Jul
4

Me, Myself, and I

So Apparently I'm an Adrenalin Junkie...

Pitch Wars is a competition where a number of writing professionals (editors, published/ agented writers, and industry interns) each choose an author to mentor over the course of two months, at which time the resulting manuscripts are pitched to agents to see which books get picked up for representation.  Author submissions for the competition begin on August 3rd this year, and authors can currently submit a blog post to the Pimp My Bio blog-hop page to allow the mentors an opportunity to learn more about each of the applicants ahead of the submission rush.

Seeing as I'm looking for more external links to drive up my SEO, I figured this was a win-win!  So, I'll take this opportunity to post a little about myself, including some of the off-the-wall things I've done over the past 40-odd years, and some of my creative influences as a writer.

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PAST ADVENTURES:

A. Lee Ripley, Dickie Dee Salesman

At the age of 14, I got a job as a Dickie Dee Ice Cream salesman.  I got top sales in Eastern Canada and I used the money I earned to help send myself to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. News Flash: SPACE CAMP IS AWESOME.  Seriously, seriously, AWESOME.

Bonus: I won the Right Stuff Award, bought a full-sized poster of all the buttons and switches in the cockpit of the Space Shuttle, ate copious amounts of freeze-dried ice cream, and somehow kept my lunch down while flailing around in the multi-axis trainer.

A. Lee Ripley, Carnival Queen

In 1991, I participated in the Eastern Passage Carnival Pageant and won all three of the Pageant Queen, Miss Swimwear, and Miss Congeniality ribbons despite the fact that I was the only contestant that completely and utterly screwed up “the walk” during the swimwear competition. But man, I owned that mistake gloriously, which apparently counted for somethinglesson learned. And no, the kitchen is not on fire in that picture, we had a flood that damaged some of my older pictures.  :)

A. Lee Ripley, Deputy Cadet Wing Commander

A few weeks shy of my 18th birthday I joined the military under the Regular Officer Training Program.  My first two years of university were at Royal Roads Military College (RRMC) in Victoria, British Columbia just before it was closed.  RRMC was located on a wildlife sanctuary and the administrative building was an actual full-fledged castle (the one used for filming “Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters“ for the X-Men movies, in fact).  After two more years at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) in Kingston, Ontario, I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering (Software). 

In the picture above, I’m the Deputy Cadet Wing Commander (D/CWC, pronounced “dee cee dub cee”) handing off the parade to the Cadet Wing Commander (CWC, “cee dub cee”) during our graduation parade ceremony.  I’m the one saluting with a sword… Man, I LOVE those pith helmets.

A. Lee Ripley, Pirate

As part of my military orientation as an Air Navigator, I had the opportunity to do winter survival training, sea survival training, hypoxia (high altitude/oxygen-deprivation) training, rappelling, and para-sailing.

Bonus: I know how to use a sextant if my GPS ever fails. Pretty sure that officially qualifies me to be a pirate if this writing thing doesn’t pan out.

A. Lee Ripley, AstroNOT

In 2008, I applied to the Canadian Astronaut Recruitment Program. My static-line parachuting certificate, PADI Open Water SCUBA certification, Nitrox Diving certification, and First Aid certification helped me make it through several rounds of screening but ultimately the demi-gods with multiple doctorates, pilot’s licenses, and superhero powers got the gig instead of me.  

NOTE: another recruitment campaign is under way until 15 Aug 2016 if anyone is interested… Just sayin’.

ADRENALINE RUSHES & MISC TALENTS:

A. Lee Ripley, Fire Jumper

I’m a fan of the creative process but I tend to get in my own way in terms of the high standards that I hold for myself. But from time to time I let myself admit that I can hold my own at cosplay foam-fabrication, chainmail armor-smithing, drawing, and custom sewing. Some of my current favorite activities are zip lining/ aerial parks, rock climbing, flying trapeze, obstacle course/ mud racing (from 5km to half-marathon races), indoor free-fall skydiving, and dog sledding (I talked myself into buying a kick sled last winter after one demo ride… here’s hoping my DOG turns out to be as excited about this particular hobby as I am).  :) Oh, and I jumped off the 108th floor of the Stratosphere hotel in Las Vegas!  

NOTE: In the picture above, you can clearly see flames rising between my legs!!!!! All nether regions survived that fire jump! Obscene comments aside, that is obviously a whole new level of inadvertent BAD ASS!!  That was seriously, seriously not intentional!

SOURCES OF INSPIRATION:

A. Lee Ripley, Trekkie

Physics is my favorite.  I’m all over the PBS Space Time YouTube posts when they come out.   By extension, I love all things sci-fi too.  I’ve been a fan of Star Trek and Star Wars since I was a child and I’m even more of a fan now that J.J. Abrams has gotten his hands on two the franchises… lens flares and all.  (The picture at left is me in my Vulcan Science Officer cosplay for Hal-Con 2015.)

In terms of other shows that I love, I would say Doctor Who (I’m all about #10) and Sherlock are right up there for me as well.  Aaaaand if I’m being totally honest, I have to admit that I loves me some American Ninja Warrior too (God help me but I actually enjoy the hosts’ cheezy puns).  ;)

Currently, my favorite authors are Tanya Huff (Confederation Series), Kim Harrison (The Hollows Series and The Drafter Series), John Scalzi (Old Man’s War Series), Robert J. Sawyer (WWW Trilogy), and Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game Series).

And the artists that are raking up the most playtime on my phone are Alanis Morissette, Alessia Cara, Amy Winehouse, Christina Perry, Nelly Furtado, Sarah Slean, Sarah McLachlan, Sia, and System of a Down (with some Loreena McKennitt and Enya thrown in there for contrast and good measure).

GOOD THINGS TO COME:

A. Lee Ripley on a 1976 AMC Gremlin

I definitely still have a few things yet to be crossed off the “to-do” list.  I’d love to learn to fly a plane, I’d like to get a Physics degree (maybe in my retirement), and I definitely wouldn’t mind winning the lottery so I can purchase a ticket aboard a Virgin rocket to space.   If I had a few extra dollars to spare, I’d love to own a 1976 AMC Gremlin or a cafe cruiser style motorcycle.  (That’s me on the hood of my Dad’s first Gremmy.)

And of course, the goal that’s most prominently in my sights at present is getting my book published. :) Onwards and upwards!  

PS: It’s kismet that the indoor sky diving location we’ve adopted as our new favorite place in the world is right next door to the CANADIAN SPACE CAMP!!!!  I see another road trip in the not too distant future…

Sky Venture

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four Responses to "Me, Myself, and I"

  1. Eric Thomson
    Eric Thomson on 05-07-’16 09:23

    You are such a geek :)

  2. April M Wall
    April M Wall on 05-07-’16 10:55

    Good luck!

  3. Yvette
    Yvette on 05-07-’16 18:16

    You are amazing! I can’t believe how much you’ve done at such a young age. Soon you’ll be able to add “Published Author” to your list of accomplishments. :)

  4. A. Lee Ripley
    A. Lee Ripley on 05-07-’16 21:14

    Eric, you know me too well. :)
    April, thanks for the luck! I’ll take all I can get! :)
    Yvette, I sure hope you’re right!! :D

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