WINGSPREAD E-zine, May, 2020

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

May 2020                                                                                         James Hurd    


  • New story!
  • Writer’s Corner
  • My new novel: East into Unbelief
  • Puzzler
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread subscription information


New story: Bledsoe at Play in California

 (Please share this story with your friends at:     Thanks!)

True—Harold Bledsoe had come to Torrey Bible Institute without much of a Fundamentalist background. Born to wealthy Bostonian Christian parents, he grew up in historic Plymouth Congregational Church, a stone edifice that honored its Pilgrim founders. Plymouth was big on social gospel, moral uplift; not so big on sin or the Cross. As a teenager, Bledsoe bundled lots of undisciplined energy into his sculptured body and lifted weights several times a week. Plymouth’s pastor, Rev. Emerson Bodie, took Bledsoe on as his special project, confirming Harold at age thirteen—a ritual more like a tribal rite of passage than an affirmation of historic Christian doctrine. Bodie told him, “Harold; you’ll go far; God has his hand on you.”

Starting his senior year in high school, Bledsoe told Rev. Bodie, “I want to help young people like you’ve helped me.” But really, he wanted only one thing—to get away, see the world. . . .

 To read more, click here: 

 (*Please leave a comment on the website, and share the site with your friends. Thanks.)


Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:

Scenify:  Dividing your manuscript into scenes. This helps reader visualize the story. “Showing,” rather than “telling.”

Book of the month

Agatha Christie, Death in the Clouds (hardcover), London: Collins Crime Club, July 1935. 256 pp. An extortionist passenger is mysteriously killed, apparently by a blowgun dart. With her on the plane is Hercule Piorot, Christie’s unlikely Belgian dandy detective, who shuttles between London and Paris, casts suspicion on all the passengers, and then brilliantly solves the mystery. (As a pilot, I was a little critical of the aviation terms in the book.) At one point, only the Bible had sold more books worldwide than Agatha Christie.


Watch for my upcoming novel:  East into Unbelief

A bildungsroman tale of Shawn McIntosh, who lived a charmed California childhood and assumed all his dreams would come true. But in his senior year (1959), his father died, and then his best girlfriend deserted him. He traveled east to Chicago’s Torrey Bible Institute searching for a vocation and for answers, but instead, lost his life dream of mission bush flying, and then began to lose his Christian faith. It was a long road back to faith—and joy.
The novel is finished, but the title (and other stuff) is still evolving.  😊


New contest, only for you, our E-zine readers! 

Write a story in 100 words, maximum. Come on! You can do it! Only 100 words.

It can be on any topic, and can be memoir, fiction or non-fiction.
I’ll select the best story and publish it in our June Wingspread Ezine. ((You’ll be famous.)
Final judge—me! I will evaluate the stories based on human interest and writing craft.
Deadline—May 30, 2020.


This month’s puzzler:

A woman was born in 2020, but dies in 1995. How did she do it?

Answer to last month’s puzzler: Assume that the earth is a perfect, smooth sphere. If you were to stretch a string around the earth at a height of two feet, how much longer would the string be than the circumference of the earth?

Let D                                       =          Diameter of the earth

D+4                                         =          The diameter of the string

Pi D                                         =          Circumference of the earth

pi (D+4)                                  =          Circumference (length) of the string

Subtract circumferences    =          pi (D+4) –   pi D

=          pi D + 4 pi – pi D

Circumference of string     =          4 pi

=          4 (3.14) or 12.56 feet

Therefore, the string is 12.56 feet longer than the circumference of the earth. (Note: this works, regardless of what the earth’s circumference is.)


Other quotes and quips:

 Things that keep me awake at night:

  • Is the “S” or the “C” silent in scent?
  • So Queue is a “Q” with five silent letters?
  • How come fridge has a “d” in it but refrigerator doesn’t?
  • Can toilet paper be used as legal tender?
  • I saw a t-shirt with the sun on it wearing sunglasses. What is the sun protecting its eyes from?
  • If you throw a surprise party for a psychic and they’re surprised, is their reputation ruined?
  • I woke up one morning, and saw that all of my stuff had been stolen and replaced by exact duplicates.  Steven Wright


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 order it 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

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