Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Five Star Friday's 132nd Edition Is Brought to You By Patti Smith

This Five Star Friday roundup is brought to you by prejudice, darkness, paper snowflakes, a daughter, letting go, dealing with illness, Reverb 10, female empowerment, happiness, the search for an interesting life, child abuse, memories, the power of exclusiveness, a generous surprise, new motherhood, strong and present selfhood, adoption, judgement, bookshelves, and Patti Smith:

Patti-Smith.jpg
In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.
     — Patti Smith

If you wrote a piece over the course of 2010 that you want to share, leave a link in the comments. Bring us into 2011 with some good writing!

Happy Friday, and happy New Year!

"

My Middle Name

" from

The Busy Dad Blog

:

I don't remember the fight. But I do remember sitting in math class afterwards, unable to write anything on the worksheet in front of me because my hand was trembling uncontrollably. I also remember the dozens of perfect red dots on Jeff's white polo shirt, which matched the missing skin on my middle knuckle.
There we were. The only two Asian kids in an otherwise white working class New England town, divided and conquered.

"

The Unbearable Darkness of Being

" from

Mommy Wants Vodka

"

On Having a Girl

" from

A Silly Little Blog

"

Letting Go of the Potato Peeler and Other Weighty Things, Only to Have Them Return

" from

Plant This Garden

:

But that stuff, that weight, that grief and anger - it doesn't just sit in a bin waiting to be found like my old plastic peeler. The heavy sorrows are more like the organic scraps we throw in there. They break down. They morph. They help us grow into something else. I will take the humus and pour it around my seedlings. They will use this decomposed waste as nutrients and will grow into a bountiful garden.

"

Out My Window 2: Paper Snowflakes

" by

Rene Joshi-Sims

at

Hedge Society

"

Woman Power

" from

Blogs Are Stupid

"

How to Make Life More Interesting

" from

Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist

:

There's one thing interesting lives have in common, though: you feel at least a tiny bit uncomfortable. Anxiety is the perfect indicator. Instead of worrying about or trying to ignore it, maybe we should let it be our guide.

"

It's Been Awhile...

" from

Reflections from the Shaman's Hut

"

Misery Isn't the Only Thing That Loves Company

" from

The Trephine

"

A Dry-Eyed Death

" from

Jane Devin

:

No one tried to kill my mother when she was dying of bone cancer. No one threw Norman across the room when he got old. That's the way it should be, even if they were short on mercy themselves, but I wonder if on their deathbeds they ever asked for forgiveness. I wonder if they ever gave any thought at all to the lies they told, the abuses they meted out, and the damages they caused. My guess is that they did not. My guess is that like many people they rewrote their own versions of history and cast themselves as people who "did the best they could". That was one of my mother's favorite lines, but it was also a lie. I don't recall her ever stopping in the middle of an outburst or beating to consider what she was doing. And when she knew she was dying, she didn't offer up any apologies or needed truths. She promised me once that she would tell me who my father was before she died. When the time came to tell me, she said no—it didn't matter. She held the one truth I ever needed from her hostage. She used it as a weapon, and managed to get one more shot in before she died in 1996.

"

#Reverb10: Prompt 11 + Prompt 13 = 26 ( + Prompt 28)

" from

French Christmas

"

Memory Glimpse – From Boy to Man

" from

The Domesticated Bohemian

"

I-Thou: Making Cosmic Connections

" from

Peter Wilkin's BLOG

:

The next thing I remember is the throaty grumble of a passing Land Rover pulling me from my reverie. Yet time had most certainly passed between my experiencing of the snow and my moment of awakening. At some point in space my glacial cocoon had ceased to be an It, as I became bound up in relation to it. As Martin Buber writes, I had been 'seized by the power of exclusiveness.'

"

The Quilt

" from

Old Blue Socks

"

Here's the Long Version of How Trauma Broke Me Open, Devastated Me, and Now How It's Healing

" from

Kelly Rae Roberts

"

So I Turned Myself to Face Me

" from

cribchronicles.com

:

i want to be Bon, partner to Dave. i want to be mother and writer and thinker and witness and friend…and maybe middle-aged rebel rebel, whatever imprint that makes in the warm, impermanent sand.
bring it, 2011.
happiest of New Years, my friends.

"

I Can't Answer Your Question

" from

Attack of the Redneck Mommy

"

Lesson Eight: I'm Judging You

" by

Jenny Lawson

at

The Stir

"

The Bookcase

" from

Resistant But Persistent

If you picked up any of these books and turned the pages, the chances are a ticket would fall to the floor. A train pass or a boarding card, sometimes a theatre or concert ticket, each a symbol of things I'd been doing at the time I read the book, each a reminder of escape or perhaps truancy from expectation. If you looked to the back of Sebastian Faulk's Birdsong, you'd see the edges of a page roughly torn out, used to write a love letter on a beach.

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.

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Once, There Was A World That Was Naturally Warm

The Last 12 Months At Schmutzie.com In Links And Pictures: Let's Hope 2010 Doesn't Let The Door Hit Its Ass On The Way Out