Member Spotlight: Miridyth al'Landerin
Author: Taelinn Dolivras, August 2014
This month's Member Spotlight will reveal another admin in the Department of Membership, but this woman is so much more than her title. She has quite a unique claim to fame here on TarValon.net, and I am very pleased to have been able to interview her for this article.
Yes, our spotlights fall this month on Miridyth Al'Landerin!
Miridyth is a Green Aes Sedai who, in Real Life, is married to Garin, a soldier of SDS. In her own words, she has " four beautiful children, two boys and two girls ages 23, 17, 15 and 12." But that seems to not be enough for her and her husband, as they are currently trying to foster/adopt another child. When asked more about her Real Life, she told me the following: "I used to work as a Manager of Administration for a Fisheries Firm in the US, while also spending 13 years in Theater, owned my own government contracting business for a bit and did a few years in the film industry, I then went into the Aquatics field as a Pool Operator and supervisor after having a bought with cancer, buht due to disability have left work and currently have gone back to school to hopefully get another career going. I love camping, fishing, and spending time with my family." I asked her about her choice of Miridyth as her Tower name, and she told me that she chose it based on a name she uses in the SCA, Meredith. "The last name wasn't an option. Eleyan, [my sister], picked it out for me!" she said, laughing.
Next, we discussed how she found out about the Wheel of Time books, and it was through her sister that she discovered the series, but at first, she wasn't sure she'd ever read them. "My friend read [the books] and my sister read [them]," she told me. "The books were huge and I wasn't a fan of fantasy fiction that much. My sister, Eleyan aka the first Amyrlin and the person who started the site, kept telling the family all kinds of stories about the gatherings and how it was going. I heard about this site from almost day one. I just never had a computer that could keep up with it. I remember my parents hosting a type of event (early on) at their home and how 'wonderful' the 'young people' were that visited. I knew I would have to read the books to be a part of it."
I then asked her about her favorite book, favorite character, and favorite nation in the Wheel of Time. Her answer about her favorite book was immediate. "Book five [The Fires of Heaven] hands down," she proclaimed. "Best action and best evil characters! Read it three times!" As for her favorite character, she was also very definitive. "Moghedian is my favorite. I just love her! I can't stand Nynaeve and when Mog used compulsion on that group it was like 'HECK YA!' " She wasn't as sure about her favorite nation. "I really don't have [one]," she admitted, "but I do dislike the Seanchan."
And finally, to wrap up the discussion about the books, I asked her about her feelings now that the final book in the series has been released. "I feel bad for those who were really into the series but it was a great read," she said. "I really am extremely sad that [Robert Jordan] didn't get to see the end of his series. He was an amazing person. I feel blessed that my sister introduced us and I got to meet him and Harriet." I have to admit, I am just a little bit jealous.
Moving right along, we continued the interview with questions abou Miridyth's time on TarValon.net. When I asked her what made her join the site, her answer made me laugh. "Imagine my sister Eleyan, Padra and me and a bottle (or two) of wine and a computer," she told me. "They sat me down and helped me make my profile and application. Nothing like peer pressure!" Indeed! She continued by telling me that the main reason she joined was to get to know her sister better. "This site was a huge part of her life and we had spent many years apart because she studied in Europe," she told me."I wanted to reconnect with her and get to know her passion for this site and be a bigger part of her life. So I joined. We became closer and I loved that! What made me stick around was meeting other real life friends at events and things. Once I became truly invested in the site and had a good group of friends, I didn't want to leave. I developed my own passion for this site and its success. I wanted to donate time and energy into making it successful. It is truly amazing to me to make friends from around the globe and have such a wonderful sense of community. This site is amazing." How sweet!
I then asked her about how she knew that Green was her home. "I didn't," she stated simply. "The ladies there were very strong personalities. In real life, I butted heads with a few and then became dear friends with them. I was worried because my sister was a Green and I didn't want to infringe on her 'home'. I honestly wanted to be Brown, because I loved books and my first friends were brown; Red, because they were awesome at the Colorado party; Grey, because they were so much fun on the boards; Yellow, because they were so nice and really helped each other; White, because they loved to spam and talk; Blue, because they were so kind to me at real life events and greeted me from the plane at my first event! I wanted to be with every group. I ended up doing a personal inventory of who I was and how my personality was, and I just fit the book green definition. Sometimes, I don't feel Green enough, but my sisters let me know that I fit in just fine."
When asked about her favorite thing about TarValon.net, she was very clear. "Hands down the people here. I have always said that my home is open to TV.net people. I have honestly never met a person that I haven't liked. There may be some that I butt heads with but I can honestly say that I do not dislike them. We just agree to disagree. For the most part, I have had many real life gatherings at my home over the years, and everyone has been kind and wonderful to be with."
Miridyth's favorite memory of her time on TV.net was hard for her to define. "There are so many [great memories]!" she told me. "My MOST favorite was when Padra and I were rooming together at DCon and we both LOVED Richard Hatch from the original Battlestar Gallatica. We went to the autograph area and he wasn't there . So we sadly looked at the empty table. THEN this guy came up behind us, put his arms around us and said 'WHERE IS THAT Richard Hatch?' OMG squeal moment as we realized we were being hugged by the very man we wanted to see!! Best moment ever for Real Life!" That is pretty awesome, I have to admit. As for her favorite site memory, it is a touching story. "When my first sister Velaris formed a "chocolate" brigade of sorts and had people send me chocolate while I was battling Cancer... I cannot thank her and others for that kind moment. Made me realize that this site was more than just a 'chat' site for book lovers." And when asked about her favorite Real Life event, she responded right away. "Hands down, Anni at Colorado. Best site, great group of people (twice) and just fun had by all! Horse back riding, archery, pranks....good times! Although I still do not like the potato bar."
We rounded out the interview with a question about her time as Mistress of Novices. "I was amazed at how much work this was," she admitted. "I knew it was work, but wow... I have very huge shoes to fill! We did have a 'sleep over' which seemed like it was well received. I hope to have more such events in the future! Look out TV.net, because Novices will be ruling the net!!" I am suddenly a little afraid...
Finally, when asked if there was anything she would like to add, Miridyth responded with two very succinct sentences.
Quote Originally Posted by Miridyth Al'Landerin I am just me. I am no one special, but the site is special to me, the friends here are special to me, and I cannot fathom my life without all of you in it.