Chapter 28: Writing a screenplay

Have I talked to you about how I have more self-confidence than sense sometimes, or is that just implied?

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It probably isn’t a cool, humble thing to admit – but for whatever reason (strong self-awareness, Narcissistic Personality Disorder?), I really back myself to achieve my goals – especially when they play to my strengths.

And especially when they don’t include math.

Lord Jesus, am I terrible at math … 

So when I was listening to the Rachel Hollis podcast the other day and she mentioned writing a screenplay, something in my head went:

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Girl, YES.

It was like the stars-aligned and then exploded into shooting rays of colour and light and “Oh, but, OF COURSE”!

I love movies. I love writing dialogue. I hate writing scene-setting prose, and the length of a novel makes me clench my cheeks in intimidation.

I found my dang format!

But then I thought …

How the hell do you write a screenplay?

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Do you feel like this is going to be a GIF-heavy post? I feel like it’s going to be a GIF-heavy post.

Which is always the bloody way, isn’t it.

You get pumped about trying something new and exciting, and then you realise you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, which is in fact why it’s both “new” and “exciting”.

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So, I did what any self-respecting nerd would do, and I went to the library, which is where I learnt two distinct things:

  1. I don’t know crap about searching online library catalogues. A delightful woman named Dawn* saw the idiocy in my eyes, and thankfully came to help.
  2. My son is a local legend. I’d heard from my husband that our one-and-a-half-year-old was a hit with the ladies at the library, but seeing it in the flesh was truly something to behold. I could barely move for dreamy-eyed women. It was like a Justin Bieber concert.

(*Maybe?)

Thanks to “Dawn”, I managed to track down some literature to help me on my authoring quest, and left the library feeling like Pattie Mallette, with Funny On Purpose: The Definitive Guide to an Unpredictable Career In Comedy tucked under my arm.

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Pattie Mallette is Justin Bieber’s mum. It was a niche joke.

What am I planning to write?

Honestly, I’m not totally sure. But the general vibe I’m aiming for is a jumble of Clueless, Bridesmaids, anything starring Noah Centineo, and a dash of Flight of the Conchords.

And I’d like to emphasise the words “aiming for”, because my first draft will most certainly suck baubles.

But that’s pretty much how life works when you try anything new.

If you’ve never done it before, you’re going to be bad at it … until you’re not.

The trick is not giving up in the …

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Source: @hayleydrewthis on Instagram

Setting goals and taking names

Last week was Matariki, the Māori New Year. It’s a time of reflection, hope, kindness and kai (read: noms) – and a great opportunity to give yourself another January.

It always feels harder in winter to really sink your teeth into a goal. It’s dark (SO. DARK), cold and generally grim, and the lure of Netflix and procrastination is so much stronger than in summer.

But, that’s also exactly why it’s the perfect time to start a new goal.

  • A). Because there’s literally nothing else to do.
  • And B). Because it’s a surefire way to bring some light and excitement to an otherwise dreary time of year.

Not convinced?

If you’re feeling a bit lacklustre and uninspired, I recommend listening to this episode of the Deliciously Ella Podcast – How to Break a Habit & Make Lasting Changes, with Behavioural Change Specialist Shahroo Izadi.

I loved her episode so much, I ordered Shahroo’s book, The Kindness Method and started stalking her Instagram on the regular.

Because that’s all a goal really is – making a new habit, and sticking to it.

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And if you still need some inspirations, just Google “Leslie Knope memes” until you start channeling that Big Knope Energy.

What would you love to have a go at this winter? Tell me in the comments, and give yourself a lil boost of accountability. 

Kate x

Chapter 19: We started a podcast

I did a Rachel Hollis exercise with some friends recently where you visualise what the best version of yourself would be like.

What do you do for a job? What do you dress like? How are your relationships? What are your priorities? How do you feel? How much sleep do you get? What do you eat …? 

And then after imagining all of this – seeing it like a movie in your head – you quickly write it all down on a piece of paper, using “I” statements and as much detail as you can.

I really recommend giving it a go.

It’s a ridiculously helpful way of focusing in on what you actually want your life to be like, and then being big and brave and going for it.

Here are some of the things on my list:

  1. I am a famous writer
  2. I am a present, loving mum
  3. I eat fresh healthy food and regularly work out, and I feel amazing
  4. I set my own work hours
  5. I am confident and completely myself
  6. I influence people to believe in themselves and live their best lives, and to be kind.
  7. I make the world laugh.

Then we had to each look at our lists, and come up with a goal – just one – that would help us get closer to this bomb version of ourselves.

Get it, girl

My Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG, if you please) is to create a platform of smart, silly, fun, encouraging content.

Like what Leandra Medine has done with Man Repeller.

But more Kate-ish.

Which is difficult. And daunting. And exciting. And entirely achievable.

Kate, Media Mogul

I love podcasts. They bring me untold amounts of joy – like, Making a Murderer.

Kidding. I ain’t about that True Crime life. I live almost exclusively in the comedy section. See below.

Kate’s Top 5 Fave Podcasts:

  1. Jules and Sarah the Podcast
  2. Rise Podcast
  3. Fletch Vaughan and Megan
  4. Wobble
  5. Sports?

So when I was thinking about what I wanted to be a part of my platform, podcasts were FOR SURE on the list.

So I made one. Like a gangster.

I enlisted my husband Taka as Producer and Co-Host, and on Thursday night we sat at the kitchen table and chatted into a surprisingly phallic microphone about everything from our car being totalled by an ambulance, to the Netflix show Taka’s mum is currently obsessed with.

It was really fun, and we hope it makes you smile.

If you want to have a listen, we are now officially iTunes approved so you can find us there by searching Kate Takes Thirty (I’ve renamed it The Kate and Taka Show, but it’s just taking a little while to sync!), or listen online at https://thekateandtakashow.simplecast.fm/.

If you listen, please screenshot it and post it to your stories and tag or DM me at @katetakesthirty on Instagram! I. WILL. DIE.

You can also follow Taka at @takakauri.

Thanks so much for your support, guys. We will frankly be bloody beside ourselves if more people than just my mum listen (both because she’s supportive, and also because I talk about her confusion with “that’s what she said” … it’s a little rude …).

You are the best of all humans.

Lots of love,

Kate x

Chapter 10: Reading

Until this week, I hadn’t read a book in a year.

Which, for someone with a degree in English Literature, is basically sacrilege.

(Ps. I also have a degree in Psychology and Management, but we didn’t come here to talk about how very smart I am. We came here for lols and encouragement, and some A-Grade ridiculous stories.)

It’s all coming back, to me

One of my Thirty Before Thirty goals was to rediscover the absolute bloody joy of reading.

I had a bit of hormonal anxiety (fun!) before little man was born, which combined with a fierce imagination, made for some dramatic times up in my head.

So to help, I steered clear of reading or watching anything that added to the drama above my ears.

But then after a while, the hormones chilled (Thank. God).

And Z was born.

And I didn’t sleep anymore.

And my mental capacity was #basic.

And Christmas Netflix movies became my jam (how good was The Christmas Prince, though).

And I just never really got back into books.

Until, now.

To Guernsey, with love

Last weekend, my mum gave me The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society to borrow.

She said: “It’s very you”.

So I started reading it on Sunday.

And then I finished it on Thursday.

It was amazing.

I was also bloody thrilled to discover that they made a movie of it in 2017, starring the divine Lily James. She’s one of my faves, but I hadn’t watched it yet because I thought the name was weird.

What a fool.

I’m going to have a couch date with myself on Saturday and watch it. Because I know how to party.

Book Club

For those of you who are interested, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is set at the end of WW2, and tells the story of the German occupation of Guernsey (an island in the English Channel) through an ensemble cast of gorgeous, witty, clever characters.

The book is written entirely in letters and notes (the format reminded me a bit of Love, Rosie), and the main character Juliet is to die for.

She’s the sort of character you wish was real just so you could be friends.

“You know how I love talking about books, and you know how I adore receiving compliments.” – Annie Barrows, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I know those feels.

It has everything: Strong female protagonists (along with Juliet, Elizabeth is the second, silent central figure of the book). Realistic, quirky, loveable characters. A setting that teaches you something. A love story. And all of the lols.

I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m a pretty big fan.

It reminded me a bit of The Girl You Left Behind, the lesser-known novel by Jojo Moyes (of Me Before You fame) half-set in German occupied France – which I also really liked.

Kate’s Goodreads

In honour of rediscovering my love of literature, I thought I’d share my all time favourite books/series/authors, and why I luuurve them so damn much.

Best Nonfiction Comedy

Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns)

This 👏🏼 Book 👏🏼 Is 👏🏼 Everything

I had a real “Books By Female Comedians” stage (Miranda Hart’s Love Peggy gets an honourable mention in this category), but this book is the best of the bunch BY FAR.

I think I’ve re-read it twice … maybe three times …

So funny. So inspiring. So great.

Best Series for Tweens That I Read as a Grown Ass Woman

The Georgia Nicolson series. With such titles as Startled by His Furry Shorts and It’s ok, I’m Wearing Really Big Knickers, you know you’re in for a good time.

Pure, ridiculous, teen hilarity.

I was genuinely heartbroken when their author Louise Rennison passed away in 2016. But she gave the world the Disco Inferno Dance and Dave the Laugh, and for that I will always be grateful.

I could have literally snogged until the cows came home. And when they came home I would have shouted, “WHAT HAVE TOU COWS COME HOME FOR?! CAN’T YOU SEE I’M SNOGGING, YOU STUPID HERBIVORES???” – Georgia Nicolson

Favourite Writer

I love Zoë Foster-Blake.

I just feel like we’d be friends. And I love her novels, Air Kisses and Playing the Field.

Her blog is also bomb. Get amongst it.

Best Sob-Inducer

Me Before You is gorgeous. And harrowing. And hilarious. And everything.

I also really loved Emilia Clarke’s (my all time girl crush) portrayal of Lou in the film.

Who, now I think about it, actually has some similar traits to Juliet in Guernsey

Quickest Read

I read Divergent in a day.

O b s e s s e d.

Although I felt the series got a serious case of the “er … where are we going with this plot …?!”, Divergent was sublime.

Book three (Allegiant) was ridiculous.

Best Christian Book*

I really enjoyed Jesus is ___ by Judah Smith.

He managed to be funny and inspiring and informative all at the same time, and I loved it.

Also, anything by Joyce Meyer, the First Lady of Female Preachers.

Bow down.

*Other than the Bible, which is a pretty good book …

Best Inspo

Girl, Wash Your Face is amazing. I’ve only just started it, so I’m well and truly jumping the gun by putting it on this list, but I don’t care. It’s amazing.

The author, Rachel Hollis, also has an amazing podcast called Rise which I thoroughly recommend.

Best Classic Prose

I will tell you a secret … I only ever finished one book during my English degree.

I know.

And that one book was Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.

I am only now realising how sexist I am … All my fave books have female leads.

Literally. All. Of. Them.

I guess …

What’s you’re all time favourite book? Do you have any recommendations for me? I feel like you all solidly know “My Type” now.

Kate x