"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Do you write in the bubble?


Loree in the bubble - somewhere in time
Photo by Loree Huebner - Inner photo by Eric Huebner


In Civil War re-enacting, there is a term used when a re-enactor completely submerges himself, or herself, in the period.  It’s a bit of time traveling.  This term is known as being in the bubble.  Let me give you an example - a re-enactor will, let’s say for an entire weekend re-enactment, completely allow his or her mind to stay fixed on living like they’re actually in the point of time in which they are portraying.  The re-enactor will go into a chosen character and remain that person from the 1860’s for the duration of the weekend event.  They will only talk the talk of that era, make and eat food from the time period, and live the life of a Civil War soldier or civilian.  The present world doesn’t exist.
In this bubble, there are no cell phones, texting, ESPN score updates, or Revlon Color Burst lip gloss…I think you get my point.  The re-enactor tries to be as authentic as possible to feel as if they are actually back in time.  Most mainstream re-enactors, which is the kind of re-enacting I do, fall in and out of character, and only really touch the 1860’s a few times during an event.  These precious moments usually happen in camp, at a ball, or during the battle.  We connect with brief glimpses of life during the War Between the States…for a few wonderful minutes or seconds…we are there.  Only a few “authentic campaigners” claim to be able to stay in the bubble the entire weekend—not me, I can’t eat the salt pork, and I always have to touch base with the kids several times a day when I’m away.   
A great example of being in the bubble is the 1980 movie, Somewhere in Time.  The late Christopher Reeve’s character, Richard Collier, seeks out his old professor on advice of how to time travel.  Richard wants to go back to 1912 to the beautiful, Elise McKenna, played by Jane Seymour.  He locks himself in his room, removing anything modern that might distract him from the past.  He dresses in old timey clothes, cuts his hair to the fashion at that time, and tries to imagine being there…until he actually is.
Mostly, I write at my computer desk or on my lap top while in bed, but every once in a while, I write in the bubble.  Although I don’t put on my hoops and petticoats, I do put out the lights, strike a match to the candles to set a mood, or sit by a crackling fire to give me that 1860’s feel.  In no time, the characters come alive.  The trick for me, like Richard Collier, is to cast out anything modern to distract.  I turn off the phone, and sometimes, I don’t even write on the computer.  I have an old journal, pencil and pen, and the dogs at my feet.  Suddenly in a blink—I am there.  There is no TV, Twitter, or networking; just ink to paper, much like the incredible 19th century authors before me.  I’ve done some of my best writing while pushing graphite to the page in my 1860’s bubble, and yes…I was there.
Do you write in a bubble?  If so, what kind of bubble do you create?  Where are you the most comfortable writing?  Let’s talk.  I would love to hear from you! 
Between you, me and the gatepost,
Loree  

12 comments:

Julie Musil said...

Somewhere In Time is one of my favorite movies! I write in a bubble in that I must have silence. If my sons or husband are home, I put on headphones and listen to instrumental music.

Loree Huebner said...

Julie: Somewhere In Time is one of my favorites too! Personally, I like the movie better than the book. I listen to music when I'm creating a first draft, but must have silence when revising. I use the bubble for difficult scenes. It helps me touch, feel, taste, and smell. How sweet of you to stop by!

Jill Kemerer said...

I love how you put it--you're just there. Yes! It takes me a little time to get into it, but once I'm in a scene, I'm in the bubble. Love that feeling!

Loree Huebner said...

Jill: It is a great feeling! One of the best feelings that a writer can experience.

Heather Sunseri said...

Love that feeling of hitting a writing groove when the words seem to spill out and the scene is really working. It's hard for me to get into that bubble b/c inevitably, a child interrupts or I'm late picking up the other child from soccer.

Also loved the movie Somewhere in Time. It's been a super long time since I've seen it or even thought of that.

Loree Huebner said...

Heather: Love it when the writing just pours out onto the page. There's no other feeling like it. I just saw Somewhere in Time again recently. I hadn't seen it in ages. I love the music soundtrack! So nice of you to pop in!

Tana Adams said...

I love when the magic happens and i find myself transported to that story world I feel is so much more alive than this one! Fun post!!

Loree Huebner said...

Tana: I like what you said about feeling much more alive...so true. Thanks for stopping in! I love your blog.

troutbirder said...

Neat blog. I wish you well with it. I love to write too. Your willingness to immerse youself to the point of feeling there is a concept that is somewhat new to me, although when I taught American History role playing, including the students, was a favorite activity. :)

Loree Huebner said...

troutbirder: The concept is the same as role playing, but sometimes you actually get glimpses of being there. Anything modern can pull you back in second, just like the penny did in the movie, Somewhere in Time.

Shopgirl said...

I love this idea of transporting yourself to the time and setting of your subject. I guess I do that in a way, when I go on one of my walks, when all e-distractions are naturally unavailable, and I am just alone with my thoughts of the article I am writing. It's little wonder now that's when I write my best. Thanks for this tip!

Loree Huebner said...

Shopgirl: Nice of you to stop in. You can experience the bubble anytime. It all depends on how you want it to work for you. I think a walk without distraction can open the mind to anywhere or any place in time.