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Archive for the ‘Helping’ Category

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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This weekend both of my kids went to Rutgers University to participate, as alumni, in Rutger’s Dance Marathon (DM).
DM is a student-run philanthropy which raises money for children with cancer and blood disorders. Each year since our daughter and son have been involved DM has grown, and is now well-known. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised to help children and their families.
When our son and daughter were little, we tried to set a good example of volunteering. We participated in PTA, Marching Band parents, Robotics parents, Drama club parents, the community soup kitchen etc. I’ve always felt it is important to give back to the community and the world around us by getting involved in a cause I believe in.
Once the kids were out of school and in college, my days of volunteering with school organizations ended. So I became more involved in New Jersey Romance Writers; and I began volunteering for our local animal shelter. I am now on the Noah’s Ark Animal Welfare board.
Not only does volunteering help those less fortunate (whether they are humans or animals or if you’re doing something for the planet); but it gives you a wonderful feeling inside, knowing you are doing something to help others!
This year DM raised over $442,000! Yay for them! That will help a lot of sick children in so many ways.
What kind of volunteer work do you do, and how do you feel about it?
In the spirit of volunteering,
Roni Denholtz

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Martin Luther King day celebrates not only a very special man who shone with the best of qualities; but the goodness and helping spirit in all of us. It is fitting that so many people use this as a day to help others, to volunteer, and to do acts of kindness.
I am active in my local animal shelter (Noah’s Ark Animal Welfare in Ledgewood, NJ) and in my local NJ Romance Writers organization. I volunteer with the shelter for a number of things, including our Tricky Tray, because I care about animals and want them to find a good home. Noah’s Ark is great at doing that–it’s where we got our dog. And NJ Romance Writers helped me to grow as a writer and become published in the romance genre. So I want to give back.
There have been people who have given us a hand up; organizations whose goals and values we support; and individuals who we know need some help. This is a good day to remember MLK’s legacy and do what he did–help others.
So what kind of volunteering or helping will you do this week? What ways will you find to honor this great man?
Roni Denholtz

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