A to Z Challenge: Day Twenty-Four – “X”

‘X’ is for ‘Xièxie’ (谢谢).

Since I lived in Beijing for fourteen years, it seems only fitting (and shamelessly convenient) to share my gratitude in Mandarin. Although participating in this challenge kept me hopping, the benefits were extraordinary.

Heartfelt appreciation to the the A – Z Team.
Founder, Arlee Bird (Tossing it Out) and co-hosts, Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh), Jeremy Hawkins (Hollywood Nuts), Heather M. Gardner (The Waiting is the Hardest Part), Zalka Csenge Virág (The Multicolored Diary), John Holton (The Sound of One Hand Typing) and J Lenni Dorner (Blog of J. Lenni Dorner). Your collective leadership, generosity and support have been invaluable.

Thank you to fellow participants who I met through this Challenge.
I appreciate that you dropped by and introduced yourselves. I have been very impressed by the variety and quality of your blogs. I look forward to reading more! Beth LapinBeyond the Flow, Creation and Compassion, Emily in Ecuador, Expecting Greatness, Facing Cancer with Grace, From Dust Beautiful Things, Hope’s Thoughts, I Just Have to Say,  Jen’s Lexical Creations, Kalpanaawrites, Lonely Canopy, Little Wandering Wren, Lulu -Bys Place, Lynda Grace – An Hour Away, M. K. Waller – Telling the Truth…Mainly, Musings of a Middle-Aged Mom,  Pulp, Paper and Pigment, Poetry Penned in Moon Dust, Romance and Mystery…Writing my Life, Passing Down the Love, Shalzmojo, Spice of Life,  Shop Girl Anonymous, Stories Served Around the Table, The Artist’s Way, The Curry Apple Orchard, The View from the Top of the Ladder, Wolf of WordsWomen’s Legacy Project and Zulu Delta 45.

Ongoing gratitude to the the bloggers that I regularly follow.
Thank you for continuing to drop by during this challenge (although, with daily postings,  I am sure that they were often tempted to run away screaming!) And my sincere admiration to those in this group who have been on double-duty, also blogging daily themselves. Cresting the Hill, Garden of Eden, Janet Smiles, Profound Journey, Sizzling Toward 60 & Beyond and Wagemadness. We’ve almost made it!

Most of all, thank YOU! I remain thrilled that you are reading. Whether you press ‘like’, make a comment, or otherwise let me know that you have been following, I sense that you are here. This connection alone makes everything else worthwhile.

As I have no appropriate photos to go with the above, I will add that ‘X’ also stands for Xenia, Xenogamy, Xeriscape and all things ‘gardening’. My sister-in-law, Sharon, is currently visiting. We spent a wonderful afternoon together at Milner Gardens. I highly recommend it as an amazing place to visit…and so does Sharon!

Thank you

What is your favourite ‘X’ word?

76 Replies to “A to Z Challenge: Day Twenty-Four – “X””

  1. What a great way to deal with “X” Donna – and thanks for remembering me in your list – it has been a doozy of a month hasn’t it? I feel a bit guilty for roping you in, but you have handled it amazingly well – Sue and I have chatted about what a great job you’ve done with all your other commitments – only TWO letters to go – Hooray!!!

    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au
    X for Xcellence in your efforts

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    1. No worries about roping me in, Leanne. I’m still talking to you! Thank you for your kind comment about Sue and you mentioning my efforts. This support is exactly what makes blogging worthwhile when the technology side or daily grind get tough. Greatly appreciated!

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  2. Nice “X” you’ve got here. Of all the letters in the Challenge I think “X” might be my favorite one. It’s tricky, and it’s always fun to see what a blogger does with it. Only two more letters to go…

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    1. Thanks, Ally – The alphabet does have a way of saving the most difficult letters for the end. Having done this Challenge previously, you know what a relief it is to get down to the final two letters. But there is also that Reflection Post. I can totally relate to kids in school who moan, “we’ve finished our assignment and now we have to reflect about it?”.

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      1. Hi Donna,
        I noticed you mentioned the reflection post yesterday as well. What reflection post? Did I miss some info somewhere?

        Oh, and good X, and thanks for including me. I’ve loved doing this series. That doesn’t mean, of course, that I won’t be happy for a bit of a break. It has sure been intense!

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  3. Hi, Karen – On the email from A to Z sent yesterday (W), they included (a fine print) reminder of the reflection.
    “And, by all means, plan on doing the After-Challenge Survey on May 3 and your Reflections post the week of May 7. The survey is your opportunity to tell us what you thought about this year’s Challenge, and the Reflections post gives you the chance to tell your readers how you think it went for you. We’ll have more on both soon, so stay tuned!” Hope this helps.

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      1. Thanks, Donna. That is helpful. One more question if you don’t mind – did you find a commenting plugin yet that gives just the response to the reader’s question, rather than all responses on the post? If so, could you share which it was please? If not, I’ve got Shiraz on the same quest and can let you know what he comes up with. Thanks.

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  4. What a great way to handle the X-word. Thank you so much for including me on your list. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and learning about retirement. Two letters left!

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  5. Where do you press “like” on your blog? 🙂 Well done for almost making it to the end, Donna! When I did the A-Z Challenge two years ago, my X-word was the opposite of Xenophobia. But, I forgot what that was… It meant not being afraid of strangers and different cultures.

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    1. Hi, Liesbet – Was your word “Xenophilia?” That’s a great word!
      Thank you for your kind words, and your steady encouragement all along.
      I don’t have a Like Button for my posts, only for the individual comments. But I am happy that you like my posts! 🙂

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      1. You’re so funny! But, I’m mad at the iPad, because it prevents me from doing both. It always thinks it’s smarter than me (or Mark), and it is often wrong. 🙂

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    1. Hi, Beth – It’s been an incredible challenge, with so many generous bloggers taking the time to read and encourage other bloggers. I have greatly appreciated you stopping by. I look forward to reading more on your site.

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  6. What a great X word (although I’m curious about the exact translation of Xièxie). Funny, I always think about joining the A-Z Challenge before it starts, but I’m a little relieved I didn’t by the end. I do love the connections you’ve made, though, and – since that’s the main reason many of us blog – maybe, just maybe, I’ll do it too next year. Congrats at making it (almost) to the end! Each post you wrote was a joy to read.

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    1. Hi, Janis: As the phrase ‘Xiè xie’ consists of two of the same characters, it literally means, “Thank(s), thank(s).” However, it is translated as “Thank you.” “Xiè xie nǐ”or the politer version “Xiè xie nin” literally translatate to “Thank Thank You” but “Xiè xie” is much more common.
      I would love to see you do the Challenge next year. You are GOOD at this. (Yes, I stole the gardening words from you!) If you do join next year, I will be a daily reader!!

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  7. Great X word, Donna! I’d love to read your post about your visits to Xian. I thought of Xel-Ha park in Mexico but it’s touristy now. My favourite X word is XOXO, or writing the day in cardinal number like XIV.

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    1. Hi, Natalie – “XOXO” would have been a fantastic word to use.
      My brain is good at focusing on the present moment, a little less so on the future, and a lot less so on the past. I loved my time in Beijing. Unless I go for a visit there (like my recent trip to Singapore), I likely will not write about it. I guess that cancels out ‘Memoir Writing’ for me! 🙂

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      1. We enjoyed Xian and apart from the Terracotta Warriors which we found amazing, we also enjoyed the tour of the city. I’m doing mIndful in May that might keep me out of mischief!

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  8. Thanks for mentioning me in your list. I’ll now be able to follow up on the others you listed that I may not have read. We also have been to Xian and found it fascinating. My grandchildren learn Mandarin and say “xie xie” with the best accents!

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  9. Love your “X”! Creative and an authentic part of you with your long time in China. I’ve only been there a few times and could never get the accent… not even to say Xie-Xie! There are some Xian Terra Cotta Warrior figures on tour and I just found out that they are here in town… it’s on my to do list!!

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  10. ‘X’ is for ‘Xièxie’ (谢谢). How do you pronounce that? Shizzy? xlee? I’m going to come back to your post Donna and read the comments later – always so interesting. But now I have to be somewhere at 2.00 – thank you for the mention re: G of E! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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    1. Hi, Susan – That is a good question about the proper pronunciation. Proper pronunciation of Chinese tones are often difficult for Western speakers. The pronunciation is “shye shye.” Xie xie is said in the fourth tone, so your voice must go down when you say it. The shape of your mouth when speaking is important. Smile widely and show both your upper and lower sets of teeth. When pronouncing the second ‘xie’, use a slightly softer voice. Here is a sound clip. Hope it helps (and I haven’t confused anyone more)!

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      1. Hi Donna,
        I was so excited by your news. Now I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I just got Susan’s comment and your reply in my inbox. We don’t yet have an email response that is exclusive to the commenter. Unless it’s because I checked the “notify me of new comments via email box?” If I hadn’t checked that, would I have received just the reply to my comment?

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      2. Hi, Karen – Thank you for the feedback.I love this supportive corner of the blogosphere! My site has been wonky this week (still is) so I currently have disabled many of my plugins and will add them back slowly when my site is less cranky. I am not sure if it is my site or if there is just something currently going around. You may have read Janis’s post about her spending time in ‘Spam Prison’. There seems to be lots of that going around right now. Anyway, Sue is very happy with that plugin. The head of my WordPress support group checked it out and believed it to be quite compatible. It is definitely worth you investigating.

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      3. Thanks, Karen – The head of our WP Support Group also recommended the plugin “Subscribe to Comments Reloaded”. That plugin has not currently been tested with my version of WP, so I chose the one Sue recommended instead. Good luck! Allowing commenters to receive notification of replies to their individual comment really is a terrific feature.

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    1. Hi, Kathy – Thank you for your kind words…and your take on “X”. I greatly appreciate you reading and commenting on any post that you can. Absolutely no expectation to read more than can be enjoyably managed. Looking forward to our fall catch up!

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    1. Thanks, Joanne. ‘X’ was easy for me. The most difficult thing was usually matching the letter of the day to that day’s activity, e.g. “Y” for “Soup and Buns!” Thank you for following. I always love your insights.

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    1. Thanks, Joanne. It would have been a great idea for me to follow people who were doing this challenge first, before jumping in myself. I had already committed to my “write about today’s adventure theme” before reading the A to Z posts of others. As soon as I saw other ways to interpret this Challenge, I needed to bang my head on my desk and ask “Why didn’t I do that?” Ah, hindsight!!

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      1. Standing at the Finish Line, I am happy with my choice to take part this year (although I still wish I had chosen a theme that allowed me to write in advance). Regardless, if I start mentioning the urge to join next year, feel free to smack me! 🙂

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  11. Xie-xie is one of the only Mandarin words I know, although I didn’t know it was spelled that way using the Latin alphabet. I listened to your sound clip about a dozen times – ok, I admit to being a language nerd.

    Jude

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    1. Hi, Jude – Sorry for that horrible sound clip. It was very short, with no repeat and very breathy (which it should not have been). As I was always blogging in a hurry during the Challenge, I didn’t take the time needed to find a better clip. There are many of them on Google and You Tube if you are still interested.

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