WINGSPREAD Ezine for February, 2023

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

February 2023                                                            James P. Hurd

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  • Blessed Unbeliever release
  • Writer’s Corner
  • New story
  • This month’s puzzler
  • Wingspread Ezine subscription information
  • Wisdom


In Blessed Unbeliever, 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 blasphemy to convince himself he is an atheist. It’s a long journey back to his girlfriend, his life dream, and his faith. (Wipf and Stock, January 2023.)


Or, click HERE to view on  (Amazon also has an electronic Kindle version.)

Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month: ENDORSEMENT: A few sentences recommending a book—often found on the back cover.

Tip of the month: Normally, you do not use a comma if you’re joining two sentences:

Wrong: Bill went downtown, and Sally went to the country.

Correct: Bill went downtown and Sally went to the country.

Author of the month: IGNATIUS. A first century Christian bishop who, while on the way to Rome to die a martyr’s death, wrote a letter to Bishop Polycarp in which he speaks of the invisible God become visible. An early proclamation of the Christ.

Book of the month: CELTIC DAILY PRAYER. (Books I and II.) Northumbria Community. A marvelous book of scriptures and daily readings, including writings by Celtic Christians.

Immortal lines in movies. Eric contributed: “It’s too bad she won’t live, but then again, who does?” (one policeman to another in Blade Runner)

Yes, but why are you here?

New story: Chiapas Air Ambulance

We’re circling over Corralito, a remote airstrip in Chiapas State, Mexico. I check for animals on the strip and wonder if the injured Tzeltal Indian man is still alive. The tiny strip lies tucked in below a cornfield on a terraced hillside, so I need to approach around a low hill. At the last minute the airstrip appears in my windshield. We bank, line up with the strip and soon feel the long grass under our wheels as we taxi the red and white Cessna 180 over to where Mario lies inert on a stretcher with his tumid stomach bulging below his pulled-up shirt.

Antonio, his brother, stands by mute while another man talks to me in Spanish. “Capitán, Mario was feeding stalks into the trapiche sugar cane press when the horse’s bar turned and squeezed him against the press.” As we lay the injured man in the airplane, I think, he’s young; he has a good chance of pulling through. . . .  To read more, click above.

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

This month’s puzzler:

Drake, the head detective, has three candidates who’ve applied for an assistant detective job, so he decides to test them with a little quiz. “Look guys, there’s a crime that needs to be solved and there’s a clue in one of the public libraries in Bakersfield. The clue is stuck inside a book, between pages 165 and 166. The book was written by two famous brothers about cars.”

Two of the guys jump up and bolt out the door. The third guy just sits there. Drake says, “You got the job.” Why did he get the job? What did he know that the other two guys didn’t know?  Hint: an author might be more likely to get this puzzler. (Answer next month.)

Last month’s puzzler: Recall that Mrs. Simmons, the 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: Walking in her door, Mrs. Simmons viewed the vase containing her husband’s cremains.

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 Creative new words:   

Reintarnation (n.): coming back to life as a hillbilly.

Sarchasm (n.): the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

Osteopornosis (n.): a degenerate disease

Decafhalon (n.): getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

Beelzebug (n.): satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three a.m. and cannot be cast out.

Caterpallor (n.): the color you turn when you discover only half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.

Cashtration (n.): the act of buying a house that renders the subject financially impotent.

Intaxication (n.): euphoria at getting a tax refund, then realizing it was always your money anyway.

Karmageddon (n.): It’s like, when everybody is sending off these bad vibes, right? And then, like, the earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.

I mean, you’ve got to be kidding.

Nine Important Facts to Remember as We Grow Older

#9. Death is the number one killer in the world.

#8. Life is sexually transmitted.

#7. Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

#6. Men have two motivations: hunger and sex, and they can’t tell them apart. If you see a gleam in his eyes, make him a sandwich.

#5. Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks, months, maybe years.

#4. Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospital, dying of nothing.

#3. All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

#2. In the 60s, people took LSD to make the world weird. Now the world is weird, and people take Prozac to make it normal.

#1. Life is like a jar of jalapeno peppers. What you do today may be a burning issue tomorrow.

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