It came from Beston Barnett

Beston Barnett’s story “Velaya, the Dreaming City” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 16 March 2018. “Velaya” was very much inspired by Lord Dunsany, who was a writer of quirky little fantasies in the pre-Tolkien era. I had been fooling around with different voices and styles in my writing, and thought Dunsany’s high, Biblical language would be interesting to mimic. Of course, what you set out to do is never quite what you do do,…

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Velaya, the Dreaming City – Beston Barnett

Six parts after Dunsany Part 1 I set out for Velaya as a young man, having only just pledged to wed. I was to marry Belqis, flower of our village and light of my eyes, in whose father’s orchards I had played since my childhood. Our marriage should have been enough for a lifetime of happiness. But I believed then—as so many young fools do—that dreams were the currency of happiness, and I carried with…

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A question for Beston Barnett

Q: Are titles easy or hard for you? Do you start with the title or the story?

A: Titles are the best! Really, coming up with titles is like coming up with band names: it’s pure id. I usually do it after the fact, with an eye to seeing the title in a list of other titles. Something to stand out, but without, I hope, being too obnoxious.

Chapter titles are even better. When I was revising my (unpublished) novel, A Catalog of Devils, I suddenly realized that I could give the 40 or so chapters titles. I went through each chapter, looking for my favorite phrase or word and used that. It was like bringing all the best, trickiest bits of my writing to the forefront. It sounds absurd, but out of the year and a half I spent on the novel, that two hours of titling chapters was the emotional highpoint.


Beston Barnett’s story “Velaya, the Dreaming City” was
published on Friday, 16 March 2018.

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About Beston Barnett

During the day, Beston Barnett designs and builds furniture in San Diego. At night, he plays Romani jazz. The rest of the time he is reading a book, or eating with chopsticks, or—in the best of all possible worlds—doing both at once.


Beston Barnett’s story “Velaya, the Dreaming City” was
published on Friday, 16 March 2018.

Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.