In addition to my poetry and short stories, I have been in the process of writing a series of books over the course of five years. They center around a woman named Anemone. She lives in a large house called Grassington Hill House on a dark moor in England (a recurring theme in much of my writing). In the first book, the reader is taken on a tour of the works of art in her house, most of which concern food and flowers. In the second book, the reader is invited to stay in the house with the narrator of the book and Anemone's cat, while she goes to the places where coffee, tea and other things are grown which would be used in a tearoom. In the third book, the tearoom has become a reality and the reader is invited back once again to the house. This book has recipes from dishes which were mentioned in Books One and Two. In book Four, the reader is invited to explore a maze located on the grounds of the house. Within this maze, spirituality is explored, but not in a conventional sense.
Following are excerpts from Book One. . .
There is a mysterious house I found on the moors where the ghosts of Heathcliff and Cathy still follow each other through the fog.
The person who lives in this house is fascinated with food, flowers and the alphabet. Her name is Anemone.
She has few visitors in this gloomy place, only her suitors, the Little Prince and Tin-Tin.
Inside the house, paintings, stories, poems, menus and other assorted ephemera and artifacts are arranged in alphabetical order for your viewing.
Together, they tell a somewhat obsessive story.
Anemone wishes to invite you to take a tour. Please come this way and examine the elegant exhibits waiting for you.
. . .moving around the room, another small painting, another scrap of a diary: the topics are blood oranges and birds of paradise. This is not the last you will see of these oranges (and others). But is it the beginning of a different story or part of the previous one? The cat in the fez belongs to Anemone. His name is Tatou.
That night in Morocco, a cluster of blood oranges was brought through dark alleys to my room, where, by candlelight, I was surrounded by fragrant, edible flowers. I peeled the oranges slowly. Their scent was strong and sweet as it mingled with the dark perfume of the flowers. The oranges bled dark red juice each time I pulled off a segment and placed it on my tongue. When I was finished, I nodded my approval to the man who had delivered them. I realized the sun was coming up and felt the heat rise once again in the city. . .
A very short, luminescent story of glass noodles and granita, to be read on a warm summer night along with a small painting of a gardenia are the offerings of the letter G.
On a hot shining day:
Strands of transparent noodle entwine with chilled pink shrimp, white cool, crunchy cubes of jicama, bites of ripe mango and translucent cucumber on a bed of light spring green butter lettuce. Small shreds of carrot, sweet red and yellow peppers and cilantro appear between the bites of exquisitely cooling salad.
Dessert consists of small scoops of crunchy, icy fruit granitas: Pink grapefruit, chartreuse kiwi and guava of a light fuschia shade.
All writing contained in this website © 1998-2005 by Betty A. Parker