Stephanie Hayes - Columnist


Please buckle in for a glamorous journalism biography. I left my job at a mall CD store to work here at 19, distributing faxes and running to Publix to pick up cakes for real reporters. Upon being the last warm body in the office, I got to write actual stories. The rest has been a wonderful journey. I'm now a columnist, writing on the proverbial "lighter side of life" and giving side-eye to Florida. Starting in 2021, my columns will be syndicated worldwide via Creators Syndicate. Before this, I was an editor overseeing arts and culture coverage. As a reporter, I’ve covered local governments, higher education, nightlife, obituaries and performing arts. How's that for variety? I'm a stepmom, fledgling novelist, amateur makeup artist and avid host of parties with too much food. Find me in Dunedin, coolest town in Florida.

  1. Hurricane Ian is seen in this satellite image on Monday morning as it heads toward Florida.
  2. BeReal on the App Store displayed on a phone screen.
  3. Members of the armed forces move the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, adorned with a Royal Standard and the Imperial State Crown, during a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall in London, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days before her funeral on Monday Sept. 19. (Rebecca Brown/Ministry of Defense via AP)
  4. A rainbow punctuates the sky over St. Joseph Sound at Crystal Beach on Tuesday as runner Kate Hardwick of Palm Harbor squeezes in a few miles between thunderstorms at the Crystal Beach Community Pier.
  5. Bob Rittner, 79, proofreads the September edition of On Top Of The World News on a Wednesday in late August 2022 in Clearwater. Rittner also volunteers as a sports reporter.
  6. Slacking, vacationing or "quiet quitting"?
  7. Kathy Custode, 58, smiles while talking with a few of her regular customers as she waits tables at Kissin' Cuzzins, 951 34th St N, on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022 in St. Petersburg. Custode has worked at the restaurant for 41 years. On left is Dru Brooks, 67, and her husband Danny Brooks, 68.
  8. Columnist Stephanie Hayes holds a ceremonial first pitch ball at the Tampa Bay Rays game on Aug. 20, 2022.
  9. A West Indian manatee coming to the surface and looking for her emoji.
  10. The mansion on Geraci Road has a pool complete with a pirate ship and a captain.
  11. At Kennedy Space Center, guests watch the moon rocket for the Artemis 1 mission roll to the launch pad in March.
  12. It's time for students to board the one-way bus to Misery Town, a.k.a., school.
  13. Travelers wait in a long line for security in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in July.
  14. Times columnist Stephanie Hayes relaxes in the pool that she rented in a Seminole Heights backyard on Friday, July 15, 2022 in Tampa. The pool was listed for rent on Swimply, an Airbnb-style pool rental service that lets individuals and groups rent people's backyard pools by the hour.
  15. The Steinbrenner High School Twitter account. The football players at the school are building character by returning shopping carts.
  16. An abandoned shopping cart takes up a space at Walmart in Tampa.
  17. Celine Dion performs at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Jan. 15, 2020, and she plays in my car.
  18. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun.
  19. Anarkitty performs on Saturday, June 25, 2022 in St. Petersburg.
  20. A cormorant hunts for fish in the water at Rainbow River in Dunnellon.
  21. Amazon’s Alexa might soon replicate the voice of family members - even if they’re dead. The capability, unveiled at Amazon’s Re:Mars conference in Las Vegas Wednesday, June 22, 2022, is in development.

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