Bio for LTYM 2016
j9kovac
Janine Kovac is a talent-wrangler for Litquake, San Francisco’s literary festival and program coordinator for the 501(c)3 writing group Write on Mamas. Her work has appeared on Salon.com, Literary Mama, in Pregnancy and Newborn magazine, and is forthcoming in the anthology Multiples Illuminated. She is co-editor and a contributing author of Mamas Write: 29 Tales of Truth, Wit, and Grit and editor of The Book of Kid, parenting advice by third graders. Janine is an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Lit Camp, and the Mineral School. A former professional ballet dancer, she never turns down an opportunity to read her work aloud and has read at Litquake, Lit Crawl, InsideStorytime, Literary Death Match, and the Mineral School. 2016 is Janine's second year directing for Listen To Your Mother and she is tickled to be a part of this national storytelling series in celebration of motherhood. Janine lives in Oakland with her husband, their daughter and their twin boys.
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Bio for LTYM 2015
j9kovac
Janine Kovac is a talent-wrangler for Litquake, San Francisco’s literary festival and conference coordinator for digi.lit, Litquake's digital publishing conference. She is co-editor and a contributing author of Mamas Write: 29 Tales of Truth, Wit, and Grit. Her work has also appeared in Salon.com, Literary Mama, Pregnancy and Newborn magazine, and in the anthology Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God. Janine is an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Lit Camp, and the Mineral School. In 2012 she helped found the 501(c)3 writing group Write On Mamas. , and a ballet teacher for Pacific Ballet in Mountain View. She lives in Oakland with her husband, their daughter and their twin boys, one of whom thinks he is a kitty cat.
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Bio for Amazon Author Page
j9kovac
Janine Kovac is a contributing author to Mamas Write: 20 Tales of Truth, Wit, and Grit ( Bittersweet Press 2014); Multiples Illuminated (2016); and Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God (NBTT 2012). She is an event producer for Litquake, San Francisco's literary festival and program coordinator for Write on Mamas, a 501c3 nonprofit writing group based in the SF Bay Area. Mother and writer by day (and pretty much the same thing by night), Janine directs the San Francisco production of Listen To Your Mother with authors Mary Hill and Tarja Parssinen.

Janine enjoys champagne, folded laundry, and moonlit walks on the beach thinking about champagne and folded laundry.
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Bio for Twin Anthology
j9kovac
Janine Kovac was a ballet-dancer-turned-software-engineer when she discovered that her surprise pregnancy was actually high-risk twin pregnancy. Doctors gave her babies 50/50 odds of survival without complications. When her identical twins were born at 25 weeks’ gestation weighing just over a pound and a half apiece, Janine began to write in order to process the experience of three months in the NICU and two years of early intervention therapy. And she’s never looked back.

Over the last six years, Janine’s NICU-related essays have appeared in Pregnancy and Newborn magazine, the website Raising Happiness, and in the anthologies Mamas Write: 29 Tales of Truth, Wit, and Grit and Nothing But the Truth So Help Me God. Janine is a three-time scholarship recipient and alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and a former resident of the Mineral School Residency. In 2012 Janine co-founded the 501c3 nonprofit writing group Write On Mamas. She is 2016 director for the San Francisco production of Listen To Your Mother, a nation-wide reading series in celebration of Mother’s Day, and an event producer for Litquake, San Francisco’s literary festival.

Janine is still an active member of the NICU community and is a regular contributor to a regional newsletter to parents of preemies. Since 2010, at the invitation of Sutter Health/California Pacific Medical Centers, she speaks annually to doctors and nurses on the topic of patient-care communication.

Janine lives with her husband and three small and healthy children in Oakland, California.
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Bio for Hedgebrook App (3rd person)
j9kovac
Janine Kovac works for Litquake, San Francisco’s literary festival and teaches ballet to third graders. She’s a co-founder of the 501c3 nonprofit writing group Write On Mamas and co-editor of the group’s anthology of essays, Mamas Write: 29 Tales of Truth, Wit, and Grit. She is the 2016 director for the San Francisco production of Listen To Your Mother, a nation-wide reading series in celebration of Mother’s Day. She’s also a three-time scholarship recipient and alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. She is still an active member of the NICU community and is a regular contributor to a regional newsletter to parents of preemies. Since 2010, at the invitation of Sutter Health/California Pacific Medical Centers, she speaks annually to doctors and nurses on the topic of patient-care communication. In 2015 she was invited to the Bay Area Book Festival to participate in a how-to panel discussion on creating healthy writing communities. She also likes cats and chocolate, but not together.

Writing Prompt: You Remember
j9kovac
not this bus but one just like it
You remember the time in Ferrara, a town you only know because it’s the last stop in Veneto and because it has a theatre but no ballet company. If it did, you’d have auditioned here on your way to look for more stable work. Now it’s just a stop on the tour. The bus to Reggio Emilia is parked right outside the piazza and you know that in the daytime, it’s a pretty average piazza. If this were a smaller company, the poorly-managed kind without a lot of money, you’d mingle outside the stage doors waiting for the rest of the cast, smoking a cigarette under the “No Fumare” sign and then the group would wobble into town and eat at some local trattoria.

But this time you are with a more prestigious company and so there is no time to explore the town you’ve just performed in. The bus leaves 30 minutes after the last curtain call, the only vehicle in the whole boot of Italy that is punctual. You won’t eat until you get back to Reggio Emilia, and then not you make the final trek back to your tiny apartment. Not only will all the restaurants and trattorias be closed when the bus arrives, but you don’t earn enough to eat out after every performance. (Part of the reason that poorly-managed company never has any money is because they always treat the dancers to dinner.) But here at your new job, you’ll have to eat something at home, and with all the touring this week, there’s scarcely been time to go to the grocery store. There’s probably a bit of proscuitto and there’s always pasta and olive oil, if nothing else.

In a way, it’s no different than the bus that waited to take you from Uvalde, Texas back to El Paso when you were in 8th grade. Except perhaps, that you weren’t smoking then.

200 Words Before Breakfast -- Small Babies
j9kovac
Pause here. Linger.

Trouble is, I’m not sure what I was going to say. I grimace. Will my mom be shocked when she sees the boys? Only a few friends and family will come to see the boys when they’re in the NICU. They will aren’t all visibly distressed, but the ones that are will make me feel culpable for showing something they won’t be able to erase from their memories.

I grimace. They are so small. As small as you might think a baby could be, this is smaller, I want to say. At a foot long, they are the size of Chiara’s favorite doll, the one that fits perfectly in her arms. And even though this doll is accurate in height (what about weight?), it’s still more robust-looking, with baby fat molded in plastic creases.

She asks quickly. She knows that Matt’s dad has been diagnosed with a huge abdominal tumor several inches in diameter. She probably also knows that it is malignant, an inference Matt and I have not made. Our logic bent in the opposite direction. A tumor that big has to be benign, we reasoned. How else could you explain Mike’s relative health? The sixty-eight-year old still regularly competed in triathlons. Someone like that couldn’t have cancer.

200 Words Before Breakfast -- Thinking of a Guardian Angel
j9kovac
This is the moment in which it would be useful to have a guardian angel. Someone from the future, me, perhaps, and she’d tell me the truth, something only she would know. Like, “Michael and Wagner like to use the word, ‘basically.’” I don’t know if that would make me feel better. What would it be? It couldn’t be facts such as “no oxygen canisters, no asthma specialists, no stomach ports, no kidney surgeries.” Maybe it would be a picture—the boys on their first day of kindergarten. Our biggest problem is that Michael’s socks have a seam that is uncomfortable in his cowboy boots (he only wears cowboy boots or flip flops.) And Wagner is slightly bothered that we have never recovered his blue-gray fleece, the one with pockets that he can zip up by himself. But I don’t wan this picture. I don’t know if I can handle raising two more kids, but that’s not what I need to prepare for. I need to prepare myself for the worst case scenario, the one that the doctor had warned us about.

That’s what I need to prepare for, but what do I want to imagine? What would make me breath a little easier and a little slower?

200 Words Before Breakfast
j9kovac
Describing a big blue shirt:

It was a huge shirt, a warm medium blue, an XL. The only shirt that fits. I can't wear it everyday. Long sleeve. More of a tent than a shirt, perhaps. I wish they made fourth trimester clothes, even though I'm not out of my second trimester yet. I am enormous and round, hard and soft at the same time. The belly is its own entity and it has knocked my two-year-old on her bum twice this week: I turned the corner; she was running down the hall. I couldn't see her--the belly obstructs much of my view south of its equator and as with any blind spot, accidents are bound to happen.

There are other shirts, of course. But either they’re not long enough. Or they’re so big and baggy that they’re ugly. Or they’re not warm enough. It is winter after all. The material of the blue shirt is soft.

Pants are a bigger problem. There are three pairs that still fit—all from my first pregnancy. Beige cords and brown cords from the Gap, which are nice, but the waistband, a low and wide elastic that cuts into my ginormous sphere of a belly, is uncomfortable. Most importantly, there’s no support. I have one other pair of jean that my mother altered as maternity pants; these are so big and also ugly. I never thought I’d fit into them and now that they are the only pants that really fit without discomfort, they have become wonderful.

Bio for 1-Star Reviews and Lit Crawl
j9kovac
Janine Kovac: writer, reader, mother, napper. She gives 5-star ratings to all the books she reads. Just in case she needs a favor from that author later.

Janine Kovac is a founding member of the Write On Mamas and co-director of the San Francisco production of Listen To Your Mother.
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