Photo from cloudfront.net

Photo from cloudfront.net

There are some films that are meant to be watched at certain times of the year. Halloween is nearly upon us, and I’m sure there will be many a viewing party for Hocus Pocus, Friday the 13th, and of course, Halloween. At Thanksgiving, we’ll all watch Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and on Christmas, we’ll all watch It’s a Wonderful Life. But there are some films, at least for me, that became associated with a certain time of year for almost no conceivable reason. This weekend, my sister and I sat down to watch a movie that has become a fall favorite for us: When Harry Met Sally.

There is absolutely no reason that When Harry Met Sally should be associated with the fall. The film takes place over a period of several years, and depicts every season at some point during the story. Nothing terribly important to the plot is tied to the fall. In fact, some of the film’s most important, climactic moments occur on New Year’s Eve. But we don’t feel compelled to watch this movie on New Year’s Eve, or in the summer, or at any time of the year other than fall. Why?

Honestly, I don’t really know. My best guess is that the DVD box art–a shot from a particular scene in the film when Harry and Sally are walking through a park in the fall, many-colored leaves falling all around them–may have subconsciously become the iconic representation of the film for my sister and me. It probably also has everything to do with our mutual love of fall as a season. If a person hates fall, they may not associate this movie with fall. Unless they hate the movie, in which case they’re a terrible person, and not to be dealt with.

Also, this is a romantic comedy, and fall is just cuddle weather. Y’know? It’s cool and crisp, and there are hoodies and warm drinks and pumpkin spice. That can’t be just me.

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Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are the pioneers in home entertainment today. They have almost instantly created a new culture of binge watching movies and TV. It is clear that they have revolutionized how the masses consume media. Today, we are on the front line of a major change in our culture. Now, word has it that HBO is joining the race and that Netflix is fighting to redefine home theater.

Photo from pbs.twimg.com

Photo from pbs.twimg.com

Netflix is the hipster of the bunch, being that it first popularized the new format of movie and TV watching. Back in the day, HBO set the bar by asking for an additional charge to add its network to your cable package. Just when everyone thought HBO was a thing of the past, they started to up the ante with television shows filmed like movies. Now they have announced that they will offer their service a la carte, or separately from cable packages.

This means that despite cable providers struggling to stay relevant, HBO has decided to join Netflix in the fight to be independent. This has been a major issue lately. Cable companies do not want streaming services to succeed. Cable providers rely on cable packages to sell networks that no one would pay to see if given the chance. The other big issue is that this gives people the opportunity to see new movies at home relatively early.

Netflix is one step ahead of HBO in the fight to claim movies. While Netflix does not always have the newest movies like HBO, they are starting to break ground in a different way. Netflix has managed to secure a few exclusive movie deals. Firstly, it has announced that the sequel to the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon will premiere on its site in streaming format. The movie will be on Netflix the same day it hits IMAX theaters. The other major deal it made was to secure four movies with Adam Sandler. These movies will be exclusive to Netflix and will not be shown in theaters.

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Welcome, blog readers, to another installment of our Pick-a-Poem feature! In the middle of each week, we feature a new poem here on the blog. Consider this your mid-week poetry break, and hopefully you’ll discover a new poet whose work you’ll explore further. As always, the featured poem is found via Poetry Daily, which is a great site for finding new poetry. This week we feature Sonnet for the Misbegotten by Jill Bialosky.

According to her website, Jill Bialosky is the author of several collections of poetry, including Subterranean (2001) and The End of Desire (1997). She is also the author of the novel House Under Snow (2002) and The Life Room (2007). Her poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, The New Republic, Kenyon Review, and others. She is currently an editor at W.W. Norton & Company and lives in New York City.

Sonnet for the Misbegotten by Jill Bialosky

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Photo from Goodreads

Photo from Goodreads

Hello Readers, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner. This week we will be talking about The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross. This book, in my humble opinion, is a cross between the X-Men and Jekyll and Hyde.

Set in England in 1897,  this story’s main character, Finley, is a little strange. Finley has a dark side and it gives her speed and more strength than a fully grown man. When her employer’s son tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back and wins, but she runs away fearing what her dark side has gotten her into.

While on the run, Finley quite literally runs into Griffin King, an orphaned duke. Griffin takes her in and shares a little secret with Finley–he has talents himself and he’s not the only one. Griffin also fights evil in the service of the English crown. Right now he is taking on an evil that might be bigger than he can handle.

Dark sides, strange talents, and mystery–The Girl in the Steel Corset has it all. This supernatural mystery has something for everyone to enjoy. It captured my attention on the first page and I couldn’t put it down. Kady Cross splices together the worlds of Jekyll and Hyde and the X-Men to make this page-turning mystery that you just can’t put down.

That’s all for now! Check back in next time and remember to keep reading.

– Sabrina Parr, Poetry Editor

pen

Photo from gennasarnak.com

This month of October—which begins with Dashain in Nepal and ends with Samhain among the Celts, which sees the conclusion of National Hispanic Month and the start of German Heritage Month and includes Indigenous and Italian and Polish Heritage celebrations, as well as the Independence Days of Cyprus and Portugal, Nigeria and Turkey, Turkmenistan and the Grenadines, with the birthday of Ghandi on the 2nd, Lief Erikson Day on the 9th, and Thanksgiving Day in Canada on the 12th–seems a fitting time to encourage JFR blog readers (and everyone) to explore the global vastness of poetry—itself the oldest and most universal genre. I’m also prompted to propose such an exploration because my father called me the other night to ask if I knew anything of the poetry of the Bible and why it didn’t rhyme. Finally, I thought, he’s glad I was an English major and became a poet!

Similarly, in my Native American literature class, I recently introduced students to the basic elements of all good poetry (rhythm, repetition, and imagery)—something I introduce in every literature course I teach—and always there’s a question about the assumed requirement of rhyme, especially for poetry in English.

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As I have already said, National Novel Writing Month is coming up in November! This past weekend I went to one of my region’s NaNoWriMo prep sessions. This one was all about preparing for the month ahead and for surviving the whole process. I thought it was a great prep session, and one of the things that really stuck with me was the importance of finishing.

Now, the way to “finish” National Novel Writing Month is, technically, to reach the 50,000-word goal before midnight on November 30th. But another way is to finish the actual story that you set out to write in that time while also reaching 50,000 words. This means that, by the end of the month, you are able to write the words “the end” on your manuscript. That point may come around 50,000 words, or you may end up writing more than that during November and also reaching the end of your story.

To be completely honest with you, I am not very good at following this advice. I have participated in NaNoWriMo seven times before and have never come to the actual end of the story I’m writing. I’ve reached the 50,000-word goal, but I haven’t finished my story. In the past, this hasn’t really bothered me because I’ve done NaNoWriMo for fun. But recently I’m becoming more interested in finishing a first draft and crafting a good story. This year, I hope to finish the story that I’m writing within the month of November, so that I can work on editing it in the new year.

To close this post, I want to include a quote from Neil Gaiman. Gaiman said, “Whatever it takes to finish things, finish. You will learn more from a glorious failure than you ever will from something you never finished.”

Happy writing!

– Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan

Sabrina Parr

Sabrina Parr

Hello readers! Today we’d like to introduce to you another one of our editors, Sabrina Parr. Sabrina is a currently a sophomore at Lewis University, and she is majoring in English on the Professional and Creative Writing track. In her free time, Sabrina loves to read, watch movies, and watch TV. Sabrina is a Pretty Little Liars, Teen Wolf, and Vampire Dairies enthusiast, but she also loves Reign and Once Upon a Time. Sabrina loves almost anything supernatural and one day hopes to write a book about the supernatural. She almost always has a book in her hand and is always on the search for a new book to read. Sabrina hopes one day to work in publishing and to have her work published. Read on to learn more about Sabrina.

Who are you and what is your role in the Jet Fuel Review?

My name is Sabrina Parr and I am Poetry Editor as well as Assistant Fiction Editor.

What book might we find on your nightstand right now?

  • Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore
  • Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • The One by Kiera Cass
  • Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting
  • The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

It’s a lot, I know.

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