30min Writing Exercises for Intimidation

If you haven’t hear this big life news about my debut show –

I’m happy to announce that my debut show (the completion of the #grimepoetics development over the past year+) has been commissioned by The Royal Court Theatre and will be in there main theatre space in 2018. As a dyslexic 17 year old from a working-class background I guess I always felt I had something to prove. Maybe that’s why I worked so hard to be the boss of all my often seemingly impossible dreams. So to have such a massive institution, known for world class writing, not only champion me but offer up bigger dreams ambitions than even I can conceive is mind blowing and testament to the power of this massive journey of self love and care. Before it felt like if I didn’t work every hour of every day nothing would happen – but now I’m more efficient when I am working as a result of rest/love/dance etc. I’m clearer on who I am and the work has come to me! I HAVE A LONG WAY TO CLIMB (picture Segway) but I am building the strength and team. 

But with this comes INTENSE INTIMIDATION looking at the blank page like WRITE SOMETHING BRILLIANT DEBORAH – GO. When I know that isn’t how it works. So I am trying trick myself with tasks and timers to write, and exercise my writing brain to not worry about brilliance but instead experiment and explore.

So every day, before I start on a show related writing thing, I set myself a writing challenge. Today this was it…

  1. Freewrite (write without thinking, caring, stopping or editing) for 10min to music you love but wouldn’t usually write to. For me this was Soca.

 

Thick fish, sardines fed on feather bowers.

My pelvis is a goat skin drum.

Finger nails pulled, crushed and mixed with white paint

So the walls of his house can shine.

 

I found a box jellyfish in the bath.

I found out you hadn’t been swallowing your cealial,

Just storing it in your cheeks like a hamster.

 

I killed my second hamster with a cheese overdose.

They had to put it down, I wepth over is translucent albino body

From the back middle seat as it lap in my own hands like a prayer to santa.

 

My dad slammed the break, Hammy hit the front windscream

And my parents laughed the whole way home. Funny,

Death isn’t it. My friend cracked her head in a Portuguese swimming pool at 30.

 

Maybe I should bathe in cocpops and oat milk before I die.

Should I go to that nude lane swimming session in the neatherlands.

Or should I finish that poem about how I left my mum so fast

 

It tour her like snot through a napkin. Should I say I am sorry

Even though I didn’t ask to be here.

 

Sometimes I think I am made of the sofa left on the balcony in the rain.

That held up our adolescence so we had somewhere to laugh and hide

And bellow varing shades and textures of green.

 

I want to wear ankle socks more often. But I feel nervous.

I feel nervous. I knew I stopped smoking week for a reason.

Because I think Evil looked like Kermit the frog.

 

And I was really unsure about the consistency of my own socks.

You know, the important stuff? Like doing the splits between two

Caucasian boats on a Canal in Amsterdam at pride.

 

Waking up with purple shins in the smell of 16.

Lynx, weed and scratched so solid CD’s.

I want to lick the back of your hands like a cat.

 

I want to Watt’s App you 18 times whenever I feel sad.

I am going to start texting myself instead.

I know how to use a condom.

 

Well actually I don’t.

I don’t need to, do I?

Has anyone ever been eaten alive by house ants?

 

I feel like a red velvet cake on the pavement.

All red food colouring and no taste.

I want to be on ceramic or washed away.

 

Drafting 10min 

For me this is whilst having a particular focus on patterns, lineation and sense, where can I break the line, delete text, add things, rearrange things to gather some instinctual sense of meaning. What was my subconscious trying to tell me when I wrote this? For me, on reading and editing I was getting a sense of death, sexuality, family and male/female sexual dynamic alongside domestic animal imagery which I was trying to consolidate somehow…

 

His thick fish shimmers as if

fed on feather bowers. My pelvis

is a goat skin drum. His body bobs

like death underwater. Bound

cotton covers. Finger nails

 

pulled, crushed, mixed

with white paint, so the walls of his

house can shine. He hasn’t been

swallowing his cereal, just storing

it in his cheeks like a hamster.

 

I killed my second hamster

with a cheese overdose. Put it down,

I wept over is translucent albino body

the back-middle seat of Mum’s Skoda.

Dad slammed the breaks,

 

Hammy hit the front windscreen

parents laughed the whole way home. Funny,

Death isn’t it. My friend cracked her head

on a miscellaneous rock in

a Portuguese swimming pool. Maybe, I should

 

bathe in Coco Pops and oat milk before I die. I left

my mum so fast it tore her like snot through a cheap napkin. Should I

say I am sorry even though I didn’t ask to be born. Sometimes

I think I am made rain filled sofa. I want

to wear ankle socks more often, but

 

I feel nervous, because I was really

unsure about the consistency of my own

socks. You know, the important stuff? Like,

doing the splits between two

 

Saucasian canal boats at Amsterdam pride. Waking up

with purple shins and the smell of 16 everywhere;

Lynx, weed and scratched so solid CD’s. I want to lick

the back of your hands like a cat. All of you

is so paw-like. I want to Watt’s App you

18 times whenever I feel sad. I know how to use a condom. Well actually

 

I don’t. I don’t need to,

do I? I feel like a red velvet cake

on the pavement. All food colouring,

no taste. I want to be on ceramic

or washed away by a sober, vomit scented, spring Sunday morning.

 

Sharable Version (10min) editing again but more savagely

How hard is each word/line working, is it essential, if you were reading this as a paying audience member/reader what would stay in your brain. + Choose a title and send it to someone you like/trust/know will challenge you to read (depending on what you need). 

 

Miscellaneous Rock

 

He hasn’t been swallowing his cereal, just storing

it in his cheeks like a hamster.

I killed my second hamster

with a cheese overdose. Put it down,

I wept over is translucent albino body

the back-middle seat of Mum’s Skoda.

Dad slammed the breaks,

Hammy hit the front windscreen

parents laughed the whole way home. Funny,

Death isn’t it. My friend cracked her head (just 30)

on a miscellaneous rock in

a Portuguese swimming pool.

I left my mum so fast it tore her

like snot through a cheap napkin.

 

Should I say I am sorry even though

I didn’t ask to be born. But

I’m waking up with purple shins

and the smell of 16 everywhere;

Lynx, weed and scratched so solid CD’s. I want to lick

the back of your hands like a cat.

I know how to use a condom. Well actually

I don’t. I don’t need to, do I?

His red velvet cake on the pavement. All food colouring,

no taste, waiting to be washed

away sober, vomit scented, spring.

 

Hope this is some kinda helpful, Debris. x

p.s. Photography by Tom Morley 

From UK to T&T – Who do You Want to be?

So about a year ago I made a 4 year plan under the instruction of Charlie Dark – what do I want to achieve and who do I want to be by the time I am 30. I wanted to post a picture of it but it coveres; dance, poetry, performance, publishing, music, self, drawing and family so there are a few quiet personal things on there I didn’t want to announce. It is colour coordinated and each point also has a timeline of achievement and immediate to do in place.

I also made a daily to do list on top of that, because in the past I have become so focused on long-term plans I stopped enjoying my life on a daily!

Daily to do:

  1. Write.
  2. Dance, Physio or Exercise.
  3. Swim or Stretch or be present – let yourself sit in joy or peace.
  4. Performance/ Vocal Practice.
  5. Have space for compassion/ time for others; a stranger or a loved one.
  6. Spontaneity – let what could be a distraction become an opportunity, what could be seen as a disturbance becomes serendipity (this means these 6 things can go out the window sometimes!)

The balance between those long-term goals and every day enjoyment is essential for me – Coming to Trinidad and Tobago has always been a dream and though I am not entirely sure about laws of attraction this is the second time I have said I WILL GO X PLACE AT X TIME and then I have been booked to go!

So this is a summery of my balancing act for my 6 out of 7 weeks here, hopefully it will inspire you to look back at what you have achieved, sit in what you are doing and/or look forward into what you are working towards.

I have:

  • Been tasted by 475 mosquitos.
  • Made a poetry/dance film at the top of IMG_0326.JPGa fire tower with the insanely talented, efficient, calm, honest (and hilarious) Pippa Riddick
    .
  • Facilitated a week of #TalkingDoorsteps workshops culminating in a show and 17 poetry films and show in an amphitheatre in Lopinot (Cafe Mariposa) for Roundhouse, British Council and The 2 Cents Movement with support and reflective insights from Debo and Joe Hakim.
  • Written poems I thought it would take my whole life to crack into.
  • Performed to thousands of Trinbagonian (wait is that correct?) students via the PSI Caribbean across 10 schools in Trinidad.
  • Created a show in a week with Deneka Thomas, Marcus Millette, Seth Sylvester, Kyle Daniel Hernandez and Micko Burnard Logie.
  • Had countless conversations with young people who want to see real change around gender based violence and are not scared to challenge, innovate and questions.
  • Facilitated 4 out of 6 foundational training sessions for the core Artistic Force of 2cents and been pushed as a facilitator/ educator and artist.
  • Danced, spoken, opened and learned from Ariana Herbert on a daily basis – not to mention gained a new family across the world in the form of the beautiful Herberts.
  • Learned daily from the powerhouse that is Jean-Claude Cournand – reminded of the power, beauty and humility that can be contained in one human.
  • Taken about 4million selfies with students and signed a good 50 autographs (Jokes).
  • Laughed.
  • Cried.
  • Grieved for my grandmother, who passed away the first week I got here.
  • Connected with my family despite being half way across the world.
  • Celebrated my dads 60th.
  • Had a real conversation with my Mum.
  • Learned new dance moves.
  • Got the second X-ray of my life.
  • Finished a funding bid.
  • Evaluated a funding bid.
  • Started collaborations with Bridie Squires and Ash Er.
  • Curated a show for the Southbank Centre – Gyal in da Corner.
  • Felt at home with Isaiah McClean, Donald Modeste and Kars Logic.
  • Brainstormed with the powerhouse which is Marina Salandy Brown  Bocas Lit Fest.
  • Trained 5 times a week.
  • Started my Yoga practice 2-3 hours a week.
  • Stolen movement ideas from the legendary Hannah Silva.
  • Got 3 steps closer to a headstand.
  • Got my straddle splits back.IMG_0774.JPG
  • Been serenaded by a stranger with a guitar on a beach.
  • Become 80% coconut water.
  • Drawn for the first time in a year.
  • Replaced by hands with peacocks, courtesy of Thad
    dy Boom.
  • Become a paint pallet.
  • Danced on top of a cooler in a flood as the sun came up.

 

Lets see what this last 11 days has tIMG_0954.JPGo offer. Already planned; toe recovery (reason for x-ray), Mass with Fantasy, Jouvert with Dirty Medics, Machel
Monday, my second ever tattoo, 3 new tunes and a second draft of the Poet in da Corner Script

What intensions you setting?