“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
July, 2017 James Hurd
- New blog article: “Multiengine Multitasking”
- Writer’s Corner
- E-zine subscription information
- How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
- Quotable quotes
New blog article: Multiengine Multitasking
At Moody Wood Dale Airport, humid summer arrived with her long, languid days. I relished the cut grass smell , and I loved seeing the tethered training aircraft rocking in the wind. We constantly eyed the skies. Sometimes a squall blew through, erasing the heavy humidity and bringing a bracing breeze. and the strong, whipping winds that beat the windsock into a frenzy, The towering cumulus transformed into black thunderheads that unleashed their tremendous downpours.
That summer capped an amazing two years. I remembered my anxiety during early private pilot training, the constant fear of washing out, the training for commercial pilot and flight instructor that demanded sharper skills. But this last summer I longed for something that seemed out of reach —- a multiengine rating. Time was running out, twin engine time was expensive, and no instructor was available….
Read more here: https://jimhurd.com/2017/07/07/multiengine-multitasking/
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Writers love other writers, their books, and their words. So…
Writer of the Month: Patricia Cornhill. She writes crime novels featuring her heroine, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Medical Examiner. She says, “It’s important for me to live in the world I want to write about. If I want a character to do or know something, I try to do or know the same thing.” She lives in New York City. Other of her books: Postmortem, Hornet’s Nest, Southern Cross. Cornwell has also done a biography of Ruth Bell Graham, wife of Billy Graham.
Book of the Month: Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell. A delicious novel featuring Kay Scarpetta as she closes in on the perpetrators of two murders. Rich descriptions of people and places. Deep psychological excursions. Some violence, but no gratuitous sex. Pocket Books, New York. 1991.
Word of the Month: moodle: To dawdle aimlessly; idle time away. Example: He moodled about, waiting until she appeared at the door.
Quiz of the Month: What’s the difference between flauted and flaunted?
(Last month’s quiz: What does the thesaurus bird eat for supper? Answer: A synonym roll)
Tip of the Month: Ya gotta do research. Of course, some things are undiscoverable now—the color of your grandmother’s dress on May 15, 1959, or what your best friend said to you that night when you were both 15, lying out on the beach. In these cases, trust your memory. But you must research what is discoverable—only because there’s that one reader somewhere, sometime, who was there, and knows it wasn’t “Woodale,” but “Wood Dale,” knows that the runway designator for John Wayne Airport is 20, not 18. You lose credibility, especially if the careful reader blabs about your mistake. Dorothy Sayers, after writing The Nine Taylors, her great novel about bellringing in English cathedrals, confessed that she had made 31 mistakes about the art of bellringing! (Somebody outed her.) So, the rule is, do your research.
English is a crazy language
Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France.
Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, two geese. So one moose, two meese? One index, two indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on.
English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
P.S. Why doesn’t ‘Buick’ rhyme with ‘quick’?
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♠ I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges. Anonymous
♠ What we call Man’s power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument. C.S. Lewis
♠ I don’t believe in astrology. We Scorpios aren’t taken in by such things.
♠ To pray only when we feel like it is more to seek consolation than to risk conversion. Joan Chittister
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