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some days

i am more wolf than woman

and i am still learning

how to stop apologizing

for my wild

-nikita gill

 

yokairy tavarez

pronounced:

YOH-KARR-ree Tuh-VAH-REZ

i'm eccentric, yet traditional. i shop way too much, but i cannot bring myself to overspend on any one thing. i love my kids to the point of smothering, but i adore, strive for and maintain my independence as a woman above all else. i watch more television than the average person and honestly believe the major motion picture association of america has been kept afloat during these rough economic times because of my addiction to new releases. i bleed marvel, placed in gryffindor and pledge house stark. i'm a little bit of a tomboy mixed in with a fashionista combined with a fierce and protective mom and sprinkled with aggression, style, compassion and a terribly off-color sense of humor. 

basically: i'm complex. 

when i was a little kid, there were two choices for me: attorney or writer. i knew i loved the law because frankly, i was probably the only ten year-old in the world obsessed with law & order. 

fast forward: after graduating high school at the academy of mount saint ursula, i started as a freshman at cuny john jay college of criminal justice, majoring in legal studies. i started working for a sole practitioner in the bronx, first as a secretary, and eventually as a paralegal and i’ve since undergone training to become a double-certified mediator. with two decades in the legal field, i now have my own firm, still legal, llc, where i provide clients with family law and general legal assistance.

on a personal note, i got married, moved to florida and had a beautiful little girl, and then my gorgeous son. here’s the condensed version of events: it was too hot so i moved back to new york.

i always knew i wanted to write because i was just itching to say something, anything, to anyone who would listen. that's why i have a whole lot of stories to tell.none are about me; in fact, they aren't always about anyone i know. but they are all tales spun from my wild imagination and a penchant for ridiculously long-winded and detailed dialogue. most of the time, i’m that oddball you drive by that’s sitting in the car talking to myself because i just heard a conversation in my head, so i would probably never be qualified to teach a course on creative writing.

i draw my inspiration from the women i know, the women i see; all women- the survivors, the fighters, the ones labeled aggressive and angry, even though we all know that’s just code for a female that won’t take anybody’s crap. i'm a womanist through and through, from womb to tomb, so i don't really know how to write a story where the female protagonist doesn't kick some serious ass.

in the last several years, i've completed four manuscripts, a compilation of short stories and started to co-author a children's book with a good friend and fellow authoress, nakia d. johnson (author of uptempo, available for purchase at www.nakiadjohnson.com). 

i still love the law, as evidenced by my career choices; but i have an unrelenting and unforgiving fire inside of me to write and let out words i wasn't even aware existed (and many i make up along the way). i don't know how not to write and i hope i never learn. 

right now, the immediate goal is simple: watch my kids grow up to be happy, healthy and successful- successful as human beings, regardless of the life they choose to live. i hope that some of the passion and fire to write and express myself has been passed on to either or both of them, in whatever manner. i hope they learn a way to find the laughter, beauty and tragedy in everything they encounter, the way writing has done for me. 

for myself, i hope to to see much of the world, to appreciate what's come before me and try my best to leave my mark for what comes after; to share my words and stories with the world and hope that they feel in reading what i felt in writing.

and to sit back in that theatre seat and look up, smiling, and read those magic words after the movie title: 

“based on the novel by yokairy tavarez…”

 

*make-up and photography by jessica m. pichardo

@JessicaMPichardo

JMP