Friday, 4 October 2013

About the Author

(Last edited March 22, 2017)

Greetings readers.  This page will give you a bit of background on me, Stephen Selke.

There isn’t much to tell, really.  I don’t have some extravagant moving testimony like I’ve heard so many of.

You’ve probably heard the term “Preacher’s Kid.”  Well I belong to a less renown category:  Missionary Kid.  I use present tense despite the fact that my parents are no longer serving as staff at a bible school and the fact that I have long since entered the part of life’s journey called “adulthood.”  For I believe that as long as one is a beacon of Christ’s light for others, they can be called missionaries regardless of their earthly vocation.  Plus, humans are eternal beings, so as long as a soul is destined to survive the second death, one can be considered a “kid.”

Yes, I know we are well into the page and I haven’t revealed too much more about myself besides my name and the fact that I am a Christian.  This is because being a follower of Christ makes up so much of my own personal identity, and I’m always striving to become more Christ-like.  Nothing else in my life seems to matter.  Nevertheless, I’ll attempt to continue my bio without rolling into a lengthy tangent.

I was blessed with a childhood that I can look fondly back on.  

Perhaps it didn’t seem like it at the time, but school was a breeze.  It didn’t take much work to achieve honours marks, and so I didn’t find it a necessity to develop a habit of studying hard - something that I began to regret later in life.  This wasn’t to say that made me a lazy person.  No, I was only lazy with my free time.
Fortunately my free time was reduced with AWANA (a verse memorizing club for kids, with games and activities to appease the rest of the group who weren’t into the whole verse recital thing), bible study, prayer meetings, and work at a grocery store.

I may have began to learn spiritual life lessons as a younger child, but I learned so much of life’s lessons in that grocery store.  Hamar’s AG Foods was where I learned how much of a sheltered life I had been living.  It would not be uncommon for me to spend the work day with a stockboy high on drugs and a drunk/hung over cashier.  Of course at first I was too naive to recognize it.  A smoke concentrated coffee room was where I learned that it was normal for teenagers to have sex with a partner not only outside of marriage, but also outside of any kind of relationship.

I never did decide what I wanted to be “when I grow up.”  I enjoyed any kind of computer work that was given to me, but somehow I knew that I didn’t have a good chance to build a decent career as a computer game designer.  I had too many other options, and not enough ambition.  So I went with what seemed like a safe choice:  Chemical Engineering Technology.  Going into this program at NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) would supposedly make me a much sought after asset in the oil field.  I didn’t exactly want to work in the oil field.  But hey, the money was great, and I could get good at anything, I estimated that after going to school for two years I would get used to it and may even enjoy it.  After all, I didn’t always enjoy working at grocery store but that changed after I got used to it.  

I was wrong.  I hated it.  The program trained me in a large variety of things, from designing towers (or whatever they're called), drawing schematics of processes, about 20 different lab tests including titration and gas chromatography, and safety courses such as H2S Alive, transportation of dangerous goods, WHMIS, First Aid, all that fun stuff.  Cram that all into two years, and you learn a little bit about everything.  But ask me about any one thing, and I couldn’t tell you anything.  We didn’t do enough of just one thing for me to get either a liking or an understanding of it.  

I was expecting companies to approach me and say “hey you, come work for us,” without me having to any work.  I was wrong, again.  Something called job searching was required.  That required work, and like I said earlier, I was lazy with my free time.  Turns out NAIT wasn’t like high school and I wasn’t able to get honours marks without even trying (although I did manage to get better than average marks with minimal effort).  It was during my time at NAIT that something called WoW entered my life.  Yep, not too much good can come out of playing World of Warcraft, especially during one’s prime life building years.

So I finished my two years and got my certificate, with no job to show for it.  I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.  I didn’t even know what God wanted me to do with my life.  The only thing I knew was that I was asked to be an assistant manager back at Hamar’s AG Foods.  So I went back “home” to Lac La Biche.  I never did receive the “assistant manager” title, although I did the work the position entailed.  The year I spent back at Lac La Biche was a big year for me growing as an independent adult.

The year went by way too fast and Buy-Low Foods, the company that I worked for at Hamar’s AG Foods (the whole organization hierarchy is kind of confusing, but suffice it to say that Buy-Low Foods has the same owner as Save On Foods:  Jim Pattison, a name you may know) ended up closing down the store in Lac La Biche.  I was forced to job search once more, this time with no safety net.
I moved to Lacombe where I spent six months as a part time dairy clerk at Sobeys.  I learned so much at this store.  For the first time in my life I wasn’t the “hard worker” of the store.  Instead I found myself swamped, I needed to work hard just to keep up and do my job.  

My year in Calgary started when my boss from Lac La Biche invited me back to work for the Buy-Low Foods he was now the store manager of.  I was to have my old position, and that was infinitely more attractive than spending my whole working career feeling annoyingly cold from being stuck in Sobeys’ dairy section.  I would have to say Calgary was the highlight of my life.  I quit World of Warcraft, made friends, and went out and did things like a normal person should.  During this year I went on my first vacation as an adult (Italy/Greece), sat with all the rich people at a Calgary Flames game, and even checked out the Calgary stampede.  Work was awesome, I wanted to stay there forever.  Sales were on the rise, so I figured we were safe from this store closing.

I was wrong.  For the second time in my life, the store that I was working at closed down.  It was perfect timing for the Sobeys in Lacombe to step in and recruit me back to be a supervisor.  So Lacombe is where I currently reside.  I enjoy work, enjoy life, and look forward to doing some more growing/learning here.

Perhaps one more point of note about my life is that I published a book called Freedom to Die.  You can see more about that if you go to  To me, publishing that book was a soft milestone.  It was a litmus paper test of sorts to see if I was going to be in for a life of fame (but not wealth, I had no delusions of the income of the average writer).  It turns out that I wasn't.  I shouldn't have been surprised, as it was my first novel, written with very little input during the process and friends and family as the target audience.  Its a unique and entertaining story, which I had professionally edited.  Because of that, I like to think of it as a quality novel, but the lack of response I got for it may suggest otherwise.
There you have it, my life story.  My life is generally an open book, and should you wish to learn more you need only ask.