Karen Halvorsen Schreck
My Life in 8 Words
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Open eyes. Open hands. Open heart. Open mind.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. I don’t really play “could be” like this. I could say dolphin, otter, or eagle, but then I think I’d rather just watch these creatures for hours at a time. Or I could say Mary Magdalene, meeting Jesus in the garden. Or I could say my mother, so I could understand who she was. Or I could say myself all over again, only knowing what I know now. I guess I’d go for any of these “could bes.”
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Is there perfect happiness on this earth? I don't think so—though we're granted glimpses of eternity. For me, a deep experience of happiness comes when I'm with people I love and we are content, maybe walking by water (preferably a large and salty body of it) or sitting in comfortable chair by a fireplace (crackling with a fire made of cherry and birch wood). Also something delicious to eat and drink—that's often a part of the experience, too. Good conversation and companionable silence. A great book. Poems read aloud. Music playing, and the quiet that comes after.
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Yoga. And going for walks.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. Whoever is the main character in whatever best book I’m reading. For instance, right now I’m rereading The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman for the third time because I’ll soon be teaching that book, and I’m over the moon for Lyra.