Monthly Archives: May 2012

Sore Bridge of the Nose

No, that’s not a band name, it’s a serious bacterial infection called cellulitis, and I gotta go in tomorrow and get some drugs. Let me explain.

Yesterday, I woke up and had a sore spot on the bridge of my nose. We’d taken a visiting engineer on a car tour of the mountains for much of the previous day, and I figured it was because I’d worn sunglasses more than usual. So I didn’t wear them. In the evening it was worse, and really seemed like an infection (red skin, swollen, tender to the touch), so I swabbed it with Tea tree oil , then covered that with Neosporin.

It wasn’t any worse the next morning, and I didn’t think much about it. But by evening it was worse. I could feel pain even when I wasn’t touching it. So I Googled “sore bridge of nose,” and that led me to this page. That page gave me a name to look up: cellulitis. Sounds like lumpy fat on the face, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not.

What is it?

A bacterial infection of the skin, most often occuring on the lower legs. When it appears on the face (often the bridge of the nose), it’s the most serious, because it can spread to your eyes, your brain, and just generally kill you. (This is what I get for giving up caffeine about that time. Just kidding – or AM I?)

For the full story, I advise you to read this enlightening page. Essentially, I mighta got it through recent gardening or possibly by being licked in the fact by a cute little dog who eats her own poop, in addition to every piece of trash she can find.

There are no red streaks, so I’m not heading off to the emergency room. I’ll call my doc in the morning and tell her she needs to fit me in asap. It’s usually treated with an antibiotic called Keflex, which I need to look up next. In the meantime, I made up some ionized silver and drank that. I’d take a picture of my nose, but right now it would be hard for you to see anything. And I want to keep it that way.

Holy crap.

Update

When I woke up this morning, everything was much better, but I called the doc anyway. They gave me an appt. for 1:00. I kept drinking ionized silver, and when I went in there really wasn’t much to see. However, after I described everything, she agreed with my diagnosis and put me on the Keflex antibiotic — three times a day for 10 days. They really don’t want to risk it going into your brain when it’s on your face like that. Interestingly, she would have put me on a stronger drug if I had thought it came from the cat, because cats have pasteurella in their mouths, and that’s some bad-ass bacteria.

Further Update:

I should mention that the drugs cleared it up completely, and I’ve had no new instance as of August 6, even though I continue to let Josie lick my face occasionally. Interestingly, the slight rash at the corner of my eyes came back. I stopped using a type/bottle of eye drops, and they cleared up. Could have been some contamination in the bottle or an allergic reaction to an ingredient in the drops. Could have had no relation to the drops at all. 

We have a winnah!

Thanks to all of you who visited the day of Marni Graff’s post. Marni very kindly sent me the first two books in her series to give away. I called Angel Joe and said, “Pick a number from 1 to 10,” and he picked 4, so Betsy Dornbusch is our winner, which saves me some shipping, since I see her once a month. Yay!

Thanks to all the commenters for visiting. I hope you had a great holiday weekend!

Marni Graff, author of The Blue Virgin and The Green Remains

Marni Graff is the author of the Nora Tierney mystery series – which falls somewhere between a police procedural and a cozy. The second book in this very interesting series just came out, and I wanted to find out more. One lucky commenter will win a copy of The Green Remains.

Before we start talking to Marni, let me catch you up on the series. In The Blue Virgin, American writer Nora Tierney travels to Oxford, England. Her good friend has been wrongfully accused of murdering her partner. But is the accusation wrong?

In The Green Remains, Nora is living at Ramsey Lodge in England’s Lake District, anticipating the birth of her first child and the publication of her first children’s book. But when she finds a body by Lake Windemere, her illustrator, Simon Ramsey is implicated. As the body count rises, Nora and her unborn child will face risks and perils she could never anticipate.

Pretty riveting stuff, huh? Now, I’m a big fan of stories that take me to other countries, so I decided to ask Marni about setting her books in England rather than the U.S.

Author Marni Graff

Esri:

Setting is such a great way to add a tone or feeling to a story, especially if the setting has a strong “personality.” I’m trying to imagine a chipper comedy set in a place where it rains all the time – it’s difficult. I’m assuming you didn’t finish the books during your visits to the UK. Do you ever look at photos to get yourself back in a certain mood?

Marni:

I keep my photo albums of my last trip to Oxford and to the Lake District on my desk. As a matter of fact, we used a photo I took on Lake Windermere as the basis for the cover of The Green Remains. Cumbria is a place of such natural beauty, as opposed to Oxford, which has beauty of a very different kind, all of those golden ancient buildings and bustling crowded streets. It’s town vs country for sure; both strong in personality, as you mention, but of a very different kind.

When I read Elizabeth George’s newest (Believing the Lie) I wasn’t surprised to see she’d taken Lynley to a visit to Cumbria. But then I don’t have a lock on that place, as evidenced by Reginald Hill’s The Woodcutter, and one entire series by Martin Edwards, aptly called The Lake District Series. It’s one of my favorite places, and anyone who has seen the natural beauty of Cumbria comes away impressed. Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth and Ruskin all reveled in the tarns and becks, the fleecy clouds reflected in the many lakes’ surface.

Esri:

After I leave a remote book location, I sometimes have a logistical question about it. I once used Google Earth to find out if a parking lot had a convenient bush beside it, for my sleuths to hide behind (it did). Have you ever had this happen, and what did you do about it?

Marni:

Ah, yes, the challenges of setting …  since my books are set so far away, I use a local contact to answer email questions and keep my photograph albums out for reference. But Google came into play when my copyeditor was going over The Blue Virgin. I’d set a character on a walk from his flat to the Covered Market, past Magdalen College, and it sounded like he’s arrived in about three minutes. Turns out Google told her the distance was a mile and a half, so we changed the text to show it took Davey a bit longer to get there!

Esri:

Any funny stories about travel or other experiences you had in the UK?

Marni:

When I studied at Oxford as an adult, I kept buying books and souvenirs, things I fell in love with because I knew it would be a while before I could go back and I loved the town. But I ran out of suitcase space and ended up having to mail myself a two cartons home … don’t ask about the postage. Since the cost was based on weight, I packed the boxes mostly with dirty clothes and put the books in my suitcase! Then I went through the security check on my way home, and this was before 9/11 and they did random baggage checks. Of course, mine was pulled and when the woman opened my suitcase, it was mostly all books. She looked at my passport, saw I’d been there over a month, then looked at my bag and said, “Lor, lass, where’s your knickers?”

Esri:

Nora is writing an illustrated children’s book in the same area where famed Peter Rabbit author Beatrix Potter lived. Did you (and Nora) take the tour? Buy any souvenirs?

Marni:

I’ve taken the tour (lovely) to Hill Top, and Nora will in a future book with her child. The World of Beatrix Potter attraction (think All Things Peter and Friends) is in the village where The Green Remains is set, right near Windermere. Potter’s influence in the area is enormous; she bought up 14 farms and over 4,000 acres of land and left it to The National Trust in her will so that it would never be developed. In this book, Nora is name-hunting for her child and considers a few Potter favorites, which she ultimately discards. But she does use Peter Rabbit and friends to decorate her son’s nursery.

Esri:

Good for her. You can’t go wrong with the classics. A non-location question: Each of your titles mentions a color. Do you remember what brought that about?

Marni:

The first book, The Blue Virgin, was my original title, based on a club that’s mentioned in the first chapter but is actually metaphor for the young woman whose murder sets Nora on her initial investigation. I work with an outstanding book designer, Giordana Segneri, and it was her idea when she designed the cover, to use the blue wash. We liked the effect so much I made certain I worked color into the title for The Green Remains. This one refers to the appearance of the dead body Nora stumbles over at the edge of the lake but is also a metaphor for what remains at the end of the book: new lives to be molded from the aftermath of tragedy. Right now I’m working on The Scarlet Wench, which is the name of the local pub already mentioned in Bowness in The Green Remains, and is a metaphor for …  you’ll have to read it and find out! The fourth book’s working title is The Golden Hour.
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If you’d like to read excerpts of Marni’s books (and who wouldn’t?), they’re below. And don’t forget to comment for the chance to win a copy of her newest!

Excerpt – The Blue Virgin

Excerpt – The Green Remains

Marni Graff, also known as Auntie M,  M.K., and Marnette, grew up in Floral Park, NY. She currently resides in rural North Carolina, living on the Pungo River, part of the coast’s Intracoastal Waterway. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime, and runs the NC Writers Read program in Belhaven. Graff is the author of screenplays, stories, essays and poetry, and writes two mystery series. Her creative nonfiction was most recently seen in Southern Women’s Review. She is also co-author of Writing in a Changing World, a primer on writing groups and critique techniques. Visit her at her blog, which has fab weekly book reviews, AuntiEmWrites.

Bonus link: A great guest post by Marni on Motherhoot, about her interesting journey to writing.