I met Zette in the early 1990’s, around the time I’d started selling professionally and had just signed up to be a Writer’s Digest instructor (which I thought would be a great way to pay forward. Turns out, not so much. But that is another story.)
She was one of three students I had that were already writing at pretty close to professional level, and I was excited. We wrote back and forth, and stayed in touch after the course ended. She built my first website for me, before I even had access to the Internet, I made her the first moderator of the writing community that sort of spontaneously erupted on my site, and when I was overrun with homeschooling and raising a new baby and the neverending deadlines, and had to make time by making sacrifices, she took over FM.
We got to meet at a convention once, and she was just as cool in person as she had been via letter and later, online. We became good friends, and when I realized my absence from the writers’ community was going to be permanent, she stepped in and became not just the administrator of the community, but the owner. She got it, you see. She understood not just how important paying forward was, but how to keep the community centered around it.
We’ve had writing and cats and our lives to share over the years, as well as a decidedly geeky fascination with the Internet and everything we could do with it. We’ve helped each other to get through hard times, and continue to do so. We’ve been there for each other.
Zette, I’m damned lucky to have had you as a friend for what’s sneaking toward twenty years now. Here’s a toast to the rest of a lifetime.