The Next Step: Next Year is Here

Another year over, and a new one just begun . . . and what have you done? So far, not a whole lot.

I read an article this morning which suggested, rather than compile a list of resolutions that will most likely be rendered meaningless by month’s end, a far better approach is to reflect on the previous year’s accomplishments before setting any future longterm goals.

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
The Next Step: Rough Draft

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

2018, the year that was. For some, a collection of beautiful memories to be cherished as we turn the page and begin anew. For others, a shining example of missteps not to be replicated in the coming year.

For me, a bit of both.

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
The Next Step: Glancing Back and Moving Forward

‘Tis the season of giving, of celebrating with friends and loved ones, of looking ahead to the new while being sure to cherish the memories of what has come before.

I tend to do this one of two ways, either through the written word, or more recently, through the lens of my (borrowed) camera.

It’s not that I choose to hide behind these mechanisms, per se; rather, I feel they provide me with a forum to best express my perspectives in a truly unique manner.

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
The Next Step: Baby Steps

Today is the second birthday of my second betta, a momentous occasion if ever there was one. While the extraordinary Norton von Spudley isn’t quite the charmer his predecessor Buddy the Betta was, he has grown to be an endearing little fellow in his own right over these last 24 months, flitting and scooting to and fro as he vacuums the gravel for remnants from breakfast, flipping the tail to all who dare peer too closely into his cozy abode.

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
The Next Step: Plans

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans . . . a sentiment expressed by many, immortalized by one, John Lennon.

It is a theory we all claim to recognize, and perhaps even intend to thwart by vowing to spend less time analyzing the nuances of life in favor of, well, actually living it.

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
The Next Step: Expressions

Those who know me are quite familiar with my love of quotes. They have often made their way into my columns through the years, and can regularly be found sprinkled throughout my social media - at times accompanying a snapshot from my latest landscape photography session, but just as often speaking volumes on their own.

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
The Next Step: Photographs & Still Frames

It’s funny the things you tend to recall when wandering down memory lane. Random tidbits from decades ago suddenly rush to the forefront, crystal clear as if having taken place yesterday; yet, at the time, they served as mere footnotes in a life rushing forward, full speed ahead.

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
The Next Step: TGI . . . T? 

I used to despise Thursdays, if for no other reason than they seemed to consistently represent the culmination of a week’s worth of stress and aggravation hurtling toward the weekend and boiling over just short of that so-called sanctuary known as Friday.

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
The Next Step: Puzzle Pieces

Exactly one month ago, I began the next chapter of my career by turning the page on the last and moving forward in pursuit of a peace of mind and a quality of life that had been lacking for far longer than I cared to acknowledge.

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
The Next Step

I promised I would continue to write when I had something to say. Just over one week since I penned my last "official" column for South Bay's Neighbor Newspapers, and the one thing that comes to mind is how very much I do love to write.

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
Acknowledgements

I have been putting this off for quite some time. This “final step,” if you will, penning my last column for South Bay

I told myself I would take my time with this one, write it well in advance of deadline, try to encapsulate everything in one epic, closing chapter. And yet, here I sit – 11:30 p.m. on the eve of my second to last day of work, staring at a mostly blank template as countless thoughts swirl in my brain. 

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
Genesis

gen•e•sis: the origin or mode of formation of something; evolution, inception 

It all began back in elementary school; earlier, even. The clipping in the local South Bay Newspaper heralding the entrance of the Class of 2000...into kindergarten. I was a part of that storied graduating class, and as we progressed through the next dozen or so years of schooling, the various accolades of my fellow Lindy alums would be documented within the pages of our neighborhood paper. My own graduation announcement was featured there, as I moved on from the halls of Lindy High and began my studies in journalism on the opposite shore at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University. 

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
Mementos

The stories that unfold in the space of a writer’s study, the objects chosen to watch over a desk, the books selected to sit on the shelves, all weave a web of echoes and reflections of meanings and affections, that lend a visitor the illusion that something of the owner of this space lives on between these walls, even if the owner is no more. {Alberto Manguel}

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
Beginnings

Birthdays are beginnings. This is a sentiment I have always held particularly close to my heart, if for no other reason than it allows for the momentary illusion of a fresh start, at least for one day. What evolves beyond that point in time is anyone’s guess of course; but the symbolic turning of the page is one that resonates quite deeply for me.

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
Metamorphosis

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ~ Maya Angelou

We all have a path, a journey we take through life. Some are relatively direct, with few bumps and curves along the way; others prove far more winding and full of detours. In the end, though, I believe we all reach the destination we are meant to. Eventually. 

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
Inspiration 101

I recently had the opportunity to speak to a small group of high school students with an interest in writing during a one-week digital journalism camp held at Hofstra University. Not quite sure what to expect, I brought samples of our newspaper and magazine, along with a brief bio of myself, my career trajectory thus far, and a handful of anecdotes to share with the group. As it turned out, all that information filled up precisely ten minutes of what was to be a nearly hourlong presentation. 

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
The Heart of the Matter

“I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world.” ~ Henry Luce

As I sit here at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon composing my thoughts for this column, one can’t help but reflect upon the latest in a long line of tragic shootings to touch the nation, this time at the headquarters of the Capital Gazette, an Annapolis newspaper founded in 1727. Among the five fatalities were veteran editors, writers and reporters, as well as a sales assistant to the staff. To think that a random act of violence on an otherwise average day could at once shatter so many lives is quite jarring. 


Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
Green & White & Golden Memories

As I write these words, the Class of 2018 prepares to march onto the old Kienle Field at Lindenhurst Middle School to the familiar strains of Pomp & Circumstance. In just a few short hours, they will embark on the next chapter of their lives, as proud alumni of Lindy High, the last dozen or so years of schooling an already-fading memory. 

Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment
The Greatest Honor

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” ~ Douglas Adams

As I sat in the audience at the recent Press Club of Long Island awards ceremony last week, intently listening to the words of one of our Hall of Fame honorees, the legendary writer and reporter Harvey Aronson, I was struck by the notion that one could choose a particular career to pursue and, so many years later {at the tender age of 89}, remain just as devoutly passionate about it. As he eloquently put it, “I wanted to be a writer… and so I became one.” 


Read More
Jamie Lynn RyanComment