Dear A Miner Detail Readers and Podcast Listeners:
Happy New Year!
Brevity is a dictum I resolve to perfect in 2021.
My favorite American author, Ernest Hemingway, was a masterful literary tactician; he used short sentences and punchy paragraphs to make his points. Doing so, Hemingway’s stylistic prose transformed American literature and guided aspiring novelists to choreograph their art using simple words and phrases.
Keeping Hemingway in mind, I pledge to keep this column short and sweet, and you’ll be on your way.
Astute and regular readers of A Miner Detail by now have noticed a lack of consistent content over the last few months.
Our readers would be correct in their observations.
For me, I readily concede that life issues have taken precedence.
“Life issues” is not a catchy euphemism meant to insult A Miner Detail readers, nor do I wish to appear less than forthcoming about my discernable absence from the site.
The truth is, my mind has been elsewhere over the last few months. I admit, I’ve been distracted, and I’m probably a bit aloof.
On the daily, it seems, I face down one existential crisis after another – some of which are of my own doing; others, not so much.
Life comes at you hard.
My absence, though, is not without purpose: I have been taking time away to recalibrate, refresh, and rejuvenate – mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, even.
Three weeks ago, my life changed immeasurably. The death of my grandfather has turned my world upside down. I feel so… lost.
In all honesty, I haven’t even begun to process my grandfather’s death, nor have I fully come to terms with the magnitude of our family’s loss. I don’t feel ashamed sharing that I often experience profound personal grief. Some days, my grief is so intensely overwhelming, and other days, I’m okay.
Over the years, I learned how to shut down and compartmentalize painful feelings, negative emotions, and bad memories.
That strategy worked until it didn’t.
I’ve had a lot of help, though. I’m learning how to channel feelings of sadness, despair, anger, betrayal, and confusion. I’m handling it. It’s not easy, but I’m going to be alright.
I’ll again be brutally honest with our readers: I am taking time away from anything I perceive as a distraction, to work on myself, to work on my quirks and kinks, focusing exclusively on my wife, Kimberly, our two children, my family, and my career.
Incidentally, I shared with readers in a previous column that Kim and I are trying to have a baby. I am so incredibly optimistic that Kim and I will be blessed with a beautiful and healthy baby this year.
And, while it’s nobody’s business but ours, Kim and I are working on our marriage, too. For my part, there is no room for failure; Kim deserves nothing less than my full, undivided attention and support. After all, she’s been my rock through so much.
Now onto happier times.
This year, you will notice that my reporting style will markedly shift from a sometimes journalist/political commentator to a straight newsman.
It would be fair for readers to point out that I have, at times, blurred the line between reporting the news and political activism.
My day of reckoning has finally come: I can either be the story or be part of it, or I can chronicle it and report the news – but I cannot do both.
I couldn’t tell you the number of private conversations I’ve had with Maryland journalism giants – guys like Josh Kurtz or Len Lazerick – who offered me unsolicited career advice that I failed to take but should have.
One question has been posed to me many times over: “What do you want to be, Ryan?”
Sometimes I couldn’t answer that question – because I really didn’t know. Though, I’ve had some clarifying life moments within the last few months.
I have a vision about where I want to take this site and how I intend to get there. 2021 is a new opportunity to showcase our work and navigate Maryland’s political culture.
There isn’t time to beat around the proverbial bush: I want A Miner Detail to be a useful multimedia news outlet that offers its readers valuable information about their local political systems.
Just so you know, A Miner Detail does not have the bandwidth to cover the day-to-day Annapolis beat; however, we do pledge to find the stories that may go unreported, and we’ll report the news.
Eric and I will continue to produce fact-based political editorials with a touch of personality and humor. Perhaps more than a touch.
We welcome and encourage guest op-eds, political commentary, and other forms of fact-based political writing and reporting. Our site is open to you.
A Miner Detail welcomes opinions from all sides of the partisan aisle. We hope to cultivate a diversity of thought and opinion. Our readers will make up their own minds about where to come down on an issue. You don’t need our help.
One final acknowledgment: Many of you have reached out to me over the last few weeks – whether it was to offer condolences over the death of my grandfather or give me a “chin-up, chest-out” pep talk.
Your true friends reveal themselves during your darkest of moments. My true friends have my back, and I will never, ever forget what they have done for me.
And many of you have reached out to my wife, Kim, too – to make sure that she is doing okay and to inquire as to whether I was getting out of bed in the mornings and committing to showering, at least on a semi-regular basis.
Kim and I cannot say thank you enough. You will forever be our friends; we are eternally grateful.
Finally, I am especially grateful and deeply indebted to A Miner Detail Deputy Editor Eric Beasley – my dear friend, my confidant, a brother I never had. I’m lucky to have a wonderful and loyal friend and professional colleague like Eric Beasley.
Is there anything going on in the world that I failed to cover in this column? Surely there is some news happening in Maryland, in D.C., perhaps?
See you soon, readers.
All the best,