Five Star's 313th Great Blog Roundup Is Brought to You By Tim Winton

This week's Five Star roundup is brought to you by writing without a safety net, how we talk about war, the difficulty of journalling, understanding reluctant motherhood, internet exhibitionism throwing us out of whack, a life-altering decision, making it through mid-life with strength and compassion, figuring out how to parent with humanity, nursing as a way of life, and Tim Winton:

by DAEaton (own work) [ CC BY-SA 3.0 ],  via Wikimedia Commons

by DAEaton (own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It's the pointless things that give your life meaning. Friendship, compassion, art, love. All of them pointless. But they're what keeps life from being meaningless.
— Tim Winton —

Happy Wednesday, and happy reading!

"Dolla Dolla Bills Y’all. The Unsponsored Writer." by Shannon Barber at About that Writing thing:

Apparently a lot of writers are talking where they get money etc right now.
I’ve read several of these articles and I must confess to a lot of eye rolling.
So how about the view from the bottom?

"Rough Men Stand Ready" by Jenny Poore at Sometimes There Are Stories Here:

In 1970 my dad had an unlucky number. His unlucky number was pulled and the government made him go to the other side of the world to fight in a war. When he got back he was hated for doing something he’d never wanted to do in the first place. In the photo albums my dad is impossibly skinny and wears dark green shirts. When I was little he’d let me wear his war medals on my pretend army clothes and never minded if I lost one. That was how much my dad cared for his war.

"Life Writing" by Zadie Smith at Rookie Mag:

For a long time, I’ve wanted to keep a diary. I tried throughout adolescence but always gave it up. I dreamt of being very frank, like Joe Orton, whose diaries I admired very much; I found them in the library when I was about 14.

"Other Mothers" by Stephanie Yuhas at American Goulash:

"…I don’t vant to be the modder, dah same vay you don’t vant to be a modder. I like having a sister but I vas not meant to have a child. No offense. You turned out fine, so if I had to have a baby, I’m glad I ended up with you. I vish you vere here, but somebody else’s daughter."

"You-you are so much better than exhibitionist-you" by Gina Trapani at

When you follow someone online who you adore in person, it's a gamble. In the best case, you gain a magical social sixth sense about your friend's life and work that enhances the relationship. In the worst, they turn out to be an irritating exhibitionist, religious/political/Crossfit/[insert current trend] fanatic, or strident wanna-be thought leader. And it makes you love that person less.

"This Birthday Memory Brought To You By Coors" by Mike Calahan at B.L.O.G.:

It was then that we heard my dad’s car pull into the driveway. At the first sign of an adult, standard sleepover protocol dictated everyone pretend to be asleep. And so, as what sounded like 200 keys rattled to unlock the front door and the first sounds of cowboy boots clomped on the entryway linoleum, none of us knew that our sleepover was to be front row to what happened next.

"Remembering What Our Pain Is Good For" by Shelly Smith at Elephant Journal:

I had figured I would skip my midlife crisis. (How cute.)

"Clearly the Solution was Fire and Urine" by Mollytopia at Mollytopia:

She had collapsed in on herself and was sobbing at the table.  I patted her on the back in that awkward way which precisely conveys, “I don’t know what to do, or what to say, and I want to run from this emotional Hazmat scenario as fast as I can but I’m required by law to suffer with you.”

"In the Practice of Her Calling" by Lisa Schamess at cheapbohemian:

My mother was a nurse, and it defined her life. She fought her parents to become one, put herself through school without their money. They believed nursing was beneath her. All those bedpans. All that blood and stink. But my mom, who created doll hospitals in the backyard and ministered to stray cats and dogs all her childhood, marched herself to nursing school in 1949 and never once looked back.

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