happy belated first-draft-done

I’m looking at 50% on my laptop’s battery bar. I tell you this because this is the amount of time I’ve allotted to myself to write this post. 49% now. I will finish this post before the bar hits code red. And I will not simply dither on like this, either. I will say something—something—about […]

Until All Saints’ Day

Friends, the manuscript of my next novel, BROKEN GROUND, is due to Beth Adams, my editor at Simon & Schuster/Howard Books this coming November 1st. I’m taking it to heart that this is also All Saints’ Day, a Holy Day of Obligation. To honor this obligation, I will be taking more time than usual away […]

Publishers Lunch Announcement

And here’s more on next book, including the one-sentence synopsis and the title, posted in PUBLISHERS LUNCH! July 30, 2014 Fiction: General/Other Pushcart Prize Winner and author of SING FOR ME, Karen Halvorsen Schreck’s BROKEN GROUND, about a young broken-hearted widow who, seeking to escape her grief and the East Texas Dust Bowl, discovers a […]

new book contract signed!

Happy day! And here’s proof positive, documented by my son: More to come soon, but I’ll say this for now . . . The novel’s working title is BROKEN GROUND. Like SING FOR ME, it’s set in the 1930s (this time, the exact settings are Oklahoma and California). And it’s being published by Simon & […]

hip blog hop!

A few weeks ago, just after my family and I returned from two months across the pond, the Portland-based writer, Kate Gray, asked me if I’d like to participate in a blog hop. “Sure!” I said (though I wasn’t sure about the definition of “blog hop”). Because, hey, this was the writer Kate Gray writing. […]

North by Northeast

Outside, men sing in the cobble-stoned streets. Some blocks away, I can hear them, jubilant in their perfect discord. I imagine them as a huddle, swaying in the neon-lit dusk, the smell of draft beer on their collective breath. Sinuous, marble women and corpulent, gilt babies watch their antics from above. They’ve seen a lot, […]

flowers and funicolare

I am sitting in the inner garden of the 15th century (not 16th, as I first thought) palazzo in which we have lived, these last few weeks, watching the palazzo’s white cat sharpen his claws on the narrow, twisted trunk of the climbing rose bush. On April 19th, when we first arrived here in Orvieto, […]

flowers and funicolare

I am sitting in the inner garden of the 15th century (not 16th, as I first thought) palazzo in which we have lived, these last few weeks, watching the palazzo’s white cat sharpen his claws on the narrow, twisted trunk of the climbing rose bush. On April 19th, when we first arrived here in Orvieto, […]

Easter and then some in Orvieto

I am in bed, as I write this on Tuesday evening, Italy time, where I have been for much of the day. Something hit me. It came first in the form of a ragged cough, which set in on Easter morning, just after the sunrise service we celebrated with students on the tower of a […]

Holy Week in Rome

It is Good Friday, 2014. My children are sleeping, my husband is experiencing something that he has been anticipating for some months now—the Stations of the Cross at the Coleseum, with Pope Francis presiding—and I am trying to write about these past days in Rome . . . where we were before, and how we […]