The Bathtub Bind


Every writer knows that inspiration strikes at the most inconvenient times. This usually means not being able to record the idea or eureka moment in one form or another. Most often for me, is when I’m driving or when I’m at work.

Well, several months ago I discovered another place – the bathtub.

I had been stuck on writing a section of dialogue in my current sci-fi novel. No matter how much I stared at the screen or walked away, nothing was coming to me. In hindsight, I’m not really sure what had me so hung up in the first place but that’s beside the point.

Anyways, at the time I couldn’t move forward until I had figured out this dialogue. Since nothing else worked, I decided to have a nice relaxing bubble bath. I thought if I stopped thinking about it maybe an answer would present its coy self.

So there I was luxuriating in a full, steaming bath. My cheeks were flushed red and my eyes fluttered close. Thanks to being vertically challenged, the only anatomy poking out of the mountains of scented bubbles were my head and toes.

It was peaceful – for all of five minutes.


Lo and behold, the solution to my dialogue issue wafted in front of me like the bath steam. I allowed the scene to flow around me and it worked. But my triumph quickly hit a snag. While I had prepared for a relaxing reprieve, I had not prepared for the unlikely chance that my problem would solve itself so easily. I had not brought anything into the bathroom that I could use to write down the dialogue, including my cell phone. And I was not willing to leave behind a perfectly good bath and waste all that water.

I got creative. I wrote the dialogue with my finger in the condensation glistening over the glass walls of the bathtub. All three panels were covered in my temporary graffiti. I guess you could say the writing was on the wall because that was the next setback.


Like poorly done spray paint, the work started to drip into the words below. I don’t remember how long I waited before I eventually got out of the tub, rapped myself in a bath towel, and ran for a pen and paper. But I do remember that the condensation had already started to evaporate so that I couldn’t see most of what I had written.

But do no fret, dear reader, not all was lost.

Just like when someone draws on a window and breathes on it for the image to reappear, so did my words. Except, there were three large glass panels full of words. Consequently, there I was on tip toes or bent over panting heavily on a small section of glass. The pathetic part was I could only record one visible word at a time before I had to take a half-step to the side and repeat the process.


The completion of my bizarre task was complicated further by my inability to stop giggling at my own ridiculous predicament. Oh, how it must have looked with my face literally breath-width from the glass, eyes almost crossed, mouth agape, puffing like a disgusted teenager!


What can I say? I’m not the brightest crayon in the box, but I at least I have crayons. Or at least, I will next time I have an idea. Because if there is one thing I learned, it’s always, ALWAYS bring something to write with – even in the bathroom.

What’s the weirdest method you’ve recorded your writing?

Remember, we’re all in this together.