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Vista Members Publish Memoirs
Posted on November 24th, 2015

From left are Evan Brookman, Devery Morgan, Jocelyn Ruggiero, Dana Rupley and Matt Christiaanse during the memoir reading at CREATE Art Studio. Credit: Vanessa Pereira
 
Four members of Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center have accomplished a feat many have only dreamed about— publishing a book.
Evan Brookman, Matt Christiaanse, Devery Morgan and Dana Rupley recall memories, life experiences and even look to the future in memoirs they wrote and published during a seven-week Vista Arts Center class taught by writer Jocelyn Ruggiero. These newly published authors shared passages from their books on Nov. 12th during a reading held at CREATE Art Studio in Madison.
“I liked telling my story to my family, friends and Vista staff,” said Dana. Her memoir, “Pieces of My Life,” recounts her early years at Vista and includes anecdotes about loved ones. “I feel a sense of accomplishment.”
In his memoir, “My Life at Vista and Beyond,” Evan, too, focuses on his time at Vista. He chronicles his journey through the program—from the nerves he experienced his first week, to the confidence and friendships he has developed over the years.  His book also serves as a tribute to his late grandmother, of whom he shares fond memories.
“I thought making part of [the book] about her would be a perfect way to honor her,” Evan said.
Matt took a different approach in his memoir, “My Life.” Instead of recalling a memory, he imagines what the future may hold and details his aspirations of moving to Los Angeles to become an actor and singer.
Devery, who Jocelyn called a prolific writer, centered her memoir on a more emotional topic—the cause of her disability. In “I Fought My Way in Life,” she tells the story of how her life was forever changed after being involved in a car accident at age two.
Although a painful story, Devery enjoyed the writing process. She said writing gives her a voice and allows her to express things she wouldn’t otherwise be able to.
“For me, writing is like a painting where you have nothing on paper, but in time, you will get a beautiful picture and writing is the picture,” Devery said. “If I could write for a living, I would be in heaven!”
Copies of these memoirs are available for purchase. For information, contact Arts Program Manager Amanda Roberts at aroberts@vistavocational.org.



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