Friday, 28 December 2012

Happy Time Between Christmas and New Year

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and are enjoying the days leading up to New Year. 

This time two years ago we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of my youngest grandson, worrying about how my daughter would get to hospital in the snow. He finally put in an appearance on New Year's Day so it is a double celebration every year for us now.

The Kindle my beloved gave me for Christmas is already stuffed with books.

I was also given two donkeys, Danny and Adele - well they were adopted on my behalf from Hillside Animal Sanctuary. I've always had a soft spot for donkeys. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to go and visit them on one of their open days.

I am giving away You Can't Love a Stranger & Other Stories on Kindle free from today, Friday 28th December until Sunday 30th.

For anyone on Facebook, if you go to the Petplan Equine page and click "like" you can then "donate" a scoop of feed (free) to Redwings. Last time I looked they'd donated more than 700 kilos of horse feed.

Now where did I put those leftover mince pies...

Saturday, 22 December 2012

And it's Happy Season's Eatings from Him!

She didn’t mention my latest glucose curve and how brave I was did she? Well as she didn’t, I won’t either, but suffice to say I now have an ear with more holes in it than a tea strainer!

I had to have a proper blood test at the vet’s yesterday too and before we went, she chased me round the garden with an empty Clover tub, then blow me if she didn’t hold it under me when I was about to do what a chap has to do! Talk about off-putting. Still it made her happy.

I’d put on a bit of weight which made everyone smile. Never thought I’d hear myself say that!

The vet said my cataracts are a little worse and they talked a bit about operations, but Herself said it wasn’t something she’d want to put me through as I get so stressed about such things. Me? Ha, what is she like? But all the same – phew!

The proper blood test showed that my glucose levels are still going too high and too low and Tom thinks it might be a rebound effect (my body going into panic mode and dumping a load of glucose into my system), so he’s reduced my insulin. Another two weeks and it’ll be another curve to see how I’m doing.

I hope all you lovely peeps have a brilliant Christmas! I’ve peeked and I’m getting toys instead of eatables and I happen to know one of them has a squeaker – arf, arf, arf!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Just stopping by to wish everyone who visits a warm, peaceful and happy Christmas.

Whatever you are doing, I hope you’re where you want to be and with those you want to be with.

And remember, if you’re writing short stories you should be turning your mind to spring now – or autumn if you’re down under!

Ahh, spring, now there’s a lovely thought.

Happy Christmas - I hope you have a good one xxx

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Writers' Office Christmas Party + Free Book

If you haven’t heard about Sally Quilford’s brilliant idea for a Writers’ office party, you can join in here or if you're not on Facebook, here!

People from all over the world are there. How fantastic is that? And the fun has already started.

To celebrate I am giving away A Portrait of Louisa & Other Stories free on Kindle today and tomorrow. It is also available free in the USA.

I hear a rumour there will be a large stationery cupboard available – can you imagine it? All those writers jostling to get in to fondle the notebooks!

I’ve heard talk of a photocopier too…

But best of all, you don’t have to drive home after so you can really let your hair down!

Happy Christmas. Now where’s that stationery cupboard..?

Sunday, 16 December 2012

And The Winner Is....

See in my mind it went like this. Indy wears Santa hat. Indy picks name out of cowboy hat. I take photo of Indy with name in mouth clearly showing winner. Post winner on blog.

Very cute!

What happened was: Indy wore Santa hat. Santa hat fell off. Repeat six times.

Indy thinks this is a great lark and gets very excited!

Put Indy’s collar on and tucked Santa hat into it. Hat stayed on. Indy picked up cowboy hat and threw names all over the floor. Returned names to hat. Repeat six times.

Indy kicked hat around the room like a football, scattering names everywhere. I gathered up names and returned them to the hat.

Indy picked name out of hat and began to chew.

I retrieved winning name, opened it out, asked him to hold it in his mouth with the name showing so I could photograph the evidence.

Indy ate the name.

But I think I got the cute pic I was hoping for - as well as a smile (well actually he's chewing, but I think he looks smiley)!

Fortunately I’d read it before asking him to pose with it, so I can tell you the winner of a copy of Writers for Animals is Jenny! Congratulations, Jenny. If you would like to send me your address you can pm me on Facebook or email me at Teresaashby at

With thanks to Isabel for letting us play with borrow her hats!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Thank you so much Patsy for passing this award on to me (and Indy for “winning” it for me)! I’m so chuffed!

The rules for this are –

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012′ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen - and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of theYear 2012′ Award - and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.

5 You can now also join the Facebook group.

6 As a winner of the award — please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award — and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars… Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once — this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ’1 star’ award — and every time you are given the award by another blog — you can add another star! There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

I'm passing this on to –

Patsy who is so generous with sharing links to competitions and other opportunities for writers and who also posts lovely pictures and usually leaves you with a smile on your face. (I believe the rules allow you to award a star back).

Klahanie where Gary writes so compassionately and with such understanding as he shines a light for those with mental health issues  – and who also includes posts from lovely Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star.

Reading and Writing – I’m sure you’ll find Rosemary’s blog as uplifting and cheerful as I do – and she posts beautiful pictures too.

Ten Lives and Second Chances – well just go there and visit Old Kitty and you’ll see! Charlie and now little Gumtree appear in every lovely post!

An English Travel Writer – fantastic blog by Jenny Woolf chock-a-block with fabulous photos and interesting snippets from Jenny’s travels.

First Draft CafĂ© – meet Maria who inspires with her goal lists and lovely posts!

Don’t forget there is still time for your name to go in the hat for a copy of Writers for Animals (see my last post).

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Free Paperback Book!

I may have mentioned once or twice that I have a story in the anthology Writers for Animals which you can buy in paperback or for Kindle.

Proceeds will go to three animal charities chosen by the editor, Jenny Elliott-Bennett.

Hillfields Animal Sanctuary. There are lots of ways you can help Hillfields – donating money is one, but you can also sponsor an animal at the sanctuary for £5 for six months or £10 for a year (a great Christmas gift for an animal lover!). Of course they need other things too, such as building materials and sheds. Read more about them here.

Forget-Me-Not Animal Rescue is there for all animals, farmed, domestic and wild. Donating is easy via PayPal or you could sponsor Kelly Ryan when she jumps out of a plane to raise funds! Visit them here.

ARAN – Animal Rights Action Network is a peaceful organisation committed to fight animal abuse across Ireland. Check out their campaigns here. They are campaigning against all animal abuse, from fur farming to the use of wild animals in circuses. They are also trying to educate people not to buy pets as Christmas presents.

It is widely believed that this year will be worse than usual for the amount of animals dumped around Christmas. Battersea is already seeing the start of a “cat crisis” with 50% more people this year giving up their cats.

I promise, if you follow any of the links I’ve put here, you won’t see any distressing pictures.

Now to win a copy of Writers for Animals – which contains some great stories both fiction and real life – all I ask is that you read this post and leave a comment by next Sunday 16th December – even if it’s just to say hello! I’ll put all the names in a hat and get Indy to pick out a winner and I'll try to get it sent off in time for Christmas.

I should say that the book is intended for adults, not children.

It would be great if you’d follow one or more of the links, but I’m not going to insist on it. I just want to give one of these lovely books away.

Indy says “Go on, you know you wanna!”

Friday, 7 December 2012

Are you ready to party?

Sally Q comes up with some inspired ideas and her latest one is more than brilliant!

A Writers' Office Christmas Party! There are loads of ways you can join in - read all about it here.

There are already over 200 people going.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Story Timeline

We all know how hard it is to juggle dates, ages, events and so on when writing anything that spans any length of time.

Well Wendy's clever husband has come up with a tool to help and you can read all about it here.

I'm not going to post a picture of the snow. I'm fed up with it already - mutter mutter.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Happy December!

Thank goodness November has gone. It certainly lived down to my expectations and was a very tough month for my family, but it was nowhere near as bad as it could have been, so I’m not complaining.

We put the Christmas decorations up at the end of the month and when you think it’s only just over a couple of weeks till the longest night, we’ll soon be able to look forward to spring.

But first December with all the Christmas songs and carols, parties for the kids, school plays, wrapping up presents and writing cards – lovely!

I did Indy’s glucose curve yesterday and I had high hopes for a good result because he’s been so much more energetic and lively since he’s been on the diabetic food.

What a shock then that his glucose levels were high and at one point went right off the top of the chart. His curve was more of a zig-zag.

So his insulin has been increased a little and I’m to do another curve just before Christmas. I knew it was never going to be easy and I know it can take many months to get the condition stable.

For his first blood test he sat and shook so much, it was hard to get the tiny blob of blood onto the miniscule thing on the test strip. What with my morning eyes and him trembling, it took fifteen minutes and three test strips to do that first one.

But the next 15 tests went really well and he was so blasĂ© about it by the evening that he didn’t even bother to sit up when I was jabbing his poor ear. Apart from his early morning wobblies, he was such a stoic. This would all be so much more difficult if he wasn’t as good as he is.

Hope you are having a Happy December!