WINGSPREAD E-zine for January, 2018

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
January, 2018                                                                                                   James Hurd      



  • New blog article: “The Pilot Tells Himself Lies”
  • Novel news
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Book and Film reviews
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Quotable quotes
  • E-zine subscription information


New blog article: “The Pilot Tells Himself Lies”

My bush-flying days produced vivid examples of self-deception.

San Cristobal de Las Casas (southern Mexico) lies in a bowl, circled by towering peaks. All the watershed eventually courses down a huge, natural sinkhole at one end of the bowl. From San Cristobal we would fly the Mission Aviation Fellowship plane out to little airstrips all across southern Mexico.

One day, I’m stuffing a missionary family and their belongings into the Cessna 180. They’re traveling from Yaxoquintelá (a jungle training camp for missionaries) back to San Cristobal. But a norther has blown in and clouds lie like damp cotton over the mountains and down the valleys.

As we near San Cristobal, we’re flying at about 8,000 feet altitude in a mountain valley just below a cloud layer, following the Comitan road. The road winds through a narrow pass and then plunges down into the bowl. The afternoon light fades as I eye the narrow pass, blurred by the falling rain….

Read more here:

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

 Novel News: The new novel is complete except for revising, editing and publishing. Which is to say, I have all the words, but it’s only about 5% complete….

Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:  Contexting. Readers need to stay oriented. What, where, when? Don’t lose them between scenes, or between time periods. Only William Faulkner has permission to completely ignore context (e.g., as in Absalom, Absalom).

Question of the Month: How do you handle flashbacks in your writing without losing the reader?

Last month’s quiz: You can write dates as follows: 5 February 2016.

 Tip of the Month: Make sure each of your paragraphs say only one thing. You may need to move sentences from one paragraph to another to accomplish this.

 Movie of the month: The Crown. (The first two seasons are now available on Netflix.) The drama of Queen Elizabeth II, from her ascension to the throne, through WWII and beyond. Powerful acting, dramatization. Her interaction with Parliament, prime ministers, and her husband, Prince Philip. A central conflict: balancing the demands of marriage and family against the demands of the monarchy.

Book of the month: Juan the Chamula. An Ethnological Recreation of the Life of a Mexican Indian. Ricardo Pozas. 1962. The amazing fictional (but true-to-life) story of a poor Tzeltal Indian’s life in southern Mexico. Intimate details of his family, marriage, his work for the Ladinos, time in the military. At the same time as he rises to leadership in his small Chamulan community, he sinks into the morass of alcoholism.

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:

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

If you wish to unsubscribe from this Wingspread E-zine, send an email to and say in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

 Quotable quotes

If two heads of state are unable to agree, they send their young people to kill other young people who they don’t know, for reasons they don’t understand, in places they’ve never heard of.                                                               Ferencz

Busyness is the earwax against the voice of God.

Bitterness is a poison that you take, hoping that the other person will die.

Pride has two evil step-sisters—jealousy and low self-esteem—and two cousins, anger and bitterness.                                                                  James Hurd

The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.
Albert Einstein

I like my home haircuts for three reasons:
They’re faster.
They’re cheaper
I can hug my Barbara

Lost words at the Last Supper: “If you guys wanna get into the picture, you’re gonna have to come over to this side of the table.”

Studies show that one out of four adults have some mental challenges. Check with three of your friends. If they’re OK, it’s you.


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