WINGSPREAD Ezine for August 2022


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

August 2022                                                                    James P. Hurd

Please forward and share this E-zine with others. Thank you.

Contents

  • New story
  • This month’s puzzler
  • Writer’s Corner (and my new novel)
  • How to purchase Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread E-zine subscription information

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 New story: “Full Circle”

Things happen we can’t explain. Sometimes God disappoints. This is one such story.

November 1941. When I was seven months old, my dad and mom contracted with Sudan Interior Mission, packed me into their black 1939 Ford fastback, and sped like an arrow three thousand miles across the U.S. to New York where they waited to sail to Africa. But before Christmas came, the Japanese savaged Pearl Harbor and America plunged into WWII. Hostile German submarines were sinking ships like stones, so the ship lines scratched all Atlantic passengers sailing with young children. . .

To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2022/08/11/full-circle-miracle/

(*Please rate the posting, or leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

This month’s puzzler

(Thanks to “Click & Clack,” the Tappet Brothers):

On the back of the old-style $10 bill is a representation of the United States Treasury Building in our fair city of Washington, D.C.  In front of that building, there is a car. You can’t tell whether it’s parked or moving, but it is a car. The question is this: What year and make of car, is it?

And here is a hint. Anyone who is looking at the back of a new $10 bill right now, is not seeing a car. They removed it in the new design. But in the old design, there is a car in the street. And this car is way more than 50 years old. (This puzzler might entail a bit of research.)

Answer to last month’s puzzler: 

Recall that the Reds, the Grays, the Blues, and the Blacks have a round-robin tournament wherein each team plays each other team once, for a total of six games. The Blacks won more games than the Blues, and the Grays lost more games than the Blues. The Reds tied the Blacks, the only tie in the tournament. Who won the game of the Reds versus the Blues?

The Reds beat the Grays. The table lists the winners of each matchup:

 RedGrayBlueblack
Red xRedRedTie
GrayRed xBlueBlack
BlueRedBlue xBlack
BlackTieBlackBlack x

Buy James Hurd’s Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying.

How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/  (or order it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.) 
See pics here related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/

Follow “james hurd” on Facebook, or “@hurdjp” on Twitter

Writers’ Corner

I asked, what’s the greatest short story you’ve ever read? Here are some good ones:

  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Hollow of the Three Hills”: A horror story of a woman’s regret without redemption.
  • Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Hound of the Baskervilles”: Deception and death on the English moors. (A longish short story)
  • Jack London, “To Build a Fire”: Tragic adventure of a traveler in the artic. He almost got the fire built . . .

Upcoming novel: Blessed Unbeliever (provisional title)

News! I contracted with Wipf & Stock to publish Blessed Believer! (Release date as early as summer, 2023.) I’ll let you know when and where it is available.
Sean loses his father, his best girlfriend, his life dream, and finally, his faith. But how can he be a good atheist, especially when he’s stuck at Torrey Bible Institute? He can’t see it, but grace is coming . . .

Tip of the month:

If you are using a poem or a paragraph from something published before 1925, don’t worry—it is in the public domain. Otherwise, you may need to track down the copyright holder and ask permission.

Word of the Month:  PLOT ARC

The way your story must unfold. The simplest plot arc is: Setup, Confrontation, Resolution.

Subscribe free to this Ezine  

Click here https://jimhurd.com/wingspread-ezine/  to subscribe to this WINGSPREAD ezine, sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

If you wish to unsubscribe from this Wingspread Ezine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and put in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

Wisdom:

Words women use and their meanings:

Disclaimer: This is a stereotype. And it is a biased, male point of view. But for many of us, it may have a familiar ring. Women undoubtedly would have a longer list of “male” words.

Fine                                       Not fine

Good                                    Bad

Nothing                               Something

Doesn’t matter               Matters

Whatever                           I don’t think so

Whatever you want      You’d better think about what I want

You decide                        You better already know what I want

Will you handle this?   You’d better not screw it up

You can do it                    But I reserve the right to offer suggestions

World’s worst puns. Please do not unsubscribe me!

  • Dad, are we pyromaniacs? Yes, we arson.
  • What do you call a pig with laryngitis? Disgruntled.  
  • If you’re bad at haggling, you’ll end up paying the price. 
  • Just so everyone’s clear, I’m going to put my glasses on. 
  • I lost my job as a stage designer. I left without making a scene.  
  • Never buy flowers from a monk. Only you can prevent florist friars.  
  • How much did the pirate pay to get his ears pierced? A buccaneer.  
  • I once worked at a cheap pizza shop to get by. I kneaded the dough. 
  • I lost my girlfriend’s audiobook, and now I’ll never hear the end of it. 
  • When I told my contractor I didn’t want carpeted steps, they gave me a blank stair. 
  • Bono and The Edge walk into a Dublin bar and the bartender says, “Oh no, not U2 again.” 
  • Prison is just one word to you, but for some people, it’s a whole sentence. 
  • I’m trying to organize a hide and seek tournament, but good players are really hard to find. 
  • I got over my addiction to chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts. I won’t lie, it was a rocky road.  
  • What do you say to comfort a friend who’s struggling with grammar? There, their, they’re.  
  • I went to the toy store and asked the assistant where the Schwarzenegger dolls are and he replied, “Aisle B, back.” 
  • What did the surgeon say to the patient who insisted on closing up their own incision? Suture self. 
  • Finally, “I hate punsters! They should be drawn and quoted!”

WINGSPREAD Ezine for July, 2022


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

July 2022                                                            James P. Hurd

Please “like” this site, email it or reblog it, and share it with anyone. Thank you.

Contents

  • New story: Harold and Darla
  • This month’s puzzler
  • Writer’s Corner
  • WINGSPREAD E-zine subscription information

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 New story: Harold and Darla (Excerpt from my forthcoming novel, Blessed Unbeliever):

TBI’s Dean Harold Bledsoe grated on Darla Dickenson like fingernails on a blackboard. At the dean’s weekly consultation, French kissing came up. She cleared her throat and flashed a stiletto stare straight through Bledsoe. “I talk to the girls but you never talk to the boys. Why don’t you support me? And they don’t just walk around the block; they linger in the alcoves. That’s your responsibility.”

Ah yes—lingering. Couples should never linger anywhere—alcoves, the dark balcony of Moody-Sankey Auditorium, anywhere. Too much temptation . . .

To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2022/07/16/harold-dates-darla/

(*Please leave a comment on the website and share the website with your friends. Thanks.)

This month’s puzzler

The Reds, the Grays, the Blues, and the Blacks have a round-robin tournament wherein each team plays each other team once, for a total of six games. The Blacks won more games than the Blues, and the Grays lost more games than the Blues. The Reds tied the Blacks, the only tie in the tournament. Who won the game of the Reds versus the Blues? (Answer next month.)

Answer to last month’s puzzler: 

Clue #1 – The person who makes it doesn’t need it.
Clue #2 – The person who buys it doesn’t use it.
Clue #3 – The person who uses it doesn’t know it.
What is it?

The answer: A coffin.

Writers’ Corner

Watch for my upcoming novel, Blessed Unbeliever(provisional title):

Sean loses his father, his best girlfriend, his life dream, and finally, his faith. How can he be a good atheist, especially when he’s stuck at Torrey Bible Institute? He can’t see it, but grace is coming . . .

Tip of the month: When writing a novel, number your chapters. Then make a separate list of titles for each numbered chapter. Write a sentence or two about what’s in each chapter: significant events, places, and people. This will be helpful in keeping things straight chronologically and logically. Also helpful in finding a specific spot in the novel when you are editing and revising.

Word of the Month:  Epigram:   a short saying or remark expressing an idea in a clever or surprising way. Frequently these can stand at the beginning of a chapter. It is one of many devices to add variety to your writing.

Your turn:

What is the best, greatest short story you’ve ever read? Why did you like it?
(I’ll publish all responses in next month’s ezine.)

Buy James Hurd’s Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/  (or order it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.) 

See pics here related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/

Follow “james hurd” on Facebook, or “@hurdjp” on Twitter

Wisdom:

• I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.

• I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.

• This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore.

• I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.

• I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.

• Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?

• Don’t worry about old age; it doesn’t last.

Subscribe free to this Ezine

Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to this WINGSPREAD ezine, sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

If you wish to unsubscribe from this WINGSPREAD Ezine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and put in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

The Girls at Torrey Bible

[An excerpt from my novel, East Into Unbelief, soon to be released.]

March came, the days brightened and the weather turned warmer and windy, the trees dragging their leaves like nets. Sean walked across the quad and up to his English class. He loved some of the poetry they were reading, but he would never admit that to his friends. And Christian Education class. Mr. Getsch’s lectures fascinated Sean—he taught them how to teach, how to start a file drawer. Or, maybe Sean just enjoyed sitting next to Linda Fuller from Manchester-by-the-Sea.

Slightly built, Linda’s brown hair fell carelessly to her shoulders, framing her brown eyes. Usually she wore a white blouse with short sleeves, her pleated skirt falling just to her knees. and black flats—casual but not sloppy.

Fascinating, exotic Linda. Sean loved her self-confidence, her brio. Fuller: Sean loved the name. It sounded English. He knew nothing about New England, but he loved her New England accent. She told him, “Yes—the town was founded in 1645, just after the Pilgrims . . . Mother belongs to the Daughtahs of the American Revolution.” She said cah for car; sneakahs for tennis shoes. Imagine growing up, not in Santa Ana, but in Manchester-by-the-Sea!

Linda explained how Dean Darla Dickenson shadowed the lives of the Hargreaves Hall girls like a darkening eclipse. “She’s always calling someone in over something. I think she cares about us, but she tries to control . . .” Possessing the metabolism of a hummingbird, Linda never harbored an unspoken thought, never finished a sentence, and never provided segues. But Sean, usually at a loss for something to say, loved the way her words filled his awkward silences.

“Last week my roommate asked Dickenson if French kissing was a sin.” Linda said as she opened her textbook and binder. “I think she needs to get married. That’ll solve all her problems.”

Sean’s face colored, not being used to such frankness. He assumed most girls weren’t interested in French kissing. Then he thought of Betty. Maybe some girls were like Betty, even TBI girls.

Sean knew that Dickenson was long on law, short on grace. She lived a disciplined life, defending her moral barricades so fiercely that no man had ever dared breach them. “What did Dickenson say to her?”

“Oh; Dickenson said it was a sin.” Linda chattered on, stopping only when Dr. Getsch’s opening prayer drowned her out.

It was 1961, and most colleges practiced in loco parentis—curfews, no alcohol, segregation of the sexes. Most colleges locked the girls up, tracked their movements. But Fundamentalist schools more so—they endeavored to shield them from the attack of a post-WWII culture that threatened to overwhelm their moral defenses.

Linda, beautiful Massachusetts Linda. A few days after their conversation, Sean asked her to go with him to Lincoln Park. Walking up LaSalle Street, Sean realized they would miss TBI’s dinner, so they stopped at a little restaurant for sandwiches. “I wish my parents would come visit,” Linda said, “but they won’t leave my baby brother, and can’t very well take him . . .  Oh, look! A couple CPD cars stopped at that apartment. I wonder what . . . I’m glad they’re . . . My dad got stopped by a policeman once.” Linda burbled on about her classes, her roommate, her church and family back home. Sean searched for a verbal handhold to vault himself into her monologue.

Then they reached Lincoln Park, a beautiful summer gathering place—gardens, little lakes, curving walkways, manicured lawns, trees misted green with their tiny new leaves. Along the border of the park, elite residential buildings towered over them.

They sat down on a bench to watch the ducks swim around in one of the little pools rippled by the brisk March wind, their reflections moving with them across the water. Above in the trees, sparrows rose in random gusts. Linda slouched down and her dress drifted a couple of inches above her knees. Sean pretended to not notice. Linda pretended she didn’t notice that he noticed, as she gazed at the ducks and wriggled her dress back down.

She wore a thin chain with a Cross that nestled between her breasts, like gold cascading down a mountain vale. “Where’d you get that Cross pendant?” Sean asked. He longed to grasp it.

“Oh; I got that in the TBI bookstore. They’ve got all kinds of . . . Oh look, a squirrel!” She looked, fascinated, as the animal scurried up a maple tree. “Our dog at home loves to chase squirrels down cellar . . . Isn’t this lake beautiful? Look at those ducks . . . I wonder if there’s a bubbler nearby? I’m thirsty. . .”

Linda talked like she was strewing potato chips on the ground—Sean didn’t know which to pick up first. Was she nervous, having to comment on everything? Regardless, her idle babble reassured him. After careful thought, he reached over and took her hand.

She stopped talking and stared again at the ducks. Embarrassed, he released her hand. After a while they stood up and started walking. Linda stared ahead. “Holding hands is like being on an elevator, you know. I’m scared of elevators. You start going up slowly, but then you go higher and faster. It’s hard to stop.” Sounds exciting, Sean thought. But her objections confirmed that girls didn’t welcome his advances. Betty must have been an anomaly, he thought. It was getting cold, so they walked over to the “L,” rode it south, got off at Chicago Avenue, then walked the short distance back to TBI.

As they reached the school, Sean glanced at the façade of Moody-Sankey Auditorium. D.L. Moody was a great nineteenth-century evangelist. His partner, Ira B. Sankey, was a gospel singer and hymnwriter. Sean thought about the dozens of huge brass organ pipes that lined the front of the auditorium. He fantasized about taking Linda up into the dark balcony, but he wasn’t sure he was that courageous.

They walked into Hargreaves lounge, a sterile space as formal as a king’s reception room, designed to guard couples’ morality. The rule was “three feet on the floor.”

 “The afternoons are growing warmer, and the park had so much green grass,” Linda said as she sat down. I wonder about our lawn at home. Oh; did you hear about the spring banquet? I suppose Dickenson will check the girl’s dress lengths, as usual.”

Sean said nothing. Was she hinting he should take her to the banquet?

Wingspread Ezine for March, 2022

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
March, 2022                                           James P. Hurd

Contents

  • New story: “Covid and the Myth of the West”
  • New puzzler: Whose son?
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Reads
  • Wingspread E-zine subscription information
  • Assorted wisdom

Please forward, and share this E-zine with anyone. Thank you.

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 New story: “Covid and the Myth of the West”

Many Americans have faced Covid by worshiping the Myth of the West. The western pioneers were self-sufficient, exercising maximum freedom to do what they wished, facing the world alone. In the same way, modern myth-followers demand their freedom to make COVID decisions alone. To be human is to be tribal—protecting my family, my people, my group. But the true pioneer is loyal to a tribe of one—himself.

Covid has called forth extraordinary acts of bravery and sacrifice, but it has also revealed the dark side of American individualism. People wish to be free to refuse masking, free to refuse vaccination. Like many teenagers, they want their freedom, but they also need, want, and sometimes demand community resources. The Myth of the West, the rugged pioneering spirit, works against these community-based ideals that are essential for responding to Covid.. . .

  To read more, click here:   Covid and the Myth of the West | Wingspread (jimhurd.com) 

(*Please leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

This month’s puzzler

A man and his son are driving 20 miles an hour around a gentle curve in a Suzuki Samurai when the vehicle flips over and rolls down a steep hill.

The man is badly injured and lapses into a coma, and his son is seriously injured as well. The boy is rushed to a hospital where he is examined in the emergency room.

The doctor determines that the boy’s life can be saved only by immediate brain surgery. Fortunately, one of the few qualified surgeons in the country lives nearby and is summoned. This brain surgeon rushes into the operating room, takes one look at the boy on the operating table, and says “GASP!!!, my son!”

How is this possible?

 Answer to last month’s puzzler: Recall that the circus came to town. They sold exactly $100 worth of tickets to exactly 100 people. However, you guessed it, not all tickets were the same price. Men paid $5, Women paid $2, and Children paid only ten cents each. (Maybe they thought they’d make it up in popcorn and cracker jacks.) The question: How many men, women and children bought tickets?

This is not as simple as it looks, until you figure out the little trick. And as soon as you see the trick, as soon as you see that you have the basic eureka, aha moment! And the key is that the children must come in increments of 10. Otherwise, you’d have a number that won’t work.

So let’s say 10 kids came in, giving the circus $1.00

So the other 90 people would be men and women, who paid $99. But you can’t get this to come out right.

So you try with 20 kids paying $2.00 total. 80 men and women would pay $98. Nope. 

So you keep going and going, and finally, finally when you stick in 70 kids, you come up with 70 kids, 19 women, and 11 men. And that adds up to 100 people and $100.

Writers’ Corner

Tip of the month: If you are young, try to find an agent to market your manuscript. If you are really old, query directly with the publisher.  Submit to https://christianbookproposals.com so various publishers can see your manuscript. ($100.00 fee)

Words of the Month:  Coherent vs. Cohesive. You want your writing to be both.
Coherent means that the manuscript represents a completed whole. Think of a tree, where all the branches are connected to the trunk.
Cohesive means that the various parts of the manuscript are logically connected, like the various cars in a freight train. You don’t want the “cars” to wander off by themselves.

 Found on the Internet: The problem with quotes on the internet is you never know if they are genuine. -Joseph Stalin (1878 – 1953)

Reads:

A story and an essay by James Hurd in: Covid: A Compilation of Short Stories, Essays, and Poetry. Yuma Writers Consortium. 2022

Buy James P. Hurd’s Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying. How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/  (or order it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.) 
See pics here related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/

Watch for my upcoming novel: East Into Unbelief

Sean loses his father, his best girlfriend, his life dream, and finally, his faith. How can he be a good atheist, especially when he’s stuck at Torrey Bible Institute? He can’t see it, but grace is coming . . .

Follow “james hurd” on Facebook, or “@hurdjp” on Twitter

Subscribe free to this Ezine  

Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to this WINGSPREAD ezine, sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

If you wish to unsubscribe from this Wingspread Ezine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and put in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

Assorted wisdom

     

Punography

A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

PMS jokes aren’t funny. Period.

Class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope there’s no pop quiz.

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!

Broken pencils are pointless.