So, I’ve been kind of absent this week. I wish I could say it was because I was being so productive on my new book but, in reality, much of it has been consumed with day-job stuff, including a seven-hour strategic-planning meeting. Seven. Hours.
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I’m trying to catch up with my writing today, finally, and we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, I am having such fun immersing myself in a new corner of Louisiana. My new series, which will begin with WILD MAN’S BLUFF (probably early in 2016 but could be earlier–I haven’t yet seen a date), is set in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. I thought I’d give you a little intro today.
Terrebonne is a parish that juts into the Gulf of Mexico in extreme south-central Louisiana. It is the second-largest parish in the state, has heavy Cajun and Native American populations, and it’s estimated that more than 10 percent of parish residents speak only French at home. Forty-one percent of the parish is water, and another good portion is unstable wetlands. The parish seat is Houma (“HOE-mah”), but the characters in WILD MAN’S BLUFF live in some of the smaller towns south of there. Here’s Terrebonne (“TERRA-bone”), in the dark brown–not a great map but you can see where it is (southwest) in relation to New Orleans.
This part of the state is fascinating to me because it’s so vulnerable and yet people keep persevering. If any of you have seen the movie BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, it is filmed around Montegut and in Isle de Jean Charles, two areas of the areas that will appear in this series.
Here’s a little film of some of the bayous and wetlands of this beautiful area. Exotic, too, I think:
In the lower central part of the parish, south of Chauvin, is Isle de Jean Charles, connected to the rest of the parish only by a long narrow road, set low among the wetlands. doesn’t take much to send water over it, cutting the area off:
Isle de Jean Charles is really interesting because it is about the only place in the United States where Native Americans are living on their indigenous Tribal lands. The Chitimacha community is still based in Isle de Jean Charles but they are dwindling as increasingly virulent storms are eroding more and more of their land. A new levee system is being built to protect Terrebonne Parish but it was deemed too expensive to extend its protection area to include Isle de Jean Charles. So who knows–one big direct hit by a hurricane could take it out quickly, or it could steadily erode until the people are forced to leave. Here’s an interesting film clip about it if you’re interested. It’s about 11 minutes long, but it’s really fascinating!
And yes, I’m proud to say, that I can understand all the dialogue without reading the subtitles. Now, these are South Louisiana accents! 🙂 Can you understand ’em, you?
That’s all of your geography and history lesson for today–LOL. See you tomorrow with a new Reader’s Choice Giveaway and I’ll announce two winners next week.