Novelist Ravi J demonstrates the power of doing
Yearning (AuthorHouse) offers a refreshing perspective by fledgling Twin Cities novelist Ravi J. It traces the lives of three sistahs who, like so many women, find themselves facing an uphill battle for a life that works and companionship that isn't a chore. Yearning (AuthorHouse) offers a refreshing perspective by fledgling Twin Cities novelist Ravi J. It traces the lives of three sistahs who, like so many women, find themselves facing an uphill battle for a life that works and companionship that isn't a chore. Now before you yawn and go, "Oh, another one of those pot-boiler romance yarns in which all sistahs are saints, all brothas have fleas, so on and so forth," the author has a word or two it behooves you to hear. Sure, her female characters have to contend with, among other things, trifling men. But it's not about demonizing a gender.
It's about acknowledging women's situations and empowering them to act: "A lot of times, I see so many women in these relationships, where they're complaining, 'Oh, it's not workin' out for me.' But they continue to stay in it. So I wanted to show another side -- [that] you don't have to continue to stay there. You can grieve, and move on."
Certainly, that is key -- both in fiction and in fact. There's no shame in having wound up in a dead-end state of affairs. Unless all you do is sit on the pity pot.
"With all my characters, I actually wanted to show women really do it. Not just talking about [how] they're gonna go to school. Not just [saying] they're gonna get in a better relationship, or that they're going to own a business, but actually doing it. That's what women need to do. We need to get up and stop feeling sorry for ourselves and do what we need to do," Ravi J says.
Call it heeding a nod from the "we-do-the-difficult-things-first, the-impossible takes-a-little-longer" school of thought.
Anyone can go through tough times, but as Ravi J puts it, "That's no excuse. No excuse to stay stuck. Be on welfare. There's no excuse for that. You have to get up, do what you need to do and move forward."
In creating Yearning and its characters, she was not interested in coming up with one more way for readers to waste time while they wait for their hair and nails to dry.
Going by the tried and true rule of thumb: "write what you know," Ravi J adds, "These characters are loosely based on people I know. Samantha, for instance, [is] really close to who I am -- single mother raisin' her two sons alone. Hoping the father will pay child support, spend some time. That, I thought, was necessary to get out to women. That even if he's not around -- the father, husband or whoever he is -- whether he's there or not, you still need to be on the grind and do that anyway. Take care of your kids! Also, I guess the reason I chose "Yearning," the reason I chose that title is because I think it's about life: what people want."
Not unlike Samantha, in accord with the impetus behind Yearning, Ravi J is no stranger to getting behind herself and pushing. She may not have been dealt the most opportune circumstances, but it never dented her fender.
"Writing has been a passion of mine since I was a kid," Ravi J says, "I really wanted to go to school for that, but I chose to go for human services instead. I've been a mother since I was fifteen. I've been caring for other people. The kids are grown; now it's about me. Writing is something I've wanted to do. I'm [going to] do it now."
More than few readers will be glad of that; welcoming this frank, new voice.