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WINGSPREAD Ezine for July, 2020


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

July, 2020                                    James P. Hurd    

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

Contents

  • New story
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Puzzler
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread Ezine subscription information

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New story: Sean works at the pie-filling plant

Sean McIntosh grew tired earning ninety-nine cents an hour working maintenance at Torrey Bible, so he was happy when Mrs. Thomas in Student Affairs told him, “We have a factory job at $1.25 an hour. You can go over and apply.” So in October of his second year, Sean ate early lunch in the dining hall, then exited the arch and walked toward the “L” to go for his job interview.

Disappearing down the subway stairs at State Street, he heard the roar and clacking of the approaching train. After a ten-minute ride he climbed the stairs to ground level, then turned west, walking away from the office skyscrapers toward the industrial section. The vast city with its timeless old brick factory buildings depressed him. His mother suffered from mild depression; he wondered if that explained why he sometimes felt depressed. Or did he just have fading, flagging faith?

He stopped in front of an ancient brick building with dead-eyed windows (for a Californian, all Chicago buildings seemed ancient) and a stone-linteled door. He entered and walked into the musty hall. . . . To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2020/07/04/sean-works-at-the-pie-filling-plant/

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

How to get lots of attention

Life happens while you’re doing something else. My daughter and I were downtown passing out food amidst the chaos and mess following the George Floyd killing. I lost consciousness and woke up for an ambulance ride and a pacemaker installation. Lots of gratitude for the EMT people, Abbott Hospital, modern technology, and the unnamed “angel” who gave me chest compressions while I was passed out. I feel grace.

Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:  Tagline vs. Logline? Both are tools to sell your book or novel. But the tagline is short (5-10 words), intended to arrest attention. [“In space, no one can hear you scream.”—Aliens]. In contrast, the logline is longer, usually only one sentence, and answers the question, “What is the plot line?” [“A police chief with a phobia of open water battles a gigantic shark with an appetite for swimmers and boat captains, in spite of a greedy town council who demands that the beach stay open.”—Jaws]. Apart from these, a synopsis is a one-to-three-page telling of the novel.

 Author of the Month:  James Joyce

Born in Dublin in 1882, Joyce is Ireland’s best-known poet. Dubliners is a series of short stories set in some of Dublin’s known neighborhoods. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is partly an autobiographical narrative of a unique life. Ulysses, considered by many as “almost unreadable,” is his most famous novel.

Watch for my upcoming novel: East Into Unbelief. A coming-of-age tale of Californian Sean McIntosh, who, after he loses his father and then loses his girlfriend, Kathleen, travels to Torrey Bible Institute, Chicago to get his life straightened away. But while there, he loses his faith in God and fails in his attempt to become a mission bush pilot. It’s a long road back to joy—and Kathleen.

Words to live by:

  • Don’t irritate old people. The older we get, the less “life in prison” is a deterrent.
  • I’m on two diets. I wasn’t getting enough food on one.
  • Apparently, RSVP’ ing to a wedding invitation “Maybe next time” isn’t the correct response
  • I miss the 90’s when bread was still good for you and no one knew what kale was.
  • I thought getting old would take longer.
  • I told my wife I wanted to be cremated. She made me an appointment for next Tuesday.
  • My wife asked me to take her to one of those restaurants where they make food right in front of you. I took her to Chipotle. That’s when the fight started.
  • Picked up a hitchhiker. He asked if I wasn’t afraid he might be a serial killer? I told him the odds of two serial killers being in the same car were extremely unlikely.

If you wondered why you had to study Latin in school, note, below:

This month’s puzzler

(Credit to Frank Juskolka)

You have a four-ounce glass and a nine-ounce glass. You have an endless supply of water. You can fill or dump either glass. How can you measure exactly six ounces in the fewest number of steps?

 Last month’s puzzler: What thing(s) do all these words share in common?

Assess
Banana
Dresser
Grammar
Potato
Revive
Uneven
Voodoo


Answer:  If you switch the first letter of each word to the end of the word and write it backwards, it is the same word. (You sent in some great partial answers!)

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 June, 2020

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

Contents

  • New story: “Bledsoe at Cuyahoga High”
  • This month’s puzzler
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Winners of the 100-word story contest!
  • How to purchase Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread E-zine subscription information

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Please forward or share this E-zine with friends. Thank you!

New story: “Bledsoe at Cuyahoga High”

After his divorce Harold Bledsoe decided to travel back to his Boston roots, arriving to a joyous welcome from his parents. His mother had always given him her unconditional support, never questioned his choices. “Harold; why don’t you move into your old room? Take as long as you’d like to heal from your disappointments.”

He walked into his bedroom, untouched since he’d left for college—family pictures, overstuffed chair, writing desk, body-building posters, the familiar smell. He took advantage of his willing parents—hibernated, paid no rent, didn’t help with household tasks, borrowed their car when his was in the shop. Such is the logic of the single man.

His divorce had shaken him. Thinking back to his high moral training at Plymouth Congregational, he resolved to straighten out his life by reducing his alcohol consumption, stopping smoking and even avoiding dating. . . . To read more, click here: https://jimhurd.com/2020/05/29/bledsoe-gives-up/

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

Puzzler of the month:

(Credit: Bob Dinger)

All the words in this list share one thing in common. What is it?

Assess
Banana
Dresser
Grammar
Potato
Revive
Uneven
Voodoo

Answer to last month’s puzzler: If you wished to lose at a game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” how would you do it? Answer: If you wished to lose, you would play the game exactly the same way you would play if you wanted to win.

Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month: Bildungsroman novel

A coming-of-age story where the protagonist matures emotionally and spiritually. (Think Dickens’ David Copperfield or Anne of Green Gables.)

Book of the month: John Grisham, The Appeal. 2008. A legal thriller that pits a billionaire against a poor woman in a small town. Spoiler alert—it does not turn out well.

Movie of the month: Call the Midwife. This Netflix BBC TV series is simply a delight. One of the few series my wife and I both like to watch. Set in the rough east end of London in the mid-twentieth century, it tells the story of a dedicated cadre of nuns and midwives who provide services to poor birthing women. Great characterizations. Redemptive stories. Dedication, compassion, dare I say love. Warm community. Positive treatment of religious values. I told my wife, “Except for the blood and screaming, and too many pregnant women, it’s a great show!” 😊 Highly recommended.

Thoughts to ponder:

  • I thought I saw an eye-doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to only be an optical Aleutian.
  • She was only a whisky-maker, but he loved her still.
  • A rubber-band pistol was confiscated from an algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.
  • No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
  • A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
  • Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
  • A hole has been found in the nudist-camp wall. The police are looking into it.
  • One of my all-time favorites: Why is it that time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana?

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

Shawn and Kathleen grow up in the charmed world of 1950s California. But just after graduation, Shawn travels east to Torrey Bible Institute where he fails at his life ambition, loses his deep Christian beliefs, and loses Kathleen. How will he find his way back to his dream, his faith—and Kathleen?

Special challenges when you’re the mother of Jesus . . .

Winners of 100-word story contest:

Ta Da! The results are in. Readers submitted their best stories—in 100 words.

Here are the winners:

Bill Doyle        While living in Germany, my young family traveled to visit friends in Austria. The American military hotel in Munich, our first night’s destination, was full, so we continued south on the autobahn. Soon we entered a small town with a quaint gasthaus, a combination hotel, restaurant, and bar. I asked the proprietor in my best German: “Haben sie eine doppelt zimmer?” (Do you have a double room?) He brusquely replied in good English, much better than my German: “What do you want?” Though I continued to study German, from that day I usually spoke English to start conversations with Germans.

Virginia Todd:      Jerry shivered in the cold and tried desperately to steel-away waves of panic. He had no coat, nor even shoes. His frail body went unnoticed by those who passed. No caring. No help. “Jesus, you will help me. You love me, and only you!”

The morning began to warm. Jerry, weak and teary-eyed, stood up. His languid blue eyes looked down the busy sidewalk. “God,” he breathed. “I see help. A lovely lady is coming my way!”

A warm coat and shoes were put on. Jerry smiled and praised God. Thank you too, lady, for caring. He smiled.

Eric Beck:     I had been carrying the stein around with me all day. The beer inside it was virtually gone. Now I entered the music store. I knew this would be where I’d find it. And though I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for, I said to the clerk, “A bass.” Was it a word of knowledge directly from the Lord?

“What color?”

I hesitated. I held up my libation.

 “Ah,” he said. I went home that day with a red four-string.

I walked out of the house the next morning with a purple coffee mug.

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.) 

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

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

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, May, 2020

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

May 2020                                                                                         James Hurd    

Contents

  • New story!
  • Writer’s Corner
  • My new novel: East into Unbelief
  • Puzzler
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread subscription information

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New story: Bledsoe at Play in California

 (Please share this story with your friends at: https://jimhurd.com/2020/05/05/bledsoe-at-play-in-california/     Thanks!)

True—Harold Bledsoe had come to Torrey Bible Institute without much of a Fundamentalist background. Born to wealthy Bostonian Christian parents, he grew up in historic Plymouth Congregational Church, a stone edifice that honored its Pilgrim founders. Plymouth was big on social gospel, moral uplift; not so big on sin or the Cross. As a teenager, Bledsoe bundled lots of undisciplined energy into his sculptured body and lifted weights several times a week. Plymouth’s pastor, Rev. Emerson Bodie, took Bledsoe on as his special project, confirming Harold at age thirteen—a ritual more like a tribal rite of passage than an affirmation of historic Christian doctrine. Bodie told him, “Harold; you’ll go far; God has his hand on you.”

Starting his senior year in high school, Bledsoe told Rev. Bodie, “I want to help young people like you’ve helped me.” But really, he wanted only one thing—to get away, see the world. . . .

 To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2020/05/05/bledsoe-at-play-in-california/ 

 (*Please leave a comment on the website, and share the site with your friends. Thanks.)

  

Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:

Scenify:  Dividing your manuscript into scenes. This helps reader visualize the story. “Showing,” rather than “telling.”

Book of the month

Agatha Christie, Death in the Clouds (hardcover), London: Collins Crime Club, July 1935. 256 pp. An extortionist passenger is mysteriously killed, apparently by a blowgun dart. With her on the plane is Hercule Piorot, Christie’s unlikely Belgian dandy detective, who shuttles between London and Paris, casts suspicion on all the passengers, and then brilliantly solves the mystery. (As a pilot, I was a little critical of the aviation terms in the book.) At one point, only the Bible had sold more books worldwide than Agatha Christie.

 

Watch for my upcoming novel:  East into Unbelief

A bildungsroman tale of Shawn McIntosh, who lived a charmed California childhood and assumed all his dreams would come true. But in his senior year (1959), his father died, and then his best girlfriend deserted him. He traveled east to Chicago’s Torrey Bible Institute searching for a vocation and for answers, but instead, lost his life dream of mission bush flying, and then began to lose his Christian faith. It was a long road back to faith—and joy.
The novel is finished, but the title (and other stuff) is still evolving.  😊

 

New contest, only for you, our E-zine readers! 

Write a story in 100 words, maximum. Come on! You can do it! Only 100 words.

It can be on any topic, and can be memoir, fiction or non-fiction.
I’ll select the best story and publish it in our June Wingspread Ezine. ((You’ll be famous.)
Final judge—me! I will evaluate the stories based on human interest and writing craft.
Deadline—May 30, 2020.

Go!

This month’s puzzler:

A woman was born in 2020, but dies in 1995. How did she do it?

Answer to last month’s puzzler: Assume that the earth is a perfect, smooth sphere. If you were to stretch a string around the earth at a height of two feet, how much longer would the string be than the circumference of the earth?

Let D                                       =          Diameter of the earth

D+4                                         =          The diameter of the string

Pi D                                         =          Circumference of the earth

pi (D+4)                                  =          Circumference (length) of the string

Subtract circumferences    =          pi (D+4) –   pi D

=          pi D + 4 pi – pi D

Circumference of string     =          4 pi

=          4 (3.14) or 12.56 feet

Therefore, the string is 12.56 feet longer than the circumference of the earth. (Note: this works, regardless of what the earth’s circumference is.)

——————————————————–

Other quotes and quips:

 Things that keep me awake at night:

  • Is the “S” or the “C” silent in scent?
  • So Queue is a “Q” with five silent letters?
  • How come fridge has a “d” in it but refrigerator doesn’t?
  • Can toilet paper be used as legal tender?
  • I saw a t-shirt with the sun on it wearing sunglasses. What is the sun protecting its eyes from?
  • If you throw a surprise party for a psychic and they’re surprised, is their reputation ruined?
  • I woke up one morning, and saw that all of my stuff had been stolen and replaced by exact duplicates.  Steven Wright

 

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, please reply with the words, “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

WINGSPREAD E-zine for April, 2020

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

Contents

  • New story
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Puzzler
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread E-zine subscription information

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

New story: Bledsoe Arrives at TBI
(
Excerpted from my upcoming novel, East Into Atheism)

 At the first men’s devotions of the semester, Dean Puckett introduced Harold Bledsoe, the new men’s dean. Dashing Harold Bledsoe—bouncing on his heels, full of energy, he seemed to refract an alien light. Shawn McIntosh stared at him. He didn’t look very dean-like—seemed like a circle among rectangles.

After Bledsoe got settled in his tenth-floor office, Dean Puckett gave him campus block patrol. Torrey Bible Institute couples would walk the city block that circled TBI—traversing the cracked and broken sidewalk along the chain-link-fenced parking lot, then turning back toward the women’s dorm. The rule was—keep walking. The deans warned students not to linger in the recessed doorways of Moody-Sankey Auditorium. Bledsoe would cruise around in his big black Cadillac convertible with the top down heedless of the weather, shining his spotlight into the recesses, flushing out couples….
To read more, click here
:   https://jimhurd.com/2020/04/06/bledsoe-arrives-at-tbi/

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

  

Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month      —     Pitch:
The act of trying to sell your book to an agent or a publisher.

Book of the month:     Jay Winik, April, 1965: The month that saved America. 2006. The month that ended the Civil War and turned the tide of the nation. A great, entertaining historical docudrama. New York Times Bestseller.

 Watch for my upcoming novel with the provisional title:  East into Atheism
After he lost his father and his girlfriend, Shawn McIntosh travels east to Chicago’s Torrey Bible Institute looking for answers to his faltering faith, but instead, falls into atheism. It’s a long, uncertain road back.

Punography

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

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.

The girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club. But I’d never seen her herbivore.

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

I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.

A dyslexic man walks into a bra…

PMS jokes aren’t funny. Period.

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

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.

New puzzler

Assume that the earth is a perfect, smooth sphere. If you were to stretch a string around the earth at the height of two feet, how much longer would the string be than the diameter of the earth?

 Last month’s puzzler: How do you diagnose a dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac?

Answer: That would be a person who stays awake all night wondering if there’s a Dog.

Buy James Hurd’s Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying.  

A memoir about 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 this 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 March, 2020

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”


March, 2020                                                   James Hurd    

Contents

  • New story: Sally Shows Up at TBI
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Puzzler
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread Ezine subscription information

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

New story: Sally Shows Up at TBI

(excerpted from my forthcoming novel, East Into Atheism)

Shawn returned to Torrey Bible Institute that fall. Running late for class as usual, his shoes scratched the rough tile floors as he sucked in the steam from the hall radiators. Swinging by the P.O.’s on the slim chance of a letter, he twirled the combination on his box, leaned down, peered into the empty box then turned to walk away disappointed. He remembered the bright vision of Sally on the beach at the luau two summers ago but he hadn’t seen her when he’d been home this past summer.

When he glanced up across the large room, contradicting everything he knew and believed, he saw a vision. As he blinked trying to clear his head he wondered, was it wish-fulfillment or was it really her?

“Sally! Is it you?” He ran to her. Why was she here? ….

 To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2020/03/17/sally-shows-up-at-tbi/

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

 

 Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:  Social distancing—-The practice of separating from other people during a time of contagion, such as COVID-19 virus.

Book of the month: John Grisham, The Brethren. 2000. A story about the gentle art of extortion. Grisham weaves a tale at once fantastic and believable, as if he were a criminologist.

Movie of the month: Midway. The powerful story, retold, of the decisive 1942 naval battle in the Pacific between the U.S. and Japan, six months after Japan’s Pearl Harbor attack.

  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 editing and revision.)

 

Puzzler

New puzzler: How do you diagnose a dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac? (Answer next month)

 Last month’s puzzler: A skeptic points out that in I King 7:23, Solomon’s brass basin is described as 10 cubits in diameter and 30 cubits around. The skeptic argues that this proves the Bible contains an error, since, mathematically, circumference equals pi times diameter. Therefore, a 10-cubit diameter demands a 31.4-cubit circumference. How might the biblical literalist explain this apparent biblical error?

Answer: The diameter might refer to the outside of the lip, and the circumference might refer to the inside of the lip. (I’m not making this up. I actually read this explanation somewhere.)

 

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

 

Just For Fun

Things to think about:

  1. What if my dog brings back the ball because he thinks I like throwing it?
  2. If poison is past its expiry date, is it more poisonous, or not poisonous at all?
  3. What letter is silent in the word “scent,” the S or the “letter C?
  4. Why is the letter “w” in English called double u? Shouldn’t it be called double v?
  5. Maybe oxygen is slowly killing you, and it takes 75-100 years to work.
  6. Do twins ever realize that one of them was unplanned?
  7. Every time you clean something, you just make something else dirty.
  8. The word “swims” upside down is still “swims.”

 

Subscribe free to this E-zine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/wingspread-ezine  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 July, 2019


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

July, 2019                                                       James P. Hurd       

Contents

  • New story: Leaving Lancaster County
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Puzzler
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread subscription information

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

 

New story: Leaving Lancaster County

The Saturday after that wonderful Thanksgiving of 1959, Alex drove Shawn around Lancaster County.

“Let’s stop and buy some venison,” he suggested. The Oldsmobile’s tires crunched on the crushed limestone farm lane as they pulled up to a house and found Ruth Hostetler standing in the kitchen doorway.

“Where’s Seth?” Alex asked.

“He’s still sleepin’.”

“Oh, don’t bother him; we want some venison but we can come back later.”

“That’s all right. Chust come and sit here in the livin’ room and I’ll go up and get ‘im.”

They sat down, calmed by the smell of the hot woodstove with its black chimney. After about ten minutes Seth walked down the stairs in his long underwear. Ignoring the boys, he leaned over to tap out his pipe at the woodstove, his bare rear end peeking out through the undone flap. He refilled his pipe, lit it from the stove, sucked on it, then turned toward the boys without smiling…..

 To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2019/07/12/alex-and-shawn-leave-lancaster-county/

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

 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.

Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:  Logline: A one or two-sentence summary of abook.

Book of the month: Summer of the Danes by Ellis Peters, 1991. Benedictine monk Brother Cadfael is pleased to join a mission of church diplomacy to Wales. Travelling in the safety of the Prince of Gwynedd, they face unexpected dangers when Danish longships beach at Anglesey. They seek to protect a young Welsh woman from harm. Set in 1144.

 Watch for my upcoming novel: Atheist in the Institute. A young graduate travels east to train for mission aviation at Torrey Bible Institute, Chicago. One problem—his childhood faith is dwindling away. After failing to qualify for the flight program, he declares himself an atheist.

Presently in the “edits” stage. Target publication date: Spring, 2020.

scrooge grammar

Every author’s nightmare

July puzzler: 

I King 7:23 says that Solomon’s brass basin is described as 10 cubits in diameter and 30 cubits around. The skeptic argues that this proves the Bible contains an error, since, mathematically, circumference equals pi x diameter. Therefore, a 10-cubit diameter demands a 31.4 cubit circumference. How might the biblical literalist explain this apparent biblical error?

 Answer to June’s puzzler: 

Recall that the contest was a kite flying contest. The first person to be able to get his kite to land on the other side of Niagara Falls, won.

After one little kid was successful, the  engineers then took that kite string and attached to it a rope that was slightly heavier than the kite string. They pulled that rope across and they attached successively stronger ropes, until they finally had one strong enough to pull, what? The first cable of the bridge spanning the gorge!

 

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

Wingspread Ezine for June, 2019

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”


June, 2019                                                              James Hurd    

Contents

  • New story: “Working on Campus”
  • New novel: Atheist in the Institute
  • Puzzler
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread subscription information

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

New story: Working on Campus

One day at Torrey Bible Institute, Shawn McIntosh and Darrell Reardon were walking in a cold rain, pushing a dolly with a big desk on it across the quad toward Hargreaves Hall. Cloistered Hargreaves Hall stood as a mysterious, gated nunnery, making the coeds there more remote and exciting.  Rather than buzzing in through the double doors and stomping with wet feet through the lobby, they took the freight elevator. They rolled the table onto the platform and descended into the tunnel system with its moist wheezing steam pipes.

After checking in with the front desk, they elevatored up to the eighth floor. Darrell told Shawn, “No guys enter these halls unless they’re cleaning or maintenance.”

They pushed the dolly out onto the floor and Darrell yelled, “Man on the floor!”

They heard a muffled voice, “Grab ‘im!” Then giggles….

To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2019/06/21/working-on-campus/

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

 

Watch for my upcoming novel

Tentative title: Atheist in the Institute. A young Californian travels east, loses his best girl, loses his dream career, and is beginning to lose his faith. Then grace happens. Progress: Beta version sent out for reading today! Target publication date: Fall, 2019.

 

New puzzler (from Car Talk)

Some engineers were contemplating building a suspension bridge across the gorge at Niagara Falls. So, you’ve got a raging river below, and you’ve got to get cables for the suspension bridge from one side to the other. But, there was no way to get the cables across, because there was no boat that could fight that current.

The engineers and builders figured out how to do it, and they staged a contest on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The contest was open to the public, and the purpose was to help get these massive cables across the gorge.

The contest was won by a young boy. And shortly after the contest was completed, they were able to run the cables from one side of the gorge to the other.

What was the contest?

(Answer in the next Ezine)

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, and @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 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.