Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pictures of Taylor

Here are one of the great pictures taken by Brook Long. Taylor is such a sweet, active guy. This is a look that I get on a regular basis. Makes me wonder he is thinking about. On one hand I cannot wait for him to talk, on the other, he may not stop once he starts. I think I will take the latter.

Christmas was another great holiday for us. Taylor loved to hide things in the Christmas tree. He would put a toy in the tree and leave it for a while...some times he would not go to retrieve it until the next day. I was impressed that he always remembered where he put it. I took off the last two weeks of the year and in the last week Taylor had started doing a wide variety things he had shown no interest in doing previously.

My first two books were officially released on December 21. I am working on the third book, which will be named "The Orb of Nitesh". I am hopeful that by January 1st that I will have the third book complete. I am excited to start hearing back from readers about what they think about my story.
I am hoping in the new year that the job will not take us so much time and that I can spend more time at home. It has been great to have my Dad and Mom stay with us for a few days. Dad has fixed up the house which is greatly appreciated. I think Taylor will take more after Dad than I...he was interested in what Grandpa was doing when working on a project. He would try to help my Dad with his work.
The year of 2010 has been a long one, but it certainly did go fast. I hope that in 2011 that there will be a whole lot more family time. Looking forward to hopefully having some success with my books. I also hope that you all have a great year too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Family Update

Life has been busy and challenging of late. The month of October has been a month that has become the month of trials for our little family. Along with trials come changes. It is almost as if you can feel it in the air. Trials in and of themselves are not negative. We are having plenty of positive trials, one of which is the pre-sale release of my first two books. Happy to say I was able to sign book 1 & 2 two for the wife...she was the first one to receive signed copies. I have to say I was surprised that she is even going to read them.

Taylor is growing so big and is so full of personality. He is absolutely a joy to have in our lives and have made 8 plus years of waiting worth it. Debbie and Taylor give me the inspiration to make it through the days. When I feel like staying in bed I always hear Taylor chattering and my heart melts and my confidence to get at it is strengthened. I am truly blessed to have them in my life. I hope that my books can be something they will be proud of.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Books Available For Sale

As of right now both books are for sale on the publisher's website. So, feel free to go ahead and get a copy of the books. Here are individual links for each book:

The Broken Council - http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-61663-747-7

The Fallen Guardian - http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-61739-206-1

Both Books - http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/search.php?search=burke&s=5&l=5&t=7

Please feel free to check out the books and buy them. If you have any questions, please let me know. So, the official date for in-store release is December 21, 2010. It is rather cool that you can buy books now before they even hit the stores. I am pleased with the finished project and hope you enjoy the story as it unfolds!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Family Update

This summer has flown by. Football season is upon us once again and I am hoping Taylor will still enjoy watching college game day with daddy. The job has been insanely busy with no end in sight. I think being busy is a good way to keep out of trouble. I did not get outside as much as I had wanted, however, I was able to spend good quality time with the family over the past few months.

The calling has been busy along with continuous changes to home teaching and to replacing people who have moved. I am hoping that the fall will bring some serenity and peace. The books are done and in the final stage. I am hoping by the end of September to have the website for the books done and have it so the books can be purchased from the website. I am way excited for everyone to read the story thus far. I am so thankful for everyone who has helped along the way.

I also want to thank my wife for putting up with Taylor and I...even though the boy gets special consideration and I do not. It helps that he is so cute...I think he will always get away with everything. It melts my heart when he says daddy. He did start to say mama just yesterday, so hopefully he will start doing that more so Debbie can feel apprecaited. She clearly does way more and deserves all the credit.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Book Update

Everyone should check out my blog that is focused on my book series The Guardian Chronicles. I have finished editing and have selected the cover art for both books. The artist did an amazing job with her creations...she captured the story while drawing people to the book with her creative art work. Thanks to everyone who gave their opinions about the options that were resented to me. There were only a handful of different views, so it was reassuring that the choice I made was popular...which is rather important when trying to market your work. I am thankful for those who had different opinions on the work...I do value all input.

I am in the stages of preparing myself for the criticism that will come once the books are out, however, the art work is helping me to be a little more confident. I have also begun editing book 3 and will be back into writing in the next two weeks. I have about 50 pages left in book 3 to write. I am probably going to need to come up with a different title as the one I have currently applies more to book 4 than 3. Any suggestions would be welcome...especially after reading books 1 and 2. :)

Even if success is not mine with this series, I will still feel accomplished and proud of the work I have done. This experience has taught me a great deal about creation. Creative writing is fun and exciting...being able to edit your own creation is the most difficult thing about the process. I have learned that a creator must be able to and willing to destroy some or all of what they have created. There are parallels to the gospel here which just reminds me how much the gospel is part of every facet of our lives.

The family is doing well...Debbie completed her first 5K recently and is preparing for another one in a week or so. Taylor is getting bigger, taller, and even more precious with each passing moment. He is still a mama's boy through and through. Who can blame him...I have an amazing wife who has to take care of two boys. We love her and are thankful for everything she does.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day

This is what father's day is all about. It took many years to get this little guy here, but it was worth the wait. Even though he makes you want to pull your hair out, I know...I have little to pull out, it is a face like this that makes all of that melt away.
It was a great feeling to be celebrating a second father's day. He is such a joy to have in our lives. He currently sticks one arm, or both, into the air when you say super Taylor. Or, when you say how big is Taylor. When I raise my arm into the air he mimics me.
There are times when he is tired that when he tried to raise his arm that it only goes so high. An unknowing person may think he is paying tribute to Hitler...hilarious. He still refuses to say mom or mama. He does say dad or dada. Many times its meaning is not for me...there are times when he actually does mean me. Too precious.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Taylor's First Birthday

Taylor's first ballon...loved it. He had so much fun with his cousins and other family members. He Mom used her power of thinking something to be in order to ward off the certain rain storm (or snow storm) that was predicted. The weather held for the party and everyone had a great time.
To say that he was spoiled is putting it mildly...now we are striving to find places for everything. Plus, can I just say that manufactorers who require assembly should be shot out of a cannon that is aimed at a lake full of gators. I certainly did not inherit my father's capacity for assembly and I have a long way to go to just learn the patience needed to put these things together. At least I have time to prepare for Christmas. Anyway, he had a blast and received so much...thank you all!

Here is the boy's first cake...he really loved it. He had his first opportunity to dig into, without reproach, food and he relished it. He approached the task in typically Taylor style...methodical, thought out, and then attacked.
Below is the result of his assault...fun at the moment. He was not happy when Mom had to literally hose him down in the shower immediately after.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Vacation Pictures

Here is Taylor showing us his new favorite toy...the organ. He loves "playing" multiple times each day. He loves it when Grandma plays the organ with him. We even found a chair that would allow him to sit there and play without as much supervision.

He has many other toys that he is loving at Grandpa and Grandma Burke's house. He has further developed his love to standing and pulling himself up on his own. He has a knack for getting into things that he should not be.

Here is a great picture of the boy standing on his own...even though he is unaware that he is doing so. He stood about a minute without any assistance. This was one of the few moments today that it was not raining today. I had forgotten how much I love a good Washington rain storm. This is not the typical west coast Seattle rain...this is a good soaking we experience in the eastern part of the state during Spring and Fall.

He is one tall boy for his age...we hope, and by "we" I mean me, that he continues to grow tall.

Here is the "Taylor" tree planted by Grandpa Burke for Taylor's first visit. Taylor was a trooper going out in the cold and he did really well being outside. Hopefully we can get outside a great deal more back in Utah.

His new haircut makes him look so much older. Debbie fought the first full haircut for as long as she could manage. He looks so handsome and his sideway glance his gives you is so much more effective with his mature look.

He just loved the swing...what you do not see in the picture is Grandma Burke blowing bubbles. In this picture that is what he is actually smiling at. He quickly figured out how to keep the swing moving on his own. So, we all just watched him while he swang away.

We know that we are heavily biased, but he is just so adorable. It is hard to stay upset at this little man as he sets about the Grandparents place bent on finding every power cord imaginable.

This to me is the best part of vacation...spending time with the boy. As he is teething pretty bad at the moment, I would say this is the best of the best for moments. He plays hard and he sleeps just as hard. It was great to know that each day I woke up that I have been able to spend it with the boy instead of heading out to work.

Even though he wakes up around 5 am PST, he is just so much fun in the morning. He has learned to clap and has waved once or twice. He does the clapping only when his has an audience. He hams it up for us.

In all, it has been a great visit and we will be sad to go. Hopefully all of you are having a great week. Enjoy the easter holiday and remember the importance of this time of year.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Washington Visit

So, Taylor was such a big boy on his flight to Spokane on Friday. Even though the flight was delayed because the plane had to be de-iced, he was really good. He slept most of the flight and did a great job on the ride from Spokane to Colville, roughly 70 miles. Naturally we stopped at the Steer Inn which is our must hit place when we come to visit. Had the German sausage...so good.

Taylor has started clapping and has been hamming it up for the grandparents. He is everywhere and has learned what it is like to hit a TV. He loved swinging on the deck and decided he did not like the slide at all. He is growing so big and strong. Debbie was introduced to the "main" attractions her in Colville...the Walmart and Big R. She can now say that she has lived a full life.

Promise to post some pictures of the trip as soon as we get back. It has been a real good visit thus far...been really nice to not be at work for twelve plus hours every weekday. I am looking forward to working on my first full edit from my editor. Should be a great deal of fun...seriously. Hopefully the little man continues to be a good boy.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Book Blog Created

I have created a blog that is solely for my book that is being published this summer. So, I will only write about family items on this blog while all book related topics will be on the new blog: http://theguardianchronicles.blogspot.com. So, if you would like to follow that blog, please visit it and follow it. I have started the story of how the world I created came into being. Part 1 post has been completed.

We are getting excited to visit Grandpa and Grandma Burke this coming Friday. Hopefully Taylor does better on this flight to Spokane. It will be fun to spend some time with the parents and for Taylor to get a chance to be spoiled some more. Apparently he is not nearly spoiled enough at home. I promise that we will have pictures posted before general conference weekend from our trip. Hope you are all well.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Life Update

It looks as though I have seriously neglected the blog...so here is a rough update. Taylor is all over the place now. One day he finally sits up by himself and then two days later he is crawling. Now is is trying to pull himself up all the time on the furniture so he can stand. He is getting really tall...pictures on the next blog...promise.

So, today my book is in conceptual editing. This part could take 2-3 months to complete. With work being exceptionally busy I have not had the time to work on book 2 at all, so I am hopeful that will change by April. I have gone back and read the first 12 1/2 chapters of book 2 and I still love it. I am really looking forward to working on it again.

We are looking forward to our trip at the end of the month to visit grandpa and grandma Burke. It will be fun for the little guy to travel again. He had a wonderful visit to grandpa and grandma Taylor's house over Thanksgiving...he loved flying. Hopefully we do not have to use any medicine this time.