In 1920, Ernest Hemingway, then a freelance journalist for The Toronto Star and struggling writer, wrote this letter to his wife Hadley:
“You can make me jealous—and you can hurt most awfully—’cause my loving you is a chink in the armour of telling the world to go to hell and you can thrust a sword into it at any time—”
And then he goes on to say,
“‘Course I love you—I love you all the time—when I wake up in the morning and have to splash around and shave—I look at your picture and think about you—and that’s a pretty deadly part of a day as you know and a good test of loving any one.“
You can read and view Hemingway’s letter in all it’s original handwritten glory here.
I have been reading simultaneously The Sun Also Rises and A Moveable Feast, I cannot get enough early Hemingway, and this letter is an excellent example of why his writing, while sometimes indulgent and dawdling, is also very evocative and moving.
Yes, he betrayed Hadley, and married four times, before shooting himself in the head, but as he writes in A Moveable Feast, “I wish I had died before I ever loved anyone but her.“
last week, i let you munchkins know that several publishing houses across north america were now reading my debut novel. (my fingers are still crossed, no real news yet to report, this will take quite some time).
anyhoo, some impressions have already been sent to my literary agent!
here’s what one lovely editor at a major USA publishing house had to say:
“… Her writing has an almost feral energy to it and the exuberant prose, and thematic ambition are very impressive. She also has a cutting wit which buttresses her descriptive powers….”
that is so awfully kind of them to say, and i am truly ….er…. i was going to say humbled, but really, i am truly shitting myself.
that being said, i am so excited for the future, i cannot tell you!
(now where’s my change of undies….)
i’ve noticed many people in the publishing world have started following me on twitter (and clicking on this blog). ‘Sup hombres!
welcome to my neuroses!
listening last night to people talk about the creation of movies during the Oscars reminded me about my journey in writing my novel, all the years i’ve poured into it, and how this year will be the year that all of that effort pays off ….
L-I-F-E-G-O-E-S-O-N you got more than money & sense my friend, you got heart, and you go in your own way
little chrissy looney-tunes has spent 2011 figuring things out.
i’ve never really had a bad year before. not as an adult, anyway. once my life moved beyond adolescence, life just kept getting better and better. this year, it felt like something was off. i may be a punk rock survivor, but the closest thing to success this year was falling into the spiral of editing my book. to a writer, the truth is usually no big deal, but this year, it was a pendulum.
and then this month, i got the results back from a very scary and painful biopsy…. all clear!
the tail-pipe of this year is finally exhausting breathable air.
turn around, chrissy.
and say something.
as i mentioned last month, the Toronto Arts Council has graciously awarded me with the Level 2 Grant for Writers. if you take a look at my Writing Portfolio (scroll to the bottom), you’ll see that I have been rather fortunate throughout my career when it comes to getting funding and grants to work on my creative writing projects.
i get a lot of questions from new writers, wanting to know how to apply for grants, what the process is, and how to find out about them. back in january, i was an invited panellist on a Writing & Publishing panel at York University (my alma mater). we talked about several different topics related to the professional side of writing, including how to get grants.
when i was asked what kinds of funding and grants i would suggest people seek out and apply for, this was my answer. watch the video below to see me speak for seven minutes at a feverish pace about where to get grants, how to apply, making a case for yourself, and the required hustling therein.
now never ask me about grants again.
TIFF is coming up, and I’ve been invited to so many advanced press screenings that I’m debating whether or not I should throw myself face-first into the fest like I did last year. Last year was amazing, I reviewed the festival for FOUR different media outlets, including the CBC. I met some amazing people in the industry, attended some hoity-toity parties, saw a record-breaking 35 films (including The King’s Speech, where I knew from the press screening that it would win the Oscar), and feasted on the visual stimuli flashing through a darkened cinema. Static flicking off the beams of light.
So why the debate?
Mama’s got a book to write.
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sneak with me as i disappear into the back alleys. keep your feet pedaling, the bike leaves no footprint. the night will swallow us like a python, opening its mouth, and then holding its breath.
all the kids in the ghetto call me Don chris estima.
gauzed in red, the colour tearing through my flesh, this painted city belongs to me.
we discover art.
and you will know i was once here
by the looks thrown over my shoulder.
Rob introduced me to Poser, who does these smooth rabbits all over town. Now you won’t be able to walk around without noticing them. I love how the rabbits are holding spraypaint cans whilst almost saying “Eyyyyhhhh, sup gurrrrrl.”
that single BlogTO tweet sent my blog traffic batshit crazy through the roof, kiboshing all previous records. fanks hombres!
hello new munchkin readers! enjoy my neurotic blogjaculation.
relax, i’m hilarious.
now shut up and show me your tweets.
rob takes a decent graffiti snap.
rob and i snuck around the back alleys for about four hours, well past midnight. darkness creeping in on secrets.
first obvious target: graffiti alley, then up the ossington alleys, then through kensington market. i think our next destination should be the rail path which runs through the junction. i know there’s some amazing shit there, my camera is gagging for it.
does anybody else think this looks like a concentration camp?
zejko? that sounds yugoslavian . . . maybe serbian or croatian or bosnian. i wonder who this guy is.
political figure? martyr? writer? philosopher? just some dude?
andy warhol just rolled his eyes.
ha, i love this little gas-can fucker.
oh hello mr elliott. we meet again.
i’m surprised to still see some of the Andrew posters around, they’re quite old (in terms of street art shelf life), so this was a rare find. however, considering the way Andrew died, tagging the poster with a mouthful of blood and a speech bubble with “liberal lies” is rather upsetting.
what kind of tagger writes “liberal lies” anyway? i’m sorry, is Andrew’s tragic story offensive to your conservative graffiti ethos? fuck off with that shit.
my last post detailed some Tokyo tags, and now we know who he is. Rob found him on facebook, so we have a face with a (fake)name now. Sup guy.
i also recently blogged about the posters and stickers that have gone up around queen and spadina, commemorating the kettling and brutality that occurred last year during the G20 summit. the stickers say “our civil rights were lost here.” the posters show sombre photos of the attrocities done against peaceful toronto civilians.
the “tokyo” is almost gone. i wish rob ford was rubbing away too.
this headless frowner reminds me of our unhappy hipster run-in while rob and i took a break at 416 Snack Bar. some loud hipsters with massive, square, black-framed specs, and nostrils brimming with white coke, shouted at me from across the table to smile.
i turned into them and gave a fatal grimmace.
coked-up hipster goes, “that’s the worst smile i’ve ever seen. why won’t you smile for me?”
to which i leaned in and coo’d, “I’m not going to be your monkey.”
and at that, his balls crawled back up inside his body.
from what i can gather here, someone stenciled “supreme” then someone with a spray can tagged it into “supremely stupid” but they spelled “stupid” wrong…. studpid? stucpid?
this freaked the shit out of me, because in the darkness of the alley, you couldn’t see all those details. you could see a bit of the face. my flash revealed the bleeding ghost.
some daytime shots from the back alleys in parkdale.
is that elvis presley or chris cornell?
when horses are this lame, they shoot ‘em.
hi c-saw, i will respond to that question with this.
good call, speaking of bikes …
i’ve got more THE GOOD BIKE finds!
a basket filled with a potted plant, untouched!
AND it’s bolted to the ground. you ain’t stealing this, fuckfaces.
the photo of me at the top of this post is of me taking this photo….
wow, that’s so meta.
and the moral is: the easiest way to make guys lose their shit is to have yours together
I made this poster myself, can I get a whut-whut up in dis hurr bitch?
Alliance Films is proud to present the upcoming release of their new film Submarine, a dramatic comedy about a 15-year-old named Oliver Tate. Oliver has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life. Submarine is produced by Ben Stiller and features some rockin’ tunes from Alex Turner, lead singer of mega-rock-band Arctic Monkeys (personal fav, download their new song “don’t sit down cos i’ve moved your chair,” it’s made of wizard juice)!
Alliance has partnered with The Spadina Monologues to give you a chance to win passes to the advanced screening of Submarine on Thursday, June 9th, before the rest of the planet gets a glimpse. As a film critic, I’m always talking about what it’s like to attend press screenings, advanced screenings, and reviewing films. Now is your chance to have the film critic experience. Oh, and did I mention that I will also be at this advanced screening with you? You can tell everyone you’re on a date with me. I won’t deny it. Swearsies.
How To Enter:
I have 19 double passes (yes, that means you AND a friend) to give away. All you have to do comment in the comments section below, and tell me why you want to see this film. But be sure to be creative, because 4 lucky winners who impress me the most with their mad-comment-skillz will also get a copy of the novel Submarine by Joe Dunthorne, which the Independent Review calls, “the sharpest, funniest, rudest account of a periodically troubled male teenager’s coing of age since The Catcher in The Rye.” That’s a pretty glowing review. I never give such high praise (I’m a tough book critic as well). Make sure in your entry to include either/or/both your email address and your Twitter handle so I can notify my lucky winners!
Details and Contest Rules:
Contest closes Wednesday June 8th at noon. All entries must be received by then. No duplicates will be accepted. Imma be tough up in hurrr.
The advanced screening is Thursday, June 9th at Cineplex Odeon Varsity & VIP Cinemas in Toronto (55 Bloor Street West in the Manulife centre). Prize does not include transportation to the venue. The screening begins at 7pm sharp and no latecomers are admitted (overbooked to ensure capacity, and all that). I will be at the cinema for 6pm to hand out the passes and prize packs, but will only stick around until 6:30pm (I wanna get a seat too, ya know). So arrive early!
watch things on vcrs with me and talk about big love; i think we’re superstars, you say you think we are the best thing; but you, you just know, you just do
“no congenital anomaly is visualized. no scoliosis or lateral listing is detected. no obvious soft tissue abnormality is detected. no antero-or retrolisthesis. bone density is adequate. vertebral body heights are well maintained. the medial acetabular floors are medial to the kohler’s lines. disc spaces are well maintained. the visualized portions of the hip joints are unremarkable. no radiographic evidence of hypermobility.”
* * *
nazneen sheikh, the lady of the hour, as vivacious as ever. this photo is exactly how i picture her in my head when i fink of her
>O tico tico tá, tá outra vez aqui, o tico tico tá comendo o meu fubá; se o tico tico tem, tem que se alimentar, que vá comer umas minhocas no pomar
>my weekend with my old man in faro, albufeira, portimão, lagos, and sagres (portugal)
cristiano ronaldo is a god
i lay on ben‘s bed but didn’t watch the movie. didn’t listen to the rain tapping morse-code on the window. tv didn’t entertain. i lay there and slept with my limbs twined around his. the heavy weight of the drowsy morning slowly pushing us through the tube, holding the handrails and each other.
please come to the Book Launch of
NAVIGATING CUSTOMS !!
Book 3 of Tendril Anthology Series with travel stories by 12 writers under 25 and a trestle chapbook by Cleo Paskal
edited by Dana Bath & Taien Ng-Chan
FRIDAY May 25, 2007
LE CAGIBI, 5490 St. Laurent (@ St-Viateur), Montreal, Quebec
cyber readings video screenings musical guests & DJ
my travel piece Between Berlin & Beirut is included in this anthology. you can read my bio on the cumulus press website here
The Tendril Anthology Series places the apprenticeship of new young writers under the age of 25 at the centre of Cumulus’ publishing program. This third book in the anthology series—whose innovative book design includes a distinct but inseparable Trestle Chapbook by award-winning travel writer, Cleo Paskal—embodies its raison d’être: to provide a device for the mentorship of emerging writers from across Canada. Cleo’s story is set aside within the French flap of the front cover in a format commonly used by the novice writer. This series attempts to eliminate the distinction between emergence and establishment because the latter is not possible without the former.
These young authors explore a wide range of travel and genre: from an autobiographical tale about chasing news stories in Nicaragua, to short fiction about a young woman who has run away from her home in Gimli, Manitoba, to a long poem about Great Barrier Island in the South Pacific. Even if we’ve been to the places described, we haven’t been there as these writers have. We haven’t gone deaf in Guyana in the same way, nor questioned visiting Ground Zero in the same way, though our unease with ourselves there may be similar. And even if we’ve been to Locon, France, we didn’t meet the same people, though we might wish we had. The writing here is fresh, unique, and takes us on journeys that are unlike any others.
of course because i’m woven in london’s fabric, i won’t be able to make the event, but if any of my peeps in montreal wanna check out the event and fill me in later, i will treat you to a poutine:)
>leave me out with the waste, this is not what i do; it’s the wrong kind of place to be thinking of you
tourism by nirpal singh dhaliwal is a fricken amazing novel, i couldn’t get on the tube without having it handy. i think dhaliwal and i write eerily about the same things – raw sex, ethno-cultural disaffection, gender-wars, present-day socio-political issues, except he veers more to misogyny when he should be aiming for feminism. nonetheless his prose was fire-infused and his present-day musings and his po-mo perspectives were timely and uncannily relevant. i tore through the pages, ravenous.
(view more photos here)
following the lives of london’s twentysomethings as they struggle through sex-wars, status-shakeups, and an unquenchable lust not for the physical but tantamount for mind-fucks, i was enthralled from beginning to end. as soon as i entered the small black box theatre above a bustling pub with plush red seats and noisy air conditioner, i knew i was where i should be.
proscenium arches should be burned in the streets.
the script itself was tight, meticulously plotted, and carried dialogue that resonated long after the lines were spoken. in terms of performance, although this should have been tom harper’s (who plays protagonist Nick) time to shine, i was more enthralled with actor samuel james (who plays cocksure and compelling mate Joe), and the sincerity of susanna fiore (‘adriana’) portrayal of a hurt lover who finds her own.
i thought about the parallels with my play the spadina monologues, and all the places i’m sending it to.
the thing about me and theatres is, i like sitting in the front row, pushed beyond my comfort levels, inside the 4th wall, where the spotlights brush my face now and again, and make myself part of the scene. i purposefully make eye contact with the actors, make them look away first. linger after the play has ended. i lean in, get wrapped up, and won’t lean out. there is something in this that rips me open. without the pleasure of a scar.
on the bus ride home tonight, sitting atop the double decker, a date was winding down. the couple chatted like nervous conspirators. he battled his italian accent, she with her norwegian. their accents fought for dominance. from behind, i decided i liked his hair better than hers.
for this long weekend, i think i’m going to hop on a boat, travel down the thames to greenwich. stand in the spot where time meets.
and make it stop.
>BIG WRITING NEWS!
i just found out a few minutes ago that my short story entitled bolt is going to be published in the prestigous literary magazine Room Of One’s Own based in vancouver, bc!
it will be in issue #30.3, which two issues away. i’ll keep you updated when you can buy them in the shops or order them online.
(thank god, i neeeeeeed that paycheque)
funny thing about this story – it’s a fictionalized account of that affair i had last summer in eastern europe.
yes, it’s officially fiction.
but you’ll have to read it yourself and try to decipher which parts are absolutely true and which parts are pure imagination.
how funny that this news comes only one day after that story was carried over my shoulder across towns, hamlets, villages, and highways just so i could pass it on to the person it was written for . . . in the hands of a handsome father, waiting to be passed to a son . . . )
two years ago, i had fuck-all on my writing CV.
The Malahat Review
Encyclopedia of Modern Drama
Canadian Theatre Review
Diaspora Dialogues’s anthology “ToK: Writing the New Toronto”
Cumulus Press’ anthology “Navigating Customs”
… and i’ve had two plays produced . . . one of them twice!
swollen pride, don’t swallow me whole.
i will not become a cocky fucker, i swear.
>minutes ago, i received this email from john, the editor of the malahat review . . .
A quick note to let you know that we have decided to submit your story “A Degree of Suffering Is Required” as one of our three permissible entries to the Journey Prize.
The issue with your story is now at the printers. You should see copies before or after New Year’s!
The Malahat Reviewwww.malahatreview.ca
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD!!!
confused by my extreme excitement and uncontrollability to contain myself? click here to find out what the journey prize is.
when you’re done reading, you can tell all your friends that you knew me when!!! woot!!
it’s okay, my delicious munchkin-readers, you can admit it . . .
yet this may be one of the few times that saying “it’s just an honour to be nominated” is actually true! i am so humbled and so excited and so grateful!
i’ve also just creamed my pants.
the only way to celebrate something like this is to have lots of sex.
lots of sex is what i want, and lots of sex is what i shall have!!
drop your pants, muthafucka.
>remember that note i received from the malahat review (i blogged about it july 27th), saying that they were considering one of my short stories for publication in their literary magazine? well, a few minutes ago, i received this email (edited for length and content, of course):
Hi Christine Estima,
I am writing to let you know that our fiction board just met this afternoon
and we are pleased to accept your story, “A Degree of Suffering Is Required,”
for our Winter issue. It is an engaging piece of writing! . . . . (edit)
. . . could you send me a brief biographical note for our contributors page?
that’s right, muthafuckas!!!
this is huge because:
A) although i’ve been published extensively in the academic and journalism realm, this will be my first literary publication (not counting all those chapbooks that i didn’t get paid for).
B) most publishing houses won’t even consider your novel if you haven’t first been published in literary magazines
C) literary magazines are a great way to get your work read by industry types and fiction fans alike. anything to get my name out there is yummy-yummy with me.
D) while most literary magazines pay a flat fee for your work (averaging at $15 per story) malahat pays a whopping $30 per printed page . . . and my piece is currently 15 pages long . . . let’s pray they don’t edit too much, cuz chrissy is a poor half-breed right now.
fuck man, this has been such an amazing year – The Spadina Monologues goes up at Alumnae Theatre, i get that Canada Council grant, i start writing for 3 more magazines, i take a life-altering trip through europe and the middle east, i am accepted into the diaspora dialogues writing programme, and now this.
i think i can safely say, without hyperbole, that i’m awesome.
AWESOME, I TELLS YA!
okay, so i’m literally screaming in my apartment, and my neighbours are testy to begin with. i hafta go be a judge at an indie week event tonight, so i gotta split. but first, i think i’ll call everybody i know.
wait by the phone, i’m calling!!