Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hanging in Washington DC

Hey there, I know I have been horrible at posting lately. Sometimes I am lazy and other times well I am busy doing other things. Two weeks ago the family and I packed our bags and went to Washington DC. I lived on the east coast my entire life and this was the first time I was actually in DC. I was on the beltway once as my parents drove to Florida.  We stayed outside of DC in College Park, MD and when we got off the Metro at L'Enfant Plaza, it was one word- overwhelming. Everything around me was white and massive. Unlike in New York City where I felt tiny among skyscrapers, in DC I was just mesmerized. One could just go there and stand on the street and just take in every building, of course I am talking down by the National Mall. However, our adventure started before boarding the metro.


College Park, MD
We left home right after my husband finished work for the night and the drive itself was decent just boring as it was late at night and there was nothing but trees to look at. We made it into Rockville, MD just about 2:30 a.m. I had a coupon for a hotel but the catch was we couldn't make reservations  which sucked balls. And wouldn't you know, the hotel was full for the night. Not a problem, I had another coupon and my computer. And this what really started our adventure, finding a 24 hours McDonald's so I can use their wifi. We wound up driving around the suburbs of DC for hours looking for either McDonald's or a hotel that had rooms. We stopped for gas and  the police were at the gas station searching some guy's car. The guy was cuffed and he didn't seem to be a threat but there were tons of cops. At least a dozen cruisers and officers yet two detained the suspect and two searched the car. The others were chatting. The gas station remained open. The attendant was too busy and I am not sure he charged me enough for the coffee but who cares. Also he didn't have a phone book, I suppose that is the sign of the times. Once we left the gas station, we drove from Seven 11 to Seven 11 looking for directions to anywhere by now we were in Silver Spring, MD. Finally, I found a McDonald's and I called a hotel in College Park. They had rooms. Great because we were coming there. We got the directions and went on our way. We don't have smart phones but I tell you, this was the night I wished I got my husband a smart phone for his birthday.  We checked into the hotel and we went downstairs for a quick breakfast and then we were off to buy Metro Smart cards. And our DC adventure begins...
National Museum of the American Indian

The first museum we went to was the American Indian Museum and there were a lot of artifacts in there and information about the various tribes. There was also some cool Native art.  These museums are huge and there are so many to choose from. The next one we went through was the National Air and Space Museum which is freaking awesome. It was one of my favorites. Unfortunately, I did not see the space shuttle because that is at the Air and Space museum near Dulles Airport.

National Air and Space Museum
The one we went to had a lot of stuff from the Apollo missions which I loved. There is just so much to see there. I know we spent a couple of hours in there and I am sure we did not see everything. Of course, the museums are free to visit so we plan on going back again in the future. This was the first day we were there we went to the zoo to see Pandas but missed them and we were also at the Natural History Museum but not for long as the place was packed and we couldn't see very much. We also went and saw one of my friends who lives in the DC area. We came back to the hotel and just crashed. We were up for over 24 hours at this time and we were beat.

National Archives Building
On Sunday, we started with the National Archives because we wanted to see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Unfortunately, we couldn't take pictures of the documents but I was surprised by them. For the longest time, I always thought they were on sheets of paper (think 8.5x11 or 11x 14) but that is not true. They are wide and just massive sheets of parchment. It was incredible to finally see those in person. I am glad that I did. Of course, it is a bitch to see them because you have these jack holes who have to read them. News flash, you can't barely read them because the ink is fading. There are some phrases that can be read but for the most part they are unreadable. It was nice to see them but it was also nice to get the hell out of the building and get some fresh air.   We went back to the zoo later in the day and missed the damn pandas again but we did see some other critters and such. Lucky for us some of the Smithsonian museums were open until 7 pm so we went back to the National Museum of Natural History.

National Museum of Natural History
Finally, I saw dinosaurs and other bones from critters long gone. This was one of the highlights of my trip because I really wanted to see dino bones. I think dinosaurs are really fascinating. Hell I would still watch Dinosaur Train on PBS but my kid makes fun of me. Anyway in addition to the dinosaurs there is the Hope Diamond. I thought the Hope Diamond would be this massive raw rock but it is not. It is a cut and polished rock that was made into a necklace. There was also some other large gemstones there as well. This is also my favorite museum. I loved it.  The bonus was it was pretty empty when we were there so we could finally look at everything we wanted to. Next on the list was to visit monuments since they are open 24 hours. The first one we went to was the Washington Monument.
Washington Monument at Night

I asked a policeman for directions and I am not sure why we didn't follow them. We wanted to see all the monuments, well that was the plan anyway. We made it to the Washington Monument and then we decided to go to the Jefferson Memorial.  There probably was an easier way, in fact I am sure there was but that is not how we roll. We were in the park by the  Washington Monument and then we crossed the street. We could see the Jefferson Memorial far off in the distance. By now night has set in and it was chilly. We walked around the tidal basin by the Potomac River, it was breezy. A helicopter kept making low passes over the tidal basin. The cherry blossom tree branches were low and it was dark because there was barely any light. I really thought there would be light. We finally made it to the Jefferson Memorial. It was one hell of a walk.

Jefferson Memorial
After doing some tourist stuff and taking a piss, we decided to head back to the hotel. We all were tired, hungry and cold. According to the Metro bus there was a stop a couple of blocks away. The park ranger didn't know but gave us directions to the main part of DC.  I was about three minutes away from hailing a taxi because it seemed like so many were driving by looking for customers. We made it to the money making building and just two wonderful blocks was Metro. Hurray. It didn't matter if we had to transfer trains or not it was the Metro. We finally made it back to MD around 11 that night and got some food. Monday would be our last day there. We looked at a map and if we would have listened to the Police man, we would have been able to see all the monuments, we just took the scenic route in the dark, that's all. The zoo was the first stop and finally I got to see my pandas.

Pandas at the National Zoo
I freaking love pandas. I think they are the cutest. I was so happy to see them in person. The one in the photograph is mother panda, they were feeding her bamboo. The baby was there as well.  We didn't spend too much time at the zoo because we pretty much saw everything over the last couple of days before and since it is free to get into, why not. After seeing the pandas we went back to the National Mall and went to the National Museum of American History.  By the time we left DC it was rush hour traffic and we had to take Metro back to Silver Spring, MD to get our car and head home. Lucky for us, the Metro crowd thinned out by the time we got to Silver Spring. Of course, our adventure was not quite over yet. Not sure how to get back on the highway, we used a map and went another way with rush hour traffic all the way. Finally, we made our way onto 270 by the time we reached Germantown, traffic disappeared. 

It was an awesome time and I can't wait to go back again because there is so much we didn't see.



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Comprehensive Sex Ed for the Future of Youth

Note: The following is a research paper I wrote for school. I am using as part as an online portfolio to garner more freelance work. I received an "A" on this paper.  Also, this paper has been turned in through school through a 3rd party app called "turnit-in" so if someone decides to use this as their own work and a teacher runs it for plagiarism the outcome will not be good for that person.

The CDC writes in the article HIV Among Youth in US that, "one in four new HIV infections occur in youth ages 13-24 and about 12,000 youth in 2010 or about 1,000 per month were infected with HIV" ("HIV"). These are staggering finds and with all the available information about HIV and how to protect oneself against this fatal illness, why are these numbers so high? In many schools, students are exposed to an abstinence-only sex education. While abstinence is key in preventing unwanted pregnancy and disease, there are still young people who participate in sexual activity. Schools should teach comprehensive sexual education including information on contraceptive use, sexually transmitted disease/infections in addition to abstinence, to teach sexual responsibility in all stages of a youth’s life.

Comprehensive sexual education is much more than using condoms and learning about birth control. Planned Parenthood recommends on their website that a comprehensive sex education is one that starts in kindergarten and goes until twelfth grade. The information is made for the student’s age group and is based on facts and science. Some of the topics in a comprehensive sex education program are the biology of sexuality, relationships, information and prevention about disease, topics about self-image, and perhaps orientation and pleasure (Planned Parenthood). With this program, students will learn ways to protect their bodies from harm and will learn how to deal with sexual pressures. An abstinence-only education has only one message: no sex until marriage. This program neglects the fact that there are many people who have pre-marital sexual relations or has an alternative lifestyle. Thus, many students are not educated in how to protect themselves in the real world.

Furthermore, comprehensive sex education programs work to decrease unwanted pregnancy. In schools or communities where there is comprehensive sex education, Advocates for Youth, compiled research that states, "The National Survey of Family Growth determined the impact of sexuality education on youth risk taking for young people ages 15-19 and found teens 50% less likely to experience pregnancy than those who received abstinence-only education" (Advocates for Youth). These programs give a young woman the knowledge about birth control to lead a sexually active and responsible life without becoming pregnant at an early age. In March 2013, the CDC declared in "Reducing Teen Pregnancy in the United States" that teen births are at the lowest point in 70 years and state, "prevention of teen pregnancy requires broad-based efforts including evidence-based sexual health education" ("Pregnancy"). Teen pregnancy affects everyone because; it increases the need for public assistance for health care and other federal aid programs. Also, lower teen pregnancy rates also might mean a lower abortion rate. Students in an abstinence-only program do not learn anything about available birth control options. While some people may not believe in contraceptive uses, it is better to prevent the pregnancy than to abort it. Young women in a comprehensive sexual education program will learn the best methods of birth control and make the right choice for them.

Not only does a comprehensive sex education program help reduce teen pregnancy, it also gives scientific information on prevention that decreases the chances for the youth becoming infected with sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, which is fatal. A comprehensive sex education program teaches about the effectiveness of condoms and how to properly use a condom. Brigid McKeon, a writer for the organization Advocates for Youth claims students enrolled in a comprehensive sex education program have lower infection rates than those enrolled in an abstinence-only sex education program ("Effective"). Teens who choose to have sexual relations will be better prepared to have safe sex thus lowering their chances for becoming infected with a sexually transmitted disease. Another writer for Advocates for Youth, Sue Alford writes in "Science and Success, Second Edition: Sex Education and Other Programs That Prevent Teen Pregnancy, HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections" that several comprehensive sexual education programs showed significant decreases in sexually transmitted infections (2-3).

Conversely, there are many people who believe a comprehensive sex education curriculum actually encourages young people to have sexual relations. Christine Kim, policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation and Robert Rector, research fellow at the Heritage Foundation state in "The Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Curriculum is Effective" that sexually active teens hurt not just themselves their but society as a whole and programs that teach abstinence only are much more effective in preventing teen birth and infection ("Abstinence" np). While no expert disagrees that abstinence is the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and disease, the information provided in a comprehensive sex education program gives the students the knowledge to maturely deal with sex. According to research conducted by the Guttmacher Institute and Columbia University, it states that "95% Americans had sex before marriage" (Boonstra, np). Any man or woman who decide to have sex for the first time are faced with choices and with a comprehensive sex education, he or she will know to use either condoms, birth control, or use both. In addition, a man and a woman who are married to each other may not want children right away, he or she should know what is available to them.

When comprehensive sexual education is taught in schools, it does help lower teen pregnancy, help lower infection rates among teens and help teens make safer sexual health choices. Nurse practitioner Margaret Tonelli, states in Time for Comprehensive Sex Education, that "research has shown that providing information does not increase sexual behaviors but it reduces unwanted pregnancy, and it delays sexual inanition and prevents STI’s" (57). A comprehensive sexual education program, in conjunction with teaching abstinence, creates responsible and mature teens and adults. It will give future youth the information on birth control and proper condom use to protect themselves from disease and unwanted pregnancy should they choose to have sexual relations. Some teens will have sex early, some will wait until later, some will wait until they are married, but the information provided in a comprehensive sexual education program will guide them through their adult lives to make good sexual choices.

Works Cited
 
Advocates for Youth. "Comprehensive Sex Education: Research and Results." Advocates for Youth. Sept. 2009. Web. 01 Feb. 2014.

Alford, Sue, MLS. "Science and Success, Second Edition: Sex Education and Other Programs That Work to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, HIV, and Sexually Transmitted Infections." Advocatesfor youth.org. Advocates for Youth (2008): 2-3. Web PDF. 11 Feb. 2014.

Boonstra, Heather D. "The Case for a New Approach to Sex Education Mounts; Will Policy Makers Heed the Message?" Guttmacher Policy Review, Guttmacher Institute.10.2 (Spring 2007): n.pag. Web PDF. 11 Feb. 2014.

CDC. "HIV Among Youth in the US." CDC Vital Signs. CDC. Nov. 2012 Web. 01 Feb. 2014.

CDC. " Reducing Teen Pregnancy in the United States." Public Health Grand Rounds. CDC. 19 Mar. 2013. Web. 1 Feb. 2014.

Kim, Christine, and Robert Rector. "The Abstinence-Only Sex Education Curriculum Is Effective." Are Textbooks Biased? Ed. Noah Berlatsky. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. At Issue. Rpt. from "Evidence on the Effectiveness of Abstinence Education: An Update." Heritage Foundation. 2010. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 1 Feb. 2014.

McKeon, Brigid. "Effective Sex Education." Advocates for Youth. Advocates for Youth. 2006. Web. 01. Feb. 2014.

Planned Parenthood. "Implementing Sex Education." Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood, n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2014.

Tonelli, Margaret, MSN AP. "Time for Comprehensive Sex Education." Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology 22.1 (2009): 57. Summons. Web. 1 Feb. 2014.
  





Friday, March 14, 2014

The Afterlife of Tanya Madera by JM Scott On Sale Now

Sorry this is late but the latest ebook I wrote, The Afterlife of Tanya Madera, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Countdown Deals. This is only for sale in the US market for another 3 days. To make it on sale through the UK market I would need to raise the price and I don't want to do that.

So here is the one liner: Jackie and Bill Crocker go hiking in the woods and find the remains of teenaged girl who then takes Jackie hostage in a ghost coma. Bill and a parapsychologist rush to find out who she is before time runs out and Jackie is lost forever. Right now it is $1.99 for this book. It is a mystery/thriller/ supernatural horror/ coming of age story that is perfect for reading right now!

If you get the book I thank you in advance.

Here are some other tidbits of info:

Nickolaus  a short story available on Kindle is free for a limited time in all markets. I am just not making a big hoopy do who because it is a Christmas story.

I am still working on the romance novelette. School has me real busy right now but once I get the two papers written, I will have more time for working on the ebook. It does have a title and it is called Mickayla Margarella.

Until next time when we shall meet under the fiery rains and the ocean turns to acid, I will be the streak in the sky.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Heart of a Goddess byJM Scott FREE

Hello all. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary for my first self-published ebook on Kindle, Heart of a Goddess and I decided to celebrate by offering the book for FREE!!!! This book is free on all markets and will be free until March 14, 2014. For the US market just click here to get your free copy. All other markets just search for the title or you can find it by searching for my name JM Scott.

I am proud of this book and the book cover. Originally, it was supposed to be sold to a third party where they would put my name on it but they kept the rights but it was rejected because adult content. There is blood, gore, sex and a break from reality. I drew everything on the cover including the lettering. My husband put it all together and colored it in and voila it's a pretty awesome book cover.

What it's about: Leonard is a lonely copywriter who stumbles upon a poorly dressed woman in a snow storm. It is a whirlwind romance (I use this term loosely) and she tells him everything he wants to hear from a beautiful woman that she loves him. In fact, he will do anything and does by bringing her beating human hearts for her to consume. But there is much more to the story. SO check it out today.

And now let's pretend I am talking to you, this is where I am begging.... please read this book and then review this book on Amazon. Your reviews will mean the world to me. Please just make them honest. An honest review will do one of two things- If there is something wrong, I will fix it and become a better writer or if you love the book I will sell more books. Either way, you are helping me out.

My thoughts on KDP: I have been with KDP for a year now and I think it is one of the best decisions I have made to advance my writing career. At first it was daunting and scary with creating a book cover and formatting the book but now after I have self-published several, I love doing it. I actually plan what my next ebook is going to be and start planning the cover. I am a writer that needs a kick in the ass sometimes and now with KDP I have a goal: I am going to make sure I have a boat load of ebooks on Kindle so I can not be ignored. I have faith that eventually, the reviews will come in. Actually I have a very positive review for one of my other books in the UK Market.

As always, I thank you for your continued support.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hey It's March

And it's about time for March as well. To me this seemed like an extra long winter with too much snow.  Today, is the day for winter storm Tritan and I am thinking that it won't be as bad here as it will for other places. Enough about the weather, I am looking forward to spring.

My first term at college ended and I am happy to report that I have very good grades. More than likely straight A's. I took English Composition 1 and an online success class. I was dreading taking the English class because I didn't have the best luck with English. I probably should explain that more. I love writing and the work isn't hard but I hard time getting good grades because I had no idea what was wrong. This school has an online writing lab which I used extensively. This gave my essays more eyes and the people pointed out what was wrong. Even my English teacher said she could see a difference in my writing from the beginning until now and we are only talking eight weeks. I am one of those kinds of people that need to be shown what's wrong and not told.

On other news, I am working a on a new ebook. This is a romance story that follows the life of  a young woman who becomes an actress and who she hurts in the process. In true romance fashion, there is a happy ending. I wrote the story several years ago and I actually thought it was worthy of publishing since I sent it to a bunch of places. Of course it was rejected every single time. It is a good story and I wanted to make an ebook since it is already over 10,000 words. WOW the first time I read this story in awhile and I can't believe I thought it was good enough to send away. I found so many mistakes: grammar, story, and just everything. My style has improved over the years and I've already started working on this story and I am spending a lot of time editing the story, fixing the grammar issues and making the story more smooth, adding more details (more in depth sex scenes). I have no idea when it will be done. I also have to think of a title but I think I have one.  This will be another novelette because it's over 13,000 words right now.

I have other writing projects to work on such as a kid's book series that has a magical pen, finish typing up the haiku from my project from two years ago plus writing and more writing. I haven't written very much poetry lately so that is also on my to do list as well.

Okay folks, enough for right now. Take a joke and light a smoke, I'll be back soon enough.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Into the Garden Acrostic Poetry Collection by JM Scott On Sale Now!

Hello everyone! Just a quick post today to let you know Into the Garden: Acrostic Poetry Collection is now on sale on both US and UK Amazon Kindle Markets.



Here is a super quick blurb about the book. It is a full length poetry collection that features 45 plus poems written in the acrostic style of poetry. The poem titles are things you might find in a garden including flowers, vegetables and fruit.  To buy the book in the US market click here. To buy this book in the UK market click here.

The countdown deals will end in 2/26/14 in both markets. At the time of this writing both markets are saving you 80% off. So hurry and get your copy while it's cheap.

Just to finish here is another sample poem.


Peaches

Perhaps its punishment but isn’t that what an
Eternity in hell is all about?
And that’s what they want you to believe.
Chastised, until a pale rider comes to
Harvest souls from
Earthen crates, the big day of final judgment.
Some life to live, waiting to die to be in heaven when there’s so much now.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Wolf's Red Rose by JM Scott on Sale Now

Just a quick post to let you know that The Wolf's Red Rose is on sale through Kindle Countdown deals in the US market. You can get this book for $.99 right now and then in three days the price will be $1.99.  The normal price is $2.99. So come on by and tell your friends and get your copy while it's cheap.

The The Wolf's Red Rose little blurb: this is a retelling of the classic fairy tale, "Little Red Riding Hood". This story is from the wolf's point of view and you learn why he killed little red riding hood and grandma. This book is labeled as fantasy/ fairy tale. Would love to know what you think!

Have a wonderful day.