This past weekend I attended the Lexicon Writers’ Conference in Denton, Texas. Along with rubbing elbows with like-minded people, generally writers attend such events to pitch their work to agents and publishers. It’s a great opportunity for those of us trying to get published.

I attended as a scout for our local conference. Since I’m the current director of Northeast Texas Writers’ Organization Spring Round-up, ( I’m always on the lookout for speakers and I gotta tell you, I heard some good ones.

First up was Dr. David Ciambrone speaking on poisons. I’m currently plotting my next book and it opens with the discovery of a dead body, so I’ve got to decide how to kill that sucker. I felt Dr. Dave’s presentation could help me. I purchased his Poisons Handbook for Writers and in it, he has it broken down into poisons that kill in up to one minute, 5-10 minutes, 15-60 minutes, and so on. He has a chapter on what type of household poisons you can use to kill someone off and the symptoms they’ll produce. (

Mr. Earl Staggs, presented Every Novelist Should Write Short Stories. It was informative and humorous. Since I love humor, his presentation was right up my alley. (

I worked in two speakers concerning marketing. Sandy Lawrence, owner of Perceptive Marketing, and Julie F. hall, founder of Custom Websites to Go. Man, when I was done with their programs, my head was spinning! Marketing and social media can be a full time job and that wouldn’t leave any time to write!! ( (

Mike Farris, agent with Farris Literary Agency, used film clips from such great movies as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, to demonstrate great story telling. How can you go wrong seeing Paul Newman and Robert Redford in their prime . . . you can’t!! Dang! Those blue eyes still get me. (

I ended my day with author, Jack London and Researching for Historical Novels. As with all the others, he was excellent. He pointed out some big author faux pas, like mentioning a diesel engine, or writing about penicillin, before either was invented, stressing to keep in mind, someone reading historical work, will always know more than the author and they’ll catch those mistakes. He also gave great tips on where to go to research a story, such as courthouse records. (

Kudos to Mitch Haynes for the excellent job he did with this first-time conference. He should pat himself on the back, because it’s no easy task putting such an event together and have it run so smoothly. My only regret was I didn’t get to hear every speaker.

I urge you to check out all the websites and buy their books and if you get a chance to hear them speak, do so!

Now, I gotta go mix up a poison cocktail, cuz I got Ray Roy Hobbs laying nekked in a field and I gotta decide how I killed that sucker!!

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