FICTION – CRAZIER THAN QUANTUM PHYSICS

BEING THEREBEING WAY OUT THERE

A master of ceremonies on a pantomime stage, sidles up to the edge of the stage wearing his top hat and tails, waves his arms, and addresses the audience: “Did you know the universe is crazier than we can imagine!” he declares…

There follows one of only two time-honored responses. The crowd shouts in unison: “OH NO IT ISN’T!”

“However,” he stage-whispers behind his hand. “It’s NOT crazier than fiction!”

The crowd booms. “OH YES IT IS!”

Like the cosmos, there are no limits to fiction. None. Nothing is too ‘OUT THERE’ or too internally, HERE.

There is no finer way to put this than by a beloved scientist who said it with style and grace:

 

“Imagination will often carry us
 to worlds that never were,
 but without it
 we go nowhere.” 

– CARL SAGAN

 

We head towards the nudge of ‘I wish’ without apology because the land of ‘I-wish-it-were-true’ is as close as close as under our skin. We never fully grow up. Why settle for anything less than wild ideas? The universe is one never-ending wild idea!

Stories of immortal beings who once walked among us, stirring the soup of fate with the thighbones of our ancestors to see what would crawl out of the swamp, is still required reading for adult humans. Fiction is the antidote for days too normal to be endured. The science-fiction of spaceships and paranormal time-travelling snaps the leg irons of earthbound 9 to 5 drudgery. Anonymous cubicles of employment, self-imposed or otherwise, are hardly final frontiers.

For relief, comedy can be lived in half-hour increments on TV. We want to laugh in spite of the relative grimness of our insignificance ‘situations’ spinning on a ‘pale blue dot’. We crave magic. But after the laugh track fades, the wildest stories follow us to bed and color our dreams. So dream big.

Enter the world of unlimited dreams. Set aside your sweatpants and slip into a long gown. Sip champagne with Jeremy Irons in a gondola, ring a bell for Carson the butler, revisit ‘Brideshead’, fit into a slinky size 5. Take tea with a mad hatter. Cast a spell where you can best nurture your inner world. Grow wings and grab a magic sword. Build Rome in a day… movie makers do it all the time. And if you’re not starring in your own movie what (do you imagine) are you doing here?

BE HERE, NOW…. IMAGINE FROM THE EDGE

BOOK a deserved trip to the far reaches of ‘out there’ or ‘trip out’ on a deserved BOOK to your innermost universe. Champion your third-childhood. If not now, when?

If we’re as savvy as Peter Pan we never grow up. It’s a promise we make to ourselves every time we open a deeply ‘curiouser’ book.

What children’s book first captured your imagination?

What new paranormal fiction will capture your shadow now?

Posted in Adoration, Books, fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, literary fiction, Lost Paintings, magical realism, paranormal romance, PEARL BY PEARL, REINCARNATION, romance, science fiction, science-fiction fantasy, Second Lisa, Silent K Publishing, supernatural, the 'Mona Lisa', The INDIGO PEARL, THE UNTHINKABLE SHOES -novel, time travel, Twinter the novel, V Knox, V. Knox author, Veronica Knox author | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

DOWN TO EARTH IS FOR SISSIES

 

WHAT DREAMS

“Old age is no place for sissies” 
– Bette Davis

Since biology has determined that I must sleep 30% of my life, I’ve given myself permission to dream big and write surreal because Bette Davis was right, and

Self-publishing is no place for sissies.

Down-to-earth is too short a visit if you bypass outer space, inner space, and surreal space. Do not pass Go. Do not collect dust. Savor middle earth. For a good time, play a little in the supernatural, wander through a distant century, or vacation in the stars. Star Trek offers future careers where there’s no money, no mortgages, and no dirty dishes. Thank you, food replicators. Now that’s freedom. That’s boldly going.

Call fiction escapism if it pleases you, but if you’re going to escape, consider taking vacations in the far reaches of an author’s wildest dreams. ‘Down-under’ the book covers in the outback of our imaginations lies time-travel, the afterlives of famous men and women, and the unlimited secrets of mind-blowing science.

And since daydreaming surely accounts for the second 30% of an earthling’s allotted years, entertainment time is well-spent in uplifting hours. There’s not a lot we can do about nightmares but we can dream with lucidity, daydream in Technicolor, and be more creative thinkers.

Finally, barring the amazing interludes of earthshattering love and art, the last, and certainly not the least, 30% of a human three-act-life is the unavoidable commerce of earthtime’s nittiest and grittiest angst.

Your life is 100% your time. Your choice: more true-to-life stories? or the world of fiction that offers WHAT YOU WISH WERE TRUE?

Nothing is stranger than fiction if we imagine with style. Death is the beginning. Ghosts who walk through walls can sit solidly on chairs without the humiliation of pratfalls to the floor below, men and women love across time, a ghost child from the Titanic can grow up, and (I know this) paintings can talk.

At least, portraits speak up when they have something urgent to say. They are, after all, the ‘flies on the wall’ who see and hear like the servants of old. They are a version of Victorian children, to be seen and not heard until an author decides it’s time to spill their beans. And then watch out. A lot of beans will die.

LISABETTA ~ age 45 the 'MONA LISA'I’ve spent a lot of my time in fifteenth-century Florence, and I spill a fair amount of magic beans in my stories 

 

Why wouldn’t the ‘Mona Lisa’ have an axe to grind if she’s been misidentified? Why wouldn’t she rebel when forced to live in the Louvre, denied of her true identity? Why would she entertain a perpetual state of decorum if her name was eclipsed in favor of a silk merchant’s wife?

Wouldn’t she be downhearted after her accomplishments were invisible by virtue of the time in which she lived? Wouldn’t she feel demoralized if her artistic creations were eclipsed by her brother’s, considering her brother was Leonardo da Vinci?

And since, in our most imaginatively logical hearts, we believe a canny photographer can capture a soul, can we deny the possibility that Leonardo could easily have captured the soul of his sister in a painting? And if so, is it any wonder that Lisa becomes dispirited, trapped there in the Louvre inside a two-dimensional picture plane.

Another museum visitor makes a snide quip to a stranger, and Ms. Lisa’s had enough. The straw is broken; it’s time to be known for all three of her dimensions. She waits for the opportunity to escape on the coattails of an autistic child who thinks beyond the laws of physics.

WHY SETTLE FOR DOWN-TO-EARTH WHEN FICTION DELIVERS THE STARS?

Second Lisa_cover1_CS.indd

 

Posted in Fine Art, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Leonardo da Vinci, literary fiction, Lost Paintings, magical realism, paranormal romance, REINCARNATION, romance, science fiction, science-fiction fantasy, Second Lisa, Silent K Publishing, supernatural, the 'Mona Lisa', time travel, Titanic, Titanic's lost shoes, Titanic's unknown child, V Knox, V. Knox author, Veronica Knox author, women's fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

LOVE POETRY BEYOND THE GRAVE

SOMEWHERE IN TIME CROPPEDFiction glorifies the art of paranormal romance, 

reincarnation,

and eternal bliss

 

Two Dantes say so:

“I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, 
the lights around the shore.”

– Dante Gabriel Rossetti

 

A different Dante traipses through hell to find his soul mate, Beatrice, a girl he fell in love with from afar:

VITA NUOVA

“In that book which is my memory,
On the first page of the chapter

That is the day when I first met you,
Appear the words: here begins a new life”
Dante Alighieri

from ‘The Divine Comedy’

 

Dyed in the wool romance fans are moths to a spiritual flame that, more often than not, in real life, turn out to be an intense moment of random chemical heat that lasts as long as a match flare. But women are prone to flings with ghostly lovers and night phantoms who woo from the beyond… and gentle poets immortalize their lady loves with exquisite words and paintings.

Ghostly lovers may fade in the morning but they never cheat. Undying love, it seems, is saved for dabbling with the deceased in lucid dreams. Barring that, fictional heroes in books, an historical larger-than-life figure, and ‘reel-life’ actors on a screen, stand in nicely for ethereal specters. Vicarious love is part of a healthy psyche. The lovelorn and insatiable dreamers are made whole romancing the paranormal.

It’s said that it’s better to have loved and lost than not at all.

But paranormal poetry goes one better: it’s better to have won the heart of a passionate poet than succumb to a lusty one-night-stand with a lantern-jawed oiled stranger in need of a shirt – a two-dimensional narcissistic hunk peeled from the front cover of a generic romance novel. At least the undying love of a ghost spans four dimensions.

The art of sensual loving requires Shakespearean words of passion that transcends the last breath and cheat the worms.

Eternal lovers reincarnate, wandering through the centuries on memories as fragile as a daisy chain to rekindle love profound enough to defy death. Love as strong as a knight’s ‘armor’ rather than as fleeting as the ‘amour’ of nights spent horsing around the rough and tumble pages of a shallow novel. True love is serious. Flings are… well, flings.

BUT LOVE IN THE AFTERLIFE NEVER DIES; it’s as near as a subconscious romp on your 800 count Egyptian cotton sheets with the ghost of a lover who got away.

 ROMANCING THE PARANORMAL

In my paranormal romance ‘ADORATION – loving Botticelli’, art history professor Linton Ross falls in love with a figure in a fifteenth-century painting when she is an art student, only to be obsessed by him her entire life, but her world changes when retirement at age sixty-five gives her pause to visit the portrait one last time.

“I checked the painting. All was serene. Once more, Mars rested in perpetual springtime, sleeping naked, and Venus stared blankly with a sorrowful expression of abandonment that I understood. She’d had the poor judgement and bad timing to fall in love with a man she couldn’t have.”

Adoration_cover_May24.indd

 

Finn_cover_CS.inddMy paranormal romance, inspired by a pair of baby shoes in the Halifax Maritime Museum’s Titanic exhibit, ‘THE UNTHINKABLE SHOES’ is an extraordinary love story of reincarnation and sacrifice when two children on board Titanic who were destined to marry, are separated by death. A reincarnation attempt goes awry with bizarre consequences.

 Do you have a favorite love poem?

Mine is the deliciously sensual ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ by T.S. Eliot. Enjoy an excerpt on me:

THE LOVE-SONG of J. ALFRED PRUFROCK

 “And would it have been worth it, after all?

After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,

Among the porcelain,

Among some talk of you and me,

Would it have been worthwhile,

To have bitten off the matter with a smile,

To have squeezed the universe into a ball?”

 – T.S. Eliot

 Yes… it definitely would!

What love story makes you wish ghostly lovers were real? How about ‘Somewhere in Time’ or the amazing paranormal time travel romance, ‘Outlander’?

 

Posted in Books, fantasy, Fine Art, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, literary fiction, Lost Paintings, magical realism, Nova Scotia, paranormal romance, REINCARNATION, romance, Sandro Botticelli, Silent K Publishing, supernatural, THE UNTHINKABLE SHOES -novel, time travel, Titanic, Titanic's lost shoes, Titanic's unknown child, V Knox, V. Knox author, Veronica Knox author, women's fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

THE ‘MONA LISA’ IS ONE HAUNTED LADY

'MONA LISA' SMILE

Leonardo is only one-tenth of the law but possession is nine-tenths of the truth

 

What if a contact-high with a famous portrait is so visceral that the sitter follows you home and changes your life forever?  

ART IMITATES LIFE: ‘SECOND LISA’ – a paranormal biographical trilogy, was inspired by the only mention of Leonardo da Vinci’s half-sister, Lisabetta Buti, in a census report, and the irony of an anonymous woman becoming the most famous face in the world.

LIFE DUPLICATES ART: I carried Lisabetta’s story around for ten years after studying art history at university, utterly frustrated by the frequent gaps in historical documents. There were too many cold trails of lost paintings, and speculative iconography only muddied the waters of truth. Even knowing which artist painted what was suspect. Who better to ask than the paintings themselves? Barring their silence, lucid dreaming, stargazing, mindfulness, and visualization are always sensible ways to time travel to the past. Surprise. That old adage of asking and receiving, delivers. Amazing stories emerged from my innocent questions. There’s a lot to be said for selective hearing and a vivid imagination.

What if paintings were compelled to speak or mind-read or hypnotize in order to impart a character’s thoughts as in ‘The Portrait of Dorian Gray’ that aged while the man remained young?

I premise that paintings on a wall see and hear everything. They are the cameras and tape recorders of their time. I love the concept of figures reaching out of their frames for help or inviting a viewer into their world to impart wisdom. Would you go if invited?

DEATH GOES ON: with time travel, even the most beleaguered paintings never die and longsuffering sculptures never lose their heads. I simply adjust the dials of my time machine to arrive precisely at the crossroads where art and history part ways. After that, it’s as elementary as Sherlock imparting one of his theories to Watson. But paintings can be part of a political game. The study of meaningful images and their careful placement within a picture plane are often covert clues of the artist’s subversive viewpoints, punishable by death.

I imagine paintings as doorways to a parallel world where I can eavesdrop and wander around, say the fifteenth-century Florence, as invisible as the majority of their female population. I suppose I should be careful what I wish for, but I’ve always wanted to step into certain narrative paintings to discover who the models were in real life, and why were they so grouped together? What ‘between the lines’ stories did they tell? Why did the artist choose them to be in his visual play?

Second Lisa_cover1_CS.indd

I wrote ‘Second Lisa’ based on the classic premise to ‘be careful of what you wish for’ and the assumption that, in the spirit of truth, some wishing wells are more or less holding pens for chastening spells. Spells that deliver exacting literal interpretations during that hazy moment when a casual wish becomes a serious curse.

 

Try evading the ‘Mona Lisa’s gaze sometime. Have you ever noticed… she never lets you out of her sight? She is tenacious. She’s learned to be. On the five-hundredth-anniversary of her captivity, she has a window of opportunity for escape that lasts one full year.

When her champion arrives as a nine-year-old boy, Lisa has no intention of letting Jupiter Lyons out of her grasp. But then, the autistic child is delighted to lead her from the Louvre. They become instant allies, each needing a virtual press release to be recognized for who they fully are. But when they meet, there is only nine months left of Lisabetta’s window. Just enough time to gestate a new life.

 ‘MONA LISA’ IS MORE MYSTERIOUS THAN A SMILE … in her own words:

“Dear child, my life led me here to meet you precisely on this day. I have been waiting such a long time – five-hundred-years to have my say. It’s time. You must listen because… because ‘you’re the one.’ Please permit me to explain. If your name were to be irretrievably lost, cut apart from your time and permanently erased from the world, overshadowed by the lies of silence… were you ever truly here?” – Lisabetta

 ART IMITATES LIFE… LIFE DUPLICATES ART… DEATH GOES ON

In ‘SECOND LISA’, ‘Mona Lisa’ has an opportunity to free herself from an ancient curse after her soul is captured in a portrait – an extraordinary trilogy of misadventure and reincarnation.

What portrait has given you chills, good or bad? What questions would you ask a painting? What figure in a painting would you invite home?

My favorite portraits are: The ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ by Vermeer; Leonardo’s ‘Mona Lisa’; Botticelli’s ‘Adoration of the Magi’; and the self-portraits of Rembrandt and Albrecht Durer.

HAVE YOU EVER FALLEN IN LOVE WITH A FIGURE IN A PAINTING? … which segues nicely into my next post about paranormal romance and a woman who did.

Posted in Books, fantasy, Fine Art, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Leonardo da Vinci, literary fiction, Lost Paintings, paranormal romance, REINCARNATION, Second Lisa, Silent K Publishing, supernatural, the 'Mona Lisa', time travel, V Knox, V. Knox author, Veronica Knox author, women's fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

PARANORMAL – IT’S NOT JUST FOR WEIRDOS

X FILESFICTION IS ONE BIG X-FILE

Why is the paranormal so fascinating when we know it’s not true? Clearly and scientifically it can’t be true, and yet, our lives remain middle of the road dull without a toe-dabble into its imaginative waters.

But that ghastly genre word ‘paranormal’ is so misleading. It usually delivers expectations of terror, dread, Gothic horror, vampires, and zombies. Paranormal doesn’t have to be creepy.

 

UFO = Unidentified Fictional Objectivity

What softer word may be used to describe a story with less fright?

Because there IS a softer side to paranormal where the curious reader has a gentle experience of the unreal and the surreal is a compelling revelation. Not bloodthirsty curse-driven comeuppances but pleasant curvilinear journeys around subjective human experience –stories narrated from the afterlife or misadventures into loops of reincarnation, lucid dreaming, the outskirts of Premonitionville, quantum leaps of time-slipping, and insightful possibilities venturing into zones with more relaxed outer limits. We can be a wondering wanderer through the doors of perception and peek behind the looking glass without having to sleep with a light on afterwards.

Champion the unheard of. Address the unspeakable. Dismiss the notion of impossible. See dead people… in a good way. Fill your pockets with unbelievable confidence. Flip off a demon, bare your teeth at a vampire, beam yourself senseless. Delight that the afterlife is a country of our own making. We can die outside the box and reincarnate at will.

The key word in paranormal fiction is ‘fiction’! (translation: a story that exceeds the constraints of normal of lying)

The word fiction notifies you that something or everything in a story is untrue. Paranormal informs a reader that the story operates within the flexible realm of metaphysics. Language goes one better and adds prefixes to nice calm words in order to jazz up the tension: un, other, super, extra, and para (which means above). These beget: unreal, surreal, otherworldly, supernatural, extraordinary, and paranormal. Mystical, fantasy, make-believe, and magical are icing on the cake.

WE WANT TO BELIEVE

EXTRAORDINARY TRUTHS ARE INTERNAL; NOT ‘OUT THERE’

What PARANORMAL-FRIENDLY stories are your favorites? Mine are:

BOOKS (and also films): ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’, ‘The Lovely Bones’, and the ‘Harry Potter’ series. MOVIES: ‘The Lake House’, ‘What Dreams May Come’, ‘Somewhere in Time’, ‘Field of Dreams’, ‘Groundhog Day’, ‘Back to the Future’, ‘Close Encounters’, ‘Jurassic Park’, and ‘Ghostbusters one’

 

Posted in ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, Books, fantasy, paranormal romance, REINCARNATION, supernatural, time travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ANIMATIONS – THE BEST MEDICINE FOR VERY OLD KIDS

It takes a lifetimeCHESHIRE CAT to learn how to be a smart kid

When we’re small we want to be grown up. When we’re teenagers we want to be independent. But when we grow too old to be astronauts and ballerinas we can do backflips with ‘Kung Fu Panda’.

A dive down the rabbit hole can do us the world of good. Strap on your 3-D glasses, hang up your cane and leave your curmudgeon-ness at the door… but keep the hearing aid.

Second childhood is designed for baby boomers

Below the earth is where the fun begins. It’s over the top. Where else could it be but up a beanstalk or down a rabbit hole?

Do the left side of your brain a favor, engage non-local mind, and purchase a one-way ticket to Wonderland. Indulge your deepest instincts in a refreshing tea party of mad conversation. Embrace the absurd. Binge on popcorn and a rompingly-insane fantasy, Disney’s ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ (hint… ignore the critics). But don’t go if you’re unwilling to abandon the world of logic. Forfeit the sensible. Get lost where getting lost is the point. That’s what old age is for.

In the sixties we ‘boomers’ were too busy letting it all hang out to see the bigger picture. Perhaps it was too soon for most of us to stop and smell the roses. Certainly, Lewis Carroll the creator of ‘Alice,’ didn’t contain himself in 1871.

We are dreamers calibrated to visualize. Fantasy enabled our species to survive when sentient weather ruled our days. That primordial dream when our friends were trees and streams, and unwholesome craziness lived on mountaintops well out of reach. It took generations to breach those heights and discover that the Titans were small enough to fit into the palms of our hands with imagination to spare.

Sometimes it takes a thousand years to discover ‘who-done-it’( um… nobody as it turns out… it was evolution). And sometimes it takes only a hundred and forty-five years to turn a beloved classic into the pages of a moving picture screen.

Apparently, cats are philosophers, hares make tea, caterpillars are sublimely ironic, and many a wise word is spoken in jest by a genie out of the bottle. Who knew? Authors of children’s fiction knew. The older we get, the more we remember this.

What were your favorite children’s books reread as an ‘adult’? Mine were:

‘Winnie the Pooh’ (read through the eyes of Benjamin Hoff’s brilliant ‘The Tao of Pooh’ and ‘the Te of Piglet’; ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ (Disney’s 3-D animation seen a few weeks ago); and ‘Peter Pan’ (revisited in the movie ‘Hook’).

Posted in ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, Books, fantasy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

ALAN RICKMAN FOREVER

ABSOLEM 2ALAN THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

Here’s one for the books. In Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass,’ Absolem the caterpillar, played by the late Alan Rickman, surfaces reborn as a blue butterfly. He shadows Alice before leading her (and us) back into the ‘otherworld’ behind the looking glass.

ABSOLEM 3 - CROPPED A butterfly is a symbol of rebirth

Thankfully, Alan lives on in all of his amazing roles but this is a beautifully symbolic tribute. I found it profoundly moving when the credits dedicated the movie to ‘our friend Alan Rickman’

And after all, the definition of animation is the imparting of life and spirit to that which springs purely from human imagination.

Posted in ABSOLEM, ALAN RICKMAN, ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment