That First Interview

Maybe it’s not an accident that this ended up being called “Words & Images.”

I was in one of those daydream states this week in an idle moment, probably over a beer, where I recalled a moment nearly a decade ago when I was in a job interview for the only position that made sense to me in those years: scriptwriter.

The only room available for Rachel and I to have the interview was within a closet stacked to the ceiling with expired technology. Broken computers, defunct monitors, microphones, sound panels, lights, and boards with knobs that I couldn’t even imagine the purpose of. Sitting across from what passed as a desk, Rachel asked me all the things your future manager is supposed to ask you about purpose and experience and expectations.

Then she asked: “What one thing you really want to do in the next five or ten years?”

And for no reason in particular I said: “I’d like to start a magazine.”

She left a voicemail hiring me before I made it home that afternoon. Two months later the agency’s largest client – The Rocky Mountain News – closed its doors. A month later she hired another scriptwriter who qualified himself with a tome of poetry he self-published (and, frankly, it wasn’t that bad of a read). And here I was, saying I wanted to start a magazine for no particular reason.

This is the kind of stuff that comes up when I daydream.

Five years after that interview, I was knee deep in the world of advertising technology. Ten years from that interview is still a few months from now. For the past several months I have been publishing an email called Words & Images to a core set of readers. The response to it has been nothing short of amazing.

Perhaps all of this – the challenges of the last year, recalling my first agency interview, or always coming back to photography and writing – is something I’m not supposed to ignore any longer. Maybe something bigger should come from all this.

Whatever it may be, I’m thrilled to have you along for it.