As you may have guessed, my name is Meredith Mansfield.
I have been until very recently caregiver for my elderly mother who had Alzheimer’s disease. That is a story in itself, and might end up being the subject of one or more blogs some day. But for now, the important thing is that this gave me the opportunity to get reacquainted with an old love of mine that I had been separated from by the demands of real life–writing. And that’s mostly what this blog will be about.
I live with two dogs and a cat.
The dogs are both Cardigan Welsh Corgis and both are agility dogs. Aliza has her NJP (Novice Jumpers with Weaves Preferred) title from the AKC and one leg towards her NAJ (Novice Agility Jumper) title. Micah has one leg toward both his NA (Novice Agility) and his NAJ titles. Micah is four years younger than Aliza. No, they’re not brother and sister (except by adoption). Cardis are supposed to look like that.
Seven Things About Me:
- My favorite author is Lois McMaster Bujold. Her kind of storytelling, her damaged protagonists who have to overcome their own limitations as well as the external obstacles–that’s the kind of story I want to be able to write when I grow up. Well, I could do a lot worse than as a role model than a multiple Hugo and Nebula award winner, right?
- I am a dyed-in-the-wool animal lover, although I do exclude things with six or more legs. I’ve been known to rescue lizards and birds. You tend to get funny looks when you arrive and say “Sorry I’m late. I had to rescue a lizard.” It’s bad enough that when it came to the place in THE IGNORED PROPHECY where I intended to kill off one of the dogs, I couldn’t do it. It was harder than killing a character.
- My sport and therapy is dog agility. It’s a sport where your dog is your team mate. The human is intended to be the leader of the team. (Corgis are bossy dogs by nature and sometimes that position is disputed. I am still the only one that can read the course map, though.) My job is to help the dog run an obstacle course, composed primarily of things the dog has to climb over, jump over, or run through. The obstacles all have to be performed correctly and in the right order, within a time limit. Dogs run off leash and the handler may not touch the dog or the obstacles. All of the instructions are communicated by voice and body language. It’s a heck of a lot of fun for both me and the dogs. You should see the grin my older girl gets when we play. (Corgis are also a breed that needs a job. Agility works very well and it helps keep them in shape, too.)
- Greatest time wasters that keep me away from writing: Obsessively checking my e-mail, forums, web comics, and blog statistics. (Sad, really sad.) Playing stupid (and old) computer games. Not even the new, hot ones. Reading, when I’m into a really good book (not the case right now).
- I frequently embroider while watching television. Otherwise, television has a tendency to put me to sleep. About half the time, I design my own embroidery patterns. Almost everything that is hanging on the walls of this house has been embroidered by me.
- There’s a harp in my closet. Not the kind you see in the orchestra. That’s a pedal harp. Mine’s neo-Celtic, which means it’s patterned after the celtic harps, but it has monofilament strings instead of gut and has been updated with sharping levers. (Sharping levers do essentially the same thing pedals on the big orchestra harp do. They allow you to change the length, and therefore the pitch of individual strings. This is to mimic, as closely as the harp is able, the white and black strings of the piano, so it’s possible to play more modern music.) I haven’t actually played the harp in a while. In fact, not seriously since my father died. That’s almost eleven years ago. It’s time. I’ve lost the calluses on my fingers.
- I garden organically. Although, around here, gardening could be classified more as sticking my finger in the dike than anything you’re likely to see in one of those glossy gardening magazines. The yard’s just too big for one person to take care of, unfortunately.