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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.

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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 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

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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 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.
*     *     *

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 Ezine for March, 2017

Spreading your wings in a perplexing world
March, 2017                                                        James Hurd      

 Contents

  • New blog article: “Al, My Pachuco Friend”
  • 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: Al, My Pachuco Friend

I met Al Lopez only once after high school—in jail.

Growing up in Orange, California in the 1950s, I saw Mexican kids walking to Holy Family Catholic School, and wondered why they wore blue and white uniforms. I knew that other, poorer Mexican kids went to Kilefer Elementary—“the Mexican school”—over by the Orange Packing House….       Read more here:  
https://jimhurd.com/2017/03/10/al-my-pacucho-friend/

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

 Writers’ Corner

Writer of the Month: Arthur Conan Doyle. (The Complete Sherlock Holmes, “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” “A Study in Scarlet,” “The Sign of the Four”). Perhaps the best known English mystery writer ever. Several movie adaptations have appeared, including many with the famous Holmes character, Basil Rathbone.

Word of the Month:   Lyrical: expressing the writer’s emotions in an imaginative or beautiful way.

Quiz of the Month: Compare these two sentences:

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

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

Question: What is the formal name of the last comma in the second sentence, and when should you use it?

Answer to last week’s quiz: “Mark Twain” is a pen name. His birth name is Samuel L. Clemens

Tip of the Month: A writer must tighten every piece she writes. Try reducing your piece by 20 percent. Try eliminating all the adverbs. Eliminate all but one adjective that modifies a noun. Try to reduce or eliminate backstory. Shorten description. The narrative’s the thing—focus on telling your story.

 For lovers of English:

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is “UP.”

  • It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?
  • At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?
  • Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?
  • We call UP our friends.
  • And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.
  • We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has special meaning.

  • People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.
  • To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.
  • A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.
  • We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

Book and Film Reviews

Celtic Daily Prayer. A prayer book, but with a Celtic flair. (Think Holy Island, St. Patrick, 6th and 7th century Celtic monks, writers, and missionaries.) Daily readings and scripture. I’ve used it for 15 years. HarperCollins. 2002.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. One of those classic Russian journeys through 19th century psyches. This one’s about three brothers, their father, and their loves and hates for each other. Betrayal, jealousy, murder, romance, and general mayhem. 700 small-print pages. Don’t plan on a one-night reading. 1957 Signet Classic.

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 about music

♠   We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.  Decca Recording Co., rejecting the Beatles, 1962

♠    There are some experiences in life which should not be demanded twice from any man, and one of them is listening to the Brahms Requiem.   George Bernard Shaw

♠   Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end.  Igor Stravinsky

♠   Mr. Wagner has beautiful musical moments but bad quarters of an hour.   Gioacchino Rossini

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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 February, 2017

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

Contents

  • New blog article: First Solo
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Book and Film reviews
  • E-zine subscription information
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying

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

New article: First Solo

 I’d washed out of Moody’s flight school, but remained at the Institute’s downtown Chicago campus to take courses in Bible and missions.

All of us students ate in the vast dining hall in Crowell Hall basement. I would look across at the flyboys who ate with us groundlings but sat at a separate table. They trained out at Moody-Wooddale Airport two days a week, but they lived here. Most of them wore immaculate, black flying boots. I don’t know how anyone could be a good pilot without black flying boots. Dave explained to me how he would smell burnt leather when he spent two hours burning off the old polish and applying the new. And their aviation glasses—gray-shaded and expensive. I didn’t feel worthy to wear flight boots or aviation glasses….     Read more here:   https://jimhurd.com/2017/02/18/first-solo/

(*Request: Please share with others. Thanks.)

 

Writers’ Corner

Writer of the Month: Ellis Peters, the pen name of Edith Pargeter. She writes readable novels about live and death in medieval Shrewsbury, England. The wonderful Brother Cadfael series features a Benedictine monk, who also is an amateur detective living in the 12th century at the Abbey in Shrewsbury.

Word of the Month:   slatternly (of a woman—dirty and untidy)

Quiz of the Month: What is Mark Twain’s real name?

(Answer to last month’s quiz: Who is considered to have invented modern German? Answer: Martin Luther)

Tip of the Month: Try taking the most interesting sentence of your story or essay and putting it at the beginning. It’s easier than you think.

 Fun with words:

 You think English is easy? (Jottings from a retired English teacher)


1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

 Book and Film Reviews

Greg Boyd, The Cosmic Dance. 2016. ReKnew Pub. A “Dick and Jane” graphic book (pictures with speech-balloons) about serious topics: quantum theory, relativity, the speed of light, how chaos can generate order, how God can be in control and people still have freedom of choice. Did I mention it’s a serious book? Even if you don’t understand it all (I certainly didn’t), it’s an amazing book about the cosmos and an amazing book about God.

Ellis Peters, The Heretic’s Apprentice. A “Brother Cadfael” novel, set in 12th century England. Will the young apprentice Elave be pronounced a heretic, or will common sense and compassion prevail? Cadfael, the Benedictine monk, herbalist, and amateur detective will get to the bottom of this.

Monk’s Hood. A movie of Brother Cadfael. Who poisoned the landowner? Murder, false accusation, and mercy in 12th century England.

 

Subscribe free to this E-zine

Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to Wingspread  E-zine 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/

*    *    *

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 January, 2017


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

 Contents

  • New blog article: Feasting with Mine Enemy
  • Writer’s Corner
  • Book and Film reviews
  • E-zine subscription information
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Quotable quotes

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

New blog article—Feasting with Mine Enemy

The Niyayobateri men circle the dance ground several times, then stop and stand stone-faced in the center of the shabono with their arrows cocked, gazing up into the darkening sky. This is the moment when they will learn if their Blapoteri hosts will accept them—or shoot them. I think, This could be the 1500s instead of 1969.

Read more here:   https://jimhurd.com/2016/12/27/feasting-with-mine-enemy/

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

 Writers’ Corner
 doestoevsky  Writer of the Month: Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881).
A Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher. His works explore human psychology in troubled 19th-century Russia. He was convicted of anti-state activities, subjected to a mock execution, and then exiled to Siberia for four years. His works include Crime and Punishment, Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot, and The Possessed.

Metaphor of the Month:   “…lit by a fire from beyond this world….” (enlivened by a transcendent quality)

Answers to last month’s quiz

  • You should vote, irregardless [regardless] of your political preferences.
  • Today they have less [fewer] workers than formerly. [Use “fewer” if you can count the items.]
  • Caribou smells good, like [as] a coffee shop should. [But, in today’s slatternly English, you can get away with “like.”]

 January’s Quiz:

Who is considered to have invented modern German?

  1. The Amish
  2. The Nazis
  3. Martin Luther
  4. Baron von Richthofen

Tip of the Month: How discriminate between “illusive, elusive, or allusive”?

  • Illusive: Unreal, insubstantial
  • Elusive: Hard to perceive, hard to capture
  • Allusive: Referring to, alluding to

 

Book and Film Reviews

Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment. Penguin Books, 2014. A psychological thriller (OK—“thriller” in a clunky Russian sort of way) about a man whose deadly guilt tortures him for years.)

Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son. Doubleday, 1992.  A profound meditation on Rembrandt’s painting of the same name. The unquenchable love of the father for his errant son.

Martin Luther, 3-program set on the Reformation, by Christian History Institute, 2016. The amazing story of Reformation upheaval: Lutheran (Luther and Melanchthon), Reformed movement (Zwingli and Calvin) and Anabaptist movement (Grabel, Sattler, Simons).

 

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

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

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

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

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

♠    What species of dinosaur has the most extensive vocabulary?  A thesaurus.

♠    Don’t worry about old age; it doesn’t last.

♠    Velcro – what a rip off!

*    *    *

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 November, 2016


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
November, 2016                                                                                            James P. Hurd   

 Contents

  • New blog article: “Flying Corozalito”
  • Writer’s Corner (puzzlers, tips, books)
  • Book and Film reviews
  • E-zine subscription information
  • How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
  • Quotable quotes

 *              *              *

New blog article: “Flying Corozalito”

I landed the mission Cessna 180 at Corozalito and walked into the tiny grass-roof house where Wycliffe Bible Translators Florence Gridell and Mariana Slocum lived and worked. A small Chol Indian woman followed me in, laid her precious newborn baby girl on a rough wooden table, and cried out for Florence—“Doña Florencia; ayùdame, por el amor de Diòs! (Florence, help me, for the love of God!)” Florence took the baby in her arms but it was too late—after a few minutes the baby stopped breathing. It was 1968.  Read more here:   https://jimhurd.com/2016/11/04/flying-corozalito/

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

 Writers’ Corner

Writer of the month

Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957). English novelist and essayist, a friend of C.S. Lewis, a Christian, and a member of the Inklings writing group. The lead in her detective novels is Lord Peter Wimsey, complemented by Harriet Vane. These novels include The Nine Tailors, Gaudy Night, and Whose Body?

Word of the Month:   Craft essay. An essay about writing. Good writers make a thousand decisions about their work. In a craft essay, they talk about this process.

Answers to October’s Quiz of the Month

  • Jake said, “I’m going out on the back porch to rest a while.” (adverb: awhile)
  • For some people it always takes more friends, less enemies, more excitement, more money, and more renown, whatever else it might take, to make them happier. (Place the last phrase earlier in the sentence)
  • We had a great day, it was unforgettable. (“comma splice”make two sentences)
  • The dog’s wound laid bare it’s internal organs. (“its.” Use “it’s” only as a contraction of “it is”)

 New quiz for November

Correct these sentences:

  • Before I realized it, I had driven much further into the desert.
  • He noticed a large stain in the rug that was right in the center.
  • The dog aggravated the little puppy.
  • He had shone how not to fly the airplane.

 Tip of the Month: Ensure vs. insure vs. assure. Insure means a financial guarantee. Ensure involves personal effort to promote an outcome. Assure means to inspire confidence. “He assured me when he said that he will ensure that we insure the building.”

Some of my favorite verbs:
ape (imitate)
botch (fail)
bristle (react angrily)
cameled (to ride a camel)
cauterize (cover over, paper over, gloss over, a matter)
conjure (create out of nothing)
crimsoning (bloodying; using –ing to change noun to a verb)
disembowel (eviscerate, render lifeless, destroy)
eclipse (surpass)

Some of my favorite metaphors:
borne by silent sails across the seas
thermals that waft our sentences to higher altitudes
sentences corrugated by excessive underlining
sticking my oar in the water (a daring beginning)
returning to the swamp from which it crawled (fitting end of an evil plan)
a poison which, unnoticed, poisons everything it touches
drinking spiked Kool-Aid (approving  of a disastrous plan)

 Book Reviews
C.S. Lewis, Pilgrim’s Regress. Eerdmans, 1992. A takeoff on Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Lewis wrote this soon after his Christian conversion. Many allusions will be unfamiliar to the modern reader.

Strunk & White, Elements of Style. (4th Edition) Pearson, 2000. A lovely little book that goes beyond commas and capitalizations to unveil the secrets of a gripping writer’s style.

Subscribe to this free 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

   “Do you think a woman will ever occupy the White House?”
“Are you kidding? I’ll believe that when the Cubs win the World Series!”

   The first five days after the weekend are the hardest.

    I childproofed my whole house, but the kids still get in.

   Ban pre-shredded cheese–make America grate again.

   Nobody goes to that restaurant anymore—it’s too crowded. (Yogi Berra)

 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.