I very much enjoy reading short stories, and marvel at their power, and their ability to create a comprehensive experience, however brief. I even edited a collection (with Carolyn Shute) that has no theme, other than quality. It’s called Best Shorts. Over the years I have written numbers of them. There are two collections of my stories, Strange Happenings, and What do Fish Have to Do with Anything? Some nine others are in thematic anthologies and I think there’s an unpublished one somewhere in my files. There is even a one-act play in a collection called Acting Out.
My regular mode of thought is novels, so I usually don’t write short stories unless I’m asked to write one. Finding them a real challenge to write, I begin by reading many, so as to reset my narrative grooves. Curiously enough, my short stories are very much more auto-biographical than my novels—or at least they are most often based on something that really happened to me. Consider “Scout’s Honor,” which appears in the anthology, When I Was Your Age. Readers find it very funny, even absurd. Yet, much of it really happened to me, including the incident in which a can of beans is opened with a hatchet. I have no plans to write more, unless I’m asked. But then again . . .