Saturday, August 31, 2013

A is for Architecture

Thanks for all the comments on "Animals" as inspiration for writing and crafts. My favorite story is from a lady who was walking through the narrow city streets of Iran when a camel pulled off her head scarf and mouthed her blond hair. Did it think her hair was hay? Camel slobber. Yuck!

Everyone has a shelter to call home, whether an apartment, mobile home, bungalow or mansion. Spooky old houses, tumbled down barns, and ancient construction attract us.  Let's look at a few distinctive homes. How would you like to live here?
Sod roofed cabins are updated homes based on the "soddies", underground cave-like dwellings used by pioneers on the prairies. This cabin sports a sod roof that provides insulation in the Alaskan climate. Upscale pent houses often have roof gardens, and "Green" architects are designing environmentally friendly homes with plantable roofs. How would you like to pick the veggies for dinner from your roof?
I like to explore older neighborhoods in small towns. Well-kept historical homes with guided tours fascinate me, but I prefer my imagination. How many generations have lived here? Is it still occupied? What secretes could the walls tell? Are there reports of ghosts? Do you wonder how people in other countries developed the style of their homes?

This is one of my favorite buildings. The Gothic castle was built as First Baptist Church of Beaumont, Texas, in 1903.When the church relocated in 1923, Captain Tyrrell bought the building and donated it to the city to be used as a library. As a teen, I rode the city bus to spend hours in the stacks in the rainbow-colored light filtered through the enormous stained glass windows. In 1974 the building was converted to the Tyrrell Historical Library. Renovations and restoration have preserved fond memories of hiding in the dark corners of the children's section and sneaking up the stairs into the bell tower. Yes, there are ghost stories. I'm using the library as a secondary setting a new novel.
Challenge: Writers, photograph a house that fascinates you. Create characters to occupy the home, letting the mood and ambiance of the building impact your character(s) in the plot. All story characters have to live somewhere, have a place to work and favorite restaurants. It's up to you to make those places real for your reader.
Challenge: Crafters, design a bird house, playhouse, or outdoor playground around an architectural theme.
Next time we will explore the vast field of Fine Art.

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