Category Archives: Writing

Word of Mouse

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Today’s a writing day.
As of now, I am four chapters into my second book.
And I guess it’s time to share with you what it will be about.
I can’t say too much yet since I am still in the developing phase and, honestly, am making it up as I go along.

It’ll have depth.
It’ll be fun.
It’ll make you think.
It’ll make you laugh and cry.
It’ll be unusual.

That I can promise.

The working title of my new book is “Word of Mouse”. It is semi-autobiographical but rather than on me, it will focus on the wonderful animal companions I’ve been privileged to have by my side over the years. In anecdotal short stories, “Word of Mouse” will focus on the life lessons they taught me. On being yourself and letting others be just as they are. And on the importance of truly listening to the souls around us.

So watch this space 🙂 It’ll be worth it.

“Some people talk to animals.
Not many listen though.
That’s the problem.”
(A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh)

Discovering the Ocean

2017 at devils tear lembongan

“During my early years, we would go to the North Sea every summer for a long family holiday. I was enchanted from the first moment I laid eyes on the dark blue endlessness. My senses were alert and I felt intensely alive. Nowhere else had I felt so invigorated. Every cell of my small body tried to absorb as much of the beauty around me as it possibly could. I breathed deeply, tasting and smelling the salty air. It seemed to be dense and alive with the power of the ocean.

The sand dunes rolled softly under my feet, making me feel rested and at home. Rabbits bounded around the tall dunes, sea gulls screamed and fiercely defended their territories. Sometimes, when we stumbled unawares into a nesting ground, we had to fend off the enraged birds by wildly swinging our umbrellas. Hildegard would be terrified, Konrad, amused, and I, delighted at the sight of these huge birds as well as the exhilarating sense of adventure. At low tide, we hiked far out into the mud flats, my young soul inquisitive about every tiny worm and crab we encountered. The mud flats felt like frozen velvet, for the North Sea water temperatures were cold even during the warmest months of the year.

Discovering the ocean changed my young life. I threw myself into the cold churning waves, balloon-like arm floats encircling my tiny arms. Goose bumps quickly covered my entire body as I savored the taste and the sensation of a living entity enveloping my body. My soul felt rested and at home while at the same time sensing danger and fragility. Whatever might happen to me in the years to come, I would always draw solace and strength from the ocean. I had discovered the love of my life.”

(Excerpt from Paralian, Chapter 3 “North Sea”)

http://www.liamklenk.com/books/

In a Land of Dreams…

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Anyone else know this feeling: many times, in the middle of the night, I wake up able to remember complex dreams that feel like thrillers or epic tales of adventure. Then, during the one minute during which I surface from my dream universe, I think, “Wow, this is awesome. I need to make notes immediately!” Inevitably, my body refuses to cooperate and I drift back into the story I emerged from.
Sometimes, I even dream about ideas and about developing them.
Or I find myself in a half-awake-half-asleep daze with visions and creative ideas chasing each other… yet my exhausted mind isn’t able to focus on a single one.
Then the morning comes. I wake up, open my eyes, and vaguely remember creative sparks that seemed divine at the time. Yet no matter how hard I try to grasp a single one of those rays of magic, they are gone… resting safely in a land of their own…

Hello Mr. Kleng

2017 in ubuds ricefields

Bali has always been one of my favorite destinations. Especially Lembongan took my heart by storm when I first visited in 2007 and it has enchanted me ever since.

Last month, I was on my way there again for my 5th visit. After landing in Denpasar, my wife and I, Mr. and Mrs. Klenk, together with two friends, drove straight to Sanur where we stayed the night. The next morning, a driver from the speedboat company picked us up.

He introduced himself with a beaming smile, “Good morning! My name is Gede. You’re going to Lembongan today? I’m here to bring you to the speedboat.”

He then addressed me directly, “Are you Mr. Kleng?”

It was a slightly different pronunciation. The softer “g” at the end felt exotic and gentle compared to the strict “k” people would apply in Europe. Otherwise, it definitely still sounded exactly like my name. I nodded and smiled, “Yes, that’s me.”

Something like a mad sparkle passed through Gede’s eyes for just an instant. The sides of his mouth twitched. Then he said, calmly, “Great, let’s go. The boat is waiting.”

The four of us hopped into the van. Only about a minute had passed when I could hear what sounded like barely repressed giggles or crying coming from the man in the driver’s seat. “You’re really Mr. Kleng?” he asked once more.

“Yes, I am.” I assured him patiently.

Whereupon he began chuckling and laughing uncontrollably. I was amused and getting curious as to what I might have done to set him off like this. After a while he calmed down enough to ask, “Has anyone ever told you what your name means in Balinese language?”

“No”, I said, “This is my 5th time in Bali but no one has ever said anything. What does it mean?”

“Are you sure you want to know? You won’t get angry, right?”

“No of course not. Tell me. I am really curious now.” I said with a smile.

“In Balinese, a Kleng is a bastard, a shit, a dog head. So in our language you are Mr. Bastard.” And off he went again, dissolving in laughter. “I guess nobody dared tell you so far. But I am sure they thought it was hilarious, too, hahahahahaha.”
“Mr. Kleng,” he added again for good measure.

We all looked at each other and burst out laughing. “Seems like I need to have a serious talk with my parents when I get home,” I said, “What were they thinking?”

We all roared with laughter. Then my wife said, “And I am Mrs. Kleng!” which got us all bent over double, gasping for breath, the entire van now surely vibrating from our chuckles and howling laughter.

After a few minutes we fell back exhausted. Then one of our friends became all thoughtful, “Hmmm… and when you have children… you’ll have little Klengs.”

This set us off even harder than before. Five people, barely able to catch their breaths anymore. Eyes sparkling. Our entire bodies aching from the prolonged laughter.

By the time we reached the speedboat office we could barely speak. We stumbled out of the van, weak in the knees, still giggling, gurgling, and chuckling like a chorus of Mad Hatters.

Gede led us into the office, took a deep breath and said to his colleagues, “This is Mr. Kleng and company.”

The lady behind the counter stayed remarkably neutral. “Yes Sir, over here, I’ll issue your speedboat tickets. Thank you.” Her colleagues fared less well and were desperately trying to hide their good-natured, spreading smiles behind the palms of their hands.

Half an hour later, Gede and I shook hands. “All the best my friend,” I said. “It was a fun ride. Take care.”

“Goodbye Mr. Kleng,” he answered, a big grin immediately spreading over his entire face again. “It was a pleasure driving you, your friends, and Mrs. Kleng this morning.”

He turned and walked away. As I looked after him I saw his shoulders were shaking, and even through the deafening noise of on- and off-boarding passengers I could still hear him giggling until he turned the corner of the speedboat office building.

Now that we knew, it was fun to watch people at diving center and guesthouse receptions when we signed in. We made a point of introducing ourselves by name. “Hello, we are Mr. and Mrs. Kleng. Can you help us please?” Each time, the clerk behind the counter managed to put a hand in front of his or her mouth just in time to hide the spreading grins they were barely able to contain.

Now we are back in Zurich. But watch out Bali. The Klengs will be back!

Through the Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass

Here is one of the articles I wrote for TheatreArtLife so far.
It is about discovering the magic backstage and re-claiming my muchness.
If you like this one also check out the other four articles from my contributor page. I am looking forward to writing more for this exciting new platform over the next few months and years. At the same time, I am also using every morning commute and lunch break to continue bringing the 1st draft of my second book to life…

TheatreArtLife has launched!

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TheatreArtLife has launched! Amongst many other interesting subjects to browse through, you’ll find an array of fabulous contributors sharing their personal stories and experiences.
The link here will take you to my contributor page where you’ll already see 5 engaging short stories/articles about backstage life – with more to come
Enjoy browsing the site!

Writing for TheatreArtLife

Liam Quote 1 TheatreArtLife

My first gala premiere in Zurich’s Cinema Corso was in 1993. After a while of working as an usher, I became the designated follow-spot operator for these events, wielding an ancient, uncooperative, and incredibly heavy follow-spot. Ever since then theatre has a special place in my heart.
So, I am truly happy to be a tiny part of TheatreArtLife, an exciting new platform for theatre professionals and anyone interested in the performing arts. A global arena to share stories, ideas, technologies, and work methods. World premiere is imminent: on April 28th, 2017
From then on, stop by any time, on https://theatreartlife.com
In the article section, a select group of writers will share their ideas, memories, and opinions.
I’ll contribute articles regularly, based on my experiences backstage. They’ll be short stories about unforgettable moments and epiphanies during my work in theatre in Zurich, Macau, and Hong Kong. Stories about life lessons learned, and those moments when, by reaching beyond our limits, we become better human beings.