The Novel Is About Time

“The narrator is treading water in his life when the story opens. Nothing much is happening for him. One day, he has a problem, and he realizes: The people in this system aren’t going to help me. This insight doesn’t merely open his eyes. His whole life accelerates. He has to find the way forward. Some ways back will have to close.” — from my interview about Most Famous Short Film of All Time


Tucker Lieberman Author Interview

Most Famous Short Film of All Time is an enlightening book with thoughtful observations on life and insight into being transgender. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

Seeking ways to cut down my rough draft, I split the novel into 486 sections—one for each frame of the Zapruder film—and I limited each of those sections to 125 words. I marked each micro-section visually with a numbered frame from the film. Additional material didn’t fit within that structure. I found otherways to work in the rest of the material, so the novel remains long. That’s how the structure was set up.

Your characters were interesting and I enjoyed following them. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

The narrator is treading water in his life when the story opens. Nothing much is happening for him. One day, he has a problem…

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Saskia Vogel: On ‘translating silence’

“As a translator of Swedish, I find myself translating silence often. The Swedish language has a stunning capacity for silence. There seems to be a trust or an understanding between writer (plus the publisher) and reader about a certain freedom in the text. Pauses, inferences, and space left in between the lines for the reader to draw their own conclusion, to decide what something means for themselves. Moments that in my experience, will sometimes get flagged by English language editors asking for clarity or specificity.”

—Saskia Vogel, “The Same River Twice: Notes on Reading, Time, and Translation,” Words Without Borders, January 23, 2023

On listening to transgender people

From the interplanetary donut cornucopia that is the novel Light from Uncommon Stars:

“The audience wanted transgender? They would get transgender. Or queer, or whatever else they wanted. But they would also get her.

And she was beautiful.

Listen to me. Listen to me now. For if this dogwood bow can force beauty upon you, then I shall shove every part of myself into that beauty. I shall make you feel all the joy, the terror in loving who you are.”

— Ryka Aoki, Light from Uncommon Stars
Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

On standing in the middle

Today I’m reading the novel Blue Skinned Gods. It is gorgeous, and I share this passage with you:

I asked her what being a thirunangai meant.

She thought about the question for a long time, so long that I worried I’d offended her. But eventually, she answered in a small, quiet voice.

‘It means something different to everyone,’ she said. ‘But for me, it means everyone thinks I’m a boy, or that I should be. My family does. My body does. But—I’m not. I’m a girl, I think. But I’m different, because of this body.’

I sort of understood. Gods transcended their sexes and genders all the time. Vishnu became Mohini, the enchantress.

‘My body and soul are in misalignment,’ she said. ‘I stand in the middle somewhere.’

I wanted to tell her I stood in the middle, too, somewhere between god and not-god.

— SJ Sindu, Blue Skinned Gods

For a few more days: Pay what you like for all tRaum on Itch

From tRaum Books:

“…if you missed some of our books or would like to have them all on your device and at your fingertips, we’re running a limited pay what you like deal (suggested 20 USD) for access to our entire catalogue so far, over on ITCH IO. ❤

tRaum Books on Facebook, January 13, 2023

This deal will be valid for a few more days.

I’m an elder Millennial, or more likely Gen X, who can figure out how to make a blog post and also has been allowed to open social media accounts but hasn’t yet learned how to avoid embarrassingly “liking” my own Facebook posts, so I’m putting this information here, which feels safer.

If you want to argue about whether you, I, or anyone is Millennial or Gen X, please go to tRaum on Itch, buy the catalog, and read my Most Famous Short Film of All Time for a few details of the generational argument.

Please also read all the other tRaum authors. I have done so. They will touch your heart and then blow up your mind.

  1. Reading indie books is transformative for you.
  2. Buying indie books (even at deep discounts) is transformative for publishers and authors.
  3. The ghosts of Elvis and JFK are watching you, and they’ll know what you do or don’t do.