After my last downer of an email I thought I'd keep this one light.

Confession time: I love baths. 

People are always surprised to learn how many baths I take on a regular basis. And they're only reacting to the number I give them, which is far lower than the truth.

I'm in a bath right now. Maybe not as you read this email (although it's a strong possibility), but as I write it. I do most of my best writing in the bath. Bath time is so important to my writing (whether it be fiction, songs, best-man speeches, or birthday cards), that when it came time for my wife and I to remodel our leaky and dilapidated bathroom, I had to climb into every bathtub in the store until I found the one that suited my needs.

I don't take baths to relax. I don't bother with bubbles or candles or pillows or salts or even soap. I'm not there to wash up. I'm there to focus and to disappear. The bath is the only place I've found where I can truly get lost.

That can get me into trouble. One time I got out of a bath and saw that I had a dozen missed calls and text messages from my wife saying, "Where are you? Call me right away!!!" Turns out, my daughter had peed her pants at school and needed a new set of clothes. But why was my wife so upset? Well, when I didn't answer my cell, she called our house line repeatedly, knowing it would cause our dog to start barking, which would annoy me enough to force me out of the bath (I heard the barking but was too in the zone to care). Unable to reach me, she contacted our neighbor, who has our key, and asked her to come to our house to check if I was dead. Luckily, I returned her call before my neighbor had a chance to walk in and find me naked and pruned up.

Sometimes all it takes is ten minutes in the tub and I pop out to face the day. Other times I'm still supine two hours later, unaware that the water is cold and I'm shivering. This book of mine that I keep telling you about? You guessed it. Written in the bath. A lot of it, anyway. 

I'm not proud of my water usage. It rubs against my environmentalism and drains my wallet. What can I say, I'm an addict. If I go too long without a soak, I'm all out of sorts. Don't knock it till you try it. And hurry. Winter is prime bath time. 

P.S. Today is my birthday, and because I can't enjoy anything without feeling guilty about it, and because this is a worthy cause, I hope you'll consider helping me raise some money for charity: water, an amazing organization that brings clean water to people who have none. One hundred percent of the proceeds goes to their clean water projects. Learn more.

P.P.S. Any guesses on the man pictured at the top of this email? Hint: Bryan Cranston portrayed him in a recent film.  

P.P.P.S. Do you have any surprising or embarrassing habits that you care to share with me? I won't tell anyone.

“Brimming with heart & soul.”
— Garth Stein, author of THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN

“Endearing & wise”.
— Eowyn Ivey, author of THE SNOW CHILD

“Startlingly original & deeply familiar.”
— Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN

“Beautiful & beguiling.”
— Popsugar

“Achingly sweet & unexpectedly nuanced.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“Quirky, touching & addictive.”
— Library Journal

— AM New York

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Copyright © 2017 Val Emmich, All rights reserved.

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