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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

WINGSPREAD E-zine for September, 2017

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

 Contents

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

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New blog article: California Luau

 Shawn wondered if Rod would be here. Of course he would be here; Rod had to be here, mainly because Sally was here. Rod was barely 5’8” tall (Shawn was a full six feet), and had just completed his first year at Fullerton Junior College. What he lacked in good looks he made up in wit and confidence. Shawn was certain Sally looked at Rod as older, more mature, a man with a plan, already in college and on his way to a skyscraper corner office. How could Shawn compete with that? Like Shawn, Sally had just graduated from Orange High School. Read more here: https://wordpress.com/post/jimhurd.com/1081

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

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/

 Writers’ Corner

Writer of the Month: John Grisham. A Time to Kill (1989), The Firm (1991), The Pelican Brief (1992), The Client (1993), The Rainmaker (1995). A novelist who writes criminal and legal stories. Some of his novels are very long (e.g., 250,000 words). Good page-turners. Driving narrative.

Book of the Month: John Grisham, The Chamber (1994). A longer novel, but engaging. An attorney attempts to save a condemned death row murderer from the gas chamber.

Word of the Month:   In medias res: “In the middle of things.” The cure for writer’s block. The cure for “where do I start?” In the middle of things. Try starting just before, or just after, the crisis or climax in your piece. Just jump in—in media res.

Question of the Month: Where does the reader’s mind naturally place emphasis?

Last month’s quiz: When do you use a hyphen, an en dash, and an em dash?
Answer: The hyphen joins two modifying nouns (half-pint bottles). The en dash is used for page numbers (Pp. 2-6). The em dash, the longest, shows an abrupt change of thought within a sentence (He jumped—actually fell—from the tree). Not all text programs support all three of these dashes.

Tip of the Month: Try mixing action and dialogue to make your dialogue more believable. Judy was eating her hamburger. Finally she said, “I don’t think I’ll go.” She popped the last bit of bun in her mouth.

The Great Mix-up
We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!
To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary.
In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.
If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.
It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.
When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.
When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.
When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.
When it doesn’t rain for a while, things dry UP.
One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, because now my time is UP, so……

It’s time to shut UP!

Book and Film Reviews
John Grisham, The Chamber [as in “gas chamber”]. A typical Grisham adventure in criminology and law. Fast-moving narrative. The lone attorney for the accused holds a secret incentive to defend him. Will he be successful?

Movie—Dunkirk. A docudrama of the small civilian boats trying to rescue thousands of allied soldiers from the coast of France. Spitfires defending hundreds of small boats offshore that are taking fire from German Messerschmitts.

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.

 Quotable quotes

Economic wisdom

♠   The world will always need economists, if for no other reason than to make meteorologists look good.      Tim Essenberg

♠   Inflation is like sin; every government denounces it and every government practices it.       Sir Frederick Keith-Ross

♠   An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.    Laurence J. Peter

♠   To err is human; to get paid for it is divine.    William Freund, economic consultant

*    *    *

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.

WINGSPREAD E-zine for August, 2017


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

 

Contents

  • New blog article: Twin Trials in Texts
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Book and Film reviews
  • E-zine subscription information
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Quotable quotes

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New blog article: Twin Trials in Texas

 I guess I was too overconfident that Sunday afternoon in 1965. I’d only flown the Cessna 310 a couple of times, and now I had three passengers aboard and was shutting one engine down. But even when I wound up the other engine to full power, the airplane continued sinking toward the earth. What could I do to save us…?

 Read more here:   https://jimhurd.com/

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

 

Writers’ Corner

Writer of the Month: The Venerable Bede. Seventh-century English scholar who wrote the amazing Ecclesiastical History of the English People. He is referred to as “The father of English history.” Buried in splendor in the Durham Cathedral, England.

Word of the Month:   Beats: Short interruptions in dialogue that reveal something about the speaker.

Example: “I’m ready for this!” Jane lowered her head, folding and unfolding her hands.

As you revise your piece, try highlighting the beats.

Quiz of the Month: When do you use a hyphen, an “en” dash, and an “em” dash? [The hyphen is the shortest, then the “en” dash, then the longest, the “em” dash.)

 Last month’s quiz: What’s the difference between flaunt and flout?
Answer: They’re spelled differently. (Just kidding!) Flaunt means ostentatious display. Flout means to ignore, disobey. “He flaunted the fact that he regularly flouted college regulations.”

 Tip of the Month:

“Always use ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ …     Except when either your weird feisty neighbor or his eight foreign heirs forfeit their beige heifers and seize freight. A good label for this mess: “fun for new English speakers.”

 

Book and Film Reviews

Death of a Salesman. A 1940s Arthur Miller play about a family, organized around their salesman father, Willy Loman. Aging Willy, full of a salesman’s optimistic counsel to his two sons, is the last person to discover he’s washed up. Intense family drama.
The Shack (book and movie). A grieving father gets to take his complaints to the tribune of the Trinitarian God in a wilderness shack—and gets much more than he bargained for.
 

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

Faint praise for other people’s books:

♠   “I can find only three things wrong with your book—the beginning, the middle, and the end.”

♠    “I’ve read your book, and much like it.”

♠    “Your book has several gripping moments, punctuated by boring half hours.”

♠    “Thank you for sending me your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.”

 

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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.

WINGSPREAD E-zine for July, 2017

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

 Contents

  • New blog article: “Multiengine Multitasking”
  • Writer’s Corner
  • E-zine subscription information
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Quotable quotes

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New blog article:  Multiengine Multitasking

At Moody Wood Dale Airport, humid summer arrived with her long, languid days. I relished the cut grass smell , and I loved seeing the tethered training aircraft rocking in the wind. We constantly eyed the skies. Sometimes a squall blew through, erasing the heavy humidity and bringing a bracing breeze. and the strong, whipping winds that beat the windsock into a frenzy, The towering cumulus transformed into black thunderheads that unleashed their tremendous downpours.

That summer capped an amazing two years. I remembered my anxiety during early private pilot training, the constant fear of washing out, the training for commercial pilot and flight instructor that demanded sharper skills. But this last summer I longed for something that seemed out of reach —- a multiengine rating. Time was running out, twin engine time was expensive, and no instructor was available….

 Read more here:   https://jimhurd.com/2017/07/07/multiengine-multitasking/

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

Writers’ Corner

Writers love other writers, their books, and their words. So…

Writer of the Month: Patricia Cornhill. She writes crime novels featuring her heroine, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Medical Examiner. She says, “It’s important for me to live in the world I want to write about. If I want a character to do or know something, I try to do or know the same thing.” She lives in New York City. Other of her books: Postmortem, Hornet’s Nest, Southern Cross. Cornwell has also done a biography of Ruth Bell Graham, wife of Billy Graham.

Book of the Month: Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell. A delicious novel featuring Kay Scarpetta as she closes in on the perpetrators of two murders. Rich descriptions of people and places. Deep psychological excursions. Some violence, but no gratuitous sex. Pocket Books, New York. 1991.

Word of the Month: moodle: To dawdle aimlessly; idle time away. Example: He moodled about, waiting until she appeared at the door.

Quiz of the Month: What’s the difference between flauted and flaunted?

 (Last month’s quiz: What does the thesaurus bird eat for supper?  Answer: A synonym roll)

Tip of the Month: Ya gotta do research. Of course, some things are undiscoverable now—the color of your grandmother’s dress on May 15, 1959, or what your best friend said to you that night when you were both 15, lying out on the beach. In these cases, trust your memory. But you must research what is discoverable—only because there’s that one reader somewhere, sometime, who was there, and knows it wasn’t “Woodale,” but “Wood Dale,” knows that the runway designator for John Wayne Airport is 20, not 18. You lose credibility, especially if the careful reader blabs about your mistake. Dorothy Sayers, after writing The Nine Taylors, her great novel about bellringing in English cathedrals, confessed that she had made 31 mistakes about the art of bellringing! (Somebody outed her.) So, the rule is, do your research.

English is a crazy language

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France.

Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, two geese. So one moose, two meese? One index, two indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

P.S. Why doesn’t ‘Buick’ rhyme with ‘quick’?
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 faith (the Fundamentalist variety) 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

♠   I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.              Anonymous

♠   What we call Man’s power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument.                        C.S. Lewis

♠   I don’t believe in astrology. We Scorpios aren’t taken in by such things.
Doug Weller

♠   To pray only when we feel like it is more to seek consolation than to risk conversion.           Joan Chittister

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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.

WINGSPREAD E-zine for June, 2017

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

 Contents

  • New blog article: A Dream Dashed
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Book and Film reviews
  • E-zine subscription information
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Quotable quotes

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New blog article: A Dream Dashed

It’s 1959, I’ve just turned 18, and I’m standing in the ready room of a tiny airport outside of Chicago, scanning for my name on the list of students Moody has accepted into their two-year aviation and mechanics program. I have no other goals, no other plans, except flying. I read down the names—Doerksen, Hoisington…

Read more here:   https://jimhurd.com/2017/06/02/a-dream-dashed/

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

 Writers’ Corner

Writer of the Month: Gregory Boyd

Greg Boyd is crazy, but mostly crazy good. He writes about theology—not the boring kind, but stuff you care about. His most recent book: Crucifixion of the Warrior God. Fortress Press. 2017. He addresses the question: Is the enemy-loving Jesus the son of the Old Testament Warrior God?

Other of his books:

Letters From a Skeptic: A Son Wrestles with His Father’s Questions about Christianity (1994); reprint edition, 2008.

 God at War: The Bible and Spiritual Conflict (1997). The reality of spiritual warfare.

The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church (2006). A critique of the church’s involvement in politics.

Word of the Month:   Epigram

A short quote or aphorism at the beginning of an article or chapter.

Quiz of the Month: What does the thesaurus bird eat for supper? (Answer next month!)

 Answer to last week’s quiz: Disinterested means   a.  Impartial

 Tip of the Month: Your first paragraph is the most important, and must do several things: 1. Compel the reader to read the second paragraph. 2. Define the “envelope,” the parameters, of your piece. 3. Raise several questions in the reader’s mind. 4. Create tension. 5. Signal the genre of your piece—is it mystery? memoir? essay? 6. Signal the style of your writing—humorous, formal, casual?

 More “How to write good”

  •  I did not object to the object.
  • The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
  • There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
  • They were too close to the door to close it.
  • The buck does funny things when the does are present.
  • A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer.
  • To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
  • The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  • Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
  • I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  • How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Book and Film Reviews 

Anne of Green Gables: A new beginning. First in a Netflix series based on the book by Lucy Maud Montgomery about an orphan girl on Prince Edward Island who is adopted by Matthew Cuthbert and his sister, Marilla. Warm, engaging. This is a new movie interpretation.

 Gregory Boyd. Crucifixion of the Warrior God (2 volumes, Fortress Press, 2017). Boyd views the violent images of God in the Old Testament through the compassionate lens of the New Testament Christ. A powerful portrait of the enemy-loving God. Nerdy, heavy going, but he promises a “Cliff Notes” version coming out soon.

Subscribe free to this E-zine 

Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to 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.

 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 on egotism

♠   Egotist: a person more interested in himself than in me.
Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

♠   The nice thing about egotists is that they don’t talk about other people.                                                                                                          Lucille S. Harper

♠   Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.
Frank Leahy

♠   I’ve always wanted to be somebody, but now I see I should have been more specific.
Lily Tomlin

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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.

WINGSPREAD E-zine for April, 2017

 “Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

April, 2017                                                                                                              James Hurd      

Contents

  • New blog article: The YMCA—a Dangerous Place
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Book and Film reviews
  • E-zine subscription information
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Quotable quotes

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New blog article: The YMCA—a Dangerous Place

 Why do I do stupid things? Once when I drove to a wedding, I found the correct church, arrived in good time, remembered my gift, only to discover an empty parking lot. Turns out I was exactly one day late. On the first day of a recent school semester, I walked into the wrong classroom to greet incredulous students. I’ve put the wrong oil in my car… once without replacing the drain plug. A couple of years ago, when I pulled into my garage I forgot to press the “park” button on my hybrid car, and got out with it still turned on. It rolled forward and rammed the workbench….

Read more here: https://jimhurd.com/2017/04/18/the-ymca-a-dangerous-place/

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

 Writers’ Corner

Writer of the Month. Mark Twain. Pen name of Samuel Clemens (1835-1910). Quintessential American storyteller and humorist. His Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Life on the Mississippi betray his deep 19th century roots in Middle America.

Word of the Month. Platform: Refers to everything the writer does to increase her visibility—website, social media, networking, etc.

Quiz of the Month:

Disinterested means?

  1. Impartial
  2. Uninterested
  3. Bored
  4. Unengaged

Answer to last week’s quiz:

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, and peace.

The last comma is called an Oxford comma. It’s optional, but if you use it, be consistent and always use it before the last item in a series.

Tip of the Month: Sometimes you need to create a natural break in your narrative. Instead of inserting asterisks or a little symbol, perhaps the easiest way is inserting a couple of blank lines.

More of “How to write good”:

  1. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  2. A bass was painted on the head of the bass
  3. When he shot at the dove it dove into the bushes.
  4. I did not object to the object.
  5. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

Book and Film Reviews

Ellis Peters, The Virgin in the Ice. Another of the Brother Cadfael Chronicles that brings to life 12th century England and the town of Shrewsbury. Cadfael is a veteran of the Crisades, an absentee father, and now a herbalist at the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul, Shrewsbery, England. He is also is a first-class sleuth.

Greg Boyd, The Crucifixion of the Warrior God. Vols. 1&2. 2017. Yahweh the warrior, and the peaceful Jesus. Another offering from Boyd, who reflects on the works and message of Jesus in the light of a sometimes violent god. (Unrated…. Okay; I haven’t read it yet!)

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/

Something to ponder

If we could shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, there would be:

57 Asians
21 Europeans
14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south
8 Africans
52 would be female
48 would be male
70 would be non-white
30 would be white
70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian
6 people would possess 59% of the entire world’s
wealth and all 6 would be from the United States.
80 would live in substandard housing
70 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education
1 would own a computer

When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding, and education becomes glaringly apparent.
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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.