Ben Cartwright

About Me

Display Name

Ben Cartwright

Twitter Handle



What I Write

Writing Sample

The assignment from the paper pinged in my HUD after I cleared the flesh-proxy pop-ups after the debacle. Naomi had smoked all my sticks the night before, so I just sat on the train, replayed our argument, and how stupid I was, until my stop an hour later. I followed HUD-arrows down the escalator, and then out onto some streets that rim the lake in one of the fortified developments. The smell of brick dust and treated particle board made the hairs in my nostrils curl. My HUD said the place, scaffolding and girders for now, was to be called Elysian Fields. The mixer truck drivers, lined up and waiting, cursed into thin air, earpieces bristling, making them look like satellites.

I saw Tom Cheney and he showed me past the tape, and past the first responders, and I whistled when I saw what had happened, even though my HUD had warned me. The way Tom’s eyes flicked over text in his HUD and back to little scrawls in the notebook in his hand, it looked like he’d already written the lead.

I flicked my eyes and opened a lens app still set at the defaults. I adjusted the aperture and followed my first instinct to straddle the body, hovering over it to get a nice angle. Tom pinged the lead to me and it set some things straight. A girder must have slipped from a crane and the sap whose head it cracked open like a melon wouldn’t even get paid out, since he wasn’t wearing a hardhat.

The wet parts leaking onto the scrub grass in the lot looked like a Rorschach blot, and I resisted the urge to turn the dead guy into something beautiful for the paper. I framed him using a different lens and looked at the pattern once more, then stepped back and took a shot of the guy’s shoes, the impact from the girder having burst them at the laces. That was the one we’d run, because Tom and me, we’re no animals.

What I Write

Speculative fiction of all stripes, in both short, and long forms. Literary fiction and mainstream poetry, too.


My Write-a-thon Goals

Writing Goals

My goal is to finish the first draft of my speculative fiction novel An Amah in Victoria Park by the end of the Write-a-thon. I am 40,000 words into a 100,000 word draft. Each day during the Write-a-thon (June 21 – July 31, 2015) I’ll post my daily word-count here. If I’m able to reach my 60,000 word goal, I’ll share the first three chapters of the novel with all of my supporters.

6/22: 1,960 words (and a LOT of scene planning for the middle)
6/23: 3,507 words (picking up some steam!)
6/24: 3,529 words
6/25: 3,401 words
6/26: 3,394 words (I think only five of them were good words, though).
6/29: 3,364 words
6/30: No new words today, but I DID spend 4.5 hours completely re-mapping the first two-thirds of the book for re-write #1.
7/1: 1,830 words.
7/2: 3,421 words.
7/3: 1, 976 words.
7/6: No words.
7/7: 3,114 words.
7/8: 1,542 words.
7/9: No words. Brooding over a potentially serious problem.
7/10: No words. Still brooding.
7/13: Goodbye, 71,038 word draft! Story problem accurately diagnosed. Starting over at the beginning, and doing it right.

Fundraising Goals

I would love to have at least ten friends and family pledge to support me in my individual writing goal, in order to benefit the Clarion West Writers Workshop. I believe strongly in Clarion West’s commitment to the support of writers of color, and women writers, in the field of speculative fiction.