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.“
All my loyal munchkins and hombres! I’ve been sitting on this news for months and couldn’t talk about it til now! My latest short story, entitled “The Cipher Hangs,” has been sold and published in the newest issue of The New Quarterly! For those of you outside of the literary world, TNQ is one of Canada’s most prestigious literary magazines, publishing only the finest in prose, poetry, and creative non-fiction (Er…and me). For a frame of reference, I’ve been trying to get published in TNQ since 2005! They’re super hard to crack. So when they bought this piece, I was as giddy as a schoolgirl (and well chuffed).
Here’s a scan of the first page of my short story to whet your appetite.
When the editors contacted me to let me know they had accepted it for publication, they said, “‘Poetic language and intimate details make this a compelling read… a good story…the brutality of trying to have some kind of life in a war zone is well-portrayed…. We are always excited to publish innovative fiction and were especially thrilled with this story.”
Anyway, go online, or to fine bookstores everywhere, and buy the Fall 2012 issue 124 of The New Quarterly!
Lemme know what you fink.
Recently I interviewed visual artist Maskull Lasserre, and I sold the interview to YYZ Living Magazine. It’s in their latest summer issue, which you can read in full here. Or if you just want to check out my feature, click the above image to read!
Sorry for not blogging all week, I’ve been in Montreal seeing family (and doing some graff hunting of course!) so expect regular blogging to resume next week!
Happy weekend, hombres.
I’ve been sitting on this little piece of info for a while now! You know how I’ve been jonesing to interview graffiti artist SPUD for like, eons? Well recently I finally scored an interview with the elusive artist (he turned down The Toronto Star, but he spoke to ME, fank you very much!) and I sold the story and a couple of my photographs to The Grid, one of the best alternative weeklies in the city (they bought a bunch of my photographs once before and published them last Summer).
Click the above image to read my interview with SPUD and his take on being a graff artist in the city of Toronto. Comments are most welcome! Enjoy!
Check out my SPUD category for more of his work that I’ve profiled.
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 ….
Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art —
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors —
No — yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft swell and fall,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever — or else swoon to death.
-John Keats, 1819
“girls and boys come out to play
the moon is shining brite as day
leave your supper and leave your sleep
come with your playfellows into the street
come with a whoop and come with a call
come with a good will(?) or not at all”
found on the sidewalk in Liberty Village
It’s too bad that horse wasn’t nominated for an Oscar … what’s its name?…. oh yeah…
Click on the above image to read Exclaim Magazine’s Top 10 Films of 2011. My film review of SHAME made it to #4!
FUCK YEAH FASSBONER.
I wrote a completely new critique of Shame, different from my review originally published back in December … this new review speaks more to the lasting effects of Shame on audiences and why it garnered a spot in the Top 10.
If you’re not feeling clicky, here’s the new review below.
my skin burns. and cauterizes. just when i thought i could unfist myself from your talons, they scourge through my flesh. you sear me like Brimstone. asphyxiate through smoke and mirrors. my pores weep red at night, yet you tongue every drop at dawn.
i blink out stars, invited by your fists,
but i will never resume our sinful trysts.
“And the Banker, inspired with a courage so new
It was matter for general remark,
Rushed madly ahead and was lost to their view
In his zeal to discover the Snark.
But while he was seeking with thimbles and care,
A Bandersnatch swiftly drew nigh
And grabbed at the Banker, who shrieked in despair,
For he knew it was useless to fly.“
I found this pasted to an electricity box around Driggs & North 5th in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I found other instances of poetry accompanied by dates around Williamsburg, but didn’t photograph them because I needed a wee. I don’t know why this Lewis Carroll poem is accompanied by “Dec 6.”
Lewis Carroll was a paedophile.
It’s on the shelves right now, but you can also read it online!
Of course, if you’re like me, you’re too lazy to actually click links and stuff, so I’ve provided the actual article here. Click the below images to enlarge them. I wrote a piece on my epic hike through the jungle along the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. They also published my photos too! I’m not a professional photographer, but EVERY TIME I’ve had a travel article published, they’ve also published my photographs with the article. That would qualify me as professional, n’est-ce pas?
YYZ Living is a really beautiful magazine, it has a high gloss sheen to it, and the pages feel wonderful under your fingers. It’s a luxury publication found in some of the most exceptional hotels and boutiques, and even on airlines. Fly the friendly skies with Chrissy!
(click to enlarge these images)
They included my headshot and bio on the contributors page:)
i took a long drive this weekend up and down Highway 400.
upon returning to Toronto, i wandered slowly along College street, watching the undertow of dusk swallow the sky.
i saw this chalked into a music stand outside a vintage shop brimming with oddities.
i took this photo and ran.
it’s difficult to know at any time whether the city is laughing or curling up into the fetal position. it swells and heaves and drips with unseasonal brightness, where we’re all spit out like lobsters. but at night, when the stars are masked by smog, it shrinks into a heap of unrestlessness and angst. it’s getting the better of you. it’s telling lies behind your back. it’s dancing with your ex-boyfriend. it thinks those jeans make you look fat.
-Christine Estima, June 11, 2005
William Faulkner once said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even the past.”
Click on the above image to read my Exclaim film review of Like Crazy, starring Anton Yelchin & Felicity Jones, which opens today. I always enjoy a good love story, and now that the season has turned into a colourful and crisp autumn, now more so than ever.
I saw the trailer in the cinemas a few months ago, and was actually really moved just by the trailer, so when my editor offered me this review, I jumped at the chance. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on some of the love affairs I’ve had in my life, all of which seem to be mirrored in this film. Also, for whatever reason, a large majority of my ex’s have been Eastern European and therefore look redonkulously similar to Yelchin. Go figure.
Watch the trailer below:
My current playlist on constant rotation:
#1 AKA What A Life by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
#2 Helena Beat by Foster The People
#3 Come Closer by Miles Kane
#4 Slow Hands by Interpol
#5 The Suburbs by Mr Little Jeans (cover of Arcade Fire)
#6 Video Games by Lana Del Rey
#7 Think You Can Wait by The National
#8 Niagara by OhBijou
when in my Sitto’s car, i like to pump up my music as extreme as my ears can stand. i sing as if i were attempting to burn out my tonsils. it’s what keeps me young. stopped at red lights, pedestrians and drivers a lane over stare beyond belief. i beat the steering wheel, as if it were a sinner. in gentler climates, loud music and open windows is expected. when autumn roughly tumbles down, such behaviour can easily be mistaken for madness.
but i was never sane.
cyclists give me the thumbs up. drivers are not accustomed to blast this kind of music, they say. absent is the low bass, the thug rhymes, and the gino beats.
i sing as if no one is watching, but am morose if they do not.
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.
i originally found her back in May when i was walking down the queen street west with someone who is now a ghost. i photographed her and asked, “did you love someone? did you lose someone?”
the answer to both was yes.
in a twist that i never saw coming, a month later, my answer to both turned out to be yes, as well.
now to have her hovering over my bed, looking down on me as the warm undertow of sleep drags me under, i feel for once like i can hold onto something intangible until it bleeds through my fists.
deadboy says he wanted me to have it because i was the first person to take notice of his work, and acknowledge its beauty. i unwrapped it in a quiet café on college street and swallowed hard, feet dug in, i will not blubber like an idiot, i will not blubber like an idiot.
i walked in the rain, holding her against my chest, alone but in a city of millions. i wanted to talk to her, but i knew at once that she couldn’t hear me.
not yet anyway.
and that if i shouted, my voice would be amplified.
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.
that was the name of the first short story i ever had professionally published. I blogged about it when it happened way back in 2005… that paycheque paid rent that month. i took the above photo in october of last year during my war child challenge campaign, and this was an outtake that was never published, so i thought i’d have fun with it. the blending of two creative projects.
even though i miss house-sitting, i won’t miss that building being the only one in sight for miles in every direction.
found in the alleys behind the drake hotel. i thought Spud already was the mayor.
the background of Ford’s stupid monkey face says “Spud 4 Mayor” over and over.
I love Spud’s work, he’s one of the greatest Toronto street artists who eludes everyone. Gregory Allan Elliot told me that some of the dudes in Kensington market know who he is and can put me in contact. His work is everywhere and has been around for years. His Ford-sperms and Ford-faces made it into my The Grid article that was published a few weeks ago. And he always seems to score the greatest walls and locations. The rooftops of Queen and Spadina have all been Spud bombed. One says “SpudR” not sure what the R is for, but hey, we know it’s him because of his style and imagery.
here are some old Spud photos that i’ve taken but have never published. this one above was found in the Ossington-Humbert alleyway (I spend most of my days in alleys, seriously). He took over an entire garage front, and even copyrighted it in the bottom right corner.
this is just a spudbomb sticker, but i love it.
when i grow up, i’m going to bovine university.
this is a moo point.
you know, it’s like a cow’s opinion. it doesn’t matter. it’s moo.
i published a photo of this exact same piece a few months ago, but it was someone else’s photo. thought i’d go back and take my own, for copyright/ownership purposes.
i have another photograph of a piece that was put up in graffiti alley, it’s the exact same rob ford face, but instead of “piss here” it just says “ass.”
hhaha! this is in the alley behind dovercourt and queen. the “work in progress” has always been there, but like the new writing to the left indicates, it has been a work in progress for EONS. C’mon son. GET IT TOGETHER.
do you see what i see?
so fucking cool. this was on abell street behind the wreckage of construction.
i love the unused/abandoned storefronts along queen west.
speaking of Gregory Allan Elliot….see what he did here? He took a black marker to the movie poster for Colombiana… so fucking clever, sir. Yes, I know it’s him because the gun is now shooting his “heart/love” symbol.
the night, with garin, outside the drake hotel, where the woman with the typewriter sat on the sidewalk and tapped poems for passers-by. it sounded like morse-code.
headlines the day after Canada went into a state of mourning…
i was walking along Bloor and this guy was just sitting there holding this while fondling his smartphone.
fanks for letting me take your picture, guy.
it’s the fat-lip twins!
my wifey is so nom-nom-nom.
as i spoke about before, Ford Canada is lending me a car for this Labour Day long weekend (Ford Canada recognizes exceptional awesomeness, clearly) , so I’m going on a roadtrip! I’m going back to the place of my birth, Montreal, to hang with my gay boyfriend, my old school mates, to practice mon français (maudit enfant chienne), and wander about to see what’s cool around the plateau since i left at the age of 12.
frankly, after all that i’ve been going through lately, this opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time.
hopefully i’ll find some amazing Montreal graffiti, and see some great Montreal theatre!
if you have any graffiti/theatre leads, please send them my way. or if you’re throwing a hipster douchebag party event clusterfuck that kyboshes other attempts, let a sistah know.
bloggin will resume next week.
à la prochaine, mes ti-choufleurs!