I used to write short stories. I thought writers were supposed to, and some of the great short stories I’d read made me actually cry, laugh out loud, lie alone for hours, sing, miss people, look at a sidewalk as if it had just been invented. I wanted to create something like that. I also liked trying out lots of different ideas and formats — in different periods I tried writing one short story a week then, for a much briefer span, one per day. I learned a lot by making many mistakes and lucking into a few successes, but I don’t think I ever turned myself into a short story writer, at least not the way I wanted to be one.