Angela Flournoy Recommends...

“The logistical aspects of writing—figuring out how a character gets from point A to point B, or how two plotlines intersect—can spur anxiousness in me that leads to hours of avoidance. When I get to sections like these, I try to cook or bake something. I was not a frequent cook before beginning my novel The Turner House, a book with multiple storylines and over a dozen characters, but cooking has now become integral to me staying sane while working out the nuts and bolts of a narrative. When I’m deep into a writing problem with no easy solution, making a meal is a way for me to guarantee that I complete at least one task from start to finish each day. The improvisation that comes with making a sauce or substituting ingredients ensures that I’m still using the creative parts of my brain. On the other hand, I enjoy baking because of its precision: I plug in the right ingredients, set the oven to the right temperature, and magic happens (usually) without fail. I can knead dough and think about my characters, whip eggs and work out point of view shifts. Eating is also a happy bonus.”
—Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015)