by Taniko

Well, Myrrhine, it looks like it is your turn in the hotseat now. You were overwhelmingly voted in as a Featured Personality for the current edition of the Pan Historian. I think people want to learn more about the person behind the paper.

The seat is rather hot isn't it? I'll take this opportunity to apologies for all our previous featured personalities for making you answer these questions - it's trickier than it looks!

How did you discover Pan Historia?

Oooh well it happened like this. I had been a member of Ancient Sites and The History Vine for a very long time. Just before the death knell sounded for those sites I went overseas and lost contact with everything for a few months. When I came back I heard rumours of a new site being created that would be more RP friendly and capture that community aspect that the vines seemed to have ditched. As time went by and the sites crumbled I was still hearing things about Pan and I sent along an email asking very politely to be let in for the beta testing.

I heard nothing! Nothing! By this stage a handful of my vines mates were at Pan and gleefully telling me how wonderful it was. I thought I must have said something very offensive to someone at some time not to have been invited in. But hey, it was a beta test. Probably they had enough people cluttering everything up.

But I needed a new place to play! After a long conversation with someone I sent in another polite, hopeful email and the very next day I was in. I remember logging in that first time and being greeted with an avalanche of IMs asking me what took me so long *laughing* and feeling very much at home and welcome.

Besides hailing from Australia, are there any other things you'd like to tell us about yourself?

You mean being from Australia isn't interesting enough in and of itself? *G* Well let's see, what does everyone else say in this section? We've already covered where I live, perhaps I can embellish that by saying I've lived in Melbourne my entire life. Much as I love my home I do dream of living elsewhere. My mother always told me I had a bit of the wandering gene in me and she may well be right, but the longest I've ever been away is 6 months so I've yet to test how far that wandering gene will take me. What else? I'm something of a perpetual student. This is my eighth year at university and I'm almost finished my third degree - all undergraduate. Hopefully this is my last course of study, and if you interview me again next year I'll be able to tell you that I'm a teacher - because that is the logical career choice for someone who can't seem to drag themselves out of school.

You created the Home Decorator software. Handy piece of stylesheet coding it is! Any plans for other useful (or just plain fun) ideas such as that?

You know I think that might have been my one and only great idea *laughing*. I do have plans to do something similar for dust jacket decorations (ooh can I say that Wyatt?) but that's really just a variation on a theme rather than anything new. I guarantee that the Pan Historian readership will be the first to know if ever I have another good idea - I promise!

I see you are active in a novel, Tales of the Seven Seas. What drove you to a life of virtual piracy?

Is there where I get to talk about how terrible I am at novel participation? I joined Tales of the Seven Seas at the request of a friend. We had written briefly together back at AS and showered me with flattery until I gave in and agreed to have a go at the pirate's life. I have always been a reluctant writer of fiction, which is why I tend to hang out at the reference books and stick to boring factual stuff *laughing* but I have enjoyed the little foray into action, adventure and romance.

You're on the board of Acme Web Factory for obvious reasons. You are also on the board of the reference books Gaia's Daughters and Wanderlust. Could you tell us something about both of those books, and what drew you to participation in them? Including: where would you most like to wander off to on the planet, if you had the opportunity?

I have been very neglectful of both Wanderlust and Gaia's Daughters of late and for that I apologise to the members of both!

Wanderlust is all about traveling. Ideally it would be like a Lonely Planet guide for the members of Pan, but I suspect the members of the book are all too busy exploring the world to stop and tell everyone about it. I know I still have plenty of traveling stories to tell and it is great fun to sit down later and relive those moments from the road. Actually, you don't need to be a traveler to join in at Wanderlust - just drop in and tell us about your home town - I can guarantee there will be someone who is interested and will add it to their tour list.

Where would I like to wander off to if I had the chance? Oh it's too difficult to narrow it down! I'm very keen to go to South East Asia for my next big trip - I've always wanted to go to Vietnam and Cambodia. I have friends in Germany and the US that I have promised to visit again one day, and my grandmother has insisted that I go to Latvia at least once and see where the family came from. Oh and Western Australia - the Kimberly. WA is the only Australian state I've not been to and one of the most beautiful, it's just so far away!

My position at Gaia's Daughters is probably best described as honorary. Really it is Zoe, Elianor, Olga and Rosalind that do all the hard work over there. I've always had an interest in women's history which explains how I first became involved, and I think it's nice to have a place at Pan which celebrates the contribution, intelligence, wit and talent of women through the ages.

What else do you enjoy at PanHistoria?

I love reading things. I spend most of my time at Pan wandering around the boards reading little bits and pieces in novels, in reference books, in the library and now in blogs. I should probably do more writing myself but there is so much to read I find myself two hours into a Pan stint and still reading what everyone else has to say and nowhere near ready to write anything myself ... hmmm ... perhaps I should just write first and then read - I might be more productive!

And so, how does it feel to be the person behind the paper? How do you see this paper as bringing together members of Pan Historia in a loose community?

Being the person behind the paper is great fun, until it's time to start proof reading the articles (which you may notice I do a terrible job of), triple check URLs, upload all the pages (multiple uploads is high on my wish list for Pan webspaces). Even then it's a wonderful thing to have the interviews come in and get that first look at what makes the people at Pan tick. I really enjoy working with all the people who help put the paper together as well. It's certainly not a one woman effort. I think the paper is a nice way of getting to know the members of Pan a bit better. The interviews for featured personality go a long way towards doing that, but so do the articles. I'm always thrilled when we pick a theme for an edition and someone writes to me saying they would like to write an article because it is their favourite thing in the world and they have something to share.

Since this is the Animals Edition, tell us something about pets/animals you have, or might like to have if you could.

Oh this is where I get to declare my adoration for my cats *smiles*. We have four in the house at the moment: Maggie Moo, Francoise (aka Flimmy), Basil and Lula (aka Sybil). The first two were adopted from the Cat Protection Society almost five years ago now, Basil and Lula were the last two left from an unwanted litter and they are just about 2 years old. I've never owned a pure bred cat, we just rescue the poor unfortunates that no one wants.

Thank you very much for your interview.

Pan Historia