Mom and Dad Banicki send me to Joshua Tree for Inspiration!
8 mins read

Mom and Dad Banicki send me to Joshua Tree for Inspiration!

The thing is I always assume my parents don’t understand the problems I face in my thirties and it’s usually easier to disregard their advice anyway. Some things don’t really change, right?  Sure, the ‘rents are experienced and knowledgeable and have my best interest at heart, but they had children and a house and a normal life when they were my age.  Wow.

Beautiful Desert View
But I gotta say, they really hit home with this one.  Sending me to Joshua Tree to get back my writing hand was genius – with a big fat “genie in a bottle” genius.  Good birthday gift guys!
Today, Day 3 at 3pm and 100 degrees, I hit Joshua Tree National Park at the 49 Palms desert hike for a break from the air conditioned room and laptop and writing.

Holding my dead blackberry and half a bottle of water halfway through that hike, the stroke of Joshua’s Genies smacked me from behind. I was mid-muse over the little cactus balls popping up in between desert shrubs and rocks surrounding the trail.  The burnt orange disco balls – orangish red like the jacket in your grandma’s closet where mom left it after her hippy days of the 70s –  emerged sporadicly between gray stones and dull brownish shrubbery. I imagined them glowing at night and rising to the air as a 70s hippy fest ensued at the 49 Palms desert.  It even sounds like a club right?  I wanted to take a picture so badly, but ah no blackberry to capture it, so I had to figure out how to keep those balls in my memory.  Then around a corner in the light I saw one closer and it was actually pinkish, like raspberry koolaid when I was 7 and went to the neighbor’s house where we were allowed to have sugar drinks – do you think that’s why I’m the cookie monster now?
P.S.  No, I did not use drugs in Joshua Tree.  Someone told me to bring mushrooms and I said, “Uh, I’m going alone… to write.”  Do people do that?

Went back to capture these
So, anyway, with my Blackberry battery all but juiced out, I was drowning in a photographer’s wet dream – rocks larger than life, and each climb around and over, like scenery out of Ferngully. I realized not only would I have no pictures to show from this gorgeous place, but I also couldn’t take notes  if I wanted to write about it, AND I could DIE without anyone knowing where I was!
I could fall and slip – more possible than you think.  Klutz.
I could become dehydrated and not make it back to water and pass out.

I could get lost and in the dark  trying to find my way back get eaten by a rock climbing lion or coyote.
My imagination keeps going. There was the rock that looked like it was out of 127 hours and I found myself noticing all these comparisons to James Franco.  I had on my headphones.  I had started to call mom but then saw my blackberry was dying and used the juice for a photo.  I could continue but I’ll spare you.
Point is,  Joshua Tree is perfect for a writer’s getaway or a get skinny/in shape cleanse. Here’s why and how:
  1. My hotel is quaint, simple, and in the middle of nowhere. If you write like me, you need less distraction and more nature.  And you need to feel at home, but with the refreshing feeling of somewhere new.  This did the trick.
  2. If you want to be skinny, there’s no room service, no minibar, and therefore no temptation.  To be fair, I have no self control and every time I went to the 7 11 in town, I’d get lots of water and some chex mix and forget I was supposed to be getting real food.  And at  night I ordered chinese food delivery – it was gross and no fortune cookies. How can you have Chinese food w/o a fortune cookie?!  Yuck. But amazing for the diet.
  3. A hike like mine above is strenuous, so it gets you out of your head…and when doing our best writing we have to let the mind wander and allow the creative genie smack it in.
  4. That brings up another point.  2.5 hours away.  Quick trip for a vaca!  On the drive make a good mix and think about the writing. Or don’t think and let your subconcious start the process.
  5. Skinny girls – you get a strenous hike in the heat. My muscles shook by the end and I got a tan, which always makes us look skinnier. (And all that matters is having everyone in LA think you went to the bahamas)  Moment of truth: Yes, I rolled up my shirt to get tummy tan.  And when I passed the old couple I didn’t have to pull it down – they had their wrinkles and I had my tummy pouch, it’s all the same.
  6. Paul, the masseuse. I have to give myself presents for writing well and on Day 2, I got a massage.  He has a techinique I’ve never heard of, but I felt my muscles relaxing even an hour after.  Oh, and I couldn’t eat afterwards either (skinny girl here I come!) and I to top it off, I slept like a baby.
  7. Sammy the dog!  I can’t bring BettyWhite because if I write too long she gets jealous of the laptop and wants attention.  Or, she wants to help and tries to sit on me so she can pretend to read and type along with me.  It all sounds cute, but that’s precisely the problem –  4 hours later I’ve gotten up 17 times to get her treats, throw toys and walk her.  Here, little Sammy comes to see me every day and gives me doggie time until I decide enough.  Then she moves on to another guest.
  8. Almost forgot 2 other things I love and left aside for my genie in Joshua tree. BlackBerry and Wine.  Forgot my charger so I have to turn on my car when I want to charge my blackberry(and it doesn’t go long). And, no blackberry helps me be observant like a writer…?  The wine I actually went and bought but havent had the urge to open it.

Skinny girls that’s right – No booze – you lose (lbs that is).

Writers, listen up – no BlackBerry, you could be the next Aziz Ansari. Just pronounce ansari like rhymes with marry. Hint hint Aziz.)

Mom and dad hiking cinque terre, italy – this was 3 years ago when I influenced their trip:)
I may never leave..or just plan to come back every two months for inspiration. Mom and Dad are already in for the next one.  Email me if you want in on the next writer-genie retreat (that’s what I’m calling it- Mom..Dad can we pretend my middle name is Genie rather than Jean.  I like the whole Genie in a bottle thing and you know I’ve never liked Jean….) – Angie Genie Banicki just for today.

My JT music list for writing and hiking – one in the same:

Good Feeling 4:07 Flo RidaGood Feeling – SingleHip Hop/Rap
Go Do 4:40 Jónsi GoAlternative
Finally Moving 4:38 Pretty LightsTaking Up Your Precious TimeElectronic
Postcards From Italy 4:17 BeirutGulag Orkestar Alternative
Big Jet Plane (Radio Edit) 3:43 Angus & Julia Stone
Everything You Want 4:17 Vertical HorizonEverything You Want Pop
Truth 4:21Alexander Alexander Alternative
Africa 4:57Toto The Essential TotoRock
What You Know 3:10 Two Door Cinema Club Tourist History
Something Good Can Work 2:43 Two Door Cinema Club Tourist History
The Stranger 5:39 Lord Huron Mighty – EP Singer/Songwriter
New Beat 4:05Toro y Moi Underneath the PineAlternative
Atlas Hands 2:53 Benjamin Francis LeftwichLast Smoke Before the Snowstorm
Destination Address:
oughley Manor: 74744 Joe Davis Drive    Twentynine Palms, California    92277
Joshua Tree National Park:  Joshua Tree, CA 92277


One thought on “Mom and Dad Banicki send me to Joshua Tree for Inspiration!

Leave a Reply