As many subscribers to my YouTube channel already know, I like to make short documentaries about my travel adventures. I’ve made really popular short and snappy films about Peru, Thailand & Cambodia, Mexico, Guatemala & Belize, India, and even places closer to home like Montreal and New York.
In any case, seeing as how I just spent a few weeks in Sweden, I thought I might try to capture the essence of Swedish metropolitan culture and blend it with my personal journey there to find simple joys and pleasures in unlikely places.
This is the result! A very short and quick watch. Only 2 minutes and 45 seconds. It will take you longer to finish a cup of coffee.
It kinda plays like SWEDEN! THE MUSICAL haha. I guess I just like making creative, visual pieces out of things that happen in my life. Enjoy!
I’m really pleased with the way it turned out. Especially since it took me 12 straight hours to edit less than 3 minutes worth of film. How do professionals do this?
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my short documentaries, my published works, my TV interviews, and more!
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!
Last week I was fortunate enough to perform at Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids, which is exactly what it sounds like. Diaries, letters, poems, stories, you name it… if it’s cringeworthy or bittersweet, they want it. And lemme tell ya, I GOTS IT. I read a diary entry from 20 years ago, written after I had just seen the soft-core film Red Shoe Diaries and it had blowwwwn my miiiiiind, maaaaaan. What followed can only be described as a brainjaculation.
You can watch my cringeworthy reading below. I hope you enjoy what a ding-dong I am.
Also, I just got word from the show’s producers that my reading has been included in their podcast! You can subscribe to their podcast on iTunes (like I have been for months!). But if not, you can listen to my specific episode here and fast forward to time index 20:30.
As many of you know, I have performed at a lot of live storytelling/Spoken Word events, and I really love doing it. It blends my two favourite things in life: storytelling, and being a ham. I’ve performed at The Moth in NYC (watch my performance here), Spark London in the UK (watch here), and Raconteurs (watchy watch). Each time it’s different and new and ephemeral, so I highly recommend you come out to an event if you haven’t already. This GRTTWaK event was SOLD OUT and packed, which made for such a great atmosphere on stage!
Shout out to Dan and Jenna for having me! And expect more live-storytelling performances in the future.
Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my live performances and publications and more.
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!
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!
I’m really excited to share that my non-fiction story, ‘Spray It, Don’t Say It,’ has been published in the latest issue of Event Literary Magazine, that for decades has published the best short prose and poetry in the country. I have been trying to crack into Event for 10 years (they are notoriously selective!), so I was delighted when they snatched this up with such kind words for my voice and style. The piece is about my time as a waif on the streets of Europe, and specifically deals with this, where I blogged only peripherally about it at the time, so this story is the full story. Here’s a scan of the first page to pique your interest:
And here’s my EVENT bio. Awww yeeeeeeah, dis mah shit. This is only a slice of my publications, my full list of publications can be found here
You can pick up Event at any bookshop in the country. As always, don’t forget to check out the official ChristineEstima dot com for more of my writing, performances, and recent news!
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.
Check out my latest schlepp’ for VICE, this time about all the amazingly badass beautiful broads in TIFF films this year. Writing this piece was so fun because I got to attend the pre-TIFF press screenings for two weeks. I see a lot of bad movies so you don’t have to (and some good ones). There was only one film I saw that I didn’t include in this piece, simply because there were no women in it — Son of Saul — but holy fuck, I highly recommend that film as well.
I used to cover TIFF every year as a critic, but I haven’t done it since 2011 when I was still writing for Exclaim! It was so difficult seeing like 5 films a day, and having to file your reviews by like 7am the next morning, and then doing it all over again! I swore after that year I’d never cover TIFF again, but I guess old habits die hard.
Anyway, enjoy, comment, and share! Happy TIFF’ing.
As always, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com where you can find all of my published works and more.
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!