I first met Zette over five years ago at Forward Motion Writers' Community. At the time she was a trusted moderator and back-up to site owner Holly Lisle.
Forward Motion has meant just about EVERYTHING to me from a writing point of view over the past five years. I can't recommend it highly enough to anyone who wants to hone their skills in any genre or any length. I avidly soaked up anything and everything the forums and chat offered.
If I remember right, it was 2003 or so when Holly felt like she was giving too much time to the growing site to keep her publishing career moving forward and she asked Zette if she would take over the running of FM. I'm very thankful that Zette agreed. The whole idea of forward motion is that you often can't repay someone for their help by paying them back, but you CAN pay forward. Zette embodies this theme a hundred times over.
I can only scratch the surface of what all Zette does to keep FM going. Much of it is behind the scenes--keeping tabs on forum posts, answering email questions, fending off accusations by people who think they know best how to run a forum with over ten thousand members. She keeps things smooth on the surface as well, reorganizing the board structure as FM evolves and teaching a totally free 2-year novel course with an annual intake.
For the past two and a half years I've been honored to serve FM as a moderator under Zette's guidance. It's through her expert leadership style that FM is such an immensely popular and positive place to hang out.
The name of her main writing blog, Joyously Prolific, suits Zette to a tee. Her love of words is an inspiration to many of us. She finds time to write at least 1000 words each day (to an annual goal of one million words--not a typo!), and often *wins* NaNoWriMo multiple times each November.
From Zette's site:
Lazette Gifford's published work includes two chapbooks and half a Double Dog from Yard Dog Press (Honor Bound, Star Bound and Farstep Station). Her story, Between a Rock and a God's Place, appeared in the Issue #21 of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and she's had numerous stories published in ezines, and small press anthologies. Her novels include The Dark Staff Series and The Singer and St. Jude Series from Double Dragon Publishing, Muse and Ruins from One More Word Publishing, and the upcoming Mirrors from Zumaya Press. Lazette is the owner of Forward Motion (http://fmwriters.com), a large on-line community for writers, and she is the editor for Vision: A Resource for Writers (http://lazette.net/vision), now in its seventh year of production. She is also the Associate Publisher for Dragon Tooth Fantasy, an imprint of Double Dragon Publishing.
She also is wife to Russ for nearly thirty years, a person-who-belongs-to-cats, an avid photographer, photo manipulator, and encourager extraordinaire.
Today is a day we honor Zette for what she has meant to us. I know for a fact that my writing skills would be much less today if I had not had Zette's influence. I'm also honored to consider her my friend.
THANK YOU ZETTE!!!
Word about this day went out by whisper campaign. If you're reading about it for the first time and want to join in, please do. Once you've posted your tribute to Zette today, please post a comment at Stray Thoughts, Margaret Fisk's blog. She's keeping the official log book.