As Summer Fades to Fall

I’m sitting here with my tea, cuddled up in my bed, football on in the background reflecting on last night, and the entire weekend, that was the awesomeness known as Rock Chick Rendezvous.

I should be putting away laundry, doing dishes, my weekly Sunday tidying, editing, responding to the endless emails & texts I’ve been horribly neglecting this summer (I’m sorry!), etc.

But after the phone conversation I had with my dad I needed to write this.  I typically write posts that are more humorous, but today’s is more serious because it’s what’s in my heart.

For those of you that don’t know: this weekend I attended Rock Chick Rendezvous, which is an event thrown by the New York Times best selling author Kristen Ashley. Friday night was cocktails at the Sazerac bar at the Hotel Monaco, Saturday was a book signing with KA and USA today bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti, Saturday night was the big event (ticket required but totes worth it) which included dancing (honestly felt like I was at a wedding that KA happened to be at.  That’s how personable and incredible she is), a bomb photo booth, hor d’oeuvres, a bar (duh), and the most generous swag bag ever, and then Sunday KA did a coffee farewell (which I didn’t attend because I woke up sick this morning and didn’t want to infect anyone.)

This was my final event to send off the chaos that was my summer before I hunker down this fall, and go into hiding getting my book ready for it’s winter release. (Even typing that makes me nauseous haha. Let’s just say I’m excited but fucking terrified.)

This summer I was gone almost every weekend (and a lot of weeks) attending my first RWA conference, celebrating my nephew’s first birthday, turning 27, working for my day time job that pays the bills, attending a beautiful wedding, celebrating my Papa’s 90th birthday, etc.  Considering my weeks are full of ten hour days (my paid gig), early mornings/late nights to write, maintaining social media (blog, insta, twitter, facebook, etc.) yoga classes, workouts, meal prepping, writing group, bible study,  an occassional date here and there, not to mention having to do laundry, shower, and sometimes sleep … well let’s just say I’ve been going nonstop.  It has been exhausting.  It has been trying.  It has been stressful. It has been wonderfully fulfilling.

Two years ago I was nowhere close to realizing my dreams.  A year ago I was thinking, “Am I really going to do this? Can I do this?”

This morning I told my dad, “Even if I don’t sell one copy of my book, even if it takes me thirty years to make it even close to a best sellers list, and even if society says to me “statistically you are a failure,” I could care less.  The community of romance writers, romance readers, and all the amazing people I have met over the past year have made it worth it. Emotionally I’m one of the wealthiest people you will ever meet.” Seriously.

This summer has been full of so many events and moments that have created pieces (RWA, my writing group, my blog, collaborators, etc…) of the puzzle that is me. I’m happy to say that for now the puzzle is complete.

Last night as I was dancing to Sir Mix-A-Lot, The Dexy Midnight Riders, and Michael Jackson, singing at the top of my lungs to Bon Jovi, Whitney Houston, and Journey, wearing blue lipstick that I spent an hour talking myself in to, in an outfit I wouldn’t have had the confidence to wear six months ago, with women I had just met and already loved as friends… I was the truest version of myself I’d ever been. It felt amazing.

Thank you Kristen Ashley for creating a community of amazing women who no matter where they come from, what they do, or what crazy shades of lipstick they wear, travel near and far to get together and have a blast.  Thank you to both you and Rebecca Zanetti for being so generous with your books, which I’ve always appreciated but now having writing one makes me cry with gratitude, and your time. Thank you to your team who work their asses off to make weekends like this possible.  Thank you to the women who come out to have a good time and see old friends, as well as meet new ones.

Thank you to the women last night who had seen my pictures on Instagram and told me how excited they were for my book.  Thank you to the women who danced with me like no one was watching.  Thank you to the woman who said to me, “I loved watching you dance all night.  It was pure drama.”  Thank you to the women who howled till we cried laughing over the existence of dinosaur erotica (you know who you are).  Thank you to the book bloggers, the book worms, the facebook groups, and the romance fiends who keep this genre as kickass as it is.

Thank you to the authors, both established and aspiring, who are always encouraging, never competitive.  Thank you for offering advice, friendship, mentorship, and faith in our writing.

Thank you to my employers (who will probably never read this) for giving me a day job that I love to support myself as I pursue this career.  I hope you buy my books and never read them haha. Thank you to my friends and family who deal with my neurotic scheduling, inconsistent response time in terms of texts and emails, and bad jokes.  Thank you to my sisters for being such awesome women, offering an ear when I need to vent, and a voice when I need reason (or a funny story).

And thank you to my parents for being so unbelievably incredible words don’t do them justice.

I haven’t even published my damn book yet and I’m on cloud nine.

Thanks Romance Community.

You slay.

S.S. Jaxon


Instagram Food: The Best Damn Applesauce 

I’m a pretty decent cook, I’m a damn good baker (I’m also very humble). I suck at grammar, I really suck at math (See? Humble).  With my writing, I don’t do either as much as I like. But no matter what’s going on in my life every year I make strawberry rhubarb jam in the summer & applesauce in the fall. I could eat them both straight out of the jar. The applesauce I do (I’m not going to admit to the jam because that’s ummm… delicious? I mean gross. No one does that.)

Even though it’s not September 22nd, Seattle’s got a hint of fall in the air reminding us of the dwindling summer nights. Oh, and Halloween stuff has been out since August. So…screw the calendar! It’s applesauce time.

This recipe is courtesy of The Pioneers  Woman aka one of my cooking idols. I’ve been following her for a while & the whole world caught on five years ago and she finally got her own show on Food Network. What what! She slays.

I took her recipe (which is fabulous as is) and added the below to give it a little bit more spice (BTW I use Honeycrisp & Macintosh apples which I think she does too):

Instead of juice of a whole lemon I do 1/2 of a lemon

I use 1 c Treetop’s 3 Blend Apple Juice

I add: 1 tbsp cinnamon 

1 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp ground cloves 

Sounds good right? Yeah you should make some. Make a batch, make five, can some for later. It’s that good. I’m not kidding when I say this is the best damn applesauce. Ever.

Later gators.