"I was engulfed by the salty sea."

Last July, I received an email from WordPress telling me that the domain of my blog (HemlockTime.com) was about to expire and that I needed to renew my subscription.

"Really? It's been a year now?" was my immediate reaction.

Time went by unnoticed because I was immersed in drafting my first novel, maintaining my blogs, improving my software development skills, learning new skills, and continuing the path of personal development. As much as what I said next was a cliche, it couldn't be helped because it was the truth. "I can't believe this journey has been going on for a year already," I told myself. "I can't believe it."

With that, I decided to celebrate this milestone by making this book, an idea that only sprung when I realized that I had been on this road for more than 365 days already. This collection is a selection of my posts from my blogs. Picked personally by me, I believe they are the best representations of the tiny stories that encompassed the year that had gone by, the year when my life truly began.

This might be mistaken for a narcissistic vanity project but it is not. This book is not for me but for my readers, supporters, and friends around the world. I can never deny the motivation and inspiration you all gave me, directly and indirectly, on Twitter, WordPress, Glipho, Medium, Instagram, Tumblr, Quora, About.me, Voycee, and Flickr. As much as writing healed my aches and griefs, your kind words and support helped make the past year an incredible one. So allow me to give something back.

I also bring to you three new pieces of time, never published anywhere until now, in this book. Eluding Summer, a poem I kept hidden for years, to represent the past. Stars and Rocket, a story that I submitted to a contest but wasn't picked, to speak for the present that is a constant battle against rejection and challenges. And Nancy Comes To Life, sequel to my earlier story Nancy, to embody the future where we will make the world a better place and where we will make a difference.

Thank you!

For a while I was winter, eluded by dear summer.
— Excerpt from "Eluding Summer"