Essay
Indoor Smoke Signals: A Thanksgiving Essay + Recipe

Indoor Smoke Signals: A Thanksgiving Essay + Recipe

Picture Above: Grandpa Jack, me, and Grandma Ruthie back in the day when I rocked bangs. I wrote this piece a few years back for our church’s cookbook. I hope you like it and the recipe that accompanies it. The event described in the piece took place sometime around 1992 or 1993, I believe. Indoor...
The Hungry-Eyed Artist: An Interview with Sam Phillips, Part II (Outtakes)

The Hungry-Eyed Artist: An Interview with Sam Phillips, Part II (Outtakes)

READ PART II OF “THE HUNGRY-EYED ARTIST: AN INTERVIEW WITH SAM PHILLIPS” HERE, AT IMAGE JOURNAL‘S “GOOD LETTERS” BLOG AT PATHEOS.COM. Due to space limitations at the “Good Letters” blog, I am featuring outtakes from my recent interview with singer-songwriter Sam Phillips here. In case you missed yesterday’s installment, check it out here. When you...
A Feast for Hungry Eyes: An Interview with Sam Phillips, Part I (Outtakes)

A Feast for Hungry Eyes: An Interview with Sam Phillips, Part I (Outtakes)

READ PART I OF “THE HUNGRY-EYED ARTIST: AN INTERVIEW WITH SAM PHILLIPS” HERE, AT IMAGE JOURNAL‘S “GOOD LETTERS” BLOG AT PATHEOS.COM. Due to space limitations at the “Good Letters” blog, I am featuring outtakes from my recent interview with singer-songwriter Sam Phillips here. Expect installment #2 here tomorrow! CTJ: You seem very comfortable with the...
New IMAGE Essay + Spotify Playlist + NIGHTMARRIAGE Pre-Order

New IMAGE Essay + Spotify Playlist + NIGHTMARRIAGE Pre-Order

NEW IMAGE JOURNAL BLOG ESSAY, “THE ARMCHAIR ASTRONAUT” + SPOTIFY PLAYLIST Read my latest IMAGE Journal essay, an adaptation from The Stained-Glass Kaleidoscope titled “The Armchair Astronaut,” here. In the meantime, I am providing you with a Spotify playlist I assembled as a companion to this essay. It is inspired by my dad, who loves...
Living Fossils: New IMAGE "Good Letters" Blog Essay

Living Fossils: New IMAGE “Good Letters” Blog Essay

My latest essay for IMAGE Journal‘s “Good Letters” blog at Patheos.com is now live. Read it here. It’s about found treasures (vinyl ones—not golden ones, all you Spanish explorer wanna’bes!), underground ’80s Christian pogo-punkers Undercover (see below), the extinction of dinosaurs and record stores alike, coelacanths, and a little local flavor in the form of...
CTJ's Zelda Essay in the Baylor Lariat + Zelda Window Display Photos

CTJ’s Zelda Essay in the Baylor Lariat + Zelda Window Display Photos

Today, the Baylor Lariat published my latest essay. It is a nostalgic piece about the original Legend of Zelda, which was released for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. Read my essay here. My contribution is a companion piece to Huy Bui’s essay, which is about the game Bioshock. The title of my essay,...
IMAGE Essay: "The Disrobing Trees" + The Radiohead/Plato Paper I Mention Therein

IMAGE Essay: “The Disrobing Trees” + The Radiohead/Plato Paper I Mention Therein

The Disrobing Trees Today on IMAGE Journal’s “Good Letters” blog, you can read my latest essay, “The Disrobing Trees.” In the essay, I briefly allude to a paper I wrote in graduate school while sitting in front of a window that allowed me to observe a tree undergo its annual autumnal transformation. Below—for better or...
A Photographic Rebuttal of a Plumber's Anti-Cat Tirade

A Photographic Rebuttal of a Plumber’s Anti-Cat Tirade

On April 15th, 2010, on a blog that is now defunct, resting in cyberspace like a Web site corpse on display in a mausoleum (just like Lenin in Red Square), I wrote the post below about a plumber who plagued our pipes with his presence. He also bombarded us with life advice, as if he...
The Bermuda Triangle of the Heart

The Bermuda Triangle of the Heart

Becki and I recently watched an episode of Hoarders, and the psychologists who worked with the show’s subjects said something about how compulsive hoarders attempt to fill inner voids with “stuff.”  They attempt to alleviate their suffering with material things, and their hearts and houses become like miniature Bermuda Triangles, harboring lost wreckage from the...
Now Playing at the (a)Musing Foodie Blog: CTJ's "Indoor Smoke Signals"

Now Playing at the (a)Musing Foodie Blog: CTJ’s “Indoor Smoke Signals”

My latest piece, “Indoor Smoke Signals,” is available for reading at the (a)Musing Foodie blog, which is hosted by the Liza Hawkins – the Interweb’s preeminent charmer where chowing down is concerned. So do yourself a favor. Read the article here and then follow Liza on Twitter here. An excerpt: My sister and I would’ve noticed...
Buying You, Selling Me: Love Commodified

Buying You, Selling Me: Love Commodified

Note: I recently found this piece I wrote in late 2006, only a month before I began dating Becki, the woman who would become my wife. I thought it was a reasonably worthwhile piece of writing considering it was penned – er, keyed – by my then 28-year-old self. This may seem like a strange...
"The Internet Doesn't Care if We've Had Enough"

“The Internet Doesn’t Care if We’ve Had Enough”

Yesterday Pitchfork posted an interview with singer Antony Hegarty. Even though he was not actually speaking about writers, he said something that most definitely applies to writers as well. I have been thinking about it ever since, and I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter, my dear readers. Because my Mama reads this,...