Prior to setting up my RSS Feed, I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. I did, however, have the preconceived notion that it was outdated and not “cool” at all. I was so wrong.

I set up my Feedly account, was impressed with the usability and excited about the many possibilities, and soon downloaded the app on my phone. I love being able to customize which types of news stories I see instead of going to a news website (I usually frequent CNN and BBC) and searching for the topics I’m interested in and/or scanning all of the articles. Feedly also allows you to create boards to organize the content you want to save. Overall, Feedly makes finding the news you care about much more convenient.

My previous post, featuring the link to the T.S. Eliot letter, was found on Feedly by subscribing to the blog Brain Pickings, which features awesome articles on literature, art, and music.

P.S. My Feedly app keeps reminding me to “Never stop learning!” That’s a site I want to support.



After reading about Creative Commons licensing on their website, I have gathered that CC helps those who originate creative work, as well as efficiently helps others who wish to use someone else’s work for their own (read: regulated) purposes. One of their goals is to help individuals share knowledge legally with others. I think that’s really cool. CC also emphasizes that the type of license you use is completely up to you — AKA, you can decide how your work can be used by others. That’s pretty cool, too. I appreciate how convenient CC makes it for people to share their creative work with others and show others how awesome someone else’s work is.

As for Intellectual Property and the laws concerning it, I refreshed my knowledge on Cornell’s site, which said:

“The law of intellectual property is commonly understood as providing an incentive to authors and inventors to produce works for the benefit of the public by regulating the public’s use of such works in order to ensure that authors and inventors are compensated for their efforts.”

These regulations include copyright and patents. So, IP laws protect creators while also allowing their work to be used by the public. Not so different from CC, eh?

Gardens of Versailles


Versailles, France

Above is my photo from the gardens at the Palace of Versailles, France. I visited here in 2013. I think it’s a great example of a completely manicured and polished place that still retains its beauty — although the rugged mountains of Montana might make it into one of my next posts. These are the places — both polished and otherwise — I think of on these cold and snowy Bemidji days.

Where is one of the most beautiful places you’ve traveled?

Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.” – Robert H. Schuller

So… What Is It?

Recently, one of my friends spoke the old adage, “What is life?” in conversation. For what seemed like the first time, I began to seriously ponder this question instead of dismissing it like I usually do.

Context: I’m not sure quite sure how this saying came to fruition, but I do know this: it has become a response to anything mildly confusing, perplexing, or odd in our (read: my friend group — although this phenomenon could be global) daily conversations.

Example A

Friend 1: “This assignment is so confusing. What does he expect me to do, reinvent the wheel?”

Friend 2: “I don’t know, man. What is life?”

Example B

Friend 1: “They gave me a large coffee at Dunn Bros even though I ordered a medium!”

Friend 2: “That’s awesome! What is life?”

If you felt confused while reading those examples, that’s to be expected. The question in context does not make sense. So, why do we say it? Perhaps to instill a sense of camaraderie — perhaps the first soul to utter it was just trying to make their friends laugh. I’m not sure. The question in itself, however, was what struck me.

So… what is life? What is life about? Why are we here? (If you’re seeing an existential crises theme in my posts thus far, you would be correct.)

Life means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. It can invoke feelings of peace, discontent, joy, stress, or the urge to go political. It makes people feel defensive and harmonious. Apathetic and motivated. Poetic and cynical.

To me, life is about finding a purpose and using that purpose to drive your decisions, actions, and thoughts.

This is difficult to do — it’s much, much easier to simply type in my blog.

Purpose also means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I believe that this purpose can and will change, especially when we encounter obstacles or shifts within ourselves.

I think I’m still trying to figure out what my purpose is. Maybe, after that, I’ll know a little something about what life is. Or maybe not.

What about you? What is life, to you?

Blogging, Day 1: Am I Doing This Right?

In short, it’s been fun.


The longer version:

Part of my work was complete before I even began. I realized at the end of our first class session that I already had a WordPress blog created from my Media Ethics & Law class last semester. With some further personalization (to detail: this took about an hour), I felt satisfied with my weblog.

Although I found some of the small customizable details difficult to wade through — hello, bootcamp — I enjoyed learning through the process.

My favorite part was writing my introductory post. These sorts of things always challenge me to think deeply about who I am and where I’ve been. Not quite to the point of existential crisis, but just close enough to really get you thinking, you know? This task tacked on another hour or two to my evening of blogging exploration, but I felt that my first post provided a just-revealing-enough glimpse of who I am. I also learned a bit about myself while writing it. Who knew?

What about you, followers? Did your introductory post bring you to the brink of existential crisis, or was that just me?

Next time, you might have the privilege of reading some of my thoughts on an interesting article. Or something like that.

Nice to Meet You, Too

Hello, mighty blogosphere. I’m Dani, and yes, I have some distinctive traits — but don’t we all?


It’s good to be here. How are you? Good? I’m good too. Thanks for asking.

I am from the small town of Hawley, Minnesota. I’ll be impressed if you know where it’s located. If you don’t, all you need to know is that it lies between Moorhead, MN and Detroit Lakes, MN on Highway 10, and that approximately 2,500 people live in it. In Hawley, I spent 18 formative years between covers of novels, sunbathing, burning bare feet on hot pavement, fighting with and loving my younger sister in equal measure, making questionable decisions (as one does), and participating in extra-curriculars that made me who I am today.* Refer to the footnote if you are genuinely curious (or want fodder for well-placed jokes at my expense — both are equally accepted).

I chose Bemidji State because I received some nice scholarships and wanted to go somewhere 75% of my graduating class did not attend. This ruled out any post-secondary institution within 30 miles of my hometown. So, BSU it was.

I’ve been an enthusiastic reader and lover of words since high school, so I knew an English degree, in some capacity, was the path for me. I eventually added another degree in Creative & Professional Writing and a minor in Leadership Studies. I enjoy learning and challenging myself intellectually (I’m sure you’ll begin to notice that this semester). BSU far exceeded my expectations (and still does) on this matter. In fact, I love learning so much that I’ve decided to pursue my MA in Writing & Publishing at an unknown institution sometime in the future. Don’t worry — you’ll be the first to know.

I have a few other loves, including writing** (obviously), traveling (favorite place so far: Switzerland — see my photo above), singing, discovering new music, The Office, trying my best at making my friends laugh and failing about 50% of the time, Fleetwood Mac, making questionable decisions (yes, still — I’m just fine, Mom), and recommending my favorite book of the moment*** to anyone who will lend an ear for less than 10 seconds.

While in Bemidji/at BSU, I’ve been involved with the Bemidji Choir, the Phoenix, the Northern Student, Great River Rescue, and the Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area. Please feel free to ask me about any of these topics — I love them and will probably tell you a little more than you want to hear. Proceed with caution.

Did you have fun reading this post? Great — me too.

See you next time, blogosphere.


*Fun (read: predictably and joyously nerdy) stuff like Concert Choir, spring musicals, Speech and Knowledge Bowl teams, Student Council, and the National Honor Society.

**I write a lot of poetry. I’ve written nonfiction and fiction as well, but poetry is my favorite — for better or worse.

***As of now, it’s Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. You’re welcome.


Personal Code of Ethics

  1. I will support the artistic, academic, and/or business goals of those I work with. I will treat each client’s creative works as private and confidential, and protect the integrity of information or documents entrusted to me for writing or editing.
  2. I will maintain, improve, and update my knowledge and skills through reading, classes, and networking with others.
  3. I will remain truthful and respectful in assisting others with getting their own truth(s) — however this may look for each client — edited and published.
  4. I will be responsible with the creative works of others and understand that these materials are sensitive and of great importance to their creator.
  5. I will continually challenge myself to acquire knowledge within my field and be a valuable and trusted source for my clients to approach with questions or concerns about the future of their creative works.
  6. I will always support the creative spark of my clients, and everyone I come into contact with, for I believe this to be one of the most important components of my field and my life.