Back

We’re back in steamy, comfortable old NOLA. It’s nice to be back in the city where I live, the city where I work, the city I’m writing a big long book about, the city my kids think of as home. Three and a half weeks until teaching starts, a nice stretch to get settled in, do some writing and some home improvement, and hang in the hot sun by the pool watching the boy for hours on end.

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Clermont

We stopped by Clermont, the original 18th century Livingston mansion (eventually there were several more). As with other famous early American houses, in this era of McMansions, what strikes you first is that it’s not really that big. Luxury in the time of Robert R. Livingston was just ordinary living for many Americans today.

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NYC, cont’d.

I had a very nice lunch with Brigitta (of PU Press), some lovely walks with Lisa, played a fun God Street Wine show, the kids are enjoying camp, the apartment is nice, the city is beautiful, the weather is perfect, we are loving being in NYC. Next week we’ll also get out to Princeton and see some old friends.

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The Big 25

At the Gramercy Theater for the GSW 25th anniversary shows … the boxed sets are here and look great … and check out this lovely kick drum head design!GSW 25 Kick Drum

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LHA paper done

Finished my conference paper for the Louisiana Historical Association meeting this March. This is a relief, since my conference papers are always a chore, it seems; a chore because they always involve distilling and condensing my detailed, verbose dissertation prose. Tucking all the fun stuff away in the footnotes is one way to get it done. Anyway, nice to have done that; now I can finish this book review, and get on to Chapter 4.

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Presenting … Ch. 3?!?!

I think I’m finished Chapter 3. It took almost two months longer than I wanted it to, and is much, much longer than I expected: 41 pages (with 11 point Times and 1.5 line spacing), almost 16,000 words. And, although it’s hard to say right now, I think it’s pretty good. Definitely more of an accomplishment than my first two chapters.

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Still making progress

Well, okay, posting at Crescent City Confidential has dropped off to nothingness. But I am still writing a dissertation. At this point I’m about 6,500 words into chapter 3, and will definitely finish it this week.

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Moving

Moving, for me, never fails to be a disruptive, unsettling experience. We moved in to our new house the weekend of the 1st and 2nd, but it has pretty much interrupted my dissertation work for 10 days, until today. Unpacking things from boxes; cleaning; arranging furniture; putting stuff in storage; buying new things. It all takes time and all has to be done in consultation with Lisa. So I basically lost a week.

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Well into chapter 1

There’s no going back now. I’m writing a dissertation. I’m over 4,500 words into Chapter 1, plus most of the footnotes and a growing bibiliography (and this has taken me six work days, so I’m averaging about three double-spaced pages a day). All of this introductory chapter, synthesizing and summarizing the colonial period of New Orleans’ development, is from secondary sources, so I’m mostly sitting in the midst of a pile of books, leafing through them, and constructing a narrative. I wonder if it will get harder when I am writing more directly from my own research.

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