Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009: A Year in Review


I was living at Mike's house in Rexburg and started my final semester at BYU-Idaho. During this month I began reading The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde for my senior capstone English class. Also, on the 16th, my sister gave birth to two beautiful twin boys named Morgan Rico and Wyatt Bruce Chacon. They are an awesome addition to the family.


Still plowing away at the last semester of school. Another Valentine's Day without a significant other to profess my love with flowers and chocolates to. Oh well.


This was a great month. We had Giselle (Gigi) sealed to my parents and also did Brittany's temple work. It was a very special and spiritual experience that I will not forget. It was after this that I finally felt at peace about the whole thing. We have also continued the tradition of going out to eat as a family on birthdays, so we went out for Britt's birthday.


We celebrated Kate's 27th birthday on the 8th. And I graduated from BYU-Idaho FINALLY! My degree was in English, professional writing, with a minor in public relations. The world was my oyster and I was ready to hit the road running!


This month found me moving out of Mike's house and back in with my parents and Gigi. It has been a good move because I have been able to save up money while looking for a big-kid job.


Gigi had her second birthday. On her birthday we took family pictures which would eventually be the motivation for me to lose weight.


I started a workout regimen using my parents' Bowflex and their elliptical machine and saw immediate results. Also, this was the month I went to Tori Amos' concert in Salt Lake City. She was AMAZING and by far the best concert I've ever been to. Somewhere either in June or July we had a big Art Taylor family reunion up here. We had a big bbq and then the next day we caravan'ed up to West Yellowstone and other hot spots. It was great to be with the clan again.


I turned 26 on the 4th which puts me closer to 30 than 20. It's hard to think of that simply because I thought I would be in a different place in my life at this point, but what can ya do? It has been hard for me to get out of a jaded funk about girls and dating.


Still plugging away at work at Deseret Book. They were starting construction on the remodel. We added a distribution center to the store which was a big undertaking for all involved.


We moved the store out into a tent for a week while they finished up the store's remodel. I went down to St. George for Jeremy and Megan Young's baby boy's blessing. They named him Hadley Taylor Young. It was great to get away and to see my friends there, so much so I really didn't want to leave. I even toyed with the idea of moving down there. It is still a possibility.

As soon as I got back I pulled a 14-hour day at work putting the store back together. What a mess!


I officially lost 20 lbs. this month. What a great feeling to be in shape. I forgot what it was like not to cringe whenever I looked in the mirror. :)

We celebrated Thanksgiving at my aunt and uncle's house near Rexburg. I was good and didn't overindulge even with all the yummy-yummy food to eat.


Insanity! Deseret Book became my second home because I was there so much. Tension was high the last couple weeks but we survived the Christmas rush. Now we get to take a sigh of relief as January comes and gives us some time to think and recover from the madness.

Also, I finished the rough draft of my novel! What an awesome thing to have that done. I have already started the rewrite and am very happy with the results thus far.

I am in a much different place in my life now. Much more at ease and comfortable with where I'm at. It's not that I'm getting complacent. I just know that I'm not going to sit around and wait for life to happen to me anymore. 2010 will be a year of changes, travels, and LIFE!

Friday, December 25, 2009


Hope your Christmas is merry and bright! I know mine has been. I love you all.

(I will post pictures and detailed summary of my Christmas soon, so stay tuned!)

Sunday, December 20, 2009


The rough draft of Soul Burner is FINISHED!

Official Word Count: 72,984

Estimated Page Count: 290

FYI: Soul Burner is what I am calling the rough draft. The new working title is The Shepherd of the Damned.

Now I get to do a complete rewrite. Thank you, everyone, for your support and motivation in this project. s

Saturday, December 19, 2009

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

I remember seeing this book at Barnes and Noble and not being all that interested. Then my aunt mentioned it to me so I decided to give it a try. I'm very glad I did because it is quite enjoyable.

The writing is very good. Cassandra Clare has a flare for precise detail and very raw imagery with her use of metaphor and simile. I loved the dialogue because it was realistic and I could picture teens actually talking that way. They weren't teens that sounded like adults or like children; they were teens.

Clare uses Dante's Inferno to create her world of Shadowhunters, demons, warlocks, witches, vampires, werewolfs, fairies, and other magical creatures. I like this because it exposes teens (her target audience) to a classical piece of literature that they, otherwise, would not know about.

I do have some qualms with the story though. (Warning: Spoilers ahead!) Why would Clare go through the trouble of creating this romance between Jace and Clary only to have the big twist at the end revealing that they are brother and sister? I'll admit I actually knew it was coming because I had read the synopsis of the next book, City of Ashes. So while Clare was building up this romance, I kept thinking, Sick, I know they're going to find out they're related. Why is she doing this to me (the reader)? I'm sure she has a good explanation for it, but it saddens me because I really liked the chemistry between Jace and Clary.

That brings me to my other complaint. This might be because I am not the target audience. I don't think the target audience for this book is a 26 year old white male, English major, and an aspiring writer. That being said, for her target audience I don't think this is the case. I just think that some of it was too predictable. Not just the relationship between Clary and Jace, but also some of the big "revelations." Granted, it is a nice tool to have the characters be oblivious to things the reader is all-too aware of, but sometimes that can be overdone. While I love Clary, she is not exactly smart sometimes. But I think that could also be simply because she's a teenage girl. It is also a nice payoff for the reader to be right sometimes when they predict what is going to happen. That being said, even though a good portion of the book is predictable, there are a few things that Clare throws in that are pleasant surprises. It is moments like these that you realize you are in the hands of a true storyteller with pure talent. And, no matter how predictable it is, you can't help but enjoy the ride.

I am really excited to read the next book in the trilogy. I've been on a teen fiction kick lately for some reason, and this is definitely a good read in that genre.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Will the insanity ever end?

I know Christmas is next week but, wow, I just can't believe how many people keep coming in to Deseret Book to buy Christmas stuff. I didn't even know there were this many people in Idaho Falls. Where are they all coming from? Seriously!

Today was a "slow day" and we did nearly $13,000 in revenue.

I've actually been really good this year, despite the insanity at work, at being in the Christmas spirit. The First Presidency devotional this year seemed to have the main message of focusing on the reason for the season rather than the hubbub of the commercial side of it. I am determined to keep my feet firmly planted and fight against the "commerciality" of the season.

Onward and upward, my friends!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Be Strong

I just received news that my really good friend lost her newborn baby due to heart complications. Please keep the Cederstrom family in your prayers throughout this difficult time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Time!

I've worked retail for forever it seems. Okay. That was an exaggeration. I have worked retail the last five years not counting the summer I worked at K-Mart. That is besides the point. Man, I get off-track so easily. The point is retail is horrible during Christmas time. It has a way of sucking the Christmas spirit right out of you. I worked at Wal-mart for three of the last five years and, let me tell you, the big, happy, smiley face is a big ol' lie.

Now, there are other reasons I've been a Scrooge during Christmas seasons. Snow is a huge one of those reasons. I'm perfectly content with having a warm Christmas. Call me crazy. I've seen what it's like to have a sunny Christmas and it's not all that bad. White Christmases are overrated thanks to Bing Crosby's song.

All of that aside, I have found myself in total Christmas mode this year. I am stoked about Christmas! Not only about the gifts and all that mumbo-jumbo, but also about the true meaning behind it. I have gotten most of my Christmas shopping done already so that I can focus on the birth of the Savior. In one of Tori Amos' songs on her new Christmas album (which is fantastic) she calls the Savior's birth "our salvation's hour." Angels, I'm sure we were among their number, rejoiced at the birth of Christ as it marked the beginning of our redemption.

At Deseret Book I see the commercialized side of the Savior's birth. Nothing against the book store. We sell good stuff that do good for people. It just tends to make the Nativity scene less special when you are surrounded by it all the time. So I am making a greater effort to be more awed by them and to concentrate on the true meaning of Christmas. It will be no easy task with customers who are stressed out about Christmas, grumpy coworkers who need to take chill pills, and hearing the same Christmas songs over and over and over...and over...and over...and...oh...You get the picture.

So I challenge you, dear reader, to focus on the beautiful story of a virgin mother who gave birth to a Son who would grow up to be our Salvation. Focus on the intricacies of the story: how Joseph must have felt when he found out his betrothed was pregnant, how Mary must have felt when she first received the visit from the angel, and how both of them felt when they first laid eyes on the baby Jesus.

One last thing before I close this monstrous rambling post.

This last Sunday I woke up to Sounds of Sunday. Glen Rawson was talking about the story of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. At first it was a nice little Christmas story, and I was half-asleep so I was just barely listening. Then he started talking about when Christ died, there was only Mary there. Glen Rawson said it really well. He said that the absence of Joseph shows that Christ can empathize with us in EVERY aspect of our lives including the loss of loved ones. This, of course, made me think about my sister and I got kinda weepy, but that is besides the point.

I refuse to get too caught up in the retail side of Christmas this year. Instead, I want this to be about my Savior who I know empathizes with me in all my trials and heartaches.

This won't be the last post this month but I just want to say:

Merry Christmas!