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Author Interview with Joan Reid aka Gianna B. Reid (Writing Tips and a Poem)

GiaanB Reid photo 20017

“Author Interview with Joan Reid aka Gianna B. Reid (Writing Tips and a Poem)” by Joan Y. Edwards

Hi, Joan Reid.  I’m very happy to have you as a guest on my blog today.
It’s a pleasure to be here with you. 

My readers are anxious to learn about you, so let’s get started.

a. Where were you born?
I was born in New York City.  My family moved to New Jersey when I was 2 years old. I have lived in New York State for the past 20 years.

b. Did you have a favorite place to read a book as a child? Where and why?
I read often on the couch in the living room or at the kitchen table after supper.

c. Who or what inspires you to keep on writing?
My parents and a grammar school teacher, then people whom I have met along the way, and now my husband, daughter and my friendsand you, Joan Edwards! (See Joan Edwards smiling)

d. What do you do for the pure fun of it?
I love riding my bicycle! It helps clear my mind for more writing.

e. What are your hobbies? Do you draw? Paint? Work with clay? Sew? Do woodworking?

Photography, creating collages, and reading are three activities I most enjoy.

f. What are your favorite books that you enjoy reading more than one time? Why?

  • A Year By the Sea by Joan Anderson; and

  • Tao of Writing by Ralph L. Wahlstrom

These books are vastly different, but each brings a fresh focus every time I read a passage.

g. Do you have a funny story to share?

I have a sense of humor for sure, but I cannot recall a specific funny story.

Incidents are funnier when I tell them.

h. Why do you write? 

My reasons for writing:  I have to write what I observe and feel; Writing is enjoyable and fun;  Writing is my connection to myself and others.

i. What are three tips for writers?

  1. When you write, don’t edit until all your ideas are down.

  2. Leave the piece for a day or more to look at it with fresh eyes. When you revisit the work you will be able to edit for content.

  3. READ!

j. What is the most essential ingredient of a poem?

For me, the most essential ingredient of a poem is emotion which is an intangible.

k. Do you have a poem you’d like to share with us that’s not in And the Woman Smiled and is shared first and exclusively in this guest post?


I am a Word – © Gianna B. Reid 2017


Poetry is—

words scribbled across people’s faces,

on objects, landscapes, in empty rooms,

the splendid and the ugly.

I see and feel words in open spaces, hallways,

in a blade of grass

looking upward to its sun-god.

Soaking in the 24-carat butter of

its rays smeared on blue-toast.

Can we separate ourselves from words?

I am a word.

Today, I am joy.

Aww! Thank you, Joan (Gianna B. Reid). That is a great poem.

l. Would you share three of your favorite poems? (Title and Author)

  1. “August” by Helen Maria Winslow

  2. “The Sun Poem” by Mary Oliver http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/mary_oliver/poems/15800

  3. Numerous poems by Billy Collins

  4. Numerous poems by William. S. Merwin

m. And the Woman Smiled is your latest book. What company did you choose to publish this poetry book?

I self-published it on CreateSpace.com/

n. Where can readers buy And the Woman Smiled?

Readers can purchase it on Amazon.


o. Did you pay for editing services before you submitted to CreateSpace?

CreateSpace does offer editing services. However, I did not pay them for editing services for And the Woman Smiled.” I did all the formatting and editing myself.

p. Did CreateSpace design your cover? Did you have any choices?

CreateSpace has many choices of book covers, fonts, and trim-sizes on their website. I chose a design provided by CreateSpace.  

q. How are you marketing your book?

I sent review copies to publications that consider self-published poetry, and two local magazines in the Hudson Valley area.  And, I am thankful for this interview!

r. Did you get to choose the retail price for your book?

CreateSpace determined the retail price. There is a minimum charge which
I made every attempt to stay close to.

s. Were you ever traditionally published?

I was a contributor to a traditionally published book, The Bicycle Book – Wit, Wisdom & Wanderings, Published by Satya House.

t. What are the titles and links to your other books? Are they available on Amazon, too?

I have 16 titles on Amazon as Gianna B. Reid.

I self-published Life is a Bike;  and Yes We Can!

I contributed to the following book with Anisa Claire West:
Crime Flies! (Mystery Collection)

Here are links to some of my other books:

Like Gary Cooper (Super Duper)

Gold Trotter Mystery Series (First 3 from the 9-book series)

Dogs Never Lie

Blue Hill Heist

Until We Kiss

m. Do you have a blog?

My blog is: http://joansview-jbreid.blogspot.com

u. How can others connect with you on social media? 

Readers may connect with me on Face Book and Linked In.  Send an email request to me at joan.reid@yahoo.com

Short Bio

Joan Bellofatto Reid (Gianna B.Reid) began writing plays and short stories in elementary school. She has since written and produced several plays: The Jobless Chronicle (winner of Monologue Mania, performed at The Producer’s Club, NYC); and His Last Word, about Holocaust survivor, Primo Levi.  Life is a Bike was a newspaper column that appeared in the US and UK, the essays are available on Amazon.  She contributed essays to The Bicycle Book: Wit, Wisdom and Wanderings.  Other published works: “The Marriage Game”  “Path to Promise” (Student Aid Transcript Magazine); “Not a Fake Pollock” (Art Times); “Not Guilty” (Modern Collage).  Joan hosted a radio show, “Cool on the Groove” (Rockland World Radio) from 2003-2006, featuring authors, poets and journalists.  She currently freelances on education and healthcare; and writes poetry.

Wow! Joan Reid. I’ve really enjoyed learning about you. I had no idea you’d written so many books! I am very proud of you. Thanks again for being a guest on my blog.

Thanks for reading this guest interview. Joan Reid will be glad to answer any questions and respond to any comments you leave for her in the comment area.


Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

My Books:
Flip Flap Floodle, Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?
Joan’s Elder Care Guide published by 4RV Publishing

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards


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Wisdom: Which Characters Have It? Which Don’t?

Wisdom Copyright 2016 Joan Y. Edwards

Wisdom Copyright 2016 Joan Y. Edwards

Here is the first of a series of blog posts about the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit. I’ll name 7 characters who have it and 7 characters who don’t. I’ll also give you synonyms and antonyms. Please feel free to think of characters with or without wisdom and put them in the comment area.

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are seven spiritual gifts, the first of which is wisdom.

Wisdom – Being wise; filled with knowledge. Synonyms for wise are smart, intelligent, sage, prudent, common sense, and knowledgeable.

Characters from Books, Movies, and TV shows who are wise:

  1. Yoda from Star Wars
  2. Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web
  3. Noah who built the Ark in the Bible
  4. Andy from the Andy Griffith Show
  5. Elle Woods grows in wisdom in the movie Legally Blonde
  6. Columbo in the television show Columbo.
  7. Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny

Here’s a link I found to 50 quotes from different TV characters that short list.com thought worthy to mention:


The opposite of wisdom is foolishness. Antonyms for wise are naive, ignorant, dumb, inexperienced, foolish, careless, and irrational.

Characters from books, movies, and television who are not wise are:

  1. Barney Fife in the Andy Griffith Show
  2. The Boy in The Giving Tree
  3. Scrooge in A Christmas Carol
  4. Bird in Are You My Mother?
  5. George in Curious George
  6. Scarlet from Gone with the Wind
  7. Rumpelstiltskin in Rumpelstiltskin

Here’s The Top Tens.com list of the dumbest cartoon characters: http://www.thetoptens.com/dumbest-cartoon-characters/

I believe that all of us are wise at times and foolish at times. Once you can recognize it in other characters and people, you’ll be able to personify wisdom and foolishness in your own stories.

Which characters do you believe are wise?
Which characters do you believe are foolish?

Please leave a comment. Click below and scroll down to the very bottom.


Series on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2016 Joan Y. Edwards


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Prayers for Writers and Patron Saint of Writers

Copyright © Joan Y. Edwards 2015

Copyright © Joan Y. Edwards 2015

“Prayers for Writers and Patron Saint of Writers ” by Joan Y. Edwards

My friend, Linda Martin Andersen (author of many magazine articles and a fun blog for writers, A Writer’s Playground) and I were talking yesterdsay morning about the need for prayer before writing a memoir like hers about when her husband had a double lung transplant or a non-fiction book, like my Joan’s Elder Care Guide where you delve deeply into strong, tense, emotional memories.

I pray for perseverance, confidence, courage, clarity, creativity, and wisdom. I believe that most other writers pray for guidance, too. What about you?

I usually say the “Our Father” before I submit my work to a publisher. And I say the “Our Father” before I submit the my last revised chapter or whole manuscript to the editor of the publisher.

Sometimes my confidence gets down to less than one per cent. It seems to me I need more to keep me going and believing in me and my writing. Is there a patron Saint for Writers? Are there special prayers for writers? I went on a search to find answers to these questions to help Linda and me. I thought you might benefit from a meaningful prayer before you write, too.

I guessed that one of the four men who wrote the Gospels…Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John would be the patron Saint of writers. However, I was wrong. St. Francis de Salles is the patron Saint of Journalists and Writers. When people wouldn’t listen to his sermons and slammed the door in his face, he wrote his talks down on paper and slid them under the door.  He talked and treated the children well which made the parents more willing to listen to his words. St. Francis de Salles said that not only priests and nuns could have a dedicated life to God, but others in all walks of life could benefit from spiritual meditation.

I found four prayers for writers.

O Creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with the loving knowledge of you, that I may bring your light to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries which you have revealed.

Open my mind, Lord. Grant me the talent to write with clarity and style, so my words go down rich and smooth, like fine wine, and leave my reader thirsty for more.

Open my heart, Lord. Grant me the sensitivity to understand my characters–their hopes, their wants, their dreams–and help me to confer that empathy to my reader.

Open my soul, Lord, so I may be a channel to wisdom and creativity from beyond my Self. Stoke my imagination with vivid imagery and vibrant perception.

But most of all, Lord, help me to know the Truth, so my fiction is more honest than actuality and reaches the depths of my reader’s soul.

Wrap these gifts with opportunity, perseverance, and the strength to resist those who insist it can’t be done.


Lord, inspire me to write stories that touch readers’ hearts.  Breathe your spirit into my characters so they come alive on the written page.  Help me develop intriguing plots full of twists and turns that capture the imagination and move the story to a satisfying resolution.  Keep me focused and on schedule, and take away any fear or sense of inadequacy that blocks my progress.  Give me courage to step out in faith, to stretch and grow and to be the writer you have called me to be.

God Above All Things,
In these moments while the document loads and my fingers rest on the keyboard grant me first an emptiness.
Remove the to-do list that waits impatiently in the corner of my mind.

Quiet the voice saying, “You’re not ready, you’re not good enough, you don’t have anything to say.”

Shield me from the imagined judgmental gaze of my advisor.
Grant me first an emptiness, an openness, a mind unchained by anxiety.

Grant me then a fullness. Where insecurity lurks, pour out confidence and curiosity. Where there is fatigue, fill me with generosity and energy. Where there is fear, fill me with courage.

Shelter me in your strength and quiet the world around me.
For these few hours grant me peace and solitude in my thoughts.

Bless this mind you’ve given and help me use it fully. Help me seek and push the limits of my abilities. Remind me that I have read enough, I have enough, I am enough, and with time this paper will come to a place where it, too, is enough (at least for now).

In Your name I pray,

Please share with me in the comment area, your prayers and ways you center and ground yourself before you write or before you submit a manuscript for critique or publication.

Good luck with your publications. Believe in you and your writing.

Celebrate you.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2015 Joan Y. Edwards


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Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Readers,

Thank you for reading my blog. Thanks for commenting on my blog posts.  It is a wonderful experience to share with you information I’ve learned. It makes me feel good when others enjoy learning and reading about the same thing that I enjoy.

I pray that God bless you with more abundance of everything you need, more wisdom to make good choices, and more courage to do what is honoring and respectful of you, your family, your country, and the whole world.  I hope you reach your goals and feel great satisfaction for what you accomplish every day of your life.

I hope together we can focus on the solutions, rather than placing blame for problems. I hope we can find ways to save our environment. I hope we can focus on non-polluting energy. I hope together we can love living and being who we are. I hope we can find ways to bring trust and integrity back into our world. I hope we can do all these things and more.  I love this world and am glad to be here. Thank you for sharing your world with me.

Believe in Yourself
You Are a Gift of God
Joan Y. Edwards

Does Your Anger Leave You Sizzling?

Does your anger leave your sizzling or help you toward your goal? Chances are if you are sizzling with anger, you need to do stress relievers so you can think. If you’re sizzling, this means you are in emotional overdrive. All your oxygen and blood is going to your muscles for fight or flight…the brain is not in control.

Change what you are doing. Go to a different place. Write out all your feelings on a piece of paper or in a journal. Run in place for 10 minutes. Take a nap.

Write down all the beliefs that got you where you are now. Write down all the beliefs you would need to get you out of the place where you are now.

List 5 reasons to be happy the situation is not worse than it already is.

Do something productive and positive to help your outlook on the situation. The situation may actually be the same. What will have changed is the way you’re perceiving the situation.

When you are sizzling, you are viewing the situation as the end of the world. When you are calm and clear-thinking, you may see that it definitely isn’t the end of the world, and that you can do something to change it. You cannot change other people.  However, the only person you have even the smallest amount of control is yourself.  You can ask people to do certain things or not to do certain things, but ultimately it’s their choice, not yours to make. You don’t want control of other people. Having control of them means you are totally responsible for their actions. I can’t handle myself sometimes. I definitely don’t need to be responsible for others, too.

My mother, Ethel D. Meyer, told me some words that were very wise: Don’t ask a person a YES or NO question unless you are ready to accept either answer.

The times that I’ve asked people a question that was a yes or no answer and I thought I was ready to accept either answer and I wasn’t,  brought me the most tears in my life. Now that is humanity. Humanity steps in and we are not able to do what we would like to do. We don’t have what we want.  We start to sizzle.  Sizzle, steam, and sizzle.

Accept yourself and your situation as it is. Chances are there’s nothing you can do to change the past. Plan a way to change your attitude. Get rest. Get exercise. Read resources with different choices. Talk to and listen to others and find out what they have done that works in a similar situation. The Voice of Experience can save a lot of heartaches.

Pray. Play. Pray.

Say the “Our Father.”

Play. Read a funny book. Watch a funny movie. Play a game of solitaire. Draw a picture. Dream of how you want things to be. Look for ways to achieve your goal.

Say the “Our Father” again. He knows your wants and needs. Jesus said, “Ask and you shall receive.” He gives you what you need.  What you want may not be what you really need.

Now that your brain is in control and not your emotions, you can make plans to change your actions and aim them towards meeting your goal of what you want.

TAKE ACTION to change the situation for the better.  ACTION is what calms the inner boiler and puts the sizzle into positive energy and a good feeling. You have taken a lemon and made lemonade, you’ve formed an item of beauty to replace one of ugliness and bitterness.

If you look at yourself in the mirror while you are sizzling and after you have taken your clear thought out action, you will sense an undefeatible sense of accomplisment and pride.  You will notice that bit of God in you blossomed and shined in your face. You are healthier because you are not carrying around all that anger. You dissolved it and created a plan for a sense of accomplishment,  acceptance, and self-respect.  Be thankful to God. Be thankful for yourself and your  de-Sizzling anger actions.

 Pray – Dream – Read -Write – Draw – Talk – Listen – Pray

Don’t Give Up – Read my bloghttp://www.joanyedwards.com.wordpress.com 

website: http://www.joanyedwards.com/

Take a

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