A Forgotten Knight, a Dragon, and Computer Technology? Spotlight on Author Renee Cheung
To inspire hope and courage, I dedicate Monday posts through the months of March and April to authors and professionals on the subject of heroes, historically defined, and also the transformation in today’s society. I like to think of this term as the Everyday Hero. Here today, I have fellow author Renee Cheung, answering three questions on the hero topic. I’ll also end this post with my Everyday Hero of the week.
Her Story, “Memoirs of a Forgotten Knight”
Long ago, before the Unseen migrated into servers and networks, a hedge-knight sought to save a village from a dragon. But being a hero always has its price.
Spotlight With Renee Cheung
[Questions] What is your definition of a hero (historically or in today’s world)? How does your hero from “Breath Between Seconds,” fit the definition? Why did she fall, the theme of the Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life Anthology?
In the everyday, heroes are commonplace. The kid that shoveled snow for their elderly neighbour, that elder knitting hats for the homeless, that homeless person sharing the change they received with others who didn’t have as much luck that day – they are all heroes in their momentary acts of kindness. In reality, a hero is not an identity anyone assumes forever, but in fact, is a label applied to a moment in time when that person commits an act of greater good.
In fiction, it’s another story. I believe the hero archetype constantly carries three main attributes
- They have a solid sense of morality and aspires to uphold values, even in ambiguous situations
- They aspire to accomplish deeds that do not directly benefit themselves
- They do not accomplish those deeds to seek fame or glory
Heroes in fiction are often selfless to a fault and as a result, meet a tragic end, precisely because they give so much, they have nothing left for themselves.
In that sense, Cormac is almost a typical hero, a knight, protecting a village from a dragon. I tried to incorporate some realism in that he wouldn’t mind if some fame or glory came his way from the deed, but it was not his primary motivation. Mostly, he sought to protect at the risk of his own life.
Without spoiling the story, Cormac’s fall was not his own fault. He could not have known the circumstances ahead of time. And I would say, it is debatable whether he did fall or not, for in the end, he tried to stay true to who he was. Whether he remained a hero by the end of the story or not, I will leave to the reader’s’ judgement.
About Renee Cheung
Renee uses her years of experience as a developer to write about the what-ifs of magic and technology. When she is not suspiciously peering at her computer in between her writing, she can be found roaming the streets with her family or gaming (whether it’s video games, board games or table-top RPGs) with her similar-minded friends.
My Everyday Hero this week: Public Safety Resource Officer L.
If John Wayne patrolled the streets of Kansas City today, why wouldn’t he choose education to channel his efforts and preserve and secure the safety of our children?
School Resource officers are the shadows of safety for our children. Dressed in dark colors, they blend in, patrolling school daily functions. Before the bell fires off, they are outside directing traffic, surveying parents, kids, and staff to ensure a safe arrival to school. After the first bell, they patrol the halls, checking doors and locks to secure all classrooms. They station themselves near the doors, ready and watching. They lend helpful hands in the lunchroom when kids can’t open their milk cartons. Staff trust them and students run to hug them. School resource officers teach citizenship clubs before school and model good choices when sometimes kids don’t get them from their families.
With a twinkle in his eye and a smile in his voice, Officer L. is one of a kind, the perfect balance between safety and education, much like I’d picture John Wayne if he lived today.
[Erika] What is your favorite part of your job?
[Officer L] Lunch Duty. Opening milk cartons and making kids laugh and smile is priceless. I am more lenient than I should be. But it’s a chance to give out hugs. Sometimes kids don’t get that love and support they need at home. Many of them are hungry. I let them get what they need.
[Erika]What was your deciding factor to become a public safety officer?
[Officer L.] I fell into this job by accident. At the time I worked as a Park Ranger with a friend of mine. He visited the school district, read about the job in August. He applied for that one and then another position opened up. My wife saw it and I put my application in. I’d worked with the current Director of the Public Safety Department and knew his reputation was sound. I applied for my family. My kids were entering middle school at the time and I needed to give up my weekend hours working for the county. I made the decision for my family.
[Erika] What advice do you have to the public?
[Officer L] If you love what you do every day goes by and you can’t wait to wake up and get there. When I get up I raise my fits excited and say, “I get to go to school!”
Kids say, “ugh, I have to go to school.”
I get up every day and love going to work.
[Erika] Who is your everyday hero?
[Officer L.] My wife. Everything about her is amazing. She gets up and takes care of us all. She does everything in the right appropriate way for me. If I hadn’t met her, I’m not sure where I would be, probably less off. She’s a perfect example for our kids. No bad habits. Kind. I’m for a small country town and she taught me better life skills. I completed my Masters because of her. She’s so supportive.
[Erika] Who is your superhero?
[Officer L.] John Wayne.
Question: Have you ever experienced a moment as an Everyday Hero? Volunteered in a public school? Found your perfect job by accident?
Thank you, Renee Cheung for being here with me today. I can’t wait to read your story.