Monday, July 22, 2013

Recapping the PSWA Conference - and Your Riddle Answers

I'm late getting this, posted, but it's not my fault. I was going to write it last night but my beloved Red Sox were on ESPN. Against those dreaded Yankees. And the game went into extra innings. Well, I couldn't exactly stop watching, could I?

I know - excuses, excuses.

Most of you know I missed a couple posts recently while I was attending the Public Safety Writers Association conference in Las Vegas. If you're not familiar with the PSWA, its members "include police officers, civilian police personnel, firefighters, fire support personnel, emergency personnel, security personnel and others in the public safety field. [And then we have] those who write about public safety including mystery writers, magazine writers, journalists and those who are simply interested in the genre." (quote taken from the PSWA website). 

 I attended my first PSWA conference in 2011. In fact, it was my first writers' conference and it was a perfect choice. Smaller than some conferences (under 70 attendees), it gives a new author the chance to mingle and get to know everyone without being overwhelmed. That was the year I met the "friend" who shares my Facebook profile picture. Yes, those are bullet holes.

This year there were sessions you might find at any writing conference - on setting, building suspense, promotion, etc. - but there were also less common presentations such as: the culture of prostitution, the evolution of the detective, homeland security, and DNA. Since the conference is small, everyone can attend every session, no having to choose being two presentations when you want to see both.

Last year, they also created a crime scene, complete with murder victim, for the attendees to investigate. Unfortunately, no one informed the hotel cleaning staff and it sent a maid screaming for security, so no crime scene this year.

I want to share some pictures from this year's conference but I took them with my brand new smart phone (my dearly loved, ancient flip phone finally died) and I need to figure out how to get them from the phone to the computer, so I'll save them for the next few Mondays, along with some of the great information I gathered.

Here a piece of writing advice to hold you over - Dialogue should be believable, not realistic. There's nothing more boring the realistic dialogue.

And a tragic fact - 30% to 50% of prostitutes are juveniles (under 18) and the average age of a juvenile prostitute is 14.

Now to lighter are the answers to last Wednesday's riddles. Many of you knew one or more and a few of you got them all.

1. In which battle did Napoleon die? - His last one.

(Several people pointed out that Napoleon died in his sleep, not in battle - which is historically correct - but to make the riddle work, I'm calling that his battle with old age. Still his last battle. *grin* )

2. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed? - At the bottom. 

3. How can you lift an elephant with one hand? - You can't. You'll never find a one-handed elephant. 

Thought for the Day:


Mike Keyton said...

Catch a bus :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I got two right.
That's really funny about the maid.
Sounds like a very intimate conference. said...

The conference sounds interesting, with topics like Homeland Security and DNA. I'm glad you had a good time.


Stacy McKitrick said...

I think it's funny you don't know how to get your pictures to your computer. Almost as funny as you trying to shut off your phone during our last WOWA meeting! Sorry, couldn't resist. I will pray my flip phone NEVER dies!

Robin said...

Great conference. Too bad no one told the maid what was going on. That totally ruined your crime scene. Drats.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I love the attitude sign.

That's neat there's a conference just for public safety people.

Stephen Tremp said...

I would have paid good money just to see the maid running and screaming hahaha!

Maria Zannini said...

It troubles me that you didn't say whether your team won.

I wish that conference was closer. It's nothing that would be useful to me on a genre front, but I'd love to hear an insider's version rather than what the media sells.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I would LOVE to go to a conference like that. Even if I never wrote another word, the topics sound absolutely fascinating.

Carol Kilgore said...

Awesome thought for the day!

I missed this last riddle :(

LD Masterson said...

Mike - Oh, Mike, you bad attitude guy, you.

Alex - It is, and very nice because of it.

Robyn - Thanks. It was and I did.

Stacy - Ha ha. I'm getting there.

Robin - Maybe next year they'll try again...and warn the hotel staff this time.

Diane - And it's a neat conference.

Stephen - Me too.

Maria - Oops. The Sox won 8-7 on a walk off homer in the 11th.

Susan F.S. - Maybe some year you can go.

Carol - That's okay. You can try again on Wednesday.

Lexa Cain said...

It's wonderful that you had such a great time. Thanks for the info about believable dialog. Too bad you and the other attendees didn't get to do the murder scene -- that sounds like so much fun! :-)

Julie Flanders said...

Love that attitude sign. And I'm glad you had such a good time at the conference, sounds like a good one.

Sarah Allen said...

Great post! I've only recently become a baseball fan, but I think that means my Nats are gonna be my home team :) And love the inspirational quote!

Sarah Allen
(From Sarah, with Joy)

mshatch said...

Now that sounds like an interesting conference! Can't wait to see pics :)

Heather Musk said...

Yay! I got all the riddles right this week *feeling smug*.

The conference sounds great, just a shame there was no crime scene this year. Looking forward to pictures.

LD Masterson said...

Lexa - well, I could have murdered someone but it seemed like such a bother just for the scene.

Julie - It was, thanks.

Sarah - Well, it the Nats don't win your heart, you are always welcome to join the Red Sox Nation. We're everywhere.

mshatch - Let's hope they're worth waiting for.

Heather - Show off. I'll have to come up with some harder ones this week.

Melody said...

Aww, that poor maid!! (But I've got to admit, that made me laugh!) And that is a very tragic fact; I would not have guessed age 14 to be the average. Though, the more I learn about human trafficking, the more I realize it seems to target very young girls in many/most areas of the world.
Glad you enjoyed the workshop this year!