"To Be Born Again": In Touch Magazine's First Graphic Essay

“To Be Born Again”: In Touch Magazine’s First Graphic Essay

In Touch magazine recently published its first graphic essay, and I wrote it! Jeff Gregory illustrated it. Read it here!
CTJ's In Touch Series: "Wholly Scripture: Confessions of a Wayfaring Reader"

CTJ’s In Touch Series: “Wholly Scripture: Confessions of a Wayfaring Reader”

In 2015, I decided to read the Bible from cover to cover for the first time. I did so believing I’d probably read most of the text over the course of my life in piecemeal form via personal devotionals, sermons, and Sunday school lessons. To my surprise, I discovered quite a...
"To Build a Throne": My Essay on James Hampton

“To Build a Throne”: My Essay on James Hampton

Read my latest piece, “To Build a Throne” (In Touch Magazine), which reflects on the work of African-American janitor James Hampton, who secretly built a 177-piece collection of throne-room furnishings for the return of Christ before his death in 1964. Photos courtesy of the Smithsonian. Excerpt: “If God chose to...
"Nightmarriage": Information, Critical Acclaim, Published Excerpts, Free Audiobook MP3s & More

“Nightmarriage”: Information, Critical Acclaim, Published Excerpts, Free Audiobook MP3s & More

Buy CTJ’s”Nightmarriage” NOW! Buy the Print Edition Here for $14.99 Buy the E-book Edition Here for $4.99 Buy the Color Edition Here for $34.99 Chad Thomas Johnston’s Nightmarriage is a whimsical memoir that explores the terrors of marriage and the perils of parenthood. Adapted from Johnston’s blog series of the same name, Nightmarriage proves that,...
CTJ Designs "Building a Life Out of Words" Book Cover

CTJ Designs “Building a Life Out of Words” Book Cover

Just finished my first ever paying book cover design! It’s nice when dead presidents can validate your meager attempts at art. Thanks to Shawn Smucker for giving me a chance. It was a pleasure, despite the fact that it took me around 30 hours to create from start to finish. I began...
Rubblebucket Tours for "Omega La La" LP, Sings Omega Lullabye for Evie

Rubblebucket Tours for “Omega La La” LP, Sings Omega Lullabye for Evie

I was already off work this week, attempting to help the wife keep our almost 3-week-old daughter from sabotaging sanity and sleep alike, but it was Rubblebucket that really made my week. It’s one thing to take perverse joy in the knowledge that your coworkers are handling all the “TPS...
Free 35-Song Album + Free Art Exhibit = Audiovisual Feast

Free 35-Song Album + Free Art Exhibit = Audiovisual Feast

Download the Poster Above here. Make it the computer screen wallpaper on your boss’s laptop. He’ll fire you, but he’ll also thank you. Consider this Web page an invitation to an audiovisual feast. The hands that prepared the meal are visible above. If not for the art of Danny J. Gibson,...
Nobody Wants to Be the Stinky Kid: CTJ Creates Planetary Recycling Poster for Allen Press, Inc.

Nobody Wants to Be the Stinky Kid: CTJ Creates Planetary Recycling Poster for Allen Press, Inc.

I created the above poster (click on it to enlarge it) for Allen Press, Inc., my place of employment here in Lawrence, KS. First, I sketched the shapes and facial expressions for each planet. Then I used GIMP, a freeware raster graphics alternative to Adobe Photoshop, to “ink” the images....
CTJ Creates Cover Art for Author Dwain Smith's New Book "Bullheaded"

CTJ Creates Cover Art for Author Dwain Smith’s New Book “Bullheaded”

In February, one of my contacts on Twitter, Claudia Hall Christian (@ClaudiaC), indirectly introduced me to Washington D. C.-based author Dwain Smith (@DwainSmith). She informed her followers that I was interested in creating book art, as I love drawing (in addition to writing). But I gave Claudia a little extra...
My Honorable Mention Essay Entry in Belle & Sebastian's "Write About Love" Contest

My Honorable Mention Essay Entry in Belle & Sebastian’s “Write About Love” Contest

Today I received notification from Matador Records that I have been awarded honorable mention in Belle & Sebastian’s Write About Love essay contest. We were limited to 300 words, and I did the best I could with what time I had.  We honorable mention essay writers will receive an autographed...
Latest entries
"Nightmarriage" Notables, Part Deux

“Nightmarriage” Notables, Part Deux

THE BOOK THAT WRITES STORIES OF ITS OWN Nightmarriage continues to spin its own stories. Consider Jennifer Jacobson of Fairview, Texas, whom I met via the Interweb. She ordered four copies: one for each of her children, and one for her parents. I inscribed them with my silver Sharpie, mailed them in my sci-fi-friendly silver...
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...
Help CTJ Strike While the Iron is Hot!

Help CTJ Strike While the Iron is Hot!

Hi All, A lot is going on. If you’re able to help me spread the news, please do. Sam Phillips Today, the first part of my interview with singer-songwriter Sam Phillips is out via IMAGE Journal‘s “Good Letters” blog. Click here to read it. In addition to album after album that I own and adore, Sam has written...
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...
Update + Lawrence, KS Book Signing: August 3rd, 1-3 p.m. at Signs of Life

Update + Lawrence, KS Book Signing: August 3rd, 1-3 p.m. at Signs of Life

Things have been busy around here. This week alone I have: 1) Been interviewed by the Kansas City Star. Look for me in it this weekend. 2) Been interviewed and photographed by the Lawrence Journal-World. Look for me in it this weekend, too. 3) Signed off on production of the color edition of Nightmarriage. Buy it...
"Nightmarriage" Color Edition Now Available for Exorbitant Price!

“Nightmarriage” Color Edition Now Available for Exorbitant Price!

“Nightmarriage” fans, you can now purchase a color edition of the book for a mere $34.99!!! It’s more expensive than the black and white edition, yes, but it’s also cheaper than the production of the color portion of The Wizard of Oz, so I think we should be commended for our business acumen. Visit the...
"Nightmarriage" Notables: Stories from a Newly Published Author

“Nightmarriage” Notables: Stories from a Newly Published Author

Since eLectio Publishing released Nightmarriage to the general public on May 28th, a lot has happened. The book has fifteen reviews on Amazon, including thirteen five-star reviews—not a bad start at all. Book Signing Joshua Madden’s brainchild, Boompopmedia.com, has published information about my forthcoming book signing in Lawrence here. The resulting piece warns that I am...
Transformer: Exploring Todd Solondz’ "Palindromes" Through the Eyes of the Russian Formalists

Transformer: Exploring Todd Solondz’ “Palindromes” Through the Eyes of the Russian Formalists

Overview I wrote “Transformer: Exploring Todd Solondz’ Palindromes Through the Eyes of the Russian Formalists,” in 2006—one semester before I dropped out of my PhD program. I have learned much about writing since producing this work, but I am publishing it here despite its flaws because it will never see the light of day if...
"It's Okay to Hate Your Writing": A "Writers Write" Interview with Andi Cumbo

“It’s Okay to Hate Your Writing”: A “Writers Write” Interview with Andi Cumbo

Writer, writing teacher, and editor Andi Cumbo recently interviewed me about writing on her website. Read up, and follow Andi on Twitter at @andilit. Excerpt “People tend to handle critiquing me with kid gloves because I have OCD, and I’m very sensitive. But in the past year, having finally written publicly on a regular basis, I...
"Girl Unafraid (to Speak)": Words Evie Says

“Girl Unafraid (to Speak)”: Words Evie Says

  “Heaven Knows I’m Adorable Now” Evie says new words all the time. It blows our minds every time she opens her mouth and utters something new. I got Simon Goddard’s Mozipedia: The Encyclopaedia of Morrissey and The Smiths for Christmas this year, and thought Moz might make a most excellent tutor for our tiny...
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...
Archival Writing: Over the Rhine Concert Review, March 27, 2001, St. Louis, MO

Archival Writing: Over the Rhine Concert Review, March 27, 2001, St. Louis, MO

OVER THE RHINE * MARCH 27, 2001, ST. LOUIS, MO BLUEBERRY HILL’S DUCK ROOM NOTE: This piece originally appeared in an online edition of John J. Thompson’s True Tunes News before it went belly-up. I just found it today, and decided it was worth posting, if nothing else, for its archival value. When the piece originally...