Who is this lovely mermaid? Why, it's intrepid Editrix Saffia Widdershins! This is a favorite picture of mine, taken by Mister Raven Haalan during an on-location photo shoot for The Primgraph magazine. Quite recently, Miss Widdershins celebrated her 4th rezday. In honor of this special occasion, we'd like to share what it means to have Saffia in our lives. This post contains tributes from some of her friends, and now I encourage YOU to post a comment and tell us your own special thoughts about this remarkable woman!
As for myself... I really could write all day about her and not run out of memories, praise and thanks. Little did I know that my offer of a small article for The Primgraph's second issue in September, 2008 (so aptly titled, "Welcome, Stranger") would lead to a lasting friendship.
Saffia is the embodiment of Grace Under Pressure. She knows exactly how to draw the best talents out of anyone - often finding skills in people they never knew they had. And she stands by her friends, even when they falter or feel they are out of their league. Her persistent faith in the talents of those she draws close is amazing. I have learned so much from this woman, and I know I will continue to become a better person for having her in my life.
Beyond that... she's hilarious. I can't tell you how often I've come to her a wreck, and left laughing till I can't breathe. I can no longer imagine my life without her friendship. The good memories are stacking up like cordwood, and I hope they never end! Happy rezday, my dear, and yes - four more years indeed!
And now I will hush and let others sing her praises.
The Baron shares a picture memory, of dancing with Saffia.
"This is from the RFL Halfway Grand Tour last summer. The date I have for the picture is May 15, and it was taken in Al-Garnata in Al-Andalus, I believe -- one of the first Stops that morning." -- Baron Klaus Wulfenbach
Bookworm Heinrichs shares an entry from her personal journal, written late in 2009. Clearly Miss Widdershins had made this a memorable day for Miss Book!
In late 2009, I wrote this in my journal:
I happened to run into Miss Saffia Widdershins this morning, and we repaired into a nearby shop for some tea. It was so nice to be able to have a relaxed conversation with her; ofttimes, I only see her at dances, which are far too busy for me to hold extended conversations. We fell to talking about the events of the past couple of months here in New Babbage, including the plague that hit last month. I said that, while I'd played my own small role in it, and had heard some accounts from others, it didn't seem as though anyone had tried to get a coherent account of things--how it started, how it progressed, etc. "Someone from the Primgraph ought to do some investigative journalism on that subject," I concluded.
"An excellent idea," she replied. "You're hired."
All right--it may not have happened exactly like this--but it's actually not that far from the truth. Miss Saffia is always very quick to spot an opportunity to further her goals for the Primgraph, Prim Perfect, or Designing Worlds. Her dedication to these entities is truly awe-inspiring, and has made them the wonderful institutions they are today.
But this ability isn't just self-serving. She's also quick to spy out ways to help others grow in their abilities, or further their own goals. I wasn't at all expecting to write an article, but I ended up having a lot of fun doing it! Her gentle nudging--OK, her abrupt plunging--of me into the world of Second Life journalism has made me keep my eyes open for other such opportunities when I have the time. And I look forward to continuing that--and continuing to watch Saffia with amazement. -- Miss Bookworm Hienrichs
Another friend who is helpless to resist her charms, Mister Linus Lacombe, fairly burst with words within moments of my asking for his thoughts on Saffia's 4th rezday.
Saffia Widdershins is one of the very dearest friends I have in Second Life. From the day I met her, she has been a source of inspiration to me. Not only has she brought so much joy into my second life, but she has brought meaning to it in ways she may never imagine. Saffia is a dynamo, someone who manages to have her own Second Life television show and publishing empire, but who still finds time to dance, attend a lecture, or just talk with a friend. To everything she does, she brings an amazing sense of dignity, of vitality and grace that never fails to astound. Always kind, always gentle, always positive and encouraging to me, I count myself a better person for having her in my life. As for her intelligence and wit, I would challenge anyone to find her peer. On her fourth rezday, I wish her the very best, and may she have many more years of success, of smiles and happiness and oh, so many more dances! -- Mister Linus Lacombe
Miss Rowan Derryth remembers well her first encounter with Saffia. It was on the occasion of Saffia's third rezday!
I remember lingering outside of Saffia's rezday party a year ago, nervous and feeling like an interloper, because here was a celebration in her honour with all her friends, and there I was, hoping she would give me a shot as a writer. I was only a few months old, and at the time, I had no idea of her huge heart, her generous spirit, and that the underlying reason she does all this is because she loves to find and encourage new talent, and help people find things in themselves they never knew they had. To me, she was this bad-ass avi, and head of a publishing empire. Like a virtual Anna Wintour. What could I offer?
Well, I won't belabour it - she gave me a shot, and did indeed help me discover that actually, I'm pretty good at this whole journalism thing. I never thought of myself as a writer. Now I do. And for that I will ever be grateful.
But the thing I really want to mention here is the woman behind the avi. I've been privileged to meet the Intrepid One in her home of Oxford, where she gave me the Grand Tour! We had a lovely lunch, an afternoon with the Pre-Raphaelites at the Ashmolean, then while wandering to Evensong at Christchurch Cathedral, I got to experience her 'let's do it, why not!' attitude first hand as I escorted her to buy her first iPhone! I was a little worried that it might mean more work for us all, but she has been very well-behaved with it! We finished the evening with her sweetheart and possibly the best meal in England.
Miss Widdershins is a delightful, generous, fun, and warm-hearted woman (physical and virtual!). I feel lucky and honoured to call her not just my editor, but my friend, in all worlds. -- Miss Rowan Derryth
Qwis Greenwood has known Saffia a long time - almost ten years! She clearly knows her well, evidenced by her use of the word 'temptress'.
I've been writing with Saffia for a long time, and it's a friendship and an experience that I treasure. She showed me how simple words could create characters you care about, care enough to spend a weekend shaken up when something tragic happens to one of them. Receiving writing assignments from her is sometimes like willingly strapping on a helmet and climbing down the barrel of a cannon. She suggests things I would never try myself, leaving me surprised at what I can do. Though she sends people off on a challenge, she also offers her support upon request. Whether pestering people, suggesting ideas and directions, or writing an article when life kept me from completing it, she is a help as well as as a literary temptress. Happy 4th Rez Day, dear Saffia!
Qwis also shared some 'vintage' photos for this tribute.