I don’t know about you, but I grew up playing role playing games. In a military neighborhood—pre-Saturday morning TV—the movie theaters featured children’s movies every Saturday morning, and all the children our entire neighborhood would pile on to a bus and go the movies. Now, by “children’s movies” I don’t necessarily mean Disney. We watched a lot of the sanitized westerns and war pictures of the 1950s with the occasional Doris Day or Esther Williams flick mixed in. I particularly remember Doris as Calamity Jane. When we got home we assigned roles and began to reenact—and often rewrite—the movies. A particularly good one could keep us going for months.
I bring this up because I have reenacting on my mind again. I want through a phase of admiring and envying Civil and Revolutionary War reenactors. I never acted on it because wall the good roles went to men, and, while I have no particular objection to cross dressing, the whole hobby seemed to require a bigger commitment than I wanted to make.
A few years back I borrowed a Regency style dress to attend a Beau Monde ball at Romance writers of America, and very soon required a costume of my own. Having dipped my toe in Jane Austen-era reenacting, last year I attended the Historical Romance Retreat in Riverside, California bringing along my flapper dress and Regency dress. The outfits people wore blew me away! I’m going again to hobnob with my fellow authors and other lovers of historical romance, only this year I have an actual ball gown of my own for the closing ball, made by the brilliant Victoria Vane. I requested a turban so I can go all Lady Jersey on people. Imagine me peering down through my lorgnette: “My dear, who is that unfashionable hoyden and what is she doing here among her betters?”
Ok, so I’m falling back into my childhood behaviour. I can’t wait! Only this year I’m writing stories set in 1917 during the Great War. Maybe I need another costume. I’ll think about that one while I finish the stories. But first, coffee.