Marjie Bowker is the founder of the Scriber Lake Writing Program. FEL always looks forward to meeting Marjie’s students and hearing about their upcoming book. This year’s publication, “The Smile is for Everyone Else”, will soon be available exclusively from the Edmonds Bookshop. This year we heard from three students, sisters Stephanie and Yahaira Souza and Dominic Severich.
Stephanie is an artist, and her work is the book’s cover illustration year. Stephanie painted a bright colored picture of a big clown teaching a little clown to put on a face, symbolizing that students will use a smile as a mask Stephanie’s painting stye is to grab a brush and just start painting. She paints what she feels often incorporating clowns (an old fear) or people she knows in her paintings. She hopes people relate to what she paints. She wants people to know that they are not alone, and things will often get better.
Stephanie’s sister, Yahaira is a writer and a poet. Last year she graduated from Scriber Lake and is now a student at Shoreline Community College. Like her sister, she wants people to be encouraged by her work. Yahaira suffered from auditory and visual hallucinations and it required a long process for her to find the right medication. She read a part of her story which described what it feels like to suffer from hallucinations. Although she was anxious to relive those times, she decided that rather than forgetting, she could turn her pain into something beautiful and helpful to others.
Dominic’s story “Room 256” is about is mother’s recovery from addiction . Dominic credits Scriber Lake with turning his life around. Two years, before he attended Scriber, he said he was just wasting time, he had no ambition and often skipped school. Scriber changed him, as Marjie said, today he is a leader and relied on by others. To write his story, he talked to his mother to get details he could not remember. Those conversations with his mother helped him heal and realize that recovery is a lifetime process.