Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Free non-Disney ebooks (for Kindle and Kindle App users)

Just in case anyone is looking in here...

Two of my ebooks are currently free today until Sunday (12/10/14 to 12/14/14) under the Kindle Select promotion:

First is SOLE OCCUPANT, a 2400 word short story that also contains the bonus 700 word short THE ONLY SOLUTION.  Next is my 7800 word vampire/detective short story, DEAD OR ALIVE, which is the first story in a three-short-story series. 

QUANTUM ZOO, the anthology that features my story PLAYING MAN, is also free until Friday, 12/12/14.

Here's the links: 

SOLE OCCUPANT

DEAD OR ALIVE

And for QUANTUM ZOO

Feel free to download them and give them a read, and hopefully give them a review as well!  Thanks!




*****

Friday, November 21, 2014

DOING DISNEY ebook!

Think I'll just put this one up here. 

This is the book I wrote about our family's travels to Walt Disney World in Florida.

It's not supposed to be a comprehensive, tell-all travel guide.  I describe it as a template for a week (give or take a couple days) long visit to that Florida resort.  It discusses the resorts we like the most, the restaurants we like the most, the way we structure our days in the parks, how and why we rent a car, why we recommend Disney's Magical Express for getting to one's on-property hotel, a little bit (actually a very little bit) about the surrounding area, and how and why we decide which options to put on our theme park tickets.  I talk about our experience with Disney Vacation Club, the Disney Dining Plans, and a little about the California resort.  I talk about FastPasses (which are almost obsolete now, I guess) and about the extras at the resort that we've never experienced.  Finally, I provide a bit of a bibliography for books about Disney that I've found either useful, entertaining, or both.

Christmas is coming, so consider purchasing a copy.  It's only $2.99 for 101 pages of reading enjoyment.  I try to write it in an entertaining style, like I do my fiction.  So maybe even if you don't find it useful, you might find my anecdotes entertaining.  Or not.  Sample at will, if you'd like, to get an idea about my style of writing.

Here's the link: DOING DISNEY:  HOW TO SPEND A WEEK AT DISNEY'S FLORIDA RESORT  One caveat: It's only for Kindle and the Kindle app! Hope that will work for you! Thanks for looking at it.

*****

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Just an extra comment:

I just wanted to point out something.

On the left side of my blog, I have a widget thingie called "My Blog List."  It lists all of the other Disney blogs I follow regularly.  It's sort of like my own little notification system, telling me when the last post on each blog was and what the title of it was. 

Check out the blogs there, if you haven't.  They're all worth reading.

That is all.  :-)

*****

Our Disney-driven life...

Okay, it's not really Disney-driven, not anymore.  There was a time when we loved everything about Disney.  We loved going to their parks.  We loved staying at their hotels.  We loved California and we loved Florida.  We especially loved Epcot, with its World Showcase and its Soarin' ride.  We loved the films.  We liked their restaurants and their shops. 

It's not that we soured on it, exactly.  It's more that we just drifted away.  There are so many things to see in the world, and limiting ourselves to a vacation every year to Florida seems to be less-than-optimal for our family at this point.  So we've used our points (yes, we're DVC members) to go to San Francisco, to Hawaii, and maybe this summer we'll use more points to stay at one of the Disneyland Paris hotels when we visit there. 

We'll likely visit the parks there, at least for one day.  But we're planning a European vacation, not a Disney vacation and if staying at the Disney hotels makes it more affordable, then that is how we'll use our points. 

We still love Disney visits, for the most part.  It's just that there's too much Earth to experience to limit ourselves.  (Besides, it's not like they're free...visiting theme parks for us costs nearly a grand for that week.) 

So we haven't been "Doing Disney" ourselves lately.  Sometimes soon we'll go back and get the scoop on the MyMagic stuff and the new Fantasyland and any other additions, and then I'll be back reporting on that sort of thing.  In the meantime, I'll try to continue to drop tidbits here in the blog about Disney, as well as other endeavors (especially my publishing endeavors). 

*****

If you want to read a book about one family's strategies when vacationing for a week at Disney World, feel free to check out my title , Doing Disney: How To Spend A Week At Disney's Florida Resort   It's available on Amazon for $2.99.  I tried to write it for families who get to spend a week in the World every year or two and want to maximize their time in the parks and in the area.  It doesn't try to be comprehensive, but I think you might find a few helpful tidbits within its electronic pages...

Thanks!

*****

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What would the world have been like if Walt had lived longer?

Now there's an interesting question, don't you think? 

Perhaps your first inclination is to say that it would be pretty much what it is today, except with a better Walt Disney World in Florida.  And that might be the exact right answer. 

But we all know that Walt wasn't one to rest on his laurels.  He was always moving forward.  Any reason to think that wouldn't have continued?  His passion at the time of his death was his reimagined city concept which may or may not have been a success. 

I know I've written in this blog that what we got may in fact be preferable to what Walt wanted.  But I wrote that as a Disney fan.  I would never try to argue that what we got was "progress" in any sort of really important way.  Whether his ideas proved to be workable or to be a complete failure, the world would have gained something - knowledge about what might or might not work. 

Would having that knowledge have improved the world?  Well, it certainly would not have hurt the world.  Think of the mess our cities are today.  Not technologically, but socially.  I live near Chicago where we can't seem to stop the kids in gangs from killing each other and often (far, far too often) catching innocent bystanders in the crossfire. 

I'm not sure that Walt's social experiment with urban planning would have helped these people.  But who knows?

But more to the point, Walt was, in my opinion, his generation's Steve Jobs.  Yes, he focused on entertainment most of the time, but in a way, so did Steve Jobs and Apple.   What has Apple really changed?  They've changed the way we consume our entertainment, with our tablets and our iPods and iTouches and our smartphones.  Cool toys, all of them.  I'm pretty sure they all have applications beyond entertainment.  (For example, you can download my DOING DISNEY ebook and read it on the Kindle app on an iPad...shameless self-promotion...and not really to the point since reading is entertainment.)

What if Walt had taken the next step in his audio-animatronics and created actual AI robotics?  What shape might such things have taken?  What if Walt had put his mind to space?  His contributions to our space program were mostly PR-related, but would it not have been cool if he would have had any sort of input, through the megaphone of the Disney media giant, into the direction our space explorations might have taken?  Can you imagine Walt's excitement if he had actually lived to see Neil Armstrong step onto the moon?  Disney might have more than a few satellites in orbit (I'm assuming that, as a media company, they have at least a couple of those things flying above our heads)...they might have actually had a presence in space, if Walt could have envisioned it - and I'm pretty sure that if anyone could have, Walt could have.

I'd love to assume I have someone reading this, and if that is the case, I'd then love to hear what changes, if any, Walt might have involved himself in beyond the urban planning exercise he was devoted to in Florida.  The comments are available if you have anything to add to what is, to me, a fascinating thought experiment.

(As an aside, read   HABST AND THE DISNEY SABOTEURS if you want to take a look at Leonard Kinsey's thought about what might have been if Walt's mind had been allowed to continue working on problems in the world...)

*****

If you want to read a book about one family's strategies when vacationing for a week at Disney World, feel free to check out my title , Doing Disney: How To Spend A Week At Disney's Florida Resort   It's available on Amazon for $2.99.  I tried to write it for families who get to spend a week in the World every year or two and want to maximize their time in the parks and in the area.  It doesn't try to be comprehensive, but I think you might find a few helpful tidbits within its electronic pages...

Thanks!

***** 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Film Review: DESPICABLE ME 2

We finally got around to watching this Dreamworks film a couple nights ago.  It was a fun film.  I wasn't terribly impressed with the animation, but as seems to be the case with Dreamworks films, it had plenty of funny jokes, some of which went over my kids' heads but were all the funnier to me because of it.  Can I cite a specific example?  No, I can't.  I just remember a few laugh-out-loud moments where my kids asked what I found funny. 

I thought the story was a little thin.  It had its moments, but in general there wasn't much there.  Gru is now a "dad" and has to think about his girls.  So his evil scientist goes to work for someone else, and Gru finds himself recruited by an organization dedicated to stopping supercriminals (like Gru was) from destroying the world.  There's a plot afoot, and it centers on the mall where Gru has a bakery called "Bake My Day".  Gru is asked to look for the formula in the mall, and to find out who is the bad guy. 

Of course, things don't go well.  If I spill more of the plot, it will spoil it, I think.  So I'll stop there, and say that while it wrapped up neatly and there were times that it was exciting, overall, I didn't like it as much as the first DESPICABLE ME movie. 

My review:  Not bad, maybe worth seeing, but far from Dreamworks' best effort...

*****

If you want to read a book about one family's strategies when vacationing for a week at Disney World, feel free to check out my title , Doing Disney: How To Spend A Week At Disney's Florida Resort   It's available on Amazon for $2.99.  I tried to write it for families who get to spend a week in the World every year or two and want to maximize their time in the parks and in the area.  It doesn't try to be comprehensive, but I think you might find a few helpful tidbits within its electronic pages...

Thanks!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New short fiction from Scott Dyson!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LZ0ZNWY

Since I have nothing to say with respect to the actual topic that this blog is supposed to be dedicated to (ie, Disney), instead I will use this space to announce that I have released a 36,400 word collection of short fiction titled DIE 6 on the Amazon Kindle Store for $2.99.  Here are the titles:
  • An Artificial Yearning
  • Blood Ties
  • The Fun House
  • The Tooth Fairy
  • Time Heals All Wounds
  • The Ghost Train
Two science fiction tales, three horror/ghost stories, and one that I suppose is mostly fantasy (The Tooth Fairy).

You can buy it here at the Kindle Store!  Please!  Feel free to check it out, download a sample, see if it's the kind of thing you might enjoy reading!

*****

Thank you very much!