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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!)

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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

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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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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.

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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

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

Blogging · Books · Uncategorized

Oh Canada…

We’ve finally reached the end of our week long stay in Canada. (Technically, I’m still at the airport, but I don’t usually count travel time as “vacation.”)

First off, I will say that Banff and Canmore were both gorgeous places. I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere as awe-inspiring in my entire life. I’ve been in the mountains before, but seeing the mountains in North Carolina and climbing a mountain in Canada are two very different experiences. In addition to the mountain scenery, I also walked alongside waterfalls and a most majestic blue lake. At times it felt like I had stepped out of the real world and into the pages of one of my books. It just didn’t look real. 

That being said, I can’t find it in myself to lie to my readers. My week in Canada, albeit beautiful, was difficult. I went there with my boyfriend and his family, which had me slightly on edge to begin with. I’ve been around his family before, but not for extended periods of time, so I was a little unsure of what I should expect. In addition, I had already gone into the trip knowing that I would be a bit out of my element, as they are all really into hiking and outdoorsy activities, whereas I am not. (My idea of “hiking” is typically no longer than 3 miles and on somewhat even terrain.) The majority of our trip was spent hiking up steep hills, 7-10 miles at a time. I was worried about this from the get-go. I really wanted these people to like me (and didn’t want to ruin my boyfriend’s vacation), but I had no idea whether or not I was capable of doing that kind of strenuous physical activity. 

After spending a long (sleepless) day traveling and arguing over bedroom arrangements, we decided to start off our first real day there with an exhausting 10 mile hike up to the Plain of 6 Glaciers. I did pretty well for a couple of miles. It wasn’t exactly fun, but I was keeping up and thought I might actually be okay…

Then shit hit the fan. Halfway up the mountain we reached a large, unexpected expanse of ice. There wasn’t much of a foothold and we were at a 45 degree angle. I made it a few steps out onto the ice and then I froze (no pun intended). My brain failed me at that point and my anxiety took over. I began to cry. Halfway up a mountain. In front of my boyfriend’s mom and his kid. And at least 10 strangers. So much for thinking I would be okay. 😕 (Pictured above is me at the top of the mountain, post-embarrassing freak out.) 

The few hiking adventures I went on after that weren’t as bad or terrifying. Still reeling from my humiliation, I did my best to trudge along and try to keep my cool. For the most part, I did okay. I was still uncomfortable and in pain half the time, but at least I was able to keep the panic at bay. 

The most enjoyable part of the trip was when I went off by myself to explore downtown Canmore. That’s where I found the cool bookstore I mentioned previously, plus some other really fun shops and places to check out. Most of our meals were cooked at home, but at least when I went off by myself I was able to check out some local Canadian food and beer. (Pictured below is the amazing poutine I had with duck bacon and truffle oil. 😍)

It wasn’t all terrible. I really did enjoy certain aspects of the trip, but truthfully I am happy knowing that I will be back home in a few hours. 

(Bonus picture: LOOK AT THE AMAZING GRAVEYARD BOOK SHIRT I GOT AT THE BOOOSTORE.)