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All posts for the month October, 2012

Happy Internet Day!

Published October 29, 2012 by Maryanne

 

 

Happy Internet Day!

Well, I guess it will be Internet Day on the east coast until we start having power outages and our batteries die!

Although the internet can be traced back to 1958, I wasn’t familiar with the internet until the mid-1990s when I cat sat for a couple who lived in Tudor City for a month.

Even though I was living in fabulous NYC for a month and had the world at my fingertips, I was more fascinated by the fact that I had internet computer use for a month! I went through cards that people had given me at parties and started emailing everyone I ever met.

Not long afterwards, I ended up with my own home computer and was thrilled to surf the web, which was so new and exciting and interesting, a new way to make friends.

Prior to the internet, the best way to make friends across the country or in another country was via “pen pals.” I had my first pen pal match in high school. A music magazine matched me up with another girl who was into new wave.

But wow, the internet was so much easier. You didn’t need stationary, you didn’t need a stamp and you didn’t even need neat handwriting! Sadly, though, as easy as it was to make friends, it was to make enemies because people feel so safe hiding behind their computers it didn’t take much for someone to trash insults.

First there was “chat rooms.” I never liked them because back in the early days, I always had a low speed modem so I didn’t get much out of it. Plus, it was kinda “cold.”

Then came the message boards. I LOVED the message boards and spent years being a part of an Andy Kaufman community. Most of the fans were younger than I was, yet I spoke to them on the telephone many times and one fan even sent me a ton of Andy Kaufman VHS video tapes of his performances on “Taxi” and “Saturday Night Live.”

I’m still hoping to reconnect with some of the Andy Kaufman fans someday!

Then came Live Journal (which I still use, but as a private journal). It was amazing because you can interact with people about your life and read about theirs. Since the 1980s I felt everyone had a story to tell and thought it would be cool to have secret access to someone’s diary. I met some amazing people via Live Journal that I am still friends with and see in real life to this day!

I don’t know how I missed the whole MySpace thing. Maybe life just got in the way, which is a good thing because life is always better than the internet.

Around 2009 I created my own website for my business, Pear Tree Enterprises (www.peartreeenterprises.com). Every month I send out my newsletter/website and without fail, it brings me business. I love it and am so grateful to my webmaster who always keeps it in check, as well as my husband who takes most of my monthly photos.

With Face Book, I reconnected with some old friends but didn’t really dig the drama and the fact that it was nearly impossible to follow 200+ people. I deleted my account and figured I’d be in touch with those I was meant to be in touch with.

Twitter, I tried to use as a business network, but it turned out to be more fun and inspirational. I love Twitter, especially following politics and the celebrities who know how to treat their fans!

But I have to say, I love WORD PRESS the best! It’s intelligent, with minimal drama and it’s the best venue for expressing myself without feeling obligated to read anything.

So that said, Happy Internet Day to everyone on Word Press!

 

For Home-Based Business Owners, This IS the Calm Before the Storm!

Published October 29, 2012 by Maryanne

 

Since September, 2008, I’ve been running my home based business, Pear Tree Enterprises (http://www.peartreeenterprises.com/).

And the past few months have been absolutely awesome as far as business goes. Plus, I got to squeeze in quite a few amazing three day weekends, plenty of fun and even a business trip; as well as being on the road a lot regarding promotions/marketing events as well as reporting for Paterson Press.

So my life has been the most wonderful balance of business and pleasure, although a bit on the frantic side because I’ve been bombarded with work — old clients coming out of the woodwork, new ones offering me a ton of hours, all the traveling on the road and an assortment of one-time deal side projects.

Over the past few months I finished projects, I was able to take life at a little bit — but not much — slower pace.

Then enter Storm Sandy and while I’m caught up on the writing end of things, I can’t do any  promotional work because of the obvious — businesses are closed today.

Once things get back to “normal” — whenever that may be, but I’m assuming Wednesday or Thursday — it will be the toughest call for me as to which clients to satisfy first and which ones to put on hold until it all pulls together again.

I am so blessed that I enjoy all my work, as eclectic as it may seem (jack of all trades, master of some) and all the people I do business with. Of course the writing projects pay the most, but they can be done anytime like weekends or evenings. This means whoever gives me writing/editing/proofreading jobs will always have their needs met.

As for promotions/marketing and personal assistance, it’s a different story, as this type of work has to be done during “business hours.” I don’t like disappointing clients and I don’t like clients to feel like they are on a “back-burner.” So while I’m enjoying the down time so much, my head is also spinning in regard to “how will I make everyone happy this week?”

Though I am blessed to have very understanding clients who probably wouldn’t say anything even if they did feel slighted, it’s me I’m worried about — the perfectionist who has to get it all done. And how do I do all that when Mother Nature slashed my time almost in half this week? I know there is a lesson in this and I look forward to some major growth for me in the next few days while I figure it all out. As a wise man once said, “The work will always be there.”

Is there anyone else reading who runs their own home-based business? How are you handling the storm? Do you fear the work overload when things return to normal?

 

Waiting for the Flood

Published October 28, 2012 by Maryanne

My husband and I are still milking the Halloween season for all it’s worth. The storm still hasn’t hit us yet, so we took a drive down to one of our favorite New Jersey towns, Keyport, to check out the waterfront.

Keyport, New Jersey

Gloomy and overcast.

Hubby and I enjoyed some lunch, laughter, great conversation and good beer at McDonagh’s Pub

Soaking up some more Halloween spirit

And we ended our day by doing some antique shopping around the town. We love this place, Vintage 78s: www.vintage78s.com

Then we took a short ride looking at homes and then a quick stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for some coffee.

Our biggest concern is that we hope tree branches don’t fall and hit our home. We just had a lot of work done to our house and it looks like a brand new home even though our house was built over 100 years ago.

From the most recent radio reports, the storm should end by tomorrow evening.

I’ll definitely lose some Pear Tree business (www.peartreeenterprises.com). Since I finished a major book project my entire week was going to be based on marketing and promotions and with the storm no one will be around to do business with.

But on a positive, if we don’t lose power, I’ll be able to work on my own two books I’m writing. Otherwise it will be a day of relaxing and waiting it out.

As one who always has my planner filled to the hilt, it is kind of refreshing to take a “whichever way the wind blows” approach — literally!

To everyone in the area, stay safe!

Will the Storm Stop the Great Pumpkin?

Published October 27, 2012 by Maryanne

Looks like New Jersey may have a repeat of last Halloween — the Nightmare Before Halloween — when a massive storm ruined the holiday: lots of rain, power outages, and many disappointed children.

My husband and I have a tradition of going to Tarrytown, NY every year around Halloween. Not sure if that will be in the cards this year. So we’re been making the most of it in other ways, listening to lots of fun Halloween music, driving around looking at Halloween decorations (while the weather is still stable and warm). Tonite we’ll go out to dinner and look at more houses. They always go all out in our neighborhood. Perhaps because we live very closely to two homes where Charles Addams, creator of The Addams Family cartoon lived. And there’s also Wychwood which is just five minutes from our home.

Movies we watched during the past few weeks include: “Psycho”; “Nightmare Before Christmas”; “Dark Shadows (2012)”; “I Married a Witch” and many episodes of “Tales of the Crypt” and “The Munsters.”

I also got to wear my “BOO!” shirt and Halloween socks.

So in spite of the storm, I’m milking my favorite holiday for all it’s worth because before you know it, life will be all about Christmas hustle and bustle. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas, but would prefer if the hype waited until after Thanksgiving and not given an immediate halt right after New Year’s Day, when everyone can finally settle down and relax a bit — and could use a little more Christmas! (In our house, we continue to celebrate Christmas until late January, then gear up for Valentine’s Day!)

While my husband was at work today, The GREAT PUMPKIN decided to come to our home early, bearing Halloween goodies.

The GREAT PUMPKIN said the storm wasn’t going to stop him and that Halloween is ON! You may just have to work around it a little bit. So be careful and start squeezing some fun in before the lights go out. (Oh, that is when the fun starts, actually!)

Halloween Music

Published October 27, 2012 by Maryanne

Can’t get enough Halloween music?

Come visit my “Maryanne’s Jukebox” blog page, where I’ve compiled a ton of Halloween songs over the past few days, with more to come. I’m sure I’ve included some of your favorites: Klaus Nomi, Johnny Cash, The Cramps, Bebe Buell, Fleetwood Mac, Marianne Faithful, Aerosmith, Donovan, Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Lydia Lunch, Robert Smith, The Sonics, David Bowie, The Buzzcocks, The Misfits, Diamanda Galas, The Bush Tetras, Iron Maiden .. and even my husband’s band Pharoah! … and much, much MORE!

DON’T BE SQUARE, GO HERE: http://maryannesjukebox.wordpress.com/

Loving the Paterson Falls

Published October 17, 2012 by Maryanne

Me, at the Paterson Falls, Summer 2012

The Paterson Falls has always been dear to my heart.

I was born in Paterson, but then my family moved around to other towns in the area: West Paterson, Cedar Grove and Little Falls (where I spent a large chunk of my adult life, before moving to Montclair and finally Union County).

My fondest memories of the Falls was when I was around 15  and my Uncle Mickey took me, my sister Kim, and his daughters, Michelle, Nancy and Laura to visit the Falls, which included a trip to Libby’s across the street and the Dairy Queen.

In later years, I took so many friends to the Falls that didn’t even know they existed. These amazing Falls, just a half hour from NYC. Can you even believe it?

One of my favorite books of all time is “Paterson” by William Carlos Williams — and of course he includes some writings about the Falls.

Over the past year, I’ve had the honor to write several articles about the Falls for The Paterson Press.

Here they are, in order of publication:

FEB. 7, 2012 The Great Falls Guest Stars on “The Good Wife”: http://thealternativepress.com/articles/the-great-falls-guest-stars-on-cbss-the-good-wi

JULY 15, 2012 Patersonians Jazzed About Great Falls Festival: http://thealternativepress.com/articles/patersonians-jazzed-about-great-falls-music-festi

SEP. 9, 2012 “An American River”: http://thealternativepress.com/towns/paterson/articles/an-american-river-turn-the-pages-for-a-ride-do

Oct. 15, 2012 Paterson Native  Writes Her Second Book on the Great Falls: http://thealternativepress.com/towns/paterson/articles/paterson-native-writes-her-second-book-on-the-gre

ENJOY — and come visit sometime!