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 212th Edition Is Brought to You By Cheryl Strayed

This week's Five Star Friday is brought to you by a mother's intolerance, a Christian who isn't intolerant, self-acceptance and teaching our children, a childhood in Scientology, reaching out through the void, and Cheryl Strayed:

TEDxConcordiaUPortland2012 - Cheryl Strayed

photo credit:

TEDxConcordiaUPortland Planning Team

One thing any backpacker will tell you is that it's tedious and monotonous. You're bored sometimes, so you really have to make the fun in your head.
     — Cheryl Strayed

Let the weekly roundup of good blog writing begin. Happy Friday!


An Open Letter

" from

The Extraordinary Ordinary


You know what's always tricky for me? I'm in the middle, right? I mean, I grew up with Christians and I have Christian friends and I believe in the foundational powerful gospel of Christ. But if I say what I think, I'm attacked by them. And if I don't say what I think, I'm not serving you (and so many others) like I think I should. I guess I'm kind of screaming, finally, by writing this to you. When I imagine Christians directing their arguments toward me in response to the beliefs I'm writing about here, I want to tell them, first of all, this...


I Don't Weigh Myself Any More, Because I'm a Mom of Girls

" from

Last Mom On Earth


I don't know if I can undo what's been done to me. I'm trying. Some part of me must believe it's possible. Please believe me that I'm trying. I don't know if I can ever unravel the years of negativity and abuse I've endured at my own hands, and at the hands of a society that wants to keep me small and quiet, that wants me to buy a version of me that they're selling.
I do know, though, that there are mountains I can move for my children.


Scientology and Me: Part One, Growing Up In the Church

" by Stella Forstner at

The Hairpin


I was about the age Suri Cruise is now when I had my first session. Mickey, my first-grade teacher at the non-traditional school I attended, had announced that day that he would soon be leaving for a new job somewhere in California. All I remember now of Mickey is his warmth, and his soft, crinkly eyes and thick black beard, but the day he made his announcement, I was devastated in the way only a six-year-old can be — someone I loved was leaving me! The world had turned cruel. I trudged home to my mother, sobbing, and though I'm not sure who brought up the idea first, I knew a session was just what I needed.


To Love a Stranger

" from

Love With Bellymonster


"I hope that this conversation has offered you something good. I hope that in the days and weeks to come, something will happen or a call will come and you'll think of my sons and me and this all make some sense."
"Why do you hope that?" she asked, resigned, a little bit bitter. A LOT angry.
"Because," interrupted an older man, sitting quietly nearby with his wife, cradling a coffee in his hand, "Because you have lost love. Hope's all you've got left."


Channel B

" by

Megan Stielstra


The Rumpus


We live in a third-floor walk-up in Uptown surrounded by other third-floor walk-ups. Jumping onto a neighbor’s Wi-Fi signal isn’t much of a stretch, so perhaps the fact that I could toggle between babies shouldn’t have been a surprise. But it was. It was huge. I was obsessed. On one hand, it was totally creepy — stalking, even — but on the other? It was sort of magical, like walkie-talkies and CB radios when you’re a kid: connecting with someone across the void, adding your voice to the collective unconscious, feeling less alone in this crazy world, and who knows who might be listening?
Who knows who’s in that Uptown condo on channel B?
A baby, to be sure, but it wasn’t the baby I was obsessed with.
It was the mother.

Please come back and share good writing with us over the coming week to be featured on the next

Five Star Friday

. If you have read a really good piece on someone else's weblog,

submit it by Thursday at midnight CST

to have it featured on

Five Star Friday


And because you are a fan of finding good new writing on the internet:

Nap Partner

You and Lucy and Me Make Three