Tag Archives: Ezine

Wingspread Ezine November, 2020

“Spreading your wings
in a perplexing world”
November, 2020     

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

Contents

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

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New story: Thanksgiving at Joseph Dvorak’s

 Down Norbert dorm’s hallway lived Joseph Dvorak—a below-average student, unlucky in love, confident and loud—who sucked Sean out of his introspective shell like a vacuum cleaner. Sean rejoiced that people at TBI treated him as a regular person, one of the boys—a new experience for him. One day in November Joseph met Sean in the hall. “Sean, you wanna come to my house for Thanksgiving dinner?”

“I dunno, Joseph. Are you sure your mom wants me?” He felt apprehensive about dinner with a strange “Eastern European” family. . . .

To read more, click here:  https://jimhurd.com/2020/11/02/thanksgiving-feast-at-joseph-dvoraks/

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

Puzzler of the month:

You walk up to a closed door with three light switches on the wall beside it. The switches control three light bulbs in the room on the other side of the door. Once you open the door, you may never touch the switches again. How can you definitively tell which switch is connected to each of the light bulbs? Answer in next month’s Ezine.

Writers’ Corner

Writer’s tip of the month: Spice up your dialogue with conflict. Examples: “How are you?” “I’m fine, and you?” (Boring . . .) More interesting—“Where have you been?” “None of your business; I don’t want to talk about it.”

Word of the Month:  Gaslighting—making a person question their own memory and intelligence. Example: “Where were you! We agreed to meet on Thursday!” [when actually they had agreed to meet on Tuesday].

 Book of the month: King Lear. William Shakespeare. An aging king sinks into forgetfulness, bitterness and anger, and destroys several people in the process. A great study on parent-child conflict. Be sure to get a version with footnotes to help you with the unfamiliar 16th century English.

Wise Words:

  • I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.
  • I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
  • I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
  • How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear or understand a word they said?
  • I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
  • Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
  • Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys, finding their cell phone, and pinning the tail on the donkey. But I’d bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.
  • The first testicular guard, the “Cup,” was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

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

Sean lost his father, his best girlfriend, his life dream, and now his faith. Why is he at Torrey Bible Institute? How can he restructure his life as an atheist? He can’t see it, but grace is coming. . . .

An important new Bible commentary:

Lost stories of the Bible

Buy James P. Hurd’s Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying.  How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/  (or order it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.) 

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

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

Subscribe free to this Ezine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to this WINGSPREAD ezine, sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

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

WINGSPREAD Ezine for October, 2020

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”
October, 2020                                                             James Hurd    

Please forward this Ezine, and share this Ezine with friends. Thank you.

Contents

New story: “Mission to Mexico”

Puzzler

Writer’s Corner

How to purchase Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying

Wingspread E-zine subscription information

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

New story: Mission to Mexico

Fulton turned to Sean. “K-Kennedy’s a Catholic. Don’t ya’ll know Catholics follow the pope? They w-worship the Virgin, and believe you receive s-salvation by your good works. Anyway, Kennedy’s a D-Democrat” [pronounced like a curse].

Most Fundamentalists distrusted Democrats because they held liberal views on sex and marriage and supported the United Nations, an entity that would create a one-world government headed by the Antichrist himself. Both candidates had prepared well for the debate, but John Kennedy’s Boston accent riveted his audience with well-turned phrases.

After the debates all the TBI people Sean talked to said they would vote for Richard Nixon—a Republican and card-carrying Quaker. Sean told Fulton, “Nixon comes from Yorba Linda, just a few miles from my home. John Kennedy comes from the East. But he’s charismatic, inspiring, young and an excellent debater. I’m voting for Kennedy. . . . .”

To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2020/10/01/mission-to-mexico/

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

New Challenge for our Ezine readers:

Send in the name of your all-time favorite book (include author and complete title) and state why it is your favorite. I’ll publish some of these in the next Wingspread Ezine.

Answer to last month’s puzzler:

Recall that the challenge was to get a brittle piece of slate installed in an opening in the oak floor of exactly the same size. The wise man used an elegant tool from the kitchen: the ice cube tray from the freezer. He simply placed a few strategic ice cubes on the sub-floor and balanced the slate on top of those. As the ice cubes melted, the slate lowered itself into the hole.

Correct answers: Doug Inwards, Eldon Eddy, Jenell Paris, Sam Palpant, Paul Wilson . . .  Congratulations!

Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:  Fake news.

This term refers to national news that happens to contradict my own strongly-held opinions. Believing that a report is fake news allows me to discount it, and continue to embrace the gossip and prejudices of people who see the world as I do.

Book of the month: Celtic Daily Prayer. Harper. I’ve used this prayer guide for 20 years. Conceived in the Northumbria community of northern England, it provides Scripture and a reading for each day of the year (two-year cycle), along with sketches of great Celtic Christians and great events of pre-Catholic Christianity in England and Scotland.

Watch for my upcoming novel: EAST INTO UNBELIEF (provisional title)

Sean loseshis father, his best girlfriend, his life dream, and even his faith. Why is he doing now at Torrey Bible Institute? How can he restructure his life as an atheist? He could not perceive it, but grace was coming. . . .

Adult truths:

  1. Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch three consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
  2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.

3. I hear proofreading is being abolished . . . Is nothing scared . . .?

4. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

5. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

6. How on earth are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

7. Was learning cursive really necessary?

8. MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my own neighborhood.

9. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

10.  I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

11. Bad decisions make good stories.

12. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

Heavenly organization:

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

How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/  (or order it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.) 

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

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

Subscribe free to this Ezine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to this WINGSPREAD ezine, sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

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

WINGSPREAD E-zine for September, 2020


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

September, 2020                                   James Hurd    

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

Contents

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

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

New story: Cook County Hospital

A forlorn young woman walked toward them as she carried some dirt and a small plant in the chalice of her cupped hands, crying, looking like a poster child for the human condition. Thin and slightly built, she wore open sandals and only a light windbreaker against the cold. “What’s wrong?” Sean asked.

 “God just gave me this gift, the most precious gift in the world—the Tree of Life. [She held up the small plant cradled in her dirty hands.] And now it’s dying.” She raised her supplicant eyes to him. “I don’t know where to plant it, how to water it, how to care for it. The world’s so cruel and I am so sick. If this plant dies, I die with it; the whole world dies. Please help me!” . . .

To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2020/09/03/cook-county-hospital/

Monthly Puzzler

(provided by Jerry Galloway)

My friend had purchased a piece of slate to put into the floor in the hearth in front of his fireplace. The slate was 3/4 of an inch thick, by 10 inches wide, by 48 inches long, and weighed on the order of 175 pounds. He had cut a hole in the oak floor that was the same size as the piece of slate.

He had to plunk it right there, and get his fingers out of the way as fast as possible!

The depth of the hole was exactly 3/4 of an inch, the same as the slate. And, of course, there was the subfloor underneath. When he put one end of the slate into the hole in the floor, he realized that he would have to drop the other end to get the slate into the hole. He realized that if he dropped the brittle slate, even half an inch, it would break.

Not only that, but it wouldn’t go in the hole, anyway. There was so little clearance that he couldn’t even use that thin fishing line to lower the end of the slate. So he sat there for the longest time, drinking beers and pondering this dilemma.

After his 5th or 6th trip to the kitchen, he returned with something that solved the problem in an elegant fashion.

What did he find there that allowed him to lower the slate into the hole without risk of breaking it?

All who solve this puzzle correctly will have their names posted in this newsletter!

Last week’s Answer: 

Recall, the challenge was to draw something on a paper that would not appear larger under a magnifying glass.

The “other thing” drawn was an angle, drawn with two lines. So, for example, if I drew a thirty-six degree angle, the angle would not be bigger using the magnifying glass.

Buy James Hurd’s Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying.  How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/  (or order it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.) 

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

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

Writers’ Corner

Word of the Month:  PARAPROSDOKIANS

Refers to a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected. (Winston Churchill loved these). Here are some examples:

  • Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
  • The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on my list.
  • Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  • If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
  • War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
  • Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • They begin the evening news with ‘Good Evening,’ then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
  • To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
  • Buses stop in bus stations. Trains stop in train stations. On my desk is a work station.
  • I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.
  • In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, notify:’ I put ‘DOCTOR.’
  • I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  • Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
  • A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
  • You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive more than once.
  • I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.
  • You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
  • Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
  • Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
  • Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  • Where there’s a will, there are relatives.

Book of the month: Caribbean by James Michener, 1989. A rich historical-fictional cruise through the kaleidoscope of dozens of Caribbean islands, from Cuba to Barbados, from before the time of Columbus until the 1980s. Sea battles. Notorious characters. Gold, silver, and sugar. Michener traveled three years in the Caribbean and consulted 400 books for this novel. (I know; it’s depressing to think about all that research! ☹)

Watch for my upcoming novel: East Into Unbelief (provisional title). There comes a time to either embrace the faith of your childhood, or walk away from it. Sean McIntosh tried to walk away—and almost succeeded.

Being Jesus’s disciple wasn’t always easy

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 Ezine for August, 2020


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

August, 2020                                    James P. Hurd    

Please forward this Ezine to anyone. Thank you.

Contents

New story: The Great Debate

Wingspread reader challenge

Puzzler of the month

Writer’s Corner

How to purchase Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying

Wingspread Ezine subscription information

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

New story: The Great Debate

. . . Sean knew that TBI housed speakers on Norbert Hall’s sixth floor, but still he was surprised when he walked into the elevator and almost bumped into a scowling G. Victor McGraw. Sean stood transfixed, feeling like Moses gazing at the burning bush. But this “bush” didn’t say anything, except: “I’m going to first floor,” spoken as if someone had put sand in his toothpaste. In his sixties, gray-haired, furrowed brow, he exuded the demeanor of a man of God. He didn’t look at Sean as they descended, but when they exited the elevator, he broke wind.

Sean had loved to listen to McGraw’s radio messages—“Dear friends, all people on the topside of God’s earth need salvation. . . .” In his TBI chapel talk, he seemed the epitome of charm and grace. Sean wondered which man was the real G. Victor McGraw. . . . To read more, click here: https://jimhurd.com/2020/08/10/the-great-debate/

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

New Challenge for our Ezine readers!

Send in the name of one of your all-time favorite books (author and complete title) and one sentence telling why it is your favorite. I’ll publish some of these in the next Wingspread Ezine.

Puzzler of the month:

(From Malcolm Ross McDonald) I will use a fountain pen with black ink and write my signature on a plain, blank paper, anywhere on the paper. Now, I will draw something else on the paper which will be plainly visible.

When you look at my signature through a magnifying glass, you’ll not be surprised to find out that it’s enlarged. But when you look at the other thing, it is NOT enlarged. The question is: What is the other thing? (Answer next week.)

Answer to last week’s puzzler: 

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. It turns out that it’s possible to measure six ounces of water using just these two glasses. What’s the fewest number of steps in which you can measure six ounces?

First, fill the 9-ounce glass with water.

Next, pour the water from the 9-ounce glass into the 4-ounce glass, until it is full. This leaves 5 ounces in the 9-ounce glass.

Now empty the 4-ounce glass.

Now, fill the 4-ounce glass, using the remaining water from the 9-ounce glass. Once the 4-ounce glass is filled, you’ll be left with just 1-ounce of water in the 9-ounce glass.

Empty the 4-ounce glass of water again.

Transfer the 1-ounce of water from the 9-ounce glass into the 4-ounce glass.

Again, fill the 9-ounce glass with water.

Pour water from the 9-ounce glass into the 4-ounce glass, until the 4-ounce glass is full.

Since the four-ounce glass already has 1-ounce of water in it, it will only take an additional 3-ounces of water. Guess how much that leaves in the 9-ounce glass? You

Writers’ Corner

Author of the Month:  James Albert Michener was born in 1907 and lived for ninety years. His breakout novel, Tales of the South Pacific, later became a motion picture. Some of his other novels: HawaiiThe DriftersCentennialThe SourceThe Fires of SpringChesapeakeCaribbeanCaravansAlaska, and Texas. Many of his books are multigenerational, with long time spans in one geographic area. He donated millions of dollars to Swarthmore College; the University of Texas, Austin; and the Iowa Writers Workshop. A postal stamp was issued in his honor in 2008.

Watch for my upcoming novel: East Into Unbelief (provisional title). Kathleen’s mother raises her in a Fundamentalist hot-house environment. But then, disaster. How can her mother accept Kathleen’s choices? And how can her boyfriend, Sean, ever forgive her?

Words to ponder

Now that we’re into our seventh month of fighting COVID-19, I’ve got some thoughts and questions:

What you’re telling me is that my chance of surviving all this is directly linked to the common sense of others? You’re kidding, right?

So lemme see, there’s no cure for a virus that can be killed by sanitizer and hand soap?

Is it too early to put up the Christmas tree? I’ve run out of things to do.

When this virus thing is over with, I still want some of you to stay away from me.

If these last months have taught us anything, it’s that stupidity travels faster than any virus on the planet.

Wait a second—what you’re telling me is that my chance of surviving all this is directly linked to the common sense of others? You’re kidding, right?

People are scared of getting fined or arrested for congregating in crowds, as if catching a deadly disease and dying a horrible death wasn’t enough of a deterrent.

If you believe all this will end and we will get back to normal just because we reopen everything, raise your hand. Now slap yourself with it.

Another Saturday night in the house and I just realized the trash goes out more often than I do.

Whoever decided a liquor store is more essential than a hair salon is obviously a bald-headed alcoholic.

The spread of Covid-19 is based on two factors: a. How dense the population is and b. How dense the population is.

Did a big load of pajamas so I would have enough clean work clothes for this week.

It may take a village to raise a child, but I swear it’s going to take a whole vineyard to home-school one.

Remember all those times when you wished the weekend would last forever? Well, wish granted. Happy now?

And another gem for our Catholic friends:

Buy James Hurd’s Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying.  How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/  (or order it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.) 

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

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

Subscribe free to this Ezine   Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to WINGSPREAD Ezine, sent direct to your email inbox, usually every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

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