CELEBRATION OF A TYPO

…how a 500-year-old spelling mistake was enough to confound history and gift me a premise for a time-slip ghost story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from ‘LISABETTA-a stolen glance’

[But for a single misshapen letter, I would be musing in heaven. The letter ‘a’ deposed me. Betrayed me. Sabotaged me. It was not even a whole letter but the merest tail of one. My legacy was tied to the tail of a hapless letter ‘a’ that unseated me from Gioconda to Giocondo.]

But for an untimely pen, a spluttering candle, and a myopic historian, I would be the celebrated ‘laughing woman’. I am most certainly NOT the dreary wife of a common silk merchant.

I was well acquainted with Monna Lisa Giocondo but we were never friends. And yet, she envied me as much as I despised her and all the dainty women of her class. I am galled to be misidentified as Mrs. Giocondo. Of all the insipid women…the world could not have chosen a more perfect way to insult me.

A parched quill simply ran dry, and my story moved on without me.

I didn’t steal away. I was stolen. Dethroned. Many many times. – Lisabetta ]

 

THE BIRTH OF A STORY… the premise and the promise

Paranormal fiction has to be stranger than historical facts

I premise the most intriguing paranormal stories are inspired by true events based on historical documents and hearsay shared freely by the people of the day in their diaries and letters. A writer’s imagination fills in the missing DNA.

A MAJOR LIGHTBULB FACT kickstarted my fictional story about the mistaken identity of the ‘Mona Lisa’:

A Florentine census from 1463 references that Caterina, Leonardo da Vinci’s mother, gave birth to six children, including a daughter named Lisabetta.

Leonardo had a half-sister named Lisa! What are the odds. Coincidence? Not to a writer! Paternity was a tad fuzzy in the fifteenth-century. What if Lisabetta was the second lovechild of Caterina and Piero da Vinci… Leonardo’s full sibling with whom he had strong biological and creative ties?

What if Lisabetta was the stabilizing influence for Leonardo’s erratic creative nature?

The ‘Mona Lisa’s identity has several contenders. Lisa Giocondo is only one of many undocumented theories. WHAT IF the word ‘gioconda’, the smiling woman, (a reasonable description to have been attributed to the ‘Mona Lisa’), was confused with a second portrait commissioned by the ‘Giocondo’ family? History is confounded and the wrong Lisa is hailed as the ‘Mona Lisa’! What if there were two portraits painted in 1503?

ADD A DASH OF HEARSAY

The ‘Mona Lisa’ is often speculated to be an androgynous self-portrait of Leonardo… my muse whispered “brother and sister lookalikes.”

THE PREMISE

For 500 years, Lisabetta’s spirit is restless. After being dismissed all her life as insignificant, the final irony of having the most famous face in the world yet remaining anonymous, eclipsed by another woman named Lisa whom she couldn’t abide in real life, is too much to bear. Slighted and bitter, she demands to be acknowledged and take her rightful place at Leonardo’s side. But she’s trapped in her portrait with no apparent cause. And then she meets a boy visiting the Louvre, and ‘Saving Face’ takes on a whole new meaning.

THE PREMISE BECOMES A PROMISE… the story quickens

– Lisabetta, a woman who made a mistake in the past, is mistaken for the woman she slighted. She must join forces with an autistic boy in the 21st century, suffering his own version of invisibility, to overcome their parallel identity crises.

THE PROMISE CRYSTALIZES  

WHAT IF: Leonardo da Vinci could paint the soul of a sitter into a portrait?

WHAT IF: the sitter for the ‘Mona Lisa’ was Leonardo’s younger sister, Lisabetta?

WHAT IF: she’s still there in the Louvre after 500 years?

WHAT IF: there’s a way to release her?…

WHAT IF: an autistic six-year-old boy is her knight in shining armor?

LISABETTA’S VOICE GROWS STRONGER AND SHE WRITES A SYNOPSIS FOR HER OWN STORY

“My name, Lisabetta Buti, was an affront to my existence.

I was Leonardo da Vinci’s beloved kid-sister, his assistant and apprentice, and, for the most part, 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, deep in financial debt, and forced to paint the dreary wife of a silk merchant, Leonardo was overcome, as in his early years, by a new quest. And with all due haste, circumstances conspired that he was able to complete the Giocondo commission early, and I was cajoled into posing for a new kind of portrait.

But there, my identity crisis sprouted wings because both our names were Lisa.

It was the sort of portrait only a true visionary would attempt. Leonardo believed he could capture the true essence of a human spirit in paint, and not long afterwards, Leonardo kept his promise.

We remained inseparable even after my death, and I traveled with him as a living icon painted on a small panel of poplar wood – his sentient companion to the end of his days.

But as time progressed, a further humiliation was heaped upon my portrait by the title ‘La Gioconda’ (the smiling woman)– I have endured this mistaken identify for 500 years, and it’s time to end the nonsense. I am the Mona Lisa!

One small letter ‘a’ is all it takes to confound history.”

– Lisabetta  (da Vinci)

 

LISABETTA – a stolen glance

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K6SBB78  

V KNOX AMAZON author page

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

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WEBSITE

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READING IS BELIEVING!

If you believe in second childhoods… I invite you to time-slip with me into worlds where buildings and trees speak truths that can save the world. Cross the borders of liminal consciousness of my stories and visit haunted realms inhabited by ghostly lovers, mythical creatures, and characters with extrasensory perception.

 

I BELIEVE THE POWER OF STORY IS ALIVE AND WELL

And because I believe that the ‘GRAND-CHILD’ within all of us yearns for a bedtime story that begins with a unique WHAT IF, I write stories with premises that defy physics and logic for weary and jaded adults who relish a refreshing detour from reality.

I ALSO BELIEVE THAT DRUDGERY IS FOR THE BIRDS

And so, I willingly followed a robin muse into the mouth of an ancient cave, through the hall of the birds and past the paintings of horses on the walls into the light to find one of my stories.

The wilds of paranormal stories require a suspension of belief that nourishes quests within us to enter an adventure the way we did ‘when we were five’ and can still do ‘when we are sixty-five’ and ‘one-hundred-and-five’, through the imaginative premises of what-if.

Whatever you call them, amulets, trinkets, keepsakes or love tokens, sentimental objects retain the ghosts of their owners, and mistaken identities hide bigger pictures. And sometimes portraits refuse to stay on the canvas. The ‘Desiderata’ (forgotten things) of vibrant lives live on in our imaginations. We want to know the hopes and dreams of our ancestors. We desire to know what was and what could have been – the truths and the lost visions because the heART of humanity is in the details.

One of my favorite movie is appropriately titled ‘HOOK’ – and what better story hook is there than a boy determined to remain a child.

But, what-if Peter Pan grew up and became a cutthroat lawyer? A fabulous story with a message for the child in all of us who has forgotten the art of play.

CLAP IF YOU BELIEVE IN FAIRY TALES!

BELIEVE ALONG WITH ME

WHAT IF – an autistic girl with extrasensory abilities, who converses with paintings and birds, strives to find the family she senses in dreams. What if she falls in love with a boy in a five-hundred-year-old painting? What if AI = autistic intelligence and ‘state of the art’ time travel just became transcendental? (‘THE INDIGO PEARL and ‘PEARL BY PEARL’)

WHAT IF – two children aboard the Titanic were meant to marry? What if only one survives? What if a pair of shoes could change their future? (‘THE UNTHINKABLE SHOES’)

WHAT IF – a Y/A time-slip fantasy links Pangea, Ancient Egypt, Mars, and a mystical corner of Northumbria near Hadrian’s Wall? What if a band of topiaries wander the grounds of a disgruntled stately home at night? What if a colony of royal cats hold the secret of time travel? What if the Green Man, Leonardo da Vinci, Nicola Tesla, Vincent Van Gogh, and C.S. Lewis aid a pair of telepathic twins to resolve an ancient curse? (The Bede Trilogy: ‘TWINTER’, ‘TIME FALLS LIKE SNOW’, and soon *book 3 to be released in 2019, ‘TOMORROW AGAIN’).

WHAT IF SOME PORTRAITS ARE ALIVE WITH SECRETS? WHAT-IF the ‘Mona Lisa’ and an autistic boy join forces to overcome their identity crises? The ‘MONA LISA’ may be priceless … NOW SHE MUST BECOME A WOMAN WORTH SAVING. (‘LISABETTA- a stolen glance’)

I WANT TO BELIEVE, DON’T YOU?

If you are old enough to believe in SECOND CHILDHOODS, I wish the ‘grand-child’ within you the play-full joys of a New Year reading gentle stories that suspend reality and take you back to the time when ‘make believe’ was as close as your imagination.

HAPPY NEW YEAR from Silent K Publishing!

V KNOX AMAZON author page

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

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I RECEIVED A LAUNDERED REVIEW

‘THE INDIGO PEARL’ by V KNOX is ALL WASHED UP!

The dangers of being a book: It’s dangerous to casually ask a man to please strip the sheets and throw them in the wash. More dangerous still, to be tumble dried.

But now this ‘cleaned’ copy sits in pride of place next to my computer

And now you know… it’s dangerous to read in bed!

But let’s hear it for happy accidents…

my book is now a sculpture!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE INDIGO PEARL

https://www.amazon.com/Indigo-Pearl-V-Knox-ebook/dp/B0195OA4QQ/

AMAZON author page

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SCIENCE AT FIFTY PACES

A TIME-SLIP FANTASY for the ‘GRAND-CHILD’ in all of us

detail of a painting by V Knox

A STORY EQUATION WHERE FACT MEETS FICTION

E (entertainment) = mc (main characters… 2) squared (twinned exponential trouble)

[The relative speed of a story within a book is the same no matter the age at which a reader time-travels in their imagination]

Cavort with characters through the mists and fogs of rainy Britain where the chill of ‘NARNIA’ melts into the baking desert of EGYPT’S GIZA PLATEAU, past and present.

‘TWINTER – the first portal’ is the fallout treasure of my childhood obsession with ancient Egypt and several of my favorite television series: two archaeology documentaries ‘TIME TEAM’ and ‘ANCIENT LIVES’, and ‘DOWNTON ABBEY’ set in HIGHCLERE CASTLE, the family seat of Lord Carnarvon who financed Howard Carter’s famous dig where he discovered King Tut’s tomb.

And children’s books: Lewis Carroll’s ‘ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS’, ‘THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA’ – by C.S. Lewis, ‘THE SECRET GARDEN’, and the HARRY POTTER series.

I worried these happy influences like a loose tooth, until pi (plot + inciting incident) and r (research) were firmly squared in my imagination.

Follow the young teens of Bede Hall on a time-slip adventure to ancient Egypt through the time portals of a persnickety sentient stately home in Northumbria, built atop the successive ruins of prehistoric Britain. But be forewarned:

ONCE THROUGH THE FIRST PORTAL YOU MAY HAVE TO STAY!

There are three generations of Stratford-Smyths ‘living’ in Bede Hall. The fourth is the ghost of a nine-year-old girl, which makes them four generations spanning four dimensions.

Kit, a boy-scientist who decries all things supernatural, must confront his worst nightmares after moving to Bede Hall, his grandmother’s persnickety crumbling estate.

The Hall, steeped in local mythology, buzzes with unearthly energy and encounters with ghostly phenomena. The Green Man has abandoned his kingdom.

But Kit is determined to find a logical explanation. The gardens of Bede Hall are alive with exotic species of pharmaceutical plants. Surely, the residents are suffering from a mass hallucination.

When Kit’s twin sister, Bash, wholeheartedly embraces the same energies Kit denounces, they’re pitted against each other. Their strong telepathic bond is sorely tested, reduced to an erratic connection between the real and paranormal worlds.

But to prevent a global disaster and several personal ones, Kit must overcome his fear of the unknown, face death by traveling through the dangerous time portals of Bede Hall, and change the future by creating a new past.

Three years have gone by since the twins first arrived to live in Bede Hall.

BEDE HALL IS ALIVE BUT ALL IS NOT WELL!

Turning sixteen isn’t going to be easy.

From Kit’s science log:

“I am outnumbered and outgunned but I still refuse to be canon fodder in a supernatural war with a building as my commanding officer. That said, if I AM to be a warrior, then it’s to personally survive an internal battle of doubt. If only logic was an effective weapon. Science at fifty paces suits me.” – Kit (Christopher Stratford-Smyth)

Time is a funny thing… funny ODD. Words are funny things… funny STRANGE. Bede Hall is a funny old place… funny WEIRD.

 

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

V KNOX   AMAZON author page

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

 

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MEMORIES… FROM THE CORNERS OF MY FRIDGE…

…Sfumato memories… of the way it might have been (*sfumato means misty watercolor) 

 

 

 

 

A DAYDREAM IN THE LIFE OF A WRITER OF PARANORMAL HISTORY

Leonardo’s experimental painting was missing a special something. He flexed his long slender fingers and stared at his hands as if they were strangers. Am I losing my touch?

“No,” a piggy voice squeaked. “You’re just getting old.”

A strange calm came over him in the form of a whizbang idea. He put his thumbs in his ears and waggled his fingers at his sister, Lisabetta.

She didn’t smile. She looked puzzled. “Are you quite well?” she said. “Do you need to take a break or something? By the way, there’s a flying pig on your shoulder.”

It was Leo’s turn to frown. “Have you been sniffing my paints again?”

“Maybe a little varnish… but the pig…”

“Okay okay, there IS a clockwork pig with wings on my shoulder. I made him to amuse you.”

“Brother dear, you’re losing your mind,” Lisabetta said to herself.

“Nobody appreciates an alchemist,” Leonardo muttered to the pig. “That took skill, that did, and not a little skullduggery.”

Leonardo held out his arm and the pig fluttered there as gracefully as a flying pig could. “Yes, master,” it said.

Leonardo inclined his head towards Lisabetta and whispered. “Go over there. Say something to make her smile.”

The pig grunted back sarcastically. “Should I tell her a joke?”

Leonardo chuckled to himself. “Perhaps a small Joconde would do the trick.”

Piggy groaned. “I can’t believe you said that. You may need a new writer.”

“Hey,” I shouted from my computer. “I’m doing the best I can. Writing a blog post isn’t as easy as people think.”

“Go,” Leonardo instructed his creature. “Go quickly before we lose the light. This is the hour before dusk when the light is perfect.” He looked up and to his right where future memories collect. He smiled a ‘Mona Lisa smile’ at no-one in particular that charmed me. “In 500 years, photographers will call it the magic hour,” he said. “Charm her, little pig. We haven’t much time. Ask her a riddle. She likes those.”

And the little pig flew, and he did. “ Mirror mirror on the wall,” he intoned dreamily in Lisabetta’s ear. “Who has the most famous face of all?”

Lisabetta’s face went red from keeping a straight face. “Are you kidding?” she mumbled out the corner of her mouth. “People will call me the Gioconda… the smiling woman in 500 years.”

Piggy couldn’t resist gently nibbling Lisabetta’s earlobe. “Then, have you heard the one about a face that launched a thousand ships?” he whispered. Nothing.

Leonardo coughed from across the room. He nodded slightly. “Plan B, I think,” he said. “As rehearsed, please.”

The pig flapped his wings, flew in circles around Lisabetta’s head, and gave a tiny fart of surprise when he deliberately spun out and crash-landed in her lap.

His prat fall amused her. She smiled inwardly, checking herself. Leonardo wouldn’t appreciate her laughing out loud at such a critical juncture of his experiment to paint a human landscape.

He’d made it clear that the eyes in this new kind of portrait must capture the soul just as the mouth must capture the spirit. Two different things,” he’d said when she questioned him with raised eyebrows.

He looked at her intently. “And you won’t be doing that soon.”

“Doing what?”

“You won’t have any eyebrows to raise.”

“Grazzi. You’re far too thoughtful.”

“Eyebrows give away the emotions,” Leonardo said. “You will remain a mystery. No clues. Just tricks of the light and a pair of unnerving eyes that track anyone who has the courage to look into your soul.”

Lisabetta shifted uncomfortably. “I’m not sure I want strangers doing that.”

Leonardo explained as he painted, the way he always did. “Your skin and clothing will be camouflaged by a palette of woodland browns, warm summer flesh-tones, and greens from the olive groves where we played as children.

He tapped on the finished background of mountains and disappearing trails either side of Lisabetta’s seated figure, first the left side, then the right. “I’ve given you twin horizons that represent the past and future.” He tapped some more, pointing out a few trails and a bridge he’d especially created to lead her home, front and center. “Think of yourself as Mother Nature, hiding her best dreams in plain sight,” he instructed.

Lisabetta was not going to argue with a genius painting her life-force. She kept her cool and didn’t move her hands. Little did she know she would be trapped in her portrait for 500 years until I, an author with a name translated from the Latin anagram, ‘veritas icona’, that means  ‘true face’, would write her face a decidedly artful way out.

“Far out,” Leonardo echoed, squinting at his painting, concentrating so hard he captured his sister’s soul right there on the wooden panel. He looked up at me, satisfied. “And while you’re at it, could you write me a happy ending?” he said. He gestured to the finished masterpiece. “I think I deserve a reward for this. Perhaps a nice long rest in my dotage.”

“Done,” I said. “I’ve written you a very nice retirement home in the south of France.”

He looked over to where I was scribbling in the shadows. His eyes stared past me at the clock on the wall that had no hands. “Far out,” he repeated in a daze.

“Very,” I said. “It’s in the Loire Valley, deep in the countryside.”

Leonardo’s eyes focused and met mine. He sent me a knowing wink followed by a dazzling grin. “It was all countryside back then,” he said. “But what occurred to me is that there’s no time between a writer and their imagination.”

“Maybe you do need a new writer,” I said.

“You’ll be fine if you’re patient,” he said. “Rome wasn’t built in ten years.”

“So, you’re one of those funny artists,” I replied.

“Cara Mia,” he said, “if you’re intent on being a writer you’d better generate a sense of humor.”

“Take a look at my fridge sometime,” I countered.

And he did, and it made him smile, and he pinched my cheek and patted me on the head like a worldly grandfather. “You’ll do just fine,” he said. He paused and scratched the top of his head. His brow was knitted. “I know it’s against the rules of writing fiction…” He hesitated again, and rested a hand gently on my shoulder. “But please don’t be too hard on my sister.”

— ONLY THE BEGINNING —

MY FRIDGE… THE WAY IT IS

PLAY-FULL STORIES ARE FOUND IN THE STRANGEST PLAYGROUNDS.

EVEN FRIDGE MAGNETS CAN TELL AN ARTFUL TALE

 

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

A TASTE OF INDIGO

A time-slip paranormal romance takes an autistic child through an extraordinary journey of reincarnation and time-travel beyond evolution itself

Excerpt from ‘THE INDIGO PEARL’

[When I was fourteen I fell in love with a boy in a painting.

Leonardo da Vinci painted Cecco’s portrait five-hundred years before we met as teenagers in 2001. We lived on opposite ends of the Italian renaissance, as close as twin sides of a gold florin. And then there was the accident and I died for a while.

When I regained consciousness, fifty-two years had passed and my next incarnation had picked up the threads of my life and moved on. She is me and not me, and now she’s falling in love with my boy.

Cecco was more than Leonardo’s favorite apprentice, he was the son the master never had. I like to think Cecco is the reason I was born twice, and for the most part he is, but while I want to rest in peace with my beloved, my usurper, an artificial hybrid designed for time travel, intends to exact revenge on the art syndicate that exploited us.

The ‘creature’ may have a physical body to whisk her to 15th century Florence… but I have the spirit to transcend the body and I’m not about to let the love of my life slip into another woman’s heart. I have no intention of receding into the Shadowlands without a fight.

And so I followed the robin into the mouth of the cave, through the hall of the birds and past the paintings of horses on the walls into the light.]

AI = autistic intelligence… ‘state of the art’ time travel just became transcendental… sometimes it takes two lives to make one woman.

https://www.amazon.com/Indigo-Pearl-V-Knox-ebook/dp/B0195OA4QQ/

The story concludes in ‘PEARL BY PEARL’.

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WOO WOO

EMILY'S GHOST BRIDE - SEPIA

‘All Hallows Eve’ is upon us… prime time for a romantic ghost story

Inspired by the diaries of Canada’s iconic artist, Emily Carr

 

‘WOO WOO – the posthumous love story of Miss Emily Carr’ a novel

Eccentric artist and iconic spinster, Emily Carr, comes to her senses sixty-seven years after her death and calls down the energy of her animal totem, Woo the monkey, to rekindle the love of a rejected suitor. Now she must embark on a posthumous quest to find the persistent admirer who wooed her while she was alive.

I OFFER YOU THE SWEETER SIDE OF PARANORMAL

The invincible Emily shattered most of the rules that confined the women of her Victorian age, but she died a spinster. Something covert made her shy away from courtship and marriage. Instead, she focused on the romance of creating art.

Her diaries offer tempting snippets of loves lost and a secret admirer she loved her from afar.

“Don’t pickle me away as a done”– Emily Carr

Emily Carr may be deceased, but she’s not ‘done’. She has more to confess redress, and repair. Truth and consequences notwithstanding, she elicits help from the living to redress the errors of her ways. Now, paranormal is the only road to take in order to reunite lost lovers, and to discover:

TRUE LOVE MEANS ALWAYS HAVING TO SAY YOU’RE SORRY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe lost love isn’t so uncanny when your best friend is a matchmaker monkey named Woo!

Emily Carr and Woo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in art history, Books, EMILY CARR, fantasy, Fine Art, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, literary fiction, paranormal romance, REINCARNATION, romance, Silent K Publishing, supernatural, 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