“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
February, 2019 James Hurd
- New story: Corralito: A Life Hangs in the Balance
- Writer’s Corner
- How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
- Wingspread subscription information
New story: Corralito: A Life Hangs in the Balance
It’s a late, cloudy afternoon in 1968, and I’m circling over Corralito now, checking for animals on the strip, and wondering if the injured Tzeltal man is still alive. A tiny radio transmitter provided the means to call out for the airplane. The tiny strip lies tucked in below a terraced cornfield, so the approach follows the contour of the low hill. At the last minute the airstrip appears in the windshield, and soon the cut grass feels good under the wheels. I taxi the Cessna 180 over to where an injured young man lies inert on a stretcher, his tumid stomach bulging below his shirt.
A Tzeltal man talks to me in broken Spanish—-“Capitán, Mario was feeding stalks into the trapiche (sugar cane press) when the horse bar caught him and squeezed him against the press.” As we lay the injured man in the airplane, I notice that he’s a young man, and so probably has a good chance of pulling through. Antonio, his brother, stands by, mute….
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Word of the Month: Inciting incident. Les Edgerton says the inciting incident is the event, usually in the first few pages, that sets the stage for the “story-worthy problem” that is worked out in the rest of the book.
Example: Jane has just discovered a dark secret about her fiancé that may cause her to bow out of the marriage.
Book of the month: Washington: A Life. Les Chernow. 2011. A thick book! The tale of how George Washington, in war and in peace, because the “Father of Our Country.”
Watch for my upcoming novel: A young Californian travels east to train for mission aviation at Torrey Bible Institute, Chicago. One problem—he’s losing his faith, and after reaching campus, declares himself an atheist. Presently in the “edits” stage. Target publication date: Fall, 2019.
Puzzler: Which is the only planet in our solar system that circles the sun on its side?
Answer to last month’s puzzler: A lawyer in London has a brother in New York who is also a lawyer. But the brother in New York does not have a brother in London. Why not? The lawyer in London is his sister.
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.)
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