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Press Release: Local Author Partners with Penguinate.com to Autograph Books at Ogden UnCon

Author Darren Lamb at Salt Lake Comic Con

                                                                            For Immediate Release: May 15, 2019

Salt Lake City Author Darren Lamb is scheduled to autograph copies of his books as part of the Penguinate.com table at Ogden UnCon. Lamb will be appearing for one hour on Saturday June 8, 2019, from 1 pm to 2 pm.

Lamb’s books are known for combining gritty action with Buddhist philosophy. In “Rebirth: A Zombie Tale,” Lamb explores what a zombie apocalypse would mean for the doctrine of reincarnation. Lamb’s Sea of Sin series follows the adventures of a Catholic priest, a Buddhist Monk, an ex-Marine diner owner and a Life-Flight nurse as they confront their own basic natures and the worst of humanity.

“The spiritual component of my books is personal and important,” says Lamb. “I use the story and the philosophy to enhance the reading experience while delivering a great story.”

Lamb and his daughter wrote and illustrated the children’s book: “The Worst Buddhist.” As an artist, Lamb has created geek-related Buddha statues and crayon art.

Lamb, a former Marine, is an active Buddhist who offers meditation classes in Salt Lake City. He graduated from Salt Lake Community College with an Associate’s degree and from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and English Literature. Lamb is a self-proclaimed geek whose philosophy often refers back to movies and comic books to explain concepts that many find challenging.

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Press Release: SLCC Alum Returns for Author Signing and Ogden UnCon

Shad Engkilterra

Author and SLCC Alum Shad Engkilterra returns to Salt Lake City to celebrate the release of his ninth book “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.” Starting with a short presentation at 6:15 pm focusing on creativity and Disneyland as a metaphor to enhance memory of creative principles, Engkilterra will be signing copies of his books at City Cakes and Café on June 5, 2019.

“I spent a lot of my time in Salt Lake City writing at City Cakes and Café,” said Engkilterra. “This is where it all started.”

Engkilterra is a Disney enthusiast who worked at Walt Disney World on its College Program as part of his SLCC experience. He received his Master’s in Creativity and Innovation from the University of Malta’s Edward de Bono Institute in 2016.

“Many people think they aren’t creative or they can’t create,” said Engkilterra. “They’re wrong. Creativity is an integral part of the human experience. We just lack the structure to support it as we get older.”

Engkilterra will continue to Ogden UnCon from June 7 to 9, 2019 where he will have a table and is scheduled to present “The Haunted Mansion: 50 Years of Creativity” on Sunday at 11:30 am.

 “Academic research is often inaccessible to regular people. I wanted to translate scientifically supported principles of creativity into something fun and more easily understood,” said Engkilterra. “Using the history and structure of Disneyland seemed like a good way to enable greater understanding.”

In “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity,” the second installment of the “Disneyland Is Creativity” series, Engkilterra continues the work he started with “Disneyland Is Creativity.” Engkilterra explores creativity at his website www.penguinate.com.

City Cakes and Café is located at 300 W 1860 South near Costco. The locally owned business offers gluten-free, vegan pastries, soups, and other items.

Ogden UnCon will be held at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center and other venues. Guests include Chris Kattan, Toby Stephens, and cast members from “Land of the Lost.”

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‘The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity’ eBook Now Available at Amazon.com for Preorder

The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity cover

In case you missed it, “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” is available for preorder at Amazon.com. The second book in the “Disneyland Is Creativity” takes a look at the Haunted Mansion’s history and structure and relates them to creativity principles to help you become more creative.

While the Haunted Mansion opened on August 9, 1969, it’s history dates back more than a decade before when Harper Goff drew the first haunted house concept in 1951 as part of a church and graveyard. The façade was finished in 1963, but it took 6 more years for the technology to develop and the concept to work. This delay allowed the Disney team to learn more as well as explore hundreds of ideas before choosing the right one. Creativity requires lots of ideas, time to be creative, and patience to choose the right idea to develop.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t failures. The Haunted Mansion was supposed to open in 1963 instead, Marty Sklar wrote a sign that said the team was busy gathering ghosts. A short-lived effect called “the Hatbox Ghost” didn’t work when the Haunted Mansion opened, and it was removed until the effect could be done correctly. (It was reinstalled in 2015.) Creativity comes with failures and mistakes.

Just in time to celebrate Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion’s 50th anniversary, the eBook is scheduled to be released June 1 and 2 to coincide with Lilac City Comicon 2019 in Spokane where I will be presenting “The Haunted Mansion: 50 Years of Creativity.”

The book tour will continue at City Cakes and Café in Salt Lake City. On June 7 to 9, we’ll be at Ogden UnCon where I will present “The Haunted Mansion: 50 Years of Creativity” on Sunday. Currently, our last scheduled stop will be at Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con from June 14 to 16.

Click on the link to preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” in paperback. Get “Disneyland Is Creativity” in paperback here and in eBook on Amazon.

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Preorder ‘There Are No Penguins in Alaska” before May 7, 2019

If you know you want a hard copy of the coloring book “There Are No Penguins in Alaska,” now’s the time to preorder it. Because we will be printing them in Russia, we will be unable to replenish our supplies between events. While we would love to sell out of them at Lilac City Comicon 2019 on June 1 and 2, we would hate for anyone to miss out on the coloring book just because they were later on our journey.

So, if you’re going to be at City Cakes and Café for my author signing on June 5, or you’re going to find us at Ogden UnCon on June 7 to 9, or you’re coming to Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con June 14 to 16, preordering ensures that we will have a copy with your name on it  ready for you to pick up. More importantly, you can order them at the convention price of $5 and not have to worry about shipping and handling. Just click on the link to the event you’re going to.

If you aren’t going to make it to any of the events listed, but you can meet with us while we’re in Salem or during our journey, you can still get the $5 price. You just have to be able to pick the coloring book up. Otherwise, they are $8 plus shipping.

If you have no idea how to order, or you know you are going to get one but you don’t want to officially order, leave a note in the comment or contact us through our Facebook page. We’ll set one aside and contact you about payment and delivery.

Of course, preordering anything else you might want is also a good idea. Penguins take more than a day to make, so if we sell out of them, they’ll be gone. Other books we may be able to replenish, but there’s no guarantee. The best way to get what you want is to preorder! You can also order items directly from Amazon or on Amazon Kindle, but they will not be eligible for any discounts.

Remember, members of our Patreon Penguinator team get $1 off for every $10 they spend at our table during an event. If you know you’re going to buy something from us, you might want to join our Patreon and get your discount as well as more information on creativity and stuffed penguins.

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Penguinate Makes Epic Comic Convention Trek in just One Month!

Booth set up for Lilac City Comicon

It’s just one month until we board the train in Blagoveshchensk to head to Khabarovsk. From there we’ll fly through Seoul and Honolulu to touch down in Portland, OR as we make our way to Lilac City Comicon 2019. Before we get to Spokane though, we’ll make a stop in Independence, OR to get our supplies and make any last-minute preparations. (If you’d like to see what we did last year, check out our archives and videos.) At Lilac City Comicon, I’ll be presenting the sequel to “Disneyland Is Creativity” with the release of “The Haunted Mansions Is Creativity.” Come see my panel “The Haunted Mansion: 50 Years of Creativity.”

From Lilac City Comicon, we’ll head toward Salt Lake City, with a short stop in Idaho to relax, for my author signing at City Cakes and Café on June 5. I can’t wait to see what they have for dinner, and I’m sure I’ll grab some great vegan pastries.

Ogden UnCon 2019 will be from June 7 to 9 in Ogden. The stars of “Black Sails” will be on hand as well as stars from “The Land of the Lost” – talk about retro! Drue M Scott is scheduled to be at our table, and we may have another special guest. On Sunday, I’m schedule to present “The Haunted Mansion: 50 Years of Creativity,” which will give attendees ideas for habits and activities they can do to become more creative.

When we leave Ogden, we’ll head over to Moab in the hopes of seeing Arches National Monument. After that little bit of relaxation (and celebrating Jenya’s birthday), we wind up the tour at Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con 2019.

Of course, this travel schedule may seem epic, but it won’t truly be epic unless you show up. Come by and say “Hi!” If you can’t make it to one of our events but are in the area, let me know I’ll see of I can make it work to meet up. We have some time after Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con to set up other events if you have a lead on something in the west that’s inexpensive. For those who want signed books sent to them, just use the order form on this website and we’ll get them to you as soon as we arrive in the U.S.

If you want one of our books or penguins, preordering will ensure that you get what you want. Our supplies are limited, so click on the event links above and order what you’d like. We’ll have them ready for you at the event, and you won’t have to worry about us being sold out! Remember, everyone of our Patreon Penguinators gets a discount on items bought at our events. Join today at any level!

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The Cover Reveal for ‘The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity’

Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

The Haunted Mansion was always my favorite Disneyland attraction growing up. Sure, I enjoyed singing and clapping with the Country Bears. I had fun sailing with pirates in the Caribbean, and I really loved Adventures thru Inner Space. However, it was the Haunted Mansion and its magic that remained the attraction I would choose to go on first.

This year marks the Haunted Mansion’s 50th anniversary. Because of that, I wanted to delve deeper into its history and its links to creative principles. From the late 1950s when Ken Anderson was the only imagineer assigned to the project through to Yale Gracey and Rolly Crump’s shenanigans to opening day and beyond, “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” takes you on a tour of the home of 999 happy haunts linking attraction details and designs as well as stories of its creation to creative principles as revealed through scientific studies and interviews with people who create for a living.

The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” is scheduled to be available on June 1, 2019. I will be presenting “The Haunted Mansion: 50 Years of Creativity” at Lilac City Comicon 2019 and Ogden UnCon 2019.

Without further ado… Here is the amazing cover for “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” designed by Antonisa Scott and Transcend Studio:

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Preorder ‘Penguinate! The Disney Company’

Book cover for Penguinate! The Disney Company

On April 14, 2019, my 8th book “Penguinate! The Disney Company” will be released on Amazon Kindle. (That’s just in time for my birthday!) “Penguinate! The Disney Company” looks at aspects of the company that Walt Disney would recognize. It includes thoughts on Disney Parks, Disney creativity, and Disney movies, including “Frozen 2” plots Disney probably never considered.

This wholly unauthorized look at the Disney Company is designed to help you think deeply and share your thoughts. The more you practice deep thinking, the more creative you’ll become. Preorder the Kindle version today at Amazon, or preorder the paperback here.

The Table of Contents:

Acknowledgements    iv
About This Book 1
The Disney Family 3
Walt Disney’s Road to Creativity 4
Diane Disney Miller, Grandma and Disneyland 6
The Disney Parks 8
Standing in Line Is Part of the Appeal 9
FASTPASS Is too Fast 10
FASTPASS, Reservations and Time 11
Why the Characters at the Parks Matter 12
Disney Parks Don’t Need New Rides to Increase Attendance 14
How Disney Can Save Itself and the World 16
The Disneyland Resort 19
The Birth of Disneyland 20
The Submarine Voyage (1959 to 1998) 22
Star Wars Land Vs. Tomorrowland 23
Put the ‘Tomorrow’ Back in Tomorrowland 26
Investing in Parks Is the Best Way to Deal with Crowds 28
Mickey Mouse Foods and Happiness 30
Disney California Adventure Is still No Disneyland 31
World of Color – Winter Dreams 2013 33
Eulogy for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 34
Walt Disney World 35
Reflections on the College Program 2012 36
Why Would Walt Want to Build a City? A panel with Paul Anderson at Salt Lake Comic Con 2013 38
Walt Disney World’s Internal Communication 40
Walt Disney World’s External Communication 41
Walt Disney World and Change 42
Why MyMagic+ is Genius 43
Crew Spaceship Earth with Aaron Wallace and the Rest of Humanity 45
Critique of Epcot Misses Context 47
The American Idol Experience Will Suck You in like the TV Show 49
Disneyland Paris 51
Disneyland Paris 2015 Is Like Disneyland 2000 52
La Taniere du Dragon: Magic at Disneyland Paris 54
Disney’s Synergy 55
Disney Does the Dumb: No Longer Going to Infinity and Beyond 56
Disney/Fox Merger Sounds Death Knell for Small-Time Writers and Creatives 58
Did Disney Cut the Cord? 60
‘Agent Carter’ sets stage for Captain America vs. Batman and Superman 62
Let’s Get Dangerous: Disney Dominates Movies and Music 64
Why Fox’s Fantastic Four Flop Is Good News for Disney 65
Disney Jumps to Light Speed with Creative Properties 66
ESPN Fishes for Its ‘Little Mermaid’ 68
The Disney Princess Stories 72
The Saving of Snow White: Rethinking Criticisms of Disney Films 73
Dying Ugly: The Misguided Actions of the Evil Queen 75
Cinderella’s Choice: Rethinking Criticisms of Disney Films 76
‘Frozen’ 78
‘Frozen’ Warms the Heart 79
Hans: Clever Schemer, Opportunist, or Love Corrupted by Power 81
Scarcity Fuels ‘Frozen’s’ Fire 83
Possible ‘Frozen 2’ Plots 85
‘You Can’t Top Pigs with Pigs’: ‘Frozen 2’ on Thin Ice 89
‘Frozen’ vs. the Super Bowl 92
‘Frozen Fever’ opens for ‘Cinderella’: What’s at Stake? 94
The Rise of Olaf and Baymax 96
Disneyland’s Frozen Paradise 2015 97
How Disney Changed the Princess Story for Success in the Modern Age 100
‘Maleficent’: Visually Stunning, Epic Fantasy 111
‘Frozen’ and ‘Maleficent’ Create Instant Cliché 113
Evil Isn’t Complicated; It’s Easy 115
Maleficent Changes Her Character 117
‘Maleficent,’ Misogyny and Metaphor: Disney Hits a Cultural Nerve 118
An Alternate Ending for ‘Maleficent’? 119
Other Disney Films 121
‘Wreck-It Ralph’ Explores Ways to Fix It 122
Why Maui is the bad guy in ‘Moana’ 124
Disney Stuck in a Rut: Sequels Rule the Box Office 126
Keep Moving Forward with ‘Tomorrowland’ 128
‘Tomorrowland’ Brings to Screen What Theme Park Lacks 129
Society Needs Its Dreamers 131
What Kid’s See in Disney Films May Not Be What Adults See 133
Disney Products 135
Disney Products: D23Expo 2017 Explores Past and Future 136
Appendix 1: Other Disney Books to Consider 139
Appendix 2: Disney Vocabulary 141
About the Author 143
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My Niece, the Haunted Mansion and Fear

Niece and Minnie at Disneyland

When my oldest niece was about five, my mom and I took her on the Haunted Mansion. We went through the Stretching Room, down the Portrait Gallery and boarded the same Doom Buggy. As we rolled up the stairs and into the mansion, I was getting into it. The Haunted Mansion isn’t scary, but it’s fun to pretend it is.

So, I was taking everything seriously. The armor, the endless hallway with the floating candelabra, the chair that seems to be staring at you. Each new “horror” made me look more fearful. As we rotated to see the body trying to get out of the coffin, my mom hit me in the shoulder.

“Lighten up. You’re scaring your niece,” she whispered at me.

I switched the way I was looking at the mansion and laughed at its humorous elements. I kept smiling through the ride, and my niece had a great time. She wasn’t afraid of no ghosts.

Fortunately, the team of Claude Coats and Marc Davis helped to provide the elements of a frightening atmosphere and comic presentations. (Of course, there are plenty of contributions from other prominent imagineers, like Rolly Crump and his human-like furniture and wallpaper and the effects pioneered by Yale Gracey with Crump.) So, you can see the Haunted Mansion the way you want to. It is the creativity that the team put into the mansion that makes it a classic attraction that everyone loves.

For more on the Haunted Mansion and creativity, preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.” You can also get “Disneyland Is Creativity” and “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories: Improve your Creativity for a Better Life and World.”

For more on the Disney Company, preorder “Penguinate! The Disney Company.”

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‘How To Fly a Horse’ Debunks Creativity Myths

Kevin Ashton’s “How to Fly A Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery” delves into and debunks the myths of creativity. By using existing scientific research and deftly chosen examples comb from history, Ashton creates an exciting and surprising read for anyone who has ever doubted their own creative abilities. The creative beliefs challenged by Ashton include:

The Creative Leap

Creative thinking is just thinking. There’s no leap, it’s just that creative people take more steps to get to a solution. Less creative people stop when they have something they think works, even if it’s not the best, or even a very good solution.

People and Organizations Want Creativity

People and organizations say they want creativity, but creativity is seldom rewarded. Ignaz Semmelweis lost his job and his life when he challenged the medical field to wash its hands, even though he could show that washing hands saved the lives of women and children during childbirth. The others who came before him to suggest the same thing were ignored or ridiculed.

Robert Galambos lost his job at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research for suggesting the Glia cells in the brain were important, and idea commonly accepted now. Galambos was a famous neuroscientist, who with Donald Griffin, proved bats use echolocation to navigate in the dark and had worked at the institute with his boss, David Rioch for 10 years. None of that mattered; he and his new idea were kicked to the curb.

The Eureka! Moment

The actual “Eureka!” moment that the story comes from is based on a falsehood. The displacement of water would be too small for Archimedes to determine whether gold had been combined with another metal to make the king’s crown. (Its buoyancy is what matters.) Sitting in the tub would probably not have mattered. Even if it did, the story says that Archimedes got into the tub while thinking about the problem. He hadn’t relaxed; he was actively pursuing a solution. The “Eureka!” didn’t come like a bolt of lightning; it came from a series of thoughts.

The Incubation Period

Tied to the “Eureka!” moment, incubation is also something that scientists haven’t been able to see in research the phenomenon. It’s a commonly accepted step in the process of creativity, but it may not be real. While incubation hasn’t been disproved, it has fallen out of favor. Some scientists are changing the name to “implicit cognition.”

Ashton address other issues like brainstorming, the role of rejection, what credit for an idea has to do with anything and why people get credit, and how people fear new ideas. Not only is Ashton’s books one of the best I’ve read on the subject, but it also uses clear stories told in an entertaining way and offers up lessons, hope and encouragement for people who want to be more creative. If you want to be more creative, get “How to Fly a Horse.”

For more on creativity, follow my blog. Purchase “Disneyland Is Creativity.” Order “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories.” Preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.”

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Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion Exterior and trouble accepting new ideas

Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

In a story about Ignaz Semmelweis, the survival rate of children and their mothers, and handwashing included in his book “How to Fly a Horse,” Kevin Ashton points out that even in a “field as empirical and scientific as medicine… Creation is seldom welcome” (74 – 76). People need creativity and change, and they resist it at the same time. It’s part of the dichotomy of being human.

When Walt Disney wanted his imagineers to envision and create a haunted house for his theme park, they all came up with the same idea: a decrepit, run-down building that had ghosts. Walt didn’t like it. He didn’t want a run-down building ruining his pristine park.

According to Sam Gennawey’s “The Disneyland Story,” Ken Anderson, the original lead on the Haunted Mansion as we now know it, wanted to hide the run-down mansion behind trees native to Louisiana. Walt didn’t go for it.

Harriet Burns built three models for Walt to choose from. The imagineers put the pristine building behind the other two decrepit versions. Walt chose the beautiful building every time. He wanted guests to feel welcome in his park; that meant everything had to be clean and in good repair, even the haunted mansion.

Walt was working with some of the most creative people in the planet. Imagineers knew Walt, had experienced his success and demeanor first hand. Even when he told them, “We’ll take care of the outside and let the ghosts take care of the inside” (Surrell, Jason, “The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic,” p. 13), they insisted on trying to convince him that a haunted house needed to look a certain way.

“Everyone expects a residence for ghosts to be run-down. But Walt was always looking for the unexpected,” (Genneway, p. 180) said Claude Coats.

When those who consider themselves creative and create for a living have trouble accepting new ideas and ways of doing things, everyone else has even greater problems to accept the changes that come with innovations. It’s okay. We just need to realize that creativity is just as necessary for the advancement of humanity as being wary of the change that it brings is. As soon as we can embrace our seemingly opposed sides, we can see they are working together to make us more successful, as long as we don’t let one win over the other all the time.

For more on creativity, get “Disneyland Is Creativity: 25 Tips for Becoming More Creative.” Order “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories.” Preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.” For more on the Disney Company, preorder “Penguinate! The Disney Company” officially releasing on April 14, 2019.