Weekly Log, 9-27-10 to 9-30-10

A tough week. It started out slowly, I just this feeling that things weren’t coming out right, that my outline had everything in the wrong order, etc etc. Eventually I solved the outline problem and got into a writing groove. But I didn’t come close to achieving my goal for this week, which was to finish my overview or “social geography” of 1803 New Orleans.

The problem wasn’t not writing; the problem was that, as always, I wrote more than I had intended to. It’s clear now that this overview of 1803 new orleans will have to be its own chapter and not the first section of Chapter 2 as originally planned. One thing I realized is that I have to analyze and explain as well as simply describe; in particular, for the section on New Orleans population and society, I have to explain my ideas as to the shape of late colonial New Orleans society, and in particular the nature of the creole/old regime elite that will play such a key part in my story as it evolves.

So, I think I am in good shape now. Next week I may finish a draft of what is now going to be a full chapter. But then i will need to go back and pad and embellish a bit in many places. I’ll also need to read a couple more books and work them in (Spear, Campanella, Tregle, among many others); the chapter so far relies on too small a base of secondary sources. First I must manage a better segue between geography/layout and population/society. then i must finish my sections on slaves and free people of color, and possibly move them in the structure. Then I must finish with Economy, Law, Government, and Political Mentalité (though I’ve done a bit on that last already.)

Maybe two more weeks to finish all this including embellishments and revisions. Then on to the narrative with Laussat. Two chapters. (I’ll have to condense it later if I do this as an LHA paper as I proposed.) I’ll revise my writing schedule soon.

Moving in to the new house tomorrow. Psyched to get back to this on Monday.