5.0 out of 5 stars Torera !... Ole !!, June 15, 2011
By FightForTheSoul - See all my reviews This review is from: Torera (Paperback) R. Paul Sardanas has been blowing away readers all by himself with his previous novels and poetry compilations and has decided to branch out and collaborate with other writers. It appears to be a good decision that he chose Tisha Garcia to work with as I found their styles in Torera to not only be enticing but seamless. It appears to be Ms. Garcia's first major work, and like the bulls featured in the story, she comes charging hot out of the gates.

The measure of a great book is how it compares to the classics, and this novel has the look and feel of a lost Hemingway. Torera is a period piece and what I especially liked was the attention to detail. It's written with blunt honesty and disarming grace. It shines best when they capture the psychology behind what it's like to be corralled into an environment you don't want to be in, as seen when the main character is nudged by her mother into becoming a dancer.

Overall, I quickly found that the fiery passion behind this feminist narrative will suck you in, even if you know nothing about the world of bullfighting. If this is just a one-off between both authors then I will be really sad, as what they have is some great chemistry.




If  you wake up one day, or your driving in your car and Tom Petty comes on on every station, you have a dream and you ask me to go and get pizza when I'm floating over a cliff, You get a whiff of my body lotion on your pillow case- and it makes you really smile, You find yourself rereading my old IM's or emails, you get all teary eyed watching The Jerk, you cant write because your mind wanders and you cant focus looking at your email box hoping it will say my name, You see my face when your spanking it and you get up and turn off the Asian porn because its not real its just plastic in a box and a real woman would just be so much nicer to share yourself with, IF you think of  how great it would make you feel to know that a couple times a year I could/would come and visit and we could cuddle on the couch and watch old movies together- me rubbing your feet while you grumbled, cupcakes depress you for no reason at all, you fall asleep thinking about me, you decide that I'm always right and that Snapple does kinda taste the way pee smells, you miss hearing my voice on the phone 856miles away, you spend long periods of silence thinking about how nice my name is coming out of your mouth when you take me, knowing that your nights off with out 80's night is just empty, picnics in the park under a cherry blossom tree eating birthday cake and the right Wawa sandwiches with your best friend and the person who loves and adores you more then anyone else on the stinking planet is on your top 5 things that genuinely would make you happy, you start to think that maybe women with curves aren't so godawful, knowing that someone lies awake at night and dreams of you - that that very same person loves your heart, your mistakes, Cherish's your personality, your smile, your insecurities,the way you smell, (except your socks we have to draw the line somewhere) your grumpy days,the way you write and what you write, your sense of humor, the bunny paintings you paint, your warts on your back and your port stain on your hand, your giant weird looking feet, your thinning hair,your voice (all the time) and loyalty and diligence.That your mom thinks Im the shit! (Dont forget to mow the lawn, but put gas in it first so you dont rip your rectum) that walks in the snow talking about other peoples lives and robbing trains is heaven.
IF you realize that this same person isn't half as neat as you and isn't perfect or even beautiful  , that you can share this small time in your life knowing that they breath on their own just fine (except that issue with asthma...) that they want to be with you any day you have free. Because that person believes that THIS is our time and its okay if its 0nly for awhile. Because ...Everything is.
Then you should pick up your land line and call me. You should take a fucking chance and hold my hand. Say you love me and mean it, if it feels good theres nothing wrong with it. I am not going to wait forever, but Ive already waited 4 years whats a couple more days?
Hi, gearing up for all kinds of fun. Paul Sardanas and I will be guest blogging this Sunday May the 8th at:

Im all most finished with my half of Beneath An Elegant Moon a short story anthology published by PIP Publishing, co written with my writing partner Paul Sardanas. (Just posted an excerpt)

Working on a short story for Oysters And Chocolate (will post the link when its officially up)

Putting together a fun and very naughty blog on my personal writers page at
A fun session of what is really on a mans mind.Starting this Friday night.

And packing my bags for another trip to spend a week in New York where I plan on writing, wriitng and watching all the street action while....writing.

I just have to post this blog from my dearest friend and collaborator R. Paul Sardanas. I can not re[read it as it always makes me tear up. All I can say is no matter how far I might go in the literary world, or how many book reviews come in or whom ever else I should ever cowrite with I will NEVER be as greatful or thankful as I have been writng with him.The things I have learned in the course of working on Torera are immeasurable, my thanks and admiration endless.

The official blog can be found on the link below.


Today "Torera", the epic novel exploring thirty years in the life of lady matador Lucretia Maria Calderon, goes on sale from Passion in Print Press. Any day a book makes it out of the mind of its creators and into the world is an exciting day, and I am particularly proud of this book, which is the product of two people finding a shared voice, one of the most satisfying experiences I believe a writer can have.

I've been incredibly gifted with the collaborators I've joined with over the years. Artist David Cuccia (whose stunning portrait of Lucretia is at the end of this blog...many thanks, David!), Erotic Artist Samarel, painter Bedazzled, artist and poet Marge Simon to name a few, as well as poetic works created together with talents like Tess MacKall, Willow, Kristaline, Kate Barker, Saroya and many more. Each time, I am amazed at the depth of these artists and writers, who take me outside of my own mind with fresh and inspiring visions.

In the writing of  "Torera", I had the honor of coming to know Tisha Garcia, who before arriving in the world of novels has written remarkable, cutting-edge screenplays with her writing partner David Strickler. Ideas flew fast and thick when Tisha and I began to brainstorm this book, and it grew and grew through that interaction, becoming a story of intense depth and  history. My original concept for the book (as I am a devoted animal-lover, and wondered how I would respond emotionally to a story about the world of bullfighting) was to set it in the modern arena of "bloodless" bullfighting, where supposedly no one gets hurt as all go through the motions of the classical bullfight -- but that story, though it would have been interesting, lacked the fire of deep emotion. Tisha felt that we could bring the story to a more powerful environment by going to the literary place that Hemingway went in his book "Death in the Afternoon"...looking with a novelist's eye at the wildly obsessive and driven figures of the 20th century Spanish corrida.

To that end we both read Hemingway, and researched the matadors of Spain, including Belmonte, Joselito, and many others -- but as our matador was to be a woman, we also studied the lives of Conchita Cintron, Patricia McCormick, and other Lady Matadors. Truly fascinating. And I came to think that like pacifists who write the most insightful books about war, perhaps Tisha and I truly could write not only of the violence and blood of the bullring, but the honor, courage, and almost mystical connection to life and death that these men and women embodied and experienced.

And so instead of one sun shining down on an idea as there is in the writing of a solo novel, there were two. Time and again I would be touched, astonished, moved and excited by the subtleties and strengths Tisha brought to the story. Our writing became a very organic thing, with each of us selecting a period in Lucretia's life that interested us particularly, and writing chapters along a time line in that manner, each of us sharing our thoughts and adapting as we went along. We took on subjects like fighting the disempowerment of women; the emotional and sexual obsessions of people who make the choice of a career that could kill them on any given day; and we didn't shy away from the violent world of the corrida, while at the same time exploring the humanity of those who live it. We found humor and tragedy, love and life.

The end result? Only the readers can tell us, but reading the finished novel, there is a seamless feel that I think most collaborators dream of. Our vision for the characters, the story, became one voice...bringing life to scenes that neither of us could have achieved alone.

Tisha, thank you for the gift of your wild intelligence, your insight, and your gift with words. "Torera" is alive with all of those things. I hope that the readers who read about the lives of Lucretia, Diego, Christian and all the others we illuminated in our thirty-year narrative, will feel the same exhilaration in reading as I felt in writing this book with you.

by Karl Shapiro

The dirty word hops in the cage of the mind like the Pondicherry vulture, stomping with its heavy claw on the sweet meat of the brain and tearing it with its vicious beak, ripping and chopping the flesh. Terrified, the small boy bears the big bird of the dirty word into the house, and, grunting, puffing, carries it up the stairs to his own room in the skull. Bits of black feather cling to his clothes and his hair as he locks the staring creature in the dark closet.

All day the small boy returns to the closet to examine and feed the bird, to caress and kick the bird, that now snaps and flaps its wings savagely whenever the door is opened. How the boy trembles and delights at the sight of the white excrement of the bird! How the bird leaps and rushes against the walls of the skull, trying to escape from the zoo of the vocabulary! How wildly snaps the sweet meat of the brain in its rage.

And the bird outlives the man, being freed at the man’s death-funeral by a word from the Rabbi.

(But I one morning went upstairs and opened the door and entered the closet and found the great bird dead. Softly I wept it and softly removed it and softly buried the body of the bird in the hollyhock garden of the house I lived in twenty years before. And out of the worn black feathers of the wing I have made these pens to write these elegies, for I have outlived the bird, and I have murdered it in my early manhood).
This was a triumph! Making a note here. HUGE SUCESS. Its hard to over state my satisfaction.
Like Aperture science, we do what we must because we can.

This is fact not fiction for the first time in years I can say that I feel pretty damn good about where I am going, where I have been and who I would really like to be with. I mean I have a book out, my first! Its published as of a few days ago. Im working on a short for an anthology with someone I respect and enjoy writing with. I am getting ready to shop around a gay novel titled Crossing Over which I wrote with my best friend. I dont sleep all day waiting for the sunset. I've just discovered gay bars, peanut butter hot chocolate, Nifty Fifties and double orgasms in Philly.
The Delta of Venus is one of Anais Nin's most prized works. It was written for a mysterious 'collector' of erotica, who offered Henry Miller a hundred dollars a month to write erotic stories. It is said that every one of their friends took a hand in creating the erotic stories -- but the 'collector' replied "Just the sex, lose the poetry."

Anais Nin and Henry Miller wrote a letter to the collector, after he suggested they "cut the poetry." This letter began, "Dear Sir, we hate you..." and continued with the gem of a retort below:

"Sex loses all its power and magic when it becomes explicit, mechanical, overdone, when it becomes a mechanistic obsession. It becomes a bore. You have taught us more than anyone I know how wrong it is not to mix it with emotion, hunger, desire, lust, whims, caprices, personal ties, deeper relationships that change its color, flavor, rhythms, intensities.

You do not know what you are missing by your microscopic examinations of sexual activity to the exclusion of aspects which are the fuel that ignites it. Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformation, its aphrodisiac elements. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood.

If you nourished your sexual life with all the excitements and adventures which love injects into sensuality, you would be the most potent man in the world. The source of sexual power is curiosity, passion. You are watching its little flame die of asphyxiation. Sex does not thrive on monotony. Without feeling, inventions, mood, there are no surprises in bed. Sex must be mixed with tears, laughter, words, promises, scenes, jealousy, envy, all of the spices of fear, foreign travel, new faces, novels, stories, dreams, fantasies, music, dancing, opium, wine.

How much do you lose by this periscope at the tip of your sex, when you could enjoy a harem of distinct and never-repeated wonders? No two hairs alike, but you will not let us waste words on a description of hair; no two odors, but if we expand on this you cry: Cut the poetry! No two skins with the same texture, and never the same light, temperature, shadows, never the same gestures; for a lover, when he is aroused by true love, can run the gamut of centuries of love lore. What a range, what changes of age, what variations of maturity and innocence, Perversity and art.

We have sat around for hours and wondered how you look. If you have closed your senses upon silk, light, color, odor, character, temperature, you must by now be completely shriveled up. There are so many minor senses, all running like tributaries into the mainstream of sex, nourishing it. Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstacy."

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