All posts by hurdjp

About hurdjp

Christ-follower, bush pilot, teacher, writer, family man. New novel: East Into Unbelief. Projected publishing date: Spring, 2022. Blog: jimhurd.com

WINGSPREAD Ezine for August, 2021


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

August, 2021                                    James P. Hurd

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

Contents

  • New story: The Christmas Arrest
  • Puzzler for August
  • Writer’s Corner
  • How to purchase Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread E-zine subscription information

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 New story: The Christmas Arrest

 One night in the spring of my senior year, Gary and Ron and I decided to drive past “No Trespassing” signs into a Nike anti-aircraft missile base, raising a cloud of dust on the unpaved road. Immediately, a passing squad lit up and chased us in.

What were we doing? Here in Orange County, California, we were inside the perimeter of a secure site where ground-to-air missiles were poised like deadly darts to thwart any air attack against the U.S.

Gary panicked.  “Tell him you didn’t see the second No Trespassing sign!”

“Wait a minute, Gary,” I said. “Think that through a bit . . .”    To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2021/08/09/the-christmas-arrest/

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

Puzzler for August: The Interchangeable Part

What part of a car is virtually interchangeable with virtually any other car, whether it’s foreign or domestic, let’s say within the last 30 years?

And don’t say something silly like motor oil! It’s not liquid…. It’s an actual piece that you can take out of any car, no matter where in the world it was made, and it would fit on any other car.

So, what is it?

 (Answer in next month’s Ezine)

Remember July’s puzzler: The trash truck that weighed 40 pounds less?

Why did the truck weigh 40 pounds less the second time it exited the trash dump than it did the first time it exited? Exact same truck.

Answer: 

The reason the truck weighed 40 pounds less is that it had burned 40 pounds of fuel or about six gallons.

Writers’ Corner

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

Sean loses his father, his best girlfriend, his life dream, 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 . . .

Tip of the month: If your story is bogging down, introduce a plot twist: someone falls ill or dies; a person from long ago shows up again; something unexplainable happens; someone confides a dark secret; someone acts completely out of character; someone goes missing; etc. That’ll perk ‘er up.

Word of the Month:  Paraprosdokians

My word processor flags this as a misspelled word, but Winston Churchill would disagree. Paraprosdokians refer to sentences where the last part is surprising or unexpected. Churchill and Groucho Marx used these often. (See examples below.)

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:  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/

Follow “james hurd” on Facebook, or “@hurdjp” on Twitter

Subscribe free to this Ezine  

Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to this WINGSPREAD ezine, sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

If you wish to unsubscribe from this Wingspread Ezine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and put in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

Our lives in the 21st century

Winston Churchill loved paraprosdokians: figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected.

  1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
  2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on my list.
  3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
  5. War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
  6. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  7. They begin the evening news with ‘Good Evening,’ then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
  8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
  9. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out, I just wanted pay checks.
  10. In filling out an application, where it says, “In case of emergency, notify:” I put “DOCTOR.”
  11. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  12. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
  13. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
  14. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
  15. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
  16. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
  17. There’s a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can’t get away.
  18. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.
  19. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
  20. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
  21. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
  22. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  23. I’m supposed to respect my elders, but now it’s getting harder and harder for me to find any.

WINGSPREAD Ezine for July, 2021

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
July, 2021                                                         James P. Hurd

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

Contents

  • New story
  • Puzzler for July
  • Writer’s Corner
  • How to purchase Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread E-zine subscription information
  • Our lives in the 21st century
    *********************************************************

 New story: If They’re Not Learning, I’m Not Teaching

I loved university teaching, loved interactions with my fellow faculty. It was only the students I didn’t like.

It seemed they did as little work as possible. They didn’t turn stuff in on time, or at all. Slept in class. Arrived late or left early, without apology. Chatted during class. Didn’t read the materials. Rarely entered into a discussion or asked a question. How had they survived high school?

Some of my fellow faculty stereotyped students, mostly unfairly—for example, the footballers. They sit in the back row with their athletic caps pulled down over their eyes. Never contribute in class. Miss one-third of the class sessions. If you ask them something, they say, “Could you repeat the question?” They feel embarrassed if they get above a C grade. Another stereotype—“The Edina girls.” These don’t arrive on campus with suitcases; they bring U-hauls. Blond-haired and blue eyed, they strive for “the look”—quaffed hair, flawless wardrobe, sensual dresses. Smile a lot. Come from wealthier, conservative families. Have a robust sense of entitlement—they assume success is their due. They try not to ask questions in class, are careful not to show too much interest in learning. They don’t wish to appear smarter or more interested in the class than the footballers are  . . .      To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2021/07/20/if-theyre-not-learning-im-not-teaching/

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

Puzzler of the month for July

This came from a fellow named Josh Kokendolfer who says, “This is a true story”:

It was a brisk December morning. A co-worker and I had a simple job to do that day: clean out a job site and take the trash to the local landfill. And we had an F-350 pickup that was outfitted with a dump truck bed. We filled it up and headed out. When we arrived at the landfill, we pulled the truck onto the scale that weighed our vehicle and the woman in the office waved us through.

We unloaded and headed back out to the scale. Once again our truck was weighed. Before getting into the truck I noticed that one of the back tires was low. I decided to stop at one of the local gas stations to check it out and fill all the tires just in case.

After lunch, we loaded the truck a second time at the site and headed back to the landfill. Everything went just like the first time. After we were weighed on exiting, I went to pay the bill. My co-worker looked at the paperwork and noticed something strange.

The first time we left we weighed 6,480 lbs. And the second time we exited we weighed 6,440 lbs. — a difference of 40 lbs. We were being charged for an extra 40 pounds of trash that we hadn’t brought. I immediately complained to the office manager. She grinned and said, “There’s nothing wrong with our scales.” Well, if that’s the case, what happened?

(Answer in next month’s Ezine)

Remember June’s puzzler: The “don’t look back” promo tour

Recall that Bobo had to drive to all 48 contiguous states, starting with Delaware. But he told not to drive through a state he had already visited. How did he do it, and in what state did he end up? (Hint: a simple map of the 48 states will help.)

Answer: He winds up in the only state that does not border another state — the great state of Maine, which only borders New Hampshire (and, of course, Canada, and the Atlantic Ocean).

Writers’ Corner

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

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 . . .

Tip of the month: Your novel’s protagonist (and antagonist) must be believable. Make them 3-D, with good and bad traits, complex. Give them strong points and fatal flaws. Make them want something desperately that they can’t get.

Word of the Month:  IDKWITABIPIA (social media acronym). This is good to use in Facebook or Twitter. It stands for “I Don’t Know What I’m Talking About, But I’ll Post It Anyway.” [I thought this up all be myself.]

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/

Follow “james hurd” on Facebook, or “@hurdjp” on Twitter

Subscribe free to this Ezine  

Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to this WINGSPREAD ezine, sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

If you wish to unsubscribe from this Wingspread Ezine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and put in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

Our lives in the 21st century

When I was young, I remember wanting to be somebody when I grew up. Now I realize I should have been more specific.

Me:  (sobbing my heart out, eyes swollen, nose red) . . . I can’t see you anymore.  I am not going to let you hurt me like this again!                   

Trainer:  It was a sit up.  You did one sit up.

Having plans sounds like a good idea until you have to put on clothes and leave the house.

It’s weird being the same age as old people.

When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . This is not what I expected.

Life is like a helicopter.  I don’t know how to operate a helicopter.

Chocolate is God’s way of telling us he likes us a little bit chubby.

It’s probably my age that tricks people into thinking I’m an adult.

Marriage Counselor:   Your wife says you never buy her flowers.  Is that true?

Him:  To be honest, I never knew she sold flowers.

Never sing in the shower!  Singing leads to dancing, dancing leads to slipping, and slipping leads to paramedics seeing you naked.  So remember . . . Don’t sing!

My wife asked me to take her to one of those restaurants where they make the food right in front of you.  So I took her to Subway. And that’s how the fight started.

During the Middle Ages they celebrated the end of the plague with wine and orgies.  Does anyone know if there is anything planned when COVID ends?

WINGSPREAD Ezine for June, 2021


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

June, 2021                                                  James P. Hurd

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

Contents

  • New story: “Polygamous Navigation”
  • How to purchase Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying
  • Puzzler of the month
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Wingspread E-zine subscription information

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 New story: Polygamous Navigation

Driving alone I sometimes get lost, but it’s simpler than when my wife and I travel together. When I know where I’m going, I go there (and only occasionally blow past a turn when I get too absorbed in listening to Public Radio). Like other guys, if I don’t know where I’m going, I never stop to ask for directions. I usually follow Penelope’s instructions, the pleasant British-accented voice on my Waze GPS.

My wife trusts my driving implicitly, but she considers navigation more of a team sport. If Penelope is turned off, our conversation goes something like this:

“Do you know how to get there?”

“No; I’m just going to go to the general area and drive around honking until someone helps us.”

(Eyeroll) “Fine; I’ll just keep quiet, then. . .”

“Sorry.”

Why don’t you turn here?”

“We can turn here if you wish.”

“Will that get us there faster?”

“I dunno. We can turn if you want. . . .”

To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2021/06/12/polygamous-navigation/

Puzzler for June

The “Don’t Look Back” promo tour
(Thanks to Car Talk)

The company that Bobo works for just finished a new product. They wanted to promote it across the country. Bobo was asked to travel by car to each of the 48 contiguous U.S. states to promote the product. He was told that he could visit each state in whatever order he chose, but the company wanted him to start in Delaware, at their headquarters.

They asked that he visit each state only once. He could not drive back into a state he had already visited—this was the “Don’t Look Back” product tour. So, Bobo sat down at his desk and began to plan his trip.

He realized immediately that it was going to be one long car trip. At that moment, his boss stopped by and said, “Hey, I’m going to join you when you reach your last state. I was born there and I’ve been looking for a reason to go back and visit. You can leave your rental car there, and I’ll fly you back in my private jet.”

Since Bobo hadn’t planned his trip yet, how did his boss know which state was going to be Bobo’s last state? And, which state would that be?

Answer to May’s puzzler: 

At least two of you figured this out!

You recall the policeman heard shouts of “Frank, Frank, no! Don’t do it!” He runs into the room, sees a dead man, a “smoking gun,” and three people standing around: a minister, a doctor, and a plumber. He immediately arrests the minister. What did he realize that allowed him to know who was the killer?

Here’s the answer: Only the minister could have been named Frank, because the policeman saw that the other two, the plumber and the doctor, were women.

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:  https://jimhurd.com/home/  (or order it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.) 

Things that even native speakers don’t know:

See pics here related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/

Follow “james hurd” on Facebook, or “@hurdjp” on Twitter

Writers’ Corner

Word of the month: hintergedanken

A philosopher once said of Carl Jung, “There is a nice German word, hintergedanken, which means a thought in the very far, far back of your mind. Jung had a hintergedanken in the back of his mind that showed in the twinkle in his eye.” When we write, we need to plumb the inner depths of our mind and emotions and pull out the treasures.

Signs to get motorists’ attention:

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

Sean loses his father, his best girlfriend, his life dream of avaition, 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. . . .

Tip of the month: Worry your protagonist. If they’re worried, your reader will be also. Worry means tension and tension drives your narrative.

Subscribe free to this Ezine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to this WINGSPREAD ezine, sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

If you wish to unsubscribe from this Wingspread Ezine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and put in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

Wingspread Ezine for April, 2021


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

April, 2021 James Hurd    

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

Contents

  • New story: “Journey to Mexico City”
  • How to purchase Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying
  • Puzzler of the month
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Wingspread E-zine subscription information

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 New story: Journey to Mexico City

  It was long before dawn with a bone-chilling wind sweeping across TBI’s quad. The guys all stood huddled under a floodlight on the hoar-frosted cobblestones. Sean envisioned traveling hour after hour, seated in the dark van. He thought of his family Christmas in California that he would miss. Wondered if this “mission trip” would help him recover Christian faith.

Sean and Alex remembered Greg’s instructions—”No cameras. We’re on a mission, not a tourist trip. Bring one change of clothes and stuff it all into a pillow case. It’s easier packing that way. And bring your Bible and toothbrush.” Sean wondered why Greg hadn’t hired a horse and wagon—it would have provided even more suffering, more sacrifice. But they needed to get to Mexico fast if they wanted to blanket several square miles with literature.

When Langston flung open the double doors, Sean saw thousands of Bibles and Christian pamphlets strewn two feet deep across the van’s bed. Langston threw two large tarps over the literature.

“Where’re we going to sleep?” Alex asked.

“Ya’ll gonna sleep on top of this,” Langston told him. . . .

To read more, click here:    https://jimhurd.com/2021/04/19/1658/

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

Puzzler for April: Trapped on the island

A family of four and their dog get trapped on an island when rising floodwaters tear out the bridge they used just a few hours before. Frantically they search for some means of crossing back to the mainland and finally, when they’ve just about given up hope, the son says, “I found a small boat and oars.” They gather around but their joy is short-lived because the manufacturer’s instructions — printed on the back of the boat — say that the boat can carry only 180 pounds. Thank God Grandma’s not here. It’s just Mom, Dad, the two kids, and the dog. And the dog is the only one of them who can swim. Well, the father weighs 170. The mother says she weighs 130. The son is 90 pounds. And the daughter is 80. The dog weighs 15 pounds. Everyone can row except the dog, who can swim.

And the question is: is there any way the family can be saved? And if so, what are the fewest number of crossings to save everyone?

Answer to last month’s puzzler:

Kudos to Bill, Sam, and Andy on this one! Recall: If a chicken and a half can lay an egg and a half in a day and a half, how many days will it take for two chickens to lay 32 eggs?

Clearly, one chicken can lay one egg in a day and a half.

How about two chickens; what do they do? Two chickens lay four eggs in three days. So, if two chickens can lay four eggs in three days, then two chickens can lay 32 eggs in 24 days. (I know; it’s kind of crazy.)

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:  https://jimhurd.com/home/  (or order it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.) 

Here are a few things to ponder . . .


See pics here related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/

Follow “james hurd” on Facebook, or “@hurdjp” on Twitter

Writers’ Corner

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

Sean loses his father, his best girlfriend, his life dream, 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. . . .

Tip of the month: Give your character a distinctive characteristic, so the reader can instantly identify him/her, and separate them from the other characters. (In my novel, Fulton was a stutterer. Instantly identifiable.)

Word of the Month:  Coherence vs. Cohesion. Good writing needs both. If the writing is cohesive, each thought is connected to the next. Think a train with its train of connected cars. But the piece also needs to be coherent. That is, the piece needs to be about “one thing,” it must have a unity. Think of a tree with many twigs and branches, and also a unifying trunk.

Here is a cohesive, but INcoherent paragraph: ““I bought some hummus to eat with celery. Green vegetables can boost your metabolism. The Australian Greens is a political party. I couldn’t decide what to wear to the new year’s party.” The ideas tie together, but the paragraph has no coherence; it’s not about a single thing. (Thanks to Harshdeep Kaur)

Here are some headlines that might need some rewriting:

  • Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter (Pretty fast on the trigger)
  • Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says (Wow! Who would have thought?)
  • Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over (Seems that’s going the extra kilometer)
  • Miners Refuse to Work after Death (Must be union rules or something)
  • Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors (Sued for prescribing growth hormones?)
  • Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
  • Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers (So that’s what those big grills on their Fairlanes are for!)

Subscribe free to this Ezine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to this WINGSPREAD ezine, sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

If you wish to unsubscribe from this Wingspread Ezine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and put in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.