Saturday, May 12, 2007

Tribute and Thanks to Lea Schizas

Today, I'd like to tell you about an amazing woman, Lea Schizas.

Lea is an author, mother, editor and organizer extraordinaire. It seems she's always up to some new scheme, project, or adventure.

I first met Lea when I attended the MuseOnline Writers Conference. As founder and organizer of the conference, she kept over a 1000 convention goers, five chat rooms, and scores of seminars—not to mention a HUGE Yahoo group—coordinated and running. If you were on a chat, she was there. If you had a problem—e-mail her and it was good as solved. But even more, she was always positive, even thrilled to do whatever needed to be done to make the conference a success. And a success it was. When I went to the conference, promoting ISIG seemed like an expensive, daunting endeavor. After the workshop, I saw it as doable and even fun. Even more, I made some good friends.

Lea is not one to rest on her laurels, however. Next, she invited us to attend a website building workshop. I was new to the website world, having hired someone to build mine and thought building one on my own would require a college level course. She taught us how to make one with free services like tripod and freewebs, where she has her own sites. Thanks to her, I have a book site for ISIG, a site for my Dragon Eye characters, and a media room that attaches to the standard website. (HTML still intimidates me.)

So Lea is a great lady for teaching groups and getting folks together, but she's also been a mentor on a personal level. From encouraging e-mails and featuring me on one of her blogs to getting me involved in a critique group, she's done more to help me in my writing than any single person.

This is what Lea does, but it doesn't really tell you what she is: enthusiastic, positive, encouraging, and lots of fun. Lea is a lady as well as a writer. She has undying energy, it seems, and an incredible desire to give. Because of that, she has touched the lives of many writers, and as a future generation of writers comes into its own, several of them—several of us—will have Lea to thank.

We didn't want to wait until that day, however, so we've chosen this weekend, Mother's Day weekend in the US, to tell our Writer Mother Hen, "Thanks."

God bless you, Lea. You're part of the power beneath our pens.

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