Member Spotlight: Morrighan Daghdera
Author: Taelinn Dolivras, September 2014
This month, we continue our series of Member Spotlights with yet another Membership admin: one that the Accepted will know well.
Morrighan Daghdera, Mistress of Accepted, has been in office since WHEN. In Real Life, she is a mother, daughter, wife, and sister. Her children are 17 years apart in age so, in her own words, she is "basically raising two generations". She works at the Child Abuse Hotline for Tennessee and devotes her career to helping children. In her spare time, she is almost finished the embroidery squares for a quilt she is making for her youngest child. At TarVelon.net, Morrighan admits that she is much more outgoing than in real life. Aside from being Mistress of Accepted, she is also a staff member in the Department of Administration, and helps extrapolate data and make it reader-friendly. Though she used to post much more often, she admits that her new job limits that a bit these days, though she does lurk from her phone as much as possible.
When asked about how she discovered the Wheel of a Time series, she told me that her first husband's best friend was reading the series, and would pass the books along to her ex husband when he had finishd them. "They wouldn't shut up about the series [and] I wanted to know what they were talking about, so I picked them up," she told me. "I think this was around '93, so I've been reading them for quite some time." I then asked about her favorite book, character, and nation in the series. "My favorite book is The Shadow Rising and my favorite character, of the main girls, is Aviendha," she revealed. "I like the Aiel, although not a nation, due to their sense of honor reminiscent of American Indians. I also 'get' their sense of humor and love love love the fact that they have women warriors."
We continued to talk a bit more about the series by discussing A Memory of Light. She admitted to feeling quite bittersweet about the release of the final book in the series. "For half of my life I've been waiting for the next book, and now that feeling of urgency is gone. In a way, it's a huge relief, but sometimes I feel a bit nostalgic for those feelings of anticipation. That's when I start to reread. There's always some bit of foreshadowing that I discover each time I read it." Darn it; now I want to start rereading too...
Next, the conversation turned to Morrighan's time here at TarValon.net; I asked her what prompted her to join the site, and what made her stick around. "I was surfing around looking for info for The Gathering Storm when I found Brandon's website," she told me. "He had a hyperlink to here that advertised the philanthropic effort at that time. I joined because I like the outreach services we provide, as well as I always wanted to be an Aes Sedai. I stick around mainly because of the people. I have made some tremendous friends that have enriched my life beyond measure. I also enjoy giving back to the community that has given me so much." Her tower name came from the tale of Morrighan, the goddess of love and war. "At first,I was just Morrighan, but I had to pick a last name to join the Tower. I picked one that sounded like "Daghda" [Morrighan's consort] as if Morrighan got married to him.
We then continued by talking about how she knew that Green was her home. "I'm honest to a fault without sugar coating anything and my Sisters either support me or kick me in the ass depending on the circumstances," she told me. "I'm a fighter for those I love, as well as for children who are at risk of harm and/or neglect. I love my Sisters, but they could all leave and I'd still be Green. It's just in the marrow of my bones."
Morrighan was unequivocal when it came time to answer my question about her favorite thing about TarValon.net. "The PEOPLE!" she exclaimed. "Seriously, this community means so much to me & has helped me in ways mere words can never express." Her favorite memory of her time on the site reminded me of my own time as a Junior Member. "I think I was an Accepted when Marrow ran his Next Top Gaidin game," she recalled. "I was such a fan girl & found myself stalking the thread for many weeks. It was a time of great levity during an otherwise difficult period in my personal life."
We continued with Morrighan telling me about her favorite Real Life event. "My favorite would have to be my first, 10th Anni in South Carolina," she told me. "I literally walked into a room of complete and utter strangers. I had met Ivanor one time, but that was all I knew out of the 100+ people in attendance. The Koyn Amyrlin enveloped me in a hug and said, 'Hi. I'm Melissa.' I babbled something about my name and her smile instantly put me at ease. I was amazed that she took the time to greet me out of the huge number of folks in attendance. I've been hooked on RL events ever since and try to make it a point to try to put someone else at ease in my own small way at each event in reverence for what Melissa did for me."
When asked how she is enjoying her time as Mistress of Novices, she explained that she is enjoying herself. "I've really been having fun with it," she admitted. "I love seeing the email replies after they pass their tests and the looks of shock on their faces when raised live. I struggled in my guesting and I am glad to have a chance to help others navigate the process of finding their homes. I hope to have a game set up soon for the Junior Members, so stay tuned."
I then brought up the two awards Morrighan has won during her time here at TarValon.net. "I was floored [to be chosen as Moderator of the Year for the 2012 Keeper's Awards]. Honestly. To receive the very first Keeper Award ever is such a huge honor that I can't believe Leora chose me, of all people, to be the recipient of such a distinction. The book forums are often overlooked, but I stayed on until after the final book was released to help manage that influx of posting." I then brought up her election as Most Discerning Moderator in 2013. "To be chosen by my peers for an award was a surprise, as I'm not usually very good at popularity contests," she admitted. "Plus, I didn't moderate Current Events, so I didn't think my contribution would be found worthy enough for an award. When presented the certificate at Michigan Anni, I think my hands were shaking pretty badly. I was so stunned."
Finally, I rounded out the interview by giving Morrighan a chance to speak freely. The only thing that she wanted to add was that she is so happy to be on TarValon.net "with good friends who put up with me and have supported me over the years. I have experienced a LOT of personal changes and yet the people here just love and accept me even at my worst. And my worst was pretty awful. Yet, now I'm on the other side of that time and feel like I've personally grown stronger because of the adversities I've faced. At the risk of sounding trite, this site really has helped me become a better person and I just hope that I can help others as much as I have been helped." Time will tell if this is the case, but it's pretty clear to me that she's already started to make her mark.