|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,