Title: WELCOME H.O.E.M.
Category/Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Word Count: 50,000
My Main Character is most uncomfortable with: snow.
Mason is a baseball player and is constantly active because of his ADHD. He lives for the first little bit of warm weather so he can practice outside on the diamond.
In Welcome H.O.E.M., fifteen-year-old Mason Clark is arrogant and immature, his school records riddled with mischief and expulsions. After pulling one prank too many, the Board of Education at the Charter School for the Language Arts considers revoking his scholarship. He simply never learns. But Mason is also unique, one of a handful of people able to experience memories of the long-dead. In order to keep him in school, the principal, Mr. Rodgers, gets Mason a volunteer position at the Hall of Extraordinary Memories. H.O.E.M., as Mason soon discovers, is a government facility that archives some of the most important memories in history, from Lincoln to Presley, Hitler to Picasso.
Mason is soon traveling history’s most extraordinary memories, meeting Marilyn Monroe through the eyes of Joe DiMaggio, watching the making of a gangster through Al Capone, and getting in touch with his feminine side when he accidentally taps into Cleopatra, all not without complications, of course. He has to survive, save the girl (several times) and learn from his own complicated past. Mason soon learns he is different even than the other travelers, and with Sadie, his co-traveler and friend (wink wink), he begins to learn valuable lessons from the past and realize the untapped potential lurking beneath his own surface.
First 250 words:
Chapter 1: A Date in Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood
I never was good at following directions or being the most well behaved kid in class. I liked to cause trouble. I found it amusing and so did my classmates. Teachers never did, but they were never my target audience.
Sit down, Mason. Stop putting gum on that chair, Mason. Pay attention, Mason. Get to class on time, Mason. It was an endless stream of constant reminders that I was not doing what I was supposed to do, but I didn’t care. I had friends, I was good at sports and I was intelligent. I was the star centerfielder for our school baseball team. That alone, allowed me to get away with murder. I hit more homeruns last season than every player in C.S.L.A. history. Our history is not really that long, only ten years, so it wasn’t that hard. People were still impressed though. C.S.L.A. stands for Charter School for the Language Arts and I was one of their best students, believe it or not. I was just a little rowdy. I liked to call it “being a kid”.
My teachers however, did not see it that way. One rainy, windy, gross, October morning, I got the brilliant idea to put strips of double-sided tape all over my English teacher, Ms. Larson’s, chair. She was a good teacher and had a way of making books come alive. It was nothing personal. My ADHD doesn’t allow me to focus all the time. When I get distracted, I cause trouble. So, even though I liked Ms. Larson, she yelled, gave me the “I know you did it look,” and I had, yet another, one-way ticket to the principal’s office.