The 332nd Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By Rainbow Rowell

This week's Five Star Mixtape blog roundup is brought to you by the awkwardness of youth, choosing a road less travelled after breast cancer, the importance of who it is we rely upon to define blackness, a truth revealed if not universally received, the damage we do by casting women as the natural instigators of sexual sin, using the recognition of what we have to foster connection, a higher ideal for news media, and Rainbow Rowell:

by Eleanor [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr (Rainbow Rowell at right)

by Eleanor [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr (Rainbow Rowell at right)

I feel like some sort of fiction-writing hobo, jumping trains and always hoping I'll find a good place to start a fire in the next town. And I keep having these panicky episodes where I corner my husband and rant at him: 'I don't have anywhere to write! I can't write! I don't have a place to write!'

— Rainbow Rowell —

Happy reading!


"This Nerd Has Flown" by Tracy at The Oh Really:

Our underground Beatles sessions continued for the next few weeks and once, while we were singing, I crossed the line. You can’t expect hormonal teenagers to have secret meetings without something happening. Unlike Angela Chase and Jordan Catalano meeting in the janitor’s closet for feverish making out, however, I placed my hand on his shoulder and then took it off as if he were an unattended stove. We did not speak of it.

"The Young and the Breast-less" by Heather Caro at My Life, Distilled:

Knowing what I do now, about complication rates and satisfaction scores, I'm not sure I would have gone down the reconstruction route in the first place. Ironically, three years after losing my breasts and letting go of "conventional" standards of beauty, I feel more confident than ever. And I got to that point not through obtaining surgically constructed lumps on my chest, but rather by discovering that I am still me without them.

"White On Paper" by John Metta at Medium's Those People:

What does it even mean to be Black?
These are complex questions that are difficult to answer. But, they are our questions to answer. Because the question of what it means to be Black is a Black question, full stop.

"(Re)birth Defect: When Vindication Comes 39 Years Too Late" by Karrie Higgins at A True Testimony:

I have a birth defect, but I didn’t know it until I was 39 years old.

I was waiting in an examination room for MRI results when my neurologist walked in, climbed atop the patient table without so much as a nod, flipped open a manila folder, and said, “Has anyone ever told you that you have a brain deformity?”

"I Don the Harlot's Robe With Gusto" by Rebecka Eggers at Rebelle Society:

These religious doctrines, all of which indict female bodies as the fuel for the rapist’s fire, are not just an unfortunate backdrop to the crimes they excuse. These doctrines are the institutionalized sexual violation of women…

To teach generation after generation of men that they are not responsible for their urges and impulses is to light the fuse on a ticking time bomb. Over and over again it predictably explodes.

"The Narrative of Privilege" by S Luckett G at This Liminal Space:

It is gratifying to believe that we are the sole operating agents of our own lives… It is unsettling to imagine the great fortune we have in a confluence of circumstances that is entirely outside of our control. It undermines the distinction between us and those less fortunate. It is scary, because it makes us just like the young woman with damaged feet, only luckier.

"Utopian Media: What Would 'the News' Look Like in a Wiser Society than Ours?" by Alain de Botton at ABC Religion & Ethics:

Utopian ideas aren't meant to be immediately practical. That's precisely why they are so useful: they take our minds off the problems of the here and now and offer us a grander vision of what there is to aim for.

Five Star Mixtape

4 things you can do because you are a fan of finding good, new writing online:

  • Subscribe — Subscribe to this website to keep up with us every week.
  • Show your pride — Take one of our badges for your website and spread the word.
  • Share good writing — Submit nominations by Tuesday at midnight EST for possible inclusion in the next roundup.
  • Support my work — Throw a little cash in my tip jar at Recurrency.
Comment

Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

The 331st Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By Homer

This week's Five Star Mixtape blog roundup is brought to you by a refreshingly constructive look at grief, growing beyond one's prejudice within the faith that produced it, a psychological move out of a dark history, experiencing a son's shift to adulthood, the love of a quiet father, the lure of the idea of authenticity, confident self-direction, the multiverse, truth and reconciliation, and Homer:

by Charles Nicolas Rafael Lafond (1774–1835) [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

by Charles Nicolas Rafael Lafond (1774–1835) [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.

— Homer, The Iliad

"I’m Sorry I Didn’t Respond to Your Email, My Husband Coughed to Death Two Years Ago" by Rachel Ward at Medium's Personal Growth:

Probably the biggest finding of the past two years for me is that being comfortable being uncomfortable is a very effective way to be a human.

"How Being a Pastor Changed My Thinking on Homosexuality" by Dave Barnhart at Dave Barnhart's Blog:

Locked out of the kingdom. An evangelical program of hate. There are no better words to describe anti-gay Christianity.

"Earthquakes. And Iran. And Ta-Nehisi Coates." by Rita Arens at Surrender, Dorothy:

Seeing black skin as anything but black skin kicks back to a dead time, a time we must acknowledge existed and consciously move to work past. We must look slavery in its face and spit.

"This Man, My Son" by Sarah Piazza at Splitting Infinitives:

This isn't the way it used to be. His homework in elementary school was disastrously messy. Even the paper on which it was written was bent or curled, sometimes ripped, if in fact he had remembered to do the homework in the first place.
But then not much is the way it used to be.

"My Father, the Introvert: A Photo Essay" by Jennifer Mattern at Quiet Revolution:

It should be noted that my father rarely spends time with anyone these days. His best friend died suddenly last year, and he’s never had the stomach for parties or crowds. He is a complete and utter introvert with a brilliant, sardonic mathematician’s mind. He prefers his people wedged in the pages of the thousands of books he reads, or onstage—in the characters he sometimes plays in local theatres. Real-life people and their various follies and dramas exhaust him.

"The Myth of One True Self" by Malin James at Malin James:

Part of what makes masks (and the implication one true self) seductive, is that the removing of a mask creates intimacy. While a private revelation is legitimately intimate, it’s important to remember that “unmasking” is a performance too. Despite the seductive intimacy, removing a mask simply means revealing something that was previously hidden. It doesn’t mean that the revealed thing is any “truer” than the things you consciously expose.

"Birthday Gifts to Myself" by A. Kirby-Payne at Narrowback Slacker:

…after four decades on God’s green earth, you are kind of an adult whether you like it or not. You can actually decide what you want to do and what you don’t want to do, within reason. I mean, I can’t decide that I am a wizard or that I no longer wish to pay my taxes. But I digress. The point is, a few weeks after I turned 40 I decided–without realizing it–that I no longer had to go to parties.

"On the Berenstein Bears Switcheroo" by Reece at The Wood Between Worlds:

It was probably the silliest, most outlandish thing I've put forward, but I put if out there. For those not familiar with it, I claimed that two of these "universes" in the complex-dimensional spacetime have two different spellings of the name. I will henceforth call these Universe A and Universe E. In Universe A, they are spelled "Berenstain". In Universe E, they are spelled "Berenstein". Whatever else is true, we currently live in Universe A. However, at some point, it seems that some of us once lived in Universe E. Now here we are, inexplicably in Universe A, and completely befuddled.

"Truth and Reconciliation Recommendations" by Allegra Rivett Sloman at Allegra Rivett Sloman's Blog:

The time has long passed for any settler to be allowed to consider the “Injuns” who were here when their ancestors arrived to have been an amorphous blob of ignorant savages, indistinguishable and extinguishable in equal measure. That they had no cannons doesn’t undo their nationhood.

Five Star Mixtape: read great blogs

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

Comment

Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

The 330th Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By Ann Rule

This week's Five Star Mixtape is brought to you by the idea of doing less harm rather than more good, the magic of connection through shared trauma, allowing yourself the room to feel, realizing you're not at the end of your story, sudden redirections, staying candid, grokking suffering, and Ann Rule:

 
Ann Rule

Lazy people tend not to take chances, but express themselves by tearing down other's work.

— Ann Rule —
 

Happy reading!


"The Thriving World, the Wilting World, and You" by Anand Giridharadas at Medium's Aspen Ideas:

The Aspen Consensus, I believe, tries to market the idea of generosity as a substitute for the idea of justice. It says: make money in all the usual ways, and then give some back through a foundation, or factor in social impact, or add a second or third bottom line to your analysis, or give a left sock to the poor for every right sock you sell.

The Aspen Consensus says, “Do more good” — not “Do less harm.”

"Last night, after realizing I'd missed the last train coming home from Vienna…" by Jen Lemen at Facebook:

We joke about the futility of therapy and appointments and being able to say anything real on a timer, and I tell him how the African Uber drivers saved me, how I told this guy or that one everything that happened and how they'd pull over because they had seen the same things or drive real slow so they could advise me about how to think about things, how to lay things to rest, until I didn't want to have a car anymore. Until I just wanted to drive around with them all day until I could think straight and eventually started to feel better.

"I Need a Hug" by Brenda Keesal at Burns the Fire:

I’m chugging kale in a San Francisco juice bar, contemplating an aching heart and Joe the hugger in Montreal. He’s the wise man at my café, who the tough guys are nuts about and heave-ho their lumbering bodies to embrace. I eyeballed Joe for months before I wrote a word about his telekinetic hugs. We’re pals now.

"Enough People in the World Want to Make You Feel Like Shit. Don’t Help Them." by Nina Bargiel at The Slack Daily:

By the time I turned 30, I had written seventeen episodes of an iconic television show (Lizzie McGuire), been nominated for two Emmys, had an Agent, a Manager, and a size 6 body that I could cram into all sorts of fun outfits.

By the time I turned 35, I was near-broke, hadn’t had a writing job in 18 months and was working the front desk of the spinning gym that I had formerly been a customer at.

"Where’re You Goin’?" by Ra at Rarasaur:

My husband would often tell people he loved that about me– how it was a trait of mine he aspired for himself.  I always go forward, not backwards or in circles, and I do it without stepping on an ant or getting lost in my own shadow.

Then…

"In Praise of the Imperfect Photograph" by Heather Greenwood Davis at National Geographic's Intelligent Travel:

My father, 69, is going through his massive collection of slides and digitizing them. As a result, every few days a photo or two from a family beach outing or a holiday long past will pop into my email stream without warning.

They aren’t particularly arresting images — no wild kaleidoscopic sunsets or Instagram-worthy food shots here — and yet they command my immediate attention.

"Suffering Is the New Joy" by Bonnie Rose at Holy Chit:

Somehow, through the years of living, ministry, dying loved ones, lost pets and lost loves, I’m learning to ask “Can you walk?” I’m learning to ask the other hard questions and be still and present with the answers.   I am learning how to suffer.

Five Star Mixtape

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

1 Comment

Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.