Michael Lane

Michael Lane

Welcome back to our Friday edition of Meet the Editors! This Friday we are featuring Michael Lane, a freshman at Lewis University who is studying journalism. Since he was a young boy, Michael always loved movies and the business surrounding them. One of Michael’s biggest heroes was the great Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, who inspired Michael to start writing about movies himself. You might recognize Michael from his horror film blog Down A Dark Lane. Please join us in welcoming Michael!

Who are you and what is your role in the Jet Fuel Review?
My name is Michael Lane. I am a freshman at Lewis University and I hail from Oak Forest, IL. I write for JFR as a film blogger, specifically in the genre of horror films.

What book might we find on your nightstand right now?
I don’t read too many “book” books…you know, the ones with just words. I do, however, read a ton of comic books. I actually keep a bunch of comic books/graphic novels on my nightstand, which as of now includes: Superspy by Matt Kindt, Through The Woods by Emily Carroll, 100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello, and a ton of issues of various comics.

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Hello readers, and welcome back! This week we’re going to be talking about Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst, because everyone needs their vampire fix.

Pearl is your average sixteen-year-old vampire. She sleeps during the day and terrorizes unsuspecting humans at night. Everything is going great until one night when Pearl gets attacked by a unicorn. But everyone knows unicorns don’t exist.

Pearl’s family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter and tell her she is lucky to be alive. The biggest surprise comes when it’s discovered that Pearl can now withstand the sunlight without bursting into flame. Soon after this surprise comes out, the king of the New England Coven announces that he has chosen Pearl’s family to host the feast. This means the family needs to find a food supply, and a lot of it.

So Pearl is heading to high school, where she is befriended by two goody-goody humans. This shouldn’t be a problem except happily-evil Pearl is starting to feel twinges of a conscience. Pearl is supposed to deliver her high school “friends” up to feed the king’s appetite, but how can she do that? Pearl is starting to care about these new friends.

Pearl has to make a choice — betray her new friends and let them die or be killed for betraying her family? What is a sunlight-loving vampire to do? Sarah Beth Durst takes us on a wild ride in this book. Vampires and unicorns battle it out in Drink Slay Love.

That’s all for this week, check back next week for another book review. Happy reading, everyone!

— Sabrina Parr, Poetry Editor

The Goldbergs (2013 – 2015, ABC)

Some of the best stories ever told are based on true events. Some of the most successful comedians base their comedy off of their families. Mindy Kaling, Kathy Griffin, and Chelsea Handler’s autobiographical books are all New York Times bestsellers based on their real life family and friends.

I could now talk about my insane family and the time my uncle “pimp-slapped” me, the time my aunt spontaneously sang the “Star Spangled Banner” to my best friend because she is a history major, or the time my mom and I got into a lengthy argument about Britney Spears and her influence – I won that one. I could collect all of the oddities that have become moments in my family’s history and try to form them into something like a narrative or a short story, but Adam Goldberg took it one step further. He took his family and turned them into the main characters of an ABC sitcom: The Goldbergs.

The Goldbergs are a typical family in “nineteen-eighty-something” living in the suburbs of Pennsylvania. Murray and Beverly Goldberg are the parents of Erika, Barry, and Adam who are young teens/pre-teens with their own sets of social ineptitudes and quirks.

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Hello, blog readers! Welcome to another installment of our Pick-a-Poem series. Every Wednesday, we feature a poem here on the blog. Hopefully it’s something you’re interested in, and maybe you’ll find a new favorite poet. All of our poems come from Poetry Daily, which is a really awesome site that features a new poem every single day! If you’re looking for even more new poetry, be sure to check them out. Today we’re featuring a poem called Portrait of a Marriage as Library After Air Raid, London, 1940 by Cintia Santana.

According to her bio page on Poetry Daily, Cintia Santana is the author of Forth and Back: Translation, Dirty Realism, and the Spanish Novel (1975-1995). Her work has also appeared in publications such as RHINO, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Sycamore Review, and The Threepenny Review. Her poem, “Qasida of Grief,” was selected by C.D. Wright as the winner of the 2013 Wabash Poetry Prize. She currently teaches poetry and fiction workshops in Spanish at Stanford University.

Portrait of a Marriage as Library After Air Raid, London, 1940 by Cintia Santana

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Dr. Therese Jones

If you could travel anywhere, where would your destination be?

I have longed to travel to China for thirty years because of the amazing arts, history, beauty, and my curiosity regarding Chinese literature. Ten years ago, I was so fortunate to travel to both China and Hong Kong. I accompanied some of the Lewis University Business Department faculty members and their students, who were studying international business there.

While in Hong Kong, we all took a river cruise, which was the inspiration for the poem below.

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I’m sure that you’ve read the title of this post and are thinking, “well, duh.” But hear me out.

Imagine that you’re in the middle of writing a scene, and you’re suddenly struck by an idea that fits perfectly into a scene that you won’t get to for a while. Or maybe it’s an idea that will come in handy later in the scene that you’re writing right now. What do you do with that idea? Do you jot it down somewhere and then come back to it when you’re ready for it? If you do that, you might lose the essence of why you thought it was such a good idea. Instead, why not just write through that idea for a bit and then continue where you left off?

I know that there are two camps of people — those who strictly write in a linear fashion and those who like to jump around more. But for those in the linear camp, I want to advise jumping around in your story every now and then. For the most part, I’m a linear writer as well. I like to write the scenes as they occur in the storyline. But recently, I was writing and found myself jumping to the end of the scene just to get down some dialogue that I really liked. I picked right back up in the linear story, but I was glad that I wrote that dialogue first because then it wasn’t plaguing my brain anymore and I knew I had it captured.

If you simply can’t bring yourself to jump around in your writing, at least do your idea jotting in the same document where you’re writing your story. I used to have a separate document open for random scraps of ideas, but I’ve learned to just include those ideas in the story document. That prevents you from losing them and it means they’re always there when you open up your story document, always reminding you of the ideas you have for later in the story.

I like to think of this advice as a slightly smaller version of the “write the fun stuff first” method. You don’t have to race through the “fun” parts of your story and then come back to the boring bits. But it might help you to jump to the end of a scene now and then if your brain is seized by some brilliant dialogue. Try it out!

Happy Writing!

— Jet Fuel Blog Editor, Mary Egan

Sex has seemingly always been a mainstay of the horror genre, or at least it has been since John Carpenter’s 1978 modern classic, Halloween. In the coming years after Halloween, it was an extremely common trope in horror films that if a character has sex, then the consensus is that they’re going to die. With It Follows, Writer/director David Robert Mitchell intelligently plays with the concept of sex in horror movies in what is not only the best film of any genre to be released in 2015 so far, but one of the best horror movies to be released since the turn of the century thanks to its wholly original script, excellent cinematography, and pulsating synth soundtrack.

It Follows is about a college-aged girl named Jay. It’s the beginning of the fall semester and Jay’s living a normal life, which just recently, includes going on dates with a guy she’s met named Hugh. During their first date, Hugh points out to Jay a girl he sees, but she cannot. This freaks Hugh out, which leads to them leaving and calling it a night. Date number one goes sexless. Come date number two, however, Jay and Hugh are seen having sex in Hugh’s car. This is seemingly innocent pre-marital sex, yes, and a by the numbers scene for a horror movie…but only until Hugh renders Jay unconscious with the use of a chloroform rag.

Jay awakens strapped to a wheelchair in a worn-down parking garage, with Hugh pacing back and forth in the background wielding a flashlight, almost as if he’s looking for something. As Jay pleads for her life and asks Hugh why he is doing this, Hugh begins to explain to Jay that he’s passed something on to her; a curse, if you will.

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