Tag Archives: Gretchen Griffith

Thanks to Those Who Wrote a Testimonial for My Blog!

Joan Y. Edwards, Jan 11, 2023
Joan Y. Edwards, 2023

“Thanks to Those Who Wrote a Testimonial for My Blog!” by Joan Y. Edwards

Thank you to each of you who wrote a testimonial for my blog. I am very honored. You touched my heart. Please read what they had to say. I also put links to their websites and/or books. 

My hope is to inspire you to never give up on you…no matter what…live, love, write, illustrate, work, share.  Here’s what caring readers like you say about my Never Give Up blog, January 2023 in alphabetical order! I am filled with love and thankfulness. It fills me with joy to hear from you. I treasure these  testimonies and each of you in my heart. Subscribe to My Blog

Dr. Bob Rich

Dr. Bob Rich
Bobbing Around blog

     “I have a scale of spiritual maturity. At the bottom are infant souls. You recognize them from a complete lack of empathy.
Then there are toddlers. Their three key words are ‘No!’ ‘ Why?’ and above all, ‘Mine!’ Because of this, unfortunately, they run the world.
At the other end are mature spirits who find compassion, cooperation, empathy, decency to be natural. Their joy is to benefit others, not because it is expected, or because of some payoff, but because that’s just the way they are.
Joan is one of these mature spirits. Regardless of her circumstances or personal tragedies, she is always there for anyone and everyone. Read her blog if you want to know what I mean.”


Carla Stack

     “I am a busy person working for a dental office and a consulting company. I first met Joan in the office where I work. And what a blessing Joan has been to me and others in our office! I do not always get to read Joan’s posts and blogs as much as I would like.  But when I do, I pause! And I am always reminded to count my blessings.  This morning I opened an email from Joan titled “Do You Need an Ego with a New Inner Critic and Encourager?”  What a blessing this was with me today.  A gentle reminder that God is a God of encouragement.  A reminder to change our inner critic voice to one of encouragement by using affirmations.  Thank you, Joan, for your beautiful, sweet soul and for your uplifting emails and blogs.”

******************** Carol Baldwin and her beta reader for Half-TruthsCarol Baldwin and Elliott Kurta, her beta reader for Half-Truths
Teaching-Story-Fiction-Writing-Grades 4-6
Carol Baldwin’s Blog

     “I enjoy Joan’s blog because she always looks to encourage her readers. I often leave with a smile on my face!”


Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of fiction, poetry, and the multi award-winning #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers.

“Expertise is the magical word when notified of Joan’s blog entries. I never miss an opportunity to learn something new.”

David Parle and Anna Verberg

David Parle and Anna Verberg
David’s books under Pen Name Roger Rapel

“Joan always has a smile, even in tragic times. Sometimes we all need a lift and a listening ear to help us through the sad times.
She has become a friend albeit electronic and we both know that we can contact each other.”


Gretchen Griffith

Gretchen Griffith, author of When Christmas Feels Like Home, Called to the Mountains: The Story of Jean L. Frese, and Lessons Learned: The Story of Pilot Mountain School

“Many times when I’ve felt discouraged about my writing, along came Joan Edwards with words to give me the encouragement I needed. I’ve followed her positive thinking blog for years and found it to be a valuable resource about using social media in a way that I can understand.


Jeff Morrill

Jeff Morrill
Profit Wise: How to Make More Money in Business By Doing the Right Thing

     “Thanks to Joan’s blog, I ended up with a publishing contract with TCK Publishing after reaching out to many of the publishers I found on this post: https://www.joanyedwards.com/50-publishers-who-accept-unsolicited-manuscripts/
Without preexisting fame, it is very difficult to get a book published. Lots of hard work and a high capacity for rejection are necessary but not sufficient—it’s also important to know who might be looking for a particular manuscript. Thanks, Joan, for doing the hard work of gathering and sharing this useful information!”

Joan Leotta Joan Leotta
Feathers on Stone

     “Joan’s blog is always a good read! I find inspiration for my day in the assortment of contemporary and classical poetry she offers. So, when she started to send me notices of her blog, I immediately clicked to read. The blog is a delightful collection of wisdom–sometimes a reminder of helpful tips, like the recent blog on home fire extinguishers, or the ins and outs regarding ghostwriting. Other times, her blog is the springboard for a deep dive into thoughts about issues such as the need to consider all possibilities life offers or the need to use our inner critic to also encourage ourselves. I like the mix of offerings. Her blogs are like fine chocolate–always good, each one with a different delicious filling. I am always encouraged by her blog entries–to action (as with the fire extinguishers) and/or to reflection.”


Joan B. Reid

Joan B. Reid
Joyful Passage-A Woman’s Path to Retirement

“Joan Y. Edwards blog is inspiring and positive.  Several posts have lifted my thoughts and made me feel better. 👍”


Jo Ann Mathews

Jo Ann Mathews
 Women in Adversity Book Series
Jo Ann’s Blog

     “Joan Y. Edwards hits the mark with her blog “Never Give Up.” She encourages people to brush aside the clouds and see the sunshine. Her recent post ‘Consider All the Possibilities’ is an example. She walks the reader through steps to move forward from a dilemma and ‘get out of that box.’ Everyone faces situations that don’t appear to have an answer. Joan’s blog offers suggestions on how to solve that dilemma.”


Joy Moore, Author

Joy Moore
Joy’s previous published works includes, Wiggle-Wiggle, Scratch-Scratch-, Itch-Itch-Itch with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and many magazine articles and poems. Joy’s website: http://www.word-painting.com

Your encouragement to submit my manuscript has led to my signing a contract. I love the process of writing. I hate the process of researching a publisher and sending it out. When I signed up to use your plan to submit my manuscript, I knew it was what I needed to get me going. Just as you have said so many times, it did lead to something. So that is what I want to tell you I appreciate the most, because nothing would have happened for me if I hadn’t followed the advice.


Karen Tomas

Karen Tomas, past columnist for the Fort Mill Times 

 “Joan Y. Edwards’ Never Give Up blog is totally addictive. You can’t read just one!!!”


Karen Cioffi

Karen Cioffi, Article Writing Doctor and Online Platform Instructor

“Joan’s Never Give Up Blog offers great information on writing. It’s obvious that she puts a great deal of effort into each post and it’s a blog I value. Along with information, Joan offers encouragement and insights related to the writing world. So, join me and the many others who benefit from reading Joan’s posts.”


Linda Gutheil

Linda Gutheil
Linda’s Blog

     “I visit Joan’s blog to see what she’s got to say and share. Before I even knew Joan well, her blog led me to know that she loved to share helpful tips with others. She’s always been kind to share links to articles that are helpful to writers and people just needing a new or more positive outlook on life. She also has a creative approach in the way she looks at things. She shares from the heart and tells personal experiences and stories that have teachable moments. I can’t imagine my life without Joan in it. She makes my life rich and full. I’m also blessed to call her my best friend. She’s a real treasure.          Thanks for always being there for me.”


Mary Lash with scarf

Mary Lash
A Roller Coaster Down, Love and the TSA and The Desert Murders: How Junk Science, Witness Contamination, and Arizona Politics Condemned an Innocent Man

 “Never Give Up is like a good friend. With characteristic generosity, Joan Edwards offers helpful information and insights with each post. Reading her blog never fails to encourage and inspire me.”


Melanie Robertson-King

Melanie Robertson-King

     “Joan’s blog is a wealth of information, inspiration, and motivation. I subscribe to it via email to know when something new has been posted. Not all topics interest me, but I take the time to read all the posts. I’ve learned and shared (through the comments) many things since I first discovered her wonderful blog.”


Sandra Warren
Sandra Warren, author of Obsessed By A Promise, We Bought A WWII Bomber, and twelve other books written in multiple genres. 

     “Have a social media question? Scroll through Joan’s blog for the answer. Invariably, you’ll find it there among her many blog posts. Joan is the “go-to” gal for social media know how. Plus, if you ask a question she can’t answer, she’ll research it until she understands and then, not only share it with you, but also the world.
     Feeling down and discouraged with your writing or life in general? Joan laces inspirational tidbits guaranteed to lift your spirits throughout her blog.”


Shawn Simon

        Shawn Simon
Stepping into a New Role: Stories from Stepmoms

“Joan’s blog is inspirational and encouraging. She will get you thinking about the good in life and will give tips for reframing life’s challenges. Visit regularly for a dose of positivity!”


Cathy and Thurman Bruffey
Cathy and Thurman Bruffey

Thurman Bruffey

“From the start I want to say Joan is my first cousin. All of us who read Joan’s blogs know how incredibly knowledgeable Joan is.
I have been a fan of Joan’s writing since the first days of “Flip Flap  Floodle”.
I can tell you her elder care book was written from the heart and from first hand experience with her Mother, Ethel Meyer, my  Aunt.
Joan is always seeking input and doing in depth research to ensure her blog posts can be helpful to others. I highly recommend everyone to read her blog.”


Testimonials page: https://www.joanyedwards.com/testimonials/.

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Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2023 Joan Y. Edwards

Flip Flap Floodle Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?
Joan’s Elder Care Guide A guide to help caregivers and elders find solutions.

Interview with Gretchen Griffith, Versatile and Talented Author of Books for Children and Adults

Gretchen Griffith
Gretchen Griffith, Author

“Interview with Gretchen Griffith, Versatile and Talented Author of Books for Children and Adults” by Joan Y. Edwards

Dear Gretchen,
Thank you for being a guest on my blog. Your idea of writing me a letter for the interview is a good one. Let’s begin.
Dear Joan,
Hi. Thank you so much for inviting me over to your blog today. I’m excited about sharing my writing experience with you and your readers. (You’re welcome.)
I am amused at the question on how I did in English as a kid. I’ve read through the responses other writers gave you and laughed with them. Perfection on grammar was not always what we were looking for back then! I grew into an appreciation of language structure when I took a class on linguistics and syntax at Appalachian State University. I’m not always the Grammar Ninja I’m accused of being, but I am conscious of when something just doesn’t work. That class helped me develop the ear.
As for the literature aspect of my high school years, I’m the one who sat in geometry with a good novel hidden under the textbook. That’s all I need to say about that. I can’t put my finger on a single favorite book because whichever book I had my nose stuck into at the moment was my favorite. If I didn’t like it, I set it aside. I am partial to long narratives like those by Michener that trace a story through generations.
In fact, the manuscript I’m working on now is structured like that, a story told through generations, and I’m talking nonfiction here. The outline has been easy to develop, falling into eras. I’ve already published two nonfiction books that follow the same pattern.

The first is a collective memoir of a school in Burke County, North Carolina, Lessons Learned: The Story of Pilot Mountain School. I interviewed over eighty people on this project and spent hours and hours with what became my best friend, the microfiche. Most of the research for that was to follow up what I learned during an interview. It didn’t take me long to realize many of the “facts” they told me turned out to be based on opinion. Lessons learned on that!
Your question, “Did you cry while writing one of your books?” brings back many poignant moments during my interviews. Often I sat in silence waiting for the person at the other end of the recorder to compose himself and go on with the story. Some memories are vivid after fifty years, and believe me, permanently etched into the mind. When I later worked those sections into the overall narrative, I couldn’t help but remember the expression of anguish on the faces of those who spoke. I felt an obligation to be accurate, to have the reader understand the depth of emotion. Yes, I cried more than once.
The good thing about having nonfiction characters is that they are real and can appear at the most unexpected times, even those who have died. Some readers knew the characters personally and have shared more stories with me that I could have included. Just last week after my presentation at a luncheon a lady came up and started talking about one of the principals at the school. I could write a sequel.

My second book, Called to the Mountains: The Story of Jean L. Frese, is not as complex. It is the memoir of my mother’s cousin. Our interview sessions involved my pressing the record button and then listening as the story flowed. I did have to do a bit of follow-up research to clarify things for the reader, but the entire book comes from her first person account.

On the other hand my experience with my picture book characters is a little peculiar. I created Eduardo, my main character (MC) in When Christmas Feels Like Home, completely from scratch. I worked with him and his personality for six years. Yes, you read that right, six years. I thought I knew him. When I finally saw the illustrations for the book I was blown away; thrilled. My goodness what beautiful art! Strangely, though, it was like meeting Eduardo for the first time. I had to get to know him all over. Here is a picture of my granddaughter, Reagan with me at the book launch for it.

I sold a fiction article to Highlights for Children that I’m hoping will be out soon. It’s a story from my husband’s family that I upped the action a bit, but the characters are real. I didn’t even change the names. I can’t wait to meet them in illustrations to see how they compare with the real person. That’s going to be an experience.
But then again, all writing is an experience. It doesn’t end when the final revision goes to the editor or when a set of pictures comes through an email attachment or when you rip open the first shipment and out comes this unforgettable new book smell that only the author can appreciate. Those make up the first half of the life of a book. The other half is the fun. Meeting readers. Sharing experiences with fellow authors. Learning new techniques to apply to the current work in progress.
I’m fortunate enough to have found a critique group that is supportive and brutally honest. We don’t just read each other’s manuscripts and give opinions, we seek out ways to improve our writing. Right now we are working on a series of lectures by Brooks Landon, Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer’s Craft. It’s very technical and goes into such detail that I wonder if I’ll ever write a decent sentence again. I prepared an assignment yesterday for lesson 15, “Degrees of Suspensiveness” and even though I’ll probably never write a two hundred word sentence again, I at least know the technique of saving the suspense for the last word.
Another professional development book we’ve worked our way through is Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin. With the subtitle, “Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew,” how could we be steered wrong? One exercise I remember doing was to write a description of an object without using adjectives or adverbs. Verbs allowed. Nouns in clauses used as adverbs permitted. Try it by describing the room where you are. You’ll see the paragraph come alive when verbs replace adjectives. To this day, I am super conscious of how I write descriptions because of that one exercise.
Another exercise that I so vividly remember, although I don’t think it came from this book, is writing a paragraph in second person. It’s not an easy assignment. I probably will never use it again, but my radar now is more sensitive to point of view. Try it. Think of writing again about the room where you are using only second person (you) this time. Here’s a good example of how changing point of view is not just about changing from “I” to “it” to “you.” There’s more involved than switching out functional words.
At lot of my self-instruction comes from what I pick up on the internet, reading blog posts that I stumble upon as I’m scrolling through Twitter. I click on hashtags that sound promising (#askeditor, #amwriting #kidlitchat) and find all sorts of topics I never would have investigated. I have a regular routine of blogs I follow to keep up with writers I cross paths with. Many were featured here in the last months, Joan.
There’s so much more to writing than I ever imagined, I must admit. I was an elementary teacher for many years, taught writing to fourth graders. I’d love to pull all of them back in and add what I’ve learned. I’m glad I’ve taken it one step at a time, though, and I’m also glad I’m still on the journey. It is so worth it.
Please visit me at my blog, Catch of the Day at www.gretchengriffith.blogspot.com and my webpage www.gretchengriffith.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you, Gretchen for your delightful letter interview. It’s amazing how you write for children and adults. Plus you write fiction and non-fiction. You are very talented and versatile!


Gretchen Griffith on the internet:
Website: www.gretchengriffith.com
Blog: www.gretchengriffith.blogspot.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/gretchengriffithauthor?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GretchenGriffth Note the spelling of her last name. She had to drop the second “i” because someone already had the regular spelling.
Celebrate you every day.
You are a gift to our world
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2014 Joan Y. Edwards

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