I’ve returned to blog land on behalf of my always working mind.

You see, I’m four chapters away from finishing my book. No, not the NaNoWriMo book, the one before it. And I’m excited. Fearful but excited.

So since I’m close to being able to add the word novelist to my increasing list of titles, I thought that documenting the process, as well as my writing life, would help.

So here I am. Blogging, again. Baring my fragile soul to the world. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

The first entry? Picasso’s Dragon. This was started by my friend and novelist Tony Diaz in Houston. PD is a glorified book club really but so much more. I would call it a journey. His goal is to read good writing, the stuff that isn’t taught in MFA programs or became bestsellers on some list. He does this in hopes to revive his writing, to elevate his skill or, put in terms I would say, “he wants to up his game so he can school people while pushing the game to a new level.”

The dragon’s goal? Read one book a week for a year. Can he do it? I know for a fact I can’t. The first book is Fight Club which they’ll be discussing during the Nuestra Palabra radio show Jan 15 on KPFT 90.1 Houston.

In support of Tony and Picasso’s Dragon, I pledged to read Double Indemnity by James Cain for the mid-February show. It’s a short read, about 100 pages in my copy, and it’s perfect in its lack of description and momentum. (I’ll talk about that in a later blog). I can’t wait to talk about it on air with Tony!

After pledging to read this book, I created my own reading list. My purpose is different than Picasso’s Dragon, however. I need to read to remember my experiences as a nerdy girl growing up in East Harris County and to remember the type of writer I want to become eventually. It’s really a search for who I was and who I want to become on the page. I’ve wanted to write book for as far back as I can remember and even as a less social child growing up in the land of cheerleaders and popular girls, I clung to books as if they were my best friends. It wasn’t until I was in college that I shed the nerd/geek girl skin for outgoing, fun loving, sorority girl with a talent for writing.

So I’ve composed my own list and I’m calling it Project: Finding La Diva. I’m not reading 52 books in a year like Tony, but I’m reading books that I’ve been meaning to read from authors with voices that I enjoyed or think have something to say. This is an attempt to find the inner nerdy geeky girl I was, give her a hug and say “it’s okay to be yourself. Being popular is overrated.”

Editor’s note(3/23/08): For the most up-to-date list check out the column on the right.

Here’s my list (in no particular order)
Double Indemnity
The Bonesetter’s Daughter
The Savage Detectives
Loving Che
Water for Elephants
The Aguero Sisters
Days of Awe
The Things They Carried
Peel Me Like An Onion
Anatomy of a Murder
The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao
The House of the Spirits
Tale of Two Cities
Wuthering Heights
Anna Karenina
Of Love and Other Demons or Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Los Amigos Que Perdi
In Love and In Trouble
I, Rigoberta Menchu

(Special thanks to the Wichita Public Library for having the titles I don’t already own)

This is a fluid list and titles could jump on or off at the drop of a hat. Anyone is welcomed to join in or make suggestions.

Viva Picasso’s Dragon and Finding La Diva!