When Hollywood, Trivia, Fashion, and Silly Jokes Go into a Martini Shaker and Produce a Novel

When Hollywood, Trivia, Fashion, and Silly Jokes Go into a Martini Shaker and Produce a Novel: An Interview with Julie Clairborne Johnson

As I near the end of my fourth year, I am forced to contend with the repercussions of one of the most important decisions I have made thus far: being a creative writing major. Yes, it comes with its fair share of preconceived notions, like a future involving the barista, the cardboard box, the mother’s basement, and all the rest, but there is one thing that every writer will tell you: they are crazy about writing.

The Black Column: Confessions of a Strong Black Woman

The Black Column: Confessions of a Strong Black Woman

I cry a lot. And I mean… a lot. I have a hair trigger on my emotions and it takes very little to set me off. A raised voice, a misfortune, even just the feeling that I have disappointed someone… all of it can trigger the water works. This has been true for my entire life. It’s definitely not something I’m proud of, but it’s just a fact. If I were a character in a script or a video-game, it would be apart of my bio. Taylor Lamb is a crier. 

A Journey Through Meditation

There are four of us in the room including our meditation guide. He sits straight, a relaxed gleam in his eye. It’s not my first time meditating, but already I can tell that the session will be different. Not bad or good – just different. Earlier that day, we have a conversation about silence in one of my classes. We talk about silence as transcendence, silence as a reprieve, silence as a tool to achieve spiritual enlightenment.



My junior prom was pretty run of the mill: I wore an atrocious dress and put on way more makeup than necessary for any 17-year-old girl. Twelve hours before that night I didn’t even have a dress, and in my mind it might as well have been the apocalypse. My sister, Julia, home from college, drove me to the mall at 10am the morning of prom and helped me pick out the only dress I could find given I had to be ready in 6 hours. I hated that dress. It was salmon pink with a one-shoulder strap and white beads that looked like it could be worn by a beauty pageant participant.

The Black Column: Music Is All We Got

The Black Column

“…never yet could I find that a black had uttered a thought above the level of plain narration; never seen even an elementary trait of painting or sculpture. In music they are more generally gifted than the whites, with accurate ears for tune and time… Whether they will be equal to the composition of a more extensive run of melody, or of complicated harmony, is yet to be proved.” -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia 


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