Paige Hawthorne: Blog

I was voted Author of the Year!

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Eh? Say what? Now wait just a mo …

A recount? Whiskey! Tango! Foxtrot!

No … take a deep breath. Another. Now is the apposite time to exhibit the grace and gravitas for which I am so justifiably celebrated.

True, the Big Clit did middle-finger me. True, lesser authors shimmied off the stage with golden statuettes clasped in damp, undeserving palms.

Well, fine. Congrats to you boys. You … you … boys.

(While my suspicions have not yet risen to courtroom levels, the whispers that my box was stealthily emptied are rife. That's Ballot Box, you gomers!

NB: I do not expect the winning writers to summon the moral energy to right this flagrant wrong. Nor would I accept any belated awards, no matter how amply deserved …)

Of course none of this - my getting trounced, those … boys … winning everything - really concerns me since I pay absolutely no attention to reader scores.



Yo, bitches …

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The four sweetest words in the English language: "I told you so."

One of my bleary-eyed readers shuffled out of an opium den long enough to congratulate me on my prescience. Specifically, the predictive wisdom found in some of my little Winter Jennings stories.

Example from "Winter's Vengeance":

Sistine said, "But ... Macklin ... it's similar to how he markets opioids. He is so aggressive with his family donations. And the whispers have started. The opioid epidemic is getting so much ink that people are starting to look more closely at the source. Sources. In fact, some galleries and museums are trying to find a way to back out. To take the Macklin name off buildings, wings, rooms."

> A "Washington Post" article from earlier this month:

"Parents whose children fatally overdosed on opioids are demanding Harvard University remove the name of a family whose company makes the powerful painkiller OxyContin from a building that housed one of its art museums."


This reader, probably tumescent in investigative excitement, went on to list other examples. Here's one more …

In "Winter's Game":

"There's a new kind of DA in some places. Philadelphia, San Francisco. Several other cities. Gonzales down in City Hall."


"Exactly. We've had decades of 'law and order' candidates armwrestling each other to be the toughest sheriff in town. More charges, more prosecutions, longer sentences."


"Yeah. And now some of the career politicians are starting to edge away from their absolutist 'tough on crime' stances. City council members, a few mayors, some state legislators."

> To counter unprecedented incarceration rates and the lengths of sentences …

Last December, in a rare bipartisan move, the US Congress passed the First Step Act - sentencing and prison-condition reforms.


Now, will my fortune-telling talents translate to Big Clit votes? Hardly. The haters will … hate.

Resolutely not paying the slightest attention to reader scores,


One of my three remaining readers …

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A distant relative - okay, my son - is fretting as the Big Clit voting is creaking to an end. His anxiety isn't that I'm mired in last place for Author of the Year. Nor is it that "Winter's Game" has garnered approximately zero enthusiasm in each of several Story categories. (Not that I pay the slightest attention to reader scores.)

The lad is, understandably, concerned that the family mortification from the final Clit tallies will sully his own otherwise sterling street creds.

(On a personal level, it makes no difference whether your vote - for me and mine - is cast as a 1st or a First.)

Ending with a Latin flourish - intégrité uber alles,


Glowering, Fists On Hips …

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I was heartened to see that SOL's own Investigative Committee on Fairness to Writers (ICFW) is looking into the entire "Frontiers" imbroglio.

Background … my latest story - a Western - was recently Reviewed on this site.

And, as several haters gleefully pointed out, "Frontiers" earned only 18 out of a possible 30 points:

> Plot: 9
> Reviewer Appeal: 9
> Technical Quality: N/A

I assume N/A means North America. Which means "Frontiers" wasn't eligible to earn points in Europe, Africa … um, Patagonia, and other countries.

While my three remaining readers were outraged, understandably so, at this very public slight, I myself pay absolutely no attention to reader scores.

Above it all,


A modest proposal ...

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For some reason my little story, "Frontiers", has generated more interest than any of the earlier ones. Almost 30,000 more downloads than the previous leader. More Library clicks, more Comments, more letters. More, so far as we can tell, Followers have been generated.

But one category - Votes - is lagging (by a few ballots) behind my very first story, "Winter's Wonderland".

So, be a dear, cast a vote for "Frontiers". Because I have absolutely no interest in reader scores, I don't care whether you decide on a 9 or a 10. Let your guilty, soulless, conscience dictate which lever to pull.

Only two more chapters to go,