We recently published Stella Lei’s stellar “Space-Time.”

Here, we ask her two questions about her story:

1) One of the moments that really jumped out for me in this lovely story is when the astronaut (as a girl) tries to lay her father’s hands over her own, ” like fresh cobwebs, like tattered gloves.” There is something so familiar and poignant in this moment — is this something purely from your imagination or is it based on an experience of yours?

While this moment is not drawn from any one memory, I have had experiences sitting with old and sickly relatives, holding their hand, and treasuring the time I have left with them. I built upon that feeling while writing this piece and did my best to convey it through my character’s actions and the way she interacts with the world around her.

2) The description of the astronaut’s environment in the opening is so perfect — are you someone who is interested in space travel? Or are you more of a homebody (with home, of course, being Earth)?

I do find space travel interesting and I am, as many writers are, in love with the moon. That said, I would consider myself more of a homebody and will likely stay on Earth all my life. However, one of my favorite parts of writing is creating an environment for the story to explore. I often turn to Google and YouTube to do so, and the sounds and images in videos are helpful in crafting imagery and further enhancing the setting. For this piece, I looked up how astronauts on the International Space Station spend their days: their schedules, habits, and any fun facts. I came away with a lot of interesting information and built the setting from there.