Thanks so much for your patience, friends -- and welcome to the brand new Chookooloonks! There are still a few tweaks and updates to be done, but for the most part, the site design is complete.
As you've probably noticed, the site design is very different from what it looked like last week, or even the design incarnation before that one. And while there are a few technical reasons why I decided to change the look of the site so drastically, there are a few bigger personal reasons, as well. For example:
• I promised myself that I was going to focus more on the Story -- and I found that if I were going to do so in any real way, I needed to get rid of any distractions on the site -- really pare it down, so that it focused on the words and the images. To this end, I eliminated the sidebar on the blog -- now, when you visit, you'll just see stories and images, and nothing else.
• I remembered why I started blogging in the first place. Or to be more honest, I recently realized that I had been buying into the current social media thinking that getting viewers to click on pages as often as possible to maximize page views as a good thing, even more important than actually creating content, and I was depressing myself. Seriously, what had happened to me? I started blogging almost 10 years ago because I wanted to share words and images, not because I wanted to maximize page views! This realization was a true wake-up call, and reminded me what was important to me, and what really motivates me to shoot and write every day. Besides, nothing bugs me more when I'm visiting a site than when it requires me to click-click-click to see images, or look through galleries. And if it bugs me, I'm assuming it bugs you -- so I was mindful of minimizing clicks as much as possible in this design.
• Finally, my birthday's this week! Last year when I turned 45, I actually had a hard time with my birthday for a variety of reasons, but most of which boiled down to my not having taken care of myself as well as I should have been in recent years. Since that time, quietly, privately, I've been making some adjustments -- small, simple changes, nothing drastic (I've become exceedingly "anti-drastic" when it comes to taking care of myself) -- that mostly have to do with really paying attention to what my body wants, and absolutely nothing to do with whatever the current "intelligence" is on "what's good for you." The result is that I'm feeling better than I have in a long time. And now it's a year later, and I'm actually quite excited about my birthday! So I wanted my site to reflect how I'm feeling about myself these days: clearer, if that makes any sense, and more open, both physically and mentally.
So, given all this, I present to you the new, more "me" site! As I mentioned, there are still a few tweaks here and there that need to be done, but while I'm making them, please feel free to poke around: the gallery page is new, featuring some of my favourite shots from some wonderful places. Also, please check out the shop page -- I'm finally offering signed, personalized copies of The Beauty of Different (US only for now, I'm afraid, but stay tuned for some ebooks in development that I'm getting really excited about, and will be available to you wherever in the world you might be). And please, let me know if you see anything that's buggy -- because I want Chookooloonks to be a place that you're excited to visit.