WINGSPREAD Ezine for January, 2021

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
January, 2021                                              James Hurd    

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


New poem: Longing for Life

How to purchase Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying

Puzzler of the month

Writer’s Corner, with a request for feedback

Wingspread E-zine subscription information


Longing for Life

Our daily joys make life complete,

But quested joys oft’ seem more sweet.

Not only pilots lust the sky,

But groundlings who will never fly.

The healthy take each day for granted;

Dying souls count each day blessed.

Gluttons scorn their daily bread . . . .

To read more, click here:

(*Please leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

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:

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Puzzler for January:

Three Boxes, Two Lies

The Fair Maiden Rowena wishes to wed. And her father, the Evil King Berman, has devised a way to drive off suitors. He has a little quiz for them, and here it is. It’s very simple:

Three boxes sit on a table. The first is made of gold, the second is made of silver, and the third is made of lead. Inside one of these boxes is a picture of the fair Rowena. It is the job of the White Knight to figure out – without opening them – which one has her picture.

Now, to assist him in this endeavor there is an inscription on each of the boxes. The gold box says, “Rowena’s picture is in this box.” The silver box says, “The picture is not in this box.” The lead box says, “The picture is not in the gold box.” Only one of the statements is true. Which box holds the picture? (Answer next month)

Answer to last month’s puzzler:

You recall the story—The Alaskan explorers had a plane with a placard on the instrument panel that said, “Do not attempt to start the engine with oil temperature below minus forty degrees Fahrenheit.”

When the pilot checked the oil temperature gauge, he discovered it was broken. As luck would have it, this being an international kind of team, all of their instruments were in Centigrade. Unfortunately, nobody could remember the formula for converting Centigrade to Fahrenheit.

Skip, who had been carefully looking over the engine for the last couple of days, emerged from the inky shadows of the dimly lit Quonset hut. The others asked, “Do you know the formula for converting Centigrade to Fahrenheit?” He said, “I don’t need no stinkin’ formulas. But I know you can start the engine. It will be all right.”

Sure enough, they started the engine up, and it was fine.

The question is, how did Skip know they could safely start the engine?


What Skip knew, even though he didn’t know the formula, is that minus 40 Centigrade equals minus 40 Fahrenheit (the only temperature where this is so). If the temperature was above minus 40 Centigrade, it had to be above minus 40 Fahrenheit, and they could start the engine.

Writers’ Corner

Invitation: What would you like to see in these WINGSPREAD Ezines? I will seriously consider your suggestions at And, as always, please point people to the WINGSPREAD webpage:    Thanks!

Question for you: What’s the best black-and-white movie you’ve ever seen, and why? (I’ll publish your answers next month.)

Tip of the month: Have “beta readers” read your draft. These are non-professional people, ideally writers, who will read a draft and give you honest feedback. Accept their ideas and critiques humbly. We all need beta readers, and perhaps we could reciprocate by reading some of their stuff in return.

Word of the Month:  Catfishing

A catfish presents themselves on social media, such as Facebook, as someone they’re not (e.g., an old man presenting himself as a young woman). Some people’s social identity is quite distinct from their in-person identity.

Book of the month: Rachel Urquhart, The Visionist. Little, Brown and Company. 2014. A troubled woman embraced by a Shaker community carries a dark secret. Intimate views of Shaker life—the good, the bad, and the ugly. The power of committed community and the human flaws that mar the quest for perfection. (Thanks to Judy Knoll for the suggestion.)

Watch for my upcoming novel: East Into Unbelief (provisional title)

Sean loses his father, his best girlfriend, his life ambition, and finally, his faith. But how can he be a good atheist, especially when he’s stuck at Torrey Bible Institute? He can’t see it, but grace is coming. . . .

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