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: 




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


Friday, November 21, 2014


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...



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...



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...


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New short fiction from Scott Dyson!

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!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

QUANTUM ZOO is published!

QUANTUM ZOO is available for purchase on the Amazon Kindle store for $0.99.  In it you will find 12 SF/Fantasy short stories, all derived from the writing prompt "Zoo."  My story, "Playing Man," is right smack dab in the middle of everything, and the stories run the gamut from relatively hard SF to historical fantasy with some alien/human sex tossed in for good measure.  One of the stories deals with a "zoo" for ghosts; another with a "zoo" for serial killers. 

Pretty cool stuff. 

Here's the link to find it:  QUANTUM ZOO for Amazon Kindle

Please tale a look at it.  It won't be $0.99 forever, though, so now's the time to buy...


If SF/Fantasy isn't your thing (this IS supposedly a Disney blog, after all), 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.



Thursday, June 5, 2014

QUANTUM ZOO release date and website!

The anthology QUANTUM ZOO, which will contain my short story "Playing Man" among eleven other excellent offerings, will be released on June 17th, 2014!

The website can be found here:  QUANTUM ZOO

The website has information on the authors and short excerpts of each story!  Please check it out!


In the meantime, 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.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Cover Art for QUANTUM ZOO!

Here is the cover of the short story anthology QUANTUM ZOO, which will be released in early June.  It will contain my story "Playing Man" along with eleven other tales.

Watch for release information!


In the meantime, 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.



Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I just wanted to post a quick note (off-topic as usual) that my short story, "Playing Man", was accepted for publication in an anthology titled QUANTUM ZOO. 

Other authors in the collection include J.M. Ney-Grimm, D.J. Gelnar, Bridget McKenna, A.C. Smyth, R.S. McCoy and John Hindmarsh, to name just some of them. 

The stories were to start with the writing prompt, "Zoo".  I had a story that I had started probably 18-20 years ago, but had written probably just a bit over a page.  Then I lost direction on it.  I'd looked at it a time or two over the years, and when I read about this call for submissions, I immediately thought of that story. 

So I went and finished it, and ran it by first reader Steven M. Moore, an accomplished SF/thriller writer himself.  Then I submitted it, and it made the cut! 

There IS a cover, and there IS a tentative release date.  I'll post the cover soon here, and when the release date is firmed up, I will post it as well.  Tentatively it's scheduled for early June as an e-book and soon after for trade paperback.  I'm thrilled to be part of the book!


In the meantime, 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.



Saturday, May 3, 2014


Leonard Kinsey hit one out the (theme) park with HABST AND THE DISNEY SABOTEURS.  His fictional follow-up to OUR KINGDOM OF DUST pulled me in almost immediately and he kept his foot on the gas pedal for the entire book, creating a funny and exciting novel about every Disney fan's dreams.

I don't want to spoil the book here, so I'll just mention that the story involves Reginald "Habst" Habstermeister and his backstage explorations of Disney's Florida theme parks.  Habst uses his fake cast member credentials and more than a little cunning to gain access to the behind-the-scenes areas of several rather unpopular attractions and posts the videos to his YouTube channel in order to earn Google Ad revenue.  When "Sat-Com" contacts him he begins uploading them to another location on the Darknet, and after he posts his videos, it seems something bad happens to said attraction.  It doesn't take long for Habst and Disney Security Chief Charlie Walker (you might remember him from HOLLOW WORLD?) to link the two.  What follows is an exciting adventure to find the culprits and find out what their intentions are.

I would recommend this book to most anyone, but especially to mature fans of the Disney parks.  (By mature, I mean, this isn't for kids.  Or for the easily offended.  Or those who like their Disney sanitized and idealized.)  Anyone can enjoy it, but my five-star rating (forthcoming on Amazon) is because I am that sort of Disney fan.

I hope Kinsey's work gets a wide audience because it's that good!

Here's the link to buy it for $3.99 in the Amazon Kindle Store:  HABST AND THE DISNEY SABOTEURS

Meanwhile, feel free to check out my book, Doing Disney: How To Spend A Week At Disney's Florida Resort   It's available on Amazon for $2.99.




A friend on Facebook pointed out this article: 


It's far more innocent than we might like it to be (especially if you've just read Leonard Kinsey's new book, which will be the subject of the next blog post...)

Take a look!

Disney Has Been Hiding A Secret Right In Front Of Our Faces. If You’ve Never Noticed It, Here’s Proof.
Disney Has Been Hiding A Secret Right In Front Of Our Faces. If You’ve Never Noticed It, Here’s Proof.
Disney Has Been Hiding A Secret Right In Front Of Our Faces. If You’ve Never Noticed It, Here’s Proof.
Disney Has Been Hiding A Secret Right In Front Of Our Faces. If You’ve Never Noticed It, Here’s Proof.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

New fiction from Leonard Kinsey - and it's got Disney in it!


Habst and the Disney Saboteurs

by Leonard Kinsey, author of THE DARK SIDE OF DISNEY and OUR KINGDOM OF DUST has been released by Bamboo Forest Publishing. I just barely started reading it. It seems that perhaps it owes a debt to those intrepid backstage explorers from the Mesa Verde Times site (you know, the guys who documented so much of the old Horizons ride). But I'm not far enough along to tell yet. If you like Kinsey's stuff, well, here's another one!


Meanwhile, feel free to check out my book, Doing Disney: How To Spend A Week At Disney's Florida Resort   It's available on Amazon for $2.99.



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Les Miserables in NYC

We saw a couple (well, actually four) Broadway productions.  We tried to get NEWSIES, the Disney musical, but the best we could do was two seats at one end of a row and two at the other (so we picked MOTOWN, where we could all sit together instead). 

Anyone who reads my blogs is going to know that I love Les Miserables.  We had main floor center tickets months before we left for New York.  One of our main reasons for going to see it was that the star, playing Jean Valjean, would be Ramin Karimloo, who has become one of our favorite singers. 

The whole production was spectacular.  I put it at the top of all four that we saw last week, a bit ahead of Phantom (which I admit I enjoyed more on my second viewing than on my first - maybe if I get to twelve, I will put it up there with Les Mis) and solidly ahead of Motown and Mamma Mia (which we were seeing for about the fourth time). 

Ramin, in particular, was incredible.  The man has such a powerful voice and presence onstage.  His performance of BRING HIM HOME was especially wonderful.  You can see him  here on Katie Couric .  He sang the song on the show, but this clip doesn't include it.  I'm sure it will be on YouTube soon. 

He was also on CBS with Dana Tyler which you can see here.

The other cool thing was that as I reviewed the program, I found an actor playing some of the parts who I knew as a child and young man in my home town.  His name is Arbender J. Robinson, and I can recall talking to him and asking him if he was playing sports (because he was a good sized kid and I think his dad played), and him telling me that no, he was doing theater.  So it was with a lot of excitement and pride that I watched him performing a couple of decent roles in Les Mis.  He was terrific. 

Great shows, all of them, but Les Miserables was the tops.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

All off-topic, all the time...New short story released!

My latest short story, the sequel to DEAD OR ALIVE (the last, NIGHT FAMILY, was the prequel) is now available to purchase for Kindle on Amazon for the low low price of $0.99.  It's a 9200 word story that follows P.I. Rick Striker as he quits running and turns back to face his problems.

Cover image
Here's the link to purchase it (or download a sample):  RICK'S RULES



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Yet another off-topic post - New Short Story Published - NIGHT FAMILY

I published another new short story, this one called NIGHT FAMILY.  It is a prequel to my last short story, DEAD OR ALIVE.  It is available for Amazon Kindle through Amazon for $0.99.

NIGHT FAMILY is an 8400 word short story that chronicles the events surrounding spoiled rich girl Lisa Warwick, the missing person from DEAD OR ALIVE. When I expanded DEAD OR ALIVE from its original 2500 word length to its current length of 7800 words, I realized that there was even more story to tell, and so I wrote this story and another story that describes Rick Striker's actions after DEAD OR ALIVE. That story should be out in less than a month. It currently clocks in at about 9000 words.

You can buy this story here: NIGHT FAMILY. Or download a sample and try it out before buying. Thanks!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Pixar Theory - blog on Pixar Universe

Blogger Jon Negroni has a theory - all Pixar films exist in the same Pixar universe.  He has written a pretty cool piece detailing how every film is connected to the other films.  There are some stretches in there, but it still makes for some interesting reading.

Here's the link to his piece: The Pixar Theory

There's also this piece that shows that FROZEN and TANGLED take place in the same universe, but you probably already knew that.  

And this one that suggests who Andy's mom (from TOY STORY) is.

It is a fun blog, pointed out to me by my sons and it has already given me a bunch of entertainment reading over his posts.

Please take a look at my book DOING DISNEY, available for Amazon Kindle at $2.99.  Thanks!


Monday, March 10, 2014

Old WALL-E review/commentary

I don't usually do this, but I was scanning back-posts at my Journalscape blog and found this long-ish review of the Pixar movie WALL-E that I wrote on July 9, 2008 and thought I'd repost it here in its entirety.  So go ahead and read on if you're interested in my take on that movie back when it came out...

I took my two boys to see the newest Disney-Pixar movie, WALL-E, yesterday afternoon. I was expecting to be as charmed by it as I have been by most of the previous Pixar films, including such offerings as CARS, FINDING NEMO, TOY STORY (1 and 2), and RATATOUILLE.

And I think WALL-E was as good as those movies (and maybe better in a lot of ways), but not nearly as charming. I don't know how to explain it...I think those other stories all take the Disney formula (if you don't know that formula, no sense in trying to explain it) and used it with their own unique twists. And they've worked, so much so that they are really the class of Disney animation currently, and have been for a long time, since the days of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and ALADDIN.

But - it's a much more complicated story than any of those. It's FAR less happy than any of them, far less funny, and more touching in a lot of ways. It's also more of a dystopian SF adventure than anything I've seen previously done by Disney. (I wonder what that will mean to repeat business for this film - while I liked it, I can't see going back to the theater to see it with the kids like we have done for other Pixar films...)


In case you don't know, Wall-E is a little robot whose name is an acronym (exactly for what, I can't remember-waste allocation something something - Earth). He's the last one of his kind to still be operational, to still be functioning in his task to clean up the waste and garbage left on the planet by humans as they've abandoned their planet for a life in space. He's a fairly low-tech looking thing, yet he has intelligence and self-awareness. He is lonely, as you might expect, with only a cockroach as company for who knows how many of the last 700 years. Yet he goes about his tasks diligently, compacting and stacking trash into skyscraper sized piles all around the city.

Into this world comes EVE, a sleek "female" robot whose "directive" is classified. Fortunately for Wall-E, she doesn't vaporize him immediately (I wondered about her defensive responses - was she programmed to find monsters on Earth? Why is she so quick to shoot first at anything that moves?) and after he follows her around for a long time, the pair of robots fall in "love", or something like love at least.

When Wall-E is showing her his treasures, artifacts from humanity's past that he's collected in his day to day toils, he presents her with something different - something he hasn't come across in a long time. A small living plant. EVE's response is dramatic. She seizes the small plant, places it inside of her metallic body, and goes into a sort of catatonia. On her body a green leaf flashes over and over. And sure enough, soon the ship that left her comes to collect her, and she is being delivered to wherever she came from originally. And of course, Wall-E can't let her go like that; he chases her down and ends up going on a trip through outer space to her final destination: the star cruiser Axiom with its cargo of humanity.

And herein lies more dystopian elements. Humanity has changed - low gravity and a life of leisure has turned them into a bunch of lazy blobs who are content to be waited on hand and foot by their robot tenders and don't even think about life or interaction with each other. Their captain is a pleasant but seemingly not too "bright" blob voiced by John Goodman. (John Ratzenberger makes his usual appearance as a passenger who is forced to interact with others by Wall-E's intrusion into their daily existence.) The Buy-N-Large Corporation is the benefactor in all of this - the corporation is the entity that built the robots, that sent humans into space to live while Earth is supposedly being cleaned up, and that promoted this lifestyle in the first place - a sort of bad guy who isn't really even there anymore.

Of course, Wall-E and EVE save the day, getting the plant to the proper place which results in the ship returning to Earth, against heavy resistance from the robots who now seem to embody the Corporation. It's a touching conclusion at times, watching the humans get back on their feet, literally and figuratively, and relearn the joys of living, as the captain watches Wall-E and EVE dance through the space around the ship, and as the passengers are forced to interact with each other and simply act to save themselves. The captain outwits his robot overseer in the end, and humans return to Earth, which is not really "ready" to receive them but which needs their attention to be reborn. All very optimistic, at the end, and positive.

It's a cautionary tale, however, warning against a lot of things - not the least of which is excessive consumption, corporate greed and a trend toward indoor (computers, video games, big screen tvs, etc.) entertainment vs outdoor activity. It seems to warn against technological achievement just for the sake of achievement, with no attention to the good or bad results of such achievement. Maybe most of all it warns against the current trend of not looking beyond tomorrow. I think there are some heavy social and political themes buried in the cartoon medium within which director Andrew Stanton and Pixar work best. Probably a lot more of them than I'm getting to here...I think someone could expand on a lot of these things and dig far deeper into this story than I've done.

And that, by itself, is very unusual for a Disney or a Pixar type story. So, while WALL-E is not nearly as charming or uplifting as other Disney fare, it is certainly deeper and more socially aware than almost anything they've done in this medium to date.

I probably won't see it again in the theater, but will likely buy it when it finally comes out on DVD, and I'm thinking I'll enjoy it then, too. Meanwhile...I'll just have to content myself with playing the Wall-E video game with my sons...;-)

Please take a look at my book DOING DISNEY, available for Amazon Kindle at $2.99.  Thanks!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Disney Film: FROZEN

Finally, a couple months after its theatrical release, we made our way to go see the Disney animated feature, FROZEN.  The impetus behind getting to see it this past weekend was that both of my sons will be playing selections from the film in their respective school bands.  Both wanted to see the movie, hear the songs, and get a feel for what was coming. 

I expected to like it.  And I did.  I have to say that I liked it a lot, more than TANGLED, or WRECK-IT RALPH, or any other recent Disney animated film.  I liked it more than I liked BRAVE, actually, and that's saying a lot.  More than MONSTERS U, also.  Disney Animation has finally outdone Pixar, or at least outdone some of Pixar's efforts. 

The film had a lot of heart.  But then again, Disney's never been bad at tugging at the heartstrings.  They know how to do this movie.  They know how to do the humor, the sympathetic characters, the villains, the plot twists...

This movie has all of those things along with a plot that isn't one hundred percent about having the girl end up with the prince.  Deservingly, it took home the Oscar for best Animated Feature last night. 

The short, featuring a vintage Mickey Mouse, was fun, if a bit repetitive by the end.  (It didn't win in the animated short category, I noted.)

I'll be buying it on DVD/BluRay, and I may even download some of the music.  A couple of the songs were among the best from Disney animation.


Please take a look at my book DOING DISNEY, available for Amazon Kindle at $2.99.  Thanks!


Monday, February 10, 2014

Another of those "off topic" posts-New Short Story Published!

I have released another of my short stories for Amazon Kindle (and Kindle app, if you have a tablet) e-reader through the Kindle store.

The title of the work is DEAD OR ALIVE and I call it a "vampire/detective" story.  It started life as a 2500 word tale back in the 1990's, and I rewrote it completely and expanded it to its current 7800 words. 

It's available through Amazon for $0.99.  Please take a look at it, download the free sample, see if it is something you might enjoy reading.  Thanks! 

Here's the link:  DEAD OR ALIVE.

Also, if you have a Facebook account, I'd appreciate it if you would "like" my author page there!  Here's THAT link:  Scott Dyson on Facebook

Thank you! 

I also wrote the eBook DOING DISNEY, also available for Kindle through Amazon.  It costs $2.99 and is about 100 pages and describes my family's experiences at the Florida resort, along with some other information. 

Here's that link:  DOING DISNEY.

Please do the same with that one, download the free sample and see if it is something you might find worth reading. 

Thank you again!


Saturday, January 11, 2014


We went to see SAVING MR. BANKS, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, over the holiday break.  I expected to like it, and I did.  It was a very good story, nicely told with the use of flashbacks to give us insight into the character of P. L. Travers, the author of MARY POPPINS.  I didn't go to the film believing that it was a documentary, but I have to admit that I wasn't terribly aware of what was fact and what was fiction as I watched.

Did that affect my enjoyment of the film?  Not one bit.  I thought most everything about it was good.  I don't expect academy award nominations for the actors, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of them get them.  The performances were good and believable, especially Thompson and Paul Giametti as the apparently fictional limo driver who chauffeurs Mrs. Travers around Los Angeles.   Hanks was good as Walt Disney himself, but trying to play a character who so many, including me, have seen either in video footage or on TV back in the old days has to be difficult.  I never quite got over the feeling that I was watching Hanks play Disney instead of watching Walt Disney himself, if that makes sense.

I highly recommend it to anyone, not just Disney buffs and Disney fans.  It's a very good film that deserves accolades.

It's come to my attention that there is raging debate on Facebook and in the blogosphere over the inaccuracies and liberties taken within the story and the visual presentation.  Most of the critics seem to like the film on the surface but are disturbed that people will see it and think it an accurate historical depiction of the events surrounding the making of MARY POPPINS.

I can see that many of the specifics are not accurate, and also I can see from checking the three biographies of Mr. Disney that I own that there is disagreement on the facts surrounding the relationship between Disney and Travers.  I noted that Jeff Kurtti, a noted Disney historian, presented a letter that Travers wrote to Disney thanking him for the film and praising it.  But I have read in too many places that Travers didn't like certain parts of the films, including the songs, and that her criticism often was held back until she was talking to someone who revealed that they didn't like Walt Disney.  I don't know.

I think that in general, the film gives an accurate representation of the general mood surrounding the relationships between Disney and Travers and the production team of MARY POPPINS, but uses a lot of artistic license to make it a good story.  Much like Walt didn't want to make Rudyard Kipling's JUNGLE BOOK, but Walt Disney's JUNGLE BOOK, Disney wanted first and foremost to make a film that would work well on the big screen and not necessarily be faithful to every little detail.  And they succeeded in doing that.

That's my take.  I'll probably buy it on DVD.  I already bought a biography of P.L. Travers and I'll probably make it a point to watch THE BOYS when I get a chance because of this movie and the discussions that I've read.


Please take a look at my book DOING DISNEY, available for Amazon Kindle at $2.99.  Thanks!


Monday, January 6, 2014

DOING DISNEY is live at Amazon!

I'm very happy to announce that my e-book, DOING DISNEY!  HOW TO SPEND A WEEK AT DISNEY'S FLORIDA RESORT, is live on Amazon in the Kindle Store.

It is approximately 101 pages and is priced at $2.99.

Here's my description of it:

DOING DISNEY is a guidebook written for people who visit Florida's theme parks in the same manner as the author - a week or so at a time every couple of years. It's a book of ideas and comments about what the author has found to be worth experiencing (both attractions and dining). It is NOT a comprehensive guidebook full of every fact and figure about the resort. Part travelogue, part diary, part instructional, it tries to be informative and entertaining while providing a look into what works for a family traveling to visit Walt Disney World.

Or download the sample first, to read the introduction and perhaps get a feel for how it's written.

Thanks in advance!!!