WINGSPREAD Ezine for July, 2020

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

July, 2020                                    James P. Hurd    

Please forward, or share this E-zine with anyone. Thank you.


  • New story
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Puzzler
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread Ezine subscription information


New story: Sean works at the pie-filling plant

Sean McIntosh grew tired earning ninety-nine cents an hour working maintenance at Torrey Bible, so he was happy when Mrs. Thomas in Student Affairs told him, “We have a factory job at $1.25 an hour. You can go over and apply.” So in October of his second year, Sean ate early lunch in the dining hall, then exited the arch and walked toward the “L” to go for his job interview.

Disappearing down the subway stairs at State Street, he heard the roar and clacking of the approaching train. After a ten-minute ride he climbed the stairs to ground level, then turned west, walking away from the office skyscrapers toward the industrial section. The vast city with its timeless old brick factory buildings depressed him. His mother suffered from mild depression; he wondered if that explained why he sometimes felt depressed. Or did he just have fading, flagging faith?

He stopped in front of an ancient brick building with dead-eyed windows (for a Californian, all Chicago buildings seemed ancient) and a stone-linteled door. He entered and walked into the musty hall. . . . To read more, click here:

(*Request: After reading the article, please leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

How to get lots of attention

Life happens while you’re doing something else. My daughter and I were downtown passing out food amidst the chaos and mess following the George Floyd killing. I lost consciousness and woke up for an ambulance ride and a pacemaker installation. Lots of gratitude for the EMT people, Abbott Hospital, modern technology, and the unnamed “angel” who gave me chest compressions while I was passed out. I feel grace.

Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:  Tagline vs. Logline? Both are tools to sell your book or novel. But the tagline is short (5-10 words), intended to arrest attention. [“In space, no one can hear you scream.”—Aliens]. In contrast, the logline is longer, usually only one sentence, and answers the question, “What is the plot line?” [“A police chief with a phobia of open water battles a gigantic shark with an appetite for swimmers and boat captains, in spite of a greedy town council who demands that the beach stay open.”—Jaws]. Apart from these, a synopsis is a one-to-three-page telling of the novel.

 Author of the Month:  James Joyce

Born in Dublin in 1882, Joyce is Ireland’s best-known poet. Dubliners is a series of short stories set in some of Dublin’s known neighborhoods. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is partly an autobiographical narrative of a unique life. Ulysses, considered by many as “almost unreadable,” is his most famous novel.

Watch for my upcoming novel: East Into Unbelief. A coming-of-age tale of Californian Sean McIntosh, who, after he loses his father and then loses his girlfriend, Kathleen, travels to Torrey Bible Institute, Chicago to get his life straightened away. But while there, he loses his faith in God and fails in his attempt to become a mission bush pilot. It’s a long road back to joy—and Kathleen.

Words to live by:

  • Don’t irritate old people. The older we get, the less “life in prison” is a deterrent.
  • I’m on two diets. I wasn’t getting enough food on one.
  • Apparently, RSVP’ ing to a wedding invitation “Maybe next time” isn’t the correct response
  • I miss the 90’s when bread was still good for you and no one knew what kale was.
  • I thought getting old would take longer.
  • I told my wife I wanted to be cremated. She made me an appointment for next Tuesday.
  • My wife asked me to take her to one of those restaurants where they make food right in front of you. I took her to Chipotle. That’s when the fight started.
  • Picked up a hitchhiker. He asked if I wasn’t afraid he might be a serial killer? I told him the odds of two serial killers being in the same car were extremely unlikely.

If you wondered why you had to study Latin in school, note, below:

This month’s puzzler

(Credit to Frank Juskolka)

You have a four-ounce glass and a nine-ounce glass. You have an endless supply of water. You can fill or dump either glass. How can you measure exactly six ounces in the fewest number of steps?

 Last month’s puzzler: What thing(s) do all these words share in common?


Answer:  If you switch the first letter of each word to the end of the word and write it backwards, it is the same word. (You sent in some great partial answers!)

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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