inspiration

All posts tagged inspiration

Shape Shop ‘Angel’ Tours with Living Legend Punky Meadows

Published March 24, 2017 by Maryanne

Barbara Serbes

Here’s an article I wrote about Asbury Park Shape Shop owner, Barbara Serbes, touring as back-up singer with Punky Meadows: http://www.shapeshopasburypark.com/single-post/2017/03/20/Shape-Shop-%E2%80%98Angel%E2%80%99-Tours-with-Living-Legend-Punky-Meadows

True Friends Fight Nice

Published March 12, 2017 by Maryanne

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Fighting sucks.

It gets your riled up, sad, and maybe even depressed. But it’s inevitable that even the best of friends may argue from time to time. And why wouldn’t they? It’s impossible that people will agree on everything. Or that we’re perfect and will always say the right thing at the right time. Sometimes things come out wrong. Sometimes we simply misunderstand. Sometimes we let things go. Sometimes we can’t.

Whatever the situation, we can’t help it, we will argue.

The thing is, true friends will fight nice.

There’s a big difference between fighting nice and fighting nasty. Fighting nasty is name-calling, being irrational, or possibly looking for an excuse to end the friendship. That is NOT cool. And that’s the kind of “friend” you are better off without.

A real classy gal knows how to fight “nice.” This means, stay focused on the issue at hand. Don’t ever insult your friend. Don’t question, “What’s wrong with you?” (Ew, that is such a gross thing to say to someone!) Don’t question your friends mental stability just because he or she disagrees with you. (That’s even more gross!) And don’t forget, to belittle is to BE LITTLE. Only jerks name call. Whenever someone pulls that crap with me, I write that person off … forever. If someone does it to you once, they will do it to you again. Arguing and fighting will happen, but it doesn’t have to stoop to a schoolyard bully level. Instead, do it with style!

I am so blessed to have quite a few wonderful friends that can handle shit in an honest, intelligent manner. At the time, it doesn’t feel good, but we get through it. I LOVE that my friends stand up for themselves and can disagree with me; and vice versa, as they allow me speak my mind too; because a good friendship is based on honesty.

Some of my friends and I will actually tell each other we love each other WHILE WE ARE ARGUING! How cool is that?! It’s like, “I love you, and we can work this out! I WANT to work it out!” And we always do work it out!

All of these smart, gorgeous, creative ladies that I’ve bonded with over the years; those I met in high school, those I met at concerts, those I met through my husband, those I met via my career, I love, love, love, love them so much!

When a friendship is worth GOLD, a real friend doesn’t run away or end it. They stay strong with you; as you do with them. They know deep in their hearts that putting each other down is not the way to go; as that’s stupid and the friendship will be ruined for life.

To always be kind, even when you are mad, is a great blessing. Talking things out like adults is the way to go.

I LOVE all my friends and get excited just thinking about them! Thank you for knowing how to be a true friend; through thick and thin! And for loving me as I love you … forever

All in the Family, When Everyone Was in on the Joke.

Published February 28, 2017 by Maryanne

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Archie wasn’t PC — but his lessons were learned via REAL humor, not hate 

I am friends with one, two, three, at least, couples who have an autistic child; and had the honor to write articles about their triumphs and struggles. Years ago, people who had autism were referred to as “retards.” Sadly, it’s an ugly word that people are using today, especially in the political sense when they disagree with people. The word “Libtard” (meaning that a person who has liberal views is retarded) is ugly. I don’t do ugly.
I am not a “snowflake” as I’m been called. Nor am I PC obsessive.I just have compassion and will definitely stand up to something I don’t think is right, especially when I see it in my news feed.
Years ago, you had celebrities joking around name calling, like on the Dean Martin Show and on All in the Family. But in the end, the one who was wrong was made the buffoon and a lesson was taught. Just like in modern shows like “Superior Donuts” and even going back a few years to the movie “Zac & Miri Make a Porno.”
On these television shows and movies, everyone is in on the “joke” and they are written with humor — not hate. There’s a punchline, people laugh, and no one is bullied.
Hatefully using a word, comparing a person to someone with autism is more than not right — it’s scary, condescending and insulting on so many levels. What really gets me is that I’ve heard so many parents say it. How would they feel if their son or daughter was autistic and they had to hear that nasty word on a regular basis?
I do not have children, but I’ve spoken to friends who have and both Republicans and Democrats views and agree that it’s not cool to say that unkind word.
I’m just really shocked at how many other parents think that word is “okay.”
It’s NOT okay.

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. 

Reunited with Sixth Grade Teacher!

Published February 13, 2017 by Maryanne

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Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta reunited with sixth grade teacher,  John Sabbak 

I think it’s every creative person’s dream to see one of their school teachers in their audience. Today, February 13, 2017, I didn’t realize one of my teachers was in the audience when I gave the lecture, “The History of Valentine’s Day” at the Fairfield Library, Fairfield, New Jersey.

After the lecture, I spent some time speaking with audience members. And after mentioning that Cedar Grove was one of the towns I grew up in, an audience member asked if I attended North End grammar school, because he was a teacher there. Turns out he was my sixth grade teacher, Mr. John Sabbak!

It was 1974 when I was in sixth grade, which makes it 43 years since I last saw Mr. Sabbak, who is now in his 80s — and me, in my 50s.

When we put two and two together, I was almost in tears. He was really one of my favorite teachers; such a nice man!

I gave Mr. Sabbak a big hug and then his lovely wife took our photograph. The Sabbaks are not online, so they gave me their home address and I promised to send a print of the photograph to them. Mrs. Sabbak said she was going to frame it!

Mr. Sabbak even remembered me from back then; that I was very quiet. (Even my own mother doesn’t remember me being quiet! Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a chatterbox, but I am definitely not quiet — as a public speaker, you can’t be!)

In the modern day of the internet when you reconnect with people via Facebook, it’s an incredible surprise when someone important from your past shows up — when you least expect it.

God bless Mr. Sabbak! He’s awesome!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a writer and public speaker in New Jersey. To view her programs, visit: https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/

Subconscious Segregation?

Published January 28, 2017 by Maryanne
aretha
Aretha Franklin
carly-simon
Carly Simon
donna-summer
Donna Summer
Today my beautiful friend, Joan, and I had lunch in a lovely restaurant.
The women’s bathroom was awesome because on the walls were decorated with album covers of famous female artists. However, there was one flaw — the albums were segregated. All the white female musicians were lined up together, across two walls; and the black female musicians lined up together in another area.
I took the initiative to point this out to two of the male staff at the restaurant. That it was offensive and they should re-arrange the albums and mix the white and black women together!
Both workers said I was “right” and that I was the only person who ever pointed this out to them. I said that otherwise the restaurant was fantastic and one of my favorite restaurants in New Jersey.
I hope they take my words seriously. The need to.
Last weekend I went to a library and watched “The Rosa Parks Story,” an American made movie from 2002, starring Angela Bassett, portraying Rosa Parks. I’ve always been a fan of Rosa Parks because she took her stance and changed the world. There were those before her who tried to take a stand, doing what she did, but didn’t make the same impact.
I was born in 1963, so I did not live during the time of blatant segregation. From what I learned in history, I feel how black people were treated was completely barbaric and no way for human beings to treat each other.
This is why that restaurant bathroom was so offensive to me today. As a white woman, I felt it was necessary to defend my black sisters — even though there were no black people in the restaurant.
Whether the arrangement of the album covers — white on one side, black on the other — was intentional or accidental, it should not stay that way. As a race, the human race, we need to keep moving forward, not backwards.
I will certainly follow up with the restaurant and make sure the album covers are changed to mix the female entertainers together!
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an award-winning journalist and public speaker. For bookings, pricing, and availability, email her at: MaryanneChristiano@Gmail.com 

True Friends Don’t Have to Tell Each Other Everything

Published January 11, 2017 by Maryanne

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The other day a beloved friend asked me a question I didn’t feel comfortable answering. But instead of saying so, I gave the best answer I could while on the spot. After much thought, I shared in an email how I felt, that it was a very personal question.

My friend was hurt and felt that she should be able to speak freely. While I was sympathetic towards her feelings, I needed to be protective of my own as well. I felt it was time in our friendship to set up guidelines about what is and isn’t appropriate to speak about. And I was entitled to that.

Certain things are personal and sacred, and should only be discussed with lifetime partners. If friends really love and support each other, they should also love and support each other’s comfort zones. In other words — know your audience.

Some friends may be very comfortable talking about money, estates, assets, gossip, politics, and/or their sexual exploits. Others may prefer talking about health, hobbies, music, animals/pets, philosophy, spirituality, work, and art. Put me in the category of the latter. While others may feel differently, the topics I favor are so much more fun, intellectual, and enlightening!

It may seem like I’m a “tell all” kinda gal because I’m a writer and am always expressing myself in front of my readership. As another friend once said, that I “put it all out there.” But she is wrong. I don’t. The more I tell, the more I keep secret. Lives are so grand and complicated that you can probably write 10,000 honest words about yourself per day without really revealing a damn thing. The brain goes a mile a minute. No one really knows what goes on inside another’s mind. Like a recent t-shirt I saw that said something like, “I may look like I’m listening to you, but in my head I’m listening to The Monkees.” Same thing goes with thoughts. I may be discussing the latest health craze, but in my head I’m thinking of my beautiful cat who died almost a year ago. So, get over it; you never truly know another person.

In my research for this particular piece, I found so many articles supporting true friends telling each other everything. And not one article about friends being entitled to some privacy. So I think it’s time to start a new trend. A trend that says friendships shouldn’t be considered any “less” if someone wants to keep a secret or not talk about certain things. A trend that says true friends should be comfortable to set boundaries without getting offended. A trend that says honesty is the ability to know each other well enough to “not go there.” Or at least make the effort to try.

How about it, eh?

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback versions: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513