It’s been some months since I last put up an update for my ongoing history project so I figured I should keep you appraised at how things are going. All I can say is that things are moving along rather well! I’ve been plugging away on the photos, my wife has even come along on a few trips and I’ve made a huge dent in the photography and writing. Both the actual book and the blog posts. Having written the narrative first has made doing the photography so much easier because now I can always go back and review the images and make sure I capture the ones that truly fit, or even edit the list on the fly when I’m out in the field. And while I’d love to post the images as I shoot them, it would make little sense. Though I am happy to say that I’m at about 50% complete on the image capture, but there’s still a large number of images left to be captured, namely the Rideau Canal and Ottawa. Still, it feels good to have so much done. In fact, the day this was first published, there are some rolls hanging to dry.

Taking in the Port Maitland Lock of the 2nd Welland Canal

Now onto the biggest part and the slowest to create and that’s the writing. I’m rather pleased at how quickly I was able to input the first draft into the computer, mostly thanks to using the Q10 word processor to take the handwritten draft and inputting it into a computer. I had planned to run a second physical draft using a typewriter, do a rework of the document at that point, and then type it into Word. However, without a functioning typewriter, I had to change gears and use Q10 to input the handwritten draft. I’ve since done a run through Grammarly in Word and began the work of doing a readthrough and rework on paper. It’s slow going but has resulted in a stronger document. Another thing to note is that I’ve adjusted the flow of the project as a whole, going back to the tried and true chronological order. While this change won’t be noted in the 3rd Draft, which I’m currently working on creating, but rather the first manuscript. Once the draft is done, I’ll be hacking it up, to create the first manuscript. The new order will go as follows: Part I will cover 1814-1830 and cover the post-war movements in Canada including the improvements of defences, colonial expansion with the First Welland Canal and the Canada Company. As well as lay the foundations for the Reform movement. Part II covers 1830 to 1841 which dives right into the foundations of MacKenzie’s rebellion, the Patriot War which followed and the Tory Victory. Part III picks up where the Reform movement left off, the rise and victory of the Reform movement, the start of a Canadian Army in response to the Oregon Crisis and Aroostook War. The construction and expansion of industry through the Second Welland Canal and the Railroad and digging into the effect of the Fugitive Slave Law on Canada and the expansion of the communities of former slaves. Everything leads up to Part IV covering a short time of 1860 to 1867 with the American Civil War, the creation of an expanded Active Militia, the Fenian Raids, and the machinations of Confederation. The Final part brings it all 150 years forward to 2017. I’ve been working as hard as possible to type up the rewrites and changes bad to the second draft. I do hope to have that done by the end of next week to begin to rework the entire draft to the new format. Hopefully with it being National Novel Writing Month will provide me with the inspiration to get this all done by the end of the month!

Nothing ever comes out perfectly on paper the first time.

And with photo content continuing to be pumped out it also means I’ve started work on graphics and book layout work. As much I would have liked to keep the larger format like my War of 1812 book I’m actually considering making a smaller 10×8 format since I’m working more with a 6×4.5 format camera for a majority of the images, I have done some side work with 35mm. And while I’ve done my best to stick to my plan and shoot Ilford FP4+, I have done some work with Superpan 200, Tri-X 400, and Ilford HP5+. I’ve also had to, due to access issues, go back into my library of surplus images from the War of 1812 project to cover off Fort Henry and Royal Military College. And I’m pleased to say I’m pretty much at 75% complete on the images and do have the big push coming up in a week to cover off the Rideau Canal, Ottawa, and Prescott. With the rest of Northern GTA, Central Ontario, Buffalo, Youngstown, and Goderich all coming up in the next couple of months. So my idea of keeping this uniform has gone out the window. And while I don’t plan on uploading the images until everything is done, here are a few of my favourites so far! I hope to be able to start uploading images starting in January (or February).

The Old Soldier’s Monument in Amherstburg, one of the hardest monuments I’ve had to locate.
Lock 1 of the 2nd Welland Canal.
Bellevue, one of the many homes of Sir John A. MacDonald.
The lonely brick blockhouse of Fort Mississauga.
The Angur Farmhouse, provided cover for the Canadian Militia during the Battle of Ridgeway.

And that’s it for this update, I’m sure I’ll be giving one final update before the end of the year and hope to start getting content up online in 2019, as well as having the book for sale in the first quarter of the new year.

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