About Me and My Work

This is my place to play, to mix metaphors, elongate ellipses, dangle participles, to dabble in my art and tell my stories. I come here to chat about my writing journey, but every so often essays on yoga, wine, nature, or peanut butter sneak in. Well, I haven’t written about peanut butter. But I will. I have a good peanut butter story, as it so happens. I also write about books that challenge and delight my literary senses.

I am the author of the novels In Another Life (Sourcebooks, 2016) and The Crows of Beara (Ashland Creek Press, 2017). My short stories and essays have appeared in several journals, including Emerge Literary Journal; Mud Season Review; Cirque: A Literary Journal of the North Pacific Rim; Cobalt; River Poets Journal, in the print anthologies Stories for Sendai; Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers; and Three Minus One: Stories of Love and Loss; and featured on the flash fiction podcast No Extra Words. I lead writing workshops and offer story/developmental editing and writer coaching services.

A hiker, yogini, and wine geek, I make my home on the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington state. 

The title of my blog, Chalk the Sun, is a reference to a treasured Emily Dickinson poem:  Part One: Life XXXI  

Please visit my website: juliechristinejohnson to learn more about my writing and my editorial and critique services. 

40 thoughts on “About Me and My Work

  1. Dear Julie,
    This is a long shot, I realize, but I was wondering if you happened to have earned your Master’s through Arizona State University, and if you wrote your Master’s thesis about the “Merci Train”? If that sounds like you, I would love to get in touch with you. I am a museum curator at the Colorado Railroad Museum, and I am trying to track down the Colorado Merci Train car which has been missing for quite some time. If you are indeed the Julie Christine who wrote such a thesis, please email me at stephanie@crrm.org. Thank you for your time!


  2. I know “Chalk The Sun” is from the poem and it has to do with writing – but I confess to not understanding. What does it mean to you? Also have been meaning to tell you, as a fellow New Zealand expat, I would love for you to blog more about your experiences there.


    • That’s such a wonderful question and you’re the first person who’s ever asked me! THANK YOU. To me, it’s Emily admitting that words have indeed failed her in expressing something vital and she wonders how visual artists find the right way to “Chalk the Sun”; can she find in her writer’s palette the same colors as a painter? I’m such a visual person that the evocation of colors and images really spoke to me.

      Funny you should mention New Zealand. I just finished the first draft of a novel, Tui, that’s set in New Zealand. It’s taken me a long time to come around to writing about New Zealand, but much of it poured out in this story.

      I have a few posts about New Zealand here. They’ll come up if you click on the New Zealand tag, right hand column, —-> at the bottom.

      I didn’t know you’d lived in New Zealand! Tell me more!


      • I did remember at least one NZ post and went back to search for and enjoy more.

        The month after I graduated from college and got married, we moved to a town near Dunedin in the South Island. My husband was a PhD student in geology and I worked as an asst. hydrologist at the Otago Catchment Board. I got to travel all over Otago and “gauge” streams. Oh but the stories I could tell (and must someday) about being the first woman they had ever hired – they were at least 30 yrs behind in gender equality in those days!


  3. Hello, Julie. I’ve come here after reading your bio on Goodreads, and this after reading your remarkably insightful review of Michelle Hoover’s “The Quickening”. Heck, anyone who includes Tim Winton among favorites like McEwan, Mitchell, Atkinson, Erdrich, and Brooks is a pal of mine. I’m an aspiring novelist (sans blog) with a first ms. and still can’t help but feel a bit stalker-ish when it comes to approaching other writers in the virtual space. Any case, I look forward to following you here and on Goodreads!


      • Phew! You’ve put me at ease, Julie. My novel is a love triangle that transposes an old Japanese legend to gritty seaside New Jersey around the time of Hurricane Sandy, and features a one-time indentured servant and settler at the early colony of “Nova Caesaria” (NJ as it was known 300+ years ago) who mysteriously and unwittingly appears in the present day. (You can probably guess where I live, right?) Its first iteration was a screenplay I wrote after completing my MFA at NYU and while a home-bound mom to a young daughter. The isolation along with the ever-present drone of bedtime stories were good for my imagination, I suppose.

        It’s so heartening to read of your journey to publishing success. And I look forward to reading In Another Life! It sounds fascinating, and I love the blend of contemporary and historical elements. All the best, too, on The Crows of Beara.

        (Btw, I concur that WHIPLASH is astoundingly good. The best film of last year, imo.)


      • Eileen, your novel sounds astonishing and beautiful. I cannot wait to see it make its way toward publication. I wish you so much success. And thank you for the faith and encouragement. This is such a strange thing, sharing writing with the world, baring your soul . . . a blessing and a curse, for certain.


  4. Hi!
    I’ve been reading your book reviews and would like to invite you to a new Pinterest board:

    This is a place for book lovers to share their favorite books and also a great place to increase traffic to your website by pinning your own book reviews or book-related discussions.

    To join, please follow the board http://www.pinterest.com/lasesana/books-to-read-reviews-and-recommendations/ (I cannot invite you to join the group unless we both follow each other), when I see you join, I’ll invite you to pin! If you don’t get an invitation, shoot me a quick email lasesana@gmail.com including your Pinterest username and I’ll send you the invitation!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Non-res, completely. I worked with a private tutor via e- and snail-mail. I’m not sure how I feel about MFAs. I’m very process-oriented, so there is a certain appeal, but A) they are hideously expensive B) I learn so much from writing workshops C) I’m not getting any younger. I’ve been deferring this dream for far too long. It’s time to write.


  5. I just found your blog via a review you had on GoodReads for Christine Falls by Benjamin Black. What a wonderful blog! I’ve just subscribed and am looking forward to reading more posts.


    • Hello, Cathleen! Thank you for such sweet words! I’m happy to welcome you here! Things will be quiet on my end for a little while- I’m out of the country doing my day job (wine buyer) but it’s so funny that you would mention Benjamin Black- I was raving about the quirk series to a crime noir fan from Toronto who I met at a reception yesterday. Funny small world. Peace to you and happy reading.
      Cheers, Julie


  6. Interesting to read your blogs and reviews, we teach creative writing in London and offers manuscript feedback and editing services and we share your name! Great minds think alike. Maybe we should put a link to you on our site and vice versa as we are all Emily fans. Best wishes
    Ardella and Jo


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