Reflections of What Was (2018) And the Hope for What Will Be (2019)

I am writing this on New Year’s Eve, 2018 (yes, I am a procrastinating writer... but I have a really good excuse this time!). For the first time in my professional life I’ve had the past week off from the day job and I’ve found myself reflecting over the past year more than I usually do.

Typically, this is a season of preparation for me. My day job requires that I plan out the whole next year before tonight. I not only tie up loose ends for the year, but I also have to make sure that others around me are prepared for the coming year as well. Since, by luck of too much work and not enough time off taken, I am not at the day job, that attention to planning and strategy that is usually reserved for the office has been transferred to my personal life.

Personally speaking, 2018 has had many highs and many lows. The best word to describe it has been chaotic. Not in a bad way or even a particularly good way, just lots of upheavals in all of the different spheres of my life. This has been a year of growth and maturing and, as we all know, those things are never easy.

For the writing and publishing business, it’s been a good year. We are steadily increasing our sales. We are getting more into the book venues and events than ever before. Thank you to everyone that came out and supported us at many of the events we do! It is very much appreciated.

Our books are in the Scottsdale public library- something we’ve all dreamed about since we began this journey of ours. (All three of us are library fiends. To have our books offered in a library is a huge achievement for us.) I finished my grandfather’s story after eight long years of gathering the information and then finally committing it all to paper.

Slowly, we are growing and gaining more and more experience. It gives me much hope for the years to come. While we are celebrating these victories, there’s still a lot for us to learn and to improve on. Starting with tomorrow. New Year’s Day, 2019. This is going to be a game changing year for us. It won’t be easy, but I am confident we will be celebrating even more victories.

There’s a whole laundry list of things happening this upcoming year for Five Smiling Fish, but the most important announcements I have is that we have two new books scheduled to come out in 2019:

1.       Azra’s Illustrated Guide to (Bad) Parenting- yes, the blog series he was desperate for me to write will now become a guide book featuring the incredible artwork of Kylara Griffis. Anticipated release date, Spring/ Summer 2019

2.       The much anticipated beginning of the Fable series by Megan E. Vaughn. Release date: Fall/Winter 2019.

Then there are the blogs. Last year I had a couple of successful blog runs and some not so successful. Azra won’t let me not write his blogs, so he’s staying. The Writers Helping Writers series will expand into more publishing topics and some helpful tips. I am also going to add in a new blog series about an upcoming Dungeon’s and Dragon’s campaign I am starting (my husband is so freaking happy about it... we shall see). As always, if you have questions for Azra or if you have a more pointed question on writing and publishing, please drop us a line and I’ll work it in.

Of course no year would be complete without actual writing goals. I hope to complete two first drafts this upcoming year: the third book in the Angel’s Prophecy series, Age of the Daughter and a stand-alone novel that right now I’m calling The Vengeance of Skuld. It’s ambitious, but, honestly, not being ambitious is not an option anymore.

We are very much looking forward to these and the other things we have planned for 2019. We hope that you will be with us on this great adventure. Once again, thank you so much for all of your love and support for us Indie Authors. We would not be able to do this without all of you.


Happiest of New Years to you and yours.

 Kira & Five Smiling Fish

It’s a New Year. Why Are We Making the Same Resolutions?

First, Happy New Year! I hope your hangover is slight and you did not drunk text anyone you shouldn’t have.

Now, you’ve probably already made your resolution and it’s probably along the lines of “I will lose weight/ get healthy” or “I will save more money” or “I won’t drink ever again”.

It’s the same list of self “improvements” as last year. It’s the same old promises we break year after year. By February, all that we’d promised ourselves will be out the window.

I’m usually in the same boat. Every year, I take a good, hard look at myself and point that magnifying glass right at my faults. I’m too heavy, I’m not organized enough, I’m broke, I am going nowhere in my life. I’m nowhere near as successful at life as others my age.

That’s why I think most New Year’s Resolutions fail. They are grounded in negativity and rooted in comparison with others. They are all focused on things that we are lacking or things that we are not up to par with. They are also incredibly selfish. All of those resolutions I listed off have more to do with you and your happiness as an individual than your community, your family, or your world.

So why not change this? Why not tackle the concept of New Year’s Resolution with something completely different? Instead of putting the focus on something you lack, or something you aren’t currently, or even based on yourself, why not do something that will improve the lives of those around you, like your family, or your community? New Year’s Resolution: stop being selfish and spread kindness everywhere you go.

Instead of blowing money on a gym membership that you will only use for the month of January, why not use that money to invest in your community? If you need to get out and do something instead of sit on the couch, volunteer your time with people less advantaged as you. Help your neighbors with their yardwork. Read to kids at your local library. Donate blood. Deliver handmade cards to Veteran’s Hospitals. Teach people about a favorite hobby. Learn something new from someone every day.

The world is full of so many people thinking only about themselves and what they want/need. Be different. Be someone who gives rather than takes. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Try something new this New Year. Make the commitment to think about how you can better the world around you and do it.  And hey, if this kindness/ thinking of others thing doesn’t work out, there’s always next January.

Happy New Year!