I’ve been re-reading Gaitskill’s story, “The Little Boy” and using it as a structural model for a story I’m working on. I like the way she blends the front story with the backstory, using both scenic flashbacks and more willowy type memories. I think (hope) that using a story model to build from is considered kosher. The weird part has been how it freed up the writing for me. I had this idea for a story but couldn’t figure out how to squeeze it into an actual form. I had read Gaitskill’s story a month or so ago on a plane ride and thought it would be a good one to look at later, but didn’t really consider it with my subject matter until recently. We’ll see how it ends up, but it’s been a fun start. Also started reading Audrey Niffenegger’s “Her Fearful Symmetry” for a book club I’m in. Not a huge fan of it so far. The book feels very plot-driven to me, with lots of things happening just because they need to. There is an OCD character though that’s pretty interesting, but I think her POV shifts are awkward and arbitrary. Some good descriptive scenes and lots of movement, but whenever a writer uses a scene set in Starbucks, with a latte as a prop, I feel a bit cheated.