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Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

Holiday Music

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Ok, maybe this is not politically correct, and some will disagree with me; but I have to say I love Christmas music.
I grew up during a time when all kids sang Christmas carols no matter what religion you were. It was part of the school music programs. In high school, I enjoyed chorus with my friends Barb, Judy, Gail and Sherry–and many of us are Jewish. We sang the songs you rarely hear today in schools–songs like “Gloria” (in Latin) and “Silent Night” as well as “Winter Wonderland” and modern Christmas music. The music was lovely and we enjoyed practicing and participating in vocal concerts.
One of my favorite memories of college was my sophomore year, when there was a sing along at our student center just before our holiday break; and my friend Janet and I belted out “The 12 Days of Christmas” along with dozens of other students. (I can still name all 12 gifts).
I enjoy listening to the music in my car and when I hear Burl Ive’s “Holly Jolly Christmas” on the radio that’s when I know the holiday season has begun!
Some of this music is so beautiful, and I think it’s a shame that in our striving to be politically correct, we have cut many of these songs from school programs. I don’t see why they can’t be included if you balance some religious songs out with modern holiday songs and songs about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and winter.
Last year on 101.5 I heard a song I never heard before–about lighting a single candle, sung by a school in a competition. Does anyone know the name of the song? I’d like to hear it again.
People of all religions go to museums and admire religious paintings because they are works of art. Why can’t we admire Christmas carols because they are works of art too–beautiful music that sounds good?
My favorite songs to sing when I was in chorus were “Go Tell it on the Mountain” (becuase of the harmony) and “The 12 Days of Christmas” (because it is FUN!). My favorite to sing along with in the car is “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”  And of course I love Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah song!
So do you think Christmas songs should be included in holiday programs? And what’s yoru favorite to sing along with or listen to?
Happy Holidays everyone!
Roni Denholtz

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The weekend of October 11-14th, Elizabeth John and I were at the New Jersey Romance Writers’ conference!
What a conference! It was fabulous! Truly one of the best NJ has ever done.
It started Thursday with the conference committee getting things ready and a quick lunch. Then I went on to the airport to pick up Heather Graham and her husband Dennis! Coming back to the hotel, we were stuck in rush hour traffic, but I didn’t care–they are such gracious and fascinating people and we talked and talked.
Thursday night there was a dinner with some of our keynote speakers–Heather, Sabrina Jeffries and Susan Wiggs. I got to sit next to Sabrina Jeffries and learned a lot about what an intesesting life she’s led–but it was also full of hardships.
Friday morning I helped here and there, and then Elizabteh joined me. En route to lunch we ran into Heather and she and Dennis joined us for the buffet lunch–again, the conversation just flowed and we had such fun!


Then the conference started in earnest. I moderated Christine Bush’s First timers’ workshop–always lots of laughs. then on to the Published Author’s retreat. First Mary Jo Putney spoke about the state of the publishing industry. Then we broke into Roundtable discussions. I attended Jade Lee’s roundtable on social media and Heather’s Graham’s on the things that drive us crazy in this business. Both were informative, relaxing (you get to have chocolate-covered pretzels and wine and really let your hair down) and the conversation was interesting and lively.  The roundtables give published authors a chance to talk about our industry.  NJRW was one of the first groups to offer these roundtables.
After that, we got ready for the Awards ceremony. My book “Borrowing the Bride” was nominated for a Golden Leaf award. I didn’t win, but I was so flattered to be nominated–competition is fierce for this award. And I got to hang out with some old friends I hand’t seen for a while and meet some new people!


Saturday started bright and early with breakfast and Sabrina Jeffries’ motivating speech. Then on to the special workshop given by Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick. Then I had an editor and an agent appointment, both of which went well.
Lunch was great fun. I sat at a table with other Golden Leaf finalists and we got to hear Heather Graham’s fascinating and inspirational speech. Then, more workshops, the literacy booksigning, and dinner with friends! And of course there was the after party at night with dancing and karaoke. So much fun!
I came home from the conference totally inspired, exhausted but energized at the same time.
Since then I have been writing every day!
I’m looking forward to next year’s conference already!
With enthusiasm,
Roni Denholtz

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Every year I attend the NJ Romance Writers’ Conference. It’s my very favorite. And, as usual, I just can’t wait!
Writing conference are wonderful and this one–which I anticipate each year–is the best. It’s not just that we get stellar speakers (and this year one of the keynote speakers is Heather Graham, one of my favorite authors). And it’s not just the terrific workshops which feature presentations on the writing craft and the business of writing. There is so much more.
NJRW was one of the first conferences to feature roundtables just for published authors. We can sit back and frankly discuss everything from agents to writing frustrations to time management issues.
NJRW gets almost as many editors and agents as the national conference, so there’s always the chance to meet with an editor and/or agent and pitch your newest manuscript.
There’s also the chance to be involved and give back to an organization that has set so many on the path to success–including me! I enjoy volunteering a lot. This year I’m going to be moderating the “First Timers'” workshop being given by Christine Bush.
Another highlight of the conference is networking. You never know who you will meet. You might be seated next to a big name agent at one of the meals–or help an editor find their way around the hotel. You might hear about a new line of books that a publishing house is opening up.
Most of all, there’s the chance to connect with old friends and make new ones. There are some writing friends I only get to see once a year, since they live far away; but we try to get together at the conference even if it’s just for a few minutes over coffee. There have been times I started chatting with someone, we found out we had a lot in common, and then we’ve stayed in touch and become good friends.
This year, Kate Davison and Christina Lynn Whited will be unable to attend the conference; but I will be spending time with Elizabeth John, and I am looking forward to that!
The conference is officially Oct. 12-13, but I will be there on the 11th to help. I can’t wait!
With eager anticipation,
Roni

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Yesterday I had lunch with four of my blog/writing critique/brainstorming partners–and friends!
We try to get to gether once a month although, because of work schedules, not all of us are able to. Some of us also critique by mail with another critique partner, who has also become a friend. But the fours of us who blog together–Elizabeth John, Kate Davison, Chrsitina Lynn Whited and myself–do make an effort to get together for lunch. We brainstorm and discuss the business of writing. Actual critiques are done by email; the precious time we have together is used for conversation about writing, plus other topics.
Our lunches are so stimulating. I come home raring to write and usually with some insight into this sometimes-crazy writing business.
But what has happened in addition, in the many years we’ve been getting togther, is that we have become good friends!
Yesterday’s conversation revolved around helping one of us with a workshop title; discussion of conferences; psychic healing; and chit chat about books. We also discuss our children, parents, and pets.
I value our friendships! We have grown to be much more than fellow bloggers. I look forward to all our lunches.
Do you have writing partners who have become good friends as well?  I’d enjoy hearing about them!

Roni Denholtz

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