Sometimes, to understand history, you must put yourself in another person’s shoes.

Walk with me…

Pretend for a moment that you are a master painter. You live in fifteenth-century Florence. It takes you over a year to complete a masterpiece. One particular portrait is more important than all the others. This one you tweak when the mood strikes. It will never be finished when you can add another layer of varnish to make it sing. It’s not only a new treatise on portraiture, it’s the likeness of your beloved sister. A sister who died not long after she posed with her hands just so, and her eyes meeting yours in a familiar return of affection.

She inspired you to greater heights, and so the likeness is not only a perfect representation of her true appearance but also her inner beauty. Her expression mirrors her sense of playfulness as much as the sadness she felt when she lost her only child. You’ve painted her life by capturing her very soul on a panel of poplar wood. And in your grief you turn to it. You speak to it the same way a photograph in a locket becomes greater than a treasure – a companion with whom you can share your triumphs. A compassionate face that looks back at you and smiles in celebration or empathy.

When you travel, the painting goes with you. When you set up a new home, it’s there displayed where you can see it. It’s not a formal shrine. It’s more like setting a place at the table for a loved one who is never coming home, begun as a gesture to ease your pain. And before too long it IS your sister. She IS home. You speak with her as if she were in the room, and others hear you.

But you are an eccentric man and revered for your unique abilities. What you do is humored and documented: ‘Leonardo carried one portrait with him everywhere and would not be parted from it’. You are Leonardo da Vinci. The portrait becomes celebrated and known the world over as ‘The Mona Lisa’- the iconic image of your sister, Lisabetta – the woman known as your half-sister Lisabetta Buti. But you know a secret. She is the second lovechild of your mother and Piero da Vinci. Your relationship is as close as twins born six years apart. You taught your kid sister how to paint. She taught you how to survive.

Later, your painting is the most famous face in the world but Lisabetta’s identity is gone. Your sister’s name is lost because you painted another Lisa, and somehow the two women have been mistakenly interchanged. The silk merchant’s wife’s portrait was lost long ago. And now your sister survives as an exquisite portrait, a single line in a forgotten census, and the legend of an old man who carried a portrait to his deathbed… and still, when you leave your body, you will not be parted from her.

Time passes in the otherworld. You can hear Lisa calling. She’s trapped by the very art that created her. You search the world over for five-hundred-years. She searches for you too… and at last you meet again through a chance encounter with an autistic boy visiting a museum. A boy who recognizes truths hidden in the open. He feels the magic of a special day – the five-hundredth anniversary of Lisabetta’s death. But it’s not by chance. Love such as yours never is.

And now ‘The Mona Lisa’ smiles more radiantly as her new journey begins.

Second Lisa_cover1_CS.indd


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The first cellular phone?

Tobias and the Angel

Tobias and the Angel


I see an angel reading a text message.

This painting, Tobias and the Angel (c. 1467) from the studio of Andrea Verrocchio, is considered to contain three of the earliest instances of painting by Leonardo da Vinci’s hand, likely a teenager of fifteen in his early years of apprenticeship. His identifiable light touch is seen in the delicate curls of the dog’s fur and the wayward lock of hair on the boy’s forehead, and his exquisite attention to detail in the fish.

The Angel and Tobias is a composite studio painting by the master, Verrocchio and his assistants. The figures show the awkward anatomy of Verrocchio’s more angular sculptural style. Note his signature right-hand position of the extended crooked baby fingers of both figures.

From the mirror pose of the angel and the boy’s left hand, it appears that the fish may have originally been held by the angel.

Book one of my trilogy, Second Lisa, outlines Leonardo’s apprenticeship years and describes him painting the Tobias alongside Sandro Botticelli.

Leonardo was certainly a man ahead of his time!

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


Peyton '2005 - October 6, 2016'

Peyton ‘2005 – October 6, 2016’

Museums house the collective dreams of the anthropologist in each of us. We humans celebrate a general curiosity and regard for antiquities. But most of all, we ‘exhibit’ an inherent need for ‘DESIDERATA (Latin for ‘DESIRED THINGS’). More energetic than the hushed hallowed halls of libraries, museums encourage conversation. And even though we share a desire for tactile reassurance, we can look but not touch. Objects under glass are beyond our reach. And so we reach elsewhere for living contact.


We’re a possessive species; we amass everything from sea glass and heart-shaped stones to the rare loves of our life. The most evolved of our species invite pets into their world. We especially revere cats and dogs.

But most of all we accumulate memories. And since humans are hardwired to remember ‘THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY’, we each become the custodian of an emotional hoard of personal ticking artifacts. We are the curators of our own inner museums. Glass houses with shutters and padlocked doors, closed to the public. We are prone to fear too many ‘things’. Death is one of the biggies.

“Do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.”

– DESIDERATA – by Max Ehrmann 

When ‘things go wrong’, it’s tough to remember that last line. We live in a universe of dualities, so although Thanksgiving Day is set apart to highlight the GOOD, it also stirs up the SAD.


My personal museum is a complex of white carpeted halls. My nostalgic exhibits include the usual emotional flags and fears that haunt everyone’s calendars. Thankfully, I also harbor a sea of favorites: being a mom, the season of Autumn, music from the sixties and seventies, cats, dogs, elephants, tigers, art, the sounds of Gregorian chanting… and rain.

The museum behind my eyes is filled with memories captured in neurons and pixels. Everything is filed and shelved and catalogued. The carpets are immaculate. I believe my muse, who hangs out there (after all it IS called a MUSEum) is a house-proud librarian.     


I’m especially thankful that Peyton came to stay. A gentle ‘lassie’ wearing white stockings, ears like velvet, and warm eyes that expressed her own thank-fullness of being cherished as part of our family.

Today it’s ‘pouring cats and dogs’, so I’m thankful for the comforting sounds of rain. And grateful for the commonplace life of rehearsed indoor tasks that thankfully ask little more of me than peripheral attention. I’m thankful for the companionship of felines at my feet, earl grey tea, and a blanket of ‘GOOD GRIEF’.


Peyton is gone. My thanks move seamlessly from the humane to the mundane – the compassionate dignified face of euthanasia, and a path over the uneven landscape of loss. The sad constancy of ongoing routines: the picking up of dropped threads, sorting, washing, cleaning, cooking, writing, and the task of putting an empty corner to rights that has more meaning now for its emptiness.


The jagged morning after and uneven waves of mourning that return as mini aftershocks. Feeling disoriented. The sympathetic shadow of writer’s block accompanied by the never-ending chaotic stupidity of ‘Windows 10’. Work is flavorless. I’m more aware of how many cats and dogs are in desperate need of comfort and good homes. And sadly, the space Peyton left is as great as the space she once filled.

… but then I remember another stanza of Max Ehrmann’s DESIDERATA:

“With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”

That’s a tough one, Max. No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should but giving thanks for time with Peyton is the best memory I can rally this Thanksgiving weekend.

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bede-clockReaders from the U.S. and the U.K. may purchase ‘TWINTER-the first portal’ for 99 cents/pence from today until October 14th

Canadians may read it free on Kindle Unlimited.

The regular Kindle price will resume on October 15th for $7.99

to read an excerpt I invite you to  visit> https://bedeseries.wordpress.com



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‘Time Temple’ – a painting by Veronica Knox



‘TWINTER – the first portal’ by V Knox, a new  middle-grade TIME-SLIP MYSTERY will be a

99 cent Kindle TOMORROW from OCTOBER 7th -14th on:


Bede Hall has topiaries that wander about at night, a colony of trickster fairies, secret passages and time portals, and several resident ghosts. It rules over an eccentric group of twice-born villagers, a band of guardian animals, and controls the local weather… sometimes.


But even a grand three-hundred-year-old mansion can’t rest on its laurels. It must keep up with the changing times in order to vanquish the demons of its shady past and the developers who want to turn it into a hotel, herald the heroes of its glorious future, and save the planet from becoming a ball of blue ice orbiting the sun.

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Sunflowers – Vincent Van Gogh


Think of poverty stricken Van Gogh – a posthumous billionaire. Is that the sound of an artist turning in his grave?


So here’s the scene: it’s the year 2116. Mr. Jones (anonymous book hound) stumbles across a copy of an old mildewed book. An obscure book by an unknown writer. Let’s call ‘her’ an ‘INDIE’ He begins to read. Thinks. Hmmn… this is pretty good. He checks the front cover and researches the name of the author and by some miracle a website survives. Ten other books hover there in suspended animation like time-travelers in cryogenic sleep. Aha! The literal discovery of a NEW WORLD… I mean NEW WORD.

Silence. The sound of crickets wafting from the ‘jungle’ so easily close over each new book like the vines choking the ruins of an ancient temple.

But that’s what the intrepid Mr. Jones discovers. A civilization of one. Me. An author who, inspired by the collective consciousness of the Lascaux artists, writes stories on the walls of my writing cave. And in the darkness, my stories may remain intact after a hundred years. Time snails on. No-one lasts forever but a digital book just might be immortal. Until that is, the meteor wipes out painted caves and art galleries and libraries.

One of Leonardo's 'cameras'

One of Leonardo’s ‘cameras’

Occasionally there is a lone survivor of a lost civilization. A missing link named Lucy. Or a lone human artifact. A Roman brooch that once-pinned-closed a cloak on a wanderer trudging across a green landscape. Or the archaeological fragments of a human planet like Leonardo. A lost da Vinci notebook. A recorded mind forever-mindful.



Dear Vincent. Your work was not in vain. You made it big. Your sunflowers are still a bestseller.

Sincerely, a friend.  


Vincent painting sunflowers – Paul Gaugin


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the Bede Clock from ‘Twinter the first portal’



I heartART

My historical research is a personal renaissance of time-slipping into the past and materializing –truly being there, here, and everywhere via the art of 360 degrees of travel, and twenty-twenty vision. Visualization in three-dimensions (and often a fourth) is an author’s prerogative and a legitimate form of creative reincarnation. The quantum time machine of imagination requires nothing but an armchair, a clock with no hands, a pen, and a sheet of paper. And a cup of tea is nice.


There is simply

no tidy way to time travel

and tell the tale in order.

Time is a spinning singularity –

A whorl of light

A vortex of emotional particles

the universe breathing out of control,

and we are but visitor shadows

– flying

Sentient-driven dreamers

working the updrafts

wind-taken, buffeted

– toe dipping

into once upon a time.

Now and then freefalling


Spiraling through fragments of what was

– caught on the spires of an ancient temple

Suspended above the fumes of rebirth.

As curious passers by,

floating –

grasping at the random perfumes

of the past.

– Veronica Knox

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