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.

David Pennington
David Pennington

Writing would be great if it weren't the only thing I knew how to do. I publish as much as I can, you'll just have to wait for the rest.  

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