Kayla Bashe is a writer/poet/interactive theatre devotee and a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. Their work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Liminality Magazine, and Cricket, among other places.
They wrote "The Glow" in issue 2 of Vulture Bones. Below is an interview about their sweet and prickly story.
There is so much to love in this story! I love the lived-in feeling of the relationships between the characters, the intersection of speculative fiction and disability. I think what resonates with me most about your story is the idea that by finding a community of people who love you that you can recover from trauma. Can you talk a little about where the idea for this story came from?
I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare genetic illness; for most of my life, I was told that my problems were a result of insufficient exercise or too much texting, and a two-year bout of undiagnosed Lyme disease only deepened my mistrust. As a result, I am utterly terrified of doctors, and any interaction short of them laughing in my face leaves me shaking with relief. When I was hospitalized for a week in the fall of 2017, my queer found family was my lifeline. People visited me every day to bring me actual food and tell me how much they loved and believed in me. Their friendship helped me survive. As soon as I was well enough to be on my own laptop again, I started working to put those experiences into art.
There was a great sense of place and world in “The Glow.” Is this story a one-off, or is this a universe you’ve explored in other writing?
At the time I was writing "The Glow," I was fascinated with the short story form, and with connected short stories specifically. Although I wrote another short story featuring some of the same characters, my interest in this method of storytelling found its fullest expression in “Lyric of the Crystal Planet,” a novel in short stories written in the first months of 2018 which draws upon many similar themes. Bug, a neuroatypical abuse survivor who has space Ehlers-Danlos, runs away to the mystical planet of Crystallia, where warrior Lyric teaches them to unlock their psychic powers. Currently, I am shopping this novel/collection around to various agents.
Where can people find more of your work? What’s coming next?
I’ve got a complete-ish list of my publications at my website: kaybashe.wordpress.com
In addition, my novellas have been published by Less than Three Press, where I just had a nonbinary wlw Nutcracker retelling accepted for release in winter 2018.