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’m looking forward to reading this year. What’s 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’m older, I have even more admiration for her character. Are there any childhood favourite characters that you appreciate even more now that you’re 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. 1480627369-tumblr-ndpbk7vgf41tpvf30o1-500
  • 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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(Boyfriend is totally getting this card for Valentine’s Day.) 

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.

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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! bards2
  • Do you find yourself loving or hating our digital world? – I love it, I spend entirely too much time on the internet. 😛 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 LiteratureOde to Gilmore GirlsHungerMirrorWhen Nobody UnderstandsBooks I’m Thankful ForA 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’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!

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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. 🙂