Friday, July 17, 2009

TST Kickin' It Old School

Good morning everyone!

I hope that this post finds you all doing well. Any big plans for the weekend?

First, I would like to thank all the folks who responded to my call for TST feedback. From the comments to the emails, I not only appreciated the thoughtful responses, I learned a ton.

There was a point in time when I considered bringing this whole thing to an end. I worried that it had run its course but based on the feedback I received, I do not believe that is the case.

Beginning today, there are going to be major changes here. The first is that we are "kickin it old school." The TST is going back to its roots. This started out as a largely visual blog. One of the things that I loved was scrolling through and seeing all the colors used. I forgot that. It has been brought to my attention - and rightly so - that the Thursday Sweet Treat became very wordy. The stories and such became too long. When I go back and visit themes like Vibrant Chaotic Rainbow and Poetic Sea, I find that they jump off the page. They reach out and grab you. All the writing (and this is coming from a writer) got in the way a bit.

So, there will still be writing and calls for writing but when it comes to the Thursday showcase the guidelines will be changing. There will be a limit on the story about the piece so that people can bask in the actual pieces. It worked in the beginning of this blog quite well and I believe it will work again.

There will be more changes coming next week. For now, let's work to make this upcoming theme one of the biggest and best to date! Are you with me?? Check out the new theme coming up shortly :)

13 comments:

lifeartdesigns said...

Hi Natasha,
The changes sound great. I'm a picture kinda gal myself :). Checking in one last time before I get on the road to go see hubby...Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Phoenyx Ravenswing said...

Greetings!

Well, I can't say that I support 'limits' on the Treat beyond those of non-hate, but it's not my blog either, so I'll cope. It is encouraging me to give up altogether on trying to post words w/my pieces, but that may not be an altogether bad thing. :-P

Hmmm... captcha = press. Rather how it feels at the mo'. :-/ Will have to go away & think about why it's such a big deal. Prob. just b/c so much emphasis has always been placed on freedom here, and it feels like the top of a potentially slippery slope. :-/

I can see breaking up the text more as yes, the big blocks can be a bit visually intimidating at times, but since there are usually multiple pics sent as well, I'm really not seeing the problem myself.

I know w/some of my entries, places that were clearly intended to be broken up by the various pics weren't divided out. Now I know that's prob. b/c I end up submitting my pieces at midnight Wednesday, so it's not a big deal for me personlly, but it does show places for easy fixing w/o censorship or constraint.

Besides, isn't savoring what the Treat is all about anyway? Maybe I'm just weird that way, but I do plan on going back over time and commenting on the Treats I've missed, inc. the ones from b/f I started. More text just means more to love! :-D

In any case, I am very glad that you didn't give up on the Treat altogether. :-) Pls don't let a normal summer slow-down convince you that we don't want or need the Treat any more. We do, and the World does. :-)

Keep the Faith! :-)
-Bird

Amanda Fall - PersistentGreen said...

Hey, as long as we get to keep our TST, I'm with you all the way. I'm also 100% behind anything that will make this easier for you, Tash, since you work your tail off for us! Thank you so much.

I really love the written portions, but I have to admit they DO get hard to read when we have to scroll so much. I think the mainly visual collections probably were more successful. However, if we ever put together a TST book, we could easily each have a little written portion........ ;)

giraffelabel said...

hey everyone! i'm so sorry that i have been in (and mostly) out so much lately. tst means so much to me, and even when i do not participate, i love seeing what everyone does. i hope i can play again this week. thank you natasha for all of your hard work! this place is totally inspiring and uplifting, and i am so happy to be a part of it!!

lisianblue said...

Natasha - from one of the long winded ones - i can easily deal without all the words -
except that it does seem somewhat beneficial to read about pulling sucesses out of "failures", ideas and thoughts about the process, the inspiration,
but, it is your blog, and it is your time and energy going into this - so I will try very very hard to limit what I say next time I contribute a piece -
We could always put that on our own blogs if we really want. I would be very sad to see this go altogether!!!!
Not sure if I will get something done this week - have alot going on - which will be done by Aug 1.

Natasha said...

It's late and I'm tired but wanted to respond. In writing school, I was given an exercise again and again it seemed to write things like 3 word sentences or go over and over and over a sentence looking for wds to eliminate. It wasn't easy in fact it sucked but learned a valuable skill...editing myself allowed me to reach my point with a clarity I had not originally had. I say this because going back to being more visual is not about censorship...it's simply about saying what you want with less words and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I'm guilty of going on and on in a post and often that's when I didn't have enough time to edit. But I invite the challenge of letting my pictures say what they need to and letting my words be more powerful and I'm willing to work at that.

There will still be stories and there will be more opportunities to write will appear in different ways here.

In the comments section go on as long as you like, in new sections go on and on...this place is about freedom and sharing and creating I am NOT freaking censoring anything.

I cannot please everyone and frankly I'm tired of trying.

Thank you all for your responses. I will not be responding to anything again until Monday. Have a good weekend.

Natasha

aquamaureen said...

I don't think any of us (other than you, Natasha, of course) has ANY idea of the work that goes into keeping this site going.

As a general organizational approach, I would defer any decision to whoever was carrying all the responsibility for the site--which, in this case, is Natasha.

Bird, I'm not picking on you when I mention "censorship"--it's quite possible you spoke what some others might be concerned about. But I don't think "censorship" is what's going on here. If we were asked to submit a certain thing and then limits were placed on that, then we'd have "censorship." But if my memory serves me correctly, in the beginning we were asked to create something and then send a picture of it. It sounds to me as if Natasha is just sort of "cleaning house" and having us return to how things were intended to be originally.

I have a writing group that has been fully operational since the 1970's. Part of the secret of its longevity is that the members are willing to suffer growing pains, take hard looks at themselves, and make necessary adjustments.
Thank you, Natasha, for inviting us to do that.

We are a bunch of incredibly gifted and giving artists--it's not surprising that we might "overflow" at times. But we also need to be willing to cleanup when we spill over. AGain, I think that is what Natasha is asking us to do.

My bottom line: I think TST is very powerful as a collection of mostly visual work. Also, I will do just about anything to make things easier for Natasha, because I am so deeply grateful to have this site to participate in. And I don't want to be part of causing her to burn out.

Amanda Fall - PersistentGreen said...

I don't see this as censorship either--merely a refocusing and returning to our TST roots. I've been in on this lovely, joyful, creative, inspiring, blessings-filled journey since the second week--and what a wild ride it's been!

My favorite times have been when I feel "challenged" by TST--in a good way. I think this idea of limiting words can actually be a creative challenge: how much can you say with how little? Just as Natasha posted about her experience in classes, learning to edit can be VERY powerful. I look forward to it!

Felicia Kramer said...

Maureen and Amanda - well said!!!!
I've said it before, but since I started my blog, I have even more respect for this site because I now know how time consuming and difficult it is just to post the stuff. (Blogspot doesn't make it easier either.) So I'm 100% supportive of whatever Natasha wants to do.

Phoenyx Ravenswing said...

Greetings!

True that, Amanda, and in my various thinkings on the subject over the weekend, I came to the conclusion, among other things, that it would have been wonderful if the initial thought had been presented that way.

Even tho' it ends out the same, it doesn't have that heavy, threatening feeling to it that has descended on some other much-beloved sites and ended up killing them off in the end.

It's light and wonderful, and very much in line w/what the Treat has been about - learning & growth. :-)

I very much like how you put it as well. Games & fun & challenge are also what the Treat is about, and that I can fully support. :-)
***********

Overstated, yes, and for one who is as picky about definitions as I, that's a very embarrassing thing to admit.

I'm also sorry that folk took what was said to such an extreme. It was never meant that way on my part. Perhaps some further editing of my original post would have helped there too! :-P (Thereby neatly proving her point. :-D)

It was said precisely b/c I DO love this place so much and really care what happens to it. I'm sorry if folk took that as more than I meant.

And yes, lightening your load, Natasha, could be the very happy thing. Is there a place or several for us to do so? :-)

I very much agree w/Amanda also about the keeping the Treat is the most important thing at the end of it all. So is there a place or more that we can help out with? :-)

Bright Blessings & Good Fortune, All! :-)
-Bird

Amanda Fall - PersistentGreen said...

I love the passion here! I think if I read too much into your response, Bird, or anyone else--it's only because we all have so much love for TST. Seriously. Any other place, would we care if it changed? Not really. It's a testament to the success and power of TST that we DO all feel so strongly about it and want our precious little baby safe!!! :)

Big hugs to everybody! No matter what happens, we have met incredible people here, and made incredible art! That's a win in my book.

Phoenyx Ravenswing said...

Greetings!

Exactly, Amanda!!! :-) Perfectly put. :-)

*bighugs to you too!* :-)
BB & GF! :-)
-Bird

Natasha said...

This has been an incredible journey with this post. I agree with you, Amanda. The passion that exists here is incredible. It's a testament to the talent that is here.

Bird, thanks for the offer to help. As it stands right now by responding, commenting, and sending in names of people to celebrate and any other ideas you are all already helping. I will let people know if I need more...thanks for the offer.

Thank you to everyone who responded here. Your words mean a great deal to me.

Natasha