I don't even know how many prefaces I have written for my book? Since each version has been different from the previous, the prefaces have had to be re-written as well. They are quite possibly the most difficult part to write.
I'm finishing up a rough draft and this is the latest rendition. A lot of the "prefaces" to non-published versions are actually more of an introduction to that particular book/ draft and not really meant to be included in the "final" version. It's hard to know how much to include in the introduction. I waver between a long and detailed "introjection" to a more reduced one and then let the story unfold through the interjections.

It's interesting for me to go back and read the different prefaces since they are all so different and written at different times. Basically they are all trying to say the same thing, but over the years they have evolved and de-evolved immensely.

Since the version i'm working on is going to be a combination of the previous versions with newer information It's hard to weave them together in a cohesive way. This will be more of a "Discovering Da Vinci's Daughter: Prequel" and will retain as much of the original as possible but also editing out a lot of the less-than-stellar-stuff. It's not a complete re-write, but more of a re-structuring and re-telling. It will almost come off as a "blog" from years ago with my own new- commentary (in the interjections) and then improved chapters with better and more coherent content. If I can pull it off I think it will make for an interesting read and there hasn't really been anything like it (that i've head of) previously. I'm fascinated by what goes on "behind the scenes" and what goes into the creative process as much as the creation itself. This book will be both, intermingled together.

Here is the latest "pre-face" or "Introjection" from a couple months ago! I'm sure it will change again for the final draft but it's a good summary of what the book will, probably, be.

"It is my intention with this book to present it's findings in an objective and scientific way. I also want to explain it in the way it was found and that also means that it has been written in a more abstract and subjective way. There was a time during it's creation that I was in an almost paranoid and mysterious - mind frame. Its important to realize that- I realize that -and have taken much time and effort - and reflection to circumvent through that.
For posterities sake I have included some of that tone but i've also upgraded and improved it to reflect more practical evidence. In it's previous forms i almost tried to embrace obscurity and mystery and in doing so hindered my own belief in it as well as more skeptical and scholarly types. So its for these reasons as well as many others that will become obvious after reading it, that I call this book "science-non-fiction." Not so much futuristic and fantasy but past fantastical ideas combined with what I went through in the present while discovering and writing.

Although it's within my ability to write a more traditional and 'scholarly' book - NOW, at the time it was first written and during the last few years that would not have been possible. I wasnt an art historian, an author, a researcher - or anything that would have been capable of writing a book in that fashion. What this book was, and is, is an explanation and documentation of a very unique journey and discovery. I was in a microcosm of the unknown - yet eventually knowable. I went from going literally crazy and confused to working through and refining my understanding of it. This book represents that and attempts to present it as such.

Its first and fore-most a book and as such it's only real value is entertainment or education. It hopefully has both. If you're interested in Leonardo da Vinci - it will interest you. When I present my "theories" or ideas behind the meaning of different things, please don't let that take away from what i've found that they are based on. A lot of them are truly unique and fascinating in their own right and are not as surprising or improbable as someone who didn't know much about Leonardo would think.

For someone considered the greatest genius of all time any of the artistic inventiveness and techniques i describe would have been something he was absolutely capable of. My own interpretation or understanding of their meaning could be less absolute, but I have given my all to try to find the truth behind them and not to interpret them for any kind of personal intent. The process that has led up to thinking the way I do has been built up on what i've found and pieced together. Things I think he intentionally intended for someone to someday do. This could conjure up ideas of "conspiracy" or a sense of seeing things that are not really there. Trying to make something factual based on fiction. But that is something I have fought vehemently against.

Things that have seemed to be coincidental or easily explained away or doubted could just as possibly been intentional. It would be possible for me, or anyone to do something very similar - to purposely create a mystery or a puzzle. To "Use lies to tell the truth." The main problem with what i'm presenting is that the original creator is not around to verify or deny anything. And like most works of art in both visual based and writing there can be as many opinions and interpretations as there are people. Two people can see the exact same thing and think something completely different about it. It also happens that they can agree. If I were to paint something obscured and vague on purpose, but still knew full well what it's meaning was - and didn't tell anyone. It's possible for someone to see it how I intended but also to understand it differently. The point is this book represents both.

If there is a painting of a woman, the mona lisa, its without doubt a painting of a person. That is apparent. The interpretation of her smile and expression is less obvious. Who she was - also controversial. How it was painted, mysterious. Why other faces align and combine with hers - also up for speculation. But what I mean to say is that although my explanation for the why, who etc may be my own - that does not take away from the fact that they do. I have questioned it constantly over and over and I've always come back to the same hesitation.

How much evidence do I, you, we, need to "prove" it?? I do not have any desire to make you believe me or my theories. I am only trying to explain why I arrived at them and give the reasons and evidence why I have. I do not want to prove myself right, I want to know what Leonardo meant. I have no agenda other than curiosity and answering a question: Who is the person in the Mona Lisa? Why do other faces align and combine with hers?

What was Leonardo trying to express by it's creation and intentional mysteries? It is my very firm belief that he purposely created her to be imbedded with something secret. And like a puzzel or treasure map, it cannot be comprehended or found until all the pieces come together. This book is how I was ensnared in this 500 year old mystery, what i've gone through along the way, and attempt to present it in the best way I can. The only real guidance i've had was Leonardo himself - via his intensive journals that acted as a reference, and my own intensive imagination and curiosity.

My obsession and "need to know" is reined by own skepticism and 'scientific mind' and enhanced, and occasionally clouded, by creativity and an abstract mind. This is why I included interjections and the initial craziness and erratic experiences and ideas. I wouldn't have been able to get to where I have without having both sides. I refer to it as "A suspension of dis-belief" when I had to temporarily let go of any preconceived notions I had and "embrace the mystery."

The journey between the two, is a trip - literally and figuratively. You have to go crazy to find your sanity. You have to fail, miserably, before you can succeed. You have to go up to come down. I leave this book and this journey at a place so that I can move on. "A work is never finished, only abandoned." This is me finishing ""Discovering Da Vinci's Daughter" but not abandoning my "adventure."

This is me compromising between being too personal or too professional. This is my past and present intermingling. These are my failures and successes. The good, the bad, and a lot in between."

@derekbair | |

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