Q(uar) & A is a series of interviews with some of our favorite storytellers and creators about how they’re living while in lockdown.
Megan Reid works in books and television. Her writing has been featured on Elle.com, Bustle, Boston magazine, Refinery29, BuzzFeed, LitHub, and FastCompany. She’s the author of $9 THERAPY: Semi Capitalist Solutions for Your Everyday Problems and ALTHEA GIBSON: The Story of Tennis’ Fleet-of-Foot Girl (both published in 2020) as well as two other forthcoming books for kids. She lives with her (tiny, very silly) dog, Luna, and a collection of wilted houseplants.
Where are you currently sheltering in place?
Prospect Heights, as of two weeks ago. I underwent a quarantine move from Bed-Stuy, which has been great in giving me something productive to stress about other than various failures of justice and the state of public health.
What does your face mask look like?
I was just using bandannas until my sister made me a couple. One is blue batik with a very soft flannel-y interior, and the other is gray and made out of my old tablecloth. Another friend just gave me one with popcorn and Netflix on it, which I have to remember to not wear in front of any colleagues.
Do you follow any kind of routine at this moment?
Most mornings, I’m up around 6AM to feed and walk my dog, Luna. Now that we’re so close to the park, we usually spend about an hour doing off-leash time, exploring trails and romping in the fields. We’ll do a little bit of the hang-around-and-chat dog park thing if there are little dogs for her to play with, but mostly we’re on the move being active ladies.
After that, I read or waste time on the internet before taking a shower and heading back to bed. I’ve been napping from about 9AM to 11AM most mornings, and it’s heaven. My office is on the west coast, so no meetings start till 1PM my time. I have space to get dressed, make calls, catch up on emails, review whatever I read the night before, read a script, have lunch, etc., before I’m on Zoom. I try to finish up meetings by 7ish. And then, I love a socially distant happy hour. I’m claiming the Brooklyn Museum steps as my new stoop.
What are some pieces of entertainment that you have consumed and loved during this time?
I loved RUN. I think I’m kind of alone in that; I only know one other person who even finished it, and that’s my high school best friend. But I thought the way it played with genre was so interesting, and grounded romantic thrillers are so much fun. The last things I read outside of work were Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s 100 Bullets, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, Sea Swept by Nora Roberts, and Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron.
I’ve been listening to the Hamilton and Rent soundtracks a lot because they feel weirdly timely, and also a bit like comfort food to my high school theatre nerd soul.
I’m listening to a lot of nonfiction on my morning walks: Plagued by Fire, about the life of Frank Lloyd Wright, by Paul Hendrickson, The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, MBS by Ben Hubbard.
Are you working on anything during this time? And if you’re having trouble “creating” things at the moment, how are you dealing, if at all?
I’m really grateful for work at the moment, not just because I still have a job, but also because cutting out all of the things that usually stress me out about an office job (the commute, running late for meetings, bad coffee, often not getting home till after 9) have been eliminated. I’ve been trying to finish two picture books I started before Covid, and though I’ve done some edits, I’m having a hard time focusing. I wrote an essay for Bustle the other week, and I think finishing something in a form I don’t usually write in may have helped to remind me that writing doesn’t have to be terrifying.
Have you taken up any new hobbies?
Kind of? I do like one project and then move on to the next, so I’m not really building “skills” per se. But I embroidered a thing, and crocheted a thing, and baked bread like everyone else… did some dance classes, including a ballet workshop that almost killed me. And moved my entire life to a new apartment!!
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten so far during quar?
A DIY tteokbokki kit from Mokbar.
What’s your current iPhone wallpaper and what’s the story behind it?
I changed it last week because it makes me laugh every time I see it: it’s the celebrity Capricorn wallpaper from @bitch.rising. I’m still not fully a TikTok convert but I’ve been relaxing with a lot of astrology Insta-meme wormholes.
What’s the best quar purchase you’ve made so far?
Noise cancelling headphones. Also conditioner, curl styling cream, and this baseball cap, because my buzzcut is growing out and I actually have to do things to my hair again. A subscription for Revel scooters. And I finally used a gift card on this perfect dress which makes me look like I should be haunting a moor somewhere.
Who are the writers, storytellers, or makers who are bringing you great joy right now?
Follow Megan on Instagram at @meg_er.