FACES FROM A DREAM OF HISTORY

an original oil painting by the author V Knox

In ‘TOMORROW AGAIN’, the ancient magic of alchemy brings wall paintings and carvings in an Egyptian pharaoh’s tomb, to life.

And so, within the pages of my fanciful trilogy for ages 12 and up, I endeavor to bring the boy king, Tutankhamen (to be politically correct… Tutankhaten) to life, as well.

Bede and Bede Hall are fictional places in the north of England, named for the ‘Venerable Bede’, born in the year 672 – a Benedictine monk from the twin monasteries of Monkwearmouth and Jarrow, celebrated as the ‘Father of English history’. Bede comes from the Latin ‘Beodan’ which means to bid or command. *In a timely historic note: At the age of 14, Bede was one of two monks who survived an outbreak of plague in 686.

Being a fan of the British Television series ‘Time Team’ planted my story’s seed. Since then, it has evolved into three books that take a pair of telepathic twins from Northumbria (near Hadrian’s Wall built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian from 122A.D. to 128A.D.) to Vincent Van Gogh’s French countryside, Roman Britain, Pangea, Mars, the 18th dynasty of ancient Egypt, modern day Cairo, and the Valley of the Kings.

‘Tomorrow Again’ stars Bede Hall – a stately home in need of rescue and repair, its eccentric matriarch Lady Nan, her teenage grandchildren – telepathic twins, the elemental Green Man, several reincarnated historical figures, a pantheon of Egyptian gods and goddesses, a veritable host of ghosts, a family of animated topiaries that wander the Hall’s grounds at night, and a colony of dream-traveling cats.

In addition, it features the treacherous ‘Furies’ of Greek mythology, ‘Capability Brown’s art of landscaping an English county garden, and suggests the origins of British faeries.

The Bede Series of 3 books plus its prequel will arrive in due course. Book 3 is scheduled for release in 2 months, hopefully as a boxed set in time for Christmas. The prequel should follow in the spring of 2021.

Books one and two: ‘Twinter ‘and ‘Time Falls Like Snow’ are available here. https://www.amazon.com/V-Knox/e/B0094K0Q7Y  Book three will follow shortly.

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

CATNAPPED

detail from the original painting ‘Catnapped’ by the author V Knox

‘TOMORROW AGAIN’, book 3 of the Bede Trilogy by V Knox – a middle-grade time-slip adventure where the present day cats of Bede Village, in England, dream travel to ancient Egypt through a cat flap in Sarah Goodman’s kitchen. There they monitor the fluidity of time as it progresses backwards or forwards according to the Great Sphinx and the mystical ‘Rule of Nine’.

Meanwhile, Bede Hall – a curmudgeonly stately home that houses the earth’s vast network of time portals, is haunted by a past clogged with murder and treachery, several ghosts, and developers who want to turn it into a hotel.  

The fate of Bede Hall, the Blue Nile, a Green Man, and a Golden Boy, hang in the balance as a pair of 17 year-old telepathic teenage twins, newly-separated by 5,000 years, face the same ferocious enemy in a battle between magic and science. Turning 18 isn’t going to be easy!

‘Twinter ‘and ‘Time Falls Like Snow’ are available here. https://www.amazon.com/V-Knox/e/B0094K0Q7Y  Book three will follow shortly.

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

PILLOW TALK and THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE ATTIC

Let’s talk pillows… from extremely soft to incredibly super-hard Egyptian ‘memory foam’ – as in carved from stone

The alabaster pillow found in the teenager, King Tutankhamun’s, tomb (depicted in the painting, although I have shown the top half of the ka figure coming to life) was similar to the Great Pyramid of Giza in that it was a story recorded in stone. The deceased’s ka (we call them ghosts) is represented by a male figure holding both his arms over his head, as if, I like to think, he’s carrying the thoughts of the sleeper.

The ka parties on in the underworld fed by the deceased relatives’ offerings of food and beer. The constellation is of Leo, protected by Nut the goddess of the sky and heavens, shown bent over the earth with her head in the west and her feet in the east. Her mother, Tefnut, was the goddess of heat. Her father, Shu, was the god of vital breath.

On the flipside of time, housecats have protected the time portals of Bede, a mystical pocket of countryside nestled close to Hadrian’s Wall in Britain, for thousands of years. A cat nap is no minor undertaking, there, and a sleeping cat at dusk is almost always on an out-of-body mission, patrolling the liminal boundaries of Bede: Hadrian’s Wall, the Isle of Lindisfarne, and the wild rambling forests of the Green Man that connect them in a landscape that’s positively ancestral.

The haunted ‘Winter Room’, nestled in the cold spot of Bede Hall’s attic, houses the soft snow-white ‘Winter Pillow’ that imparts healing properties of cool soothing relief, ideal for taking the sting out of sunstroke and stressful headaches. The opposite of uncomfortable.

I hope the Egyptian ‘headrest pillows’ were intended to prop up the heads of mummies. If not, the living must have had some horrific sleepless nights, but leaving neck problems aside, two lions back-to-back represent yesterday and tomorrow – the perfect place for laying one’s head if they’re intending to sleep for eternity or a few thousand years before an Egyptologist invades their space.

Which brings me to the ‘Mummies’ Curse’ begun in book one ‘Twinter-the first portal’ and revealed in book 3 ‘Tomorrow Again’ via the artful logic of alchemy. And if you’d like to know the sinister reason why ‘the boy king’s’ name changed from Tutankhaten to Tutankhamun at the last minute before his coronation, that is disclosed too.

The lion’s share of ‘Tomorrow Again’ takes place in the yesterdays of Egypt’s 18th dynasty and way… waaaay beyond.

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

A STORY IN A GRAIN OF SAND

an original oil painting by the author V Knox

Every story begins with the grain of a premise – a first grain of sand idea, and like an oyster, a writer has to grow characters and plot and events from it into a pearl. Not just a single pearl but a pearl necklace of chapters.

‘Tomorrow Again’, book three of the Bede trilogy time-slip adventure for middle-grade (and up) is now a rough draft of 300 pages. The hard work begins. This day, the chapters are beads but the beads have to be pearls before it can go public.

I hope to self-publish soon. My painting, ‘The Hourglass of Time’ is a snapshot of what to expect.

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

HELLO KITTY

Close observation of the nurturing aspect of domestic cats in the land of Kemmit (ancient Egypt) grew into the worship of the Goddess Bast.

In ‘TOMORROW AGAIN’ – book three of the Bede Trilogy time-slip adventure for middle-grade, Bast is a short-haired cat the size of a brontosaurus. Not a creature to cross.

Bast’s most docile form resides in a living cat but she is equally powerful as a small statue or amulet, as seen here in my painting titled ‘Kemmit’.

In her true goddess form, Bast manifests as a woman with a cat’s head. The Temple of Bast that houses a strain of sacred royal cats cared for by priestesses, is a main character featured in ‘TOMORROW AGAIN’ – now in manuscript, awaiting several editing stages and will be published in print and Kindle formats in the Fall, available as single books or a boxed set.

 

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

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

THE HOTTEST SEAT OUT OF TOWN

Please pull up a time machine and be seated as the time-slip adventure continues through the time portals of Bede Hall, built atop the successive ruins of prehistoric Britain.

As the final book of the Bede Trilogy ‘TOMORROW AGAIN’ unfolds, teenage telepathic twins Christopher (Kit) and Bathsheba (Bash), once deeply divided by science and mythology, are separated by three-thousand-years. And as steeped as the twins’ great uncle’s replica of King Tut’s Egyptian throne was reputed to be in the tradition of mindful relaxation, to Kit, the chair is nothing short of a dodgy time machine.

Kit’s back is literally against Hadrian’s Wall, but in a bid to save his family from a self-centered stately home, manipulating its tenants in its continuing mission to save itself, he reluctantly accepts a dangerous time travel mission to ancient Egypt.

While Bash defends the home front under siege from the unleashed Furies of the Bede Prophecy, Kit must confront his childhood nemesis the ‘face on mars’, defy the curse that split the continent of Pangea, and prevent a global catastrophe. So… no pressure.

Thankfully, the royal Egyptian cats of the Temple of Bast are a timely ally.

As the last bastion of time’s eternal gateways, Bede Hall has no intention of fading into history without a fight.

‘Tomorrow Again’ is scheduled for launch September-ish… I mean, since when has a schedule been foolproof during turbulent times!

 

Book one: TWINTER – the first portal

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

 

Book two: TIME FALLS LIKE SNOW

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H7C11VK/

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

THE TUNNEL CALLS

From ETERNAL SUMMER to INFERNAL WINTER, the time tunnel calls

Book three of the Bede Series, ‘TOMORROW AGAIN’ is nearing completion.

I have enlisted a team of beta readers, so if there is anyone here who wants to join me in presenting the finishing touches to a complex time-slip adventure for middle-grade, please let me know.

Now, right there, I’ve presented two mighty untruths because I have already begun a prequel, titled ‘SNOW BEHIND THE DOOR’, and technically, as the main characters (who were twelve in book one), are eighteen in book three, I suppose that advances the genre to ‘Y/A’.

In any case, whatever the powers in publishing fiction decree, the Bede Trilogy is for all ages. https://www.amazon.com/V-Knox/e/B0094K0Q7Y

Here is the opening sentence of ‘Tomorrow Again’:

[Kit reached towards a chink of sunlight that discharged scorching heat as a hand adorned with wide cuffs of gold pulled him to safety – a handshake that welcomed him into the ancient land of Kem and fresh air.]

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

THE ‘MONA’LOGUE

original ‘flooral’ painting by author V Knox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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NEGATIVE SPACE… THE POSITIVE FRONTIER

original art – M.C. Escher

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

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

Voila the sublime mathematics of visual art.

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

original art – M.C.Escher

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RETURNING TO THE WORLD

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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