I spent the majority of the last three days in the Mojave Desert, nestled between Joshua trees and surrounded by what I can only assume was an army of coyotes gathering in the middle of the night. I let myself slip away from technology and into nature for a couple days despite the absurd fact that my campsite on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park had full LTE service. Thanks to magic (or scheduled posts) everything was normal here despite my being elsewhere, physically and mentally.
All this to say I wasn’t exactly thinking about video games, movies, and the like over the past few days. This might have been a slightly different story if I had a certain game system, but it was a nice change of pace.
On nature and camping
Nature is incredible. I already knew this, but Joshua Tree provided a nice reminder. The desert is far from my preferred climate, but spending some time hiking and taking in sites, both natural and man-made, can do wonders for you. It did for me, anyway.
A few thoughts:
• Get a bigger tent than you think you need. Capacity ratings are severely exaggerated.
• You can cook just about anything over a fire. Pictured: my wife making toast and me roasting a saltine because I could. Just about anything cooked this way will be great.
• There’s a lot of wildlife out there, including this guy who doesn’t give a damn about you.
On writing on the go
• iPads can be effective writing devices, even without using the bluetooth keyboard you packed. They’re not great, but they can get the job done if they have to. I wrote just under five pages of a screenplay with an on-screen keyboard and my thumbs, and it was not awful.
• Final Draft for iOS has improved quite a bit since the last time I had to use it, at least when it comes to importing scripts from Dropbox. It doesn’t make up for its computer version’s bloated nature and overpriced updates, but it’s a sunken cost for me at this point. (I’d like to point out I haven’t given Final Draft any money in years and don’t feel the need to, so at least there’s that.)
• Southern California is crowded. Yes, even in its National Parks. You’ll have to get far, far away from the city if you want some true alone time.
• It was nice to get away for a couple days, but it’s nice to be back in LA—even if it still doesn’t and probably never will feel like home. It’s where my stuff is, though, so I’ll be back to movies and video games (and maybe a little TV) in no time. It feels good to get back to writing on a laptop, too.