See that woman up there? She’s swell. That video has nothing to do with this post—and worse, is months old—but it does give you a sense of the wonderful Bridget Zinn.

A few weeks ago, we sold her first two novels at auction to Hyperion/Disney. While a book sale always gladdens drear heart, this one was especially pleasing. A thirty-two-year-old writer and part-time librarian, Bridget has had an extraordinary year. It began with one action-packed week in March: she was offered agency representation; she received the first batch of edits for her novel; she was diagnosed with cancer; she was married in the hospital to her boyfriend-since-teenhood, Barrett Dowell; minutes later she was whisked into surgery. Since then, she has been married a few more times (they had some idea that a ceremony would be a nice thing; go figure); done a spiffy revision of her novel; and undergone many hair-curlingly expensive treatments to shrink and obliterate the tumors that remain. Happily, the treatment seems to working; unhappily, much of it is not covered by her scant health insurance. (Want to know more about Bridget? Of course you do! Go here, to her blog and webpage.)

To help pay the bills, Bridget and Barrett’s friends and family are rallying, and rather than just hold out an empty cup on a street corner (the Stearns Method), they have amassed a pile of one-of-a-kind donations to be auctioned off. Many authors (Bridget’s friends, acquaintances, far-flung admirers) have donated signed copies of books, sure, but there are also manuscript critiques and proofreading services for authors (including one from yours truly), and that’s just the boring stuff. There are also works of art, note cards, food, drink, baby gifts, jewelry, and much more. Many of these items would make lovely gifts, and I’m told that this is the time of year when people give each other things. (Really? Why? What is that about, anyway?)

Whether or not you actually bid on anything, you certainly ought to mosey on over and take a look. Auction items can be viewed here, or just go to www.32auctions.com and use the Auction ID: bridget, and the password: rules to view the auction. You will need to create an account on the site in order to bid on auction items, but that’s a simple matter of submitting your name, email address, and a password so that the organizers can contact you if you win an item.

Bidding began on 27 November and runs only through 11 December. By my reckoning, that means you have about ten days to go forth and do some good via shopping. And if that isn’t the American way, I don’t know what is.