Category Archives: Ezines

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

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

 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.

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.

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.

WINGSPREAD Ezine for September, 2021


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

September, 2021                                                                                             James P. Hurd

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

Contents

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

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

 New story: “The Unfaithful Wife” 

The big tires skim the six-inch grass as we roll to a stop and taxi up to the houses. I open the side window and inhale the cooler air. Wally and Marg Jank are waiting with the patient, who lies on a stretcher.

Wally translates the loud chatter of the Yanomamo women standing around. “I wonder if she’ll die…? She’s so young… Her husband was really mad… How terrible he cut her leg off…! Serves her right for messing around with that other guy; I wonder what her husband will do to him…?” And sundry other helpful comments. The Yanomamo live in scattered shobonos of about 50 people each. Venezuelan healthcare does not extend to this remote location, and neither does law and order. The men frequently wage war on neighboring villages. The people go completely naked. The men expect their wives to obey them and to quickly accede to their demands . . .

To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2021/09/07/the-unfaithful-wife/

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

Puzzler for the month for September

The Loose Caboose ( from “Click and Clack, The Tappet Brothers”):

Imagine, if you will, a long freight train. Like the kind you see out West with a couple hundred cars getting ready to leave the train yard. The engineer opens the throttle and the train starts to pull away from the yard. Then they realize that the caboose has a problem. The brake is frozen on one of the wheels of the caboose, and the wheel is being dragged so there are sparks and smoke. 

Someone standing there says, “Stop the train.” So, they manage to signal to the engineer, to stop the train. Well, they can’t fix it, so they just cut the caboose loose. They remove it and they give the engineer the go ahead. They wave him. You know. Go ahead. He gives it the throttle. The train doesn’t move.

He gives it more throttle, it doesn’t move. He gives it more and what’s happening in the train isn’t moving, but his wheels are spinning. There’s nothing wrong with any of the remaining cars and there’s nothing wrong with the engine, but there is something wrong with the engineer.

The question is why won’t the train move?
(Answer in next month’s Ezine)

Remember August’s puzzler: “The interchangeable part”?

What part of a car is virtually interchangeable with virtually any other car, whether it’s foreign or domestic?

Answer from Tom and Ray: 

Now, a lot of people wrote in and said things like, “the air in the tires,” “the oil in the crankcase.” But we said it was an actual mechanical part — not a fluid. We did research this for six or seven minutes.

The answer is the Schrader tire valve, the valve that goes in the stem. It’s called that because it’s made by the Schrader Company.

It’s a little check valve that keeps the air from coming out. It allows you to put air into the tire, yet it does not allow air to escape.

You can take that out of any car. In fact, we’ve taken them out of all the cars in the parking lot… and all the cars in the parking lot now have flat tires.

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 . . .

Word of the Month:  Developmental editing [as opposed to line editing or proofreading]. A higher-level critique of your plot, character development, scenes.

Tip of the month: Was it Elmore Leonard who said that if you wish to be a published writer, you need to spend lots of time and lots of money? I just contracted for an editor’s critique of my novel’s first 50 pages, plus a critique of my synopsis.

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.

More paraprosdokians!

  • I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it. –Groucho Marx
  • He taught me housekeeping; when I divorce, I keep the house. –Zsa Zsa Gabor
  • I haven’t slept for 10 days, because that would be too long. –Mitch Hedberg
  • Standing in the park today, I was wondering why a frisbee looks larger the closer it gets… Then it hit me. –Stewart Francis
  • When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them. –Rodney Dangerfield
  • My husband hates seeing trash and garbage lying around the house – he can’t stand the competition. –Phyllis Diller
  • I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world because they’d never expect it. –Jack Handey
  • The company accountant is shy and retiring. He’s shy a quarter of a million dollars. That’s why he’s retiring. –Milton Berle
  • I’m a very tolerant man, except when it comes to holding a grudge. –Robin Williams
  • I saw a bank that said “24 Hour Banking,” but I don’t have that much time. –Stephen Wright
  • I always remember my grandfather’s last words: “A truck!” –Emo Phillips
  • Half of all marriages end in divorce—and then there are the really unhappy ones. –Joan Rivers
  • There are three kinds of people in the world – those who can count, and those who can’t. –Unknown

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

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

 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.