A Writer’s Life

 

Diana Rico_05_photo credit Ona Matulic (2)

Diana Rico is an award-winning, Puerto Rico born writer who calls Taos her home.

I first connected with Diana on Facebook, drawn to her sensitive and beautifully written posts and her generous sharing of content posted by others – I was struck by her gentle and diplomatic handling of subjects that made many (often, myself included) pretty hot under the collar.

Diana navigates these issues like a sailor long accustomed to stormy waters and frequently, she’ll pepper her posts with images of exquisitely breathtaking beauty or a bit of astrological information that seems utterly incongruent with the seriousness of her usual (albeit witty) tone.

I was naturally intrigued and invited her to be interviewed for a piece on taoStyle.

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It didn’t go as smoothly as expected, for one thing we kept missing, like ships passing in the night. Diana blamed it on the Mercury Retrograde which was then in effect, and when we finally did meet, at the World Cup Cafe, she was exactly as I imagined she would be. Arriving from a Yoga class at Shree, she was cool, calm and very collected. I on the other hand, was my usual high-strung self, worrying I’d miss her yet again!

My fears were unfounded – other than mispronouncing her name and being gently corrected (it’s Dee-aana) we hit it off at once and settled down on a shaded bench to talk about her writing and her life here in Taos.

Diana is an internationally published journalist with a resume that belies her understated manner. She’s written for ARTnews, Elle, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar,  Mother Jones, O, the Oprah Magazine among several others. She was the Art & Architechture writer for the Los Angeles Daily News, the Editor -in-Chief of International Documentary Magazine and a senior writer for E! Entertainment Television.

Her Television documentaries have aired in millions of homes internationally and she’s been interviewed by Charlie Rose, Larry King and on Good Morning America.

Diana at work_photo credit Rene Arriola

She’s curated programming for film festivals and arts organizations and has been the recipient of several grants, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wurlitzer Foundation (here in Taos) and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers.

As if that weren’t enough, she is also a literary editor with a long list of credits (University of California Press, University of New Mexico Press, Shambhala, Tarcher, Knapp among others).

“In 1990, while I was still writing for magazines and before I got into TV, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich published my first book, Kovacsland: A Biography of Ernie Kovacs, about the pioneering 1950s TV comedian who influenced folks like David Letterman and the early Saturday Night Live crew.” she told me.

“That book got me interviewed by Larry King and Charlie Rose, and in 1997 it was instrumental in helping me get my first job in TV, as a producer-writer on the biography show E! True Hollywood Story for E! Entertainment Television.”

At that time Lee Masters, who had been the General Manager of MTV, was running E!. I mentioned to Diana that Lee and I had been co-writers on a syndicated radio show (The Sunday Funnies) during the 70’s and that he’s an old friend. Jarl Mohn (Lee Masters was his radio name which he has since abandoned) now heads up NPR.

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We both laughed at the coincidence and put it down to Taos, where everyone you meet are just two people removed, or so it often seems.

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Diana’s parents moved to Los Angeles when she was still a child, and Southern California remained her home until she discovered Taos fifteen years ago.

She was burned out by L.A. and longed for a simpler, more uncomplicated place to explore her spiritual side and find the peace of mind so desperately needed for creativity to flow.

Years spent on the fast track had taken their toll and she was ready to reclaim her authentic self.

She had been teaching blocked creatives to make artistic breakthroughs for five years before coming here and Taos gave her the space to continue that work.

“A lot of people in Taos know me for that and because they used to come to my programs when I was curator of the Writers Series for SOMOS (2008-2009).” She explained. ” I brought in some national best-selling authors, so often my programs were sold out, standing room only events.”

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Last weekend she co-hosted a workshop at Shree Yoga  with Suki Dalury (THE NECTAR AT THE HEART OF FEAR: A Yoga-Supported Creative Breakthrough Playshop). I’m sure it will be the first of many. Diana is a Yoga devotee who takes classes three or four days a week.

Her current (literary) projects included editing the catalogue for the upcoming Mabel Dodge Luhan exhibit at the Harwood Museum here in Taos and (Taos artist and writer) Anita Rodriguez’ book, due out next year.

I told Diana that I consider Anita one of my mentors, and a woman I hold in the highest regard. Once more, during our hour-long meeting, we discovered common ground. I couldn’t think of a better person to edit Anita’s brilliant writing, and when I talked with her (Anita) later, neither could she.

I could have spent hours talking with this intelligent and perceptive woman  – but unfortunately I had another appointment scheduled and had to go. For that matter, so did she; deadlines are the ever-present nagging voice in a writer’s ear, especially one as accomplished and in demand as Diana.

 

To read more about Diana Rico please visit her site linked below this post.

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Photographs of Diana and her workspace care of Diana Rico

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “A Writer’s Life

  1. “Years spent on the fast track had taken their toll and she was ready to reclaim her authentic self”. Brilliance
    A writer writing about another writer about her writing.
    Taos has so many interesting accomplished people.

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