Category Archives: books

The South Jersey Writers at the Collingswood Book Festival

Tomorrow, October 5th, is the 11th Annual Collingswood Book Festival, one of the biggest events for writers and readers in the South Jersey area. You can check the website for the schedule and guests, but I’m here to talk about some specific local guests – the South Jersey Writers’ Group.

The South Jersey Writers will be at Space #52 on Haddon Avenue, from 10 AM to 4 PM, so please stop by, say hi, find out about the group, and maybe buy a book or two. Last year, the group published the anthology Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey, which is available in paperback on Amazon, select local coffee shops, other vendors, and at the Collingswood Book Festival tomorrow.

Members of the South Jersey Writers who will be hosting at our table tomorrow include Amy Hollinger, Krista Magrowski, Mieke Zamora-Mackay, Dawn Byrne, Sarah Miduski, Ava Easterby, James Knipp, Krista McKay, John Faquhar, Shelley Szajner, Christine Hardy, Laurie Strucke, Jessica Walsh, and some guy named Glenn Walker. Click on any of the above names to find out more about these great writers and their work.

The South Jersey Writers’ Group, founded in 2006, provides networking and development opportunities for local writers in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area. The group meets regularly several times during the month for topic-based discussion about the craft of writing and the publishing industry.

The group has just opened its doors to new members, and welcomes writers of all ages, backgrounds, genres, and experience levels. Among the events offered by the group are Write-Ins, Topic Discussions, Critique Sessions, Book Signings, Author Appearances, and Blogfests. For more information on the group, visit the website, Like them on Facebook or Follow them on Twitter.

We hope to see you tomorrow!


When Film Incites

The recent nonsense in the Middle East with the murders, attacks, and protests against American Embassies is not the normal fodder for content here on Welcome to Hell, but it kinda is when it’s caused by a film. The film, and I use the word loosely, is called Innocence of Muslims by filmmaker, once again a term I’m using loosely, Sam Bacile, who we have since learned is an alias for Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.

Based on what I’ve seen of the man, and the film, he is a hate criminal, and responsible for the deaths so far in our embassies. And that’s not just because it’s a bad movie. It’s more and less than a bad movie. Horrible acting, sets, and writing, and created specifically to incite the Islam world to violence. This is something even Uwe Boll never did.

Notably this is not the first time film has been used as a mind weapon. The gangster films of the 1930s were said to bring about, among other things, juvenile delinquency. Violent movies have always been said to make kids more violent. The trend continues today. I think the documentaries of Michael Moore have fanned the fires, if not lit them initially, of the bipartisanism that threatens to tear our nation apart.

I think this will be a first. We’ve had music and videogames supposedly make people kill, we’ve had books do it, most notably with “The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie, now I guess, it’s film’s turn. Still these things bother me.

While I do wonder what Ozzy song was Genghis Khan’s favorite, and what Call of Duty game Hitler played the most, this movie was a deliberate assault on a faith, in my opinion. I hope this furor dies down soon, and people realize that this was just a bad movie…