Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Susan McGraw Keber: FINDING THE STORY...AGAIN: Meet "Fromage"...the fellow who began in a whole other story and found his way to the mice-critter top of the new version...amazing how t...


Meet "Fromage"...the fellow who began in a whole other story and found his way to the mice-critter top of the new version...amazing how that happens when you write something and it takes you in a whole other direction...which means of course, you must rewrite!

SleepWalker has gone to the mice-critters!

I was invited to spend a four day weekend with Patricia Gauch at Highlights Founder's Workshop in Honesdale Pennslyvania...up in the mountains of the Catskills, where wonderful farms dot the landscape and dirt roads lead you through the countryside, in and out of white pine forests.  Each of the eight writers had a cottage where we would go to retreat and spend the afternoons and evenings writing our hearts out...eager to take with us what Patti had given us to help our stories have voice, passion, and structure that would translate into a story worth reading.  For someone who never naps, I found myself longing for an afternoon nap as I toiled away at my writing, giving all my energies to my work. By Sunday, the last day of our workshop, I was exhausted as though I had run a fact, it was just that...a writing marathon...a learning marathon. I was depleted and happily so.  Even getting lost on my way home that Sunday evening gave me invaluable time to rethink what Patti had imparted to me and what I had shared with my new friends in the workshop.  It was a marvelous experience to be a part of the group that was supportive and as eager as I.  Was I doubtful of my work?  Yes!  At one point I cried and felt I was in the wrong dream...I was not a good enough story-teller or writer...and what did I think I was doing there with everyone else who obviously was?  I had to shed those doubts when I learned all of us felt similarly and we laughed.  We felt like sisters in the trenches.  The Highlights Barn, where we met for exquisite meals and our classes, is barely a year old...the scent of fresh timber and space gave way to percolating ideas and creativity.  The original farmhouse offices of Boyd Mills Publishing is across the farm field, a few hundred feet away.  It sits next to a river that continues to flow with sweeps of fresh new ideas from writers.  It is a sweet reminder of what might be possible if we're determined to do our best...we may become published authors! With Patti as our consummate guide and expert editor, I feel I'm in great hands and am now working to apply what she imparted to me and my classmates, in my efforts to write my revised story.  An superb four days, come October, when the leaves are their most brilliant orange, yellow, and crimson, I will meet with them all again in the farmlands of Honesdale with a new manuscript in hand.  I hope it will be completely finished and the best I can do.  In essence, the Highlights Founder's Writing Workshop taught me I had much to learn and to view my first manuscript with a new set of eyes...and re-examine the first draft in a detached way so I could improve it...again.

For the next several months until we convene again at our next intensive writing workshop, I will be rewriting an entire novel I believed to be finished last May.  Opening my eyes and ears, I see the story that longs to be told, and told with heart, is in the core of a little fellow I created who began his journey in Woohickley Missouri...a mice-critter name Wilford Cruxley Verne Lamont III...known later in Noisy Town, as "Fromage", Caterer to all of MoHo....(Mouse of Houston)

And so, until I'm finished writing the last's me and my passion. I look forward to hearing from you if you care to comment.  I'll be in touch when I'm finished with my work...again.

Thanks for being here!


Winter is in full swing...from the looks of the weather forecast past and future, it's spring and has been all along.  How I have wished for one magical white sugar coated earth of snowfall!