Monthly Archives: February 2016

An Homage to Books, Cats, and Matt Haig

2016 pushka and books

For as long as I can remember I’ve devoured books of almost all genres. I still easily read three a week, taking every chance I get to immerse myself in someone else’s thoughts and imagination.
Recently, through writing my own first book ‘Paralian’ I’ve redoubled my efforts and have even caught myself reading whilst walking home from the bus stop. If it’s a good read, something resounding deeply within, I seem to be incapable to set those precious pages aside – and be it just for a few minutes. Even more so, I love those days when I can do nothing else but wiggle into the large cushions of our comfy couch, book in hand, Nacho and Pushka, our fluffy fur balls, purring on either side of me.
One writer who has managed to charm me more than most is Matt Haig. I love his fine sense of humour, his compassion, and sensitive celebration of life. In all he has been through I recognise a kindred spirit. Living through tremendous pain and struggle heightens our sense of how magical and meaningful our brief, meaningless existence really is. Storytelling in all forms and shapes, listening to others’ and sharing our own, being an essential part of this magic…

“I loved external narratives for the hope they offered. Films. TV dramas. And most of all, books. They were, in and of themselves, reasons to stay alive. Every book written is the product of a human mind in a particular state. Add all the books together and you get the end sum of humanity. Every time I read a great book I felt I was reading a kind of map, a treasure map, and the treasure I was being directed to was in actual fact myself. But each map was incomplete, and I would only locate the treasure if I read all the books, and so the process of finding my best self was an endless quest…”
(From Matt Haig’s new book ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’)

How beautiful, and how profoundly true. Thinking ahead to the months and years to come, I dream my books will add to the magic. ‘Paralian’ is a beginning. I hope it carries the inner strength to, at some point in time, be a treasure map for someone out there as well…


2007 my room in maldives

My dad always highlighted the importance of independence. His version of it was to amass as many savings as possible, thus being financially secure and free to move or buy at a moment’s notice.
Years later, during art school in Zurich, one of my professors pointed out how true independence can only be achieved by owning less instead of more. “Keep your standard of living as low as possible while still enjoying life to the fullest. Keep your possessions few or they will end up owning you. You’ll be tied to one spot.” His sentiment echoes in my heart to this day. It was advice much closer to my own heart.
Over the years, I began living accordingly, only holding on to few memorabilia… favourite books, gifts, small collectors items I picked up around the globe, notes and photographs transporting me back to meaningful moments…. all of these items easily fitting into a couple of boxes.
In 2005, I moved to a Maldivian island where I lived and worked for four years. Assorted wildlife scrambling up and down my bathroom tree. Coconuts falling from up high and slamming into the corrugated iron roof of my humble abode during all hours of the day and night. A comfy mattress, a handful of books, and a few square meters of privacy. I loved the material simplicity of my existence on that tiny pile of sand seemingly floating amidst oceanic hues of turquoise.

Get ready for a very special journey!


Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce the full cover of ‘Paralian: not just transgender’.
We have finished completing the design and I’ve just passed it for press which means after many months of hard work and preparations, Paralian will go to the printer next week.
I must admit I’m quite fond of the whole cover design. The fresh turquoise title and spine invite you to dive into sparkling lagoon water and already hint at the odyssey you will take with me to exotic destinations around the globe. And it’s what happens along the way, that will make all the difference…
The front and back cover place my thoughts into your trusted hands. Thoughts that will hopefully leave you spellbound, intrigued, touched, entertained, and with a twinkle in your eye. Just three more months to launch. Get ready for a very special journey!

The Rainbow Colours of Childhood

1978 1st grade

Look at this rainbow of first grade kids from 1978. Can you find me? Who was Liam (then still Stefanie) at 7 years old? I’m curious. Give me your best guess!
I’ll wait a little while to see if someone guesses right, and then I’ll reveal in a few days which one of these colour bursts is me.
Back then, I was an intrepid explorer. An Outsider. Old Shatterhand. A captain of the high seas. An Archeologist. A protector of wildlife. An outlaw who survived against all odds.
It seems my young soul back then knew instinctively who I was. But it took all the confusion of growing up and decades of searching, losing, and multiple times of getting back up again for me to rediscover those treasures.
I’m smiling to myself while writing these words for you, thinking “A-ha!” and understanding for maybe the first time that, in a sometimes real, sometimes more metaphorical sense, I became pretty much everything except Old Shatterhand.