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Book Signing for “On the Guest List” for Nutley Book Club, Nutley, NJ

Published November 7, 2017 by Maryanne

DSCF0662From left – Maria Labadia, Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, Kiran Patel

Last night I was extremely honored to do a book reading/signing for the Nutley Book Club, Nutley, New Jersey, at the Nutley Library.

Of all my book signings since I published my first book, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” (https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X) this was by far my favorite because the guests read the book prior to the event!

It’s the coolest feeling for an author to hear, “I wanted to meet you!”

We had a great time talking about the book and people sharing their own musical experiences. The one thing I always hear about “Guest List” is that even if readers don’t know the bands I’m speaking about, they are relating because of how my love for music translates on the pages. “Like reading a diary” I’m often told.

Prior to the reading, Maria and Kiran took me to a wonderful dinner at Luna restaurant. I had great conversation and laughs with two wonderful ladies.

It was indeed a five-star night!

Ch-ch-ch-ch-CHANGES!

Published July 26, 2017 by Maryanne

SAM_2883New life, new hair! 

Last week I changed my hair. I haven’t been a redhead in a long time so when my new hairstylist/colorist encouraged me to go red, I went with it. The bottom half was done in foils and the top was a glaze, giving an ombre look (and when the glaze fades, as glazes do, my natural brown will look cool with the lighter shade of red, that’s like a strawberry blonde on the bottom). Note, this photo does nothing for the color — in real life it just pops!

Anyway, why the dramatic change in my hair? Because I had a dramatic change in my life!

It happened about a month ago, but haven’t told many yet. After working for myself for nine years, I took a full time job in the editorial department of a magazine!

For nine years I’ve worked as the sole proprietor of my business, Pear Tree Enterprises: https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/

When I first started Pear Tree, I had just left an editorial job I worked at for seven years and was trying to find myself. In the past nine years, being my own boss: I’ve helped at least 20 people write their books for publication; I’ve written my own two books (with a third coming out later this year, published by GenZ); I’ve become a public speaker, speaking on various topics at libraries throughout New Jersey, including my Learn & Listen series, which made the front page of The Caldwell News (http://www.mypaperonline.com/library-patrons-learn-and-listen-about-famous-musicians.html); I’ve also put an entire magazine together, learning to use a design program.

During this time, I’ve been interviewed on blog talk radio shows across the United States; have been on well known NJ radio shows; and was featured on a Long Island cable show after starting a non-profit animal rights organization called R.O.A.R. (Respect Our Animals’ Rights) (https://respectouranimalsrights.wordpress.com/).

I’ve also done countless book signings and have met so many famous people I’ve highly admired.

So, with all this success, why would I ditch it all to go back to the so-called rat race?

Three words — I was exhausted.

Running your own show is hard. Trying to find the right help is harder. My husband put it best when he said that I never made the right connections to keep Pear Tree going on a full time basis. I’ve interviewed countless people to be my assistant, and I wasn’t “feeling it” for anyone.

Once I made the decision to re-enter the workforce, I decided to do it wisely. I took my time. I approached job hunting with the same seriousness as I did while looking for a husband. I found my soulmate in 2005 and have been happy together ever since. I was 42 at the time — a true late bloomer. I didn’t marry the first guy who asked me.

So, while seeking a job, I kept an eye out for all the signs of what could be right for me. I don’t even know how long I was actively looking because I didn’t make a job out of seeking a job. When I saw something desirable, I applied.

Then about a month ago, I was hired for TWO jobs! It was a tough decision because both were interesting and both were editorial related. Then I made the RIGHT CHOICE — and almost two months later, I am ecstatic! Not only do I have a position I deserve, with great team players, I can still work Pear Tree as a side gig. I am still giving lectures and helping people write books; as well as writing my own; and freelancing for a magazine I love and believe in. And it’s not like I’m “overworked” either. I simply do freelance work when I feel like it — an hour here, an hour there and the pay adds up. And it’s a damn good feeling to be able to pick and choose what you want to do in life — and the people you want to do it with!

Like being with the right mate, a marriage feels extremely free and liberating. That’s how it is when you have the right job. Work just never feels like work! It’s a time for learning. And I’m so fortunate to be working in a creative environment, using my talents. But best of all, I now have help. Working in a company means you’ll always have someone to fall back on; unlike running the whole show myself. That said, words just can’t express how happy I am!

Unfortunately I had to let some freelance things go like the low-paying blogging jobs; and doing lectures during the week, as I’m now limited to weekends. But to move ahead, you always have to leave some things behind. But it’s worth it. Everything fell into place in such a beautiful way. And while I was always pleased with my life and at times couldn’t imagine it getting any better — it always gets even better!

So, now, I’m officially part of the “rat race” — but it’s a cute rat race! Kinda like a pet rat race.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of three books, including “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon. If you like positive, fun, silly books that don’t go in a downward spiral, this one’s for you: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X

Her third book “The Gypsy Smiled” will be published by GenZ later this year.

Make Way for Happiness!

Published July 8, 2017 by Maryanne

SAM_2842Hello Happiness

This is why I’m more a believer in pronoia than karma …

First, I must explain “pronoia” since everyone knows what karma is. According to Wikipedia, here is the definition: “Pronoia is a neologism that is defined as the opposite state of mind to paranoia: having the sense that there is a conspiracy that exists to help the person. It is also used to describe a philosophy that the world is set up to secretly benefit people.”

Blessings in disguise are necessary to one’s evolution. It really sucks to be going through a bad time, but that’s what moves you to a better time. A quick example would be my career. Thanks to always trying to escape nasty people and office gossip, I’ve advanced myself to places I’ve always dreamed of. Starting out as a shipping clerk right after high school, I’ve learned all aspects of the working world — A/R, A/P, credit/collections — then went on to more creative venues, from typing, to proofreading, copy editing, writing features, learning design programs, and authoring three books. (As well as helping other people write their books). I am now superwoman. The more I learn, the higher my rates become; and the more I can pick and choose what work I want; and the more concerts I can go to, the more clothes I can buy, and the more vacations I can take. Go me.

Had I been someone who thrived on negativity, I would have stayed put. Fortunately bettering myself, away from back stabbers, always meant advancing in my career. Thank you Universe.

But pronoia doesn’t just work in career, it works in just about anything. A prime example happened a few weeks ago. I got hooked on a particular eatery and was spending much time (and money) there. However, I realized, being a health fanatic, the options were limited once I got bored with the dish I enjoyed most.

I also had to coach them to let them know there were certain items they put in their foods that I didn’t consider healthy, such as grains; almond or coconut milk from a brand that uses cane sugar; and bananas, which are extremely high carbs.

One day there was a new counter girl, having a hard time with my order. I was extremely patient, with a smile on my face. Fifteen minutes later, the grand finale was that she put granola on top of my finished product. (I do not like granola at all!)

I told her I was allergic, which gets you more compassion than just saying you do not like something — sometimes. But not this time. The owner was very snippy with me and said, “You’re allergic to nuts?!” as if I bothered her.

Right then and there I made up my mind that I would never step foot in that place again. I never really felt comfortable there to begin with. It was just an all around bad vibe as they tended to cater to people they knew personally, making it clique-ish. Plus, that day I saw fruit flies on their samples. It was no longer an inviting place to eat.

Is this the universe speaking? You bet! Read on …

I spent 45 minutes on the internet looking for another healthy place to eat in the area. Well, I found one that was much healthier — all raw vegan foods with no processed sugar, no grains, and many items minus bananas! I’ve been going every day since. The service is better. The owner even came out to shake my hand for writing a good review about them. That’s the way to go!

But wait, there’s more!

You get “points” for your purchases! Now, not only is this place, healthier and friendlier than the first place, but less expensive. And with the points, I’ve already had two free healthy desserts (made from natural, organic fresh fruit and cacao).

Then the real reward is that going to this place takes me through the back roads, avoiding all traffic. So instead of just looking at cars, I can see deer (and fawn!) romping, rabbits, swans, etc. It’s an all around prettier trip.

If you pay attention to pronoia, you will see how it happens often. Bad things almost always push you in a better direction. If you feel uncomfortable in your place of worship,  job, or the person you are with, it’s definitely the universe (or God!) telling you that you belong somewhere else, or with someone else.

While “pronoia” is the official term, I like to call these things The Parable of Sonny & Cher. As the story goes, Sonny and Cher were so down on their luck, they had to sell all the furniture in their home to make ends meet. This is when Sonny Bono wrote their hit “I Got You Babe.”

Did you ever lose it all, then get your dream job? Or win the lottery?

Did someone you love deeply die recently? If so, watch how many great things start happening to you almost immediately afterwards. Whether it’s the universe repaying you for your loss; or your loved one, now in heaven, taking care of you from above — it’s a given that tragedy leads to precious gifts.

Did you ever have a horrible day, followed by a fantastic evening? That is also pronoia at work. Bad things motivate you to grab the good. It’s a survival mechanism.

How has pronoia worked for YOU? Feel free to share your stories; I’d love to hear them!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of three books, including “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon. If you like positive, fun, silly books that don’t go in a downward spiral, this one’s for you: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X

Her third book “The Gypsy Smiled” will be published by GenZ later this year.

 

 

 

 

Dream Come True!

Published February 25, 2017 by Maryanne

sam_2169Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, author

Yesterday my life changed.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the email that my third book that I’ve been shopping around for almost a year was going to be published — traditionally!

My first two book efforts were self-published, which was an incredible experience in itself. I am forever grateful for making the effort of putting out two of my own books. It was exciting hiring good friends to do the cover and to proofread. And then be in charge of my own marketing experience, getting myself on radio stations, in libraries, and record stores for book signing events. What a ride!

Then it got to a point where I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t go for the instant gratification. What would happen if I shopped my third book around?

“The Gypsy Smiled” is in a unique category, music fiction. I did not invent that genre, as I’ve seen it used before. Last year I sent it out to several publishers and then waited.

And when I least expected it, I was contacted by a traditional publisher! My book will be published and available all over the world in the next three to six months!

So, not to be secretive, but I’d rather stop here and when the book is published, I’ll talk about it — especially how super cool my publisher is!

All I will say, at this point, to anyone — don’t give up on your dreams! Keep believing in yourself and enjoy every bit of the ride. I mean, the chances of being published traditional are pretty slim; and I am so humbled to be one of the fortunate ones.

You just have to love what you do, whether you are successful or not. Love every minute of the process: the writing and the writer’s block; the success and the rejection letters; the praise as well as the bad reviews … and the long days where it seems like nothing is happening, because it really IS; the universe is just getting all the ducks in order for you to start shining.

It happened to me, and it could happen to you!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, now an upcoming traditionally published author, has self published two books, both available on Amazon:

On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X4

Love Cats (in paperback and Kindle versions): https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513

She is also an award-winning journalist, currently writing for Vitamin Retailer magazine and New View Media news publications; as well as proofreading legal ordinances at Coded Systems in Spring Lake, New Jersey. 

Wishing Everyone a Sweet ’16!

Published January 1, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9440Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta and husband, Dennis

Happy 2016! Let’s make it a sweet one!

For the past month or so, I’ve been slacking off on blogging. Why? Because I am living the dream of being a writer. Last August I was hired as managing editor of DiningOut magazine. And just yesterday I was hired to write for a media group that has 17 New Jersey newspapers!

My career in 2015 was amazing. It was spent book editing (I’ve helped two people publish their books, two others copy edit, and am now working on another), public speaking, and publishing my second book “Love Cats” (available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513). Then by mid-August I was officially hired as managing editor of DiningOut, which is part-time so I have all the freedom to pursue my other creative outlets. Though I’m not sure if I’ll be publishing my third book “The Gypsy Smiled” in 2016 or not.

While some authors love to bang out books left and right, I like to do so when I can have the time to enjoy and nurture them. 2016 may or may not be the time. I spent most of my adult life earning a living as a writer and journalist. Writing a book was never on my bucket list. It just happened — twice. And it bothers me that so many people think of being an author as something “better” or more important than journalism. I think just the opposite. I think articles are fabulous because they are timely and current and give you instant satisfaction. Plus, the fact that in writing articles, you interview so many people. Learning about people is such a great experience and makes anyone a better person, as it’s always a better idea to listen than to talk. That’s why journalism (and book editing other people’s work) keeps the ego in check. In this line of work, I’m rarely asked about my life and that is fine. (And probably why I love to share my feelings via blogging when I do have the time to think something out and express it in words!)

So looking forward to much more journalism in 2016, of course after the nice three-day weekend (though writers are so addicted to their craft, they always sneak a little work in)! Write to live and live to write!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award-winning journalist. Her first book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

Live in the Moment!

Published November 18, 2015 by Maryanne

always-live-in-the-moment-source

Last night I had a meeting with a client who is writing a very cool book and I am helping him edit it. We had the greatest conversation about spirituality and living in the moment. We agreed that some people take themselves way too seriously and are too dogmatic about their beliefs to see the beauty of what is in front of them.

I once knew a girl who was very dogmatic about her version of “spirituality.” She was into yoga, vegan-ism, creativity, Buddhism, the universe and so on. BUT do not mention Jesus Christ in her presence. She did not want to hear it. She thought it was so funny to share the story about a guy she was dating answering the door naked when a Jehovah Witness came to the door. And that they never came again.

What a shame, she (and her date) missed the point.

True spirituality is being in the moment. Just because something isn’t your belief, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a message there. A subtle point I make in my upcoming book, “The Gypsy Smiled” — that you can learn something from anyone no matter what their walk in life. The lead character Lucy snubs a younger guy who is interested in her because of his youth; but he’s actually wise beyond his years. Then goes to a new age spa, but it’s not the retreat that evolves her, it’s her ex-boyfriend who is there and teaches her a valuable life lesson. (You can vote to help me get a book contract for “The Gypsy Smiled” by going here: http://soopllc.com/blog/book-ideas/gypsy-smiled-maryanne-christiano-mistretta/).

This morning two Jehovah Witnesses came to my door. Unlike my former friend, I love when they come to my door even though that is not my religion. I love getting the Watch Tower magazines and learning more about Jesus Christ. Today’s message was about Jesus bringing Peace on Earth. It was a powerful thing to hear, but I do believe it will happen. I hugged both Witnesses and thanked them. I went off to run my morning errands feeling elated. Had I answered the door naked, discouraging the witnesses, I wouldn’t have heard such a powerful message; the message of having faith in Jesus Christ.

Those Jehovah Witnesses will never know just how happy they made me today. But I have to give myself credit, too, for opening the door and opening my heart to a message.

I shared this story with my client and he said, “You were in the moment!”

The client is a vegan, but he’ll eat waffles with his little girl at a pancake house. That is a great father! When you can bend your own rules so others around you can be happy, it’s a beautiful thing. Be in the moment!

We can’t advance in our spirituality if we take ourselves too seriously. Check out the following video that my friend Marie sent to me this morning, it puts it all into perspective: