Category Archives: Ezines

WINGSPREAD Ezine for February, 2023


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

February 2023                                                            James P. Hurd

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

Contents

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

BLESSED UNBELIEVER is published!

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.)

Order:  https://wipfandstock.com/9781666756951/blessed-unbeliever/

Or, click HERE to view on Amazon.com  (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

https://jimhurd.com/2023/02/01/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: https://jimhurd.com . 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.

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.

Wisdom

 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.

Wingspread Ezine for January, 2023


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

January 2023                                                  James P. Hurd

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

Contents

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

BLESSED UNBELIEVER is in press!

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: https://wipfandstock.com/9781666756951/blessed-unbeliever/
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 hurd@usfamily.net. 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  

 https://jimhurd.com/2023/01/03/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: https://jimhurd.com . 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?”

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.

Wisdom

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 

WINGSPREAD Ezine for September, 2022


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

September 2022                                                          James P. Hurd

Please forward and share this ezine with anyone. Thank you.

Contents

• New story
• This month’s new puzzler and BOOK GIVEAWAY!
• Writer’s Corner
• How to purchase Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying
• Wisdom (football and otherwise)
Wingspread Ezine subscription information

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 New (true) story: Egg McMuffin Miracle

After breakfast we get Calvin’s attention when we start packing up his stuff to take to Goodwill. “Hey! What’re you doing!”

“Calvin, we need to begin moving you out.” He lapses into an angry silence . . .

To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2022/08/31/egg-mcmuffin-miracle/

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

This month’s puzzler

You were kidnapped and dropped off by helicopter in the middle of a deserted island. The island is 10 miles long and only 100 yards wide. 500-foot cliffs all around and no chance of escape. But your captors were considerate: they left you a large jug of water, a flashlight, a box of matches, and a blanket.

That cold night, a flash of lightning lights up the sky and strikes one end of the island, starting a fire. Worse, a strong wind is blowing the fire straight toward you!

Question:  How do you save yourself from the fire?

Email the correct answer to hurd@usfamily.net  and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a FREE ENDORSED COPY of my book, Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying!

Email your puzzler answer, including your email address, to hurd@usfamily.net. I will collect all the correct answers and randomly select one name to win an endorsed copy of Wingspread. You must submit your answer by September 30. I’ll email the winner to ask for your postal mailing address and then mail you the book. (Answer next month.)

Last month’s puzzler: 

Recall: On the back of the old $10 bills there was a depiction of the United States Treasury Building. And in front of the Treasury Building, there is a car. (When they printed the new bills, they took the car out.) 

The puzzler question was, what make and model of car was it and we gave a hint that it was at least 50 years old. We warned you that you’d need to do some research.

Answer: A 1926 Hupmobile. No one has ever heard of a Hupmobile! But there it is. 

Writers’ Corner

BLESSED UNBELIEVER is coming out!

Wipf and Stock will publish BLESSED UNBELIEVER (provisional title). next summer. (I’ll let you know about launch party and book signings.) One question the novel raises: Have you ever made a dangerous, unwise decision, then felt Grace calling you back? Email me at hurd@usfamily.net and I’ll publish your answer in the October Wingspread Ezine.

Book teaser: 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: Your grammar, punctuation, and spelling must be consistent. Microsoft Word has a powerful search engine to help you. For example you can search for the paragraph symbol by using control-caret-p (^p). Any digit (^$). Oxford commas (, and) and many other searches. Especially useful if you wish to make global changes to maintain consistency in your usages. For instance, if you wish to change British spelling (recognise) to English spelling, you can do a “search and replace” to replace “recognize” with “recognize.”

Word of the Month:  SYNOPSIS: A short summary of your whole piece in only a page or two. These can be hard to write!

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.

It’s almost fall and football time! Here’s some football wisdom for you:

“We didn’t tackle well today, but we made up for it by not blocking.” 
– John McKay / USC 

“I’ve found that prayers work best when you have big players.” 
– Knute Rockne / Notre Dame

Ohio State’s Urban Meyer on one of his players: 
“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.”

How is the Kansas football team like an opossum? 
They play dead at home and get killed on the road. 

“Gentlemen, it is better to have died a small boy than to fumble the football “. . . 

– John Heisman, first football coach at Rice 

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

“I could have been a Rhodes Scholar except for my grades.” 
– Duffy Daugherty / Michigan State 

“Football is NOT a contact sport. Dancing is a contact sport.” Football is a collision sport. 
– Duffy Daugherty / Michigan State 

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

These insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to four-letter words:

  • “He had delusions of adequacy ” – Walter Kerr
  • “He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”- Winston Churchill
  • “I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure. – Clarence Darrow
  • “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” – William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
  • “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”- Ernest Hemingway about William Faulkner
  • “I feel so miserable without you; it’s almost like having you here” – Stephen Bishop
  • “He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up. – Paul Keating
  • “He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.” – Forrest Tucker
  • “Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?” – Mark Twain
  • “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts . . . for support rather than illumination.” – Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
  • “He has no enemies but is intensely disliked by his friends.” – Oscar Wilde

Spread your wings and fly this month!

WINGSPREAD Ezine for August 2022


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

August 2022                                                                    James P. Hurd

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

Contents

  • New story
  • This month’s puzzler
  • Writer’s Corner (and my new novel)
  • How to purchase Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread E-zine subscription information

*****************************************

 New story: “Full Circle”

Things happen we can’t explain. Sometimes God disappoints. This is one such story.

November 1941. When I was seven months old, my dad and mom contracted with Sudan Interior Mission, packed me into their black 1939 Ford fastback, and sped like an arrow three thousand miles across the U.S. to New York where they waited to sail to Africa. But before Christmas came, the Japanese savaged Pearl Harbor and America plunged into WWII. Hostile German submarines were sinking ships like stones, so the ship lines scratched all Atlantic passengers sailing with young children. . .

To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2022/08/11/full-circle-miracle/

(*Please rate the posting, or leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

This month’s puzzler

(Thanks to “Click & Clack,” the Tappet Brothers):

On the back of the old-style $10 bill is a representation of the United States Treasury Building in our fair city of Washington, D.C.  In front of that building, there is a car. You can’t tell whether it’s parked or moving, but it is a car. The question is this: What year and make of car, is it?

And here is a hint. Anyone who is looking at the back of a new $10 bill right now, is not seeing a car. They removed it in the new design. But in the old design, there is a car in the street. And this car is way more than 50 years old. (This puzzler might entail a bit of research.)

Answer to last month’s puzzler: 

Recall that the Reds, the Grays, the Blues, and the Blacks have a round-robin tournament wherein each team plays each other team once, for a total of six games. The Blacks won more games than the Blues, and the Grays lost more games than the Blues. The Reds tied the Blacks, the only tie in the tournament. Who won the game of the Reds versus the Blues?

The Reds beat the Grays. The table lists the winners of each matchup:

 RedGrayBlueblack
Red xRedRedTie
GrayRed xBlueBlack
BlueRedBlue xBlack
BlackTieBlackBlack x

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

Writers’ Corner

I asked, what’s the greatest short story you’ve ever read? Here are some good ones:

  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Hollow of the Three Hills”: A horror story of a woman’s regret without redemption.
  • Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Hound of the Baskervilles”: Deception and death on the English moors. (A longish short story)
  • Jack London, “To Build a Fire”: Tragic adventure of a traveler in the artic. He almost got the fire built . . .

Upcoming novel: Blessed Unbeliever (provisional title)

News! I contracted with Wipf & Stock to publish Blessed Believer! (Release date as early as summer, 2023.) I’ll let you know when and where it is available.
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 you are using a poem or a paragraph from something published before 1925, don’t worry—it is in the public domain. Otherwise, you may need to track down the copyright holder and ask permission.

Word of the Month:  PLOT ARC

The way your story must unfold. The simplest plot arc is: Setup, Confrontation, Resolution.

Subscribe free to this Ezine  

Click here https://jimhurd.com/wingspread-ezine/  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.

Wisdom:

Words women use and their meanings:

Disclaimer: This is a stereotype. And it is a biased, male point of view. But for many of us, it may have a familiar ring. Women undoubtedly would have a longer list of “male” words.

Fine                                       Not fine

Good                                    Bad

Nothing                               Something

Doesn’t matter               Matters

Whatever                           I don’t think so

Whatever you want      You’d better think about what I want

You decide                        You better already know what I want

Will you handle this?   You’d better not screw it up

You can do it                    But I reserve the right to offer suggestions

World’s worst puns. Please do not unsubscribe me!

  • Dad, are we pyromaniacs? Yes, we arson.
  • What do you call a pig with laryngitis? Disgruntled.  
  • If you’re bad at haggling, you’ll end up paying the price. 
  • Just so everyone’s clear, I’m going to put my glasses on. 
  • I lost my job as a stage designer. I left without making a scene.  
  • Never buy flowers from a monk. Only you can prevent florist friars.  
  • How much did the pirate pay to get his ears pierced? A buccaneer.  
  • I once worked at a cheap pizza shop to get by. I kneaded the dough. 
  • I lost my girlfriend’s audiobook, and now I’ll never hear the end of it. 
  • When I told my contractor I didn’t want carpeted steps, they gave me a blank stair. 
  • Bono and The Edge walk into a Dublin bar and the bartender says, “Oh no, not U2 again.” 
  • Prison is just one word to you, but for some people, it’s a whole sentence. 
  • I’m trying to organize a hide and seek tournament, but good players are really hard to find. 
  • I got over my addiction to chocolate, marshmallows, and nuts. I won’t lie, it was a rocky road.  
  • What do you say to comfort a friend who’s struggling with grammar? There, their, they’re.  
  • I went to the toy store and asked the assistant where the Schwarzenegger dolls are and he replied, “Aisle B, back.” 
  • What did the surgeon say to the patient who insisted on closing up their own incision? Suture self. 
  • Finally, “I hate punsters! They should be drawn and quoted!”

The Girls at Torrey Bible

[An excerpt from my novel, East Into Unbelief, soon to be released.]

March came, the days brightened and the weather turned warmer and windy, the trees dragging their leaves like nets. Sean walked across the quad and up to his English class. He loved some of the poetry they were reading, but he would never admit that to his friends. And Christian Education class. Mr. Getsch’s lectures fascinated Sean—he taught them how to teach, how to start a file drawer. Or, maybe Sean just enjoyed sitting next to Linda Fuller from Manchester-by-the-Sea.

Slightly built, Linda’s brown hair fell carelessly to her shoulders, framing her brown eyes. Usually she wore a white blouse with short sleeves, her pleated skirt falling just to her knees. and black flats—casual but not sloppy.

Fascinating, exotic Linda. Sean loved her self-confidence, her brio. Fuller: Sean loved the name. It sounded English. He knew nothing about New England, but he loved her New England accent. She told him, “Yes—the town was founded in 1645, just after the Pilgrims . . . Mother belongs to the Daughtahs of the American Revolution.” She said cah for car; sneakahs for tennis shoes. Imagine growing up, not in Santa Ana, but in Manchester-by-the-Sea!

Linda explained how Dean Darla Dickenson shadowed the lives of the Hargreaves Hall girls like a darkening eclipse. “She’s always calling someone in over something. I think she cares about us, but she tries to control . . .” Possessing the metabolism of a hummingbird, Linda never harbored an unspoken thought, never finished a sentence, and never provided segues. But Sean, usually at a loss for something to say, loved the way her words filled his awkward silences.

“Last week my roommate asked Dickenson if French kissing was a sin.” Linda said as she opened her textbook and binder. “I think she needs to get married. That’ll solve all her problems.”

Sean’s face colored, not being used to such frankness. He assumed most girls weren’t interested in French kissing. Then he thought of Betty. Maybe some girls were like Betty, even TBI girls.

Sean knew that Dickenson was long on law, short on grace. She lived a disciplined life, defending her moral barricades so fiercely that no man had ever dared breach them. “What did Dickenson say to her?”

“Oh; Dickenson said it was a sin.” Linda chattered on, stopping only when Dr. Getsch’s opening prayer drowned her out.

It was 1961, and most colleges practiced in loco parentis—curfews, no alcohol, segregation of the sexes. Most colleges locked the girls up, tracked their movements. But Fundamentalist schools more so—they endeavored to shield them from the attack of a post-WWII culture that threatened to overwhelm their moral defenses.

Linda, beautiful Massachusetts Linda. A few days after their conversation, Sean asked her to go with him to Lincoln Park. Walking up LaSalle Street, Sean realized they would miss TBI’s dinner, so they stopped at a little restaurant for sandwiches. “I wish my parents would come visit,” Linda said, “but they won’t leave my baby brother, and can’t very well take him . . .  Oh, look! A couple CPD cars stopped at that apartment. I wonder what . . . I’m glad they’re . . . My dad got stopped by a policeman once.” Linda burbled on about her classes, her roommate, her church and family back home. Sean searched for a verbal handhold to vault himself into her monologue.

Then they reached Lincoln Park, a beautiful summer gathering place—gardens, little lakes, curving walkways, manicured lawns, trees misted green with their tiny new leaves. Along the border of the park, elite residential buildings towered over them.

They sat down on a bench to watch the ducks swim around in one of the little pools rippled by the brisk March wind, their reflections moving with them across the water. Above in the trees, sparrows rose in random gusts. Linda slouched down and her dress drifted a couple of inches above her knees. Sean pretended to not notice. Linda pretended she didn’t notice that he noticed, as she gazed at the ducks and wriggled her dress back down.

She wore a thin chain with a Cross that nestled between her breasts, like gold cascading down a mountain vale. “Where’d you get that Cross pendant?” Sean asked. He longed to grasp it.

“Oh; I got that in the TBI bookstore. They’ve got all kinds of . . . Oh look, a squirrel!” She looked, fascinated, as the animal scurried up a maple tree. “Our dog at home loves to chase squirrels down cellar . . . Isn’t this lake beautiful? Look at those ducks . . . I wonder if there’s a bubbler nearby? I’m thirsty. . .”

Linda talked like she was strewing potato chips on the ground—Sean didn’t know which to pick up first. Was she nervous, having to comment on everything? Regardless, her idle babble reassured him. After careful thought, he reached over and took her hand.

She stopped talking and stared again at the ducks. Embarrassed, he released her hand. After a while they stood up and started walking. Linda stared ahead. “Holding hands is like being on an elevator, you know. I’m scared of elevators. You start going up slowly, but then you go higher and faster. It’s hard to stop.” Sounds exciting, Sean thought. But her objections confirmed that girls didn’t welcome his advances. Betty must have been an anomaly, he thought. It was getting cold, so they walked over to the “L,” rode it south, got off at Chicago Avenue, then walked the short distance back to TBI.

As they reached the school, Sean glanced at the façade of Moody-Sankey Auditorium. D.L. Moody was a great nineteenth-century evangelist. His partner, Ira B. Sankey, was a gospel singer and hymnwriter. Sean thought about the dozens of huge brass organ pipes that lined the front of the auditorium. He fantasized about taking Linda up into the dark balcony, but he wasn’t sure he was that courageous.

They walked into Hargreaves lounge, a sterile space as formal as a king’s reception room, designed to guard couples’ morality. The rule was “three feet on the floor.”

 “The afternoons are growing warmer, and the park had so much green grass,” Linda said as she sat down. I wonder about our lawn at home. Oh; did you hear about the spring banquet? I suppose Dickenson will check the girl’s dress lengths, as usual.”

Sean said nothing. Was she hinting he should take her to the banquet?

Wingspread Ezine for March, 2022

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
March, 2022                                           James P. Hurd

Contents

  • New story: “Covid and the Myth of the West”
  • New puzzler: Whose son?
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Reads
  • Wingspread E-zine subscription information
  • Assorted wisdom

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

*****************************************

 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.

Writers’ Corner

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)

Reads:

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 . . .

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.

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Assorted wisdom

     

Punography

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.