All posts for the month March, 2015

“Read to Know” BookFest at Paterson Library

Published March 30, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_6964 Isabelle Munoz with sons, Mattias and Benjamin.

Her children couldn’t wait to start reading.

(Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Saturday I had a very rewarding Paterson Press assignment, interviewing little book lovers!

Here’s the link to my article “Hundreds Show Up for Book Giveaway at Paterson Library”:

Jesse Malin at Jack’s Music Shoppe, Red Bank, New Jersey

Published March 29, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_6978Jesse Malin (Photo by Dennis Mistretta)

Today was marked on my calendar several weeks ago, as it’s been a very long time since I saw Jesse Malin perform. “Very long” as in over 20 years when I used to follow his band D-Generation back in the early 1990s.

I was all revved up for afternoon of live music, as Jesse is an amazing singer/songwriter with so much depth. And what better place to see live music than a record store?

The event promoted Jesse’s new album, “New York Before The War.” As a journalist, I was taught never to write “buy it now” when writing a review — so this will officially be the first time in my writing career that I say, “Buy it now!” Thirteen perfectly produced tunes leave you craving more. Not one clunker in the bunch. But then again, I expected nothing less. From D-Generation to St. Mark’s Social to solo and so forth — it’s all good.

Jesse started the set off with my favorite tune from the CD, “Addicted.” My other favorite is”Bent Up.” (And this is what I say now, as favorite songs change over the years. I’m always one to embrace albums forever … not just during the time they are first released).

Jesse was accompanied by fabulous guitarist and backing vocalist, Derek Cruz, who co-wrote many of the songs. And the grand surprise of the set was The Clash’s “Stay Free” (one of my all-time favorite Clash songs).

Jack’s Music Shoppe was filled with about 100 fans of all ages; many who lined up for autographs after the show. It was cool seeing Jesse again after so many years.

For more information on Jesse Malin, visit:

SAM_6984Me and Jesse Malin

SAM_6987Rock photographer Mark Weiss (left) and my husband, Dennis

At the event my husband ran into rock photographer Mark Weiss (, who was a good friend and big supporter of my husband’s band Pharoah (

And nothing better than ending the day with a meal at Surf Taco!! ( I had the Baja Bowl (Mahi mahi fish, rice, beans, portobello mushrooms, grilled peppers, onions, lettuce, pico de gallo salsa and guacamole).

Yeah, life is good đŸ™‚


Happy National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day!

Published March 29, 2015 by Maryanne

Pear tree buttons - 2My business “Pear Tree Enterprises”

Happy National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day!

Observed annually on March 29, according to National Day Calender (, it’s a day that honors all small businesses.

The summer of 2008 I started my home-based business, Pear Tree Enterprises ( Fed up with the politics (and gossip) of working for other people, I decided to create something for myself, focusing on using my talents to the best of my ability. My ultimate goal was to work with positive people doing a variety of things I loved: freelance writing, book editing, personal assistance and marketing.

Interesting, “marketing” the skill I felt I was the least good at has opened up many doors for me. And I was able to market myself when I eventually became a public speaker (late 2013) and an author (2014).

I recently won a book on Good Reads called “The Business Romantic” by Tim Leberecht:

While reading this book, I was fascinated by how much in common I had with the author. My vision of romanticizing work and looking forward to tending to my business every day had come to fruition early on. I embraced the times I was high on the hog and during lean times I was still happy because I was able to successfully avoid: gossip, harassment and not being recognized for your efforts. Since being self employed I was able to take vacations when I wanted; take off for funerals without having to jump through hoops; and let go of people I didn’t want to work with, respectfully.

Each day is different. My world is a blessing of working with people I genuinely like and respect; being creative; and time flying because I’m having fun!

Currently, I offer a series of lectures to libraries, assisted living facilities, rotary clubs, senior clubs, etc.

And I am in the process of helping two people write their books.

From time to time I write for the Paterson Press online. I will always love journalism no matter what.

If I can successfully get past August, my time at Pear Tree will surpass any other job I’ve held. That shows that this is where God wants me — working for myself. Because working for myself isn’t always about me. It’s about being a better wife. Without the stress I’ve endured at previous places of employment, I am a much happier person, which makes my husband happier too. (Happy wife, happy life, right?)

Working for myself makes me a better friend and relative. I’m able to juggle my schedule around if someone needs me. No more do I have to turn down people I care about because of work and answering to an employer.

And working for myself gives me the opportunity to hire other people and pay them generously. Even though I’m far from a CEO money-making status, I’m happy to say that I can pay people who work with me what they deserve. I never wanted to be the person who keeps others beneath me. I want my colleagues to be at my side — as it should be.

Life at Pear Tree has been a very happy journey and my greatest wish is for God’s blessing to keep it going. And if that is the case, I don’t plan on retiring. Why should I? Pear Tree keeps me young and very happy!

maryanne-typingAt Pear Tree, we give you good old fashioned business!

And now a little shout out to self-employed people I’m currently working with:

Darlene Foster who did the cover of my first book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist:

View Darlene’s work here:

Carol Erickson is currently working with me on my “Learn and Listen” series:

View Carol’s work here:

Bridget Briant is currently working with me on our “Make Art Out of Recyclables” program:

Bridget is a yoga teacher and has a new program called “Baby Buddhas.” Check out Bridget’s work here:

If anyone is interested in booking the “Listen and Learn” program or “Make Art Out of Recyclables” or having their books ghost written or edited, contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at:
I’m always looking for new ideas and others to work with. Feel free to contact me with your innovative ideas. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

My “NotMom” Interview

Published March 27, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_6304Proud Kitty Mom!

Hello Gang!

As some of you know I’ll be speaking at the NotMom Summit this October, in Cleveland. I’m honored to also have been recently interviewed for the NotMom website.

Please check out my female-positive interview here:

“Hope” — There are better words and phrases

Published March 26, 2015 by Maryanne

Photo by DennisPhoto by Mistretta

Several years ago a friend told me not to use the word “hope” and that it’s a “negative word.”

The more I thought about it, I realized he’s right. Though the dictionary’s definition of “hope” is a positive outcome, I feel that in life it’s an overused word that can sound extremely … uh … hopeless.

When people say or write: “I hope everything is all right.” The first thing that comes to mind is Black Francis, of The Pixies, and his cry of desperation in the opening of the song, “Mr. Grieves.”

“Hope everything is all right …” From the tone of his voice, it certainly doesn’t sound “all right.”

When people write me that line, I snap back: “Why wouldn’t it be?! Am I on my death bed?”

That line just doesn’t sound refreshing. It makes me think of crotchety old-before-their-time people complaining about their bleak future. My immediate response is to spin it around and write back what a blessing LIFE is! Because I’m MORE than just “okay.” And I’m more than “hope.” I’m manifestation of life’s every day miracles! It’s just so great to be alive!

In Law of Attraction, it’s more awesome to view positive things as something that has already happened.

When I write emails to friends, my emails reek of positivity:

“I bet you’re rockin’ it!”

“I’m excited to hear what you’re up to!”

“What’s new, Pretty Lady?”

“Great to hear from you! How the hell are you?!”

Now, tell me these phrases aren’t better than a boring, outdated phrase like: “Hope you’re okay.”

When you use enthusiasm in your words, it automatically lifts the vibrations, therefore lifting the spirits of the person you’re addressing. Be creative and exciting in your words! Let that lust for life wear off on other people and put a great spin on the day!

I don’t “hope” you have a nice day — I KNOW you’re gonna have a great day!

And even when people aren’t having a good day, they always tell me that I’ve lifted their spirits by my positive attitude.

So, let’s not “hope” — let’s TRUST!

Soft Sell

Published March 25, 2015 by Maryanne

maryanne backMaryanne, 2011, photo by Darlene Foster

I was very happy going to my accountant yesterday. Not because I’m happy to pay taxes, but because I was able to share with him that my business is finally exactly the way I want it: author, journalist, book editor and public speaker.

Marketing was always in the mix, but I always hated it, though it was a lot of fun at times, especially when I scored. However, I’m so relieved that at this point in my life, the only person I’m promoting is myself (subtly).

When people say “no” I take it as a “no.” No means no, not maybe. No means moving on to the next person. Maybe means the same. I don’t harass people until they say “yes.”

And what is really cool about this method is that out of the blue, people contact me to speak or to write articles or to use my services. People find me via word of mouth, from my lectures or from my website. It’s the greatest feeling in the world when people come to you without you even trying.

I call this “spiritual marketing.”

Not too long ago, November of last year, I became a distributor of Young Living Oils. The person who got me on board makes a ton of money selling these oils. I hopped on board, not for the money — because face it, if making money is your ultimate goal, there are a ton of things you can do to make money — but because I believe in the product.

As a Young Living person I was taught the tools — to promote on Face Book, to have parties, to learn about the oils, to share with EVERYONE you know, etc.

I did none of that.

I got people on board, organically and honestly. By simply sharing what I loved about the oils when (AND IF!) they came up in conversation. One friend who came on board said she did so because I “wasn’t pushy.”

The words “Young Living” have a bad reputation. Some say it’s cult-like. Some use the oils and believe they are the end-all. Me, I love the oils very much and use them every day. I enjoy them. And I want to share them with those who can also benefit. And like every other good thing in my life — that is the end of it. Young Living Oils are a part of my life, not MY LIFE. I love Young Living Oils, but I am not of that cult. I’m merely in the corner, not in the spotlight and certainly not losing my religion.

Even if I made all the money in the world selling Young Living Oils, it would not stop me from doing other things I love like writing books and public speaking. I don’t see Young Living Oils as the “retirement plan” many say it is. Selling oils is just not creative enough to make me happy. (Though the creative health aspect of it excites me which is why I am so into it!)

My point is, some people get through life by being a hard sell. And that is not me. While my personality is pretty dynamic, I’m not a pushy person. I’m a live and let live type. All I have in life came to me in a natural way: My husband, my cats, my friendships, my career …

I’m not saying I’m a slacker. No, not by any means. But via the Law of Attraction, I ALLOW good things into my life. I do not FORCE them.

And guess what? I’m doing really, really good by this holistic method.

We live in a society where everyone wants everything fast. Women push men into relationships and marriage. People don’t climb the corporate ladder anymore, they sprint up skipping many great steps along the way. I have to say, as successful as some of these people are, I kind of feel sorry for some of them.

There’s a beauty in going slow and waiting for the all goodness in the world. I wish more people would see that. By being a late bloomer and taking my time, I think I enjoy my life more than those who whiz through it. I do take big chances though. I’ve left jobs without another lined up. Same with boyfriends when I was single. But that all falls into the category of not forcing things to happen.

I remember, back when I was 12, I dug a catchy hook in an Al Stewart song, “Nothing that’s forced can ever be right, if it doesn’t come naturally leave it.”

I took those lyrics to heart and still do. From dating boys to job hunts to finally running my business and being an amazing wife, kitty mom and friend … nothing should ever be hard or forced. Just enjoy your life and all you do — that is when the good fortune comes, when you’re relaxed about it.

What I loved about “Wild at Heart”

Published March 24, 2015 by Maryanne

Wild-at-Heart“Wild at Heart” starring Laura Dern and Nicolas Cage

Although it’s officially spring and days are longer, it’s still cold here in New Jersey which means many a night spent in, snuggling with the hubby and kitty, watching movies.

I was thrilled to find “Wild at Heart” (1990) on On Demand.

It was my favorite movie when it came out in 1990 and I saw it in the theater at least four times and had the soundtrack.

It was a bizarre movie, but it spoke to me when I was in my mid-20s and here is why:

* A certain song on the soundtrack. The haunting “Wicked Game” by Chris Issak sends chills up your spine. A perfect song for the adventures of Sailor and Lula.

* The sex scenes and dialogue. This chemistry between Dern and Cage was electrifying! I later learned they were once an item, which makes total sense. They both looked their best ever in this film. This was before the world was over-saturated with fake breasts and shaved chests/heads. These were truly beautiful people. Dern with her messy, long curly blonde hair, naturally thin body, overdone red lips and perky breasts; and Cage with his messy, bad boy look and a bit-much chest hair — that is what made these people real, they were REAL!

For days afterwards I was repeating Sailor and Lula lines like, “Sailor, you look like my Daddy and you have a nose like him” and “Baby, that’s rockin’ good news!” And calling everyone: “Peanut.”

In my late 20s, early 30s, I did a lot of spoken word art in various clubs and coffee houses in both NYC and New Jersey. Inspired by “Wild at Heart” I wrote a poem called “My Daddy” and even quoted from “Wild at Heart,” followed by the line, “I stole that one from ‘Wild at Heart.'” It was my most requested poem by audience members and sometimes audience members would recite the words along with me.

* Special appearances by some of my favorites at that time: Crispin Glover, Willem DaFoe, Sherilyn Fenn and Isabella Rosellini. Can’t beat the roles they played.

* Elvis. When people don’t understand the coolness of Elvis, they just don’t get it.

Watching again, last night, for the first time since the 1990s, I noticed a slight comparison to Richard Kern’s “Fingered” in the attitude of the characters. Though I’m no film critic or expert, I can just predict the friends I have who read my blog will be sending me emails telling me, “Yeah, you’re right.”

Kern never reached the commercial success Lynch did, but I can’t help but wonder if he had inspired Lynch at one point or if it’s purely coincidental.

After watching “Wild at Heart” again, I was reminded how much the Lula character reminded me of my younger self: the leather jacket, the red lipstick, the messy hair, the sexy clothes, the over the top personality, and even the candy necklace. I wore them all the time on my wrists, long before Courtney Love did.

The movie represented freedom to me. At the time, I didn’t even think of the danger element. I also didn’t even realize, at the time, how much sex was in that movie. I was more about the two good looking characters, madly in love, that dressed a lot like I did. Still single, I felt like if these crazy characters found each other, there was someone out there for me too.

I remember a club friend telling me I reminded him of Lula — and that was the highest compliment to me, at the time.

SAM_5249My version of “Lula”

Angelina’s Jolie’s “Maleficent” — a Fairy Tale with Great Depth

Published March 23, 2015 by Maryanne

maleficent_aAngelina Jolie as Maleficent

Okay, so I’m a little late on the “Maleficent” band wagon. I’m a busy lady, what can I say? So last night as my husband and I settled down to relax, he suggested “Maleficent” as it was On Demand.

I said “Sure,” as I’m always one for a wicked fairytale.

NOTE: CONTAINS SPOILERS, don’t read if you haven’t seen yet.

Then I was more than pleasantly surprised as the storyline developed. A movie, produced by Angelina Jolie, was much more than a fairytale … it was an empowering movie for women. Kudos to Jolie for not only doing a wondrous job acting (her best since “Gia” in my little opinion) but directing too and bringing an important message to young girls: True love exists, but not overnight.

As a young fairy, Maleficent quickly learns the evils of the world, as her love bubble bursts after Stefan, her first and only love, screws her over in order to advance himself in his career. He not only leaves her, but takes her wings to become king.

Maleficent becomes bitter and even more so when Stefan, now King, has a child — born not out of love but out of greed. Maleficent puts a curse on the child that on her 16th birthday, she will fall into a deep sleep and never wake up.

Stefan begs Maleficent for mercy and Maleficent softens the curse, that the child will wake up if kissed by true love. However, the curse is not so soft, as Maleficent, in her bitterness, believes there is no true love.

Stefan sends his child, Aurora, to live with the fairies, so they could protect her until after her 16th birthday. During this time, the fairies don’t do such a great job and Maleficent ends of caring for the child. It’s inevitable that she falls in love with the child — a child she once hated. And the child sees her as her “Fairy Godmother.” As a side note, one of the fairies blessed the child with happy days and to never be blue. (The child is played by Elle Fanning. And earlier by Eleanor Worthington Cox, and Angelina’s own child, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt. Young Maleficent is played by breathtaking beauties Ella Purnell and Isobelle Molly.)

And after Aurora falls asleep on her 16th birthday, it’s not the prince who awakens her, but Maleficient, illustrating the true, unconditional love between mother-figure and child.

Though the fairytale does have a happy ending, and Aurora does reunite with the prince, who you imagine eventually does love her.

I absolutely loved this spin on the fairytale, illustrating that true love is not infatuation and that it takes time. It also shows how love can soften the most broken heart and how there is good in all of us.

And there’s even more.

You can read just how deep Angelina Jolie’s version of the story is on Wikipedia:

It’s a haunting, enchanting tale that will stay with you a very long time. The vulnerability Jolie expresses as Maleficent is priceless. The visuals are stunning. And the cast is perfect!

Happy National Goof Off Day!

Published March 22, 2015 by Maryanne

monkey chihuahuas

Hooray, it’s National Goof Off Day!

Forget all your troubles and play, play, play!

Put olives on your fingers! Do whatever you wish!

Pretend you’re a Chihuahua or dance with a fish.

We got Glen Jones on the radio!

Just get in that car and go, go, GO!

Put gum on your nose!

Wear ripped panty hose!

Whatever you do, just don’t be stiff,

Having fun is the greatest gift!

SAM_1430 Sunday Funday!



A Shout Out to Teaneck Public Library, Teaneck, New Jersey

Published March 20, 2015 by Maryanne

 Teaneck LibraryTeaneck Public Library

A shout out to Jonna Davis and the Teaneck Public Library (

Today I was honored to present my lecture: “Newsies: History of the Newspaper Industry” to an audience of over 75 people. I’ve worked in the newspaper industry as a journalist most of my adult life and this is always my favorite lecture to present.

In my presentation, I take the audience back to ancient Rome when the first “newspaper” was carved in stone, up to modern times and how the radio, T.V. and internet caused a decline in the newspaper industry.

My credentials are that I wrote for New York papers: The Westsider and the Chelsea Clinton News (which is named after an area of NYC, not the former president’s daughter). I was also a journalist at The Montclair Times for seven years. After I left The Times, I went on to write for several online publications including The Paterson Press, where my feature articles also appeared in The Herald News. I also wrote for The Aquarian Arts weekly, a newspaper that is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

For more information on my lectures, pricing and availability, please visit my website at: