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 221st Edition Is Brought to You By W. Somerset Maugham

This week's Five Star Friday is brought to you by the reality of being an Afghani girl, Wendi Aarons ridiculousness, a new puppy, the Idle No More movement, becoming the girl that doesn't go, a former bully's confession, and

W. Somerset Maugham

:

maugham.jpg
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
     — W. Somerset Maugham

Happy Friday!

"

Can I Talk?

" by Fatima H. at

Afghan Women's Writing Project

:

The pain of being a girl comes down as tears on my cheeks. For centuries I have cried for being a girl. They taught me to be silent when I wanted to speak for myself. They taught me to stay in a dark room because I did not deserve the light. They did not let me be myself because I was created to be property. They closed doors that would let me escape and opened only the doors they wanted me to walk through. I cried, nobody heard me. I suffered, nobody cared. I felt lonely, I was too unworthy to be accompanied.

"

Quiz: Test Your Health and Fitness IQ!

" from

Wendi Aarons

:

3. If you want more calcium in your diet, you should:
A) Add a serving of skim milk to your 32 oz. Diet Coke.
B) Up your daily Cheez-Its intake from one box to two.
C) Lick a cow on her white parts.

"

Right and Stupid

" from

Breed 'Em and Weep

:

The Flying Dog, rescued from vile innkeepers (or say they were), will be Isabella Cosette, and she is welcome to any of my cutlery: teaspoons, tablespoons, forks, knives. I stroke her satin skin and paper-thin ears, traced with fine red capillaries. Her tail has a lump, possibly a break from her brief time in her litter in Purdy, Missouri, puppy mill capital of the South.
I did this thing. I brought her home, because it was right. Right and stupid can co-exist, I learn all the time, the way of the necessary fool. I set her down and dig my knuckles into my eyes, my fingers smelling faintly of puppy poo and buttered popcorn. Some things, I can make right. Some things, I can't find my way.

"

Labellium, Labellia, Labellioooo

" from

Centre of the Universe

:

Just because you don’t agree with someone doesn’t mean you are being discriminatory or bigoted. That means you can disagree with Idle No More without being a racist. You can disagree with the treaties themselves without being a racist. You can hate the fact that ANY Canadians get treated differently from any OTHER Canadians, and that doesn’t make you a racist.

"

Thoughts from the Girl Who Goes: On Place, Planes, Permanence

" from

Stories of Conflict and Love

:

For me, this is not about more or less. This is not an experiment in the perfect recipe of writing, working, or living. Rather, it is a question of peace and authenticity, a question of space — of carving out space for various interests, dreams and ambitions and accommodating the ways in which they sometimes pull me in different directions. I am shedding layers and belongings these days, discarding what is weighing me down, making room on the shelves. At the same time, I am holding on to parts that still feel true, to ticket stubs that still mean something, to the identities that co-exist, however imperfectly.

"

Confessions of a Teenage Word-Bully

" by

John Cook

at

Gawker

:

Ramming Speed was a brief cause célèbre in our tiny junior-high world, a jaw-dropping feat of anti-authoritarianism that earned us the admiration of many students and even a few teachers, who marveled at our precocious ingenuity and entrepreneurialism even if they loathed the product. It was the sort of thing I would deploy in later years in bar conversations as a self-deprecating (and simultaneously self-aggrandizing) tale of misspent youth. "Oh, you got caught skipping school once? Well, let me tell you about my first newspaper assignment."
Here's what I never said in those bar conversations: Ramming Speed was filled with gutter racism, written by me, that turns my stomach to think of today.

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:

11/365: Muffled Reports

10/365: Bodies and Hearts