Yes, it was there in my head, but events proliferated as I went along. For instance, I thought all the action in the novel would be contained in one day and night, but a folder started to fill up with things marked “Next .” I didn’t foresee the stories that grew out of the stories—that was one of the joys of working the novel out. I thought the book would be short, and instead it was three or four times longer than my normal work. There’s no way of estimating its original length because I had great chunks of things in paper clips, which weren’t numbered until they went to the printer. And I must have thrown away at least as much as I kept in the book.
Pieces from Diego's collection would also appear in many of her paintings or serve as models or inspiration for a painting. Her 1932 painting "My Birth" in which she paints " how I imagined I was born ", a statue of the Aztec Goddess Tlazolteolt may have been the model. In "My Nurse and I" from 1937, the "Nurse" is wearing a Teotihuacán mask and the "Madonna and Child" pose may have been modeled after a pre-Columbian statue. Pre-Columbian artifacts can be found in other paintings as well: "The Four Inhabitants of Mexico City" (1938), "Girl with Death Mask" (1938), and "Self-Portrait with Small Monkey" (1945).