What if…

What if

I have been part of many, many, MANY brainstorms over the years for the various TV shows I’ve worked on – too many to count. When we are brainstorming the storyline, we might suggest a particular scenario that we want to see playing out and then we’ll take the story to (what we would consider to be) its logical conclusion. Once that’s done, it’s a free-for-all with everyone chipping in their ideas. One person might say or more likely shout, “Nah, that’s too easy, the character needs to earn their happy ending.”

May I just point out at this juncture that I am talking about the TRADITIONAL happy ending found in a storybook…you know…and they all lived happily ever after… and not the…er…happy ending one might inquire about at a massage parlour. Obvs that happy ending needs to be paid for in hard cash so I suppose in a sense it is earned but the one I’m talking about is more cerebral.

Smallanyana brainstorm in the time of Rona with Chisanga Kabinga
Smallanyana brainstorm in the time of Rona with Chisanga Kabinga

And a lot less messy.

Basically, what we’re saying is that the character needs to suffer enough so that we feel satisfied at the end that they have earned their right to ride off into the sunset with or without their significant other. With that in mind, I couldn’t help thinking about this coming year and how after two years of this shitshow, we have all earned the right to ride off into the sunset.

The only problem is that because of the various traumas we’ve been through – illness, isolation, financial worries, losing people close to us – there is a tendency to catastrophize and feel like nothing nice will ever happen again and if it does, there’ll be yet ANOTHER variant with a weird name and ANOTHER lockdown and possibly ANOTHER booze ban and all the fun in our lives will be cancelled.

There was this great meditation on my Headspace app last weekend about ‘what ifs’. I think even the most optimistic amongst us can be forgiven for currently focusing on all the negative what ifs.

What if Headspace logo
  • What if I get covid and drop dead and no one ever makes the kids put sunblock on ever again?
  • What if this rain doesn’t stop and the oak tree falls on the house?
  • What if I don’t finish the script I’m writing and get fired and I never work again?
  • What if everyone hates our book?
  • What if I can’t come up with a thousand words for this blog post (oh yay, that just added 14 more words!)

You get the picture.

But what the app was suggesting was that we flip this and imagine the good things that could happen:

  • What if the series we’ve been developing for years and years AND YEARS gets picked up by Netflix (UNIVERSE, are you listening?)
  • What if everyone loves our novel (Hellooooooo, UNIVERSE!!)
  • What if the cat vomits outside and not on the rug underneath my feet? (Okay, now I’m reaching.)
  • What if my kids stop treating me like a walking ATM and more like a person? (Bwahahahahahahaha. Never going to happen.)

Flipping the what ifs doesn’t change anything except our attitude and allows us to approach the future with a sense of optimism.

And really, why shouldn’t all these good things happen to us? FFS, we have more than bloody earned our happy ending!  

Dr Death

Film/TV recommendations: Dr Death with Joshua Jackson on Showmax. I’m not sure why but I find the stories about these con-men fascinating – and this is exceptionally compelling because it’s about a doctor who operated on people and killed a few of them and left others paralysed and did not give a damn. Not one single f*ck was given. There is both a doccie about this dude and a docu-drama, I watched the docu-drama and then gave into the urge to do some excessive Googling about him. What he was allowed to get away with is MIND BLOWING.

Strangers You know

On MNet – a new season of Strangers You Know, a documentary mini-series that deals with well-known cases like the Karabo Mokoena one. It’s sooooooo well-done but utterly heartbreaking to think what these women went through.

Never saw me coming

On Netflix Afterlife 3 is now streaming and it is BRILLIANT. The script is amazing, and all the characters just tug at my heartstrings. There are only six episodes but every single one of them is a gem. Well done, Ricky Gervais! His partner, author Jane Fallon deserves a medal for putting up with his nonsense although I feel like this series is really a tribute to her and how his life would have no meaning without her and that’s probably better than a medal.

Book recommendations: Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian. This has a very interesting premise – it’s about a group of students who are diagnosed psychopaths and get scholarships to go to varsity because they are part of a study at the university. People start dying and the psychopaths figure out who is doing the killing. An intriguing heroine that you can’t help loving and a fresh take on the genre that I really enjoyed.

Celebrating the release of AgainRachel with the Chasing Marian crew
Celebrating the release of #AgainRachel with the Chasing Marian crew

And *drum roll* my copy of Again, Rachel arrived this week. In a MAMMOTH display of self-control I did not start it immediately, instead I decided to save it for the weekend but I am beside myself with delight. When Jenny Crwys Williams saw me posting about it on the socials, she messaged me to inquire if I would need to be hospitalized from excitement. Nearly, Jen but not quite. It’s available in stores in SA now, so go forth and buy! Thanks to Penguin Random House SA for my copy and for all the goodies that came with the book.

Okay, I didn’t quite get to 1000 words but that’s probably enough whittering on for me for this week. Have a good weekend everyone, happy reading! xxx

What if Happily ever after starts here