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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. 

Summer’s Final Days

Published September 6, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8410Enjoying my sunglasses as autumn approaches

There are officially less than 20 summer days left.

How are you spending your final summer days to soak it up? Carnivals, the beach, a new hair-cut, fall-cleaning? For me, all of those!

This morning I did a spiritual cleaning … my beloved spiritual altar. I cleaned all my magical stones, my angel statues, my little Buddhas, my cross bracelet, my mirrored pyramid, etc.

I took all my positive affirmations off the altar and stored them safely away in a pretty container. I smiled to myself to see that all I wished for has happened. ❤ Now the altar is fresh for new positive affirmations! And I am spiritually set for autumn!

What about you? How do you approach a new season?

SAM_8425Photo taken by my husband, please don’t steal ❤

SAM_8432This could be the closest I get to a big cat!

Top 10 Things About Being in Your 50s!

Published July 29, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_6498December, 2014, age 51

In 20 days, on August 19, I will be 52. And I must say I’m enjoying my 50s more then I ever imagined I would. So, let me count the ways …

1. You truly are older and wiser. At this age I feel a beautiful peace I’ve not known in my earlier years. Even with weight gain and night sweats, I would never, ever want to go back to my 20s or 30s and be full of that ugly piss and vinegar!

SAM_7534In my 20s and miserable

SAM_5335Legs at 50

2. Legs! That’s right, legs! Hear me out …

In your 50s, you start to gain a little weight around the middle and may no longer have that flat stomach you once did (even in my 40s, my stomach was flat as a board!) So, you say good-bye to crop tops and bikinis, but then realize how great your legs are! All those years I wore crop tops with long jeans (because crop tops and Daisy Dukes would have been a bit much). But now, I’m all about short shorts and short skirts — as long as I have a long top covering my belly. Why didn’t I appreciate my legs years ago? Because back then my fab abs stole the limelight 🙂

3. Time is truly of the essence. In your 50s, you realize just how short life is so you don’t waste any time doing things you don’t want to do. It’s a lot easier to say “no” and do the things that mean the most to you even if those things are weird to others — like staying home to work on your book during a holiday.

4. You not only embrace your age, but the ages of others too. In your 50s, you appreciate the preciousness of both youth and the elderly like never before. I never thought babies were cute until I reached my 50s. In my 50s, I became friends with a wonderful woman in her 20s (see Ashley in photo below!) In my 50s, I started doing public speaking events at assisted living facilities — and absolutely adore all the seniors I meet. Embrace every age … they’re all important!

SAM_4926My friend Ashley (left) — an inspiring friend in her 20s!

5. You can relate to everyone! Being in your 50s is the best place to be because you know what it was like when you were younger and you’re not that far off from being older. So you can truly fit in everywhere and with anyone. My friends ages range from their 20s to their 80s!

6. Pulling the “old” card. In your 50s, it’s so awesome that you can almost get away with murder by using the word “old.” Failed to remember something? “Oh, I FORGOT! I’m getting old!” Not having a good time at a party? “I gotta get going, old age is catching up to me!”

SAM_7729Age 51, enjoying the good life

7. The simple things in life. Little things like bird watching can make you so happy.

8. Time flies. If you have an obligation you’re not looking forward to (like, say, Jury Duty or a dental cleaning) it’s over before you know it.

9. Being fearless. At this age, you’ve been through so much in life, there’s not much left to be afraid of.

SAM_0922Smile! You’re in your 50s!

10. You made it! I’ll never forget all my milestone birthdays. Most people call the milestones: 20, 30, 40, 50. I call them differently: 21, 27, 36, and 42. Sid Vicious died at 21, so I was happy I passed him. And oh, dear, the 27 club — Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison … for that very reason the number “27” scared me and I could wait to be 28. Poor Marilyn Monroe lost her life at the age of 36 … I got past that one too. And then good ‘ol Elvis Presley who died at the age of 42 … I sighed with relief when I got past that one. Little me had lived longer than the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll did! Now that I’ve reached 50, I realize it’s silly worrying about milestone ages. Plus at this age, you really do lose track. I’ll be 52 next month, but for the past six months I’ve told people I am 52 already! I’m not wishing my life away, I simply forgot how old I am 🙂

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X

Her new book, “Love Cats” is now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/

30-Something is Not “So Young”

Published July 6, 2015 by Maryanne

30Responsible

I’ll never forget when I first realized how delusional younger people were. I was in my early 40s and still working for “the man” in a newsroom. The younger generation — girls in their 20s — seemed so much more childish then I was at their age. They squealed like pigs over silly things, talked too loud on their cell phones and couldn’t take criticism. And it was “okay” because they were “so young.”

Now this trend of being coddled, not taking responsibility and being downright selfish is carrying over to the 30s and even 40s! Where did this immature mindset come from?

When I was a kid, 21 was considered “old.” There was a saying, back then, “Never trust anyone over 30.” A three year generation gap between age 16 and 19 was huge! At 16 I was sneaking into bars with a fake ID. By 19, I was in bed by 8 p.m., working a full time job and going to night school. By 22 I had my first apartment.

I’m now 51. I could take it as a compliment when people say I don’t look it or act it. But is it really a compliment? Three people in the past week told me I could pass for someone in my 30s. But I don’t want to. Most young people today have a scary, sad way about them. Now I’m not speaking of ALL young people. I have some very lovely friends and nieces in their 20s and 30s that absolutely rock. But I do speak of the majority.

I’ve been age-shamed more than once by younger women and I pity them for their attitude. Fearing age and insulting other people because they are older then you is a pathetic existence. Your only other alternative is death. Though with such negative attitudes, I can guarantee 90 percent of these women won’t look as good as I do when they reach my age because negativity goes straight to the bone. And sooner or later truth shows up all over your face. Believe it!

There’s a song by The Stooges called “Your Pretty Face is Going Straight to Hell” and that’s exactly what I’m thinking when pretty young women are nasty and condescending to others. I’ve witnessed it firsthand and karma is a bitch — an unforgiving on at that. I used to work with an extremely gorgeous young woman. We were both in our 30s at the time. At first we were friends, then she showed her true colors. She bitched at me because I drank too much. She said, “I’m vain and drinking ages you. We CAN’T go out drinking all the time like this.” She complained about everything and was a control freak. I told her she was a “nit picker” but that was an understatement. Truth be told, she was disgusting. So much so I couldn’t stand to be in her company anymore. The prettiest girl I ever saw in my life turned ugly right before my eyes. I ran into her in later years. She was still bitter and now old before her time.

Another young person I used to work with, a male, used to harass me every day, whispering and making fun of me and turning young women against me (and the ding dongs went along with him! DUH!) It got to the point where I was absolutely uncomfortable going to work. I asked an older male co-worker, “What the fuck did I ever do to HIM?”

He replied, “You turned forty.”

Interesting, soon following, that guy had a string of bad karma. A tree branch fell on the roof of his car, his wife got into a bus accident and I heard through the grapevine that he wasn’t the good writer everyone thought he was — his “facts” were incorrect and he had pissed off many locals.

I recently saw his picture on Face Book. The dude looks older than me! Now he was never much to look at to begin with, but when I saw how fast he aged, I had to laugh. Payback is a bitch! Because like I said, if you’re ugly inside, it catches up with you. I guess you can also say, God watches.

Aside from what a person looks like, some say you’re as old as you feel. I’m proud to say I do feel my age — 51 (and a half!) Honestly I wouldn’t want to “feel” 30 again. Think back to how it was in your 20s and 30s — full of piss and vinegar. But in your 40s and 50s you develop a beautiful sense of peace. You know how to relax. You don’t always have to be right. You let things go. You’re not antsy to get out. You like to go to bed early and snuggle. It’s a BEAUTIFUL place to be! (And I never threw a shoe in my 40s or 50s).

And what is the alternative to growing old? Dying young? Sadly half these 20 and 30-somethings are dead already. Their negative attitude tells me so. There’s an old saying, “Youth is wasted on young.” Well it’s wasted on the not-so-young 20 and 30-somethings too!

I pity these people.

I’ve been an old soul since the age of 12, wishing to be 18. And once I got there, I embraced every step of the game. And I have diaries to prove it.

I choose life!

SAM_7927Age 51 and a half! Silly, happy and always having fun!

Who’s car is this? I don’t know, but I like it! 🙂

Back After Easter!

Published April 6, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_7018Enjoying!

Don’t you just love how the holidays slow everything down? Even as a self-employed person who loves what she does, it’s great to have three days to just relax and do what I want. I actually decided to extend the weekend a little bit more and hold off working until maybe noon, making calls to promote my lecture series. And tonight I’ll be meeting with an Elvis impersonator who might be part of my “Learn and Listen” series.

Anyway, the meaning of Easter is extremely important to me, so I attend service on both Good Friday and on Easter Sunday. It’s a time to reflect on rebirth, faith and miracles. I actually see them every day!

I was happy to spend some time this weekend with friends and family. It’s also been tradition that most Easter Sundays my husband and I enjoy dining at Park & Orchard: http://www.parkandorchard.com/

Then you have all the cool Bible movies to watch. One of my favorites is Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments.” Now, there is the one from the 1930s, but I love the one with Charlton Heston. It’s just so epic — the costumes, the special effects, the dramatics and all the stars — back in the day when Hollywood was mysterious!

Today we’re having another gorgeous spring day in New Jersey and I’m always happy to stop in The Squirrel and The Bee (http://www.squirrelandthebee.com/) — a grainless, gluten free, dairy free bake shop. In one of my lectures, “Lose Weight with Paleo” I spread the good word about this awesome place! My next lecture on paleo will be at the Washington Township Library in Long Valley on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. For more information on my lectures available for libraries, senior groups, rotary clubs, etc., visit my site: www.peartreeenterprises.com

And on a final note, while many people stick to their own beliefs and that’s that, I embrace hearing about other religions. Two young Jehovah Witnesses just knocked on my door. Instead of ignoring, I always talk to them and take the literature. I share that I read the Bible too. Over the years I always enjoyed reading the Watchtower magazine they give out for free. Free and positive — you can’t beat that!

This particular issue of Watchtower has an article about using digital technology wisely. Several weeks ago I got rid of my Face Book account. One of the reasons was I felt it wasn’t helping me grow spiritually. I was getting angry about things people complained about — and all I had to read in order to keep up with everyone I friended. I learned the hard way that unfriending people is insulting to them. So for me, it was best to just deactivate my account, as it was a lot less pressure for me. Since then I’ve connected with people more in “real time” emails, lunch dates, phone calls. This is what mattered more to me, that one on one connection. My husband said since I left Face Book I’ve been a lot more creative. And blog followers may notice I’m blogging more.

So life is just so amazing and no longer at a standstill because of extreme cold weather. It feels to good to work in my home office barefoot, without socks and slippers!

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 (http://nationaldaycalendar.com/2015/03/28/march-29-2015-national-mom-and-pop-business-owners-day-national-lemon-chiffon-cake-day/), it’s a day that honors all small businesses.

The summer of 2008 I started my home-based business, Pear Tree Enterprises (www.peartreeenterprises.com). 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: http://www.amazon.com/The-Business-Romantic-Everything-Something/dp/0062302515

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: http://www.nextcenturystore.com/on-the-guest-list-adventures-of-a-music-journalist.html

View Darlene’s work here: http://www.darlenefoster.com/

Carol Erickson is currently working with me on my “Learn and Listen” series: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/ella-fitzgerald-program-learn-and-listen-series/

View Carol’s work here: http://www.carolericksonvocals.com/

Bridget Briant is currently working with me on our “Make Art Out of Recyclables” program: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/make-art-out-of-recyclables/

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

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: maryannechristiano@gmail.com
 
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!
 

Something to Smile About!

Published July 1, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_5140Headin’ home and happy!

My happy face after a terrific lecture “Here’s to Your Health and The Benefits of Walking” at Allendale Library. What a great bunch of people! My husband loved my lecture too. He said that I make people feel comfortable and it wasn’t “preachy.” That’s EXACTLY what I strive for. I always get audience participation too!

It’s not even a year since I started speaking publicly about a variety of topics from health, to the newspaper industry, to holiday celebrations and now giving food lectures too.

Had I known public speaking was so rewarding I would have jumped on the band wagon years ago.

It’s a great way to share your knowledge with inquiring minds. I especially love speaking of health, as I’ve had my own health column “Here’s to Your Health” and interviewed many amazing people in the health industry including Carol Alt, Oleda Baker, David Wolfe and Paul Nisson.

My next goal regarding public speaking is to get into the schools and talk about anti-bullying.

The possibilities are always endless.

For a full list of lectures I offer, please visit my website: http://www.peartreeenterprises.com/