A Review of the Blog – 2018 – Part 1

100 Word Anime is nearing the end of its third year and now it very much feels like this blog is an inseparable part of me. I honestly can’t imagine what I would do without it. As 2018 draws to a close and 2019 is just around the corner I’m taking a moment to take stock of the blog and think about next year.

In part one, I’m looking just at stats for the year and part two I’m going to look at posts and content. In terms of goals for 2019 I have two. Continue to have fun and continue to try to make the blog something that I can do more full time. I am happy to say that 2018 has allowed me to make the blog break even and I’ve been able to put some money into a few things to try to improve the blog in the future, but I’m definitely not at a stage where I can consider leaving work for my blog (not even close). But I do greatly appreciate those who have supported the blog in some way in 2018, whether that was a donation, ko-fi, or those who continue to support the blog in an ongoing manner on patreon. It has all helped enormously.

Though, perhaps the best thing about 2018 is that people in my life started taking this endeavour as something I was serious about. As I built up a following and people who supported the blog online, people in the real world have seen how much effort and time I am putting into it and I’m getting a lot more support in the real world. So 2018 has been a really good year for me in a lot of ways despite a bunch of other issues.

Alright, onto the stats for the year. These were taken on the morning of the 31st so don’t include the final day of the year.

2018 blog stats

Right so in 2018 I apparently posted 1,222 times. That seems crazy to me but I’m not going back and counting. My average comments per post hasn’t really gone up and that’s probably because while features and top 5’s generate a lot of comments normally, episode reviews don’t after the first one or two of the season. And my word average per post continues to go up this year rising to 637 making the whole 100 Word Anime title really a lie at this point, but you know, 100 x 6 is kind of fine too.

2018 posting activity

I continued to post every day even when I took a bit of a break in July I still scheduled a post every day. At this point it would feel weird to not post every day given I’ve done it consistently for nearly three years. Most days I post three times a day, though there are certainly times when more posts go out. Still, I’m not looking to increase the number of posts next year. I’m very much just wanting to keep my three posts a day and work on improving the content rather than increasing it.

2018 Views

Lastly, I am super excited to announce that December saw me just scrape over the 10,000 views in a month target for the second time in 2018. That was really fantastic to see. I’m tentatively setting a goal of 12,000 views in a month for 2019 as I think that would be reasonable growth based on past trends but we’ll see how things go. I didn’t really think I’d hit the 10,000 and I was thrilled in August when I realised how close I was getting and then finally tipped over.

That’s the end of part one but later part two will come out looking at some of the top posts for the year. If you actually have plans for New Years Eve and won’t be reading my blog later today, have a great night and I hope that 2019 brings you happiness.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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Friday’s Feature: Collaborating With The Amazing Irina On The Also Amazing Natsume Yuujinchou

As you may have noticed this last week, there have been a lot of Natsume Yuujinchou posts coming out as Irina and I finally published our collaboration series which ended up being a battle royale between the supporting cast members from Natsume. As I mentioned in the introduction to the series, I don’t think either Irina or I knew what we were in for when we decided that was a good idea. We ended up breaking our own hearts so many times while writing it and then of course we couldn’t agree on a winner anyway (mostly because neither one of us really wanted the other character to lose anyway).

Natsume - Characters

However, this post isn’t really about Natsume, given you’ve either read the posts or you are certain to click the links below and check them out because it was great fun writing and we’d love for you to vote on your favourite character so we can announce a winner next week. This post is about the collaboration process itself.


Links to Natsume Posts:


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First and foremost, I have to thank Irina for being an amazing collaboration partner. Admittedly I don’t have a lot of experience with successful collaborations. I’ve had a few fall through, but working with Irina has been fantastic both this time and our previous efforts when we debated the merits (or lack of them) of Black Butler Season 2. The only other collaboration I’ve been working on consistently is with Weekend Otaku and our 200 Word Anime series which is quite different because it is an episode review once a week rather than an overall project. That said, I also have to give a huge thank-you to Weekend Otaku for being a fantastic collaboration partner through both the Autumn 2017 season and the Winter 2018 season and hopefully we can work together again in the future.

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Collaboration takes many different forms and depending on who you are working with, your intent, scope of the project, and a whole bunch of other issues, how you approach a collaboration will change. So there’s no handbook for making sure a collaboration is successful. Yet there’s some pretty surefire ways to not end up with a successful collaboration. I mentioned I’ve had some unsuccessful collaboration experiences and I’m pretty sure I’m the reason in most of those instances but here are some of the things that go a little bit wrong and why you need to have patience, perseverance, and some sort of goal if you are actually going to get a collaboration off the ground.

What can go wrong?

Natsume - Matoba6

01. Slow response to emails or DM’s on Twitter. As much as I am online in the morning and evening everyday, that is morning and evening Australian time. There’s only a very small window in the morning before I go to work where people in America seem to actually be active online, which means I can get a message sent to me in the morning and it will be 12 or so hours later before I can respond, at which point the person who sent it is probably either at work or asleep depending on their timezone and by the time they respond I’m back at work or whatever. It means it can take days to settle a simple question if there are multiple clarifications to be made and let’s be honest, most people don’t have the patience for it.

And if things are this difficult just to agree on a topic or conditions or whatever it is you are trying to settle then you start thinking how hard it will be to work long term with a person and generally speaking it ends up being easier to walk away. There’s also instances where a DM hasn’t actually come up with a notification so I wasn’t even aware it existed so obviously haven’t read it.

Fortunately, Irina has incredible patience and despite the 80+ emails this last collaboration post took from request to collaborate on a Natsume themed project to finalising the post schedule, we’ve managed to keep the project moving through January and February and were finally ready to post.

02. Also on the time thing, I regularly get asked if I’d like to be a part of a podcast or whatever but unfortunately these usually happen when I am either asleep or at work. And while if I was on holidays I could just pull an all nighter or stay home and participate, during my usual schedule, it is just not possible so I have to thank the person for their offer but politely decline. I would actually love to be involved in this sort of thing at some point, but that will probably be if I ever make blogging a full time thing and then I will have time to do this.

03. The main reason a collaboration doesn’t happen though seems to be a lack of a vision for what to do. It is easy enough to send someone a message asking if they’d like to collaborate on something but the question then becomes what. Is it a one off post? Is it a series? What’s the topic and the angle? What do you want to do with it? Where will the final project be posted? What will each person contribute? There’s so many details and while hitting someone with a full agenda before they’ve even agreed to participate isn’t good, having a basic idea of what you want or some options can really help the project get off the ground.

When I approached Irina about this most recent project I asked her if she wanted to collaborate on a Natsume themed project for February or March and suggested I wanted to look at the supporting cast of Natsume. It wasn’t a concrete plan but it opened a discussion about what the project could be about. And I didn’t just randomly ask Irina about Natsume. Last year, Irina watched and reviewed all six seasons of Natsume on their blog, so I knew she was a fan of the show and had fairly current knowledge of it and I kind of thought she’d want to be involved in the project (which fortunately she was).

We bounced a few ideas back and forth and then decided on the battle royale style tournament between eight of the support cast and then we were finally ready to actually start writing some stuff on the project.

Why is it worth it?

natsume5

Do you know that feeling you have when you meet someone and you realise they like your favourite show and you get lost for hours discussing it? Imagine that feeling over and over again as you work with someone equally passionate about the topic who wants to create something and share something about that show you love. It makes you realise everything you love about the show and everything that might be better but it is okay because you love it anyway. It is a really great feeling.

And then there is the reward of finishing the project and reading through all those words and realising that you did that together. You built an idea from a random email asking if there was any interest in a collaboration into a six post battle featuring some of the best characters you’ve ever met (okay, that’s very specifically this project that did that – but you get the idea). You’ve gained a new perspective, you’ve attempted to up your writing game because you don’t want to let the other person down, you’ve pushed through some tough times in real life because someone else was waiting for your part to be finished so why it isn’t pressure it is a nice encouraging push to keep working on it as best you can, and ultimately you’ve had a really good time.

Ultimately, whether the project is successful or not, and whether you end up with a finished post, a series of posts, or just a lot of emails sent back and forth, working with another blogger is an awesome experience and one you can definitely gain from.

Final Thoughts?

NatsumeS6E8

I know I will definitely look forward to my next chance to work with Irina. I’m really hoping that in a future season Weekend Otaku and I collaborate again. I’ve been approached about a similar collaboration project (to 200 Word Anime) for the Spring 2018 season already and I’m really excited about that collaboration (and nervous, but that’s okay, it will be amazing).

For people looking to collaborate but who are a bit nervous about approaching someone, I think you just need to give it a go. That said, don’t just approach someone randomly. If you are approaching them for a collaboration, you should have built up some sort of relationship with them by following their blog, commenting, and getting involved in the conversation so they have a bit of an idea of who you are before you hit them with a request. Also, don’t take rejection the wrong way. I turn requests down mostly because I can’t meet my commitment to the request and I would rather say no outright than agree to a project and then fail spectacularly to deliver. And I’m sure a lot of other bloggers feel the same way. If they don’t have time, they won’t say yes when they really mean no.

Another big thank-you to Irina and Weekend Otaku.

And now, I’d love to know your thoughts on collaborations and what works and what doesn’t work in your experience?


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Reflections and Some Announcements

Well, the Summer 2017 season has ended and we are now heading straight into the Autumn season. Looking forward to all the new anime to sample over the next couple of weeks before settling on a watch list. It has been awhile since I’ve done an end of month reflection so I thought now was a good time and I also have a few announcements about stuff that is coming up in the future (and yes, stuff is a very vague term). Even if you skip the reflections part, check out the announcements.

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Reflections:

Back in May I had my one year blog anniversary and set myself some goals for the next 12 months. There’s still some time to go but those goals were:

  1. Actually post some sort of video content that isn’t dribble on the blog (hopefully I can achieve this goal though this is the one I am most iffy about).
  2. I’d like to hit 10,000 views in a single month. I think that is a reasonable growth expectation in the next 12 months.
  3. Continue to post daily.
  4. Find more ways to engage the anime community in conversation and to interact with my followers (working on this though suggestions are welcome).
  5. Most important – continue to have a lot of fun with anime and with the blog.

So how am I going?

01. Video content: I’m actually nearly done on the first attempt at a video blog. I’ve got a few more edits and things to play with and I’ve already made a list about two pages long of things I would not do next time and things that I will fix for the next video but I am not willing to redo that section of the video again at this point. Once it is finalised, I am going to make it available to my patrons for feedback and depending on where that goes (I suspect it may take me back to the drawing board) eventually I may have something I can post on my blog. Still, this has been a fairly fun project and one I’ve learned a lot from (mostly that I am time poor at the moment and need to be aware of committing myself to too many projects as full time work and blogging multiple posts everyday as well as actually watching anime is really about as much as I can handle.

02. 10,000 view in a single month… Hm, no.

StatsSep.JPG

May, the anniversary month, was my biggest month and since then I kind of plateued in terms of views with September being quite weak (for a number of reasons). That said, the number of visitors my blog has received has continued to grow even if number of views hasn’t.

Visitors

So while that 10,000 views in a month hasn’t happened yet and may not, I’m really happy with the growth my blog has had since I started it in May 2016 and I’m really happy with the community of anime fans and bloggers that I get to interact with every week. All and all, I’m not too concerned with this goal at this point.

03. Continue to post daily. Yes!

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I took the capture a few days before September ended, but essentially I’ve been consistent on three posts a day. The anniversary week in May had a bunch of extra posts for the anniversary, and some weeks I had an extra review or two to sneak in, but mostly I’m pretty consistent in my scheduling at this point. I’m hoping to continue with this, though as I look at other types of content and projects, I may need to cut down from three a day just to give me some more time to spend on those projects. We’ll see what the future brings on that.

04. Find new ways to engage the anime community. Kind of?

I started up a Facebook page and ran a small competition which was kind of fun and now I’m very slowly finding various anime bloggers who have Facebook pages that I can follow and get updates that way. I’m not very Facebook savvy so this is another slow project. However, there is something happening with my seasonal reviews this month so keep reading to find out what’s up with that. Obviously though, this one I’m still going to keep working on.

05. Continue to have fun. Definitely. I absolutely love running this blog and all the people I have met because of it. I want to keep doing what I’m doing and trying new things and meeting new people and I want to watch and talk about a lot of anime.

So, we’ll see where things are sitting with each of these goals in a few months and then the next anniversary will be rolling around. I know, it is over half a year away but time has been flying and I do like to plan ahead.

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Announcements:

01. WeekendOtaku and I have been talking on Twitter and have decided to collaborate on a project we very imaginatively titled 200 Word Anime for the Autumn season. Essentially we’ve chosen two shows that’s we’ll both review with one to be posted here on 100 Word Anime and one to be posted on Weekend’s blog. Hence, 200 word anime because it will be two of us writing short reviews on the episode. While we’ve chosen the shows, we’re both still just waiting to check that we actually do have access to them and then we’ll finalize the choice. Still, I’m really looking forward to this project and working with Weekend on it. Hopefully you will all check out the posts when they come out.

02. I kind of already announced this above, but I have been in very slow steps working on developing a video post. Now, previously my video editing experience was making an incredibly terrible AMV for a friend’s birthday that mostly consisted of just playing a song over cut anime scenes. So, thanks to the entire world for making several million YouTube videos on how to use a video editor and all the tutorials with handy screen captures and the like. That said, I’m thinking my main communication form is going to remain text for a long time to come given I’m far more comfortable typing than video editing. Still, some different content would be lovely in the future so this is a first step and hopefully will be available to patrons by the end of the week (maybe two weeks, we’ll see). Of course I still have the nightmare of figuring out how to upload and share said content.

One thing that did become a bit clearer though, was that I could probably do some audio blogs fairly easily now that I’ve kind of worked out how to edit audio to a ‘reasonable’ quality. Reasonable is definitely a subjective term but it isn’t a horrendous mass of hisses anymore so there’s been some improvement there. I’ll continue to work on this side of things so hopefully 2018 will see a little bit of variety in my posting from time to time.

03. And this one is the tease announcement. January 2018. Watch this space.  See, I said I liked to plan ahead.

Anyway, I’d like to offer one huge thank-you to everyone who has come along with me on this journey, whether you have been here from the start in May 2016 or whether you have just come on board. Thanks so much for your support and making me a part of your community.


Thanks for reading.

If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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Reflections on March

March has been a crazy, crazy month with both some very good things happening and some things I’d rather forget. As always, I’m going to look back on the month that was before thinking about what’s coming in April.

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Firstly, the highlights for March which included both my 1000th post and my 1000th follower. I was definitely very excited hitting both of those land marks this month and they really helped me keep things together on the blog even when the real world decided to try to knock me down (a lot).

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Secondly, quite a few people have offered to help me out with my 1 year blog anniversary which comes up on May 1st. If you are still interested in being a part of that check out my post and the comments on the 1000th follower post and a reminder that if you are participating please try to send me your write up by April 22 to give me time to put the posts together. I know we’re all busy, but that’s why I’ve tried to give people plenty of notice and I am really happy that people are wanting to be involved.

On the blog anniversary, my plans at this stage include featuring various followers over the course of the week and the great work they do, because the ani-blogging community on WordPress is awesome and there are so many great bloggers who have supported me as I’ve attempted to figure out what I’m doing. I’m also going to post some reflections about what I’ve learned during my first year of blogging during that week and I’m also looking back at some of my earlier posts and why I probably need to rewrite them. So May is going to start out really fun because May last year when I set up the blog I kind of thought it was a fun exercise and all but nothing much would come of it. I honestly did not expect to find so many people to talk to and I certainly never expected to reach 1000 followers.

Other than the upcoming blog anniversary, I don’t really have a lot of plans at this stage. Obviously we’re about to hit the Spring anime season and I am really keen to see some of the new shows (and to see which ones I can actually watch).

Spring 2017.jpg

I’m also writing up my reviews on the full series that I’ve just finished in Winter. Though from the number of shows I dropped, I don’t have that many shows to review in full this time.

I’m continuing my flow watch of Haikyuu and Hunter x Hunter. I’ve really enjoyed these and I’m glad I finally took the plunge and gave them a go. I have just realised I’ll have to switch from AnimeLab to Crunchyroll when I get to the end of season 2 of Haikyuu because the short 3rd season isn’t currently on AnimeLab. The reason I’m sad about that is AnimeLab definitely streams better when my internet is dropping out than Crunchyroll.

As for posts in March, tragically, my short first impressions of OneRoom was among my most viewed. admittedly, the 1000 posts and followers were actually the most viewed this month, but OneRoom was pretty close. I did get a lot of positive feedback about my series of features this month on conflict  which has made me start thinking about possible other themes for features in later months. I’m not going to rush into another series so April will just be some fairly random topics or things that catch my interest and with the anniversary in May I’m not really looking for anything else there, but maybe June. I’ll see if I think of something I want to write about over a series of weeks. No point otherwise.

Anyway, as always, I want to thank everyone who has been coming along on this journey with me over the last 11 months (even if you’ve only recently joined). It’s continued to be a very positive and fun experience blogging about anime (and all the other stuff that’s started to creep in recently).


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.

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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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Reflections on February

There is no doubt that February was a great month for my blog. The number of visitors to the blog increased (though views went down a bit). I also gained some new followers, found some new blogs to read, and had a great time writing posts.

The real world wasn’t so kind in February and between work and some health issues (nothing serious, just annoying) as well as life in general I’ve really had my work cut out for me finding time to look at ways to build on my blog. My routine for my three posts a day is fine, and I’m not struggling with that as it is just kind of what I do, but I really do want to look at a wider range of content.

Off and on during the month I’ve been playing with audio and video but as I just haven’t had enough time to consistently work on this nothing much is actually being created and to be honest the quality stinks so probably nothing along these lines coming out any time soon. That said, there are lots of ideas I’m kicking around at the moment and eventually I’ll produce something along these lines.

On that note, I’ve been really thinking about my patreon site and what I can offer there to try to encourage more supporters and to actually make it worth their while. I still don’t know what the long term answer is at this point but in the short term I’ve created a small anime challenge for March.

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It’s a simple thing but if anyone wants to try it they are welcome to. However, given this isn’t a part of my normal blog schedule I am going to be posting my 7 responses on my patreon site for patrons only between Sunday 5/3 and Saturday 11/3.

Not sure about the idea yet and whether it is worthwhile repeating a similar thing next month or not but I’ll see how it goes this month and certainly listen to any comments followers of my blog have or patrons reading the posts. Then I’ll think about what I can do in April.

As to the blog itself my features did quite well this month with the two Valentine specials getting quite a lot of views. On Romance in Anime and On Bad Romance in Anime both got quite a few comments and it was great to really engage with readers. And of course, the Yuri On Ice review came out on Valentine’s Day though I think with the OWLS tour going on during February and the thousand other Yuri posts, people might finally be hitting their saturation point for Yuri.

That said, I am only a little bit out from my one year anniversary on my blog (by a little bit out I mean 2 months given the anniversary is May 1). I’d like to do something to mark the occasion and I’m kind of wanting to work with my followers on this a bit. Basically if you follow my blog and you’d like to participate (by participate I mean write approximately 100 words about anime, why you like it in general or why you follow my blog) let me know through my contact. I know it is 2 months away, but life happens fast and it is always good to have some advance notice of things.

As always, I’d like to thank my followers and particularly my readers who regularly take the time to comment.If you ever have any suggestions or ideas for the blog please let me know. March is going to be another great month so let’s get into it.


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If you like this site and you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.

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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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Reflections on January 2017

I did say I would stop celebrating each month the blog was kept alive but I do like taking the first of the month (given my first post just happened to be a first of the month) to reflect on what has happened.

Probably the biggest thing that happened in January was I made the decision that I want to invest more time (in the long run) in this blog and be able to expand my content and so for that purpose I’ve joined patreon (and not just to be obnoxious with self-promotion). Mostly I’m looking to be able to have more time that can be devoted to blogging so that I can develop a wider range of content for my blog and continue to become more engaged with the aniblogging community. This is definitely an aspirational kind of goal but when I started thinking about what I wanted from 100 Word Anime and how to get there, this seemed like an important first step. I do want to thank everyone who promoted the fact that I joined patreon on Twitter and have offered words of encouragement as I want to thank the patrons I gained in January. These may be small steps but they have meant a lot to me.

Okay, outside of that what’s happened in January?

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Well, I’ve managed to stay on schedule for posting. Since I dropped from 4 posts a day back in June to 3, I’ve been a lot more consistent. While I’d love to increase the range of content and maybe go back to 4 posts a day, realistically I can’t at the moment with work and life but long term we’ll see what happens.

I passed the 800 follower mark for WordPress follower which was kind of exciting (by kind of exciting read I did a little dance and that kind of physical exertion is saved for very rare occasions).  What I want to work on more than the number of followers though is the engagement of people with this blog because there’s probably around 100 – 200 followers who actually regularly interact with me and respond to my posts throughout the week (and you are all awesome and I love the sense of community that I’ve found on WordPress). So while the 800 number looks nice, and it does look nice, I’m thinking there is still a lot of work to do here. That said, I wouldn’t object to reaching a target of 1000 followers by Easter. That would be kind of cool.

For some reason January 21 was my best day ever for traffic with 262 views. Why that day? I really have no idea and I’ve gone over it, looked at the posts and comments but I can’t see anything significantly different about that day, but it was a good day and it has given me a new target to chase.

My best post ever in terms of views is still actually Yuri On Ice episode 1. Closely followed by episode 7 and 10. I wonder what happened in those episodes that got people clicking? (Smiles at the memory of episodes 7 and 10.)

But my best post in January was the best and worst of 2016 (in my opinion).

Thanks to all my readers and happy anime watching throughout February.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.

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Thanks,

Karandi James.

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Eight Months and Welcome to the New Year

First up, congratulations we made it to 2017. Hopefully everyone had a great night welcoming the new year, made their resolutions and at least made it until sunrise before breaking them.

Seriously though, later today (18:00 WordPress time whatever that actually is) my final list on best and worst anime from 2016 will be posted and included in that post is the result of the reader poll I did during December. I can honestly say I was surprised by some of the votes and totally not surprised by others but it is the reader’s choice on that one.

So how did December go?

Not too bad. I’ve now made it eight months and consistently posted everyday (usually three posts) and I have a reasonable routine for reading blogs at this point. Mostly I’m just having a lot of fun writing about anime and talking with others.

Other than my 1 year anniversary I am going to stop counting months now, but I will do a reflections post on the first of each month just to look back at how things are going.

Hopefully, some of you will be awake and check out my post later on the best and worst of 2016 and otherwise I hope everyone has a very interesting new year and let’s hope for some quality anime (and peace on Earth and stuff). Or, why not wish for that shoulder dragon and an endless supply of chocolate. Okay, realistic New Year wish… Find a way to make someone smile everyday.