creativity

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Turning My Back on Age 55

Published August 18, 2019 by Maryanne

IMG_8479Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Today is my last day of age 55.

It’s been an incredible year. My fourth book was published and I wrote a fifth (which will be published later this year). I’ve helped two other people write their books, while I tried to help even more who have given up on the process. Yet I never give up.

It’s been another year of growth, spiritually and creatively. I joined Toastmasters to become a better speaker. I not only won a spot to present a workshop, “Be Your Own Hero,” but I’ve won “Best Speaker,” “Best Evaluator,” and “Best Table Topics.” I’ve continued to present speaking engagements in libraries.

I also started an anti-bullying You Tube channel. And blogging, lots of it for major companies and small businesses.

I’ve loved hard; and I’ve lost hard. Last summer my husband and I took in a beautiful feral cat, Bennie, who chose us to live with during the final months of his short three years. We gave him a happy last few months, then he was put down due to brain cancer. We’ve also lost some friends who died way too young. As well as some high profiles like Shakti Gawain, who has been inspiring me since I found her book in the late 1980s, “Creative Visualization.”

As always, it’s been a year of much fun. Friends, concerts, trips, and lots of laughter. And yet, another cat we adopted back in April–Sammy, with the full name, Samuel Keane Clemens.

I end the year in good health, for which I never take for granted. Young people still tell me, “You look so young” when I share my real age, for which I am always proud of. Many do not make it to 55, so I am so grateful for each day on this planet, and thank the energy we call God or the Universe.

It’s a great life and I’ve manifested it; being in harmony with the universe. Being myself. Being YOUnique. God bless everyone who is a part of my own little world.

Bring on year number 56! I am ready!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Love Cats Now Out of Print — Seeking Traditional Publisher for New Edition!

Published July 30, 2019 by Maryanne

Love Cats front and back cover

Love Cats by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

It was the ’80s and it was hot! The romance of Beck Stewart and Janey Peyton took place in the new age dance clubs. They bonded over their love for books and music; and of course their intense sexual chemistry.

But major red flags were revealed when Beck brought Janey home for the very first time. He not only discovered that she was a snoop, but that she wasn’t fond of his beloved cat Morticia.

Then the drama truly reared it’s ugly head when Janey’s jealousy got the best of her. You see, Beck was a hard worker. Janey was a trust fund baby who didn’t have to work. Janey began spending her lonely days going on sexual escapades to “get back” at Beck for “neglecting” her.

Will this couple make it? And what happens when a kitten shows up at Janey’s doorstep? Can she learn to love cats?

Love Cats was my very first work of fiction. Making a living as a journalist most of my adult life, I only knew how to speak of the truth. When creating these characters, I did so much research to “re-live” the 1980s through them. I wanted the book to be as authentic as possible. I wasn’t going to use phrases people use today in my book.

I also had a good friend, Todd Gordon, who is a screenwriter, go over Beck’s words. Is this how a guy talks? I asked him.

In Beck, I wanted to great a guy who was cool, but also a bit of a pushover. In many romantic novels, you see the woman as a victim. I wanted to illustrate that men can be victims too in the world of romance. Throughout Love Cats Beck remains hopeful for the relationship, until Janey pushes his button to the max the time she comes home when the sun comes up, wearing a completely different outfit she wore the night before.

With Janey, I wanted to create the most selfish character possible. As a late bloomer in social media, I started using Facebook in 2013, against my better judgement. One of my clients, who I helped ghostwrite a book, sold me on it. She said that she was able to sell many books thanks to her presence on Facebook. When my first book, On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist, was self-published, my publishing company said that I sold more books the first day than the average author sells in a year! Anyway, being on Facebook, I witnessed firsthand how selfish people could be. You can’t blame social media. People were always like this, but social media magnifies it tenfold.

For example, in my article for Gasm, “Selfish Sex” I explain how I believe most of the population are takers: http://gasm.org/article/and-now-back-to-me/

When I see selfishness taken to the maximum level in real life, I can only imagine how bad these people are in bed. With that, I created sex scenes where the lead character Janey Peyton takes. She’ll get her rocks off and not reciprocate.

But as a humanitarian who believes people are truly good, I give Janey’s character much room for growth. And how else can that happen but through making a major connection with a little animal. In this case, a kitten who shows up at her doorstep.

Throughout the book, I keep the 1980s element, in both music and style. For example, nose rings were far from popular back then, but every now and then, you’d see some cool person wearing them. I also featured Betsy Johnson fashions, and some throwbacks who still wore featured hair in the 1980s. There’s a major fashion upgrade when Janey Peyton gives Heather makeover tips and she emerges with her blonde hair slicked back like the ladies in Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” video.

While it was the 1980s and ’80s music was a stand-out, I didn’t ignore the fact that there were 1960s bands doing reunions, like The Monkees.

And what would a book about cats be without some reference to the play, Cats? Lyrics by both Robert Smith (The Cure) and Iggy Pop were purchased (and used by permission) from Hal Leonard Music publishing.

My all time favorite review from a reader spoke volumes about the novel: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-cats-maryanne-christiano-mistretta/1122001262

Since Love Cats was published May 2015, I’ve donated portions of proceeds to various animal groups. Now that it’s out of print, it seems to be more popular than ever as it’s climbing the Amazon ranks! Just last week, I received a phone call from a stranger asking, “How can I purchase Love Cats.” Knowing that it was now out of print, I told him he could try Amazon. I only have two copies left for myself. I noticed that Amazon was selling two books for $44.17. With some poking around, I discovered they were bought by another book selling company and you can now purchase them for over $80!

I’m determined to make another great go of it in a second edition, so readers do not have to pay extraordinary prices to feel the love that is Love Cats!

Love Cats was my second self-published book. Since then I’ve published three other books, traditionally. This is why I am turning down self-publishers who have been soliciting me ever since Love Cats first became out of print (and will continue to do so).

There is now a  Love Cats Too in the works. It’s the conclusion with characters from Love Cats and my other work of fiction, The Gypsy Smiled (not yet out of print and available on Amazon): https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following traditionally published books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

Youngsters Do Vinyl

Published June 30, 2019 by Maryanne

SinglesMy tattoo of the 45 rpm spindle

If I had a nickle for every middle-aged or old person who stopped me in the street and commented on my tattoo, “I bet young people don’t know what that is,” I’d have a hellavu lot of nickles. It’s almost as bad as people asking me, “How’s Gilligan?” whenever I say my name is Maryanne.

I’ve never been a fan of redundant comments, especially when they are incorrect.

Allow me to school MY generation (Generation X), and those who are slightly older (Baby Boomers)…

YOUNG PEOPLE LISTEN TO VINYL.

Yes, they do! This is not something I am making up. It’s a fact.

My husband and I are vinyl listeners and buy on a regular basis. We score records online, in record stores, and in antique/vintage shops. We always see young people buying vinyl. On Record Store Day there are more young people around to buy vinyl than older people. Young bands put out vinyl records. And they’ve been doing so for some time now.

Here’s a link to a recent article about the vinyl revival: https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/millennials-are-going-nuts-for-vinyl-revival/

But I didn’t need an article to tell me that. In my line of work (writing/journalism/speaking) or even shopping for groceries, I chat with many young people who share their love for vinyl with me. Most of them get their vinyl/music passion from their cool parents. We’re living in a time where the generation gap is closer than ever. Kids are no longer at war with their parents. They bond. They do things together (especially going to concerts). So of course they share the same taste in music. That’s not surprising at all. Thanks to tribute bands, rock movies, radio stations that didn’t cave in to modern music yet, Sirius, You Tube, and many music stream stations, kids are exposed to the good stuff. Plus, there are so many bands around that emulate music from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Like all good things, you may have to dig for it, but it’s there.

Maybe 15 years ago young people disrespected parents, and older people in general. When I was in my late 30s and early 40s, I truly felt a gap from those 15, 10, and even seven years younger than me. It was uncomfortable and not fun. But young people today are the best younger generation ever. As a 50-something adult, I have to say I’ve never enjoyed talking to 20-somethings as much as I do now!

From those 30 and younger I’ve heard amazing things like:

“I’m sick of texting and considering giving up my phone.”

“Don’t underestimate me because I’m young. My parents have a record player in the basement.”

And in response to me sharing my story about oldsters commenting on my spindle tattoos, saying that young people don’t know what it is: “Of course I know what it is. How old do they thing my parents are?”

Young people checking out vinyl is also a matter of curiosity and exploration. During evolution, we have set backs, but life becomes full circle again. Young people have ears just like we do. They want to explore the sound on a record. Young people see a movie about Queen and they want more than what is just spoon-fed to them. Like it was when I was young, they want the records, they want the liner notes. It’s not just about Freddie Mercury and Queen’s greatest hits, they want to hear the deeper tracks.

For a very long time, we were experiencing a me-me-me generation. But that’s now a thing of the past too. In a month, I’ve had several young people ask me questions about my life, rather than just talk about themselves. This new generation is flipping the switch to something more positive and genuine. So why wouldn’t they listen to something more authentic like vinyl?

So, to all my middle-aged peers…

If you see someone cool in your age bracket with a 45-rpm spindle tattooed on them (and there are many — since I got mine in 1996, I’ve met at least three people with the same tattoo!) think twice before inserting foot in mouth…

  • I’m not dating myself. Young people know what a spindle is. And I predict within the next three years you’ll see young people getting spindle tattoos themselves.
  • Young people are COOL. Give them a chance and pay some attention to them!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

Overnight Success Is Not a Real Thing

Published June 26, 2019 by Maryanne

Monkey AroundIs it business or monkey business? 

During my years as a journalist, people contacted me to publicize themselves. (Or just for a great story in general). It was a dream come true writing about bands (both famous and up and coming). I shared the story many times about how I interviewed The Jonas Brothers before they were a household name.  Those years were an amazing run in my life.

Then I started getting into writing books. And public speaking.

All of a sudden, publicists were coming out of the woodwork wanting to make me a “star.” Five years later, none of them impressed me.

Finding a good manager/publicist is like figuring out who to give your virginity too. It may take a long time. It may not happen at all. But whatever the case, don’t just give money to anyone.

I didn’t settle for love and ended up with a very happy marriage. So, why should I settle for a publicist/manager? In the end, I want it all — including a dream publicist/manager!

My goal in finding one would be:

  1. Someone who doesn’t lead with money. When someone (like the last scam artist) suggested that I create a Go Fund Me page in order to use her $7K per month services, I ripped her. I told her, if I was interested, I’d pay CASH in PAYPAL. And that Go Fund Me pages are to support those in real need, like people with cancer or hurt animals … Not publicists. Her plea of desperation for money was a major red flag. She spoke about money before she spoke about what she could do for me. Our phone consult lasted a mere five minutes while she put me on hold several times to talk to her friends at the restaurant. How can you ask for money when you barely spoke to someone? She didn’t even purchase one of my books, so how could she promote me? SCAM ARTIST ALERT! Another one said he could get me to warm up for Tony Robbins if I paid him $50K. He said Tony Robbins always wants him to be his opening motivational speaker act, but he’s too busy with his own stuff. I researched, and asked around. Nothing told me there was any truth in this man working with Tony Robbins.
  2. Someone who believes in me. Several years ago I exhausted myself interviewing potential managers. During one interview, a retired guy said, “Are you any good?” I ended the interview quickly. Why? Because he didn’t do his homework before the interview. If he read my newsletters and saw that I was consistently working for myself since 2009, he’d KNOW I was good. To me, being at the top and not lasting isn’t a good thing. But being somewhere in the middle and having longevity IS! I interviewed a woman who was putting me down while wanting the job. It reminded me of the “Sex and the City” movie when Carrie Bradshaw is interviewing potential assistants and asks, “So, why do you want this job?” It’s mind-blowing that people would want to work for you, but don’t get you. It makes no sense and is sure to go nowhere fast.
  3. Someone with a great track record. Yes, I know a few people like this. They are so good they don’t have time to work with me — yet! I say YET in high hopes that someday these women/men may have a window of opportunity for me. This could be another pipe dream–kind of like how some women wait for their dream guy to divorce his beautiful wife. But when you have in mind something special, it will manifest. It always does. Just don’t force it.

The thing is, when it comes to publicity, just like anything else that is good, stable, and successful, I say, do not rush your muse. Cherish your precious creative talents like you would your body and soul. Do not give them up to just anybody.

What you have is a GIFT from God and the Universe. Slow and steady is the key. Overnight success is not a real thing.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

 

The Happy Writer!

Published May 20, 2019 by Maryanne

IMG_8614

Putting down an author just because they are not YET a “best-selling” author is a poor man’s mindset. It’s those who do not give up who win. Even if they don’t become best-selling authors, sustainability accounts for something too. Royalty checks, book signing events, and interviews on radio shows all add up. Getting offers to write blogs from all over the world and helping people write books to make their dreams come true is a blessing. It’s super fun earning money while you sleep too!
I’m living the dream and have been earning a living as a writer since 1995! I’ve been in magazines all over the world. I’ve interviewed some of the most incredible people including Henry Winkler, Tommy James, and Peter Murphy. 
I’ve had free meals in restaurants all over New York City. I’ve been on the guest list at countless concerts. And best of all, it doesn’t feel like WORK because I LOVE what I do.
Unstoppable with no plans of retiring! Because if I stop living my dream, I will DIE inside! 
So, when you meet a writer, do not ask them if they are a Best-selling author. A better question is “Are you happy?” And be prepared for an answer that will give you the greatest contact high ever!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books (which both mention how she was inspired by Freddie Mercury): 

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Best Evaluator at Toastmasters

Published May 11, 2019 by Maryanne

DSCF3648Maryanne Christiano Mistretta – Best Evaluator, Toastmasters International

It’s been a glorious week in my public speaking journey. Sunday I was honored to present a workshop, “Be Your Own Hero” for Toastmasters District 83. And Thursday night I won for “Best Evaluator.”

I’ve only been a member of Toastmasters since October 2018, and in seven short months I’ve scored the workshop, won for “Best Speaker,” “Best Table Topics,” and “Best Evaluator.” All this for my journey to become a motivational speaker!

Being an evaluator scared me. Who am I to judge someone else’s speech, which they worked so hard to present? The thing is, unlike having a prepared speech, when you’re an evaluator, you have to come up with something to say on the spot! (Kind of like being a judge on American Idol!) I was so terrified to do this, I procrastinated for several weeks, even avoiding going to Toastmasters by going to other events on Thursdays instead, like concerts, book clubs, etc.

When I got up there, I was so nervous, but I channeled my nervous energy into positive energy. Luckily I had the pleasure to evaluate a positive speech, called “Follow Your Dreams.” The speaker was amazing and I was so high on what she said, that I was able to nail my evaluation of her. It was hard finding something to give feedback on because she was so good. But I thought about myself, when I read in front of an audience and realized I could give the same feedback I’ve been given. Not to use filler words.

In the past few months I’ve watched so many amazing motivational speakers on You Tube and Ted Talks and in person. Using filler words like “like,” “so,” and even “um,” seems to be the norm; something we can all be aware of.

Hell, I even caught myself saying “um” during my presentation, but I still won! And the person who evaluated my evaluation offered ZERO critique on my evaluation. He said my evaluation was “perfect.” I also received praise from others in my Toastmaster group that it’s rare that someone wins at a “first.” But I nailed it.

The point of all of this is, don’t worry about being perfect, just get out there and do it! Not everyone will notice your imperfections, or that you are nervous. And maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised by a win — whether it’s your first time doing something, or after many tries!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for motivational speaking engagements and is the author of the following books: 

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Be Your Own Hero: Motivational Workshop

Published May 6, 2019 by Maryanne

DSCF3631Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta Presents “Be Your Own Hero” 

I was extremely honored to present my workshop “Be Your Own Hero” for Toastmasters District 83 Spring Conference. It was an excellent turn out and extremely well received.

“Be Your Own Hero” provides tools on how you can be yours using Law of Attraction, faith, and not repeating mistakes you made in the past. There’s interaction, sharing, an exercise in creative manifestation, and a Q&A. To book this presentation, contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

DSCF3641

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for motivational speaking engagements and is the author of the following books: 

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261