Franz Kafka has been a part of Grinovich's life since she was 12. "I'd always written crazy, weird stories, short stories as a kid — they were always kind of dark, [but] not very well-written," she says. "My dad noticed . . . what I was leaning toward in my writing, so he got me Franz Kafka's short stories and I was just blown away."

Grinovich, who comes from a family of artists, feels the tattoo is a tribute to them, too. "It's just really nice for me to think back and think, 'Oh, my dad knew who I was even back then' and he was encouraging this kind of weird, creative side to me . . . when some parents would say, 'Oh, she needs help.' And that kind of got the ball rolling for me to be a writer."

After receiving her BFA in creative writing from Pratt and spending a few post-collegiate years in New York City working for Spin, Grinovich returned to Boston to work on her writing and as a baker for True Grounds in Somerville. "I never wanted a job where I couldn't be completely myself," she says, "and I never wanted to have to cover up who I was."

Her tattoo helps Grinovich stay focused on her writing. "This tattoo is kind of forcing me to become disciplined; looking down at it every day, thinking, 'I have to write every day,'" she says. "I'm out of school. I'm a baker. You don't have teachers and professors pushing you anymore."

Grinovich's dedication codifies a universal truth of those with literary tattoos. "I wear my heart on my sleeve."

Eugenia Williamson can be reached at ewilliamson@phx.com.

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