Recently I performed at Raconteurs, a live storytelling event that happens monthly here in Toronto. I’ve performed at Raconteurs before, and as many of you know, lots of other Spoken Word events around the world like The Moth, Spark London, GRTTWaK, and Pressgang. I feel like these events bridge a nice gap between writing and performance. I don’t like to act much, I prefer to be vulnerable on the page, rather than on the stage, but Spoken Word and Live Storytelling are a nice way to meld the two.
I told a story about trying to become the Canadian Amélie with a little help from the Bunz Trading Zone. It’s a crazy story of trying to connect with other people — complete strangers, really — and all the foibles and follies therein. You can watch it below! Enjoy!
In this new year, I have lots of things on my plate! So many upcoming publications, performances, and more! I can’t wait to share the news with you. Even though 2016 was a dumpster fire for everyone, I made some huge advances in my career and I’m so pleased with the direction in which everything is going. Small positive steps everyday lead to big things!
Also, I have a new adventure on the horizon! On Valentine’s Day, I head to Helsingborg, Sweden for the first time! I’ve never been (even though I lived in Europe for years and years), so when a housesitting opportunity arose, so I had to take it. After Sweden, I’ll be swinging through London, Brussels, and Amsterdam to visit my friends (and celebrate my birfday! What a crazy 3 weeks this is going to be….), so if you’re in Helsingborg and want to show this wee Canadian lass around, hit me up!
As always, don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot CALM (har har) to read all of my published articles, watch my performances, and check out my media coverage.
It’s TIFF time already and time for me to review a whole bunch of woman-hating films so you don’t have to. Last year I reviewed TIFF films that portray fierce women in leading roles, now it’s time to review the films that can’t even pass a simple test like The Bechdel Test. Read and enjoy! (or hate it, I don’t care, I’m just a blog).
Don’t forget to check out all my VICE articles, and all my many other publications, at the official Christine Estima dot com!
Grab a copy of the current issue of subTerrain Magazine and turn to page 4 for my Creative Non-Fiction story, entitled “Rue Berri.” It’s a piece about my time in Montreal last year when I found the apartment my grandparents lived in during the 1940s. Above is a scan of the first page to whet your appetite. Included in the issue is also some of my original photography! See my hastily painted fingersnails there? SCHEXY.
Some of you have asked me where to find all these literary magazines in which I’m published. In Chapters/Indigo, you can find them in the Literature/Arts/Music section of the magazine racks. At indie book shops like Type Books or Drawn n’ Quarterly, just ask the clerks for help but those shops always have a large lit mag selection, so here’s a scan of the issue in which I appear so you can find it easily!
Working with the editors at subTerrain was a dream, they were so kind and helpful. I’m so honoured to be included in the pages of this amazingly beautiful issue, I’ve been trying to break into them since, I think, 2001 or 2002-ish, when I entered a crappy, crappy story into their Lush Triumphant contest. 15 years later – success! See? That’s how long it takes writers to improve. It’s a slow process indeed.
And, as always, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for all of my published works, and more!
It was really great to work with the team at Metro, the whole process was very fast-paced and positive. It was such a challenge to put everything I wanted to say into a mere 400 words, I’m used to writing 1500-word essays, so I welcomed the challenge to be brief and succinct. BUT I’M SO LOQUACIOUS!
Also, funny sidenote: that photograph of me there… That was taken yesterday with my iPad as I sat in a café on Spadina. OH THE GLAMOUR.
Fanks for reading, my munchkins, and don’t forget to check out ChristineEstima.com for more on my writing career.
I have been sitting on this news for A MONTH AND A HALF and haven’t been able to publicly speak about it until now! I’m really great at secret-keeping you guys. Anyway, waaaaaay back in January I submitted a short creative non-fiction piece to the CBC Canada Writes Non-fiction competition. It’s a piece about the time I spent in Sarajevo in 2008. I usually am not a big fan of entering writing contests because submission fees are usually beyond my means and competition is so stiff, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. But this submission fee I could afford, and 2015 has been the Year of Christine’s Hustle (aka I’ve busted my ass to get so many publications this year) so I decided to throw my hat in the ring. Really, my thought process of 2015 has pretty much been just, “Hey Chris, no guts, no glory. So just take a chance, dammit.” And I am pleasantly surprised by how much the universe is willing to pay out if you just take chances. So imagine my surprise 7 months later when they contacted me to tell me I had made the long-list! They received over ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED submissions in the non-fiction category and I beat them out to land a place on the 32-person long-list!
I am so pleased! I’m so chuffed but also so humbled and obliged as well. I was sat in a café when I got the news and suddenly started saying OMIGOD OMIGOD OMIGOD then silly-giddy laughing. Hipsters were staring. You don’t want to incur the wrath-stare of Café-Hipsters.
Later in September they will choose the finalists. If I recall correctly, five writers will receive cash prizes — 4 finalists will receive $1000 and the Grand Prize winner will get $6000 plus publication in enRoute Magazine plus a ten-day residency at The Banff Centre.
Those are pretty suh-weeeet prizes, and let’s not forget that the word-limit for non-fiction this year was only 1500. $6000 for 1500 words, people! That’s A LOT of money, that’s $4 a word! It’s a writer’s dream!
Like I mentioned above, I have busted my hump this year as a writer. I have been hustling and hustling and pitching and pitching and submitting and revising and editing and scrapping and trying and trying again and again. I think the impetus behind the hustle was the previous two years that I spent down-and-out, homeless, and wandering the streets of Europe with an empty bank account and a bruised ego. It’s only when you have nothing that you realize the world owes you no favours, and you gotta change your situation pronto. The hustle has mostly paid off, and even if I don’t move forward in this competition, I am well-chuffed with the recognition. I’m so pleased I decided to just throw my hat in the ring and see what happens. And above all I’m pleased that the CBC supports the kind of writing I want to do. This recognition is most exciting.
AND, CBC is doing something different this year – they’re profiling all the long-listed writers on their website! They’ve never done that before (methinks?). I had to send them a head-shot and bio and the works! Check me out up in hurrrrrr!!
So most gracious thanks to the CBC Canada Writes peeps for giving me a chance to raise my profile as a writer and for supporting my writing style and voice. It’s such an honour!
In related news, I have FOUR forthcoming publications with different literary and commercial magazines that I sold earlier this year, so watch this space. I will of course blog the snot out of them when they hit the shelves 🙂
And don’t forget to check out my official website to peruse all of my published works and watch my performances!
Check out my latest essay in VICE about the removal of the tampon tax (huzzah!) but how saying the word tampon in public brings about an avalanche of giggles and side-eye.
I say the word “menstruating” a lot. Blood blood blood blood. BLOOD CLOTS. Enjoy!
It’s one of the most popular essays on the network, which is always great to see.
Click here or click on the above image to read it.
The piece is being received very well, it’s one of the most popular on the VICE network.
It’s great to see how responsive people are to this, so I’m well chuffed. I told my editor I was worried the satire therein might fall flat & people would think I was condoning #FHRITP. Lesson learned: never assume your audience won’t get it. Oh they get it.
Fanks for getting it, munchkins. YOU ARE THE WIND BENEATH MY WINGS.
Check out my VICE category for all of the other essays I have written for them.
And don’t forget to check out my freshly-pressed ChristineEstima.com for more writing samples and links to my published works.
Click on the above image or click here to read my latest essay in VICE about a douchecanoe that I knew for only 2 hours TWELVE YEARS AGO and wouldn’t piss off, so I lost my shit on him. It’s probably my greatest #ByeFelipe triumph.
This serves as a reminder, ladies, when a Yoko Brono uses the term “spinster,” it actually opens up a rift in the Space-Time Continuum to 1915.
So if you’ll excuse me, I need to jump in my autogyro and head to Constantinople to meet with the King of Siam. Hope he’s not a Bolshevik!
And dudes, here’s your takeaway: if you don’t want to be written about, you should have behaved better.
Check out my VICE category for all of my other essays that have been published in VICE.
And remember to check out the all-new ChristineEstima dot com! It’s where you’ll find all of my published works!
This actually happened to me earlier this month, and I’m still actually really upset about this incident, but my editor at VICE suggested I write about it, so here it is. I AM FILLED WITH RAGE-AHOL. And also sad-sniffles. I mean, who does something like that? I totally lost my shit.
FUCK HER FOREVER.
And don’t forget to check out ChristineEstima dot com for all of my previous publications and other fancy-schmancy shit that I get up to.
I once blogged about my writing practice and process, and I feel this is a nice dovetail: my writing desk and space. We all need to carve out our own little nooks in this world, and this tiny corner is mine.
This where I do all my writing: all my short stories, all my blogging, and all my freelance articles are done here, including a little doodling and reading now and then. I decorated it like this because I think it reflects me and my personality best. Some people prefer really modern, sleek, office-y, stainless-steel-type designs, and others prefer a kind of non-descript, antiseptic look. But I wanted my space to be peppered with all of the things that inspired me, visually and spatially, and all the things that really mean something to me.
For example, these are my Lebanese grandparents making-out on their front porch in Montreal circa 1948. I typed out that Bukowski quote on my typewriter. All the picture frames were bought from London flea markets, but a few I found discarded on the sidewalk. Who throws out gorgeous picture frames?!
That photograph in the foreground of the two 1920s women pushing the pram: I have no idea who they are. I found them discarded on the flea market grounds in Brussels right before the sky opened up and an incredible tempest washed everything away. I feel like I saved them.
Those are Belgian telegrams, and also some French postcards ad German letters, which I bought from their respective flea markets. I typed out the quote at the bottom, and I found the image of the typewritten quote at the top online and then printed it out on photographic paper at a pharmacy in London.
I got the antique iron keys from a friend who bought them for me when I was living in Copenhagen. I typed out the Dumas quote, and it sits on a small blue photo album from the 1940s that I bought in Paris. The vase & saucer I got at a London flea market, and the typewriter ribbon tin I bought at the Brooklyn flea.
The pill bottles in the foreground I got at a flea here in Toronto. The red-cover books in the background are all travel guidebooks from the 1920s, 30s, & 40s. It’s so interesting to read about “where to find a public bathhouse in London,” or about how many Francs you can get for your Crowns, Half-Crowns, Shillings, and Sovereigns. There’s even a section on why French customs strictly prohibits British matches from entering the country, but you can bring your own cigarettes. Also, air travel was so new, that they don’t really mention it. They only mention taking the ferry from Dover to Calais! The guidebooks have fold-out maps and even photographs. Looking at Amsterdam then and comparing it to now is such a mind-fuck.
That’s a Bukowski quote.
I bought that cigar box from a flea market in Düsseldorf. I put all of the small monochrome photographs that I bought from flea markets around Europe in there. A note about the photographs: I don’t know the people. I am assuming they’ve all passed, seeing as how their personal family photo albums were for sale on flea markets. I buy them because they look so happy. I like their faces. Also, sometimes going through private photos reveals some interesting secrets, as I wrote in an essay for VICE recently … And if they’re not in the cigar box….
… they’re hanging on my wall. From left to right, I bought him in Brussels, him in Copenhagen, and her in Paris.
That babe second-from-right is my Mum when she was 18. The rest, left to right, Brussels, Brussels, Berlin, and the child on the right is from Amsterdam.
These ladies are so old, they’re beginning to fade, but I love them all the more because they’re so bad-ass. On the left, I bought them in Paris and on the back it’s dated June 18, 1929. On the right, I bough her in Brussels, it’s dated August 18, 1922. She’s so fucking cool, I can’t even. I’m all out of evens.
Bought both from Brussels. Street scenes and street photography from the early 20th century are so amazing to me. I love the composition of the left photo! Right photo on the back is dated May 1942 and it says they just returned from shopping.
There’s my gorgeous bee-yooot. Read this for the story behind the provenance of this baby.
Some of the books that really moved me that are resting on my desk are All That I Am by Anna Funder, The Reader by Bernhard Schlink, The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway, The Dark Room by Rachel Seiffert, and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières.
I feel like I become a different person when I sit down at this desk. Outside, I’m gregarious and silly and hungry and moving and yelling and dancing and what not… but here, I am something else.
I have a lot more upcoming publications yet-to-be-announced, but now you know where I was when I wrote them.
Remember to update your links and visit the new home of ChristineEstima.com!
Check out my latest essay in VICE, all about the scary shit you can find when you Google your family. I remember Kevin Bacon once said in an interview that when you Google yourself, it’s called Google-bating (like masturbating but with Google). Yeah.
See, this is the problem with newspapers putting their archives online. This was a total mindfuck for me. Family secrets! ARABIC FAMILY SECRETS!
Click here or click the above image to read the essay.
You may have noticed this blog is missing from navigation tabs above. I used to have “about me,” “media coverage,” and “writing portfolio” tabs up in the header. If you want to see all the splendiforous things I’ve done, you’ll now have to visit…
There you’ll find an IMPROVED “About Me,” a FANCY-SCHMANCY “Writing Portfolio,” and a SUPER SWAG “Media Coverage.”
Don’t forget to update your links.
Fanks for reading, munchkins.