Saturday, May 21, 2016

Superhero Saturday - Raven Moon

Raven Moon

Armed with ranged weapons and super sight, this Lady Superhero works with Oregon's Community Superheros and guards the neighborhoods of Beaverton, OR.

Deirdra: Who or what inspired you to become a superhero?

Raven Moon: I was raised on Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and the X Men. When I was small I wanted to have real superpowers and I wanted to magic to be real. I’ve also felt compelled to help people for as long as I can remember. I want to be a part of a community that looks out for each other. Sometimes you’ve got to be the one to take action when you want to see something happen.

I first learned about the Real Life Superheroes movement when I saw a brief news story featuring Real Life Superheroes in Seattle.  I was completely fascinated with the concept but I never thought I would have the opportunity to do the same. My fascination was sparked again when I bumped into Guardian Shield last summer as he patrolled my neighborhood.  He immediately introduced himself and shook my hand and I talked to him a little bit about what he was doing. I tried to find him on Facebook but I couldn’t and then I saw a story that was being passed around by many of my Facebook friends. It was a news story about Guardian Shield patrolling the City of Beaverton. I looked him up once more and messaged him and that very same evening I was heading out my front door to meet him for my first patrol.

Deirdra: How did you come up with your superhero name?  
Raven Moon: I wanted a name that reflected the fact that we patrolled at night and a name that also held a bit of magic.

I am a huge animal lover. I’ve been surrounded by pets all my life. I love backyard bird watching and watching local wildlife thrive, even in a busy city. Hearing Coyotes howling in Beaverton is a reminder that there’s animals of all kinds around us. I chose the name Raven because ravens are highly intelligent, wise, and clever. Raven Moon captured my love of animals, the night, and it holds an air of mystery.

Deirdra: Who made your costume?
Raven Moon: My costume is pieced together with things I already had as well as new additions that I could easily attain and afford. We are all on a budget, there’s no Bruce Wayne among us unfortunately.  It’s been a piece by piece process. Each time I find or receive new gear or clothing it brings the look together. I have a distinct picture in my mind of the end result and hopefully as each item is added it’ll make that look come to life. I am also a fan of multiple looks with the same general color combination. Don’t be surprised if my long purple hair is suddenly short. Especially in those hot summer months.

Deirdra: If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Raven Moon: If I could have any superpower it would have to be the ability to teleport. I love the idea of being able to get somewhere instantly as well as avoid potential hazards and remove people from harm. Plus, no traffic right?

Deirdra: What do you hope to accomplish?
Raven Moon: I hope to inspire others to stand up for their community and that all of us can be superheroes. You don’t need actual superpowers or a lot of money to do this. You just need to have the desire to make the world a better place and the motivation to make it happen.  If I can spark a few others to join in the movement I’d consider that a wonderful accomplishment.

What do you for your day job?
Raven Moon: I am an average person. I work full time in an office providing fiscal support. Super exciting I know, welcome to the world of finance! I actually enjoy my job and my co workers are great.

Deirdra: Are the police supportive or do they see you as a lawless vigilante?
Raven Moon: I’ve only met a couple of Officers in my own neighborhood.  They seemed accepting and kind.  They are already stretched so thin that another pair of eyes is helpful.  I’m definitely not a vigilante, I’m not out seeking revenge or to right the wrongs of super criminals. I’m here to make sure that you can wake up in the morning and not have your car broken into and to make sure someone else is out there watching out for suspicious activity so you can get home safely.

Deirdra: Are you in danger by doing what you do?  
Raven Moon: I don’t see myself in any great danger.  The streets aren’t nearly as scary and dangerous as they are made out to be. Mind you, I am well aware that there are bad people out there, but I’ve yet to be confronted, threatened, or frightened by anyone looking to do me harm. For the most part I’ve only been met by friendly, although sometimes surprised, people who sincerely appreciate us being here and watching out for them.

Deirdra: Are you stopping crimes and helping people?
Raven Moon :I think for the most part we serve as a deterrent and as a skilled neighborhood watch. I've never personally stopped a bad guy.  I’m fairly new to the Real Life Superhero world so it might be just a matter of time. I’m thankful that for the most part our patrols are quiet and uneventful.  

Deirdra: What does your family think?
Raven Moon: My immediate family is very supportive, as a matter of fact, they think it’s great. .   

Deirdra: Does your mom know you are doing this?
Raven Moon: Hahaha, Yes my mom knows.  As any truly loving and caring mother would, she worries. If I can remember her reaction when I told her it went something along the lines of Grimace “Oh honey, be careful.”  Don’t worry mom I’ll be OK.  

Deirdra: Do you have a weakness?
Raven Moon: I certainly have a weakness for some of the actors that play superheroes. Arrow and Wolverine especially!

Of course I also have a weakness for animals. Yes, I’m the type of girl that will try to make someone stop their car if an animal might be hit. The hardest part of this weakness is that it’s hard to snuggle an animal when most of your uniform is black and their fur is not. What can I do?  Animals are my kryptonite. Kittens have the ability to turn me into mush, use this information wisely.

Deirdra: How long have you been doing this?
Raven Moon: My first patrol happened at the end of last October. So I’m coming up on six months. It’s taken this long to fall into a routine and I’m almost at my first 24 hours of patrol time.  That means I’ll be upgraded from sidekick to Co-Hero.  Very exciting!
I have full intentions of doing this for a good long while I'm only just beginning.

Deirdra: What is the most frustrating thing about being a superhero?
Raven Moon: The most difficult part of being a superhero is trying to get up in the morning after a night of patrolling.  At that point coffee is my best friend.
Seriously though, It’s frustrating when people see us as silly or goofy instead of the genuine people we are. We truly care about others and their safety. We’re out there putting ourselves between strangers and potential danger.  We do this for you, we want you to be safe. So please understand our mission, we are serious.

Deirdra: Do you keep a secret identity, is so, why? Is it hard to keep a secret identity?
Raven Moon: There aren’t many people who know what I do.  Only a handful know about my double life.  I don’t want to be harassed or have my family be potential targets, so it’s extremely important that I maintain my separate identities. It can be tricky to keep such a secret, but it’s also a little fun.

Deirdra: How did those close to you react when you became a superhero?
Raven Moon: Almost everyone who knows about this is supportive, except of course my mom. First reactions tend to be those of concern but once they understand that I’m not on the hunt to take down evil masterminds singlehandedly they think it’s pretty great.

Deirdra: Who is your hero?
Raven Moon: Wow, I have so many heroes. The men and women who serve in the military, doctors, nurses, and first responders who keep us safe.
I also admire the people that continue to better their lives everyday even when faced with harsh realities such as high rent and cost of living. I greatly respect single parents and those who face poverty and still manage to keep hope alive for a better future. You are heroes to your families, keep on fighting!

Deirdra: What do you want the people of your community to know?
Raven Moon: Please never think to yourself that it’s none of your business.  If you see someone who needs help do something! Even if it means calling the police from a safe distance. Follow your instinct, you could be the life or death difference to someone who needs you. You can be a hero too.

Check out Raven Moon's Fan Page:

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Superhero Saturday - Impact


In the City Durham and Chapel Hill, NC, Impact is making and impact with the Xtreme Justice League.

As a well rounded superhero, he is trained in Traditional Goju-Ryu and Shotokan Karate, Aikido. CPR, AED, First Aid certified and he is a trained lifeguard and wilderness first aid expert.

Impact is not just fighting crime in his amazing superhero costume, but he also works with the Excelsior League, a charity cosplay group. 

Deirdra: Who or what inspired you to become a superhero?  
Impact: My parents raised us all to have a strong sense of volunteerism, and I particular I always had a bit of a superhero complex, believing it was my job to save everyone.  After learning about the RLSH movement, with my background in first aid and spending the majority of my life in martial arts training, becoming a hero seemed like a logical choice for me.

Deirdra: How did you come up with your superhero name?  
Impact: The name is based on my martial arts training, as an impact is what happens when two or more things collide, and also on the fact that I want to have a positive impact on the world.

Deirdra: Who made your costume? 
Impact: I designed it myself, and as it evolved over time, I had some help improving it.  Most of the base of the suit came about because of what functional clothing I already owned and could utilize, and the chest guard was an old catcher’s guard I had found.  The mask was made by a friend who occasionally joins me on patrols and handouts. The logo was designed by the XJ’s Nyght and made into a patch by RazorHawk.

Deirdra: If you could have any super power what would it be?
Impact:  Probably something like Captain America: just being faster stronger and more durable.  I don’t need anything too flashy.

Deirdra: What do you hope to accomplish? 
Impact: I just want to help and inspire people.  I know I won’t solve hunger or clean the streets, but if I can get more people to care and maybe even join me, then I’ve done my job.

Deirdra: What do you for your day job? 
Impact: When I started I was a student.  Currently I am a lab tech, but looking for a new job.

Deirdra: Are the police supportive or do they see you as a lawless vigilante? 
Impact: Before I started calling in my patrols, they viewed me as an annoyance, because they would get calls about a suspicious character walking around.  Since then I have made my suit a bit more “heroic” and I check in before every patrol.  They seem supportive, and will sometimes ask how the patrol is going, or even to pose for pictures.  In the past, the police have also donated supplies for a homeless handout.

Deirdra: Are you in danger by doing what you do?  
Impact: Anything can be dangerous.  Walking down the street or taking a shower.  So there is definitely some danger in what I do, and I make myself more noticeable, but I try to do it in a safe way.  I wear padding in case of a fistfight.  I call the police and let them know where I will be.  I try to be observant and aware. So there is danger but I do my best to mitigate it. 

Deirdra: Are you stopping crimes and helping people? 
Impact:  I’m not really stopping crimes.  In most places, its pretty rare that you actually see one happen.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in my life.  And I’ve been to some pretty bad areas.  Instead, I mainly help people.  One specific example was when I was near the end of my patrol and found a man passed out drunk.  I was able to get him awake and moving, and I was able I get a cab for him to go home.  It wasn’t a lot that I did, but I made sure he woke up at his own place.  

Deirdra: What does your significant other think of you being a superhero? What does your family think? 
Impact: My girlfriend is very supportive.  I told her right when I was starting out, as I am not a fan of lying.  She is so proud of me, and when I feel like I’m not doing enough, she builds me back up.  I told my parents about 7 months into it, though I haven’t told my siblings yet.  My parents think it is so cool.

Deirdra: Does your mom know you are doing this? 
Impact: She does, and while she occasionally worries about me, she is pretty proud.  She actually might be too proud because she sometimes decides to tell her friends.  I think more of my parents’ friends know about this than mine do. 

Deirdra: Do you have a weakness?
Impact: Chard.  Really not a fan.

Deirdra: How long have you been doing this? 
Impact: I started in mid-July, 2015.  So I have been at it roughly 9 months.

Deirdra: What is the most frustrating thing about being a superhero?  
Impact: That can really change.  Sometimes, when I am on patrol I get frustrated at how people seem to ignore those in need, or just people who are different.  Its surprising the amount of people who refuse to look at me.  The other frustrating thing has to do with the online community.  Sometimes heroes get so caught up in what we do; our egos start to get in the way.  And when another hero challenges us, we get defensive and argumentative.  Then it just devolves into name-calling.  And considering the majority of us are adults, its frustrating.  And I say “we” because while I try to stay out of that stuff, I’m sure someone can find an example where I am just as bad. 

Deirdra: Do you keep a secret identity, is so, why? Is it hard to keep a secret identity? 
Impact:  I do, but not for the whole “I need to keep people safe” reason. I don’t think anyone care who I am or is going to hunt me down.  I just want to keep my private and public lives separate.  I’ll always try to respond to a situation whether or not I am in the mask, but sometimes, I just want to be [Name].  And sometimes I worry about being mocked by my friends.  It’s a silly thing to worry about, but when I was younger I was mocked a lot. Its hard to move past that sometimes.

Deirdra: How did those close to you react when you became a superhero?  
Impact: They generally thought it was cool, or interesting, but no one seemed to find it surprising.

Deirdra: Who is your hero?
Impact: I have a few.  My parents are definitely heroes of mine, just because they work so hard, not just for their children’s benefits, but for their kids’ friends, and even people they don’t know.  They just care a lot.  My Shihan, or karate master, is also a big hero of mine.  He doesn’t make a lot, but he works so hard and helps so many people better themselves.  When you learn from him, you don’t just learn how to fight, but how to avoid a fight.  How to be respectful of others, and how to act.  He is just a good man. 

Deirdra: What do you want the people of your community to know?

Impact: The message I have for my community is this: anyone can be a hero.  All you need to do open your eyes, see what needs to be done, and do something.  Sometimes its just walking someone across the road, cleaning up litter, or being kind when someone looks down.  That’s it.  No mask required, though they are fun.  

Alex Korman, a UNC photojournalism student

Monday, May 9, 2016

GIVEAWAY Girl from the Stars Book 4: Day’s Journey by Cheree Alsop

When Liora’s brother is kidnapped as thinly-veiled trap, she follows with the intent of springing it on her own terms. But her plans fall away when she finds that the danger has a greater reach than she could have imagined. Waylaid and nearly dead, Liora finds herself fighting for not only her life, but for mortalkind. If she succeeds, she could thwart the paramount threat to the Macrocosm and those she loves; if she fails, mortalkind will fall at her side. Yet the price of survival may be far greater than Liora is willing to pay.

“How far will you go to protect your human? How many lives will you take to save the one you love?”

Liora spoke the truth she saw in the Cherum’s gaze. “All of them.”

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Amazon for paperback & ebook:

Please leave your email and comment below for a chance to win Girl from the Stars Book 4: Day’s Journey by Cheree Alsop.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Be Happy by Linda Shrimpton

I chose to write my book & Be Happy, because through my personal journey of researching an ideal

attitude for life that makes for a happy and healthy one, I realised, it seemed to me, that I had a

very helpful, useful message to share with others (which in summary, is to Be Happy) and thought

a good way to do this would be in the form of a published book. I wrote in such a way as to leave

the reader to make up their own mind, through their own experiences.

It seems to me, through my own personal journey, that to follow your passion, do what excites you

and keep thinking good thoughts and expecting/intending good things, rather than focusing on the

opposite, negative things, that life becomes more enjoyable, therefore you begin to experience joy

and all sorts of pleasant, positive synchronocities and coincidences begin to happen. It becomes a

fun thing to see what life brings to you!

Personally, I found joining an on-line book writing course an extremely positive and motivating

action in the right direction - for getting my manuscript to completion. It created helpful guidelines

and goals, therefore my book; became more realistic and came together a lot more faster than I

imagined. It was also a lot more easier to produce and I was not overwhelmed! I found books, the

Internet and other peoples experiences/knowledge very helpful.

I chose to self-publish, as being on a low-income, this seemed the most economical step to take.

Also, I liked the idea that by doing so, I was helping a small business thrive!

The biggest challenge I faced was having written so many notes on various subject areas, to

determine what to include and what to eliminate! Also, not being very computer literate, (as a 53

year old), producing my manuscript on an IPad using Word Document and attachments for emails,

I was fortunate to engage my 19 year old daughter to assist me with computer logic!

I have done my best to make my book as simple as possible to read, to help my audience more

readily understand the content of my book, to keep it interesting, yet very helpful, informative and

mostly, I very much hope, inspiring!

You can get this book on Amazon:
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