How does water affect you? As a writer, I find – for reasons I don’t entirely understand – that it has a very positive creative effect on me. I get many of my best ideas and come up with solutions to some of my most troublesome problems when I am in the shower. It must have something to do with the running water or maybe the sense of freedom I always experience. It works, too, when I do my thinking with the sounds of the ocean in the background or if there is white noise from a waterfall. But I don’t want to get carried away with this. It doesn’t work when a faucet is running or if I flush the toilet. My other favorites for stimulating creativity are long drives and symphonic music. Long drives allow me to go away entirely. I can work the mechanics of driving but still be thinking about something else – a chapter unresolved, a character still not fully developed, whatever. Music works that way, too – but only symphonic music. Don’t ask me about this, either. I listen to all kinds of music, but the other kinds don’t seem to do much. Maybe it’s because I like to sing along and this is really distracting when you are also trying to think. Symphonies just take me away the same way driving does. But I never listen to music when I write. I can’t concentrate if I do. Weird.