The 323rd Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By William Zinsser

This week's Five Star Mixtape is brought to you by the complications of love, a celebration of Caitlyn Jenner, sidestepping depression, being thin, a faithful man asking for forgiveness, changing how we deal with childhood sexual abuse, how you say something and what it means, what we give up for our 15 minutes, the long-term fallout of abuse coupled with denial, and William Zinsser:

Writing is hard work. A clear sentence is no accident. Very few sentences come out right the first time, or even the third time. Remember this in moments of despair. If you find that writing is hard, it's because it is hard. It's one of the hardest things that people do.
— William Zinsser —

"This Might Be About Love" by Karen Rivers at Karen Rivers:

The thing with bodies is that you never know when they will simply seize up and leave you missing them. I guess by that I mean, we should appreciate what we have, if what we have is still storing us, carrying us, holding us in its vital embrace.

"God Calls Caitlyn By Name" by Father Shay at Shannon Kearns:

Here’s the thing: God has long been in the habit of changing people’s names. In fact, it’s a thread that stretches from the Hebrew Scriptures into the Christian Scriptures. All throughout our Sacred texts God changes people names. And it’s always done to highlight or reveal their true selves.

"Hey! I'm Back. By the Skin of My Teeth." by Janelle Hanchett at Renegade Mothering:

I knew this feeling. I hadn’t had it since post-partum depression with Ava. I knew it well. The rumination. The remembering back before I had kids, the staring at myself naked in the mirror before I got in the shower: The disgust. At my body, my face, the wrinkles. The gray hair. Non-descript self-hatred.

"String Bean" by Nathan James at The Relative Cartographer:

A few years ago, at a party I hosted, an acquaintance — all six-foot three, 235 pounds of him — leaned down to me and said, “Look at you! You’re just a wisp of a thing.” He meant it as a compliment, but I couldn’t stop old insecurities from flushing my face. I felt like every jock I went to high school with somehow crawled through 20 years of space/time continuum to slam me up against my own refrigerator.

''Moose Jaw Pastor Asks LGBT Community for Forgiveness" by Reverend Jim Tenford at Moose Jaw Pride:

Turning people away from our churches and being hostile toward people because of the way God makes us has never been a part of authentic Christianity and if we’re honest, it’s never really been about the Bible. If this discrimination was really Biblical, we’d all be protesting restaurants that serve shellfish and readying our stones to throw at people who work on the Sabbath.

"Call Them Out" by Kristen Mae at Abandoning Pretense:

I was not built for shame. I was not built for secrets. I was not built for SILENCE.
And neither is anyone else.
Can we change things? Can we change how instances of family abuse are handled?

"Appalachia: The Pronunciation Matters" by Whitney Caudill at It Is Pretty:

If you are from Appalachia then you, without a doubt, say Appa-LATCH-uh. If you say Appa-LAY-shuh you are not only identifying the mountain range but you are also announcing to all that you are not from there. You can say a lot in just one word.

"Icons" by Scott Long at A Paper Bird:

You act nice, you tamp down your anger and your desires, and you recruit celebrities to “raise some awareness.” But we have never calculated, and may in fact be structurally unable to calculate, what we lose for a pottage of allegorical and evanescent gains: how many demands are abandoned, how many needs left unrecognized and unmet, in the distortions of this mistranslation.

"I had a nightmare: on the Duggars, Christianity, and abuse" by Karrie Higgins at A True Testimony:

He and my husband are chatting on Skype, something they never used to do until his father got sick. In any other context, it might look like redemption: a son and father healing a rift. But already, I am suppressing an urge to yank the laptop from my husband’s hands.

And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing online: