Posts Tagged ‘ architect ’

Pilot Episode – Short Story

I am actually enjoying participating in random short story contests on Freelancer, partly because I get to post them here when I don’t win (silly, but true). This entry was a little bit more challenging than the last. A Swiss luxury cosmetic brand was looking for a pilot episode (700 to 1000 words) for future episodes of their serial online novel which would help promote their products and have characters their customers could relate to. They wanted the protagonist to be likeable, charismatic, lead a desirable avant-garde lifestyle, differentiate herself from her peers, travel regularly in style and luxury and lead a global, urban lifestyle. I figured, hey, I am a female architect and I feel like I could tick all those boxes (in a fictional world where we actually make good money, obviously) so…you guessed it…my story was about a female architect on site. Which is probably why I didn’t win, heehee. Well, this was my entry. Hope you like it more than they did.

Pilot Episode 

“That’s definitely not going to fit.”

Annie cocked her head and examined the enormous claw foot bathtub which sat in the hallway. The tub was a thing of beauty with a matt ruby exterior, gilded gold feet and a shiny porcelain interior. It complemented the other fittings in the bathroom perfectly, something Annie had obsessed over for weeks to get right. But there was no way it was going to fit through the doorway.

“I wish I could say this isn’t our fault but…”

The remark came from the frowning foreman who stood to the other side of the bath scratching his stubbly chin.

Annie’s brow rose slightly in disbelief. She had been expecting a snarky comment about how she should have designed the hotel suites with smaller practical tubs. But, at the same time, she wasn’t completely surprised.

Joe wasn’t like most builders she’d met. His clear grey eyes never seemed to miss a thing and he actually seemed to think about resolutions to problems before offering his views. She couldn’t count the number of times she had sighed with frustration on other building sites where nobody cared to hear her design opinions. The way her comments were dismissed, you’d never guess she had studied for nearly a decade to qualify as an architect.

“What’s done is done, eh? I think we need to rip out part of the wall and rebuild it afterwards to avoid wasting more time. It’s a good thing you insisted we set up the showroom flat first. We can’t possibly get rid of this lovely bath because of one oversight.”

He winked and Annie felt herself blush. Try as she may, she couldn’t stop herself from reacting like a school girl whenever the man standing before her showed her any sign of warmth. It had to be those eyes. They twinkled when he smiled, hinting at a cheekier side to the lean dark haired man. Or maybe she had a thing for stubbles.

No, it was definitely his eyes.

Annie tried not to dwell on the wink as they finished their inspection and headed back to the site office in silence. She quickly stripped off her hard hat, high vis jacket and steel toe cap boots. She hated the utilitarian boots as they always hurt her toes, but health and safety always came first. Besides, hard hats and stilettos didn’t really go together. Shame the hats never did her curly brown hair any justice. She loosened the braid she held her hair in to fit under the hat and fluffed it gently with her fingers.

When she looked up, Joe was watching her intently. If he felt any guilt at being caught, he certainly didn’t show it. Continue reading


Writer vs Architect – The Perils of a Two Headed Monster

I attended a charity event last night and as always happens when a group of strangers are gathered in any space and forced to communicate, people began to ask each other what they do for a living. Pretty straightforward question, right? Yes, I am an architect by profession and should gladly saunter around rooms sharing this piece of information with anyone who has five seconds to spare (after eight years of studying to qualify as one, who wouldn’t?). But as you all know, I carry two heavy heads on my not so sturdy shoulders. I had been specially prepped by my companion for the night (a.k.a my sister/unofficial agent) to respond “writer” and not “architect”. Why? Because as a “writer” I need more exposure than I do as an “architect”. And partly because writer sure as hell sounds more interesting than architect – at least I think it does. I’m also, admittedly, more passionate about writing than I am about building design. Architecture has been a big part of my life for fifteen years, writing – over twenty years! I don’t go to bed thinking about what detail to add to the building project I’m working on but I stay up into the wee hours of the morning typing out ideas or staring up at the ceiling trying to piece a plot together for my novels. I don’t walk around London taking note of designs and sketching details but I write on the tube, on the bus, waiting for a friend to arrive at a venue…you get the picture. Writing is a part of who I am. Architecture is my job.

But last night, the first five or so people I spoke with received the slightly meek response of “architect” as I glanced around the room filled with high achievers, politicians and celebrities. My brain couldn’t quite bring itself to say the word – writer. I’m self-published and haven’t sold a million books (yet) so despite all I have achieved in my writing career (novels/novellas, dozens of short stories) I’m not used to introducing myself as a writer. These days the stigma of not being picked up by a publishing house is long gone (Fifty Shades of Grey and a multitude of other books have helped to dispel this) but a lot of people still ask who you’re with and I find it a bit tiring to explain my chosen route. Even worse, when I finally managed to squeak out the word “writer” to one girl, I got asked for my business card and I had to admit I had none. I think I hung my head in shame for a little while after that.

One of the girls I revealed my writing abilities suggested I call myself an “author” if I though that “writer” didn’t quite fit the bill. After all, a writer can be anyone who writes anything Continue reading

Bandwagon Jumping

So, I have decided to be completely unoriginal and I’m jumping on the “What-I-Do/What-People-Think-I-Do” bandwagon. I couldn’t help myself. Some of the posters I’ve seen have been nothing short of genius, some have been really silly but Continue reading