Never having been one for long soaks in the bathtub, the old slogan never meant much to me except visions of pruny skin and a ring to clean afterward. But writing, now there's something that takes you away.

The world is often unkind, as many, many poets have said far better than I can. Things happen to us that might drive us crazy. But for some, writing becomes catharsis, therapy, and hiding place, all in one. Focus on your characters. Make their lives worse than yours if it makes you feel better. Make their lives happy, if that helps. We can't change life, but we can create art, and sometimes that is all that keeps us on that narrow ledge of sanity.

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