Monthly Archives: January 2023

Wingspread Ezine for January, 2023

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

January 2023                                                  James P. Hurd

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  • Blessed Unbeliever release!
  • Writers Corner
  • New story: Clutchers Car Club
  • This month’s puzzler
  • Wingspread Ezine subscription information
  • Wisdom


In Blessed Believer, Sean McIntosh has good reason to doubt his fundamentalist faith— he’s just lost his girlfriend and his life dream of aviation. But when he turns to unbelief, he finds it harder than he ever imagined—especially at Torrey Bible Institute! So he commits a secret act of sacrilege to convince himself he’s an atheist. It’s a long journey back to his girlfriend, his life dream, and his faith. (Wipf and Stock, 2023.)

Buy here:
or on Amazon (Kindle format coming soon).

Writers Corner

Word of the Month: ENDORSEMENTS: The short paragraphs written on the back cover, recommending a book to the reader (see above).

Tip of the month: PROOFREADING. 1. Print out your piece and read it out loud to yourself. 2. Get a couple of people (readers or writers preferred) to read your piece through. 3. Professional proofreading is expensive but may be necessary.

Your turn:     What is the most memorable line you’re read, or heard in a movie? Email me your favorite at Example: Where Harry says, “Go ahead; make my day” (Clint Eastwood, Sudden Impact, 1983).

I’ll post your responses here next week.

Last week I asked you about the best short story you’ve ever read. Two of my personal favorites come to mind.

Jack London, “Two Boys on a Mountain.” Makes your hands sweat.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Hollow of the Three Hills,” about an unfaithful wife encountering a witch. Horror and despair.

This is the woman I married . . .

New story: Clutchers Car Club

This is a background story based on my novel, Blessed Unbeliever, about Sean McIntosh and Kathleen Wilberforce in the 1950s. It gives some background on Reggie Radcliffe, Sean’s enemy.

After he arrived at Stanton, Reggie Radcliffe single-handedly birthed the Clutchers Car Club—a coterie of church kids, all motorheads. One dark Tuesday night in spring 1959, the Clutchers gathered as usual in the barn at Jeff Adam’s Villa Park orange ranch. A dry Santa Ana wind whipped the branches, flinging oranges off the trees like projectiles. Cars pulled in and parked among the trees. As the guys walked into the barn, which was swept and all alight, a small radio played Bobby Darin—“I want a dream lover, so I don’t have to dream alone. . . .”    
To read more, click above   

(Leave a comment on the website and share with others: . Thanks.)

This month’s puzzler

This is from a book of riddles collected by Agnes Rogers. Mrs. Simmons, a suburban housewife, was very fond of her mother-in-law. One morning after breakfast, she went shopping and then stopped as she often did, to have a mid-morning cup of coffee with the older woman. When Mrs. Simmons returned home, the first thing she saw was the grizzly remains of her husband . . .

Instead of calling a doctor or the police, she calmly went about her domestic chores. Why?

Answer to last month’s puzzler: You recall the defendant was rightly convicted by the jury but the judge was compelled to let him go free. Why? Answer: The guy was one half of a Siamese twin and it would have been unfair to the other half if the guy was imprisoned. (I know: a rare occurrence, and kind of a lame puzzler! Please do not erase me from your memory!  😊)

“Was it something I said?”

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There’s this hot dog stand, and a Buddhist walks up and says, “Make me one with everything.” 

Why did the Hindu patient refuse to take Novocain from the Buddhist dentist?
He wanted to transcend dental medication.

“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”   C.S. Lewis

More football

“A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall.” 
– Frank Leahy / Notre Dame 

“He doesn’t know the meaning of the word fear. In fact, I just saw his grades and he doesn’t know the meaning of a lot of words.”
-Ohio State’s Urban Meyer on one of his players: 

“I never graduated from Iowa. But I was only there for two terms – Truman’s and Eisenhower’s” 
– Alex Karras / Iowa