“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
March, 2022 James P. Hurd
- New story: “Covid and the Myth of the West”
- New puzzler: Whose son?
- Writer’s Corner
- Wingspread E-zine subscription information
- Assorted wisdom
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New story: “Covid and the Myth of the West”
Many Americans have faced Covid by worshiping the Myth of the West. The western pioneers were self-sufficient, exercising maximum freedom to do what they wished, facing the world alone. In the same way, modern myth-followers demand their freedom to make COVID decisions alone. To be human is to be tribal—protecting my family, my people, my group. But the true pioneer is loyal to a tribe of one—himself.
Covid has called forth extraordinary acts of bravery and sacrifice, but it has also revealed the dark side of American individualism. People wish to be free to refuse masking, free to refuse vaccination. Like many teenagers, they want their freedom, but they also need, want, and sometimes demand community resources. The Myth of the West, the rugged pioneering spirit, works against these community-based ideals that are essential for responding to Covid.. . .
To read more, click here: Covid and the Myth of the West | Wingspread (jimhurd.com)
(*Please leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)
This month’s puzzler
A man and his son are driving 20 miles an hour around a gentle curve in a Suzuki Samurai when the vehicle flips over and rolls down a steep hill.
The man is badly injured and lapses into a coma, and his son is seriously injured as well. The boy is rushed to a hospital where he is examined in the emergency room.
The doctor determines that the boy’s life can be saved only by immediate brain surgery. Fortunately, one of the few qualified surgeons in the country lives nearby and is summoned. This brain surgeon rushes into the operating room, takes one look at the boy on the operating table, and says “GASP!!!, my son!”
How is this possible?
Answer to last month’s puzzler: Recall that the circus came to town. They sold exactly $100 worth of tickets to exactly 100 people. However, you guessed it, not all tickets were the same price. Men paid $5, Women paid $2, and Children paid only ten cents each. (Maybe they thought they’d make it up in popcorn and cracker jacks.) The question: How many men, women and children bought tickets?
This is not as simple as it looks, until you figure out the little trick. And as soon as you see the trick, as soon as you see that you have the basic eureka, aha moment! And the key is that the children must come in increments of 10. Otherwise, you’d have a number that won’t work.
So let’s say 10 kids came in, giving the circus $1.00
So the other 90 people would be men and women, who paid $99. But you can’t get this to come out right.
So you try with 20 kids paying $2.00 total. 80 men and women would pay $98. Nope.
So you keep going and going, and finally, finally when you stick in 70 kids, you come up with 70 kids, 19 women, and 11 men. And that adds up to 100 people and $100.
Tip of the month: If you are young, try to find an agent to market your manuscript. If you are really old, query directly with the publisher. Submit to https://christianbookproposals.com so various publishers can see your manuscript. ($100.00 fee)
Words of the Month: Coherent vs. Cohesive. You want your writing to be both.
Coherent means that the manuscript represents a completed whole. Think of a tree, where all the branches are connected to the trunk.
Cohesive means that the various parts of the manuscript are logically connected, like the various cars in a freight train. You don’t want the “cars” to wander off by themselves.
Found on the Internet: The problem with quotes on the internet is you never know if they are genuine. -Joseph Stalin (1878 – 1953)
A story and an essay by James Hurd in: Covid: A Compilation of Short Stories, Essays, and Poetry. Yuma Writers Consortium. 2022
Buy James P. 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.)
See pics here related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/
Watch for my upcoming novel: East Into Unbelief
Sean loses his father, his best girlfriend, his life dream, and finally, his faith. 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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A dyslexic man walks into a bra.
PMS jokes aren’t funny. Period.
Class trip to the Coca-Cola factory. I hope there’s no pop quiz.
I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me!
Broken pencils are pointless.