Blogging · Book Reviews · Books

Blogger Recognition Award

I’ve been nominated by the lovely Lee Ann of Cabbage Blossom Review for the Blogger Recognition Award. (Thank you, Lee Ann! I am very excited to discover your blog and find out that you are also an animal lover.) The award is to recognize other bloggers for the hard work they put into maintaining their blogs and to be supportive of each other’s creative efforts.


Once you are nominated, if you wish to accept your nomination, you must follow these rules:

  • Generate a post about the award.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a brief story about how your blog began.
  • Provide two pieces of advice to newbie bloggers.
  • Select 15 blogs to nominate.
  • Comment on each nominee’s blog and provide a link to the post that you created about the award.

About Once Upon a Spine

I started this blog last year while I was in the midst of a divorce. After getting separated, changing jobs, moving into my own apartment, and making various other changes to my life I felt like all of creativity had gone out the window. Progress on the book I had been working on came to a halt and I had a really hard time getting back my writing flow. I had pretty much stopped reading for a while at that point, as well. I started this blog as a way to motivate myself to get back into the habit of writing and to encourage myself to read more. I’m so glad I did, because my obsession with all things books came  back pretty quickly. Plus, I’ve been able to connect with so many other like-minded people, which is super awesome.

Advice for Newbies

  1. Don’t compare yourselves to other bloggers. I’ve read so many posts from other people saying that they don’t know if they should blog anymore because they don’t have many followers, or saying they don’t feel like their blogs are good enough, or apologizing for not getting to post every single day. Don’t do this. Trust me, I know it’s easier said than done, especially when you’re starting out. Doing this will only cause stress and take all the pleasure away from blogging. Try to remember why you started blogging in the first place. Was it because you just wanted to talk about books with other people? Was it because you liked sharing your book reviews? Was it just for the enjoyment of writing? Don’t let yourself get so wrapped up in followers and post counts. Do it for you.
  2. Show your real self. At the end of the day, my blog is essentially a place to talk about books, but at the same time I feel like it’s important for my readers to get a glimpse of the person behind the blog, too. I don’t hide my dorky/silly side when I am excited about things. Sometimes I talk about real, serious stuff, like my mental health issues. I share pictures of things other than books, like my craft projects and my animals. You might not be completely comfortable sharing info about your personal life on the internet and that’s totally fine. Just let your personality shine through in your writing. People will feel like they can relate to you better and find your blog more interesting that way.

The Blogs I’m Nominating

  1. The Introverted Book Nerd
  2. Darque Dreamer Reads
  3. Kristin Kraves Books
  4. Captain’s Quarters
  5. Literary Dust
  6. adoptabookaus
  7. Spine Cracker
  8. Book Princess Reviews
  9. Adventures of a Bibliophile
  10. CJRtheBrit
  11. Caitlin Stern Writes
  12. Bookworm Ink
  13. Ally Writes Things
  14. YA and Wine
  15. Naty’s Bookshelf


Blogging · Books · Fiction · Young Adult

Currently Reading (and 200 followers!)

Now that I’ve finished reading The Night Gardener it’s time to move on to the next book for the Halloween read-a-thon!


For the second challenge I’m going to be reading Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. This one has been on my TBR list for a while now (like so many others). This felt like a good opportunity to finally pull it off the shelf. Hopefully it’s as creepy as the cover makes it out to be.



I would also like to mention that I’ve recently reached 200 followers on Once Upon a Spine. In comparison to how many followers some of you have this isn’t a huge number, but it’s more than I imagined getting when I started blogging at the beginning of the year.

I just want to say THANK YOU to all of you who read my posts and leave me comments. I really enjoy blogging, but of course it wouldn’t be the same without all of you! You guys are so awesome. 🙂


Blogging · Books · Fiction · Middle Grade

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Hello there. I feel like I haven’t been posting as much lately and for that I feel a tad guilty. I wish I could say that the reason is because I’ve been busy doing [insert awesome thing], but unfortunately it’s been due to my mental health. I’ve finally reached a breaking point and have started online therapy sessions. I was trying so hard to convince myself that I could just pull out of this funk on my own, but that is not the case. I feel like shit both mentally and physically and I have a very hard time focusing, even on things I enjoy. Hence the reason I’ve been bit slow on my reading updates and posts lately.

I’ve still been reading, but it hasn’t been anything super difficult or new. This weekend I re-read a couple of the Elsewhere books by Jacqueline West. They’re middle grade, but they highly entertaining and quirky. I first discovered them a couple of years ago and periodically re-read them when I need something “easy” to entertain me.


I’m not going to lie, part of my brain wants me to feel like I’m failing or that I’m lame for having to resort to reading “children’s” literature because I can’t keep my shit together long enough to stay focused on an adult novel. But I don’t really care anymore. I’ve just come to accept the fact that this is the way things are right now and that I need to practice self-care, even if that means that my blog posts will suffer a little.

I don’t plan on going anywhere, but I just wanted to explain why my posts/comments have been fewer. Hopefully things will start to turn back around soon now that I have enlisted help.


What are you reading at the moment? 

Blogging · Books · Uncategorized · Writing

The Getting to Know You Tag

I was tagged by my fellow nerd and Whovian J.W. Martin to do the Getting To Know You Better tag. (Thank you!)


How long have you been blogging? – Since January. I actually had a food blog back in college which I kept up with for around 2 years, but this is my first foray into book blogging.

Do you enjoy doing tags? – I do, especially when I want to write something on the blog but don’t have a book review or other topic ready. The only part I don’t like about them is the tagging part. I never know who I should tag and I think about it way too much, because I’m weird like that. 😛

Do you follow the blogs that follow you? – Yes. I try to, anyway. As I’ve gotten more followers over the past few months though I’ve been falling behind on keeping up. Even if I am not following a blog yet, I do go and check out other people’s blogs whenever they like my posts or leave comments.

Describe your blog in 5 words – I like books and stuff.

How many posts have you made on your blog (not counting this tag)? – 98 so far

On a scale of 1-10 how much do you enjoy blogging? – 9. The only reason I’m not going with a full 10 is because I get frustrated sometimes when I can’t think of stuff to write about.

Post some links to blogs you enjoy reading – Thrice ReadThe Tattooed Book GeekCaptain’s QuartersThis is My Truth NowThe Sassy Book GeekLife of a Literary Nerd

Writing or reading blog posts? – Writing.

I tag… If I’ve listed you above, consider yourself tagged.


Blogging · Books · Uncategorized

Blogger Recognition Award


I’ve been tagged for a Blogger Recognition award. Aw, shucks.

First, I would like to thank Valerie @ Valerie’s Musings for nominating me and my little old blog. Her blog is a new one for me, but given what I’ve seen so far she’s a pretty cool lady. I mean, she’s a librarian…that automatically makes her amazing.

Second, I would like to thank all the little people…Oh wait, sorry. It’s not that kind of award.

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

How I Started Blogging:

I started this blog at the beginning of the year, almost a year into my separation period. Before my ex and I had split up I was writing frequently and working on multiple stories that I hoped to turn into books. Then, alas, all of that disappeared. With the stress of finding a new job, a place to live, divvying up our belongings, etc. I lost all inspiration and motivation to write. To be honest, I lost some of my motivation to read, also. I decided to start blogging for a couple of reasons: a.) I wanted to get back in the habit or writing again so that hopefully it would give me inspiration for more stories, b.) Starting a book blog would give me more motivation to up my reading game, and c.) Because I never have enough people to talk about books with in real life. Thus far, it’s all been working out pretty well.

Advice to New Bloggers:

  • Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. I’ve read lots of posts where people admit that they feel like their own sites aren’t good enough, that they don’t have enough followers, that they don’t post enough, etc. My advice to those people is simple: Don’t worry about it. If you enjoy blogging, then do it for that reason alone. Just have fun with it. If you spend too much time worrying about how many followers you have you’re probably going to take the enjoyment out of it. Remember why you started blogging in the first place. At the end of the day, all that matters is what you are getting out of this.
  • Talk about yourself sometimes. I don’t mean you have to put all your deepest, darkest secrets out there, but it’s a good thing to let your readers get to know you. It’ll make them feel more connected to you and your blog and it’ll keep them coming back.

My Nominees: 

I’m not good at nominating people. I appreciate all of you and your blogs and I don’t want to leave anybody out. So, if you’re reading this I hereby name you as a nominee.






Blogging · Books · Uncategorized

The Little Things

As I’ve been trying these past fifteen years few months to make some improvements to my mental health, I’ve had to start thinking more about the little things. It’s a terrible habit of mine to focus on the negative and completely forget about the positive. I dwell on things to the point of no return. (I’m sure you’re all smart enough to understand why this is a horrible, self-destructive habit.) What I really need to learn is to focus on more positive things and to let the negative go more easily. I’m not trying to become one of those people who eat rainbows and try to shove positive vibes down your throat all the time, because, honestly, I find that incredibly unrealistic and unattainable. I do, however, recognize the fact that being a more positive person is beneficial to my overall mental health.

These are some of the positive things I’ve been thinking about lately. They’re little things, but they make me smile, nonetheless.


  • Books – This one is clearly a no brainer, given that I have an entire blog dedicated to books. Books have always been my biggest source of comfort. For me, there are few experiences that make me happy than wandering around a bookstore for hours, discovering new stories, worlds, and characters. Without books I would be a lost freaking soul.


  • Animals – Not just my precious little fur babies, but animals in general. I can be having the worst day imaginable and the second I see a dog/cat/squirrel my heart explodes and my brain goes *squeeeeeeeeee* (Yes, I have literally made that sound before.) Life is so much better with animals.


  • Chocolate + peanut butter – The most sacred of all food combinations. Give me something that consists of chocolate and peanut butter (especially Reese’s!) and I reach an instant state of ecstasy.


  • Baking –  Not to toot my own horn, but I am a damned good baker. Even though I don’t do it professionally anymore, it’s still one of my favorite things to do in my spare time. There’s something incredibly satisfying about making a delicious, beautiful treat with nothing but a few ingredients and your own two hands.
  • Texts from my best friend – She sends me the most random, silly messages sometimes and I absolutely love her for it. She always knows how to cheer me up when I need it.
  • Dancing – Whether it’s my weekly dance classes or just dancing around to music at home, dancing always boosts my mood.


  • Cemeteries – Most people find cemeteries creepy or sad, but I love them. I find walking through the cemetery a very quiet, peaceful activity. I love trying to read the old, faded headstones and being among the stillness of the statues. It works wonders for helping me clear my head.
  • Halloween – You guys, HALLOWEEN IN COMING. Have you seen all the decorations that are popping up in stores already? 😍 I get a tad obsessed with costumes, candy, and Halloween decor this time of year.

That’s all for now. Hopefully I will be able to come up with more things in the future and continue making progress on this.


Are you a naturally positive or negative person? What are some of the little things that make you feel happy? 

Blogging · Books · Fiction

The Book Titles Tag (and a kitty)

As you can see in the above picture, we take reading very seriously at our house. Even the cats feel the need to snuggle up with a book on occasion.


The Book Titles Tag

This one has been floating around the blogosphere the past couple of days and I’ve enjoyed seeing the creative answers that everyone has come up with so far. So, let’s give it a shot…

1. Title that’s the story of your life – Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances

2. Title that describes your perfect weekend – The Forbidden Library

3. Title of an adventure you’d like to go on – A Wrinkle in Time

4. Title you want to name your child – The Name of the Wind

5. Title of your ideal job – Scriber

6. Title of a place you’d like to visit – Ocean at the End of the Lane

7. Title of your love life – The Taming of the Shrew (I’m the shrew)

8. Questions you ask yourself – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

9. Title of a kingdom you want to rule OR name – A Court of Thorns and Roses

10. Title you’d name your band. – Pack of Dorks

11. What is your current mood? – The Hunger Games

12. What is your favorite color? – Blue Bloods

13. How do you feel about 2017 so far? – Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

14. Where do you want to travel? – A Paris Apartment

15. What are your summer plans? – A Song of Ice and Fire (It’s pretty hot and humid here and Charlotte, while Canada was pretty damned cold.)

16. What are your 2017 goals? – Much Ado About Nothing


It’s your turn! If you’ve read this far, consider yourself tagged. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!