Monthly Archives: April 2017

WINGSPREAD E-zine for April, 2017

 “Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

April, 2017                                                                                                              James Hurd      


  • New blog article: The YMCA—a Dangerous Place
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Book and Film reviews
  • E-zine subscription information
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Quotable quotes


New blog article: The YMCA—a Dangerous Place

 Why do I do stupid things? Once when I drove to a wedding, I found the correct church, arrived in good time, remembered my gift, only to discover an empty parking lot. Turns out I was exactly one day late. On the first day of a recent school semester, I walked into the wrong classroom to greet incredulous students. I’ve put the wrong oil in my car… once without replacing the drain plug. A couple of years ago, when I pulled into my garage I forgot to press the “park” button on my hybrid car, and got out with it still turned on. It rolled forward and rammed the workbench….

Read more here:

 (*Request: Please share with others, and leave a comment on the website after reading the article. Thanks.)   

 Writers’ Corner

Writer of the Month. Mark Twain. Pen name of Samuel Clemens (1835-1910). Quintessential American storyteller and humorist. His Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Life on the Mississippi betray his deep 19th century roots in Middle America.

Word of the Month. Platform: Refers to everything the writer does to increase her visibility—website, social media, networking, etc.

Quiz of the Month:

Disinterested means?

  1. Impartial
  2. Uninterested
  3. Bored
  4. Unengaged

Answer to last week’s quiz:

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, and peace.

The last comma is called an Oxford comma. It’s optional, but if you use it, be consistent and always use it before the last item in a series.

Tip of the Month: Sometimes you need to create a natural break in your narrative. Instead of inserting asterisks or a little symbol, perhaps the easiest way is inserting a couple of blank lines.

More of “How to write good”:

  1. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  2. A bass was painted on the head of the bass
  3. When he shot at the dove it dove into the bushes.
  4. I did not object to the object.
  5. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

Book and Film Reviews

Ellis Peters, The Virgin in the Ice. Another of the Brother Cadfael Chronicles that brings to life 12th century England and the town of Shrewsbury. Cadfael is a veteran of the Crisades, an absentee father, and now a herbalist at the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul, Shrewsbery, England. He is also is a first-class sleuth.

Greg Boyd, The Crucifixion of the Warrior God. Vols. 1&2. 2017. Yahweh the warrior, and the peaceful Jesus. Another offering from Boyd, who reflects on the works and message of Jesus in the light of a sometimes violent god. (Unrated…. Okay; I haven’t read it yet!)

Subscribe free to this E-zine   Click here  to subscribe to Wingspread  E-magazine 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.

 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:  (or at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.)
See pics here related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying:

Something to ponder

If we could shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, there would be:

57 Asians
21 Europeans
14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south
8 Africans
52 would be female
48 would be male
70 would be non-white
30 would be white
70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian
6 people would possess 59% of the entire world’s
wealth and all 6 would be from the United States.
80 would live in substandard housing
70 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education
1 would own a computer

When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding, and education becomes glaringly apparent.
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The YMCA — a Dangerous Place

Why do I do stupid things? Once when I drove to a wedding, I found the church, arrived in good time, remembered my gift, but discovered an empty parking lot. Turns out I was one day late. On the first day of a recent school semester, I walked into the wrong classroom to greet incredulous students. I’ve put the wrong oil in my car… once without replacing the drain plug. A couple of years ago, I forgot to push the “park” button on my hybrid car when I pulled into my garage, and got out with it still turned on. It rolled forward and rammed the workbench. Once, flying a small plane back from Nebraska, I was heading for Sioux City when I wanted to head for Sioux Falls. Awkward… And did I mention I’ve never done a house electrical project without getting shocked?

After all this, I imagined that the Emma B. Howe YMCA in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, would be a safe refuge. Swimming with friends, relaxing in the whirlpool and sauna—what could possibly go wrong? Yet even there, I’m my own worst enemy.

For instance, I sometimes forget where I’m parked. So I hold my electronic key fob on the top of my head and push the red button. My car horn starts honking; then I walk until I see someone holding her ears and jabbing her index finger toward my car.

Once or twice, I’ve arrived at the Y without bringing my swimsuit, so I’ve had to skip the pool, strip down to my tee-shirt, and work out upstairs on the machines. I’ve resorted to hanging my swimsuit on the garage doorknob the night before so I won’t forget it.

Another day, I walked into the Y carrying my bag with swimsuit, towel, and shampoo. I locked my locker with a combination lock, but when I returned, I couldn’t remember the combination. One of my Y friends told me, “Just write the combination number on a piece of tape on the back of the lock.” Good idea, but I wonder if it defeats the purpose of the lock.

After forgetting my combination, I get smart and buy a pathetic, weak, little lock and key, hoping it might at least slow down a thief. I stow my street clothes in the locker and lock it. I’m walking over to the urinal carrying my towel and swimsuit, when I drop my key. I get down and crawl naked all over the floor staring at the grey tiles, but can’t find it. I search under the adjacent commode, but no key. Did it go down the floor drain, or…? Finally, I ask the stranger standing there watching me, “Hey bud; could you go call the Y guy to bring in his bolt-cutter and cut my lock off?”

I finally get used to keeping track of the key. But how to keep from accidently locking the key inside the locker? I think, I’ll just never reach into the locker with the key in my hand. That proves hard to remember, so I leave the key in the lock until I have securely closed the door. Or I sometimes put both up on top of the locker. This seems to work pretty well. When I shut the door and lock it, I stow the key in the little pocket in my swim trunks. I never lost a key that way.

But one day I have a different problem. When I get dressed, I always return the lock and key to my gym bag. However, this day I forget to zip up the zipper on the little side pocket. The key, lock, and shampoo fell out—I never saw them again.

See what I mean? If you look at me now, you might imagine that I’m a together person. But even the YMCA is a dangerous place for people like me. And I haven’t even begun to tell you about other stupid things I do. I’ve just put a Post-it note on my dresser—“First the pants; then the shoes.” Help! I need a life coach.