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 | Leave a comment
I’ve sold another short story! This time to Canadian literary icon Broken Pencil Magazine, the founders of CanZine, and a publication I’ve been reading for what feels like 20 years! (It most likely is actually 20 years, I’ve been in this writer game forrrreeeeeevvvvvaaaaaa).
Earlier this year, I found out they wanted my story, “Girl, Hold My Earrings.” It was a long wait between submission and acceptance so I kept following up with them. They told me the reason they were taking longer than expected was because it had gone through several reads. For anyone who knows anything about literary magazines, they usually have pools of readers who give every submission an eye. Stuff that makes it past the first readers, goes on to the secondary reads. Stuff that makes it past the secondary reads, goes on to debate with the editorial team for final selections. And in the end, my wee little story made through to the FINAL SELECTION BABY.
And as it turns out, they published it without changing a single word, comma or semi-colon. I will take that to mean my story was perfect from beginning to end. YOU HEAR THAT? ME = PERFECT.
Oh don’t give me that look.
It’s a pretty funny and short satirical piece. For context, the original title was, “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Ex-Boyfriend.”
You can buy the Fall 2017 issue 77 of Broken Pencil on magazine shelves now at the bookshops or online here!
Don’t forget to check out the official CHRISTINE ESTIMA DOT COM for more of my published short stories, essays, plays, and more!
November 3, 2017 | Categories: Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: author, broken pencil, broken pencil magazine, Canada, canadian fiction, canadian literary magazines, canadian short stories, canadian women writers, canzine, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, fiction author, fiction writer, op-ed, prose fiction, published author, publishing, short stories, Short story, writer, writing | Leave a comment
As many of you know, I’ve been doing live storytelling and spoken word for about 4 years now and I’ve been really lucky with all the places I’ve been invited to speak – London UK, NYC, and all over Toronto. You can watch many of my performances on my YouTube and also listen to the rest on my Soundcloud! Anyway, one of the places I’ve performed at twice Raconteurs Storytelling, has just relaunched their podcast and I appear in episode 3 “Appearances,” where I tell my story of my ethnicity and the mild racism that comes with being othered and “exotic.”
And don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my Spoken Word, published writing, and more!
October 11, 2017 | Categories: Christine Estima, events, portfolio, toronto | Tags: author, Canada, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, live performance, live storytelling event, live-storytelling, op-ed, spoken word, Toronto, writer, writing | Leave a 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 | 3 Comments
A couple weeks ago I performed a Spoken Word piece at The Spoke, a live storytelling event here in Toronto, which I blogged about here. The organizers recorded the audio of my piece for their podcast, and you can now listen to it here below! It deals with street art, graffiti, heartbeats, heartbreak, mourning, healing, hope…all the good stuff. Enjoy!
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more on my Spoken Word performances, my published articles, essays, short stories, and more!
June 28, 2017 | Categories: Amsterdam, Christine Estima, ex boyfriend, graffiti, Laser314, love, media, photography, portfolio, relationships, travel | Tags: Amsterdam, amsterdam street art, author, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, Germany, graffiti, heartbeats, Laser 3.14, live storytelling event, live-storytelling, love, performance, spoken word, storytelling, street art, The Netherlands, the spoke, Toronto, writer, writing | 1 Comment
FAIR WARNING this is a rather racy story that deal with some full-on topics. For the record, I’m not trying to say anything about the political issues associated with the themes in this story, I’m just exploring an idea and seeing where it goes. This piece is more about complicated emotions and feelings that are in direct conflict with each other, rather than the politicizing of bodies.
Also, creative writing is rarely sensical haha.
You can read this piece in full online right now and it will also appear in print soon, and I will of course update you when that happens! Enjoy at your own discretion, my munchkins.
* * *
A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to perform some of my Spoken Word/Live Storytelling at The Spoke.*
The theme of this night was Heartbeats, so I figured I could speak for 5-10 minutes about that!
I was the first storyteller of the night and it went very well. People came up to me afterwards to hold my hand and tell me they enjoyed my lovely little story. It’s so great connecting with people by just telling some of the fubar stories from my clusterfuck life, haha.
It was such a great night and I’m grateful to the organizers for asking me to participate. They recorded audio of the night so as soon as I have that, I will share it with you. It may also appear on their curated podcast soon.
Speaking of which, if you visit my Soundcloud, you can hear in their entirety some of the audio from my previous Spoken Word performances. I also have on there an Ambient Playlist that I’ve specially curated that is becoming quite popular on there. It’s a great playlist for writing and doing creative endeavours.
*fanks to Caron for the pics!
June 14, 2017 | Categories: Christine Estima, creative writing, photography, portfolio, writing | Tags: author, canadian women writers, canlit, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, fiction, literary magazine, live performance, live storytelling event, live-storytelling, op-ed, Photography, prose, published author, publishing, Short story, soundcloud, spoken word, Toronto, writer, writing | 1 Comment
May 29, 2017 | Categories: Christine Estima, photography | Tags: about face, author, Canada, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, christine estima model, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, modelling, op-ed, Photography, portrait, portraiture, profile, publishing, rbf, resting bitch face, self-portrait, selfie, street art, toronto model, toronto models, writer, writing | Leave a comment
I’ve had an absolute bonkers week (more on that in a sec) so I’m slow to report that earlier this week, my latest misanthropic, bitchy essay was published in VICE. Once you get on the wrong side of 30, it’s like a plague of locusts descends upon your friendships. You better lock up your besties and buddies in your basement now and make sure they can’t chisel their way out, because your 30s are a barren wasteland.
So, uh, enjoy?
* * *
The reason this week has been absolutely bonkers is because I took part in an indie theatre fest called Operation 24! Run by Parkdale theatre darlings Unit 102, Operation 24 is a 24-hour theatre challenge where plays are written, rehearsed and performed professionally all within 24 hours! “Each writer stays up until the wee hours of the morning to craft a ten-minute play. The actors and directors take that play and rehearse it all day, preparing to show it to you, our audience at 8pm the next night. 24 hours from beginning to end resulting in a dynamite night of theatre.” As you may have guessed, I was one of the writers!
At 8pm on Tuesday night, each playwright started writing a 10 minute play on our own. After LOTS of coffee and pizza, I finished my play around 3am. I sent it to my director and two actors around 3:30am and was absolutely wrecked.
Some of the other playwrights finished around 5am (and one completely rewrote his play at 7am!). At 10am, the director and actors began to rehearse. Then at 8pm and 10pm, the actors nailed 2 performances of it, memorized, staged, blocked, cued, costumed, and lit!!
It was an absolutely thrilling and brilliant experience. Longtime readers of this blog know that in my past life I was a playwright with quite a few productions under my belt, but this was the first time something of mine had been staged since 2010. I had such a great (albeit sleep-deprived) time and I’d definitely do it again, and recommend it to all the playwrights, directors, and actors in Toronto who want a challenge!
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my theatrical productions, performances, and more!
May 19, 2017 | Categories: acting, Christine Estima, creative writing, portfolio, theatre, toronto, Vice, writing | Tags: #theaTO, 24 hour playwrighting challenge, author, canadian women writers, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, friendships, independent theatre, indie theatre, op-ed, operation 24, playwright, playwrighting, publishing, stage, stage life, theatre, theatre life, Toronto, toronto theatre, unit 102, unit 102 theatre company, vice, vice canada, vice magazine, writer, writing | Leave a comment
Last year I performed at GRTTWaK, reading an entry from my 1996 diary which was hilarious and cringeworthy at the same time. It was a great experience where I ended up being included on GRTTWaK’s curated podcast. Well, the CBC show Podcast Playlist got wind of my performance and included it in this week’s edition, “As Seen On TV!”
If you want to give’r a listen, click here and fast forward to time index 48:00!
And if you want to watch this performance in full, including me trying to stifle a giggle as the audience laughs, you can watch it below!
Last week I mentioned that I’d be reading at the Toronto launch of Room Magazine’s 40th Anniversary Anthology. Well it went great! A lot of people in the Canadian literary community showed up and I got to talk books, creativity, and the business with some incredibly talented and accomplished peers!
I’m so pleased that they included me in the anthology. There are more good things like this to come, things are happening and it’s all very exciting. I love being a writer, espesh a respected member of the Can. Lit. community!
As always, don’t forget to visit the official Christine Estima dot com to check out all of my published works, and all of the media attention I’ve garnered!
April 27, 2017 | Categories: book, Christine Estima, creative writing, events, portfolio, toronto, writing | Tags: anthology, author, Canada, canadian fiction, canadian literary magazines, canadian literature, canadian stories, canadian women writers, Canadian writer, canadian writing, CBC, cbc podcast playlist, CBC Radio, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, fiction anthology, Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids, GRTTWaK, live-storytelling, making room, matt galloway, op-ed, performance, performing, Photography, podcast playlist, publishing, reading, room anthology, room magazine, spoken word, stage, Toronto, writer, writing | Leave a comment
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
So this is a funny story. Last week I got into a Twitter spat with some jabroni who was going on about the “friend zone.” I was frankly shocked to see it coming from a so-called “gentleman,” (he uses that word in his twitter handle like all gentlemen do, ‘natch) because in the circles I run in, using that term is a laughable offence. Forgot that there actually are people who think that’s a perfectly acceptable term (and the word for those people is ‘nimrod’).
In any case, one of the staff writers at VICE saw my tweets and told me I should definitely turn this into a piece.
See? NEVER SHY AWAY FROM HAVING FIGHTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
I WILL HAVE ALL THE FIGHTS WITH STRANGERS ON THE INTERNETZZZZZZZ.
Kidding! (Not kidding)
Click here to read the piece in full.
As always, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published essays, stories, travel writing, interviews, and more.
March 20, 2017 | Categories: Christine Estima, creative writing, feminism, men, portfolio, relationships, Vice, writing | Tags: author, Christine Estima, Christine Estima VICE, christine estima writer, columnist, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, op-ed, publishing, Toronto, vice, vice canada, vice magazine, writer, writing | Leave a 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
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
A post shared by Chris (@cestima) on
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
My future’s so bright, I gotta wear shaaaades. Another publication, my little munchkins! I wrote about the benefits, the how-to’s, and the expectations/limitations of house-sitting for Verge Magazine, a wonderful, glossy travel mag. I’ve done lotsa travel writing before but not for the past few years, even though those years were consumed with crossing borders! So it was nice to flex the travel writing chops again. Above is a little snippet of the article to pique your interest. If you want to read the whole thing, the latest issue is behind a paywall, you have to buy a digital subscription… or you could ask for my password to my digital subscription … y’know, whatevs. (hint hint wink wink)
I just sold another story a couple days ago to another literary magazine, AND I’m currently working on a hard-hitting essay for my old friends at AufBau (wrote for them last year) which will be translated into Swiss German (Ausgezeichnet!), so I’m super excited for the future!
Speaking of my Verge travel piece on house-sitting, this blog will be quiet for the next little while because I’m going to be house-sitting in Miami for a while, and then directly after that I’m flying down to Central America so I can backpack across Mexico, Guatemala and Belize! All year Central America has been calling out to me. I’ve done South America and I’ve done the Caribbean but never Central America so I really wanted to make it happen. When I was offered the house-sit in Miami, I thought to myself, “Hmm, flights from Miami to Mexico are much cheaper than Toronto to Mexico…” And all of this really isn’t costing me much! Since I’m house-sitting, the Miami accommodation is free. And the home-owner is most graciously and kindly covering my groceries and metropass whilst I’m there. But most of all, my flight was FREE because I had enough Air Miles!!! And I have lotsa remaindered American dollars lying about from my month in NYC earlier this year, so any excess costs are covered! So all I’m actually paying for is the cheap $125 flight from Miami to Mexico, and whatever minuscule pesos I blow on my travels!
I literally am the Queen of Frugal Travelling! Adventures need not break the bank!
After that, preliminary plans are in the works for me to reunite in Amsterdam with dis guy:
Don’t forget to check out the Official Christine Estima dot commmm for all of my published works, appearances, performances, and more!
October 24, 2015 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, creative writing, GIFs, portfolio, travel, writing | Tags: adventure, adventure travel, Air Miles, author, backpacking, Belize, caribbean, central america, cheap travel, Christine Estima, christine estima writer, editorial, essay, frugal, Guatemala, House-sitting, housesitting, magazines, Mexico, Miami, op-ed, publications, solo women travellers, south america, Toronto, travel, travel guidebooks, travel how-to, travel tips, travel writing, traveller, Verge Magazine, writer, writing, writing career, writing life | 3 Comments
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!
August 31, 2015 | Categories: academic essays, Christine Estima, contest, creative writing, portfolio, writing | Tags: CBC, CBC Books, CBC Canada Writes, CBC Radio, Christine Estima, creative non fiction, creative writing, essay, jury prize, life writing, non-fiction, Sarajevo, Sarajevo roses, siege of Sarajevo, writer, writing, writing competition, writing contest, writing finalist, writing prize | 1 Comment
I recently wrote an essay about narratives of romance in spoken word and sold it to Palaver Journal, an interdisciplinarian journal based out of the University of North Carolina. I did my Masters degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. FINALLY USING IT.
The basic idea behind the essay is that the practice and process that once were associated with writing love letters is now used almost exclusively in spoken word, as the former is in decline and the latter has risen from its ashes, so to speak. So what once was written is now verbal. What was private is now public.
And don’t forget to check out my all-new ChristineEstima.com for all of my published works and writing samples!
May 8, 2015 | Categories: academic essays, creative writing, masters degree, portfolio, writing | Tags: academic essay, author, creative non fiction, creative writing, editorial, essay, essayist, essays, freelance, freelance writing, freelancer, Interdisciplinary Studies, love letters, op-ed, Palaver, Palaver journal, portfolio, publication, publishing, romance, spoken word, spring 2015, UNCW, University North Carolina Wilmington, writer, writing, writing portfolio | 1 Comment