It’s Time Folks. For a Gratitude Check-in.

From time to time, you just have those moments when you feel sorry for yourself. Like right now, I’m kinda riding the pity train. Riding it hard. I’m a little ashamed of myself. So it is time. Time for what you wonder? Not time to break out the Ben and Jerry’s, although that does make pity a bit more palatable. (Yes, I did use a foodie word. Sue me, I’m a plush girl.) No, I’m not going to delve into that sweet pint of Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream, I gonna write a grateful list. It’s great therapy and it does focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. The one that’s not an oncoming train.

I’m grateful for my job at Starbucks. Sometimes people drive me insane with their short quad light foam lattes with 2.3 pumps of mocha, half soy, half almond milk, steamed to 132 degrees exactly (not 131 or 133 because the difference is VAST), and extra stirred. (I mean really?! What is extra stirred? It’s a damn latte. Milk, foam, and espresso. There’s no stirring!) I love my job because it pays me so I get to eat, my dog gets to eat, I have great co-workers, I have customers I love to see on a regular basis (even quad latte, who is a peach, btw) and bomb health insurance.

I’m grateful for Rose Granbacka who, after the great bed bug infestation of 2017, helped me tear my room apart and lay a beat down that would have made Yorktown proud all while jamming to the Hamilton soundtrack. When I started to cry because I felt like I was dirty she hugged me and told me it’s okay, she knew I didn’t live in a whorehouse. She’s a good friend. (Hi! Rose editing here and I want to add that what I said was, “Girl, I know this isn’t a brothel. Your porch light ain’t red.” And when we realized the bug spray was basically Satan farts, I said, “We need to go outside. This shit is giving me a big lesson in what World War I was like with all that mustard gas.”)

I’m grateful to Ophelia’s grandmother and Jared (Baby Jay) who knit me cool beanies to cover my chemo baldness. Also, for Anna Rhodes who said: “Girl you can rock it bald.” (Rose again! We miss you, Anna! Move back! *wink*)

I am grateful for books and writers because you provide me with escape.

I’m grateful to my readers. It is an honor to be a part of your life. Thank you for your support.

I’m grateful to Kyle who would drive all the way across Riverside to take me out for pie at Corky’s. Incidentally, I also happen to be thankful for Corky’s pie.

I’m grateful for Alexa who knows the answer anytime I need it and I don’t have to leave my chair. And she plays Prince for me anytime I want it. 

I’m grateful to the mechanic at Mazda that got Gladys (my ride) up and running even though the radio doesn’t work. But the AC kicks butt now and since anyone who has ever ridden with me will tell you that I sound just like Adele, we don’t need a radio. Right? (Rose again, we do sing a lot in the car. We’re those people.)

I’m grateful for Miriam teaching me to cook and remaining patient when I ask the same damn question every time.

I’m grateful that Ranger loves me even if he insists that the only place on the bed he is comfortable is right in the middle of it. (Bastard.)

I’m grateful to Coni Lemke and Joseph Momoa because they made that beautiful man Jason Momoa and I so enjoy looking at him. MMM. Yes. 


Okay, I feel better, now.

Much Love Jackie

a.k.a. Simone Harlow

a.k.a. the J in J.M. Jeffries

I’m back! (Updates, News, Where I’ve Been)

So it has been a long time since I’ve done a blog post, but life has been a tad bit complicated. Between dealing with a major surgery (I am now down a few girl parts), The Big C, and all the ish that goes with chemotherapy, I’ve been busy napping. Because that’s what you do for about the first ten days after chemo– nap… a lot. That and count your eyelashes as they fall out because you’ve made peace with losing your hair, but your damn eyelashes, too?! What a freak show. Once Miriam and I were at Target picking up my personal pharmacy, and I knew I was forgetting something (because chemo brain is a thing). Then I remembered and told her I’m heading toward the shampoo aisle when she started laughing at me. Oh yeah, I’m bald. What do I need shampoo for?

Between the dog and cat, we had three visits to the vet, ensuring he could make his mortgage payments. Simon, the poor kitty, was attacked by another cat that came into our home through the dog door. He was attacked in his own house! Poor little guy. He’s such a sweetheart. We found out cats like Pedialyte. Grape flavor. Who knew?! Ranger was just being Ranger. What’s new there?

Miriam broke her wrist. Don’t ask. She also needs to have her own surgery, on her knee. (Insert long, exasperated sigh here.)

So meanwhile, back to the writing career. I did get a lot of writing done while I was down for the count. Writing as Simone Harlow, working to finish the second book in the Scorned Lovers series. I Hate Myself For Loving You will be out in mid-September. I have to admit I loved loved loved finding the not so perfect woman for Declan Shaw aka The Golden God. And I just finished Malcolm’s story Just a Girl. He and his hot mess of life are on their way to the editor. Gavin is up next, and the poor baby rock star is going to get the last thing he thinks he wants… the woman of his dreams.

As for writing with J.M Jeffries, we just turned in the second to the last of the Torres books staring baby sister Lola. She is in for a fun ride with her perfect hero. The release date and title are to be announced. And we have the final story in the can also. Yippy! After that, we are working on a series of books about sister animal trainers. Because if you can teach a monkey to take a shower, you can tame a hot man.

So now that were all caught up, I’m going to drag Miriam to go see Spiderman. Again, sorry for the long silence, everyone. It’s been a bitch to get through, but chemo is officially over, and I can get back to talking to you lovely readers.

Much Love,

Aka Simone Harlow
Aka the J in J.M. Jeffries

Spiders in the Loo

     WTF! My bathroom has been turned into a spider maternity ward.
*Imagine there is a spider picture here. My assistant is too afraid of spiders to look one up for me and convinced me this was funnier. Looking you, Rose Granbacka.*
     This morning I finally stumbled into my bathroom at zero dark thirty. Okay, it was really11:34 a.m., and I hit the snooze button about twenty times before that. Hey! Ranger tinkled at sevenish so he was good to go. And the pillows were in just the right place. It was dark like a vampire coffin (’cause that’s how I roll), the blankie was in the right place, and the dog was in the right place. The AC was blasting so I was happy, and I had the day off from the BUX. It was Baby Warwick day which meant I wasn’t going to be doing any writing so I could snooze. (Baby W is my roommate’s grandson.) Yes, I am justifying the fact that I slept in, just in case my mom reads my blog because she’s German and Catholic and sleeping in is against the 15th commandment. Commandments 11-14 are for another blog post on another day. Who wanted to get out of bed on a day like that? Let’s be real sleep is the only thing in the world where you can accomplish something by doing absolutely nothing. I like that concept.
     Back to the spiders in my the loo. Those little bastards. By the way, that term which is technically and grammatically correct because spiders don’t marry before they birth their babies. I’m sure most baby mama spiders kill their mates after he does his business ’cause, you know, she’s hungry after they have canoodled. I have nothing against spiders, per se. They don’t scare me (unlike some people I know. Looking at you again, Rose Granbacka). I am secure in the knowledge that I am the alpha predator at least in my bathroom, and I can kill them. They are quick, but I have the bigger brain, and if I don’t hit my head on the sink while I’m in hot pursuit I’m gonna win the war.
     One of those little jerks was doing the samba across my bra. I hook it on the door handle to dry after I wash it out to dry because working at Starbucks means a lot of things go down your shirt. Last night it was white mocha sauce. Tasty but sticky. (Remind me to tell you about the day I got a hot almond sliver down there. I still have the scar. That is a pain you can’t deal with because you’re in the Front-of-House, and you have to watch your language and where you stick your hand.)
     I felt a tad guilty killing the spiders since they were babies but they broke the rules. Yes, I have a bathroom rules. Nature is not allowed in there under any circumstances. The only one who gets to see me naked in the bathroom is the dog. And only because he doesn’t judge my bumps, rolls, and jiggles. He just loves me because I know where the dog food is, and I’m always happy to share it. Well really it’s all his, but this is my how I maintain control or there would be anarchy. Anarchy is messy, and I don’t have a full-time maid.
     This is why I’m a big supporter of environment causes. I want nature to have a place to exist… as far from me as possible. My idea of enjoying nature is the Nat Geo channel or my patio with a cocktail and a cigarette. You go out in nature, and you became part of the food chain. I don’t have to worry about a leopard stalking me in my backyard or a Great White in the pool. I should not have to live in fear of spiders in my bathroom or the one time the cat brought a gopher into my bed. Thanks, Kitty. Hey, Nature I’m going to have to Gandalf this again. “You shall not pass the doggie door.” Who doesn’t love a chance to quote Lord of the Rings? The movie, not the book. The book wasn’t in American.
Much Jackie
AKA the J of J.M. Jeffries
AKA Simone Harlow