I think my favorite color as a child living in North Chicago was green. Not gray like it is now. To be truthful, I cannot even tell you why my favorite color today is gray. Maybe because it is neutral. If black is all the colors absorbed and white is all the colors being reflected back, then a mishmash of the two comes out gray. All colors and no colors all mixed up. Neutral.

The reason I think green held a special place with me is because I suddenly remembered a green bookcase my father built for me and a green bedspread. I loved this bookcase. I remember it being with us in Iceland, but I cannot recall it being here in the states after we moved back. It held all my favorite books: Hardy Boys mysteries, my books on dinosaurs, the Three Investigators series, among others.

Though it seemed to come from nowhere, I believe I understand why the memory popped up—soon I will be starting a remodeling project on my home office, and I wanted to build some bookcases that are custom-fitted for my collection of over 2,000 books. I was trying to think of ways to make these shelves, and I thought of adjustable heights using embedded tracks in the frames. Just like the green bookcase my father built for me.

As my personal library grows, I have come to the realization that though I have read over half of the books in my collection, I have a long way to go. Currently, I am adding three books to my shelves for every one I read. Sometimes this little voice whispers to me that it is a waste of money. Then another voice says, you are preparing for retirement when you no longer have to have a day job and can just wile away the time writing stories and reading.

The thought of retirement seemed unimportant many years ago as I adjusted the shelves in my green bookcase to fit my treasured book on dinosaurs. When I started at the University of Arkansas, I imagined that if I held down a day job I would retire by the age of fifty. With my first grandchild on the way and the mid-century mark just a little over two years away, I better get a move on.

Something like this would be perfect…ladder included.

WHAT I’M UP TO

WRITING: Last minor edits on Slipping the Cradle (first in the Lonford Universe series) needed to by typed up, started writing first chapter on Bishop (first in the Dark Histories series), and typing up the short story titled “The Forum” which is a possible far future in the Lonford Universe but has societal and cultural commentary about today’s world.

FICTION: The Tengu’s Game of Go by Lian Hearn. Fourth and final book in The Tale of Shikanoko series. This has been a fascinating and fast-paced saga set in a world that resembles medieval Japan.

NONFICTION: Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered by Peter S. Wells. Picked this book up during one of my explorations of Dickson Street Used Book Shop. Finishing up this book.

TELEVISION: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Wrapping up season 5.

MOVIES: Watched Red Sea Diving Resort this week. A great movie. A “based on true events” tale about the rescue of thousands of Ethiopian Jewish refugees across the horn of Africa and to Israel. Captain America Chris Evans himself did a great job in his depiction of Mossad agent Ari Levinson. But Michael K. William’s character Kabede Bimro, inspired by the activist Farede Yazazao Aklum, stole the show. The character was wholly devoted in getting all of his people out of war-torn and famine-ravaged Ethiopia and Sudan.