Here’s something I’ve been keeping a lid on for some months, but am super excited to finally share! I sold a story to The Walrus! For my international readers, The Walrus is a Canadian magazine that could easily be likened to The New Yorker – a highly-curated arts and culture magazine with some amazing critical thinkers writing for and creating the magazine. It’s a national magazine, available across the country.
My essay, published today, is about the time last year when I found a roll of film on the curb and set out to find the lost photographer. It’s a really quirky story that involves a lot of six-degrees-of-kevin-bacon but also about expectations v reality. I may or may not mention Amélie once or twice within this piece. Check it out and share it with your friends!
So here’s something funny about this process of being a freelance writer that is related to this story – last year, another magazine (which shall remain nameless) bought this story. They sat on this story for 7 months. They edited it so it stripped out all the colour, flare, style, and tone of my writing. They were absolutely unreachable at times, and it was a super frustrating experience working with them. Finally, a publication date for this past January was set. They paid me in full in anticipation of the publication date. Then, ON THE DAY it was set to be published, I received an email from the editor, saying that they were killing the story because it was “too local” and not something that would appeal to people across the country.
What the shizz?
Not once in the 7 months that they had the story was the concern that it was “too local” ever raised. Also, that’s a bullshit criticism, you guys have read the story, do you find this story unappealing to people outside of Toronto? Rhetorical question.
And worst of all, before that publication had bought the story, I had pitched it elsewhere, & some places only got back to me after said-publication bought it. So I had turned down other publications for them! For those of you outside of the publishing world, you should know this kind of behaviour and practice is all SUPER UNPROFESSIONAL. I’ve had stories killed before, but not on the DAY it was to be published, for such a lame excuse, after paying me in full. Most writers I know have had similar experiences with them, and warned me about them. So in my reply, I told them exactly what I thought. May the bridges I burn light the way.
I subsequently erased ALL the edits they did on my piece, and went back to my true voice that they tried to strip from the piece. Sometimes editors try to “trim the fat” of a story, but any chef will tell you that the fat has all the flavour. Good writing requires a style and a voice, and I wasn’t going to let them convince me my voice needed to be trimmed.
Fast forward to this past autumn, The Walrus bought the story (and frankly, The Walrus is a much better publication, with a helluva lot more respect), and the process of fashioning and editing the piece with them has been light years ahead and beyond what said-shizz-publication was like. And I’m super proud of this end result. Because above all, I found a publication that nurtured and encouraged my voice and style.
There are a lot of shady things publications try to do to freelance writers . . . and most of the time, they get away with it. Being freelance means you don’t get the support of HR and you’re in this legal gray area most of the time. So I’ve learned that you have to be your best advocate in this business . . . because the world doesn’t owe you any favours. Hustle and work hard, and it will all sort itself out in the end.
And maybe, if you’re really lucky, you’ll get paid twice for the same story 😉
(Yes that was tacky of me, but I’m not deleting it.)
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published essays, stories, and more!
December 26, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: author, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, freelance life, freelance writer, freelance writing, freelancer, op-ed, publishing, Short story, the walrus, Toronto, walrus magazine, writer, writer's life, writer's problems, writing, writing life | Leave a comment
You might have noticed I’ve been publishing a lot of travel writing lately, if you’ve been coming here often, which is fitting seeing as how much of my life has been spent on the road, or planning my next trip. My latest piece in VICE is about how I became a profesh housesitter, and all the fun, follies, foibles, fur-babies and FUBAR situations therein. It’s a great way to travel the world if you’re flexible and you’re not too fussy about where you go . . . and if you can solve clusterfucks like a boss. Read the whole piece here.
Speaking of housesitting and being on the road, my next housesitting extravaganza begins on MONDAY! I’m heading back to my old stomping grounds, London UK, to housesit for a month! I’ll be looking after two Snugglebum von Cuddletummies and hanging out with my friends. Super excited to have my Christmas and New Years there too. How very Dickensian of me.
If you need me, I’ll be sleeping in some corner of a European railway station.
Check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published travel essays, short stories, spoken word performances, and more!
December 14, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, travel, Vice, writing | Tags: author, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, Europe, House-sitting, housesitter, housesitting, London, op-ed, publishing, rtw trip, tbex, travel, travel blogger, travel skills, travel tips, travel writing, united kingdom, vice, vice canada, vice magazine, writer, writing | Leave a comment
Recently, you might remember I published a couple of pieces with BROADLY about the plus-size industry – modelling, photography, fashion – and now another has hit the presses, this time my interview with an up-and-coming plus-size Instagram star. We talk about the trolls who scour Instagram for plus-size posts, and how she deals with them. You can read it in full here.
Check out more of my stories, essays, performances, and reviews at Christine Estima dot com!
December 4, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, celebrity interviews, Christine Estima, creative writing, feminism, portfolio, Vice, writing | Tags: addition-elle, author, broadly, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, connie hackett, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, fat, instagram, op-ed, plus size, plus size fashion, plus size model, plus size photography, publishing, vice, vice canada, vice magazine, vice media, writer, writing | Leave a comment
As promised, more of my travel writing has gone up on VICE, it’s a whirlwind of publications around here, fam. This piece is about the cenotes of Mexico, which are subterranean swimming holes, and I illustrate the piece with pics I took using an underwater disposable camera. As you can see, the results are quote ethereal, haunting, almost tableau-like. Read it in full here.
I’ve been really lucky as a travel writer to get a lot of my pieces published in some really great publications, but I feel like the amount of my published travel pieces pales in comparison to how much travel I’ve actually done in my life. I’ve traversed this planet many times over, and it’s no where near quitting time. So I hope this trend of getting all of my fubar clusterfucks, epic extravaganzas, and adventures published in print will continue.
Here’s to writing on the road!
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more!
November 30, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, photography, portfolio, travel, Vice, writing | Tags: adventure activities, adventure travel, author, canadian women writers, cenotes, central america, Christine Estima, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, freelance travel writer, freelance writer, freelance writing, freelancer, get rich or die mayan, Mexico, op-ed, Photography, publishing, tbex, travel, travel blogger, travel photography, travel skills, travel tips, travel writer, underwater photography, vice, vice canada, vice magazine, writer, writing | Leave a comment
Many of you know I’m a huge fan of Invader. I have a whole category dedicated to him on this here blog, of all the times I’ve photographed his work around the world. This goes back yeaaaarrrrrssss. I love a good graff-hunt, and he is the epitome of that. In any case, I sold another essay to VICE in partnership with Travel Nation about hunting ‘Vaders specifically in London using the Flash Invaders app to maximize my huntin’. Read all about it here. All the photography published in the piece is also mine!
I’ve been publishing a lot of pieces lately, so scroll down this blog to read more of my stuff in various publications. And don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more!
November 24, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, graffiti, london, portfolio, Space Invader, street art, street culture, Vice, writing | Tags: author, brick lane, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, east london, editorial, england, essay, essayist, Europe, graffiti, London, mural, op-ed, Photography, publishing, Shoreditch, Space Invader, street art, travel, united kingdom, urban art, vice, vice canada, vice magazine, writer, writing | Leave a comment
Wow, two blog posts in one day? This reminds me of my New York Clusterfuck of 2011 where I was blogging 13 times a day (ooof . . . sorry about that btw). I never blog this often anymore! But when you’ve got a lot going on, it’s nice to share it with a network that supports your voice and your work.
All you regular munchkins know that I’ve been backpacking around the world since 2005 and have published A LOT of travel writing in various publications. To that end, VICE partnered with Travel Nation to create more travel content on the network, and they asked me to write a whole bunch of pieces from my days on the road. No problem, hope they don’t mind me spilling litres of ink on the subject. I’ve got stories!
The first of my many pieces was published in October (I just realized it now . . . I’ve been busy writing!), and it’s about that time I backpacked across Europe for 30 days with the challenge of living off of €15 a day. Read it here! Also, all the photography included in the piece is mine as well.
Yes, I actually did live off of €15 a day. Since I’m such a penny-pincher with purse-strings tighter than a sphincter, it really wasn’t that difficult for me. And not only did I live like a queen, I actually was saving money. I walked away with a surplus. I kept a ledger in my Notepad app to track how much I was spending, case in point, here’s what I would spend in a typical day:
There’s more where that came from in the piece, so read-on dear grasshopper if you want to learn how to travel the world without breaking the bank.
Expect more from me on this topic soon, I’ve already written many more that are currently being edited by the team for this sponsored project.
Don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot com for more of my published travel writing!
November 16, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, Eurail 2012, portfolio, travel, Vice, writing | Tags: adventure travel, author, backpacking, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, couchsurfing, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, Europe, European extravaganza, freelance travel writer, op-ed, Photography, publishing, shoestring budget, sponsored content, tbex, travel, travel blogger, travel nation, travel skills, travel tips, travel writer, travel writing, vice, vice canada, vice magazine, vice news, writer, writing | Leave a comment
My regular work with VICE led me to a unique opportunity. Broadly, the women-focused channel within the VICE umbrella, partnered with plus-size fashion line Addition-Elle to create content celebrating women of all shapes and sizes. They asked me if I’d like to write a few pieces on the topic. Um, YES. I love plus-size fashion photography because of the way it busts open all of those tropes surrounding what is and isn’t “allowed” to be sexy. Plus-size models show that there are many ways to be sexy. Sexy isn’t one thing. It’s many things.
As you’ll see from these pieces, I go into all of that with my interview subjects. First, I interviewed plus-size fashion photographer Anastasia Garcia, which you can read here.
Then, I interviewed plus-size model Nadia Aboulhosn. This was super exciting for me because, as I say in the piece, I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time. She’s a game-changer and full of chutzpah, so this was definitely a delight. You can read that piece here.
There’s more from me to come on the topic, most likely in December, so watch this space.
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published works!
November 16, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, feminism, portfolio, Vice, writing | Tags: addition-elle, author, broadly, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, Photography, plus size, plus size fashion, plus size model, plus size photography, publishing, sponsored content, vice, vice canada, vice magazine, vice news, writer, writing | 1 Comment
“Discussion Questions for Your Book Club,” my most recent short story, has been published in the new summer issue of Prism International, a literary magazine based out of B.C., and you can find it on the bookshelves nationwide now. I found a copy at Type Books! You can also order your copy online if you don’t live in Canada or near a book seller!
Plotless fiction! Why I never! Type Books, I resent that!
There’s a funny story behind this. So I’ve been a huge fan of Prism for years and have been trying to crack into their pages for over a decade. EASILY over a decade. Over the past year, I noticed that when I submitted a piece to their fiction editor (who recently left the mag….sad face!), he would reply with awfully kind and encouraging rejections. He was like, “I like this a lot. I can’t use it though. Submit to me again!”
So I kept submitting every time I had something new. And his replies were like, “Okay I laughed out loud at this, it’s hella-funny! Still can’t use it, but submit again!”
Personalized rejections are rare in this business, so I didn’t take his encouragement for granted. I kept trying and trying and trying. But, when you submit to magazines online using Submittable, you have to pay a small fee (which is standard across the board), so because I was submitting so much, he was like, “Your next submission is on me, just email it to me, and I’ll plug it into Submittable manually for you.”
Which was super duper kind of him, he didn’t have to do that at all. Anyway, it was that very free submission that turned out to be the winner. He got back to me and was like, “YAAS QUEEN.”
I’m paraphrasing of course.
But you get the idea.
TL;DR – Sure, talent is your most important asset, but you also need drive, ambition, patience, and persistence. If you don’t have those qualities, you won’t last. HUSTLE YOUR ASSES OFF, MY LITTLE CREATIVE MUNCHKINS.
One last thing I’ll say about this story — before I submitted it to Prism, I submitted it to Granta, a huuuuuuge literary magazine based out of the UK. They’re a big deal. They were doing a themed issue on Canada and were looking for Canadian writers and Canadian stories. The issue was edited by Canadian literary superstars Madeleine Thien and Catherine Leroux. Anyway, I got a rejection letter. Which is pretty standard in this industry, I get rejection letters all the time, and they’ve never bothered me. I’ve been lucky with some of the kind rejections I’ve received (like Prism!), but getting a personalized rejection is RARE. Like, it almost never happens. Boilerplate rejections are par for the course. So imagine my surprise when superstar Madeleine Thien added a personalized note at the bottom of the rejection letter!!
Sometimes, for a writer, all it takes is a little bit of encouragement and some nice words from a stranger to put you right again.
And almost directly following this, Prism was like, GURRRRRRL, this is dope. Done. Sold. Sign here.
Anyway, if you’ve read the story, I’d love your thoughts, comments, and feedback.
And as always, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published stories, essays, interviews, plays, and more!
August 12, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: author, Canada, Canadian arts and culture, canadian fiction, canadian literary magazines, canadian literature, canadian stories, canadian women writers, Canadian writer, canlit, Christine Estima, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, fiction, granta magazine, madeleine thien, op-ed, prism international, prism magazine, published author, publishing, rejection, Short story, writer, writing | Leave a comment
Earlier this week I endured yet again an incident of street harassment. It happens almost every day. So much so, that it’s almost normalized as part of my daily routine. Get up, take a shower, grab a cuppa from Timmies, and tell some douchenozzle to go fuck himself.
This incident was different because a nice young couple came to my aid. I started thinking about all the ways men can be an ally to women to women when they observe street harassment. So many men, supposedly “nice guys,” will just ignore it and pretend it isn’t happening. BUT IT IS HAPPENING, and we need your support and solidarity.
Do you nice guys call out harassment when you see it? Or do you just stand there and watch whilst thinking about how nice you are?
So, with some encouragement from my editor, I wrote about it for VICE. Read it in full here. Enjoy!
And as always, you can visit the official Christine Estima dot com to read more of my published essays, op-eds, columns, short stories, travel writing, and much much more.
August 4, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, clusterfuck, creative writing, critic, critiques, feminism, portfolio, Vice, writing | Tags: author, Canada, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, feminism, op-ed, publishing, sexual harassment, stop street harassment, street harassments, Toronto, vice, vice canada, vice magazine, writer, writing | 4 Comments
If you’re a longtime reader of this blog (which has officially been around for 12 years this month….), you might remember a decade ago when I sold a short story to Room Magazine. I posted about it here….my gosh that blog post hasn’t aged well. Also TMI, ESTIMA. Yeeesh.
Back then, Room was called Room Of One’s Own, but it’s always been an outlet for Canadian women to have feminist literature and art published. This was a big success for me at the time because I was still a novice, emerging writer with only a few successes under my belt. Also, I was still finding my style, voice, and form (which, for a writer, can take years).
In any case, recently Room contacted me to let me know they were putting together their 40th Anniversary Anthology and they wanted to include my short story!
Me: So you want to re-publish the same story a decade later?
Me: And you want to pay me a second time for the same story?
Me: What do you need me to do?
Them: Could you talk about it on social media?
Me: HOLD MY BEER.
In addition to this great honour, later this week they are having the Toronto launch party for the 40th Anniversary Anthology and they asked me to be one of the readers! Huzzah! Finally, a captive audience.
The event is the evening of April 22 at the Artscape Youngplace in the west end of Toronto, so if you’re about and free that evening, I’d love to see some familiar, friendly faces in the room. Get it? THE ROOM.
……(I’ll get my coat).
All the details for the even are here on the Facebook Event Listing so come out on Saturday and watch me be a huge ham in front of Can.Lit scenesters.
Also don’t forget to check the official Christine Estima dot com to read my published works and to check out all the great things I have coming up!
April 17, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, book, Christine Estima, creative writing, events, feminism, portfolio, toronto, writing | Tags: anthology, author, canadian fiction, canadian literary magazines, canadian literature, canadian stories, canadian women writers, Canadian writer, canadian writing, Christine Estima, Christine Estima book, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, feminism, feminist, feminist literature, fiction, fiction anthology, op-ed, prose, prose fition, publishing, room magazine, short prose, short stories, Short story, short story author, short story writing, Toronto, writer, writing, writing career | 1 Comment
Travel for women is never simple, espesh when you require reproductive health care on the road. That’s the topic of my latest essay for VICE. Solo women travelers always need to plan for incidentals that men need not – whether it’s what we can wear in any given country, to what kind of health care we can access – and many times these services are priced beyond our budget, not covered by insurance, and require extreme measures.
Click the above image or here to read.
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com to read all of my previous essays for VICE and many other magazines, newspapers, and journals. TO THE TYPEWRITERS!
February 10, 2017 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, feminism, portfolio, travel, valentine, Vice, writing | Tags: adventure, author, backpacking, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essayist, feminism, feminist, freelance travel writer, Germany, reproductive health care, solo women travellers, travel, travel skills, travel tips, vice, vice canada, vice magazine, women's issues, women's rights, writer, writing | Leave a comment
The Toronto International Film Festival was amazing this year, I saw so many films (as documented by this round-up I wrote for VICE last week), and the fest is always such an electric time to be on the streets of Toronto. Everything is alive.
Speaking of life, the film PREVENGE is about a pregnant woman whose fetus tells her to kill people. So OF COURSE I had to interview the director/writer/performer Alice Lowe. Check out what she had to tell me about women in the film industry and pregnancy stigmas over here on VICE.
Fun fact: I had first seen Alice Lowe in an episode of Sherlock (season 3 episode “Sign of Three“) and the whole time we were talking, her voice was just reminding me of one of her lines from Sherlock, “A GHOST, MR HOLMES!” and then a drunk Watson saying to her, “He’s clueing for looks.”
I am a gigantic nerd.
Check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my VICE essays and articles, and much more.
September 19, 2016 | Categories: academic essays, acting, celebrity interviews, Christine Estima, creative writing, critic, critiques, film, movies, portfolio, review, reviews, TIFF, Vice, writing | Tags: Alice Lowe, author, Canada, Canadian writer, Christine Estima, Christine Estima book, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, culture, director interview, film, film festival, film interview, film review, freelance life, freelance writer, freelancer, horror, movie, movie review, pregnancy, Prevenge, Q & A, Sherlock, Sign of Three, TIFF, Toronto, Toronto International Film Festival, vice canada, vice magazine, vice news, writer, writer's life | Leave a comment
Two essays published in one week? I feel pretty spoiled. Head over to the Life-Travel section of The Globe and Mail (a national newspaper here in Canada) and read my piece about chasing the lost art of the Viennese Ex Libris! It’s online today, and will be published in the print edition tomorrow (Saturday, June 18, 2016). I will update this post once I have the actual thing in my painted-fingernail’d-hands.
Edit! Turn to page 5 of the Travel section!
This has been in the works for a while and I’m super proud of how it all turned out. Working with the peeps over at G&M was really positive and I’m glad this went from pitch to published in a relatively short turnaround. Read the piece by clicking here or the photographs!
I’ve been really lucky over the past few years with how many editors and publications are willing to take me on, and who support my voice and writing style. Hopefully that can continue! Already, I have a few more publications that I’ve sold, slated for later this year, so when they come out, expect me to BLOG IT LIKE IT’S HOT.
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com. It’s got all my published works up there for you to read over a cuppa and a slice of cake. Enjoy!
June 17, 2016 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, hipsters, portfolio, travel, vienna, writing | Tags: adventure travel, austria, author, authoress, budget travel, canadian stories, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, christine estima writer, columnist, editorials, essayist, essays, ex libris, freelance life, freelance travel writer, freelance writer, freelancer, hipster travels, passion passport, published author, published writer, the globe and mail, travel blogger, travel section, travel skills, travel tips, travel tuesday, travel writer, travel writing, travelgram, traveling on a budget, travelling, vienna, Viennese, visit Austria, visit Vienna, writer's life | 2 Comments
Sometimes I really hate talking about this stuff, but writing is cathartic, and what is the point of being a writer if you don’t talk about the things that mortify you to an audience of millions, right? Oh boy.
My latest essay in VICE is about what it’s like having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and having to deal with the resulting hirsutism. Women aren’t allowed to have hair, if you didn’t already know, and the world won’t let us fucking forget it. The way we are shamed for having something that naturally grows on our bodies is outrageous, but if you’re like me, you’ve internalized that shame. It has definitely affected my self-worth and self-confidence, but most days no one actually knows that I deal with hirsutism because I am so vigilant about it now. Years of bullying will do that to you.
And don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com where you can read all of my published VICE essays, and more!
June 14, 2016 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, feminism, health, portfolio, Vice, wellness, writing | Tags: am writing, author, authoress, Canada, canadian women writers, Canadian writer, canadian writing, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essayist, freelance writer, hair, hair removal, hairy, hirsute, hirsutism, laser hair removal, op-ed, pcos, personal essay, polycystic ovarian syndrome, published author, published writer, published writing, satirical essays, story published, vice, vice canada, Vice do's and don'ts, vice magazine, vice news, vice studios canada inc, views my own, waxing, woman, writer, writers of wordpress | 1 Comment
Remember a few months ago when my creative non-fiction piece ‘Sarajevo Roses‘ was published in The Puritan? The good peeps there asked me to contribute to their Town Crier section on the topic of music and what I like to listen to when I write. People ask me all the time what music is good for surging their creativity when they write. Here’s what I listen to. Maybe you’ll discover some new tunes that will inspire your writing. Click here or click the image above to read.
And as always, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com to read more of my published works.
June 3, 2016 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, music, portfolio, writing | Tags: A Winged Victory for the Sullen, am writing, author, authoress, canadian writing, chilly gonzales, Christine Estima, Christine Estima book, Christine Estima first dates, christine estima twitter, christine estima writer, columnist, creative non fiction, creative writing, daughter, editorial, Erased Tapes, Erased Tapes Records, essay, essayist, Franz Ferdinand, freelance writer, freelance writing, freelancer, hannah georgas, kiasmos, life of a writer, life writing, music for writing, Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnalds, op-ed, personal essay, Sarajevo roses, sharon van etten, the puritan, Town Crier, writer problems, writer's life, writing, writing about music | Leave a comment
Check out my latest essay in VICE about potential profiteering, race and gender discrimination, and drug trafficking occurring in the Bunz Trading Zone, Toronto’s rapidly-expanding online bartering flea market where no cash is allowed.
TL;DR – if you think coppers can’t decipher “420” or “smokeables,” think again. Don’t wake ‘n bake in the middle of a trade.
Don’t forget to check back here often, I have many more pieces (both fiction and on-fiction) set to be published soon (in fact, just yesterday I received another acceptance letter from a magazine!)! Yay writing! Yay publishing!
April 20, 2016 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, facebook, portfolio, Vice, writing | Tags: 420, am writing, author, bartering, BTZ, Bunz, Bunz Trading Zone, Canada, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, facebook, flea market, ganja, justin trudeau, legal pot, legal weed, legalization of weed, marijuana, misogyny, op-ed, personal essay, pot, profiteering, published articles, published writing, racism, racism in canada, smokeables, tall cans, tokens, Toronto, ttc token, vice canada, Vice do's and don'ts, vice magazine, vice news, weed, writer, writer problems, writer's life, writers of wordpress, writers on wordpress, writing | 1 Comment
Remember last summer when my essay ‘Sarajevo Roses’ was long-listed for the 2015 CBC Canada Writes Creative Non-Fiction Prize? They even profiled me on the CBC website (#swag). Well now I’ve sold the piece to The Puritan! It appears in their new issue which dropped today! And, best of all, you can read the piece in its entirety on The Puritan website!
It’s a piece about my time in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2008 when the former Serbian despot and war criminal Radovan Karadzic was finally arrested and transferred to The Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity during the Yugoslav wars and the siege of Sarajevo. The Balkans have a special place in my heart, as I backpacked through the region at a time when you could still see war damage on every street. The former Yugoslav countries (I backpacked through Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Slovenia) hadn’t yet applied for EU membership, and for many of them, tourism was brand-new, as they had just eased their visa-requirements. It felt like I was walking through an authentic European culture untouched (for the most part) by globalization, westernization, and homogenization.
This blog is so old, you can actually read my posts from my time there. Here’s one from my time in Sarajevo and Mostar. There are photographs in that post of the actual Sarajevo Roses, and other things mentioned in The Puritan piece, like the destroyed Olympic bobsled track and the To Be Or Not To Be cafe.
It was really great working with the peeps at The Puritan, they were full of great ideas and had so many insights for my piece and how I should develop it. The issue looks nifty so check it out in full on their website!
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com where you can find all of my published works and more!
February 15, 2016 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: balkan wars, bosnia, bosnia-herzegovina, CBC, CBC Canada Writes, Christine Estima, christine estima writer, cnf, columnist, creative non fiction, creative non-fiction prize, editorials, essay, essayist, essays, magazine issue, magazine publishing, op-eds, prose, published, radovan karadzic, Sarajevo, Sarajevo roses, Short story, short story writing, siege of Sarajevo, the balkans, the puritan, the puritan magazine, war, war damage, writer, writer's life, writing, yugoslav wars | 1 Comment
My latest essay has been published in VICE, about the ragebait videos of Toronto cheerleader Nicole Arbour: we all know she’s racist, misogynist, and a fat-shamer, but she also loves to hide behind the banner of “satire” to get away with her bullshit. This piece is about her lack of understanding of what constitutes satire, and also, why comedy is so important and relevant when done right.
Also, I get to talk about her asshole.
It’s also one of the more popular pieces on the VICE network as of right now, so that’s pretty rad.
Some new details about her have emerged since publishing this piece (which I won’t get into on ye olde blog), and I’m getting a lot of private messages from people who have worked with her and know her, who say they can confirm some allegedly criminal behaviour on her part. Toronto is a massive metropolis but it’s small enough that everybody knows everybody somehow, and if your shit smells, people are gonna talk about it. I don’t address this controversy in my piece, but it’s interesting to note and keep in mind.
Don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot com if you want to read more of my published works, included many more of my VICE essays.
January 15, 2016 | Categories: academic essays, asshole, blogger, Christine Estima, creative writing, critic, critiques, feminism, portfolio, Vice, writing | Tags: asshole, author, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, columnist, comedy, dear fat people, dear feminists, editorial, essayist, essays, feminism, nicole arbour, op-ed, published writer, satire, the view, Toronto, toronto writer, vice, vice canada, vice magazine, vice news, vlogging community, whoopi goldberg, writer, writing, youtube, youtubers | Leave a comment
The essence of drama is conflict. I had a lot of both in the past few years, but 2015 was oddly light and serene. I hustled my ass off, pulled every string, worked and LIVED, and received very little flack from the universe. 2015 was THE YEAR.
I started the year in New York City where I was housesitting. On a chance invite from a friend, I attended a Moth Storytelling event. I had been listening to the Moth podcast for years, and this was a story-slam event, meaning I could put my name in a hat and possibly be called up on stage. I threw my hat in the ring, decided what I would say while I was waiting in line to get into the venue, and wouldn’t you know it….
Live Storytelling and Spoken Word means a lot to me and I continued to do it back home in Toronto at Raconteurs:
Storytelling is an extension of writing to me. It feeds my need to tell stories and also to be a ham. I also discovered that working out ideas on stage proved excellent for cultivating written story ideas. 2015 was also the year of–
Chris Writes All The Things
Editors this year were like, “Hey Chris, do you want to publish stuff? HERE, HAVE ALL THE PUBLICATIONS YOU LIKE.”
It was like payback for many years of only publishing maybe one or two pieces every 6 months.
Of course, this wasn’t by fluke. I busted my ass, I submitted and submitted and submitted, and got rejection after rejection, but my acceptance rate kind of skyrocketed this year. I actually found myself in the odd position SEVERAL TIMES this year where I had to reject one publication because another had already bought my piece. I was selling pieces so quick, in some instances, I had to turn people down! I ALMOST sent them the lame boilerplate rejections they had sent me for years, but nahhhhhhh.
The first piece I sold this year was actually an academic essay which I sold to Palaver Journal based out of a southern University. I finished my Masters Degree ten years ago, but I can still flex my chops when I need to.
Then I sold my first piece to VICE, which was really exciting because I had been reading them since 1998 and am a huge fan, so it was great to see my pieces go across the VICE network and do really well.
Then I sold them another piece…
And then another…
And then a bajillion more…
I found out one of my short stories made the long-list for the prestigious CBC Canada Writes Creative Nonfiction Prize, and they profiled me on the CBC website!
Then I sold a short story to GRAIN when they wanted to buy another story of mine, but I had to turn them down because another journal had already bought it, so they asked for anything else I had, and snapped up this piece right away!
And then I cold-pitched METRO News Canada and they printed my piece in the centrefold:
And then EVENT published one of my Nonfiction stories in this issue:
My bio is a BOSS-ASS BITCH
Then I sold a travel writing piece to VERGE Magazine:
And just a couple weeks ago, another one of my serious essays about sexual harassment and the experience of reporting it to the police was published by my old friends at AufBau:
And this isn’t even all of my publications! Just a cross-section! I also sold three more stories whose publication dates are imminent, like TOUTE SUITE, dropping in a few weeks soon! So expect to read more from me in the new year!
Speaking of HouseSitting
This year, I did back…
…to back housesitting gigs.
These pictures aren’t even all of them. In total in 2015 I did ELEVEN housesits in 12 months. Considering that 4 of them lasted more than a month, and one of them lasted almost 3 months, that’s a lot of housesitting with snugglecats and dogs and not having to pay rent.
Last name Win, first name Epic.
And it’s not over yet. I’ve been housesitting for years and years now, so why stop in 2016. Starting in January, I will be housesitting in VIENNA!!
I haven’t been to Vienna since that first European clusterfuck trip in 2005 (here are some posts about that trip…. gosh this blog is old). I was last in Austria in 2012 for my Eurail Extravaganza, but I missed out on Vienna, so I’m super excited to spend a lot of time there this Winter.
I want to to everything Viennese, like eating strudel served by Michael Haneke on a harpsichord.
I’ll also be swinging through London, Prague, and Amsterdam, so the great tapestry of adventures I’m trying to build can continue!
Hey, You Never Know
One of my main mantra’s of 2015 was “Ask and you shall receive.” In the past I’ve refrained from asking for what I wanted because I assumed the answer would be no, or, more likely, I felt pretentious for even asking. Like, who the fuck are you Christine? You got some balls asking for that. That changed this year, when I realized that the worst thing that could happen was they’d say No. And if that’s the worst-case-scenario, it’s pretty surmountable. So with that in mind, I figured no-guts-no-glory. I’m a writer, so my income is limited (obvi). The amount of funds I can allocate to quality of life (movies, music, theatre, concerts, performances, dance, festivals, etc) is extremely limited. So what did I do when I wanted to go to an event but couldn’t afford it?
I asked for free tickets.
And I got them.
This year, just because I asked, I gained free entry to the following:
–Once: The Musical
-National Ballet of Canada performance of Sleeping Beauty
–Deadmouse: The Musical
–Basquiat exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario
-secret alt-J concert
-the Stars of the Lid concert at the Unsound Festival
–Joel Plaskett Emergency concert
–Bettroffenheit theatrical play
-several Toronto International Film Festival movies, including
Son of Saul.
If It Ain’t Broke…
Everyone knows I’m a huge flea market person (and this year I joined the super secret but now highly coveted collective of BUNZ Trading) so this year I procured a lot of fantastic antiques at bargain prices, and sometimes, for a few tokens or a bottle of wine.
I already had a typewriter, but I still went ahead and got myself a second one. Because reasons.
My two bee-yoots, side-by-side
And then I got a rotary phone. It’s a necessity in the modern world.
And then I finally hooked up speakers to my record player, so I went on a vinyl-buying binge, and got some gems like Duke Ellington (click the little volume button in the bottom right of the vid to listen!):
and the master Django Reinhard!
With these new gadgets, I am now able to open a sassy new office… in 1979.
Speaking of Music
I went to some kick-ass concerts this year. In years past I had grown a bit tiresome of concerts (I had been a music critic for about 5 years and now I have a touch of tinnitus…) but, I guess… YOLO
This year saw me at:
-Stars of the Lid
-Joel Plaskett Emergency
And, my, the new music I discovered this year!
FAV SINGLES OF 2015 include:
-“Emotion” by BORNS
-“Carry On” by Coeur de Pirate
-“Landfill” by Daughter
-all tracks by Tycho
-“All Clear” by Aidan Knight
-“Let it go” by Saint Saviour
-“Black to Gold” by Dear Rouge
-“Them” by Nils Frahm
-“Pretty Pimpin” by Kurt Vile
And the Oscar Goes To…
I saw a lot of films this year, and even reviewed some during TIFF for VICE. Here are the ones that haunted me long after the credits rolled:
-Son of Saul
As you can see from this list, I am not really a mainstream/Hollywood/wide-release film person. I prefer indie cinema, the ones that make the festival circuit. They usually have no money behind them and therefore can take more risks or tell stories we don’t normally see. So you can take your Chris Nolan/JJ Abrahms/Michael Bay clusterfuck and order it on DVD. Yawn.
Get Busy Livin’
As I said, I started the year in New York (housesitting). I also traveled to my hometown of Montreal (housesitting), and just recently I went to Miami (housesitting). But I really wanted to exercise my passport, so I bounced down to Mexico, Guatemala and Belize for a Mayan Adventure!
I made a short film about my experiences, I figured it was more fun than posting a bunch of touristy photos. I call it GET RICH OR DIE MAYAN. Enjoy!
To thine own selfie be true
My best #instagram pics of 2015! Smashed my previous records too! Fanks for following and engaging, munchkins! #memoicono #statigram #instagood #instadaily #instagraphy #instaselfie #instatoronto #instapic #instagramhub #visualarchitects #urbanromantix #agameoftones #artofvisuals #torontoigers #torontophoto #toronto_insta #torontograffiti #streetart #streetphotography #igdaily #igaddict #igmasters #vsco #vscocam
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I’ll end this post with the one thing everyone really wants to see:
BEST SELFIES OF 2015
I don’t really post selfies anymore, but I do take them from time to time. Here are the ones I took and never posted!
Remember, you only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
Happy New Year 2016, munchkins.
SEE YOU IN VIENNA!
December 29, 2015 | Categories: academic essays, blogger, Christine Estima, clusterfuck, concert, creative writing, critic, critiques, events, feminism, film, GIFs, movies, music, photography, review, reviews, social media, TIFF, toronto, travel, Vice, writing | Tags: 2015, aidan knight, alt-j, ask and you shall receive, AufBau Jewish Monthly magazine, austria, author, basquiat, Belize, best films of 2015, best movies of 2015, best of, best selfies of 2015, best singles of 2015, bettroffenheit, CBC Canada Writes, chilly gonzales, Christine Estima, Christine Estima Metro News, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, citizenfour, coeur de pirate, columnist, concert review, creative non fiction, creative writing, daughter, deadmouse the musical, dear rouge, der naermeste, editorials, essay, eurail, Event literary magazine, film critique, film review, GIFs, GRAIN literary journal, Guatemala, happy new year, hauschka, homesick, House-sitting, housesitting, kiasmos, kurt vile, live-storytelling, Metro News, Metro News Canada, metro views, Mexico, Miami, Montreal, movie critique, movie review, new york city, Nils Frahm, novelist, once the musical, op-ed, publications, publishing, Raconteurs, record player, rotary phone, saint saviour, selfies, Short story, son of saul, spark london, spoken word, stars of the lid, tbex, The Moth, TIFF, Toronto International Film Festival, travel, travel blogger, travel skills, tycho, typewriter, verge magazie, vice canada, vice magazine, Victoria, vienna, vinyl, writer, writers of instagram, writers of twitter, writing, year in review | Leave a comment
Last year I wrote a couple articles for the Swiss German monthly magazine AufBau, which has been around since the 1930s when it was based in NYC, and whose contributors have included Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt. It was a great experience and they were really easy to work with. They even translated my stuff into German which was pretty nifty! So I was delighted to get a message from them a few months ago asking me to pen a personal essay for their Winter issue! The issue “Unsere Welt,” which means “Our World,” (those German lessons paid off!) is an issue that contains a multitude of essays with a global perspective on current pressing issues of the day. My essay, which they published in both German and English, is about my experiences of reporting sexual harassment in both Toronto and London, and compares/contrasts the approach taken by both police departments. Look at the side-by-side I’ve created here:
You can check out AufBau online here, and you can read the issue in which I appear in German and in English here.
I have sold a few more pieces lately to different journals and magazines, and am eagerly awaiting their publication dates! When they hit the shelves, you’ll be the first to know! In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for all of my publications, performances, and more!
December 14, 2015 | Categories: academic essays, creative writing, feminism, portfolio, writing | Tags: albert einstein, AufBau, AufBau Jewish Monthly magazine, author, Christine Estima, christine estima writer, columnist, editorial, essayist, essays, German, global perspective, hannah arendt, magazine writing, op-ed, personal essay, publication, selling stories, Swiss-German, unsere welt, writerw, writing | 1 Comment