Friday, November 13, 2009

Creative Recreation

I started taking writing and music seriously in fourth and fifth grade, through my own interest and encouragement from my teachers. The elementary school's orchestra conductor complimented me on my "good ear" (something I heard from junior high, high school, and through college) and my fifth grade teacher encouraged me to nurture what she saw as an innate talent for writing after I handed in, out of all things, a paper on mongooses.

I continued playing in academic orchestra through my sophomore year of college (became too expensive when I transferred to a school that would not provide the instrument) and wrote at my own leisure on the side, taking some advanced language arts courses in high school, beginning school as a philosophy and journalism major before changing to a business major when transferring schools, all the while peppering accounting and economics curriculum with the odd course in creative fiction and journalism.

After college I combined my passions, writing about music, which eventually led to writing about business, a much more lucrative side-gig that translated what I lived 9-5 Monday through Friday. I eventually diversified, writing culture, lifestyle, and music articles that paid decent enough. Now that I'm a place where I know how to write well enough about the subject at hand to put a little extra something in my pockets (crossing that $1/word barrier feels great!), I've been kind of yearning to get back writing for writing sakes. So I've been looking through stacks of literary journals to find where I can try my hand with the poetry, essays, and memoirs I left behind years ago.

I was browsing through McSweeny's website and clicked on a link titled A Converge of Convergences: Contest, thinking I could brush up on some decent prose and fiction. The contest instead pitted abstract pairings of photos, paintings, cartoons, and other visuals against one another, a medium I realized I never appreciated as much as I should have. My favorites might be the The 19th Century Roots of Rosie Jetson and Shinto Ghraib.

George Madoffton

Submitted by Errol Morris*
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Barack O'Zimmerman

Submitted by Leon Hilton**

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Guston's Web

Submitted by Chris Ware

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See all the contest entries here.