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I Can Do That!

Published September 22, 2022 by Maryanne
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

The above photo was from Tuesday night. I was in anticipation of another outdoor summer concert, but reflecting back to a few days prior when I saw one of my idols, Patti Smith, perform at Count Basie Theatre.

It was one of many concerts I saw of her. And this one was more thrilling because I was accompanied by my husband, who never saw her before and really enjoyed himself.

Since then, I’ve been on a binge watching everything Patti Smith on You Tube. As much as I love her music, I especially love her interviews. She’s a wise sage; a warrior.

One interview in particular touched me. It illustrated how we can manifest our own destinies. She said after seeing Jim Morrison on stage, she said, “I could do that.”

Four powerful words can take us to the next level fierce. When we believe in ourselves, we can tap into something inside of us that can make others believe in us too.

Early in my career of being self-employed, before I became a professional speaker, I would help book artists gigs in restaurants, senior centers, assisted living facilities and libraries. One time an activities director wasn’t interested in the musician I was promoting, but said she wanted someone to speak about health.

I can do that, I said to myself. But first I asked her, “Do I need certification to speak on health?”

She said I didn’t.

“I can do that!” I said, eagerly.

Nevertheless, I did my homework and was able to speak about general, common sense type things like the importance of walking, eating whole foods, and not smoking.

I was nervous and read from the page, not connecting with the audience as I do today when I speak. But I was well received and invited back several times! Since then, I’ve spoken in front of countless audiences, from very small–as in four people–to over a hundred.

Nowadays, I hardly read my notes. I don’t stand behind a podium. I walk around, crack jokes, talk to the audience, and ad lib.

During the pandemic, my speaking career was on halt, but I’ve used ZOOM to my advantage, reaching people all over the world! Now that the pandemic has lightened up tremendously, I’m out and about again with six upcoming lectures!

And it all started with four great words — I can do that!

If you liked this blog, feel free to buy me a kombucha: https://ko-fi.com/maryannechristianomistretta

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

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

Visit my business page, Pear Tree Enterprises, at: https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/

It’s In The Cards

Published September 4, 2022 by Maryanne
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

As an author, when your books go out-of-print, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. My first book, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” was self-published. When Next Century Publishing became no more, I was secretly relieved. At the time I wrote it, it seemed like a cute idea. I took some fun stories and used song references for each chapter. But I got shy and left so much out. It may also have been too happy of a book. When people read books about the music business, they expect to hear about groupies, drugs, and gossip. My book was none of that–just down to earth fun. But many people did love it and I made a lot of money not only from direct sales, but selling on my own, doing book readings.

My second book, “Love Cats” was also self-published by Next Century. That was a fiction book, and a very cute story. That was my “baby.” I thought it was perfect — for those who would “get” the lesson I was driving out, “don’t be selfish.” After that one went out of print, it was picked up almost immediately by Pink Flamingo Media (the link is below). It was the first time I used a pen name, Krystianna Mercury.

My third book, “The Gypsy Smiled” was picked up by a non-vanity publisher, a traditional publisher. Even though it was the first book I didn’t have to finance, it was not the greatest experience. I counted the days until my 5-year contract was up! Luckily my next two books, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” (published traditionally by Higher Ground) and “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” (published by KiCam Projects) were much better experiences, and I was able to work with incredible people.

Last month the contract FINALLY ended with “The Gypsy Smiled.” I couldn’t wait to begin submitting it to other publishers for a second printing. When I submit a manuscript, I usually take an entire day and find out 17 publishers. That’s the magic number, and then someone says “yes.”

This time, I only submit to two, so far. I stopped submitting because I have other ideas for the book.

I’m not ready to speak publicly about these ideas because they may or may not work out. If they do, it will be really cool. If they don’t, I’ll go back to submitting for a second printing. I’m leaving it all up to the universe; and in gypsy-speak, “It’s in the cards.”

The thing is, I felt confident to “step out of the box.” That is major. So whether I win or lose, I still win.

We all do when we take a leap of faith!

If you liked this blog, feel free to buy me a kombucha: https://ko-fi.com/maryannechristianomistretta

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

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

How I Became An Award-Winning Journalist

Published April 8, 2022 by Maryanne

When I view the stats of my blog from the back-end (what the public can’t view), I see that many people are finding my blog by writing “How did Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta become an award-winning journalist?” Okay, I’ll tell you (again)….

Back in 2002, I was an editorial assistant for The Montclair Times. I wrote about five articles per week. While I was complaining about how fast people drive, my co-workers were complaining about getting so many parking tickets.

My co-worker, Angela King and I decided to write an article, asking the question, “Do Montclair policemen give out more tickets for traffic violations or moving violations?”

What do you think?

The Montclair police department were not too happy that we exposed them — the fact that they wrote out more tickets for PARKING violations, as opposed to moving violations. Honest to God, someone went through a red light, almost hit me while I was walking, and a nearby cop was sitting in his car eating a donut, what a cliche, right? I knocked on his window and asked if he saw the guy go through the red light. He insisted he didn’t. URGH!

Our story won 2nd place from the NJ Society of Journalism and I got my award in the Bloomberg building back in 2002. I still have it showcased in my home.

My point here, if you got this far, my idols are all women who speak up. You can’t be a quiet mouse and expect to make a difference in the world. If something is wrong, do not turn a blind eye to it. I look back and have no regrets in my life because I don’t let anything stop me from doing what is right. I will always fight for what I believe in. And never stop fighting.

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

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

Working in Jammies

Published March 31, 2022 by Maryanne

Working in jammies?

I wrote the following on Facebook in 2014, before the pandemic, self-employed and working at home:

“It’s so true, when you look good you feel good. Working dressed up instead of pajamas or sweats today and accomplished so much in ONE hour, including getting people on the phone that I wasn’t able to reach since last October! So, no more working in jammies for me — ever again! 😃”

I’m sure I did work in my jammies again at some point. But how fun is it to get dressed up and work in full make-up, even if you’re not going anywhere?

Dress up!

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

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

Happy Mom and Pop Business Day 2022

Published March 29, 2022 by Maryanne
Autographing my book “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” for a child who was bullied.

Happy Mom and Pop Business Day!

I’ve been self-employed as a writer and editor since 2008.

I’m also an international author, with books in Barnes & Noble STORES.

I’m available to edit book manuscripts (completed manuscripts only at this time). Contact me to set up a free consult: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

I also help business owners write blogs and have MANY repeat clients!

I love my life!

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

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

Love Your Pet Day 2022

Published February 20, 2022 by Maryanne
Nicholas

I should have known something was up because Nicholas came to our bed at 4 a.m. wanting snuggles – not food. He started out between my husband and I and worked his way over to me. He just knew today was Love Your Pet Day! My husband and I are the proud pet parents of three beautiful cats!

Give your babies extra love on this special day!

Sammy
Happy

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

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos

I’m a lover…not a writer?

Published October 19, 2021 by Maryanne
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

I married a very talented musician. And everyone knows it. Whenever we run into people from his past, he’s known for the mark he made on the world, as a musician. Back in the 1980s he had one album, a video on MTV, dozens of articles in noted magazines, and a great following. His creative success came early in life and everyone remembers.

Me, on the other hand…

I was a late bloomer when it came to my creative career. It was always inside me to become a writer, but I was shy about it. I had grand plans of starting a fanzine as a teenager, but when it came time to call management to score interviews with rock stars, I chickened out. Nevertheless I was determined. I took a day job and took writing classes via snail mail. This was in the 1980s, before online colleges. I submitted maybe one article to a magazine and received one rejection slip. I finally got the nerve to perform poetry in front of a live audience. I was great. My poetry was okay, but I had a strong deliverance. The applause and positive feedback inspired me to do it again. And again. I had built my own small following, performing in coffee shops throughout New Jersey and New York City–Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. During this time I began getting articles published in magazines, newspapers, and finally online. I even became an award-winning journalist. I was able to make a career in publishing for decades. I wrote five books. I received royalty checks. I got an advance for one of the books I wrote. And two of them were sold in Barnes & Noble. It doesn’t get much better than that. I did it and I can die happy.

But, to be honest. That is not what I’ll be remembered for. Unlike my husband, when I run into old acquaintances, I’m remembered for who I dated. Is it because I’m a woman? Is it because people pay more attention to musicians than writers? Or is it because some of the guys I dated were cool and that’s how people connect me?

When I write about my writing career, or public speaking career, on Facebook–or back in the day, Live Journal–people barely bat an eye. But put up a photo and all of a sudden it’s major attention. I think the bottom line is, sensory processing. It’s easier to look at a photo than to read an article. It’s also easier to look at art or listen to music. Words are harder to come by. The majority of people don’t read. They don’t even read this blog. They press “like” so I could go check out their pages. (But trust me, if I “like” your page, I read it. I’m an honest person, I wouldn’t want my “like” to support something I disagree with.)

That said, perhaps the art of like, love, infatuation, dating, is more intriguing than writing–to the average Joe. People want to know how I met my husband, or if I ever hear from a certain person I dated anymore, or why a certain relationship ended, blah.blah.blah. It’s so dull compared to legendary articles I’ve written. My all-time favorite article was for New York’s Westsider magazine back in the 1990s. It was a review for the play, “Mercury: A Rock God.” My lead was about how coincidental that Freddie Mercury died of AIDS in his 40s, and he also wrote the song “The Great King Rat” about a man who died in his 40s of another sexual degenerative disease. No one ever talks about that. Or about the legends I interviewed like Tommy James, Henry Winkler, Marianne Williamson, David Avocado Wolfe, Carol Alt, and Oleda Baker, to name a few.

No. They want to get to the dirt. Or keep a woman down.

Not long before the pandemic, I had a book signing event at a library. Afterwards I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up some groceries. A woman who was friends with one of my exes was working in the cheese section. She ran after me. I thought it was to say “hello” but she just wanted to talk about my ex. I quickly changed the subject and said, excitedly, “I just got back from one of my book signings!” She didn’t want to hear that. She RAN away from me! A 50+ year old woman was so intimidated by the fact that I was making a living as a writer, she felt the need to get away from me asap, as if I was a leper!

Are we still in the 18th or 19th centuries? Is writing — or anything in the limelight — unsuitable for women? Why are we still being identified by who we are dating and who are husbands are? I’m a rare gem who makes a fellow gal feel comfortable. When I meet a male friend’s wife, I want to know about HER. Not her relationship with HIM. Why can’t others follow suit?

I say this to not only men, but to other women….

If a woman is a writer, it’s because she needs to be heard. Somewhere along the line, she wasn’t. Perhaps she was shy as a youngster. Perhaps she was a late bloomer. Perhaps she was told as a child, “Children should be seen and not heard.” Perhaps she once or twice had a domineering, possessive boyfriend who wouldn’t let her say much. Perhaps she has a circle so tight, not many are invited in, yet she wants to share honest thoughts that some can relate to, even if they live halfway around the world.

Don’t ever belittle a writer. She may be hurting just as you are. Don’t ever belittle a writer. She also is much stronger than she lets on to be. Don’t ever belittle a writer. She did make a career as a writer. You can turn your head to her accomplishments, but deep down you will always know, they happened. Yes, they did. It’s part of her story.

She is much more than just a lover. She is who she is, not who she has been with. And, like it or not, you can’t deny it.

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

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Why Q&A Style Interviews are Not True Journalism

Published February 23, 2021 by Maryanne
Photo by Marcel Straub

One of the benefits of being a self-employed writer is you get to pick and choose who you want to write for.

As a professional writer, mainly trained in news journalism, I include the subject’s voice in the content of the story. For example, see my recent articles here: https://maryannechristiano.contently.com/

That’s the preferred way to write for news publications. Oftentimes magazines opt for the Q&A type of interview. I did it myself a few times via blogging, or by special request of an editor or publisher. In this feature blog I wrote a few years ago when I conducted an interview with Coyote Shivers, it was done via email due to time constraints, with him being on the west coast, and me being on the east: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/dont-believe-a-word-interview-with-coyote-shivers/

That somehow worked, because you can’t go wrong with Coyote Shivers. But often it doesn’t. And here’s why….

When I used to copy edit for The Aquarian Arts Weekly, I wasn’t a fan of reading the Q&A style articles. It cheapens the subject the journalist is writing about and comes across as cold and not as informative. It’s an easy way to get “holes” (missing information) that leaves the reader questioning. This is why I don’t like when subjects say “Email me the questions” unless you’re interviewing a professional who is using medical terms and formulas that only other medical professionals will understand — for example, a trade publication. To chop up an article to a Q&A format so readers can look at it on their phones is not true journalism. I won’t work for any publisher who promotes tainting the art of true journalism.

When “journalists” resort to Q&A “journalism” they think it is cute to insert “um” or “uh” into the article if that is what the subject said. It’s not cute. It’s no fair. Your job, as a journalist, is to bring forth the subject in the best light possible. It’s also your job, as a journalist to ask the subject “Is this ‘on the record’ if they get comfortable with you and share very personal information. Journalism is a responsibility to your subject and your readers. Do it right. Just say “no” to the Q&A format.

I recently wrote a few articles for a publisher. It wasn’t until AFTER I interviewed the subjects and submitted my work that he bitched that it wasn’t in Q&A format. Wow, thanks for telling me that I worked too hard after the fact and that I could have slacked off a bit and you’d be happier with my work. (Note my sarcasm). I told him to “call me.”

When I got him on the phone, I was told that his webmaster said that Q&A format is better for SEO search engines and that people can read articles on their PHONE better with Q&A format. That’s a new one on me. Now journalists have to write in that tacky Q&A format to cater to those who only read on their phones?!

Uh, no. Writing is my art. Tell Freddie Mercury to cut “Bohemian Rhapsody” down to cater to the dullards with weak ears and a short listening span. DUH.

After that conversation, I agree to cut ties with this particular publisher. Yes, I am self-employed, but that doesn’t mean I am desperate. Telling me to write in Q&A style to suit those who read on their phones would be like telling Joe Dispenza to write for the National Enquirer. It would be going backwards. Way backwards.

I worked so hard to make a career in writing. I write because it’s in my heart and soul. I write because it’s in my blood. If I’m going to write articles in Q&A style for a living, I might as well go all out and start getting paid to write product descriptions for Walmart. How heartbreaking would that be?

They say when you do something you love, you never work a day in your life. I stand by that wholeheartedly. But “never working a day in your life” doesn’t mean doing sloppy, easy work that you are not proud of. I could never be proud writing article after article Q&A style. It would be like cutting my arm off. Just thinking about it brings a tear to my eye. That’s why I’m a writer. I am sensitive and protective of my muse. And I always will be. When publishers hire me, they will get my best. If they want me to perform my worst in order to get their SEO searches up, I am out the door.

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

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements (via ZOOM during covid). She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

The Best(?) of 2020

Published December 11, 2020 by Maryanne
Photo by Kelly Sikkema

If we made it through 2020 without getting covid, and worse, without dying, we are fortunate. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s to live life to the fullest every day because you really don’t know what is around the corner. It was a crazy up and down year. Surprisingly, there were many outstanding moments for me, but also the most painful news–a very good friend dying on of a heart attack at the age of 56.

Pausing for a moment thinking of my dear friend Vinnie who died last April…

Yeah, 2020 definitely sucked on so many levels, but the eternal optimist in me will keep saying, this is the year to truly count our blessings.

2020 Year In Review

January – The year started off really cool. I actually saw a copy of my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary” in Barnes & Noble bookstore! (https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/) I was ecstatic! I remember commenting that if I died at that moment, I lived the life I wanted. Little did I know, in just a few weeks I’d hear about so many dying of Covid. Just goes to show how crazy life is.

February – I was going crazy trying to score a deal on Billie Eilish tickets–and trying to decide whether to see her in NYC on a Sunday night; or New Jersey on a Monday night. Oh, the innocence of decision making prior to what was ahead. The decision was made for me…all her 2020 concerts were canceled.

March – Covid was in full force in the USA. It was weird. It was scary. But honestly, my husband and I were loving the lockdown. We took it as a time to be creative. We appreciated staying home with the kitties. We were cooperating with the law; and had a good time doing so. I thought during this time I’d write a new book; instead I focused on my singing. My husband and I made a video of us performing together, he on guitar and we on vocals and sent it to all our friends. As our friends were also sending us videos. We all did our best.

In March my clients, Domenic Lombardi passed away. I helped him and his wife write their memories: “200 Letters, 62 Years, and a War” (https://www.amazon.com/200-Letters-62-Years-War/dp/1949798453). What a loss, he was a very cool guy. Domenic and his wife Antoinette were my favorite clients ever!

In April, my book “Love Cats” which became out of print early 2020 was picked up for a second printing by Pink Flamingo Media! For the first time I used a pen name, Krystianna Mercury. Check it out: https://www.pinkflamingo.com/Love-Cats-PF3089.htm

But then, I learned that my very good friend Vinnie Bordogna died earlier that month. My heart is torn into pieces. He was truly one of my best friends. Christmas will not be the same without Vin at our party this year.

In June, there was another loss, Bob Cat. A 15-year-old ginger cat who was the star of the book, “A Street Cat Named Bob” by James Bowen. I read the book back in 2018. The book was out way before that, but it was an upbeat book that helped me get over the loss of my own ginger cat, Bennie, who had to be put down early 2018. Now to hear Bob was gone too … it was just too much. Many tears. Too many tears.

That summer, life picked up. Social distancing outdoor concerts were all the rage. Groups of friends sat on the grass in a white painted square. They were done so well and people had a great time! Drinks, food, sitting on the grass watching live music and the sun go down. Can’t beat that. It was a glimmer of hope in the midst of the madness. In addition to Covid, we had the George Floyd murder and so many terrible things going on in the news. Music kept us sane that summer, definitely.

In August, I hosted my very first ZOOM lecture for “Healthy Pasta Alternatives.” We had a blast! I had other ZOOM classes for anti-bullying, and “How to Meet Your Soul Mate.” Earlier in the year when all my live lectures were canceled, one by one, it was the biggest let down. But ZOOM saved the day with some of them, so it wasn’t a total loss.

September was a miracle! My husband and I took in a feral kitten who was abandoned by his mama and papa cats. We named him Happy Lightfoot Ferrell. Three months later, he’s adjusting beautifully! He’s my little shadow who follows me all over the house. And what a sweet cat he’s turning out to be. No more shy and hiding. Taking in a little life, giving him not only a home but a HAPPY home is the best accomplishment! I love our little new family member. He gets along so good with the other two cats, Nicholas Gray and Sammy Keane Clemmens. Happy Lightfoot Ferrell was the icing on the top of a year of madness.

I wish everyone a better 2021; we can do it!

BEST OF MUSIC 2020

Since there wasn’t nearly as much going out as usual, the list will be light this year. My husband saw about five or six outdoor social distancing concerts over the summer. Due to Covid, I think they all did an amazing job for us and unlike other years, this year I’m choosing not to pick a “best” for live music.

Favorite new songs/videos for 2020!

  1. Miley Cyrus “Midnight Sky” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS1no1myeTM
  2. Sierra Ferrell “Jingle Bell Rock” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mWKuQDBkls
  3. Billie Eilish “Therefore I Am” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUQl6YcMalg

Since there was plenty of dining, I’ve added restaurants this year!

Best restaurants of 2020

  1. Greentruth Organic: https://www.greentruthorganic.com/
  2. Cave Bistro: https://www.cavebistro.com/
  3. Clean Plate: https://www.cleanplateclinton.com/

And since retail shopping was non-existent, I’m linking to the last post I wrote, Clothes Shopping During Covid, mentioning the top three clothing subscription box companies: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2020/11/30/clothes-shopping-during-covid/

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

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements (via ZOOM during covid). She is now coaching aspiring writers via ZOOM.

Maryanne is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

2019 – Year in Review!

Published December 20, 2019 by Maryanne

Hustle2019 — The Hustle was real! 

Wow, when I look back at 2019, I have a huge smile on my face! I mean, I am glowing! It was filled with lots of love and stellar career moments. I am forever grateful that it happened. Below, I share just some of the highlights–after all, a girl’s gotta be private about some things!

January 2019 

My year started off on the most amazing note. I was only in Toastmasters a few months and I won “Best Speaker” for my deliverance of a David Bowie Tribute I wrote, which I gave on January 10, 2019 — three years after his sad death.

February 2019 

This was the only month of the year that sucked. We had to put down our beloved Bennie cat. He was a feral who was only 3-years-old. We took him in the summer of 2018. The vet checked him out and we were told he had FIV and wouldn’t live long. Sure enough, a few months later he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It broke our hearts; my husband and I were devastated to lose such a sweet, loving cat.

Shortly afterwards, a few friends passed away too. It was a bad, bad month for so many.

SAM_3266 (1)Bennie Hemingway, Rest in Peace little angel

March 2019 

It’s always a blessing to have great friends around to cheer you up!

Jayne - NYC Cher ShowMaryanne and Jayne (aka Romy & Michele) in NYC! 

April 2019

I was so honored to be a part of an anti-bulling club! Sara Liptack of the Little Free Library, Westfield, New Jersey, invited me to her home to discuss my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” with young readers in the Westfield neighborhood.

IMG_20190406_172624_591 (1)Say “yes” to acai bowls and “no” to bullying! (Photo by Sara Liptack)

May 2019

During the month of May, my husband and I welcomed our newest family member, Sammy! I adopted him from St. Hubert’s in Madison, New Jersey. Sammy is 9-years-old and he spent most of his life in a shelter. We are honored to have him in our family, he’s a perfect little angel and we love him to pieces!

DSCF3932Sammy, our dear little angel! 

May was also significant because 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. (Note, The “Be Your Own Hero” workshop was based on my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” which was published later in the year by KiCam). 

DSCF3631Be Your Own Hero

June 2019 

June was super cool because my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” became available on audio! You can get all versions here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

July 2019 

My husband and I were thrilled to take some much needed private down-time, both by ourselves and with very dear friends. Hashtag GRATEFUL!

Facetune (4)Dennis and Maryanne (Photo by Jayne DiGregorio) 

August 2019

August is my birthday month. And I do mean “month” because it takes a whole month and then some to get together with everyone who is important to me. So, I say to all of you, Thank you for the LOVE!

DSCF4045I love you! 

September 2019 

Once again, getting away and spending time with our super awesome friends! Hashtag HAPPINESS!

DSCF4128 Dennis and Maryanne

October 2019 

This month was a double whammy of greatness! If it wasn’t cool enough that my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” (https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227) was released, my fictional book, “Love Cats” which was out of print, got picked up by Pink Flamingo Media! (https://www.pinkflamingo.com/). So look forward to a second printing of “Love Cats” in 2020!

Love Cats front and back cover

First printing of “Love Cats” now out of print. Second edition to be published in 2020 by Pink Flamingo Media!! 

During the month of October, I completed writing the play, “Ain’t Life a Beach” for actor, Jesse Walker! It will be presented during the summer of 2020. Jesse Walker was also the first person to interview me to promote “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero.” Check out the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7_O5ZdsVNo

November 2019 

I was honored to perform my poetry at Neighborhood House Association. “All About Eve” was well received! You can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyLorsfQig4

December 2019

While many people get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s actually a wind-down time for me. I stay at home, sipping keto cocoa drinks and working on my next projects. I have some great ideas in the works…as well as some super cool surprises for 2020 which involve writing, speaking, and poetry!

I wish everyone a very happy, blessed, and prosperous 2020! 

BEST OF 2019

My husband and I do so much and see so much, it’s hard to keep up. I used to write about all the shows we saw in this blog, but it’s time-consuming especially when I also keep private journals. However, the following are truly stand-outs for 2019.

BEST NEW ARTIST – SIERRA FERRELL

Well, I’ve been picking winners since I was a little girl. I’d watch the Miss America contest with my grandmother and right from the beginning I’d say who was going to win. When I accidentally came across the music of young artist, Sierra Ferrell, my mind was blown. She is truly the bomb! (Do people still say that? Well I do!)

When I first heard her song “Jeremiah” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEYSUpPirJM) I knew she was something special. I spent two hours watching her videos on You Tube (the perks of being self-employed). And, by chance, she happened to be performing, just an hour away from us in upstate New York.

For a mere $10, it was a kick ass show. I got to meet Sierra too, and she’s a little sweetheart. The punchline is, two weeks later, she was signed to Rounder Records! Hell, yeah! Now we can look forward to some new music from her in 2020.

DSCF3957Sierra Ferrell and Maryanne 

BEST NEW ARTIST RUNNER UP – BILLIE EILISH 

Not that I’m going to run out and buy tickets to her show … but then again, never say never … I do have her CDs. Wow, I’m just so impressed with her cool, catchy, innovative, strong-spirited songs. I love Billie Eilish! Thank you for existing!

BEST LIVE SHOW – PETER MURPHY, (le) Poisson Rouge, NYC

Last August Peter Murphy did a ton of shows, performing full solo albums and a few Bowie tributes. I had tickets to see the “Deep” show (and one of the David Bowie tributes, but it was canceled because Murphy had a heart attack — he’s okay now and performing again). Anyway “Deep” was one of my favorite Murphy albums and to see it performed live was nothing short of euphoric. My friend Jayne and I got close to the front and Mr. Murphy was so on the money; always a class act entertainer. As an encore, he did “His Circle and Hers Meet” from “Love Hysteria” — and wow, that just blew me over the top! This was truly the show of the year! I was so bummed that the Bowie tribute was canceled, but a taste of Murphy is better than none at all!

BEST PLAY – THE CHER SHOW BROADWAY

I’m so glad I caught this earlier this year because it ended this summer. It was very cool. There were three Chers (my favorite vocal — and look — was the young Cher, Babe), a Sonny, and even a Greg Allman. It was a fun-filled musical time-line of Cher’s life.

BEST MOVIE – “BLINDED BY THE LIGHT”

I like Bruce Springsteen, but having just one CD, I wouldn’t call myself a fan. But this movie totally spoke to me because it was about a writer who was inspired by music. (I’ve often been judged by  intellectual types who shunned me for being a writer inspired by music not necessarily other writers, so watching this movie it was like, “Ha-ha, fuck you!”)

There were so many moments I related to, especially the frustrations and ripping up your own work and throwing it out the window.

In the movie, there’s a scene where the main character’s father rips up his Bruce Springsteen tickets. Parents in my generation, Generation X, rarely understood their kid’s dreams. Generation gaps were huge and parents didn’t make an effort to know their kids like young parents today do.

I still cringe when I look back at the day my mother got mad at me, jumped on my bed, and tore all my Queen posters off the walls. Queen was the band that inspired me to write and be more creative.

So, this movie isn’t just for Bruce fans, it’s for any Generation Xer who had communication problems with their parents.

Rest in Peace

February was just horrible with one death after another. Our dear Bennie cat, our dear friend Daniel Popp, and WFMU radio icon, X-Ray Burns. Whew, it was a terrible, terrible month. May all these young souls rest in peace.

And of course we lose so many celebrities throughout the year, but the one that hit the worst was Ric Ocasek, who died on September 15. I was a Cars fan when I was just 15 and had their first album. I never saw them perform live, but my husband and I went to one of his art gallery shows.  As we were leaving, my husband said, “Wave to him.” We did, and he smiled and waved back. God bless his soul, he was an original.

DSCF3060RIP, Ric Ocasek (Photo courtesy of Maryanne and Dennis Mistretta)

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

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

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“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

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9