Archives

WINGSPREAD E-zine for April, 2019

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
April, 2019                                                                                          James Hurd    

Contents

  • New story: “The Snow Sermon”
  • Writer’s Corner (New contest, upcoming new novel)
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread E-zine subscription information

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

*New story:

 The Snow Sermon

                               Grow old along with me!
                               The best is yet to be,
                               The last of life, for which the first was made:
                               Our times are in His hand
                               Who saith “A whole I planned,
                               Youth shows but half; trust God: See all, nor be afraid!”
                                      —from Robert Browning, “Rabbi Ben Ezra”

“Barbara, the snow’s late this year.”

She looks up from her pie crust work. “Yes, it’s only five days ’til Thanksgiving.”

But today, the wind chills. Gazing out the window I’m surprised by the fine flakes falling here in Minnesota, hundreds of miles away from my California childhood.

Our first snow is inevitable but still a surprise. We turned the clocks back just two weeks ago (“spring ahead; fall back”), but today, less than a month from winter solstice, the sun appears tardily over the far end of the pond. It will rise in its low southern arc and set early.

We are the shrouded ones, billeted in carpentered cocoons….

 To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2019/04/04/the-snow-sermon/

*This story is excerpted from my book Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying. 2016

 (*Request: After reading the article, please leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

 

 Writers’ Corner

A contest for you:  Send in your best palindrome (that is, a phrase spelled the same backwards and forward. E.g., “Madam, I’m Adam.”) It can be borrowed, or original. I’ll choose the one I like the best and publish it in this E-zine. If you send in a palindrome, I’ll send you one of my unpublished stories. Deadline: May 15, 2019. Send to: hurd@usfamily.net.   Have fun!

Word of the Month:  Trust. The writer must trust her reader, allow her reader to fill in the picture. Don’t over-describe. Suggest, hint. Let the reader’s imagination do the rest.

Author of the month: Charles Dickens. (1812-1870). Oliver Twist (1839), The Old Curiosity Shop (1841). A Christmas Carol (1843), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Dickens paints well the tragedy and poverty of the Industrial Revolution in England. Memorable characters.

Book of the month: Bleak House by Charles Dickens, 1853. Vintage Dickens—several sub-plots, amazing character development, and descriptions of early 19th century London. How an interminable law case in Chancery Hall (Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce) wreaks havoc and ruin on many people. Only recommended for the long-suffering reader.

 Watch for my upcoming novel: Atheist in the Institute. A young Californian loses his girlfriend, travels east to Torrey Bible Institute, Chicago, but fails to reach his dream job. Oh¾he’s also losing his faith, and soon declares himself an atheist. Spoiler alert—it does not work out well. Presently in the “edits” stage. Target publication date: Fall, 2019.

 Answer to last month’s puzzler: Which is the only planet in our solar system that circles the sun on its sideUranus. It is tilted 98o. Jupiter is tilted 3o, Earth, 23o.

 

LEXIPHILIA – WHO ON EARTH DREAMS THESE UP? A lexophile, of course!
(A lexophile is a lover of words, especially in word games, puzzles, anagrams, etc.)

I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.

This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore.

Venison for dinner again? Oh deer!

I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.

They told me I had type-A blood, but it was a Typo.

Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.

I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

Did you hear about the crossed-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t            control her pupils?

When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.

 

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 E-zine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to the WINGSPREAD E-magazine, 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 E-zine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and say in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

WINGSPREAD E-zine for February, 2019


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
February, 2019                                                                                               James Hurd    

Contents

  • New story: Corralito: A Life Hangs in the Balance
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Puzzlers
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread subscription information

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

New story: Corralito: A Life Hangs in the Balance

It’s a late, cloudy afternoon in 1968, and I’m circling over Corralito now, checking for animals on the strip, and wondering if the injured Tzeltal man is still alive. A tiny radio transmitter provided the means to call out for the airplane. The tiny strip lies tucked in below a terraced cornfield, so the approach follows the contour of the low hill. At the last minute the airstrip appears in the windshield, and soon the cut grass feels good under the wheels. I taxi the Cessna 180 over to where an injured young man lies inert on a stretcher, his tumid stomach bulging below his shirt.

A Tzeltal man talks to me in broken Spanish—-“Capitán, Mario was feeding stalks into the trapiche (sugar cane press) when the horse bar caught him and squeezed him against the press.” As we lay the injured man in the airplane, I notice that he’s a young man, and so probably has a good chance of pulling through. Antonio, his brother, stands by, mute….

 To read more, click here:   https://wordpress.com/post/jimhurd.com/1298

 (*Request: After reading the article, please leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

 Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:  Inciting incident. Les Edgerton says the inciting incident is the event, usually in the first few pages, that sets the stage for the “story-worthy problem” that is worked out in the rest of the book.

Example: Jane has just discovered a dark secret about her fiancé that may cause her to bow out of the marriage.

 

  Book of the month: Washington: A Life. Les Chernow. 2011. A thick book! The tale of how George Washington, in war and in peace, because the “Father of Our Country.”

 

Watch for my upcoming novel: A young Californian travels east to train for mission aviation at Torrey Bible Institute, Chicago. One problem—he’s losing his faith, and after reaching campus, declares himself an atheist. Presently in the “edits” stage. Target publication date: Fall, 2019.

 

Puzzler: Which is the only planet in our solar system that circles the sun on its side?

Answer to last month’s puzzler: A lawyer in London has a brother in New York who is also a lawyer. But the brother in New York does not have a brother in London. Why not?    The lawyer in London is his sister.

 

 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 E-zine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to the WINGSPREAD E-magazine, 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 E-zine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and say in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

WINGSPREAD E-zine for January, 2019


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
January, 2019                                                                                                 James Hurd

Contents

  • New story: Flying the Bright Red Line
  • Writer’s Corner
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Puzzlers
  • E-zine subscription information

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

New story: Flying the Bright Red Line

When I walk into Dirk Van Dam’s office and sit down, he tells me, “Jim, I want you to work on cross-country a bit and then we’ll ride again.” In other words, I’ve failed the cross-country stage check. I taste the bitter fruit of failure. I’ll have only one more chance before they cull me, wash me out.

I need to practice for Van Dam’s recheck, so the next week I lay the Chicago sectional aeronautical chart on the ready room table and draw a bright red line from our little grass airport, Moody-Wood Dale, to Dixon. It should take 50 minutes to fly to Dixon, but with the forecast headwind, I add five more minutes. To check my groundspeed, I draw little cross-hatches for checkpoints every twenty miles or so—a road, railroad, or other good landmark.

Just after takeoff I try to follow the red line on the chart. The northwest wind will blow me south, so I steer five degrees north of course….

 To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2019/01/21/flying-the-bright-red-line/

(*Request: After reading the article, please leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

 

WRITER’S CORNER

Word of the Month:  Story-worthy problem. Without a problem, you ain’t got a story. A story must start with trouble that threatens the protagonist’s wellbeing, his future, his very identity. (After Les Edgerton, Hooked)

 

Book of the month: Hooked: Grab readers at page one. Les Edgerton, 2007. Edgerton’s simple thesis—“Hook ‘em!”  If your reader doesn’t read the first sentence, paragraph, page, first chapter, you’ve lost ‘em. Highly recommended.

Author of the Month: Ron Chernow. A scrupulous researcher, he tells you way more than you care to know about people, but tells it in a compelling way. Washington: A Life, 2010. Alexander Hamilton, 2004, John D. Rockefeller 1998.

Watch for my upcoming novel: A young Californian travels east to train for mission aviation at Torrey Bible Institute. One problem—he’s losing his faith, and upon reaching campus, declares himself an atheist. Target publication date: Fall, 2019.

 

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/

NEW PUZZLER:   A lawyer in London has a brother in New York who is also a lawyer. But the brother in New York does not have a brother in London. Why not?

Answers to last month’s puzzler: Two fathers and two sons go hunting. They shoot three ducks and each one gets one. How is that possible? Answer: One of the hunters was a son and also a father¾grandpa, son, and grandson.

 

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

Subscribe free to this E-zine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to the WINGSPREAD  E-magazine, sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share the e-zine, blog, or stories with interested friends, “Like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

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

Wingspread for October, 2018


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
October, 2018                                                                                                 James Hurd    

Contents

  • New story: Reggie Ratcliffe and the Fundamentalists
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Puzzlers
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • E-zine subscription information

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

New story: Reggie Ratcliffe and the Fundamentalists

 That October of 1959, Reggie Ratcliffe sat in the lounge of the Delta Kappa Epsilon frat house at UCLA when a friend called him over to the telephone. It was Sally

“Hello, Reggie. There is something I have to tell you—I’m pregnant….”

Two years before this phone call, Reggie’s mother had embraced Christian faith listening to evangelist Charles Fuller’s Old-Fashioned Revival Hour, and she drew her whole family to Stanton Community Church, and Reggie came along. For a weekday church event, Reggie would often wear a white tee shirt and jeans with the little red “Levi” tag on the back pocket—Stanton kids were pretty informal—but on Sundays he always wore a collar shirt . . . .

To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2018/10/22/reggie-radcliffe-and-the-fundamentalists/

 (*Request: After reading the article, please leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

 Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:  Verisimilitude. Beautiful word! The art of creating scenes, characters, events so real that your reader gets pulled into the narrative. Helps guarantee your reader will not wake up from the dreamscape of your story.

 

Book of the month: Lord Peter Wimsey: The Complete Short Stories. Hodder Paperbacks. 2018. The delightful stories of Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey, the desultory, sleuthy creation of Dorothy Sayers. He accidently shows up to solve conundrums that have baffled even Scotland Yard.

Author of the Month: Jerry B. Jenkins

Jenkins’ eschatology may be criticized (the “Left Behind” series), but I highlight him because, in his own words—-“Writing has been my life for 45 years, resulting in 195 published books, 21 New York Times bestsellers, and more than 70 million copies sold.” He provides (for free and for purchase) great writing resources online. He edits The Christian Writer’s Market Guide: Everything You Need to Get Published. So, it’s possible he has a few things one can learn about writing.

 New puzzler

Two fathers and two sons go hunting. They shoot three ducks and each one gets one. How is that possible? (answer next month)

Answers to last month’s puzzlers:

  1. Billy was born on December 28th, yet his birthday is always in the summer.  How is this possible? Billy lives in the southern hemisphere
  2. In California, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg.  Why not?   In California (and elsewhere) you need a camera
  3. What was the President’s Name in 1975?  In that year, he was called Donald Trump
  4. If you were running a race, and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?  Second place
  5. Which is correct to say, “The yolks of the egg are white” or “The yolk of the egg is white”?  Neither; the yolk is yellow
  6. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in another field? One

 

My upcoming novel: A young Californian travels east to enroll in Chicago Bible Institute and train for mission aviation. Along the way he becomes an atheist. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t work out very well.
Third revision is done. Target publication date: Summer, 2019.

 

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

 

 Free subscription to this E-zine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to the WINGSPREAD  E-magazine, 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 E-zine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and say in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

WINGSPREAD E-zine for August, 2018


“Spreading your wings
in a perplexing world”

August, 2018                                       James Hurd    

Contents

  • New blog article: California Car Crazy
  • Writer’s Corner
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Puzzlers
  • E-zine subscription information

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

New blog: California Car Crazy

California Car Crazy is about the teen-age car culture of the 1950s—powerful, all-consuming—that forged young male identity. And about Reggie, who immersed himself in the craziness….

 To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2018/08/17/california-car-crazy/

 (*Request: Please share with others and, after reading the article, leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

 

 Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:  Chronology. How your piece flows through time. Is it linear or does it jump around? Especially in a novel, it’s easy to get things mixed up or out of sequence. Create a timeline, or even a table, to keep track of when your characters do what. Avoid anachronisms—for instance, having your character use a cellphone before the cellphone was invented.

Book of the month: A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson. Broadway Books: 1998. An amazing tale of what happened when Bryson found a little trail near where he lived and decided to follow it. It’s all here—-history, botany, human nature, and emotions of exhilaration and exhaustion.

Answers to last month’s puzzlers:

  1. Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May.  What was the third child’s name?     Johnny
  2. There is a clerk at the butcher shop who is five feet ten inches tall and he wears size 13 sneakers.  What does he weigh?     Meat
  3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?     Everest
  4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?     None
  5. What word in the English Language is always spelled incorrectly? The word     “incorrectly”

 

New puzzlers (answers next month)

  1. Billy was born on December 28th, yet his birthday is always in the summer.  How is this possible?
  2. In California, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg.  Why not?
  3. What was the President’s Name in 1975?
  4. If you were running a race, and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?
  5. Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg are white” or “The yolk of the egg is white”?
  6. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in another field?

 

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 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 E-zine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to the WINGSPREAD  E-magazine, 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 E-zine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and say in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

WINGSPREAD E-zine for June, 2018

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
June, 2018                                                                                                       James Hurd    

Contents

  • New blog article: Your Body Knows What’s Good for You
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Book of the month
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Puzzlers
  • E-zine subscription information

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

New blog article: Your Body Knows What’s Good for You

Like most people, I have two desires¾to satisfy my food cravings and to live a heathy, long life.

When I was a teenager, I was skinny, so I didn’t worry about getting fat—I just fed my body what it craved. Every weekday, before I left the Orange Daily News to deliver my newspapers, I would walk next door to the jewelers and put a dime in his pop machine to buy my bottle of Coke. Then, biking to my paper route, I would stop at the gas station and buy a Heath candy bar. One time I bought a quarter pound of fudge, took a chaste bite, and then ate the whooole thing in ten minutes. [Foolish, but it was totally worth it].

Even today, I favor ice cream and chocolate over leafy vegetables, carrots, peas, or green beans. My wife, the voice of reason, fights a long-term battle against my cravings….

To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2018/06/23/your-body-knows-whats-good-for-you/

(*Request: Please share with others and, after reading the article, leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

 Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:  Narrative. You want lots of this in your piece. It’s that part of your piece that moves it along—it’s what is happening. Narrative is distinct from description, reflection, explanation, backstory, etc.

Question of the Month: How long should your novel be?

Answer to last month’s question: How do you write internal dialogue? There are three ways: 1. Use quote marks, as in any other quote. 2. Use italics. 3. Use neither. Example: John thought, When should I tell him the naked truth?
I prefer the third way because it is less jarring. But your reader must know that it’s internal dialogue.

 Book of the month: Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning. Beacon Press, 2006. Frankl’s dark, psychological narration of his life in a Nazi death camp and how a few survivors found meaning enough to fight to survive.

 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 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

Puzzlers (answers next month)

  1. Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May.  What was the third child’s name?
  2. There is a clerk at the butcher shop who is five feet ten inches tall and he wears size 13 sneakers.  What does he weigh?
  3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?
  4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?
  5. What word in the English Language is always spelled incorrectly?

 

Subscribe free to this E-zine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to the Wingspread  E-magazine 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 E-zine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and say in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

WINGSPREAD E-zine for April, 2018


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
April, 2018                                                                          Hurd    

Contents

  • New blog article: “Fortress in the City”
  • Writer’s Corner
  • This month’s story
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Selected quotes
  • E-zine subscription information

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

New blog article: “Fortress in the City”

Shawn stepped off the train, plunged into Chicago schoolboy-confident and felt something he’d never felt before—-hot, dripping humidity. His shirt stuck to his skin as he clutched all his worldly possessions (a suitcase and a duffle bag) and waded through a sea of people—parents herding their children, red caps hustling luggage, boys selling The Chicago Tribune. He remembered what his grandfather had said the first time he’d arrived in New York’s Grand Central Station—-“I saw lots of people I didn’t know.”

After a ten-minute Checker cab ride down LaSalle Street, Shawn stood inside CBI’s stone arch, feeling the granite-walled coolness. The train journey had ended, but his adventures at Chicago Bible Institute had just begun….

To read more on the blog, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2018/04/20/fortress-in-the-city/

(*Request: Please share with others and, after reading the article, leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:  Description-splitting: Splitting up your long descriptions of persons and places, and spreading them throughout your story. That way your reader won’t skip over them.

Question of the Month: How to write your character’s internal dialogue?

Last month’s question: How do you refer to future events if you’re writing in past tense? You, the “omniscient narrator” know the future. So, you could write: “He could not know, but he was talking face to face with she who would be the Queen of England.” Note the use of would when referring to future events.

Tip of the Month: Even in a novel, you must be true to widely-known facts. If a person is walking the streets of Chicago in 2018, she will not see Meigs Field Airport (demolished five years ago).

 Book of the month: Charles Dickens, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. As he narrates an amazing tale, Dickens takes on a journey through 18th century England—through the streets and through the minds of his characters.

This month’s story

A husband hurried down to the sheriff’s department to report that his wife was missing.

Husband: My wife is missing. She went shopping yesterday and has not come home.

Sergeant: What is her height?

Husband: Gee, I’m not sure, maybe a little over five-feet tall.

Sergeant: Weight?

Husband: Don’t know. Not slim, not really fat.

Sergeant: Color of eyes?

Husband: Never noticed.

Sergeant: Color of hair?

Husband: Changes a couple times a year. Maybe, dark brown.

Sergeant: What was she wearing?

Husband: Could have been a skirt or shorts. I don’t remember exactly.

Sergeant: What kind of car did she go in?

Husband: She went in my truck.

Sergeant: What kind of truck was it?

Husband: Brand new 2016 Ford F150 King Ranch 4X4 with eco-boost 5.0L V8 engine special ordered with manual transmission. It has a custom matching white cover for the bed. Custom leather seats and “Bubba” floor mats. Trailering package with gold hitch. DVD with navigation, 21-channel CB radio, six cup holders, and four power outlets. Added special alloy wheels and off-road Michelins. Wife put a small scratch on the driver’s door. At this point the husband started choking up.

Sergeant: Don’t worry buddy. We’ll find your truck.

———————————————————————-

Yep. Some men are capable of a great love…

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 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

Selected Quotes

  • A man is like a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose denominator is what he thinks of himself. The larger the denominator, the smaller the fraction.
    Leo Tolstoy
  • Like its politicians and its wars, society gets the teenagers it deserves.
    J.B. Priestley

 Subscribe free to this E-zine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to the Wingspread  E-magazine 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 E-zine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and put in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

 

WINGSPREAD E-zine for March, 2018

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

March, 2018                                                           James Hurd    

Contents

  • New blog article: “Here Come the Mexicans”
  • Articles and books
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Book and Film reviews
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Quotable quotes
  • E-zine subscription information

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

New blog article: “Here Come the Mexicans”

When I arrived at Orange Intermediate School, I met Mexicans. They were Catholic, not Protestant, and they wore different clothing. They all spoke at least some English; the girls usually more than the boys.

The boys didn’t want to be there; the girls did. It was 1952, and all the girls wore dresses. We used to eyeball the girls’ legs as they climbed the outside steel stairs up to the second-floor classrooms. I remember Suzie—short, waddly, conversational, a friend of everybody—who would act as mediator between us and some of the girls we liked.

In social studies class, when Al Lopez wasn’t on task, Mr. Hardesty would playfully throw erasers at him. One day Al was absent, and Mr. Hardesty told us, “You know, Al has an IQ of about 70.” We believed him. I guess he wanted us to be friendlier to Al. It never occurred to me to ask Al if he was legal or not….

Read more here:   https://jimhurd.com/2018/03/28/here-come-the-mexicans/

(*Request: Please share with others and, after reading the article, leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

 Publishing News: “Retirement Surprise” came out in the Spring, 2018 issue of Christian Living in the Mature Years magazine. The article was a “surprise” to Barbara also, since she hadn’t signed off on me publishing it! (She figures prominently in the piece.) Here is the blogged text version: https://jimhurd.com/2015/11/23/retirement-surprises/

Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:  Description-splitting: Splitting up your long descriptions of persons and places, and spreading them throughout your story. That way your reader won’t skip over them.

Question of the Month: How do you refer to future events in your writing?

Last month’s question: Flashbacks: Don’t do a flashback before the reader is grounded in the main time period of your story. (Wait until at least 1/10 of the way into the story). Be sure to signal the time to the reader, so they don’t get lost.

 Tip of the Month: Keep your story moving. Eliminate, or at least break up, long descriptions and backstories. Take Elmore Leonard’s advice: find all the parts your readers will skip over—and eliminate them.

 Book of the month: It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so I recommend Thomas Cahill’s How the Irish Saved Civilization. 1995. The story of the Irish in the Middle Ages, Christian and pre-Christian. The Christian Irish were educators, monks, missionaries, and librarians, guarding vast repositories of books from the chaos of the unruly hordes.

You might also read: Paddy’s Lament, Ireland 1846-1847: Prelude to Hatred. Thomas Gallagher, 1982. The tragic story of how the English oppressed the Irish and the devastation caused by the great potato famine.

Movie of the month: I Can Only Imagine. 2018. Christian Indie Movie. The story of a troubled boy, Bart Millard, who grew up in an abusive home. He turned to music for consolation, founded the band MercyMe, and in the bargain, found Christian faith and redemption.

 

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 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

Selected Quotes 

  • If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.
  • I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
  • Did you hear about the crossed-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?
  • I stayed up all night to see where the sun went; then it dawned on me.
  • Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.
  • Today, this girl said she recognized me from the Vegetarians Club, but I’d swear I’ve never met herbivore.
  • I know a guy who’s addicted to drinking brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.

 

 Subscribe free to this E-zine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to the Wingspread  E-magazine 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 E-zine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and say in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

WINGSPREAD E-zine for January, 2018


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
January, 2018                                                                                                   James Hurd      

 

Contents

  • New blog article: “The Pilot Tells Himself Lies”
  • Novel news
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Book and Film reviews
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Quotable quotes
  • E-zine subscription information

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

New blog article: “The Pilot Tells Himself Lies”

My bush-flying days produced vivid examples of self-deception.

San Cristobal de Las Casas (southern Mexico) lies in a bowl, circled by towering peaks. All the watershed eventually courses down a huge, natural sinkhole at one end of the bowl. From San Cristobal we would fly the Mission Aviation Fellowship plane out to little airstrips all across southern Mexico.

One day, I’m stuffing a missionary family and their belongings into the Cessna 180. They’re traveling from Yaxoquintelá (a jungle training camp for missionaries) back to San Cristobal. But a norther has blown in and clouds lie like damp cotton over the mountains and down the valleys.

As we near San Cristobal, we’re flying at about 8,000 feet altitude in a mountain valley just below a cloud layer, following the Comitan road. The road winds through a narrow pass and then plunges down into the bowl. The afternoon light fades as I eye the narrow pass, blurred by the falling rain….

Read more here:   https://jimhurd.com/2018/01/23/the-pilot-tells-himself-lies/

(*Request: Please share with others, and leave a comment on the website after reading the article. Thanks.)

 Novel News: The new novel is complete except for revising, editing and publishing. Which is to say, I have all the words, but it’s only about 5% complete….

Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:  Contexting. Readers need to stay oriented. What, where, when? Don’t lose them between scenes, or between time periods. Only William Faulkner has permission to completely ignore context (e.g., as in Absalom, Absalom).

Question of the Month: How do you handle flashbacks in your writing without losing the reader?

Last month’s quiz: You can write dates as follows: 5 February 2016.

 Tip of the Month: Make sure each of your paragraphs say only one thing. You may need to move sentences from one paragraph to another to accomplish this.

 Movie of the month: The Crown. (The first two seasons are now available on Netflix.) The drama of Queen Elizabeth II, from her ascension to the throne, through WWII and beyond. Powerful acting, dramatization. Her interaction with Parliament, prime ministers, and her husband, Prince Philip. A central conflict: balancing the demands of marriage and family against the demands of the monarchy.

Book of the month: Juan the Chamula. An Ethnological Recreation of the Life of a Mexican Indian. Ricardo Pozas. 1962. The amazing fictional (but true-to-life) story of a poor Tzeltal Indian’s life in southern Mexico. Intimate details of his family, marriage, his work for the Ladinos, time in the military. At the same time as he rises to leadership in his small Chamulan community, he sinks into the morass of alcoholism.

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 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

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

 Quotable quotes

If two heads of state are unable to agree, they send their young people to kill other young people who they don’t know, for reasons they don’t understand, in places they’ve never heard of.                                                               Ferencz

Busyness is the earwax against the voice of God.

Bitterness is a poison that you take, hoping that the other person will die.

Pride has two evil step-sisters—jealousy and low self-esteem—and two cousins, anger and bitterness.                                                                  James Hurd

The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.
Albert Einstein

I like my home haircuts for three reasons:
They’re faster.
They’re cheaper
I can hug my Barbara
 

Lost words at the Last Supper: “If you guys wanna get into the picture, you’re gonna have to come over to this side of the table.”

Studies show that one out of four adults have some mental challenges. Check with three of your friends. If they’re OK, it’s you.

 

Subscribe free to this E-zine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to the Wingspread  E-magazine 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.

WINGSPREAD E-zine for November, 2017


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
November, 2017                                                                                  James Hurd      

 

Contents

  • New blog article: “Learning to Love Manure Day”
  • New novel
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Book and Film reviews
  • E-zine subscription information
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Quotable quotes

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

New blog article: Learning to Love Manure Day

I’ve always hated manure. So on my first day working at Marv’s egg ranch when Ron said, “The real fun here is manure day,” I thought he’d gone mad.

During high school Ron and I worked for Marv. Ron was a bit smaller than I was, but one of the most confident kids I knew, funny and smart.

I would drive my pea soup green 1953 Ford to work. When I had it painted, Marv and Ron mocked its gleaming metallic gold paint—“Hey, Ronnie! Jim’s car’s all dirty. That sick cat must’ve crapped all over it.” And later when my ears reddened at their sexual jokes, they ate me like a baby marshmallow rabbit….

(*Request: Please share with others, and leave a comment on the website after reading the article. Thanks.)

 

New novel: I’m working on a new novel about how a devout California boy became an atheist while at Bible Institute. (Spoiler alert: it didn’t work out real well…)  Estimated publication: summer, 2018.

 

Writers’ Corner

Writer of the Month: Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861). Victorian English poet. Two of her poems: “How Do I Love Thee?” (Sonnet 43, 1845) and “Aurora Leigh” (1856).

Word of the Month:  Chronology. Make certain your reader doesn’t get lost in time. Give them time slugs, or at least little signals of when something takes place, especially if you’re jumping around in time.

Quiz of the Month:

How do you write a date in your story (e.g., the second day of April)?

Last month’s quiz: Where does the reader’s mind naturally place emphasis? Answer: The reader places emphasis on the last word or phrase of a sentence, paragraph, or chapter. Examples:
Weak: Linda broke her leg when she fell down.
Better: When she fell down, Linda broke her leg.

 Tip of the Month: The shorter the sentence or paragraph, the longer a reader will linger over it. Put your powerful punches in short sentences.

 More “How to write good”

  1. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  2. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  3. They were too close to the door to close
  4. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  5. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer

 Book Reviews
Margaret Craven, I Heard the Owl Call My Name. Dell, 1973. The haunting tale of a dying young priest who is assigned to a tiny Kwakiutl Indian village in British Colombia, his struggles, courage, and ultimate triumph. I’m using this book this spring in my Introduction to Anthropology course at Bethel University.

 

Subscribe free to this E-zine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to Wingspread  E-magazine 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.

 

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 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/

 

Quotable quotes

Epitaphs:

In a Georgia cemetery:

“I told you I was sick!”

 

In a Ribbesford, England cemetery:

Anna Wallace

The children of Israel wanted bread

And the Lord sent them manna,

Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife,

And the Devil sent him Anna.

 

Playing with names in a Ruidoso, New Mexico cemetery:

Here lies

Johnny Yeast

Pardon me

For not rising.

 

A Vermont widow wrote this epitaph, which sounds more like a want ad:

Sacred to the memory of

my husband John Barnes

who died January 3, 1803

His comely young widow, aged 23, has

many qualifications of a good wife, and

yearns to be comforted.

 

Someone who wanted anonymity in Stowe, Vermont:

I was somebody.

Who, is no business

Of yours.

 

On Margaret Daniels grave at Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia:

She always said her feet were killing her

but nobody believed her.

 

Oops! Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York:

Born 1903–Died 1942

Looked up the elevator shaft to see if

the car was on the way down. It was.

 

In a Thurmont, Maryland cemetery:

Here lies an Atheist

All dressed up

And no place to go.

 

Finally, written on the tombstone my wife picked out for me:

I tried to tell him, but he wouldn’t listen.

*    *    *

 

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

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