WHAT’S IN A NAME?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A TRUTH by any other name should smell as sweet 

As an author I want to give my characters ideal names. They deserve the best. They deserve names that represent who they are at their core – a DNA signpost that stamps every human with a fingerprint like a unique snowflake amongst a sky of wannabes.

I faced a curious dilemma when my own name, Veronica, was perfect for the reincarnation of the ‘Mona Lisa’. Would readers assume the character Veronica Lyons was my alter-ego? By that, I mean, a more significant shadow of ‘I’ who naturally inhabits any characters who have incubated under my skin? Because, there is always a subliminal ghost of an author’s ‘self’ lurking between the lines of a story.

Unquestionably, the ‘Mona Lisa’ has one of the most recognized faces in the world. But the Lisa in my story, ‘SECOND LISA’ is on the warpath. She has been misidentified as the wife of a silk merchant. For five-hundred years she’s felt mortified, captured in spirit by her famous half-brother, Leonardo da Vinci, trapped inside the most famous portrait in the Louvre.

On the 500th anniversary of her death, Lisabetta Buti has a small window of opportunity to 

SAVE FACE

The ‘MONA LISA’ has no intention of remaining anonymous but she needs an advocate to prove her true identity as Leonardo da Vinci’s sister. Who better than the reincarnation of herself, Veronica Lyons, a troubled single mother also in need of recognition and her autistic son who craves an identity in a world that dismisses him as flawed?

Is Lisabetta truly Leonardo’s half-sister? Or are they twins born five-years apart?

Genius and anonymity meet as allies in a story that gives ‘THE MONA LISA’ and her descendants a chance for well-deserved facelifts in the present century. A  century that professes to celebrate the equality of every man, woman, and child’s potential greatness.

 

So, no, Veronica Lyons was not my fragile doppelganger, thinly-veiled, in need of attention. 

And I simply couldn’t pass up her name because…

 NO OTHER NAME SMELLED AS SWEET

 

The name ‘VERONICA’ is the English translation for the Latin veritas icona. ‘verity’ + ‘icon’ (iconic image) = the cryptic anagram,‘TRUE FACE’. In other words, a name hidden in the open, and no artist loved hiding clues in the open more than Leonardo.

 What about the name of a fictitious street or town? Don’t they deserve a little creative camouflage?

When you’re an author you’re in charge. It’s an act of literary goodwill to bequeath your characters a magic cloaking device and the therapeutic means to overcome an IDENTITY CRISIS.

 

INSPIRING EXAMPLES from HARRY POTTER of NAMES with EXTRA MEANING:

LITTLE WHINGING > whinging means complaining with attitude

PROFESSOR ALBUS DUMBLEDORE > ‘dumbledore’ is an early modern English word for ‘bumblebee’. J.K. Rowling imagined him walking around incessantly humming to himself. ‘Albus’ is the Latin word for ‘white’ – a frequently used symbol for good which marks the character out as an enemy of the ‘dark lord’.

HAGRID > references the mythological term feeling haunted or ‘hag-ridden’ after a visitation from a witch in dreams.

 

 

“O! be some other name.

What’s in a name?

That which we call a rose

by any other name 

would smell as sweet.”

–William Shakespeare

from ‘ROMEO & JULIET’

 

Have you found the ideal name for a character?

Have you used an anagram to hide a secret personality trait?

Have you created a name that resonates as clue?

Posted in Books, fantasy, Fine Art, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Leonardo da Vinci, literary fiction, 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

THE TALE OF A DEADLY GRAPE-HEAD CLUSTER

DUCCIO When art shouldn’t imitate art a brief history of the ‘art’ of story… or lack thereof

In art history 101, I learned the terms ‘grape-head cluster’ and the ‘archaic smile’. Art history 201 introduced me to ‘warts and all’ realism… and then full circle to art history 301 that celebrated the minimalism of emotionless abstracts, geometric grids, and installation art like a chair nailed to a wall or an unmade bed. Go figure. But all the arts are subjective. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… or the reader.

Paintings are pretty much all show with no tell. A narrative painting is visual art that shows a story. What you see is what you get. But before artists wised up with anatomy, proportion, and perspective, art could be fairly flat. Even the lavish addition of gold leaf failed to breathe life into bland Madonnas or their accompanying bands of angels with vacant expressions. Enter, the grape-head world of characters lacking character.

Portraits that lack emotion are as transparent as a novel with 2-dimensional characters. Put generic characters on a blank page and somewhere a book slams shut. But, plump juicy stories still have to live on flat pages and screens. The expression: stories that jump off the page ‘springs’ to mind. Disney animations from thousands of drawings spring to mind. Emotionally bereft figures evoke the sound of crickets. Books hit walls. A symbolic icon implies a story learned by rote but they rarely fish the deeper waters of a compelling story.                          

The ‘grape-head cluster’ refers to a mandatory crowd scene in a painting where a group of anonymous extras appear to be arranged on bleachers. This may work for a school photograph, where students in the front row are seated and subsequent rows are arranged shortest to tallest. We’ve all been able to pick out the face of a parent from their ‘grape-head’ classmates bunched together. But that’s because individual people have unique features.

Early Byzantine paintings take ‘show don’t tell’ to a whole new level. They say little or nothing of profound consequence. They display bloodless bodies with ‘everyman’ faces who have never taken a breath. They lack emotional spark. They lack depth of field.

The ‘archaic smile’ is characteristic of the earliest Greek statues. They were pillar-like figures with surface features cut to suggest the fake smiles of a doll. No muscles flexed under their stone robes. In short, they lacked life. They lacked story.

writing imitates art

The literary equivalent to lackluster figures is the ‘talking head syndrome’ – colorless characters having a conversation on a field of white paper. No floors, walls or ceilings, to frame them. Minimalism is not advised in storytelling. Realism is the way to go. It’s emotional story realism that tracks a beeline to the bestseller lists.

the smile without mirth

KORE 1

a kore – a young girl

KOUROS 1 - CROPPED

a kouroi – a young male

The ‘ARCHAIC SMILE’ describes carved expressionless ‘happiness’ without facial muscles. Imagine these two in conversation. Boy meets girl in a romance novel of love between puppets… a book slams shut.

 

 

Byzantine to Early Renaissance

CIMABUE

Cimabue’s ‘Virgin enthroned with angels’ – 1295

CIMABUE’s ‘Virgin enthroned with angels’ – 1295  is a paranormal ‘story’ with no spirit. Solid gold halos add to the effect of vertical grape-head totem poles either side of an insipid Madonna. These angels can’t sing. They hardly exude joy. Cimabue was considered the last artist of the Byzantine tradition. The inhabitants of his paintings are as flat the surface they call home. His icons are superficially decorative because they were created for spiritual focus. They were never meant to reflect characters who lived next door. And… that is one messed up looking infant for a man who must have observed actual babies.

GIOTTO

GIOTTO’s ‘Ognissanti Madonna – 1310

Cimabue’s student, GIOTTO, progresses… slightly. Now, I ask you, does that baby look like a chubby newborn? Its proportions reflect a shrunken adult. Its face is that of an old curmudgeon. Holy Mother Batman, that female is not holding her child safely. The infant has been stuck on like a collage. Not very cuddly.

DUCCIO

DUCCIO’S ‘Maestà’ – 1308

Say no more. If you wrote a novel like this painting by DUCCIO, with a multitude of uninteresting supporting grape-head characters, how many literary stars would it generate? Here comes that lone-star review.

 

High Italian renaissance: part grape-head; part realism in a good way

Botticelli's 'Adoration of the Magi' - 1475

Botticelli’s ‘Adoration of the Magi’ – 1475

I love this painting. In fact, it inspired me to write an entire paranormal romance about its ‘main man’. Still, the figures displacing their grape-head ancestors must be ten feet tall or they’ve been arranged on convenient boxes that existed at the nativity scene. The face looking at us from the back row belongs to the man who commissioned this work. He has a story. The foreground figures are true-life portraits of the ruling class Medici family. Big thriller stories in that family! Botticelli has been ordered to cast them as actors in starring roles to cull brownie points. We call it favoritism or false advertising. The grape-head making eye contact with us from the back row ingratiated his position through the art of flattery. Ironic, since the figures in this painting have definitely advanced to three-dimensional. Especially, the figure in the lower right corner – a self-portrait of the artist himself, Sandro Botticelli. Like I said, his expression inspired an entire novel. This is a religious iconic work bursting with dozens of stories. Authors engage the indecently plump sixth sense of imagination.

warts & all

'Boy with his Grandfather' Domenico Ghirlandaio – 1490

‘Boy with his Grandfather’ Domenico Ghirlandaio – 1490

Can description go a tad too far? Characters in a richly-painted storyline can obsess to the point of showing too many micro-details. Thrillers can ooze gory details in as many scenes as page counts will allow. The best characters are unforgettable one-offs who face inner demons and real struggles. They grow in arcs of surprising comeuppance. Authors reveal them word by word. Characters in a great story emerge from multi-layered angst – heroes who love and hate in breathtaking deeds of fight or flight. Stories like these luxuriate in color, emotion, textures, settings, fantasy, and lives ‘who’ deliver vicarious thrills of one kind of magic or another to dedicated readers of fiction. Compelling characters take stories to bestseller status. Books go ‘viral’. Browsers must duck their accompanying tsunamis of high-five stars.

Domenico Ghirlandaio – 1490   *A narrative painting with color plus emotion plus texture plus setting, and more importantly, a STORY about a boy and his grandfather. What has been said? Has the child asked a question? From his expression, what will the grandfather answer? These two are communicating, oblivious of we viewers.. I mean, readers. Because humans read pictures. We think in pictures and we write in pictures. Methinks this painting could be a poignant scene in a novel of historical fiction.

… and home again

– to fully realized characters inhabiting real space within a story well-told… I mean, shown.

Movies can evoke every emotion with a few well-placed swells of music. Creaking stairs and a snuffed candle in a creepy house sets a viewer squarely in the heart of a ghost town. Movie stars are shorthand characters. We would pay to watch them read phone books. Hopefully, the books we read ourselves contain more theatre. And speaking of theatres… from the stage, actors gaze out over rows of ‘grape-head audiences’ seated in tiered rows. An audience essentially remains anonymous. They are the crowds in a painting who applaud and… write reviews.

Writers may work with a smaller palette than movie-makers’ special-effects but we use more ‘colors’ (commonly known as a thesaurus). To paraphrase a popular song: its only words and words are all we have to take your heart away.

What characters in a book left you peering into a void?

Did droning dialogue in a white room leave you yawning?

Amusement isn’t enough: Did you laugh at a passage out loud?

Fear isn’t enough. Did you cringe? Did you recoil from a protagonist’s night terrors? Did you have to close the book, check the lock on the front door, and turn on all the lights?

A landscape isn’t enough: Could you walk over the next hill and discover a blue lake?

Birds aren’t enough: Did you see the color of their plumage? Did they chirp or screech? Were they crows or peacocks?

A green lawn isn’t enough: Did you inhale the scent of newly-mown grass?

Adoration_cover_May24.inddIf you’re lucky, you may find a time-slip novel starring a screeching peacock sashaying through ghosts over a vast emerald lawn that reaches towards a blue lake… oh, wait… I wrote one of those, inspired by a Botticelli painting.

Posted in Books, Byzantine art, Cimabue, Duccio, fantasy, Fine Art, Ghirlandaio, Giotto, grape-head clusters, Greek sculpture, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, literary fiction, Lost Paintings, paranormal romance, Sandro Botticelli, Silent K Publishing, the 'archaic smile', time travel, V Knox, V. Knox author, Veronica Knox author, women's fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

BUILDINGS HAVE FEELINGS TOO

CASTLE DETAIL

Buildings have feelings too but Bede Hall has no intention of going gentle into a good night  

 

V KNOX TIME TRAVEL LOGO JULY 15, 2016

TWINTER – the first portal – by

When developers earmark its grounds for a golf course with an exclusive country club, Bede Hall, an abandoned stately, home rises to a battle cry that resounds off nearby Hadrian’s Wall and wakes up every earth spirit within a radius of fifty miles, at least one Roman god, and several Egyptian ones.

Its beloved matriarch, fading away under a temporary curse of old age in a retirement home, heeds the call. With her she brings the fresh energy Bede Hall needs to survive, in the form of her grandchildren – a pair of remarkably psychic, thirteen-year-old, twins.

A sentient structure of such considerable historical proportions accumulates an army of allies and enemies but Bede Hall has more than a for sale sign to vanquish. It has a child ghost to protect, secrets to spill, and a future to save.

It helps that strangeness runs in the family.

Books can have renovations too:

… literary bodywork, cover face-lifts, and new extensions when a middle-grade series advances to Y/A.

‘Twinter – the first portal’ is for middle-grade readers; its next building phase ‘Time Falls Like Snow’ will progress to young adult readers to be published in the spring of 2017. 

 

‘TWINTER’S 2016 FACE-LIFT 

Twinter_cover1a

 

 

TWINTER FRONT COVER AUGUST 15 2016

ORIGINAL COVER of 2013                            2016’s BRAND NEW LOOK

Twins befriend the ghost of a nine-year-old girl living in Bede Hall, their grandmother’s abandoned stately home set in a green pocket of history.

Bede Hall’s loyalties lie at the crossroads of blistering sand its cool oasis of an English garden where the ‘Green Man’ continues to rule an idyllic old world during its timeless glory days. But the ancient god of the forests must overrule the distant past where elementals and animal-headed gods destroyed human civilization at least twice.

Once through the time portal in the attic’s forbidden wintry room, the twins face a landscape of ancient Egyptian deserts that sizzle against a mirage of frozen wasteland where even ghosts can die. 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0993738044?ref_=pe_584750_33951330

Some buildings just won’t let go

Have you been in a cottage or castle and felt the vibes of a place well-contented, discontented, or malcontented?

 

Posted in Books, fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, literary fiction, magical realism, middle-grade time-slip adventure, REINCARNATION, science fiction, science-fiction fantasy, Silent K Publishing, supernatural, time travel, Twinter the novel, V Knox, V. Knox author, Veronica Knox author | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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