Today: Brenda Piekarski, the director of AdventureMN Films. Among Piekarski's recent work is a documentary about Jay Gustafson, aka Waterway Jay, who began paddling all 34 Minnesota's state water trails in 2017. His two-year Paddle for Progress dovetailed with Gov. Mark Dayton's "25 by 25" initiative to improve the state's water quality by 25 percent by 2025.


"Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Getting Things Done," by David Allen: Simply reading the list of 52 principles at the beginning of the book was inspirational and useful. I even printed them out and taped them on my wall! I love to learn new ways of approaching life, projects and relationships, and I find that no matter where I am in life, daily doses of inspiration help keep the creativity and motivation alive. I wish I took more time to read. I tend to gravitate toward self-help or business books, online news and blogs about specific things I'm interested in. For blogs, it's very specific. If I'm interested in a certain piece of gear, a trail or a place, I'll Google blogs on that topic.


I'm mostly active on Instagram, and I follow personal contacts with my personal account and people and businesses related to the outdoor industry (especially in Minnesota) with my Adventure MN Films account. I enjoy following brands I like, people who are doing interesting projects (such as Dave and Amy Freeman) and outdoor/nature photographers (such as Christian Dalbec).


Right now it's mostly how-to videos on YouTube for learning tips and tricks for filmmaking, whether that's learning new software, how to fly a drone, or watching reviews on new cameras. Two that I've been watching are Tony and Chelsea Northrup and Green Light Life. I think they do a great job with their vlogs that are both very informative and enjoyable to watch.


Spotify, all the way. I love podcasts, too. In fact, after Instagram, podcasts are my favorite choice of media and usually what I go to over reading or video. "NPR Up First"; "NPR News Now"; "Intrepid Entrepreneur"; "Freaknomics"; "Radiolab"; "Almost Mainstream" (old); "Fresh Air" and "TED Radio Hour."


I'm focused on video (obviously!) and want to do more photography. I will be focusing on local outdoor/nature video and photography YouTube videos for the next few months. I'd like to profile a few state parks, outdoor events and athletes. These videos will be much shorter and more promotional/news in nature than film/narrative. The Sandstone Ice Fest is on my list, as well as following Kendra Stritch to World Cup finals in Denver for ice climbing, and profiling the outdoor scene in Winona.