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


Adult · Books · Fantasy · Sci-Fi · Young Adult

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Winter TBR List


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is Top Ten Books On Your Winter TBR List. Between all the books I’ve purchased recently and the few that I’m still waiting to be released, I’m racking up quite a TBR list.

Here’s what I’m planning on reading over the next few months:

  1. Sand by Hugh Howey – I don’t know much about this one, but it sounds intriguing. Boyfriend has already read it and said that I have to hurry up and read it so we can talk about it.
  2. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson – It’s been a while since I read this one. After reading Edgedancer I want to go back and start the series over. (This would be a good time, since the 3rd book was just released.)
  3. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – This one isn’t even out yet, but it sounds like a fun read.
  4. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust – This one came out pretty recently and I’ve heard good things. I’m always a sucker for any type of fairy tale re-imagining.
  5. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson – A funny perspective on living with depression and anxiety? Sign me up. I could use a more humorous outlook on life.
  6. Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet by James Goss – This one isn’t out yet, but I already feel like it’s going to be a good one. I loved Goss’ other Doctor novel, City of Death.
  7. Poison by Sarah Pinborough – A short Snow White re-telling. It doesn’t have amazing reviews, but it was on sale, so we’ll see how it is.
  8. A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston – Another impulse Black Friday buy. (I have no shame!)
  9. Dune by Frank Herbert – My boyfriend has been telling me to read this one since we met, since it’s favorite book of all time.
  10. Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas – I absolutely adored the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, so I am interested to see what this series is like. I’ve heard lots of hype about it.
Adult · Books · Fantasy

It’s Monday! What are you reading?


This weekend I started reading Age of Myth by Michael Sullivan. I didn’t know anything about this book or the author prior to purchasing it a few months ago, but the blurb on the back pulled me in like a magnet.

Magic. An immortal race called the Fhrey. The power struggle between humans and gods. Impending doom. Rebellion.

Yes, please!

What are you reading today? 


The Fear of Putting Myself Out There


This weekend my boyfriend and I took a day trip to Asheville. With all the delicious food available, fun shops (including one of my favorite bookstores), art galleries, and hippie culture, it’s one of my favorite places to visit. On the drive back we started talking about upcoming social events. Given that Christmas and New Years are just around the corner, there are already invites for holiday gatherings popping up.

*Cue my wicked social anxiety*

Along with the holidays and (most) social events comes anxiety. I feel incredibly awkward and uncomfortable in a lot of social situations, particularly when in the presence of people I don’t know. Upon first meeting me, I am often quiet and proficient in the art of expressing a resting bitch face. Mind you, this isn’t because I’m trying to come across as unfriendly or stuck up. I’m actually just terrified. Terrified that I’m going to say or do something stupid. Terrified that I am going to draw attention to myself. Terrified of what everyone is thinking of me. Terrified that everyone is judging me. I withdraw into the corner, either alone or with the one person that I am familiar with, and usually think myself into a miserable state. It’s SO much fun. :-\

This past year in particular my anxiety has been really bad. I’ve mentioned at some point previously that there had been a lot of changes in my social life. There was a social group I had joined the previous year, which had been a wonderful thing for me. Unfortunately, due to some drama among the members and some jealous exes, I was basically forced out of the group. Several of the people I used to consider friends are no longer on speaking terms with me and I feel like my social life overall has taken a major hit. I was devastated at the time all of this happened and didn’t handle it well. (I imagine this is part of what contributed to my eating disorder relapse a few months later.) It’s been long enough now that I’ve accepted that all this happened. I am not thrilled about it, but I’m not beating myself up over it anymore.

Fast forward to now, I am now stuck feeling like I have very few friends (the ones I do have I don’t feel particularly close with) and am starting over. I literally have no idea how to even begin making new friends again. (Sharing my crayons with the person sitting next to me doesn’t seem to be working out and has resulted in some strange looks from my co-workers.) I was fortunate when I found the last group. Prior to that I didn’t feel like I had many friends, except for a small handful. Sadly, most of these people have moved away to other states and I rarely get to see them. Even if I were to find some kind of meetup group, it would require a ton of effort on my part to even force myself to go talk to anyone. *Cue social anxiety again*

Some of the holiday events coming up involve people from the group that I am no longer part of. Some of the people in attendance will be those exact same people (or the friends of) that shoved me out. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how incredibly uncomfortable the situation is going to be. There have been a few similar situations over the past few months, none of which I handled particularly well. Truthfully, I don’t even know what the best way to handle any of this is. My brain tells me to stay home and avoid these events altogether, and that being around these people isn’t good for me. Other people disagree with me. They tell me to go and have fun, not to let those losers ruin things for me, etc. I don’t know which of us is correct.

The point of my long-winded babbling is that I’m terrified of putting myself out there for other people to see. Even if I go to one of the holiday parties and decide to just ignore my ex-friends, I’m still going to make myself miserable. I’m going to be afraid to talk much or let loose for fear that everyone else there (including the people I am still friends with) will also reject me. Every insecurity I have will come out and by the end of the evening I will be convinced that I am simply not good enough. The same thing will happen when I try to force myself into some new situation in order to meet new people. Everyone else will have fun and enjoy themselves, while I find myself panicking and desperately wanting to go home.

My fear of judgement can prevent me from doing a lot of things. Until now, I’ve been too afraid to even share my Etsy page with anyone (even my friends/family), because I was afraid they were going to laugh and think my crafts are stupid. Even little things like that terrify me.

I try not to use my anxiety as an excuse. I try really hard to fight it and push myself to do things, when I can, but it’s really difficult. Sometimes I wish I could pay someone to follow me around all day, nudging me forward whenever I start to take a step back.

I really don’t know how I am going to cope with the social aspect of the holidays yet. If anyone has any suggestions, I am listening.


Are you ever afraid to put  yourself out there? How do you deal with it? 

Adult · Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy

Book Review: Edgedancer by Brandon Sanderson


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This is a short story about Lift, a teenage Knight Radiant, granted the gift of never growing older. She quickly learns that time never stands still, not while the Darkness is out there hunting people with special powers like hers. 

I’m not even sure what possessed me to pick this up, given that I haven’t finished the Stormlight series yet. It was entertaining, but nothing that blew me away. The protagonist is supposed to be young and inexperienced. I found her so naive at times that she simply got on my nerves. I imagine this story about her is meant to be a set up for the third novel in the series (her character has only played a small role up until now). While the events surrounding her were quite interesting, it was her complete disinterest in everything that was disappointing. She didn’t care much other than filling her stomach throughout 90% of the book. Sanderson set up potential for her, however, so I’m hoping there will be more to her in the next book.

Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Non-Fiction · Sci-Fi

Black Friday Haul

It’s Black Friday. I hate the entire concept of Black Friday. I typically do everything in my power to avoid anything to do with this dark day. But, then I got an e-mail from Barnes & Noble…

I couldn’t help myself. I tried, but between the discount online AND in the store I just couldn’t resist…

You guys, I am so weak. *cries into leftover pecan pie*


So, ummm, anyway…LOOK WHAT I GOT TODAY. 😉