As soon as I saw the Google logo art for the day and read that it’s his 160th birthday, I instantly thought back to great childhood memories…

I had a card game called ‘Authors’ and played it all the time. Even alone, I’d play against myself, I guess. But that wonderful deck of cards carried the names, faces and most notable works of thirteen different authors. Holding those cards, I would study the faces and the titles of their books and poems, imagining the era they wrote in and the characters and plots and what it was like to be icons in the wonderful world of literature. Before I really thought in terms of ‘icons.’

I was a very literary child, always wanted to be a writer, absorbed reading with such passion, I used to read much more slowly, just to savor the words and forms of expression. But it took way too long to get through a book, and there were way too many books I wanted to read, and that’s only become more of an issue over life….So now I have rooms and rooms of them, some only half-read and some dog-eared, but all (or mostly all) still treasured. I understand why Pope Benedict calls them his “friends”.

The wonderful world of ideas, creative thinking, critical thinking, challenge and adventure…..it calls as much as ever and calls for excellence or at least a work well done.

So much to say, so little time. Ah, but this is where the great minds and great writers distinguish themselves from asiring scribes and journalists and poets and authors. They do it, and so well…

Authors. The power of the pen to create realities and provoke thought and shape opinions and heal wounds and bring us all together in deeply shared truths recognized and related….what a noble aspiration and art and skill. I wanted that, from the time I played with those cards and even earlier. Such a small gift those cards were, but such a profoundly rich and enduring one.

I got my sons a set of them when they were young, and thankfully they were identical to my own childhood game. I treasure the memories, pursue the passion of writing with great ambition, and deeply enjoy seeing in my sons the fruits of the love of reading and writing.

And this little dissertation started with a spark, upon seeing Google’s art for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Imagine that…

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....