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Ain’t Technology Grand !?!?

Hello Dear Readers,

This post is simply to inform you that the revised, updated, and latest corrected version of The Petticoat Rebellion (Version 1.3) is now available as a .pdf download from the cookbook page at the The 1718 Project main website (http://1718neworleans.com).

Thanks are due to all my patient readers who have put up with the typos, omissions, and bad grammar in the earlier versions. One of the glories of the electronic age is the ability to consistently make our resources more accurate and useful.

“Ain’t Technology Grand !?!?”

N.O. Historic Marker

The raison d’être of the 1718 Project

And now that Volume 1 is “put to bed”, I think it may be time to begin thinking about and writing about The 1718 Project as a whole once again.

Thank you again for your continued support and encouragement as the Tricentennial grows ever closer.





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Filed under Louisiana History, Tri-centennial, 1718, 2018, 300th, anniversary, author, writer, speaker, teacher, non-fiction, Bienville, Iberville, Bayou St. John, Natchez, Indians, Native American, Tunica, Bayougoula, Mississippi,


My last post back in May originated in St. Louis. While I did in fact get lots of research done for the project there, it has been a while since I have been able to get back to my networking. Immediately upon our return from St. Louis we were thrown into the process of moving to a new house. Keeping it on the cheap, and since the distance from the old house to the new house was very short we decided to use our pick up truck to move. At the pace of one room every two or three days as well as all the accumulated stuff of 40 years of marriage, etc, the move took the entire month of June. We finally completed the last cleanup on the Fourth of July.  Naturally, except for an occasional visit into my real life – writing, that is – very little production was accomplished during that month. I looked forward to July to get back into the swing of things; production of new material, revision of old material, blogging, working on the webpage, et. al. Well, here it is the end of July and I have produced perhaps half a chapter. I have done no recipe testing and only a minimal amount of research. This morning in a moment of revelation, it occurred  to me that the nature of one of the great enemies of the writing life is “everydayness”.











For instance, it is now One o’clock in the afternoon on a Monday, my family is away at work and I have the whole house to myself, I have plenty of food, lots of coffee, and yet what have I done since waking this morning? I prepared breakfast, I read the news, I watched the news, I went to the bank, I went to the gas station, I came home and cut the grass, then cleaned up a little bit in the yard and continued to do what I have been doing the entire month of July, that is, unpacking. The unpacking is almost done, as done as it needs to be for the family to be functional so now I can actually post to my blog. Last night I actually reviewed the construction of the new website. As of yet today I have done no research, have done no writing on the new production, nor any revision of the old material.

So there you have it –  everydayness – doing what a homemaker does, doing what a retired Country Gentleman does, doing all sorts of things except writing.

So now I will try to schedule not only general ideas of what I intend to do on a given day or during a given week, but I have taken up the idea of laying out a daily to-do list to balance the everydayness with the real purpose of my existence –  Writing Culinary History.

Stay tuned, something interesting may begin to develop as summer begins it’s march toward fall.

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Filed under Creole Cooking, New Orleans Tercentennial, NEW ORLEANS TRI-CENTENNIAL 1718 TO 2018, Non-Fiction

Self-Publishing and Self-Editing, Parts IV b & V; et. al.


Self-Publishing and Self-Editing, Part IV b

The institutionalized process of academic printing has also encapsulated all of the above functions (i.e. create, print, edit, bind, publish, sell) into the peer-review system, especially the editing function. Whereas 20th century publishing houses offered editors to their authors* , in the academic system, the process of research, writing the essay, submission to journals, peer-review, criticism, controversy, rewrites,response to critics, presentation at conferences, more rewrites, collection into a book, submission to university presses, etc. pretty much solves the problem of having a book edited. Independent scholars and authors have yet to solve this problem. Or, better stated, the system is now basically a money issue. One can pay a professional editor to go over your work, do the rewrites and then submit ( see Part IV a). Or, I see hope in the revision process. The Petticoat Rebellion Vol. One is now at version 1.0. I know that it contains some errors. Over the next several months, as these errors come to light, the can be corrected and offered as updated versions, much like software has been done for decades. It remains to be seen how this process will play out.

*Note: how one became one of their authors is a whole other matter.

Self-Publishing and Self-Editing, Part V

Four units moved on the iBookstore. Thirty-eight downloads from the website. One download from Gutenberg Self-Publishing. And even one fan letter – in the FIRST MONTH !

Whoop didily do    !!!

This week Version 1.1 was posted making some minor corrections to chapters 6 and 17. I hope that my readers (that sounds so cool!) will forgive chapter 6’s title and fix themselves some red beans and rice, rather than some “read’ beans and rice. Oh well, after all, that’s why version 1.0 is free. Subsequent versions will also remain free. I am thinking of charging a dollar on the iBookstore once the on-going editing and revisions play out. Of course volume 2, will carry a charge, but that amount hasn’t been decided yet.

The self-publishing process was really a learning experience as well. Not only mastering the technology of iTunes Producer but tending to the thousand details regarding copyright, page layout, and book layout. Nevertheless, as time-consuming as the process was and remains, it is definitely NOT a waste of time.

Apart from the marketing, which never ends, the final task remaining is conversion to EPUB and submission to Amazon for the Kindle version.

And now for something completely different. 

I find it fascinating that one who could probably be considered the best of Louisiana’s French governors (after Bienville) is also the one least documented, the hardest to pronounce, and almost unknown to the general population, much less to the historically minded population. PIERRE DE RIGAUD DE VAUDREUIL DE CAVAGNIAL,  Marquis de VAUDREUIL, called by the citizens of New Orleans and Louisiana, and mercifully for historians and writers, the Grand Marquis. Monsieur Vaudreuil was a quintessential French aristocrat of the Old Regime. His governorship during the 1740’s raised Louisiana to it’s highest point as a French colony. He dealt with (and controlled) the Native Americans of the Mississippi Valley, he stabilized the colonial economy, he opened up trade (against policy) with the Spanish and British empires in North America and the Caribbean; and finally, for good measure, he introduced gracious living to New Orleans’ nascent Creole society. The Grand Marquis was indeed a traditional New Orleans character. He then went on to become governor of New France, that is all the French possessions in North America, where-in the wrong place at the wrong time-he was the governor who found himself surrendering to the British and pretty much losing the French and Indian Wars.

You will read more about him in The Petticoat Rebellion Volume 2. If you can’t wait, here is a link to probably the best biography available in English at this time.





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Filed under 18th Century, Louisiana History, New Orleans Tercentennial, Non-Fiction

52 Hours 23 Minutes and Counting.

Self-Publishing and Self-Editing: Part Two

The book is written. The book is edited. On Sunday morning March 9 we loaded iTunes Producer with all the necessary files to publish our work in the iBookstore. We press the submit button. Twelve hours later, nothing had happened. Twenty-four hours later iTunes Producer is still spinning. I wrote to Apple*. I went into the chat rooms. I discovered that perhaps iTunes Producer 3.0 was buggy and flaky. That it often hanged. So I stopped the upload after some twenty-five or so hours. I trashed iTunes Producer 3.0. I downloaded iTunes Producer 2.9.1. And I started the upload again Monday morning 9 AM or thereabouts. Monday night 9 PM, iTunes Producer is still spinning.

Take note, one thing that 25 years of teaching children and 30 years managing computers and networks as a paid IT person has taught me nothing, if not patience.


Screenshot of the interminable upload

So I decided to let iTunes Producer continue spinning for the duration. Most fortunately, something actually happend, the activity screen is letting me know that things are finally being done if at a snail’s pace.

It’s really sad, for years upon years I was an Apple Mac evangelist. I took much abuse for being such a person. But always Apple products”just worked”. It’s sad to see them come to a pass where Apple products simply don’t work a lot of the time. IBooks Author is a nice program-oh, I’m dating myself it’s a nice APP- in general many of Apple’s products do work maybe not as well as they should. But think of this. Steve Jobs often referred to and spoke of the intersection between the humanities and technology that represented the intergral part of Apple’s mission. Now, by any and all accounts I am a humanities scholar. Perhaps that’s why I’ve always been drawn to the Macintosh and it’s “walled garden”. Now in that context, here is someone who spent his adult life teaching history, unable to do the research that he so desired to do, finally having a chance to read history and write history. I am proud to say that at 62 years old I have written a history book. Imagine the anticipation, the joy, the wonder of compiling that book in order to publish. Now imagine 48 to 72 hours after pressing the publish button to not have done anything. Sure the processes continue, sure, I really expect them to come to an end at some point. But it is disappointing.

Today I should be blogging about how you can now access my book at the iBookstore, how you can download it as a PDF from my website, how you can see the product of years of research and writing and editing. But can I do so, NO.

*I wrote to Apple. Here is there reply to the question about the length of uploads at my DSL Internet speed:

Hello Jon,

I’m following up with you in regards to uploading your iBook. I understand that you have a DSL connection with an upload speed of 384 KBPS, and you’re upload has a .iba file of 45MB, and the .itmsp file is 36MB. There’s no set amount of time it takes for a book to be uploaded that we can provide, as it depends on the speed of your internet connection. 

Please let us know if you have any questions or need further assistance. We’re happy to help.

>>>>>>>>>>>>Didn’t he just say he knew my Internet connection speed? Maybe I should have started worrying when I read his spelling of the possessive  pronoun for “you”?

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Self Publishing-Self Editing

I follow Catherine Howard’s blog on writing and self-publishing, “Catherine Caffinated” http://catherineryanhoward.com. Two of the main points made in all her writings are “Write, write, write” and you MUST have your work edited BY A PROFESSIONAL EDITOR before publishing. while I agree in theory with both of these propositions, I must take issue with the second. The reason is very simple, MONEY. Without going into agonizing detail about why this is an issue (regular readers of this blog have probably gleaned most of the details anyway), suffice it to say that hiring an editor is pure and simple well beyond my means. “The Petticoat Rebellion” is over 100 iBook pages long. At $5 a page (ridiculously low-end) thats over $500, at $50 a page ( an actual quote received from a professional editor) that’s over five grand – yeah, right. I am not saying that prices within this range are out of line, they are not. Editors should be paid for their work at a fair price. These fair prices are simply beyond my reach.

So, where is all this going? What are the problems and pitfalls of editing your book yourself? I would say that the first issue would have to be a combination of elation followed by disappointment. You actually finish a book! The elation is grand. You have done something. You have achieved a great accomplishment. All of your work, all of your research, have now come to fruition. Then your life partner reads it. “Oh No ! This needs to be changed. You can’t have this picture here, there’s no transition here, you need to change this, I don’t understand what you’re trying to say.” And now you’re in a Charlie Brown moment, AAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH !!!!!

Now you’re back to slogging away: reading over the manuscript, changing this, changing that, fixing this formatting, moving this picture, Will it never end? It’s a recurrence of that same feeling you got every semester in college. Looking over your paper, as the deadline approaches.” Oh, the hell with it, this is as good as it’s going to get. I’m turning it in just like it is. Let the professor make the edits, give me my gentleman’s “C” and let me go home.” But then the awful question arises. Is the” C” good enough? You are putting yourself out there, you are trying to establish your authorial reputation, can you afford to put it out there less than perfect?  Then you think back on all those crappy e-books you have bought over the past few years. I have one in German, didn’t know it was in German when I bought it.. You wonder where these people learned how to write. Is this supposed to be a translation? – it’s like one of those bad kung fu movies, broken English at best, a cultural insult at worst. And the best part is, while some of them were free, you actually PAID for some of them. So what’s it going to hurt if you put one out there less-than-perfect? Aren’t e-books and iBooks revisable? Let’s work on the new one for a while, then make a few more revisions on the old and post the revision.

Oh, what to do? What to do?
Boy, I wish I had a few hundred or a few thousand dollars to have this damn book edited. Has self-publishing become a game just for the rich like so many things in this life? Can someone even talented “like me” but desperately poor have a chance in this industry? These are some of the first questions A writ er must deal with when entering the world of self-publishing. The techie stuff maybe difficult for some people, but at the same time, it can be relatively simple and straight forward. We all know it’s the writing that’s the tough part. But now the writing is done. Stay tuned to see what happens.

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Filed under Louisiana History, New Orleans Tercentennial, Non-Fiction, Tri-centennial, 1718, 2018, 300th, anniversary, author, writer, speaker, teacher, non-fiction, Bienville, Iberville, Bayou St. John, Natchez, Indians, Native American, Tunica, Bayougoula, Mississippi,

And so it begins . . .

the Bourbon Flag

Oh! The joy! Oh, the gratification! Oh, the fulfilment! I have been APPROVED by Apple. The company that has guided me for the last 30 years in all my endeavours in the professional world has granted me approval. Oh be still my fluttering heart!

And so now I am ready to press the publish button on my iBook! And so it begins. Now begins the real work The decisions, the decisions . . . should I charge for my book or not? Can I distribute it freely under other formats? Now to market, to market, to sell a fat book. What to do first after the iBook, what next?  Can the book be revised and updated as time goes by? Today the question plaguing me is to print or not to print? I foresee the next year as one of refining, reformatting, and refitting the work – i.e. The Petticoat Rebellion, Vol. 1 (v. 1.0) – enabling it to be distributed through as many channels as possible. All the while composing Vol. 2, again in iBooks.

And the most important question of all, what can I do to make YOU want the book? Do you want it to be free? Would you feel more comfortable if you paid $3.99 or $4.99 for it? Would you download it as an iBook to be read on an iPad or perhaps a Mac? How about a free .pdf that can be read anywhere, but is not as pretty? Or are you going to wait until the Kindle version comes out? Are you interested in the culinary history of French colonial Louisiana? Are you interested, and I believe you are if you are reading this, the 2018 tricentennial? Finally, another big question is, how do I go about telling you about it?

Therefore, as the previous generation might have said, children saluting the flag“Let’s run it up the {virtual, digital} flagpole, and see if anybody salutes!”

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Filed under 18th Century, Creole Cooking, Louisiana History, New Orleans Tercentennial, Non-Fiction, Recipes, Tri-centennial, 1718, 2018, 300th, anniversary, author, writer, speaker, teacher, non-fiction, Bienville, Iberville, Bayou St. John, Natchez, Indians, Native American, Tunica, Bayougoula, Mississippi,

‘Tis the Holidays once more . . .

‘Tis the Holidays once more. Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Yuletide! May you all have blesséd and prosperous days not only from Thanksgiving through Twelfth Night, but through all the year!

As I mentioned in last week’s blog, the workflow of 2014 will include marketing and PR efforts. So when I pulled up my blog folder today, I chanced to look back on some old marketing tools I learned about in 2012 and 2013. Below you will find my social profile, I also have decided to include here the vision statement of the 1718 project.

A Social Profile

Jerry (aka Jon) Laiche is a retired teacher whose retirement job is a writer of history.  A native of New Orleans, he currently lives with his wife at Cardinal’s Creek, a ten acre forest 30 miles north of New Orleans’ Lake Pontchartrain.  Current projects include a culinary history of colonial New Orleans, The Petticoat Rebellion; a retelling of the history of the founding of the city, 1718: A TriCentennial Memo. He blogs at https://1718neworleans2018.wordpress.com.  He is still trying to figure out exactly what Social Media is, He communicates in the New Media all the time, every day in fact; but hardly anyone ever communicates in return. This strikes him as very unsocial of something claiming to be called Social Media. So he writes about himself a lot in the third person.

The Vision of the 1718 Project.

  1. the composition of a Culinary History of colonial New Orleans and Louisiana:
  2. a retelling of the history of the founding of New Orleans (and Louisiana):
  3. workshop seminars for Social Studies teachers throughout New Orleans and Louisiana,(and perhaps the nation)
  4. creation of classroom materials (including digital resources) for the New Orleans Tricentennial.
  5. school and public tours of relevant historical sites,
  6. public and private library activities, and possibly (e) coordination of appropriate museum exhibits.

The 1718 Project is designed (like the New Media within which it rests) to be a collaborative project and as such welcomes contributions from other historians, writers, and anyone who loves this great city and its stupendous potential.

So as Beth and I put the finishing touches on Volume 1 of The Petticoat Rebellion, it is a good time for you my dear readers to reflect not only on the holidays but also on what can your contributions be to the New Orleans tricentennial.

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Filed under 18th Century, Creole Cooking, Louisiana History, New Orleans Tercentennial, Non-Fiction, Tri-centennial, 1718, 2018, 300th, anniversary, author, writer, speaker, teacher, non-fiction, Bienville, Iberville, Bayou St. John, Natchez, Indians, Native American, Tunica, Bayougoula, Mississippi,