Childhood Memories Come Alive with Mason Bricklin Books and Stories
Childhood memories are the foundation for great stories. (You can read an excerpt from Mason Bricklin below.)
I love telling stories. My family and friends can sit for hours telling childhood stories based on childhood memories. Sometimes, (I suspect most of the time), we add a few embellishments to our childhood memories, but that just adds to the laughter.
My name is Mark Brown and I write under the pen name, J-me.
I began writing when my wife of thirty-five years, Eddie, told me I was so full of hot air I should write it down.
I did…It got published…Who knew?
Mason Bricklin, my first work of fiction, was awarded the PublishAmerica Book of the Week Award. It’s about a sixth grader who is smitten by sweet Edna. The book has been well received by children, teens, and adults alike.
Mason Bricklin is the first of a series of books that features the sixth grader. Many adult readers state, “Mason Bricklin reminds me of stunts I pulled when I was a kid.”
Childhood Memories: Mason Bricklin Readers State:
“Mark Brown has the uncanny talent to tell a story in a way that brings us back to a more innocent time, a time of friends, family and laughter. His style is a cross between Garrison Keillor and Samuel Clemens.”
Richard L. Baron, Author/Deadly Visions
President Board of Directors, Treasure Coast Children’s Museum
Executive Producer, Boomers The Musical
“If you want funny – Read Mason Bricklin”
L. Olson, Florida
“I can’t wait for Mason Bricklin II”
J. White, Oklahoma
“I had planned to read one chapter a night of Mason Bricklin. No such thing. Once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down. It’s just one funny thing after another. Lots of laughs. I loved it.”
L. Pitts, Kansas
“I could not put the book down.”
K. Cox, Iowa
“I enjoyed Mason Bricklin and bought a copy for my four grown daughters.”
S. Dowty, Oklahoma
“Thanks for penning a remarkable book. I couldn’t put it down! Will there be a sequel? Soon? I have shared it with a 5th grade girl and she enjoyed it too!”
J. Yauk, Oklahoma
Childhood Memories: Benefits to Readers
- You’ll learn what a tar-nation is.
- You’ll learn what Sweet Edna did to her younger brother. (Shame on her!)
- You’ll learn how to cheat in a clod fight.
- You’ll learn how to set a bear trap.
- (You’ll learn the drawbacks of setting a bear trap.)
- You’ll Increase Your IQ by Ten Points by Reading Mason Bricklin – (Just Kidding…You’ll Just Look Smarter)
- Nothing breaks the ice at a social gathering like revealing what a tar-nation really is, or explaining the intricacies of clod fighting or bear trap building. Most people’s education in these areas is woefully lacking.
I hope you enjoy the following excerpt from Mason Bricklin which is (very) loosely based on childhood memories.
An Excerpt from Mason Bricklin
Now, we didn’t have wild bears in Kansas; I’ll have to trap something else. I thought about the trap Saturday morning and formulated a plan. I’ll trap one of my sisters.
I found a shovel in our shed and hid it under our back hedge. I walked to the local grocery store, got some cardboard boxes to cover the hole, broke the boxes down, and hid them by the shovel. Everything was set.
The first part of my plan worked to perfection. Mom took everyone swimming that afternoon. I faked sickness and stayed home. I worked fast; I had four hours to complete my task. I ran to the hedge, recovered the shovel and cardboard, and took them to the trap site. I dug furiously.
The ground was soft and moist. In less than three hours I dug a pit four feet, by four feet, by six feet deep. Water began seeping into the hole. I nearly trapped myself. I pushed the shovel into the sidewall of the pit about three feet above the bottom, stepped onto the shovel, and crawled out.
I got a rope from the shed, looped one end over the shovel, and pulled it out. I carefully placed cardboard over the hole. It took five large pieces; I barely had enough. I gingerly spread dirt over the cardboard to make a thin cover. Finally, I scattered the remaining dirt throughout the yard to erase any trace of digging. It was perfect. The pit was invisible.
I cleaned the remaining mess and put the shovel and rope in the shed. I washed up, ran upstairs, and got into bed. Ten minutes later my family returned. Although I was tired from my exertions I smiled in smug satisfaction. Who was going to be the victim?
Sunday morning Mom yelled, “Time to get up!”
Everyone roused out of bed and got dressed.
It’s my job to take out trash every morning. When I’m sick one of my sisters is assigned the duty. I had placed the trap strategically in front of the trash barrels by the alley.
I yelled downstairs, “Mom, I still don’t feel well.”
“Okay, but stay in bed,” she replied.
My bedroom window faced the back yard. I had a perfect view of the pit from my vantage point. I sat on my bed and looked out the window. When I heard the back door shut I was filled with excitement. My victim was headed toward the trap. A few moments later she appeared.
NO….NO….IT COULDN’T BE!
I jumped up and ran down the stairs as fast as I could. I bumped into a couple of my siblings downstairs and continued to the door. I threw the back door open and ran outside just in time to see my mother drop from sight. I stopped…I had trapped my mother! I was going to die!
I regained my composure, ran to the pit, got on my hands and knees, and looked into the hole. My mother lay dazed in a puddle of water. Banana peels, coffee grounds, egg shells, and other refuse covered her. This was bad…very bad.
Mom composed herself and picked debris out of her hair. She looked up.
“Mason, did you dig this hole?”
“When I get out of here you won’t be able to sit for a week.”
Her voice was amazingly calm. This was not good.
My brothers and sisters arrived to see why I ran out of the house. They looked in the hole, saw Mom covered with trash, and began to chuckle.
“Shut up,” I said.
“Mason, get a ladder and get me out of here.”
I ran and got the ladder from the shed. I laid it on the ground and said, “Mom, do you promise not to beat me?”
“What!” she said. “You get the ladder down here…NOW!”
“You better get that ladder in here immediately, or a beating will be the least of your worries!”
By this time my siblings were going wild with laughter. Mom yelled, cajoled, brow beat me, and threatened to whip the “tar nation” out of me. But I would not let her have the ladder. My family laughed hysterically. The neighbors heard them and gathered to watch the drama. Mom finally calmed down.
“Okay, Mason, I will not beat you.”
“Do you promise?”
Mom’s face turned red. Then she said, “I promise.”
I had never heard my mother lie. I knew if she promised she would keep her word. My mother hated lies. Nothing brought as swift retribution from Mom than a lie. I received more than one instructional impression on my posterior for this heinous crime. I was going to survive after all.
I placed the ladder in the hole and held it for her. When she emerged from the pit everyone in the yard began clapping. Mom smiled and waved. I knew the worst was over. She held out her arms and said, “Come here, Mason.”
I went to my mother. She grabbed me…
At this point an explanation of a “tar nation” is in order.
Copyright 2008 J-me
Thank you for spending your precious time with me.
I hope this excerpt stirred up some happy childhood memories. Childhood memories are precious. Check out some of the stories on this site based on childhood memories.