A light extinguished in the world

Another light of the Portland YA community has been extinguished.

I met Bridget Zinn shortly after she and her then-boyfriend Barrett had moved to Portland. They attended a SCWBI event together and sat behind me. We spoke at the break. Even then I was struck by her beauty and intelligence.

It wasn't that long after that Bridget's life got crazy good and crazy bad, all in one month:
- She was diagnosed with colon cancer.
- She and Barrett got married in her hospital room by the hospital chaplain. (They went on to get remarried a few more times in what they called The Summer of Love.)
- She got an agent for her YA novel, Poison.

Not long after, Poison sold at at auction, to Disney/Hyperion. Poison is about a teen girl turned reluctant assassin as she hunts down the princess of the realm, her former best friend, with the aid of an enchanted piglet. It's a magical book that reminds me a lot of The Princes Bride.

Bridget was funny, smart, and passionate. If I was going to use one word for her, it would be vibrant. Or radiant. She and Barrett made the very best of the very poor hand they had been dealt.

She was very young when she first started having symptoms of colon cancer. A doctor told her she was too young to have it and did not do follow up. If he had, she might have lived. And he was dead wrong. Even in your 20s, you are not too young to get colon cancer (although that young it's possible there's a genetic component).

Please see your doctor if you are having these symptoms:
- A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool for more than a couple of weeks
- Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
- Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
- A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely
- Weakness or fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss

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April, this is a wonderful tribute to Bridget.

This is a terrible year for the Portland kidlit/YA community, with Lisa and Bridget's deaths coming so close together. Both of them so young and so talented.

It hurts that Bridget never got to see POISON in the hands of readers. (I don't understand why it had such a late release date after acceptance.)

Thank you for being a great friend to both Bridget and Lisa. I know you helped them in many ways during their illnesses.

Lisa and especially Bridget made the most of their days, which is something we can all aspire to.
I hope you don't mind that I reposted this on my Facebook. I am not good with my words when it comes to these things and you said it so perfectly. It is a sad time and there are many what if's that leave one feeling an accute sense of unfairness. Even for those that didn't know her that well.
So sorry to hear of this tragic loss. It's just so unbelievable that the Portland YA community has lost two young and talented writers this year.
So sad. I guess we should make the most of every day we are given. Never know what tomorrow will bring.
She had a real zest for living. If you look at some of her blog posts (over at BridgetZinn.com) that really comes through.
This broke my heart when I found out yesterday. And I didn't even know Bridget. I'm so sorry for your loss, April.
I'm so, so sorry. The way in which the writing community rose to support Bridget was so inspiring, and in every post about her, you could tell that she was someone very special. Hugs to you, and to her family.
I'm so sorry, April. I never met Bridget, though I had expected to one day, at a library or a writing event. I remember first hearing about her when she was diagnosed and the first auction was so widely publicized, and I guess I have been assuming that her treatment was successful. I'm sending prayers for comfort for her family and friends.

I'm so sorry you are having to endure these losses.
When she was diagnosed, it had already spread. Once that happens, except for testicular cancer and some juvenile cancers, there is no turning back.