Blogging · Books

Where’s that Damned Ball?

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One of the things I always envy about other bloggers is how they always seem to be able to keep track of things. Weekly memes, tags, comments, and, of course, their blogiversaries. I’ve totally dropped the ball this year. I dropped it and then it rolled away and is probably in the middle of the highway somewhere. I’ve been waiting to do my two-year blogiversary post because I thought the date wasn’t until the end of February. Welp, it turns out I was a bit off…by¬†a month. Apparently my blogiversary was back in January and I totally missed it.

Oops. ūüėõ

In honor of my belated blog anniversary, I’m not going to toot my own horn or anything. I’m not going to talk about my blogging or writing achievements, how many followers I have, or blog awards I’ve gotten. Instead, I’m going to say thank you. Thank you to all my readers – the ones who comment on my posts and the ones who silently lurk. Blogging is fun because I get to talk about books and other things that I love, but none of it would quite be the same without you guys. I’ve met some truly awesome people through this blog, people who I have come to consider friends. Thank you for all that you guys are doing in the blogging community. Even if I don’t always leave comments, I love reading your posts and seeing what you guys are doing with your own blogs. The book blogging community is such a fun, creative, and embracing place and I am incredibly happy to be a part of it.

Here’s to another year of blogging, for myself and all of you. ‚̧

Blogging · Books

The Awesome Blogger Award

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Now that I’m back from Key West I’m finally getting caught up on blog posts and tags/awards. A few weeks ago (Wow, I’m really behind) the always entertaining¬†¬†J.W. Martin¬†of Storeys of Stories tagged me for an Awesome Blogger Award. In his post he says that he’s not qualified for such an award, but I highly disagree. His posts are always funny and relatable, plus we have similar tastes in books. So, clearly, that makes him more than qualified.

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Awesome Blogger Award Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Include the reason behind the award.
  • Include the banner in your post.
  • Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you.
  • Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers and let your nominees know that they‚Äôve been nominated.

Behind the Awesome Blogger Award

The award was created by¬†Maggie at Dreaming of Guatemala¬†who stated ‚Äď ‚ÄúThis is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.‚ÄĚ

The Questions

If you could choose any job to have in the world (fictional or real) what would it be and why? –¬†Librarian at Hogwarts! Because a.) I love books, b.) I love magic, and c.) Because those magical books ain’t going to shelve themselves! Actually, they probably can…Do they even need librarians at Hogwarts? I feel incredibly obsolete all of a sudden. ūüė¶

Who is your favorite booktuber/blogger? – I have so many favorites that it’s hard to choose! In no particular order, these are a few of my favorite book bloggers:

The Tattooed Book Geek

The Web Weavers 

Another Book in the Wall

Storeys of Stories

Captain’s Quarters

Kristin Kraves Books

Ally Writes Things

Why did you decide to start blogging? –¬†Believe it or not, a talking koala bear (who was really a wizard in disguise) knocked on my door one day and told me that if I didn’t start blogging the entire planet would be blown to smithereens. I’m doing this to save all of you.

We all have literary passports, where is yours stamped the most? –¬†Probably Hogwarts, as the¬†Harry Potter¬†series is probably the one I’ve read the most over the years.

What‚Äôs your Harry Potter name? Use this¬†generator¬†to find out! – I got Katie Trelawney. I suppose this makes me related to Professor Trelawney. I actually find this amusing, because if I actually lived in the magical world I don’t think I would believe in prophecies and tea leaves and all that woo-y stuff.

What are some of your guilty pleasures? Whether they are book related or not.¬†– Dessert (especially if it involves chocolate and peanut butter), animals of the cute and fluffy variety, reading about magic and/or magical beings, binge watching¬†Gilmore Girls and¬†Friends on Netflix, and buying more books even though there are a dozens on my shelf I haven’t read yet.

What is something that you love about your blog? –¬†Interacting with other book bloggers. It’s such a great, supportive community! I also enjoy having the excuse to talk about books 24/7.

What is your favorite post that you have personally done? –¬†Probably my¬†BookCon¬†post. (Are you tired of hearing me mention BookCon yet?) I had such an amazing weekend and was SO excited to share that post with you guys. I feel like it’s the “happiest” post I’ve ever done. A close second is my post called¬†What is ‚ÄúSelf-Care?”. It lead to some deep reflection on my part and got the ball rolling on one of the books I’ve been working on.

My Nominees:

The awesome folks that I mentioned above. Plus, anyone else who wants to take part. You don’t need to be nominated because you’re all awesome!

Blogging · Books · Life

Blogging Pros/Cons (and Holy Sh!t, 500 Followers!)

You know what day it is. The day of Mon. Most dreaded of all days (unless you work in retail, because this is probably the equivalent to Saturday for you).

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So, how YOU doin’ today?

You see that look on those precious little faces? That is the look of shock and disbelief that this week my blog surpassed 500 followers. When I started this blog, I didn’t expect to get more than maybe 10-15 readers if I was lucky. My, how far we have come. ūüėä In honor of this fantastic milestone, I’m going to share some of the pros and cons of blogging. (Remember, these are just observations based on what I’ve experienced in the last year and a half of doing this. You are entitled to your own opinions and are free to disagree with me.)

The Pros:

  • Interactions with fellow bloggers – I¬†love getting to chat with others who share the same passion for books that I have. I have met some truly amazing and inspirational people through blogging (and not just book bloggers). Truthfully, I don’t feel like I have many close friends in my “real” life and people that I can talk about my interests with. Talking to other bloggers really fills that void for me. I view many of you as friends and I am incredibly grateful to have crossed paths with you. ‚̧
  • Getting to talk about books whenever I want – I love talking about books. I’d talk about them all day long if I could, but sadly, I would probably lose my job if I did. My blog is the perfect outlet to get all my bookish thoughts out there.
  • It inspires creativity¬†– Having an excuse to write all the time (even if it’s just a book review) keeps my writing skills and creativity flowing. Since starting this blog I have started writing two books that I hopefully *fingers crossed* will finish and get published someday.
  • New opportunities¬†– The blog world is a great place to discover new opportunities and fun things: Book/author events (like¬†BookCon!), new bookstores to check out, giveaways, etc.
  • So many new book recommendations! – Through reading all of your blogs I have discovered some amazing new books and authors that I might not have otherwise heard of. My TBR list has grown exponentially thanks to all of you.

The Cons:

  • So many new book recommendations! – My TBR list is getting a little out of hand.¬†How am I possibly going to read all of this books? There aren’t enough hours in the day! Ahhhhhh.

 

Thank you to every single person who is reading this, follows my blog, and/or comments regularly. Without all of you I’d just be sitting here talking to myself like the mad woman in the attic.

Blogging · Books

Sunshine Blogger Award

Kay from¬†Hammock of Books¬†tagged me in the Sunshine Blogger Award last week. Aw, shucks! Before we continue any further, you guys should take a look at Kay’s blog. She’s got some great YA reviews (I’ve learned of some interesting contemporary YA books from her site recently).

RULES:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo in your post/or on your blog.

THE QUESTIONS:

  1. If you could be any book protagonist, who would you be? – Wendy from the¬†Wendy Darling¬†series. As much as I’d like to be [insert character with special powers], I feel like Wendy is more realistic. Wendy was intelligent, compassionate, brave, and self-sacrificing. Even when confronted with terrifying things, she faced them, all because she wanted to keep her family and the Lost Boys safe. She was braver than I’ll probably ever be and I admired her for that.tenor
  2. If you could be any book animal, who would you be? – A witches familiar, like the ones in the¬†Elsewhere series. They’re talking cats that can go in and out of the house’s magical paintings. I feel like this would be super cool. Plus, I just really want to be a cat.
  3. If you could be any book antagonist, who would you be? – James Moriarty.
  4. What book villain would you want to date? – Can we still call Rhysand a villain even if he was only a “villain” in the first¬†ACOTAR¬†book? I’m saying yes to this, because I can’t think of another sexy, badass, tattooed villain. 

  5. What books made you cry? РOh geez, this one is tough. There have been tons of books that have made me cry for different reasons. One that stands out in particular though is A Rose for the Crown. That story is amazing and I believe I cried like 5 times when reading it. Other notable mentions: Where the Red Fern Grows, The Art of Racing in the Rain, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Dobby! *bawls*).
  6. What is your favorite genre? – Fantasy (adult and YA)
  7. When do you read? – Usually I read on my lunch break (I typically go hide out at Barnes & Noble during this hour) and in the evenings before bed. I work all day, so it’s tough to always find enough time to read.
  8. What was your favorite kid book? – Harry Potter has been my favorite since I was 10-11. If you want to go earlier than that, I’m going to say anything R.L. Stine. I loved the¬†Goosebumps and¬†Fear Street books when I was a kid.img_0099
  9. Where do you read? – Typically at home (in our bedroom) and at bookstores and coffee shops.
  10. Favorite thing about blogging? – Connecting with other bloggers. I love interacting with people who have similar interests and hearing their stories and perspectives. Plus, just having the outlet for writing in general. Writing is very therapeutic for me.
  11. Least favorite thing about blogging? – Probably coming up with things to write about. Sometimes I just sit down and my mind goes blank. I don’t want my readers to feel like they’re jut reading the same thing over and over again.

MY QUESTIONS: 

  1. You’re stuck on a desert island. Which fictional character would you choose to be stuck with?
  2. If you had the option to never wear pants again, would you still wear them?
  3. If you could rewrite the ending to any book, which would it be
  4. What was your first blog post about?
  5. Who’s your favorite non-human book character?
  6. If you could live in any book world, which one would it be?
  7. Most underrated book?
  8. Where do you get inspiration for your blog posts?
  9. Does cover art matter to you?
  10. What’s your favorite hobby, besides reading and/or blogging?
  11. Has your dog ever eaten your homework?

MY NOMINEES:

Life Should Be Lit

Reading with Rendz

Tattooed Book Geek

Cailtlin Stern Writes

Captain’s Quarters

Off the TBR

I’m feeling lazy now, so if you’ve read this far consider yourself nominated ūüôā

Blogging · Books

Blogging and Social Media (Yay or Nay?)

It’s Monday again.

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Today, rather than ask what you’re reading, I’d like to chat about something else: social media. For those of you unfamiliar with social media, it is defined as “That thing with all the cats and people who yell at each other that eats up an embarrassing amount of time that could otherwise spent being productive.” I swear that’s the definition, look it up.

You know what I’m talking about. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Those other ones I probably don’t even know about.

I’d be lying if I tried to pretend that I, like so many other people, don’t spend a good deal of my personal time browsing through social media. There’s much debate (where else, but on the internet?) about whether or not this is good for you. I’m not going to even touch¬†that one, because obviously it’s going to be a different experience for everyone. Given how much time I’ve spent watching funny cat videos in the past decade, I’m really not one to make judgments. I would, however, like to discuss social media and what it does for the blogging community.

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I’ve only recently started sharing my blog on social media. Many moons ago I wrote a post about why I avoided talking about my blog with people in “real life.” For the most part, this still applies. I am very selective about who I share my blog with. This is why I hesitate a little to start advertising my blog on social sites.

I talk about it on Twitter and share links to my recent posts, but I almost never put anything on Facebook. I can’t even really explain this one, as I talk about personal stuff on Facebook, but not to the same extent that I do on here. Even if I shared my recent posts via Facebook, I feel like it’s the wrong crowd for it. In the same vein,¬† hesitate to share my Instagram on my blog because of my occasional pole dancing picture.

Do you use social media to promote your blog and connect with other bloggers? Do you use your personal account or do you have a separate one? Do you feel like it’s been beneficial for your blog? Give me some feedback!

Also, if you would like to follow me on social media, here are some links:

 Bloglovin     Twitter     Goodreads

Blogging · Books · Fantasy · Fiction

Unique Blogger Award

I was nominated by Ellie @¬†Blogging for Dopamine¬†for a Unique Blogger Award. Yay! (Don’t you just love the name of her blog?)

The Rules:

  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you
  • Answer the questions
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award
  • Ask them 3 questions

The Questions I was Asked: 

  • I have so many books I‚Äôm looking forward to reading this year. What‚Äôs your most anticipated 2018 read? –¬†The Cruel Prince¬†was at the top of my TBR for 2018 because of all the hype. Now that I’ve finished it I guess¬†Spinning Silver¬†and¬†Freyja’s Daughter are at the top.
  • When I was younger, I was obsessed with Willow from¬†Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and now that I‚Äôm older, I have even more admiration for her character. Are there any childhood favourite characters that you appreciate even more now that you‚Äôre older? – There are probably several that apply, but the first one that stands out in my mind is Lorelai from¬†Gilmore Girls. When I first started watching it back in high school I connected more with Rory and her love of books, but as I get older I appreciate Lorelai’s character more. This is probably due to the fact that I am closer in age to her character and have begun to relate to her life experiences. She’s one of my absolute favorite television characters ever, so I guess it’s a good thing.
  • My blog has changed so much since I started it. What was the topic of the first ever blog post you wrote? –My first post was an introduction and an explanation for why I was creating this blog. I talked about some of the things I had been feeling since getting divorced and about the things I wished to accomplish. Looking back on it now, a little over a year later, I realize that I have achieved a lot since then.

Questions for My Nominees: 

  • If you were to choose a different topic/theme for your blog, what would it be?
  • If you could befriend any author in real life, who would you choose? Why?
  • What’s the weirdest blog post you’ve ever written?

I Nominate: 

Ally @ Ally Writes Things

Kerry @ Carolina Book Belle

Bruce @¬†Random Ramblins’

J.W. Martin @ Storeys of Stories

Sarah @ Sarah in Zombieland

thebeasley @ Just Another Blog From a Woman

Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews

 

Have fun and feel free to participate even if you aren’t tagged!

Blogging · Books

Happy Blogiversary To Me!

Okay, so I majorly dropped the ball on this one. Apparently January 12th was my one year blog anniversary. I can’t believe I missed it.¬†Fail.

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I am both excited and surprised to have made it this far. When I started this blog I had no idea whether anyone would read it, or whether my motivation would fizzle out and I’d just abandon it entirely after a few months. To my amazement, this blog has become so much more than I ever anticipated it to be. When I made my first¬†post¬†I said that I was hoping to get back in the habit for writing and (hopefully) find inspiration for my book. In the past year this blog has done just that and then some. It had become a place of therapeutic refuge for me and a major source of enjoyment. I have chatted with so many wonderful people and gained so much from each of them. It has not only been a great tool for my creative outlets, but has been a huge aid in my mental health recovery, as well.

In honor of¬†Once Upon a Spine‘s first blogiversay, I would just like to say¬†THANK YOU to every one of my followers. Thank you to the people who comment regularly. And thank you for the amazing posts and insight that you share on your own blogs every day. The blogging community is an amazing one and I am beyond grateful to be part of it.

Here’s to another year!

 

Blogging · Books · Life

The Mystery Blogger Award

Happy Hump Day, folks! Charlotte is currently experiencing Snowmageddon. And by Snowmageddon I mean we got an inch of snow, so, naturally, the schools are shut down, the bread and milk have disappeared, and everyone is in a state of complete panic. Amateurs.

Recently I was tagged by¬†Joseph¬†for a Mystery Blogger Award. (Thank you, Joseph!) You guys should go check out his blog if you haven’t already. He’s got some great poetry and mental health posts. (Original creator of the award is¬†Okoto Enigma)

Rules :

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award.
  5. Tell the readers three things about yourself.
  6. Nominate 10-20 people.
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with knee funny or weird question.
  9. Share a link to your best post(s).

The questions we were asked by Joseph are:

  • Favorite Novelist and Why? – Neil Gaiman. I love his creativity and the worlds he creates. I’ve never read a single thing by Neil that I didn’t love.
  • Favorite poet of all time and Why?¬†– I’m not usually big on poetry, but I’ve always loved Shakespeare’s poetry (and Shakespeare in general). Long live the Bard!
  • Do you find yourself loving or hating our digital world?¬†– I love it, I spend entirely too much time on the internet. ūüėõ I am, however, not a huge fan of e-books. I no longer knock them and act like they are going to take away physical books,¬†but I’m still not going to convert. I’ve tried it a few times and it just doesn’t feel like the same experience for me. Besides, how the hell am I supposed to build a massive at-home library, complete with secret rooms, if I only have e-books?
  • Do you think the digital world is better or worse for the writing world?¬†– I think that the digital world is definitely good for writers. It helps get your name and projects out there way more easily. It helps you connect with readers and other writers, as well.
  • Cats or Dogs? – Pick¬†one? Seriously?! But, look at these sweet little babies:¬†img_9846-1Clearly the answer is both.

Three Random Things About Myself:

  • I’m hungry right now and wish I had a doughnut.
  • If I could transport myself into any television show it would be¬†Doctor Who.
  • When I was two years old my parents lost me in Disney World.

Links to A Few of My Favorite Posts:

On Reading Children’s Literature, Ode to Gilmore Girls, Hunger, Mirror, When Nobody Understands, Books I’m Thankful For, A Most Spooktacular Occasion 

My Nominees:

I’m terrible at nominating people for these kinds of things, so if you made it this far and haven’t found yourself bored to death yet, I hereby declare you nominated. Go forth and tag unto others and I have tagged unto you!¬†

Blogging · Books · mental health · Writing

A Look Back: 2017

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This past year has been a busy one, to say the least. I am not typically one for setting goals for myself in the new year, so I aimed low: Read and write more. I had been going through a creative dry spell in the months that followed my separation and I vowed to get myself back into a creative mindset again. I am very happy to say that I have achieved that goal and then some. My¬†Goodreads¬†goal wasn’t super high. I wanted to keep things realistic and attainable, especially after not having read much for several months. We haven’t even reached the year mark yet, but I have already surpassed my reading goal. In the grand scheme of things, meeting a reading goal probably doesn’t seem like the most impressive of feats, but for me it has felt like one. Given some of the other things that have happened this year and the ups and downs I’ve had with my mental health, sticking to any kind of goal can be difficult.

I am pleased at the progress I have made with my blog this past year, as well. To be completely honest, when I started blogging I figured it would be something I would do for a little while and then my motivation would eventually fizzle out. On the contrary, here I am, almost a year later, still doing the blog thing. I have been pleasantly surprised at how much having this blog has helped me this year. Not only has it helped me get back in the habit of writing and working on my stories, but it has become a therapeutic outlet for me and has given me the opportunity to chat with some really great, inspiring people. (Yes, I am talking about you.) The book blogging community is a truly terrific one and I feel very fortunate to have stumbled upon on.

There have been other areas of growth this year, also. For one, it’s been a really good year for me at my job. After working at the company for only one year I received a promotion, which was completely unexpected. Since then I have been continually given important and challenging tasks that have made my job feel more rewarding at the end of the day. My dance and crafty skills have continued to improve and have kept me busy. I’ve even managed to start my own Etsy shop.

For every triumph I’ve had there have been trials. I’ve been very candid on my blog about my struggle with depression and my relapse into my eating disorder/anxiety this year. There have been huge changes for me as far as my social life has been concerned and I took a really hard tumble¬†into a dark place for a while. There was also the loss of my sweet kitty, Nooch, about a month ago. There’s been more struggle than I cared for this year, but that is just part of life. With struggle comes the opportunity for growth and I feel fortunate to say that I have been undergoing some major growing pains these last few months. With the help of therapy, medication, various forms of self-care, and the support of those close to me, I am finally starting to feel like I am making progress. There will be more struggle going forward, but at least I know that I¬†can go forward.

I don’t know what the next year will bring, but I am ready to find out. I hope there will be positivity and happiness not only for myself, but for each and every one of you, too.

Thanks for being a big part of 2017.

-Kiersten

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.

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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‚Äôs 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