Category Archives: Paralian

Another Quote…

… this one a bit cheesy I know 😉 but true nonetheless 😀 Here some more words of wisdom by yours truly, “hot off the tweet” from my publisher:

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Come visit me on Goodreads!

Come visit my author profile on Goodreads! Maybe put Paralian on your virtual “want to read” shelf (only 2 1/2 more months and you’ll be able to put it on the physical one in your living room). Goodreads also has a designated space where you can ask questions (you can always ask me anything, here or there). And you can follow me there as well. I’d be honoured. As always thanks so much for your support. It means a lot!

1st Quote

CdHV_kGW4AAVqKp.jpg large

Ha! Got to post what my publisher just tweeted. First time ever I get to share a meaningful picture quote by……… myself. And in case you’re wondering, I’m chuckling happily while I’m hitting “enter”.

Nothing Held Back

2010 HoDW Life

How I loved this job! Coaching performers, keeping them safe during the show, being a stage hand and stage manager underwater in one of the most visionary projects of all time. The best times were when I could prepare performers for their aquatic environment. I loved seeing them work during our training sessions. Their focus, dedication and support for each other were second to none.
My four years of being part of the “The House of Dancing Water” show family in Macau were life lived to the fullest. All in. Nothing held back. Steep learning curves. It was heaven and hell, Jekyll and Hyde, utter happiness and despair. I looked into the abyss and at the same time was mesmerised by the beauty, passion, and creativity all around me. Blood and tears, utter commitment, corporate politics, friendship, integrity, growth, dreams coming true (sometimes shattered), an abundance of hugs and kisses, standing ovations, and the overall emotional intensity of an earthquake magnitude 8 on the Richter Scale.

Paralian: Not Just Transgender Author Heads To UK For Book Launch Press Tour – Interview Dates Available

The Literally Public Relations Blog

 

[image]ADVANCE INFORMATION SHEET

Paralian: Notjusttransgender

By Liam Klenk

Author interview opportunities: Liam Klenk will be in the UK as part of his book launch press tour and available for face-to-face, telephone and in-studio interviews on the following days:April 8th-15th (unavailable on 11th April), May 30th-June 3rd, July 13th-15th

Paralian (definition: ancient Greek meaning ‘one who lives by the sea’) is a memoir narrated through the author’s relationship to water. We follow Liam Klenk’s tumultuous journey to find his authentic self and happiness against more than a lifetime’s worth of adversities. At five months old Liam was adopted from an orphanage and ushered into a unique journey, which introduced him to the characters that would become both the currents that moved him and the rocks that supported him.

Liam, who lives in Zurich with his wife, says: “At three years old I began catching odd…

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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…

Independence

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!

ParalianFullCover

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.

The Danish Girl And Me

2007 liam getting haircut

Have you seen “The Danish Girl”? Go see it!
I loved the sensitivity, the subtleness, the clarity, the not-so-in-your-face way of it. Never have I seen a transgender person portrayed with more love, sensitivity, and acceptance. “The Danish Girl” makes you really FEEL what it is like to be trapped in the wrong body. There was nothing extreme, nothing overly colourful, no over-obvious wow-effects, no capitalizing on the exoticness of it all… and yet, the movie gripped me through its profound humanity and through allowing me to understand the crushing extent of loneliness, lost-ness, and pain Lily was going through.
It was truly truly amazing! Beautiful.
I see myself so much in that movie. And I love how Lily was accepted as who she is by her closest friends. Just as I have always been accepted as who I am by those closest to me. Lily’s friends were there for her and treasured her the way she was. But like I did, Lily needed to find a way to live life out in the open, to be perceived on a daily basis as who she really was, and to get rid of a body that wasn’t hers. After her second operation, at the brink of death, she said with the most beautiful, heartfelt smile what I had felt too after my second operation: “Now I am finally, truly myself.” You could see it was worth it, even if it might mean she had to die that very instant.
With tears of happiness in my eyes, I remembered how terrified I had been of dying while still stranded in the wrong body. Nothing had felt more horrifying than to end up being buried in a body not my own. To be remembered with a tombstone, saying, “Miss Stefanie Klenk, beloved daughter of…”. I had hoped all along I would make it to the other side, so I could at least die happily in the knowledge of being buried as who I really was, always had been: “Mr. Liam Klenk, beloved son and husband of…”.
I think, most profoundly, “The Danish Girl” shows just how important it is to transgender individuals to be able to live life like everyone else. Lily’s happiness to be able to get a simple job as a perfume sales lady with a group of other women was heartbreaking.
See, the truth is, even though people like to think of us as exotic creatures, the majority of us aren’t colourful butterflies. We are just people who have been dealt a very screwed up deck of cards. And there are so many of us out there. We are everywhere, and always have been. Always will be.

I hope I’ll find a way to become a strong advocate and fighter for transgender people on a global scale. But when I do, I want to be there for others in the admirably sensitive way in which the movie “The Danish Girl” presents itself. Subtle, yet very powerful, clear, and very very personal.

I am glad we live now, in a world where people like Lily and I are not being locked up, subjected to radiation “treatments”, electroshock “treatments”, or killed anymore – at least most of the time that is, depending on where you live. Many trans people still can’t afford to come out in great style or even begin steps to become whole, because in the countries or areas they live in they’d be shot or beaten to death in an instant.
But still, we now live in a world where many people who had the good fortune of being born in the right body are at least beginning to understand a tiny little bit that being a trans man or woman means just the same as being a man or woman like everyone else out there. It’s this INCLUSIVENESS I want to highlight most of all. Not any kind of exclusiveness.
Plus, I want to help make clear to any of my contemporaries who are afraid, just how important it is to be yourself. How important it is to never let yourself be defined by only one element of your existence. You’re the sum of your experiences. You’re the soul within. Never let anyone tell you different or tell you who you are supposed to be. You know best who you are!