Step up your go-to indie writing fix with Meaghan O’Connell

Meaghan O’Connell is a writer and her words are all kinds of wonderful. You see, there are approximately 10 people in every generation who know a thing or two about a thing or two. Meaghan O’Connell knows how to write. She knows how to paint a picture with her words and provoke a sense of “holy shit, I can totally relate to that” in her storytelling. Sure, I can tell you she lives in Brooklyn and works at Tumblr (well, Kickstarter starting next week) but the real magic happens here. Her observational style is sharp, witty, fresh, foul-mouthed and more raw than Eddie Murphy’s absurd leather suit. There is no joke when I say Meaghan O’Connell is to our generation of writing what Bob Dylan was to music or Richard Linklater’s “Slacker” was to my 20’s. Yes, it’s that good. And if you don’t get it, you probably don’t get the awesomeness of this or the humor in this. I asked Meaghan to tell us 2 things she’s totally stoked on right now and why. Here goes:

“Lately I’ve spent a lot of time hiding out in my apartment looking for ways to stay happy and in denial of all the things I wanted to write this year but didn’t. Staying warm without opening a Word document! This is a talent, and I have honed it. HERE IS HOW:

#1 Smitten Kitchen. I always swore I would never cook. Like, actually swore to my grandmother I wouldn’t and she told me I would make a bad wife. It was just not my Thing. I think I saw cooking as some sort of emblem of practicality and timewasting that was not for a strong-willed lady of letters like myself. Then this fall, something switched. I lost my strong will. Just kidding. Maybe I wanted to save money but still hang out with my friends, maybe I just got sick of running down the block in thirty degree weather to get ten dollar tacos, maybe I grew up a little and realized that paying seven dollars for a microwaved Amy’s burrito every night is just Sad–all I know is something has come over me and all I want to do is roast vegetables and bake pies.

And basically for all of this I blame, or credit Smitten Kitchen. Smitten Kitchen is a cooking blog run by a woman named Deb who lives in New York and who I am pretty convinced will be my new best friend any day now. I don’t know “the food internet.” Food and cats, two major Internets I always avoided. The other night I looked at a few other cooking blogs a friend sent me and all I could think was POOR MAN’S SMITTEN KITCHEN. She’s candid, hilarious, and totally honest about either how good a recipe is or what a pain in the ass it is to make. Lady has spunk, and I admire it. Also, all of her recipes are FUN and REALLY DAMN GOOD. Like, you invite a friend over and they will be like, “Holy SHIT, who are you?” And I’ll be like, “Dude, I dunno.” Also, cooking is a great way to feel productive without yelling at the Internet or hating people. ALSO it warms up your apartment. And your HEART.

#2 Twin Peaks. Until a few weeks ago, I had either never seen this show or saw it when it was on network television in 1991, in which case, Mom, why did you let me watch that when I was seven years old? My friend and co-editor/bookwife, Melissa, is obsessed with Twin Peaks in a very real way. As in she has a framed picture of Tibet, a rug like the carpet in the Red Room, just bought a donut maker, is Laura Palmer. The last time we found ourselves sitting in her living room mailing hundreds of books around the world, she finally forced me to watch the pilot and MUCH TO MY CHAGRIN, I was instantly hooked. This show! I haven’t finished watching it yet so do not ruin the ending for me (I have somehow gone 20 years without knowing who killed Laura Palmer), but it’s all online and now I usually spend all my time after midnight with my laptop on my lap (Twin Peaks ALSO comes with warmth as fringe benefit!), yelling at my computer screen in disbelief that this show was ever made, that it was ever on television, much less 90s television, utterly flabbergasted that it is 2010 and Kyle MacLachlan is somehow still not my husband.

Check out previous Do-Tell features here.