Rejoice, friends! It’s finals week here at Lewis University and the school year is coming to a close. That doesn’t stop us at the Jet Fuel Review from continuing our blogging. So, of course, we have a new Jukebox playlist for your enjoyment this week.
Tomorrow, a review from Jake for Beyoncé’s new album Lemonade will be going up. Unfortunately, the album isn’t yet available on Spotify, so you won’t find any of those songs on this week’s playlist. Speaking for the both of us, though, Jake and I would like to add many songs off of the album including highlights “Hurt Yourself,” “Hold Up,” and “All Night.”
While my picks this week have no connective themes, I’ve decided to celebrate that it is now May with Jonathan Coulton’s classic tune, “First of May.” Meanwhile, Jake has decided to include 10 “work” songs, as finals week always comes with a lot of work.
The 20 tracks this week include cuts from Hozier, St. Vincent, and Arcade Fire, among others.
I’m going to be straight-up honest with you guys today. The advice in today’s post comes from someone other than me, and it’s advice that I, myself, need.
Last week, I wrote about finding the inspiration in what others create. I think this is really important, and I think that “filling your creative tank” is something that you have to periodically do. However, there is also a downside to this practice. Constantly exposing yourself to fabulous, well-done fiction can make you doubt yourself. For example, delving into behind-the-scenes information about a show like Breaking Bad can make you wonder if you’ll ever write something half as decent as that tightly-written masterpiece.
Over the past week, I have tried my hardest to get back into the swing of things with my writing. It has been difficult, though, because I’ve been overwhelmed with doubt about my own abilities. I’ve never been very good at plotting, so I’m obsessing over the fact that I can’t effectively plot out my most recent project idea. That’s stopping me from getting anything done, unfortunately. If I want to get back into writing, I have to somehow leap over the self-doubt hump that’s blocking my way.
When in doubt, Hermione Granger might go to the library. When in doubt, I surf the Internet and see what others have written. In my web-surfing, I found an article on the website Write to Done, in which writer Jon Bard offers the following advice:
“Write for yourself. Write because it’s fun. Write because it’s an area of your life you can control utterly and completely. Don’t judge your writing, and don’t ask others to judge it for you. Don’t worry whether anyone else will ever see what you write. Just be a writer.”
So, I’m going to try to take this particular advice to heart and put it into practice in my own writing life. I hope that you do the same. If you’re struggling with self-doubt concerning your writing, leave a comment here with something that helps you overcome that doubt. Happy writing!
Hello, blog readers! I hope your week has been a good one. First things first — a new issue of the Jet Fuel Review is out and available for you to read! If you want to see the amazing poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and art included in issue #11, simply visit the Jet Fuel Review website. The new issue includes a special collection of bouts-rimé poetry, (which you can read more about here) and it’s also available in eBook format for easy reading. Be sure to check it out!
Now, to recap some of our more recent posts. In terms of writing advice, there is only one new post to recap. This past week, I wrote about finding inspiration in the work of others and using that to create your own work. Some poems recently featured here on the blog include Unsurpassedby Autumn McClintock and Little Designby Jamaal May.
For your listening pleasure, we have several new playlists through the Jet Fuel Jukebox. If you’re feeling nostalgic, check out the Throwback Thursday: Dance Edition playlist for all your old favorites. You can also find more music in this past week’s playlist. But if you’re looking for a podcast instead, be sure to check out the two most recent episodes of Infinite Canvas here and here.
Our most recent “Alum in the Spotlight” post featured Kendra Hadnott, a graduate of Lewis University who is now an author, freelance writer, educator, and blogger. Be sure to check out that post for more about Kendra.
In the past few weeks, Haley Renison has written two more posts for her “Poetic Playlist” series. In one, she analyzed “Buzzcut Season” by Lorde, and in the other she discussed “Migraine” by Twenty One Pilots. In addition, Michael Lane posted a review of the film Hush.
Finally, we’ve had some different types of posts here on the blog recently. First, we posted a Student Feature last week, which consisted of a film review for The Revenant from Lewis University student Phil Siddu. Secondly, we posted a Faculty Feature, which was a short story entitled “Four Points and a Necklace,” written by Lewis University adjunct professor Sharon Houk.
That’s all for now, folks! I hope you enjoy the coming week.
Okay, lovelies. I have been trying to hold out for a while, but it was only a matter of time before I looked at one of my all-time favorite groups: Twenty One Pilots. Love them or hate them, they have a way with lyrics and it’s hard to deny Tyler Joseph’s twisted way with words (as well as Josh Dunn’s skilled drumming, of course).
On a personal note, I owe a lot to this two-man band. I first heard them during a rather challenging time in high school, and since the discovery, their songs have helped me through some very tough times, to say the least. Consequently, I have seen them twice live, and will be seeing them a third time this summer.
This song that I chose is from their album Vessel, and it’s titled “Migraine.” Now, this is a fairly popular song, and while I could write pages upon pages about their other albums and songs, I wanted to look at this song because it is one of the first that won me over. I think it says a lot in a short period of time. Also, it’s the week before finals and it was easy to look at an old favorite rather than do a ton of research on a different song.
For issue #11 of the Jet Fuel Review, we’ve included a special section that features a sampling of pieces that all share a prevailing theme, with this issue’s special theme being a collection of bouts-rimé poetry.
A bouts-rimé is a literary game in which poets are given a predetermined set of words that they must center their poems around. Literally meaning “rhymed-ends” in French, a bouts-rimé is a type of sonnet, three quatrains and a couplet with an abab cdcd efef gg rhyme scheme. Since the fourteen words that we chose were challenging, we decided that adherence to iambic pentameter would be optional.
The selected fourteen words were required to be used at the end of each line (hence, “rhymed-ends” as the translation) and in the order they were given. All of the Jet Fuel Review editors collaborated in coming up with interesting words to stump poets. Here are the fourteen words we decided on: envelope, orange, telescope, singe; eyelash, wire, mustache, fire; underhand, render, ampersand, tender; photogenic, pomegranate.
Seeing what the poets were in for, we felt that it would only be right for us, the editors, to attempt to write bouts-rimés ourselves. After feeling the frustration firsthand, we could not be more pleased with how many lovely bouts-rimés we received in response to our seemingly impossible task.
— Sam Gennett, Assistant Managing Editor
Presented below are the editors’ attempts at writing poems using our specific bouts-rimé guidelines. These poems have all been written by Jet Fuel Review editors and other Lewis University students/alumni.
To see the poems that made the cut in issue #11, follow the link here.
Happy Wednesday, blog readers! If you’re looking for some new poetry to read, then you’ve come to the right place. Each week, we feature a new poem by a poet whom you probably have yet to discover. These poems come from a great website called Poetry Daily, which you can check out if you’re looking for more to read. This week we’re featuring Little Designby Jamaal May.
According to his bio page, Jamaal May has written two books, Hum and The Big Book of Exit Strategies, both of which were published through Alice James Books. He has won several awards, including the Spirit of Detroit Award, the American Library Association’s Notable Book Award, and the Wood Prize from Poetry. He co-directs OW! Arts with Tarfia Faizullah.