2011 – End of Year Reflections and Acknowledgements

Festive Flowers for Friends

Days before the new Millennium under our sparkly Christmas tree, I opened a carefully wrapped present and was greeted with a little note book with beautiful sunflowers on the cover. It was a gift from a thoughtful friend who knew that I loved to write. Perfect! On the eve of 2000, I wrote down my very first entry, listing New Year Resolutions; and there were 10 of them :)!

Today, I leafed through the pages and quickly scanned what have been written down, ticked and crossed, as I have done, at every year end since 2000, an exercise I have kept, more religiously than some of the physical exercises I have listed in my NYR:) In a 12-year period since this routine began, I am happy to report that I have achieved an average success rate of 90%.

As I was ticking and crossing the NYR of 2011, a few days before I would normally get to that task, I was overwhelmed by a sense of achievement. Not only have I managed to reach the goals I set myself when the year began, I have exceeded and excelled in several aspects. The feeling that came with my delight is deep, heart-felt gratitude. Like my NYR, I shall make a list of thanks now, not in a particular order but all an essential part of my life during a memorable year.

1) I am extremely grateful to authors who have graced my website and shared wonderful snippets of their life, their writing, their insights and stories.

Encounter with Exciting, Exotic, Extremely Erotic Eden Baylee

Meeting Magical “School of the Ages” Series Creator Matt Posner

Meeting Mysterious, Melancholy, Multi-Published James Thompson

With Zee Gorman, a Dreamy, Driven Fantasy Writer

Meeting Enchanting Elusive Eri Nelson

A Date with Dashing Dare-devil Dannie Hill

Meeting Maverick Mystery Writer Mira Kolar-Brown

Chatting to Compassionate, Energetic and Chinese-speaking Gordon Mathieson

Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars

If for any reason you have not read any of their fabulous interviews, go now and you’d be thrilled to learn more about each of them, some of the most gifted human beings I have the privilege to know and learn from.

2) I love my Facebook friends, no doubt some more than others :) You’ve been such a important part of my virtual life, and I’ll be damned if I don’t feel gratitude towards its creator Mark Zuckerberg. I’m pleased to say that some of you are real life friends and we have actually shared fun moments and quality time together. 437 is a long list, but I’d like to say a Big Thank-You to: Charlotte Chen, Anh Tran, Adil Osman, Kim Burns, Jiayan Mi, Amberr Meadows, Andy Wood, Carol Arnall, Donna Carrick, Lisa Stull, Milin Cai and Millie Redding (Forgive me if I have not ‘named and shamed’ you here). Kevin Bin Yuan deserves a special mention for his kind assistance in building my author platform.

Time to Sing Praises & Show Gratitude

3) Who can forget Twitter, one of the greatest social media inventions?! Again there are far too many tweeps to be included here as my faithful followers stand at 1,860 at this moment, which has been on a daily increase ever since I signed up in March 2011. I sincerely credit Twitter for some of the most life-affirming introductions, however, there are too many for me to list here and you know who you are :)

 

The Nativity

4) As a book lover, GoodReads has a special place in my heart. Of all the 281 friends I have on the site, it’s my pleasure to have met Vered Ehsani – she made my acquaintance after she read The Same Moon and wrote a review for it. The next thing I learnt was that she was coming to Birmingham,UK on business, and we ended up having a fabulous meal at our favourite Sichuan restaurant in town. It was also through the GR site where I came across Katy Sozaeva, who read and reviewed my books, and spent weeks editing out my errors and typos. Deb Hanrahan helped me out when I was sweating over the demanding technical issue of formatting for Amazon and Smashwords. GoodReads has been a good place to get fans and friends alike, among them Josephine Litonjua, who prefers to be called Jho, a supportive friend from Isshin Dream Publishing based in the Philippines. I have 27 fans on GoodReads, and I appreciate each one of you.

Yongqun's Beautiful Painting as a Book Cover

5) My long-term friend, artist Yongqun Guo deserves a massive Thank-You, for her generosity and support. Not only can we enjoy appreciating her beautiful paintings at home, but also I could share my love of her artistry with the rest of the world by using her original paintings as my book covers.

6) I wish to thank my son Tao, for being independent and making no demands whatsoever on me as a Mother, so I can concentrate on my other roles in life.

7) I am truly grateful to everyone who has bought my books and spends their precious time following the journey of Pearl and other characters I have created. Some of you I’ll never meet in real life, but you have become part of my life as you have got to know me through my writing.

Christmas Celebration in the Kirk Family

8) Last but not least, I reserve my utmost gratitude to my husband and loyal best friend John. Through life’s ups and downs, he stands by me and supports me in everything I do, without reservation while keeping my feet firmly on the ground, no matter how far and wild my dreams and imagination have taken me. He’s taught me so much and most of all, what is important in our lives and to never lose sight of that.

Thank you, John, for your love, wisdom, devotion and continued support!

Thank you, my friends, for your trust in me and for simply being my friends.

I am looking forward to 2012, and I hope that all of you will remain in my life and enrich it in many different ways. I wish you all a Marvellous Christmas full of magic and wonders, and an amazing New Year, with good health, abundance of happiness and prosperity!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All!

About Junying Kirk

I came to Britain from China in 1988. I have worked as an academic, administrator, researcher, teacher, professional interpreter/translator and cultural consultant. Currently working as an International Partnerships Manager in a large UK university, I enjoy reading, writing, sampling a variety of yummy foods, travelling the world and blogging about my adventures :). My 'Journey to the West' trilogy - 'The Same Moon', 'Trials of Life' and 'Land of Hope' are available on Amazon (both on Kindle and paperbacks), Smashwords and iBook. I live in Birmingham, UK with my husband.
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18 Responses to 2011 – End of Year Reflections and Acknowledgements

  1. Junying, I just love your sincere and expressive writing with unconditional understanding and love for those you know,; appreciate but never met in the flesh. You are such an individual spirit who thinks of others before herself. You are a true testimony that we are and always will be “connected”—– with or without techno-social media. But now that we have such a medium, we will know others like never before.
    Thanks for what you do, and may the new year bring you peace, more love and what you need to fulfill your own dreams!

    • Junying says:

      Gordon, that is very sweet and kind of you! Yes, I agree that we’ll always be ‘connected’ though our mutual love of writing, this wonderful life itself and all that splendid things associated with it.

      Thank you for your good wishes, and I wish you and your family all the best in 2012!

  2. Dannie Hill says:

    Junying. You are a very special person and I am thankful to have met you. You truly have made my life brighter! Thank you.

  3. Eri Nelson says:

    Junying,

    There is no greater vision than the one a writer is able to give life to within their very own words. I am deeply honored to play such a small part in your artistically bright life!!

    Many blessings to you and yours,
    Eri Nelson

    • Junying says:

      Eri, it’s such a blessing to have met you and I admire what you do both as an author and a staunch supporter to fellow authors.

      May 2012 bring us more friends and an even bigger network :)

  4. Donna Carrick says:

    It’s my sincere pleasure to be among your friends, Junying. I wish you peace, joy and continued success in the new year!
    Donna Carrick

    • Junying says:

      Thank you, Donna! May your creative juice keep flowing. I look forward to reading more of your wonderful work in the New Year!

      Enjoy your festivities with your family and loved ones!

  5. eden baylee says:

    Junying, you’re a bright shining star among authors and more importantly, among women. Thank you for your support and constant creative spirit.
    Best to you, John and your family for Christmas and 2012 !
    xoxoxo
    eden

    • Junying says:

      Eden, your words touch me. I’m very proud to call you my friend and you’ll always have my admiration and support! I know I can count on you too!

      Best of luck with your forthcoming book, and I look forward to sharing many years of beautiful friendship with you :)

  6. Junying, thank you for your lovely sentiments. On behalf of the authors you’ve interviewed over the past year, it’s been a pleasure working with you.
    Best, James

    • Junying says:

      Jim, thanks for leaving appreciative comments here, and it was truly a privilege to have met you through GR, to have the chance to read your wonderful book and to have chats on a number of issues – I admire your mind and your insights on culture, languages etc, and I’d love to rub off some writing talents from you too :) I also hope that one day that we’ll share a drink in person, either in Finland, England, or China :)

      Happy writing and keeping your fans happy :)

  7. Deb Hanrahan says:

    Junying, Congrats on a successful year. Hears to a great 2012!
    Have a great holiday season!!!

  8. Junying soon I’ll be buying your books. I think I should’ve bought them earlier on.

    You are lucky that you can keep your New Year’s resolution but can you believe I hardly remember mines one week after I have made them.

    Keep up the good work and wish you all the best for your future projects and the coming New Year resolutions.

    Reagds

    Khadim

    • Junying says:

      Khadim,

      Really appreciate you visiting my blog and leaving lovely comments here. I thank you for your good wishes and encouragement!

      Yes, I can understand that sometimes we tell ourselves that this is what we’re going to do and then we forget all about it – that was why I actually wrote my NYR down in the beginning and ticked them at the end. I try to re-assess my golas at the end of each year so the NYR for the following year become more realistic and manageable :)

      I hope you enjoy reading my books :)

  9. Vanessa Wu says:

    Have a great new year, Junying! Wishing you lots of delicious and spicy dishes and I’m looking forward to seeing the mouth-watering photos on your blog!

    Vanessa

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