Knox author | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

LITERARY DISTANCING

Every time I create a post, Facebook asks: What’s on your mind? Here goes:

I am an indie author, ideally qualified for a Facebook platform because, well, I have a face and a book. In fact, I have ten books. When it comes to writing stories, I’m tenacious which is all very well, but here’s the rub…

I have trouble standing out in a crowd

The same way a character may be hidden-in-plain-sight within a ‘Where’s Waldo’ of red striped sweaters and black spectacles, a book title is easily overlooked in a library the size of the Amazon rainforest.

In short, there are too many books vying for the spotlight, and limelight isn’t what it used to be.

Given the literary population explosion, it’s tougher than ever to crow about one’s books with any certainty of being noticed. Still, Indie authors are compelled to give their books a fair hearing in an arena where the powers that be are spoiled for choice. More to the point, serendipity cruises the perimeters of super-hype to greenlight book projects.

After a flashbulb popped in my brain, it occurred to me that I should stop hiding in the tall grass of social networking and optimize the spotlight I already own (read: power up the search engines of my website.) It’s high time I made a stand. I can’t settle for being hidden in plain sight because success is due to living outside a box marked X.

Sometimes it takes a ton of books to fall on my head. It’s time to dust off my soapbox, give my books some white space, and wear a blue-striped shirt.

An author’s words are like breadcrumbs – not the easiest trail to follow on the forest floor of a jungle.

At this extraordinarily unstable time when humanity’s priority is survival, my thoughts turn to holding firm to rational self-publishing protocols during an unprecedented and somewhat insensitive blitz of book promotion.

There are too many books. What the world needs now, apart from love love love, is individual creativity. What there’s too little of is art art art. Meeting where X marks the spot where love and art collide may not be earth-shattering but it is life-affirming – because A BOOK CAN DIE. HUNDREDS OF BOOKS DIE EVERY DAY.

‘THE BIG 4’ of THINGS I REMEMBER ABOUT SELF-PROMOTION:

1) A human X factor is always the missing strand of dinosaur DNA that bridges the gap between  anonymity and success.

2) It only takes one bee to start a buzz.

3) If I don’t blow my own horn, no-one else will.

And 4) Serendipity needs white space to spot a Waldo wearing a blue-striped shirt.

It will help my VISIBILITY immensely, if after your visit, you would leave your footprint.  Any sign of human visitation will be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.

SILENT K PUBLISHING – promoting the indie books of V Knox – cozy time-travel novels for those in search of strange books to read as slowly as possible.

V KNOX AMAZON author page

https://www.amazon.com/V-Knox/e/B0094K0Q7Y

V KNOX SIGN UP NEWSLETTER FORM

https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/f7e8a1

V KNOX LINKEDIN

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V KNOX FACEBOOK HOME PAGE

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Posted in Books, Silent K Publishing, supernatural, time travel, TIME TRAVEL, V Knox, V. Knox author, Veronica Knox author | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SCIENCE-FRICTION VS. ‘ART-OFFICIAL’ INTELLIGENCE

I am the Mona Lisa

These days, life is a creepy puzzle. Who knew? Turns out there are aliens among us – some too small to see. But some have always been larger than life… I’m looking at you, LEO!

WHEN GENRES AREN’T US … and by us, I mean me

Sometimes an author has to step up. And by stepping up, I mean making use of one’s personal soapbox to speak out… and by speaking out, I mean writing outside the genres that continually fail to accurately represent (and by represent, I mean portraying favourably) their books. I don’t much like being caught in the crossfire of genre wars.

And by soapbox, I mean my newsletter and this website where I blog about the eccentricities of art history-mysteries and cozy ghost stories involving reincarnation and time travel.

When it comes to genres, I believe the words Supernatural and Paranormal should require a license. Artificial intelligence has broken out of the science fiction section of the library, and Supernatural and Paranormal have devolved into lewd tales of, and I use the term loosely, animal magnetism.

I write ghost stories that aren’t horrific, fanciful art history-mysteries that aren’t dry facts, and paranormal romances that never involve vampires wearing leather pants or shirtless werewolves. Antagonists don’t have to be predators. Ghost stories can be cozy. History is inherently, juicy. And art history can be inspiring.

CLASSIC OUTER SPACE, where spaceships and aliens go bump in the night, is too small a cyber space to contain unlimited tales where science and humanity play together nicely. INNER SPACE, where ‘outer limits’ imaginations roam free of limiting genres, IS THE FINAL FRONTIER.

Here is my personal definition of book promotion as an Indie Author:

UFO = Unidentified Fundamental Objectives: to turn a long time ‘hobby’ into a ‘going concern’ (as opposed to a growing concern) because cozy ghost stories are hard to find in the asteroid belt.

‘The INDIGO PEARL’ a novel by V Knox

YOUNG LOVE… OLD SOULS

Delphi Sharpe, an abandoned girl with extrasensory abilities and a tenuous grip on reality, falls in love with a boy in a 500-year-old painting and strives to find the family she senses in dreams, believing her mother is the Mona Lisa and her father is Dr. Who.

 

 

 

ELEVATOR PITCH for ‘THE INDIGO PEARL’ and it’s follow up ‘PEARL BY PEARL’

 – an abandoned autistic child with a tenuous grip on reality believes her mother is the Mona Lisa and her father is Dr. Who.

EXCERPT:

[I begged Cecco to stay. “No, Carissima,” he said. He took my hands in his and shook them hard. His eyes were serious, almost cruel, and what he said next terrified me. “A ghost can still die, Cara.]

‘ART-OFFICIAL’ INTELLIGENCE

WHEN GENRES AREN’T US … and by us, I still mean me

Here is my personal definition of ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE as it relates to my ‘pearl novels’

AI = Autistic Intelligence… ‘State of the art’ time travel just became transcendental.

‘PEARL by PEARL’ a novel by V Knox

Both ‘THE INDIGO PEARL’ and ‘PEARL BY PEARL’ are earmarked, and what I mean by earmarked is marketed under the genres ‘paranormal romance’ and ‘science fiction’. What it really is, is a TENDER LOVE STORY where a hybrid-android transcends the laboratory into the world of renaissance art. 

THE PITCH: When the consciousness of an autistic woman with the extrasensory ability to converse with paintings and birds is transplanted into the circuits of an android programmed to retrieve famous works of art lost in the distant past, intelligence is no longer artificial.

Two rivalling ‘art whisperers’, become single-mindedly obsessed to consummate the love of Delphi’s life – a teenage boy in a 500-year-old portrait. But while the spirit of Delphi wants to rest in peace with her beloved, her counterpart intends to exact revenge on the art syndicate that exploited them.

Sometimes ‘near death’ is the only road home… SOMETIMES IT TAKES TWO LIVES TO MAKE ONE WOMAN

PROLOGUE EXCERPT:

[When I was born my wings were too small to defend themselves… as if a white butterfly had alighted between my shoulder blades. Within the hour, they withered and fell like rose petals. At least, that’s what I assumed. But I was mistaken. They were folded tightly into an invisible bud, dreaming. And sometimes, when tropical breezes stir the treetops or I track a flock of geese across the sky, my phantom wings quicken and purr. When I’m angry, they bristle and hiss. It’s as if I’m carrying a kitten on my back.

I belong to the air… all humans do. We share a deep-seated fear of being caged. We are instinctive homing pigeons. Birds awaken deep ancestral memories of flight in us. They evoke the inherent joy of weightlessness and summon primal dreams of riding a perfect updraft in the clear blue. And even though you may have forgotten your natural habitat, you subconsciously display your inbred bird personas. I am a devoted human-watcher, and before you utter a single word, I see yours in plain sight.

A robin was my first friend. In my earliest years, I was treated like a dodo which led me to believe I was an ugly duckling. I was considered backward – an ‘indigo child’. But after I fell in love with a boy in a painting, my wings woke up and I became a swan.]

fridge magnets by V Knox

‘I think, therefore I create’ – a sentiment that bears repeating

SILENT K PUBLISHING, a.k.a. the indie books of V Knox – promoting long ‘metaphysical’ novels for discriminating bookworms who savour reading strange books as slowly as possible

Posted in art history, Books, fantasy, Fine Art, Florence, Florence. Italy, ghosts, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Italian renaissance, Italy, Leonardo da Vinci, literary fiction, Lost Paintings, magical realism, PAINTINGS, paranormal romance, PEARL BY PEARL, REINCARNATION, romance, science fiction, Silent K Publishing, supernatural, the 'Mona Lisa', The INDIGO PEARL, THE VITRUVIAN MAN, time travel, TIME TRAVEL, V Knox, V. Knox author, Veronica Knox author, women's fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN

the Green Man of Summer – original painting by V Knox

The Green Man is an ancient symbol of rebirth representing the cycle of new growth that occurs every spring – a nature spirit that incorporates certain aspects of the Greek, Pan. The Green Man is the embodiment of ecological awareness. When he is driven from cultivated gardens or if he retreats of his own accord into the wildwoods, drought and winter ravage the land.

 

In book one, ‘TWINTER’, of my Bede trilogy, the Green Man deserts the gardens of Bede Hall anticipating a supernatural event.

A catastrophic winter will ensue if twin teenagers fail to resolve an ancient curse and prevent a natural disaster foreseen after one of them time-slips through one of the Hall’s many time portals.

IT’S EVEN LESS EASY BEING BLUE

‘TWINTER – the first portal’ (book one of the Bede Trilogy) is a middle-grade time slip adventure for ages 12 to 97½ 

Lady Nan, the matriarch of Bede Hall, lingered in her own impatient dreamtime. She dreamed purposely to forget, yet she dreamed selectively to remember something wonderful. It was easier to slip away to Egypt than face the heart-breaking truths that haunted her, but as hard as she tried, old-family loyalty was in her blood, and messages of responsibility crept in to disturb her night travels. The winter scene inside her old snow globe on the bedside table wavered between an English Christmas and a desert sandstorm that threatened to cover the Great Sphinx. And often, the flakes of fake snow swirled into warm rain.

Bede Hall, a disgruntled stately home, had a mind of its own. It fussed three hundred miles to the north, nestled next to Hadrian’s Wall in a mystical corner of England, mired in deep trouble. Please come home it called, and when Lady Nan drifted off into a lapse of deeper memories its pleas grew more demanding, sounding more like a father ordering his daughter. Come home this instant, young lady! But it was the fretful voice of a lonely little girl she once knew, calling out for help, who disturbed Lady Nan’s sanctuary the most, so she decided to wake up.

She always found it curious how the word ‘present’ had a double meaning, referring to a gift as well as the time called now. It was significant that the word ‘myth’ was ‘present’ in her family name, Stratford-Smyth. Truly amazing. The words ‘a maze’ flashed once and disappeared. Words delivered magic if you knew how to listen. Words were funny things. FUNNY STRANGE.

The over-excited little ghost rubbed a small hole in the window frost and peered down into a summer that shouldn’t be there. A thin slick of ice defied the blistering heat of August and crept over the sundial’s weathered face. Time in Bede didn’t always behave as it should. She saw the same things she always did: a marble sundial leaning slightly towards the stables, a maze that looked like a giant green puzzle, and a bright carpet of flowers that shimmered like jewels. Beyond them, a topiary sphinx basked under a blazing sun. A movement of green caught her eye as the sphinx made of leaves sprang to its feet, shook off a blanket of snow and ran behind the house. Bede Hall was a funny old place. FUNNY WEIRD.

 

Venture into Bede, a landscape where history is positively ancestral, and welcome. But remember… once through the portal, you may have to stay! Bede Hall is alive, but all is not well.

Posted in ANCIENT EGYPT, Ancient Egyptian history, ARCHAEOLOGY, art history, Bede Hall, Books, Egyptology, fantasy, Fine Art, ghosts, HADRIAN'S WALL, hadrians wall, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, literary fiction, magical realism, middle-grade time-slip adventure, mythology, PAINTINGS, Pangea, REINCARNATION, science fiction, Silent K Publishing, supernatural, THE BEDE SERIES - V KNOX, the Green Man, THE GREEN MAN, time travel, TIME TRAVEL, Twinter the novel, V Knox, V. Knox author, Veronica Knox author | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GO VAN GOGH!

Vincent Van Gogh – self-portrait

“Mirror mirror on the wall. Who’s the greatest Indie of all?”

“You are, Vincent. You are!”

In celebration of indomitable independent spirits the world over and the quintessential poster boy of starving artists everywhere, let us be truly thankful.

This is tough times for creative artists. Indie writers, who a lot of people imagine are acing the self-isolating syndrome, are most often working two regular jobs to produce their works of art. Scraping by is an art form for Indies.

I’ve lost both my independent minimum-wage sources of income from the dreaded dream-killer Covid which is ironic, as my latest book is titled ‘DISAPP’EARRING TWICE.’ Who ever said the universe was profound and perverse at the same time… It was me. I say it all the time.

I say this, too: ONLY ART IS IMMORTAL! It’s right there on my Facebook banner, every single day.

Thankfully, the creative impulse survives everything.

‘DISAPP’EARRING TWICE’ – is a metaphysical ‘art history mystery’ of love, reincarnation, & sacrifice inspired by a true historical event.

[Aurelia Marcus, a troubled high school student, is singled out by Jakobina, the dispirited spirit of a teenage girl trapped in a painting, in a hostage bid to resolve their mutual issues of mortality.]

… I know how they feel. I wish you well in reinventing your livelihoods.

AURELIA MARCUS, A FRAGILE TEENAGER, DISAPPEARS LONG BEFORE SHE RUNS AWAY FROM HOME

Aurelia Marcus, a vulnerable teenager, top in her high school art history class, is singled out by Jakobina, the dispirited spirit of a girl in a famous painting, intent on living again.

Compromised by the threat of dementia that runs in her family, Aurelia nurses a flimsy death wish and toys with the notion of self-sacrifice that coincides perfectly with Jakobina’s bizarre suggestion that they exchange places at the appointed date in 2020.

Confused from wanting to avoid her inevitable fate and believing in a rosy future with Zee Carter, the young man who adores her, Aurelia leaves herself open to the wiles of a scheming ghost.

Aurelia caves to Jakobina’s relentless badgering and makes a semi-conscious choice to live in exile to protect the boy she loves, without fully understanding that ‘live’ is a misnomer that belies death, and lives before life, and lives after death, and especially, immortality beyond time and space.

AN ART HISTORY MYSTERY by V Knox

now available as a Kindle for $2.99

Posted in art history, Books, fantasy, Fine Art, ghosts, GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, literary fiction, PAINTINGS, paranormal romance, REINCARNATION, romance, Silent K Publishing, supernatural, V Knox, V. Knox author, VERMEER, VERMEER, Veronica Knox author, women's fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

MAY DAY or MAY DAY! … 6 degrees of separation

Is MAY DAY an international distress signal or a celebration of dancing and singing to honor FLORA, the Roman goddess of flowers? With human life balanced precariously on the tipping point of extinction, I guess there’s no earthly reason why it can’t it be both.

MAY DAY accompanied by an exclamation mark, stems from the French ‘m’aidez’ which translates as ‘HELP ME’. It is the audible counterpart to S.O.S. – Morse Code for SAVE OUR SOULS. Rescue is given priority to messages that repeat the words may day several times.

MAY DAY, the seasonal celebration of spring and rebirth, is an ancient festival of merriment and thanksgiving where a local Queen of the May is chosen and crowned with flowers on May 1st .

CROWN Perversely, the Latin word for crown is coronam. Biologically-ANATOMICALLY, it’s a part of the body resembling a crown. ASTRONOMICALLY, the sun’s corona visible during a total eclipse is a rarified gaseous envelope of the sun and other stars – a pearly shaped glow surrounding the darkened disk of the moon due to the diffraction of water droplets. DROPLETS can be injurious to one’s health. THE SUN’S CORONA is a small circle of shining light during a time of absolute darkness.

THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON – describes something mysterious and unknown. The side of the moon we never see. The side that faces away from Earth. The side that faces the cold, black expanse of space… say no more!

SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION is the premise that people (and words), are six, or fewer, social connections away from each other. Sounds eerily familiar.

The lovely lady in the painting is FLORA, THE GODDESS OF SPRING in Sandro Botticelli’s ‘PRIMAVERA’ – a title that echoes the words VERITY (Latin for truth) and PRIMA (Latin for ‘at first sight’). PRIMA has settled into our vernacular as prima donna and other references to number one.

‘PRIMAVERA’ C. 1470 Sandro Botticelli

I could go on because I could segue into the fanciful novel I wrote about Botticelli but I won’t. You may, however, discover it here https://www.amazon.com/V-Knox/e/B0094K0Q7Y

 

 

Posted in art history, Books, Fine Art, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Italian renaissance, literary fiction, PAINTINGS, paranormal romance, REINCARNATION, romance, Sandro Botticelli, Silent K Publishing, supernatural, V Knox, V. Knox author, Veronica Knox author | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment