Then Again, Too Few to Mention (Brian Katcher)

 When I think back to all the blessings I've had in my life, I can't think of a single one, unless you count that rattlesnake that granted me all those wishes. --Jack Handey

Ah, as we rapidly approach Judgement Day, it's only logical to think back to every decision we've made, and wonder if maybe, just maybe, we should have thrown that bowling ball at that guy's head when we had the chance.

It totally would have looked like an accident. Would have shut him and his friends right up.

But when you're a writer, your regrets don't just live on in your mind. They're recorded forever in ink, in electronic format, on iron tablets and clay bricks, and seared forever on your bare flesh.

In my latest book, Marley's Ghost, I let a few typos slip through. And I'm not going to lie, that bothers me. I mean, most readers probably didn't catch them, but every so often I stay up late, down a bottle of vodka and stare at my father's picture, shouting 'YOU WERE RIGHT! I AM A WORTHLESS F*CK UP!'

Or that time my editor wanted me to write a 'kids with cancer' book, but we got bogged down over the story structure, and in the meantime The Fault in Our Stars is published and all of a sudden I'm explaining to some judge why they caught me hiding on John Green's garage roof with a bowling ball. 

Regrets? I'll give you some regrets.Like that time in fifth grade when I got to stay home from school with an eye infection (or maybe it was a babysitter) and I was so excited because I'd get to watch The Addams Family which only came on when I was at school, and when I went to turn it on I realized I'd gotten the time wrong and it was already over! You want to talk to me about regret?

Or what about that time when I was eight and I was at a friend's house and his mom brought out Capri Suns which we never got at my house and I was so excited to finally get to stick the straw in the pouch, but then his mom handed me mine in a god damn glass, saying my pouch was missing the straw. Is that the same, Judy? How is that the same? 

Or the fact that I spent almost all of this month working on a book that I just realized was probably completely unpublishable, and yesterday I came up with a much better idea, but even though I churned out 3,000 words today, I'll never get that month of productivity back. I just want to grab my bowling ball and...

No, never again.

It totally would have looked like an accident, though. He wouldn't have been laughing with no teeth.


  1. I totally think you should do the kids with cancer book. So what about TFIOS? Your book would be different.

  2. I think you should write a bowling ball book. (Great post!)

    1. Thank you! But my editor came up with the idea and I probably shouldn't pursue it on my own.


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