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Posts tagged “writing

Why I Wish I Never Reported My Assault: read my latest essay in @WalrusMagazine

After the Jian Ghomeshi essay, and the Kavanaugh Hearings, it felt like a timely and relevant idea to get my story out.

I don’t have anything else to say on the matter.

In terms of writing, this process was an extremely long one. For obvious reasons, this essay had to be fact-checked. But the process took over two months, mostly because the magazine (bless ’em) wanted to make sure they had crossed all the T’s and dotted all the i’s, in case anyone wanted to come back at me and call me a liar.

The burden of proof the fact-checker required was greater than what the police required to press charges against my assailant.

So I double-dare you to call me a goddamned liar.

Thanks for reading and for the support, my munchkins.

Fuck the patriarchy.

In other news, I spent the weekend with photographer and fellow writer Graham Isador, who took nice shots of me on a rooftop.

If you don’t think photographs are important, wait until they’re all you have left.

Check out my official website Christine Estima dot com for more of my published works.

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Kirk/Spock: listen to me on the #GRTTWAK podcast!

A few weeks ago, I performed for a second time at the Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids stage in Toronto. I shared two teen diary entries where I wrote about Kirk/Spock dreams.

Were the dreams nerdy?

Yes.

Were they sex dreams?

Also yes.

Just like last time, I have been included in their latest podcast episode, which you can listen to on your device via the podcast app, or listen here:

Enjoy!


My latest essay in the @NYTimes: Taking Back My Eyebrows

So . . . this happened.

I sold an essay to The New York Times! They launched a new column in the Style section called Rites Of Passage, and I’m one of the first people to be published in it. I’ve been keeping a lid on this news for a while because, even after I sign a contract, I’m still never sure something will be published until I see it in print. Working with my editors at the Times was incredible, they were so kind and generous. This was a very quick process too, from submitting, to acceptance, to editing, to published. I’m so pleased with how it all turned out. Read it here!

One thing was edited out which I’ll share here: a behind the scenes look at some of things I wanted to say.

Well, I won’t tell you, I’ll show you:

I mean, it’s obvious why that wasn’t included in the final version, but as many of you already know, when it comes to my eyebrows, I GOT STORIES.

Thanks for the support, and if you want more, don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com, where you can read in full all of my published work!


#SamanthaBee can say ‘feckless cunt’ all she wants: my latest essay in @NYDailyNews

So, funny story.

I was tweeting, as I am wont to do.

An editor at the New York Daily News saw it, and asked me if I’d like to write an op-ed.

So I banged out an essay in 27 minutes.

I’m published online and in today’s print edition so IF YOU LIVE IN NYC, can you head to a newsstand, grab a copy and help a sistah out? I’ll reimburse you if you mail it to meeeeeeee.

Seeing as how all of my UK/EU friends cannot read the essay online because of the new GDPR regulations, I have screencapped the whole thing here. Enjoy!

 


Read my latest essay published in @WalrusMagazine !

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!


Never Pay For Another Hotel Again: my latest in @VICE

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!

 


The stolpersteines of Vienna: my latest in @VICE

Another day, another travel essay. Got so many stories to tell, might as well put my pen and ink to good use! This time, my latest VICE essay is about the stolpersteines, or “stumbling blocks,” of Vienna — gold markers that are drilled into the pavement to mark the spot where a person who was persecuted by the Nazis once lived. Most stolpersteines note where that person was deported – in most instances, Auschwitz or another death camp. Most never returned or were never heard from again. It’s a short but powerful read, click here to read the full piece.

If you want to read more about my travels to Vienna, last year I sold a story to The Globe and Mail, a national newspaper here in Canada, about my Viennese Ex Libris. Click here for more on that and to read the essay!

Don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my published travel essays!

 

 


Plus-Size Instagram Stars: my latest in @Broadly

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!


Using A Disposable Underwater Camera in a Swimming Hole: my latest in @VICE

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!

 


Hunting #SpaceInvaders in London: my latest in @VICECanada

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!


Backpacking across Europe for less than €15 a day: my latest in @VICECanada

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:

haha, remember when the Notepad app looked like this?

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!


Check out 2 of my pieces on the #plussize industry published in @Broadly

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!


Read my new #shortstory in @BrokenPencilMag!

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.”

Womp womp.

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!


Listen to my story on the @RaconteursStory podcast!

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.”

Click here to listen! You can also subscribe to their podcast on iTunes!

And don’t forget to check out the official Christine Estima dot com for more of my Spoken Word, published writing, and more!


Check out my latest #shortstory published in @PrismLitMag !

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.

Again. Paraphrasing.

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!


How Men Can Stop Street Harassment: my latest article in @VICE

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.



Listen to “Spray It, Don’t Say It” – my latest Spoken Word performance

laser 3.14

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!

My Soundcloud also has other audio clips from some of my previous Spoken Word performances, so please check it out!

brows

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!

 


“I’m On My Knees But I’m Not Praying”: my latest short story published in Matrix Magazine

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.

Don’t forget to check out Christine Estima dot com for more of my published works that you can read in full, and also all of the media attention and press my work has garnered!

*fanks to Caron for the pics!


About Face











You Will Lose All Your Friends in your 30s: my latest @VICE essay

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?

Enjoy!

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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!