Sunday, January 28, 2018

Commonplace Books


Is anyone else like me and keeps a Commonplace Book? I have been keeping information in this way for as long as I remember but only recently found out that there is a name for this sometimes obsessive notetaking of ever expanding knowledge. 

Traditionally the Commonplace Book is a place to compile information and knowledge usually inspired by reading or viewing.  Historically there is a similar tome called a Silva Rerum or “forest of things” which was kept by noble families in Poland and Lithuania.  These multi-generational chronicles were most common in the 16th to 18th century. 

Though in the past the content was more formal and centred around knowledge these days Commonplace Books can be used for all sorts of lists, mindmaps and information.  I usually use a moleskine notebook and add pictures and drawings to my eclectic collection of knowledge.  I most often start with a quote from a book and just let the information and knowledge bloom from that.  People use different notebooks, files, card systems and even programs like OneNote to collect their knowledge and information.  I always add personal thoughts on the knowledge I collate and sometimes the psychology of what I discover.  

My Commonplace books are invaluable to my writing and are a source of continued information and inspiration. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Delectable Delineations

I love to write but I also love art.  I have a few side projects that involve art.  One of my favourites at the moment is Xander the Adventuring Barista Cat. I have decided to write a little bio and draw my actual cat Xander, as a barista at cafes in places all over the world I have visited.  It’s so much fun making notes and thinking about the little extras to add to the images ( like the music playing in the cafe and the book that Xander is reading.  You can find these adventures and more on my Instagram Accounts @MouseyGals or @Artwork_by_Silva. Come on over and have a look !

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Marvellous Orange Tree and Magic.

Occultus is very much to do with that blurry line between magic tricks and actual magic.  One of the magic tricks I most enjoy is that of magician Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin, a French magician in the 1800s.  Robert-Houdin went to university, his father wanting him to be a lawyer, but he wanted to follow in his fathers footsteps and become a watchmaker. His excellent penman ship got him a job as a law clerk and he continued to tinker with gadgets.  His employer sent him home and he became an apprentice to his watchmaking cousin as his father had retired.  In the mid 1820s he had sent away for a set of books called Traite de l'horoplogerie, written by Ferdinand Berthoud, on watch making.  When the books arrived they were the wrong books, instead he had received a set of two volumes on magic called Scientific Amusements. From these volumes, which he decided to keep, he learnt magic.  Robert-Houdin is widely considered the father of modern conjuring.

I think the most amazing thing about The Marvellous Orange Tree magic trick is the way that Robert-Houdin was able to us horology and magic to create an automata that seemed like a blooming orange tree with oranges that were picked and eaten as they grew in front of the audiences eyes. The trick was used in the movie The Illusionist (2006), however the actual trick by Robert-Houdin has never truly been replicated.  So the line between a magic trick and real magic can sometimes seem blurred.  That's a delicious thought though..what if what we think is a clever trick is actually magic. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Art Deco

One of the settings in my upcoming novel Occultus is a hotel designed in the 1930s in New York City.  Art Deco and the first real building boom in New York City converged and so there are many beautiful representations of this elegant architecture.  With influences from such artistic movements as cubism and fauvism, Art Deco featured rare materials such as ebony and ivory, geometric shapes and bright colours. Though during the Great Depression more subdued materials such as stainless steel and plastic were used. 

Art Deco takes its name from Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925.  Tied in with the emergence of decorative artists, who had formally been considered as artisans, in areas such as furniture making and textiles, Art Deco became a popular style.  This popularity of Art Deco saw decorative artists being recruited to work in design studios.  At its birth between 1910 and 1914, Art Deco saw an explosion of colour and pattern in designs.  Cubism that emerged in France between 1907 and 1912 also had a huge influence in the developing Art Deco movement.  Art Deco was a collection of similar and sometimes opposing styles synthesised.  The skyscrapers in New York City were a culmination of Art Deco architecture.  They were designed to represent the prestige of their builders through their colour, height, shape and dramatic night illumination.  

The interior of Art Deco buildings were always colourful, dynamic and combined sculptures, murals and ornate geometric designs in marble and glass.  

The building that is used by my characters is a fictional hotel but with the history of a New York City Art Deco Hotel.  The individual rooms are still preserved in the story and are furnished in their original elegant and elaborate Art Deco style.  Having travelled to many places in the world, including New York City, and having enjoyed staying in places with this architecture and interior design, I felt it was perfect for my novel.  The architecture and design of Art Deco has a specific sort of glamour that I felt was relevant to Occultus and the characters inhabiting the novel.  

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Lighthouse Keeper by Lily Night

The new novel is here and I am really excited ! ... this is a new genre for me but one I have loved reading for a long time ... the Cozy Mystery.  Enjoy 😊

The Lighthouse Keeper by Lily Night

A few months in a rented beach cottage in Peron Cove seems like the perfect respite for artist Laura to create her next series of paintings. However, hidden behind the idyllic seaside town and its quirky inhabitants lies a dark secret from the past which refuses to remain hidden any longer.

Available all over the place from Apple,  Scribd, Kindle, Amazon and all the usual beautiful book places 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Creating a Novel Cover

I have created the cover for The Lighthouse Keeper part of The Peron Cove Mysteries Series.  The cover was created using two of my original photographs  and a little editing magic.  I really enjoy making the covers for my own work.  I tend to think about the cover and then make it as the final step before publishing. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Elixir Penny Dreadful 2 - Jimmy - The Beginning

The second Penny Dreadful in the Elixir series is here and it's all about that bad boy Jimmy

As a fun little project I have decided to create a series of four Penny Dreadfuls centred around four character from one of my books, Elixir.  Please enjoy the series and perhaps have a look at Elixir which is available at the links below for 0.99c ! 

PS: if you would like a signed copy of one of the four Penny Dreadfuls they will be available for a limited time on the Lily Night or Seren Inspired websites :) also look out for the digital download on the Seren Inspired Etsy store ! 


Scroll to the bottom of this post for a digital copy to read !  Feel free to share this post with family and friends. 

Elixir $ 0.99

"Blood from its earlier feast congealed in rivulets down its neck, caked around its mouth, the bloodied maw revealing sharp teeth as it tilted its face skyward, arms spread in triumph as the sun began to rise, heralding the dawn of a new era for its kind."

Also available on I-Tunes