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 143rd Edition Is Brought to You By Jonathan Franzen

This Five Star Friday roundup is brought to you by food, divorce, pneumonia, domestic violence, a birthday, homelessness, the earthquake in Japan, a short story, insensitivity, a beginning, finding the perfect man, lack of diversity in mommyblogging, a goodbye, an open letter, a five-minute poem, and Jonathan Franzen:

Franzen

photo credit:

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

But the first lesson reading teaches is how to be alone.
     — Jonathan Franzen

Feel free to share urls to your own good writing in the comments. Show off a little for us.

Happy Friday!

"

My Homeless Neighbors

" from

Big Fat Trauma Queen

at

Open Salon

:

My brown-toothed neighbor, John, used to smash my car window to search for loose change under the seats. I decided it would be cheaper to make friends with him and give him the change directly.
So I introduced myself.

"

The Food Wars

" from

Notes From the Cookie Jar

"

Tuesday Communities

" from

10% Fiction

"

Thoughts On Turning 49

" from

Jane Devin

:

I can belong to a lover only as long as she loves me; to a family only as long as I am welcomed; and to a place only as long as it will have me. I have always belonged to myself, though. Independent, stubborn, tough—yes—because everything else is fleeting and may or may not be there tomorrow. Kind, bitter, gentle, afraid, anxious, compassionate, probing, hurt, laughing, curious, loving—yes—all parts of my nature are intact. At 49, that which is broken or has been broken has become part of the whole. I am my own child-woman-daughter-sister-lover-wife-worker-writer-mother. I chase after butterflies and remind myself when it’s time to go home. I hold out my hands to those who might need them and take the hands that are offered. I nurture, care for, love, and reprimand myself at turns.

"

Once

" from

Ordinary Art

"

It's Been One Week

" from

Shinshu Life

"

The Story of My Perfect Man List

" from

Chookooloonks

:

After work, I went home, poured myself a glass of wine, and pulled out the book. The spell in question said something like I should write every attribute I wanted in my dream man on a piece of parchment, and then roll it up and stick it in a silken bag. Then, I was required to sprinkle lavender water on it, take it outside, and say something like higgledy-biggledy-boo. After that, I was supposed to sleep with the bag under my pillow for a fortnight.
Well.

"

Liz Bolton, 1969-2011

" from

The Little Paper

"

Dads, How Are You Raising Your Princesses?

" from

Princess Parade

"

The Middle Ground

" from

Wordletting

:

This is not a reinvention. I am enough. There is no resolution in extremes. The middle ground is where the brave reside. A place of acceptance rather than control. A place where doubt and uncertainty is embraced. Blame and demonization is replaced with responsibility. War is not waged here, only the sharing of compassion. A place of balance and peace.

"

Go Ahead, Hit Me

" from

The Aftermath of Rainbows and Unicorns

"

The Stairs and the Doorway by Eric Dodd

" by Eric Dodd at

Raven and the Writing Desk

"

Diversity Check: Mommyblogging, Race, and the Digital Divide

" from

Knotty Yarn

:

These are sites that have big numbers, huge audiences, and substantial advertising revenue. Babble gets over 9 MILLION pageviews per month (source), Momversation gets over 400,000 pageviews per month (source 1,source 2, source). The lower number for Momversation may be reflective of their once-per-week posting schedule. Both websites collectively reach close to 10 million people per month; how much of that audience is comprised of women of color? According to Quantcast, 25% of the Babble audience and 30% of the Momversation audience are women of color. If they comprise more than a quarter of the total audience, why are minority moms so drastically underrepresented on these sites?

"

Five Minute Breakfast Poems #1

" from

Doobleh-Vay

"

Open Letter to Chris Brown

" from

Kevin Powell's Blog

"

Another Good Goodbye

" from

Ursus

:

I am better now. I know that I’d not be the kind of doctor I am without being better, and vice versa. I had to come to Erin to accomplish both objectives; and that I have to leave is, for me, a kind of breaking faith. The reasons for leaving are numerous, and good; I just can’t be the kind of doctor I know I should be to the people who need that kind of doctor. I need to stay again in Guelph, and hold on to what I have, lest it be lost, which it very nearly was. But it is with sadness and guilt, and realism, that I admit that I have to tend to the things that first led me to Guelph and eventually to Erin. I go to bed at night and think of these things, which have kept me alive; and if it is breaking faith with the people who taught me what I needed to know, which is to spend time with people who need it most, then I hope that they understand I am keeping the faith in another way, which is to spend time with my family, who need me the most.

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