Arts & Entertainment

New Providence Writer Mary Carlomagno Publishes Her Fourth Book, A Novel

Mary Carlomagno, the New Providence based author of three books, sat down with Tapinto to talk about how her newly published novel, “Best Friend For Hire,” came to be.

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Mary Carlomagno, the New Providence based author of three books, sat down with Tapinto to talk about how her newly published novel, “Best Friend For Hire,” came to be. Over coffee at Starbucks, and in between her local friends stopping by our table to say hello, Carlomagno opened up about life in New Providence with her husband and two young children and how she got her first novel out of the desk drawer and into the publishing house.

After a few minutes with her, you will quickly realize that Carlomagno never met a deadline she didn’t love or an assignment that didn’t motivate her. She likes order, period. So much so, she named her clutter control company just that. She even based her first book on giving up everyday indulgences in an orderly manner.

In 2005, her book “Give it up; My Year of Learning to Live Better with Less,” was published following a 12 month deprivation exercise after realizing her lifestyle and shopping had gotten out of control. “I was living this over-busy, over-scheduled privileged life and just going out for drinks and shopping like crazy, but it wasn’t giving me any great happiness,” she recalled. Then one day everything changed. Her spending habits literally knocked her over the head. “My aha moment came when a shoe shelf fell on my head getting ready for work one day. I thought something’s got to give.” That something was a year of giving up one indulgence each month (alcohol, shopping, elevators, cell phones), which she chronicled in her first book, which landed her a segment on The Today Show.

Sign Up for E-News

Carlomagno went on to write two more books (Secrets of Simplicity and Live More, Want Less), the second of which got the attention of The Oprah Winfrey Show and lead to an appearance in 2009.  But Carlomagno never forgot she had a novel sitting in a desk drawer that had yet to be addressed, “I have such incredible admiration for writers, but I didn’t think I could do that, so I let that paralyze me for a while.” That “while” turned into ten years, when Carlomagno had a epiphany, “I decided I don’t have to be Tolstoy, I want people to laugh,” she joked, “That was a big awakening for me, there’s space for everybody, I’m letting this idea be what it is.” Her experiences working with New Yorkers who hired her to tame their clutter-crammed apartments informed the story. “It’s never really about the stuff,” she reflected, “and I liked the idea of entering into other peoples lives as an impartial observer.” 

That novel, over a decade in the making, turned out to be “Best Friend For Hire,” just released this week. It is based on her adventures in the publishing world and is a look at life through the eyes of a Jersey girl.  “It’s familiar territory, it’s about a woman who lives in Hoboken, with an Italian background, and works in publishing, and gets downsized,” much like Carlomagno.  “My job was eliminated, so I found myself much like the character in my book, trying to recreate myself,” she continued, “I went off to figure out what I wanted to do, I did all the things my main character does when you’re exploring your life journey.” 

Carlomagno, who wears many hats in addition to her writing, does design work, has an organizing business, is a corporate spokesperson, dabbles in furniture restoration, and even finds time to produce maple syrup in her backyard with her husband and two kids. “We love it here,” she said about New Providence, “We love what we have here and we love this town.” Her new life credo is portion control, not just for dieting but also for living.  “Portion control your life, portion control your shopping, portion control your television watching,” she suggests, “You can have it all, you just can’t have it all on Tuesday.” Her new life maintenance plan seems to be working just fine.

You can meet Mary Carlomagno at The New Providence Public Library on Tuesday, June 27th at 7:30 p.m. Join her as she talks about her new book. She will be signing copies as well.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Obituaries

Frank Bottone died on Nov. 9, 2017, in the hospice unit of St. Barnabas Hospital, following a ...
Read more

Education Leaders from China Visit Union County College

November 18, 2017

CRANFORD – On Thurs., Nov. 9, 2017, Union County College hosted a delegation of 18 leaders from vocational educational institutions in the Hebei Province of China. The group of leaders are visiting the United States for a two week tour through an international partnership with New Jersey City University. Vocational colleges are comparable to American community colleges, so in addition to ...

Winter Break Fun Days at My Gym New Providence

My Gym Winter Break FUN DAYS are simply the best!

Children participate in 3 hours of energizing fitness games, non-competitive gymnastics, arts & crafts, music and so much more. 

Each FUN DAY program is uniquely designed to keep your children moving and active, as we emphasize physical development and personal success. Our programs change daily, so no two FUN DAYS at My Gym are ...

Outstanding Citizens to Be Honored at the 2017 Good Scout Award Dinner

STIRLING, NJ - Boy Scouts of America, Patriots’ Path Council will be honoring local citizens at this year Good Scout Award Dinner to be held on the evening of Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at The Primavera Regency in Stirling. Gathering and reception for the event will be held at 6:30pm with dinner and the program beginning at 7:00pm. This year’s honorees are Nancy Beckert Finn, ...

Red Cross to Hold Annual Run for the Red 5K in Millburn

 

 

MILLBURN, NJ - The American Red Cross will host its Annual Run for the Red 5K Race and Walk on Sunday, December 3 in Millburn, New Jersey.

“The Run for the Red 5K is a wonderful event for the whole family,” said race co-chair Josh Howley of West Orange. “Competitive runners, casual joggers and walkers can all join us for a fun filled, brisk race ...

Annual Turkey Drive To Help Provide For New Jersey's Hungry

HILLSIDE, NJ – Close to 300,000 New Jersey children face hunger every day. Many of their families don’t have the means to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner – turkey, stuffing and all. To ensure food-insecure people across the state have what they need to share a holiday meal, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey has been purchasing thousands of turkeys and will gather even ...

SBOANJ Seeks Pacing Stallions To Stand In New Jersey

MANALAPAN, N.J. — The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association is looking for pacing stallions to stand stud in the state of New Jersey. While our state is fortunate to have several strong trotting stallions standing in 2018, we lack significant representation on the pacing side. 

The SBOANJ has developed the “Home Grown Pace” for pacing foals of 2016 in an attempt ...

The 2017 Houdaille Quarry Walk, Sunday in Springfield: Get on the Other Side of the Fence

November 17, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - The Houdaille Quarry, often called the “Grand Canyon of Union County”, and normally closed to the public, will be open on Sunday, November 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 3 p.m. for Fall Foliage walks sponsored by the Springfield Environmental Commission.

This is a rare chance to get to go on the other side of the fence and see the Quarry, which is an ecologically unique ...

Volunteers Assemble 1,500 Care Packages for US Troops Deployed Overseas

November 11, 2017

MANVILLE, NJ – More than 500 volunteers, young and old, helped Operation Shoebox New Jersey assemble 1,500 personal care packages during the XIII annual Military Appreciation packing event held in conjunction with Veterans Day.

The event was held on Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Manville VFW, 600 Washington Ave.

It took only two hours to build the boxes, pack the bags, assemble the boxes, ...

Sustained, Severe Cuts Equal Setbacks at NJ Department of Environmental Protection

November 8, 2017

Long-term budget and staff cuts have severely impacted the ability of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to carry out critical work to protect New Jersey’s environment and residents. This has serious implications for wildlife, public health and our economy. DEP is charged with managing and protecting the State’s environment and natural resources.

This ...

Parting Advice from Four Decades on the Front Lines of Local News

November 11, 2017

In February 1978 I walked into the office of The Rahway News-Record and Clark Patriot to begin what I thought was to be a short-term job stepping stone. 

Instead, it turned out to be a nearly 40-year odyssey in local journalism—including the last eight—overwhelmingly great—years with The Alternative Press (TapInto.Net).

I have decided it is time to spend more time in ...

To the residents of New Providence

To the residents of New Providence,

It is with sincere appreciation and pride that we graciously accept the honor of serving you as members of the Borough Council.  We would also like to acknowledge and thank Jamie Baer Peterson and Keith Doll. 

We will continue to work hard for everyone, keeping in mind our common goal of improving this wonderful town.  We optimistically ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Sat, November 18, 8:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_4ca4b046b48f94f03540_unnamed_4

Sat, November 18, 8:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Alignment Based Vinyasa

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_4ca4b046b48f94f03540_unnamed_4

Sat, November 18, 9:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Vinyasa Flow

Health & Wellness

Sat, November 18, 10:00 AM

Salt Brook School, New Providence

Scandinavian Import Sale Returns to New ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_ae7b14f49101795b08ed_zumba

Sat, November 18, 11:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Zumba

Health & Wellness

Sat, November 18, 11:00 AM

Clark Public Library, Clark

Holiday Shopping

Other

I Reported It Myself!

Each year there seems to be more schools relying on self-reported test scores and transcripts on their applications.  While they may, in the long run, streamline the application process I’ve seen them cause a good amount of stress during this already stressful process.  Should an optional test score self-report be filled in?  How do I know whether to mark my class as a ...