WINGSPREAD E-zine for June, 2015

“Spreading your wings” in a complex world.


1. E-zine subscription information
2. How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
3. Newest blog article: “Praying in a ruined cathedral”
4. Writer’s Corner
5. Favorite quotes

 Subscribe to this E-zine   Click here to subscribe to Wingspread  E-magazine (free), sent direct to your email inbox, about twice a month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

 Buy Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America. Buy it here: (or at Barnes and Noble,, etc.)  See pics related to Wingspread:

New blog article:
Praying in a ruined cathedral  

We pilgrim along the forested path. I smell the peonies and primroses that border the trail. Crosses populate a little cemetery on one side of the path, their planted stones listing but not toppling, marking the graves of the holy ones. I finger the rough limestone, trying to trace the faded names.

Up ahead, a ruined cathedral emerges through the trees—a huge, wounded hulk. We walk across a clearing and into the roofless nave, now open to the sky, where the warm wind disorganizes my hair….

Read more here:

(*Request: Please leave a comment on the website after reading this article. Thanks.)

Writer’s Corner

Wondering how to solve layout problems for your article or book? Read my “On Writing: Layout” at

 Writer’s Word of the Week:  Pseudonym

Definition: A substitute-name for a person or place

Think very carefully about who may object, or who may be damaged, by what you write. How can you avoid criticism, or betrayal of others, especially friends or members of your own family? You can use pseudonyms for people or places. Keep a separate ID list so you can keep track of who’s who.

However, sometimes even pseudonyms are not enough—think Sinclair Lewis’ novel Main Street, where the good people of Sauk Centre were outraged at what he wrote about their town. You may need to mask places or events so as to protect identities. You may need to ask people’ permission. Or some things you may need to omit.

Writer’s workshop! Do you wish to get more serious about your writing, meet other writers, and learn from some of the best? Meet me at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Workshops from weekends to week-long. Check out their website at:

Favorite quotes:

♫   A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of ideas.            John Ciardi

♫  God gave you two ends: One to sit on and one to think with. Success depends upon which one you use most —

Heads you win
Tails you lose!

♫  I’ve always wanted to be somebody, but now I see I should have been more specific.
Lily Tomlin

♫  A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.               Frank Lloyd Wright

♫  You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.      Yogi Berra

♫  To pray only when we feel like it is more to seek consolation than to risk conversion.
Joan Chittister

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2 thoughts on “WINGSPREAD E-zine for June, 2015

  1. Jim—your visit to the ruined cathedral was beautifully written: very evocative, concrete, yet inquiring, speculative. To me a great writer becomes so when his words create images, memories and emotions within his readers. This blog did that for me. It took me back to August of 2012 to a small Italian village outside of Sienna. We were a small group of 6 tourists led by Roberto, an expert guide. In fact he took us to the ruins of a medieval church, one that was open-aired and populated with walls, arches and naves that had never been completed….similar to the one you described. Two emotions in particular were surfaced as I read your post: sadness for the laborers, and a poignant recognition about my own mortality and how little time we really have on this earth. Thank you friend!


    1. Yes, Keith. Reminds me of Ecclesiastes: “Remember your creator in the days of your youth, when the evil days come not, nor the years when you will say, ‘My soul has no pleasure in them.'”


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