Xeno Hemlock
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We Are Made, Not Born, Brave/The 3 Benefits of Being Brave

There's something to love about BRAVE people: those who are not afraid to speak their mind even if what they have to say is contrary to popular and outdated beliefs, those who are not afraid to do as they please even with the risk of looking silly in the eyes of others, and those who dare to take the road less traveled because it's scary to live life without a map. They radiate with fiery aura, scorching hot to some, soul-renewing to others. Some of them get labeled heroes, some are misunderstood. They can be anybody, someone appearing in  magazines or even living next door. If given a choice whether to live life as a brave person or not, I'll always pick the former. Easy and tough choice. But I wasn't always that way. We aren't born BRAVE. We are made BRAVE.

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Happy 1st Birthday, "I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me"

Happy 1st birthday to my son, I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me. I labored you for 3 years (and it thrilled me) and love you with my flesh, blood, sweat, tears, heart, spirit, and soul. I am proud of you and will be for eternity.

As a special celebration for this milestone, here are 10 trivia about the book.

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#ThinkAboutIt - Do You Take Risks?

Ever since my awakening to my life's purpose, I've been more sensitive to messages and winks the universe sends my way. There was that time a Mark Twain quote knocked me off the cinema seat figuratively while watching The Equalizer. There was also that time I found some wisdom in Insidious: Chapter 3. Also, watching Moana made me cry silently inside the giant, dim room of the theater as the song "How Far I'll Go" tugged at my soulstrings. You see, I'm no stranger to experiencing pseudo-psychic and "New Age-ish" lightbulb moments while watching a film. It happened to me again last Monday when I watched Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

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#ThinkAboutIt - Why are We Afraid of Change?

A gigantic insect almost made me cry. The threat of a small bug about to jump on our skin can make the hair on our arms stand. Imagine a giant bug doing that to you. If you don't shit your pants, then kudos to your guts of steel. However, it's not the event of a huge insect that pushed my eyes to welling with tears but it's death instead.

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#ThinkAboutIt - Can You Walk Away From Something to Pursue Your Dreams?

I believe in the idea that “we can have it all”. The sky is the limit. Abundance mentality all the way. Some people don’t achieve a lot in their lives because they don’t think they can have a lot in their lives. If I didn’t gain this mindset, I wouldn’t have the courage to pursue my dream of self-publishing my first novel I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me for the entire world to read. After all, I didn’t have any connection to the writing and publishing industry. That alone was enough reason for anyone to get discouraged.

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Breasts, Pubic Hair, Chains, Dog, and the Lack of Underwear (an Excerpt from "I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me")

The release of my debut novel is approaching and it thrills me. March 6. Mark your calendar.

As much as I'd like to, I want nothing to leak before the release date.

But I had a little change of heart.

As a post-Valentine's present, I give you an excerpt from the book, taken from the chapter "Breasts, Pubic Hair, Chains, Dog, and the Lack of Underwear".

If you don't want to be spoiled by anything, turn your back now. Otherwise, enjoy!

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5 Timeless Books You Should Read for Your Personal Development

“I love reading.”

That’s one of the biggest lies I ever told in my lifetime, before the last two years happened. I guess it fit into the fact that I was not a sporty guy so I had to assume the opposite stereotype, the nerdy guy who loves to read. But aside from famous novel series such as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson, a couple of Paulo Coelho’s novels, great classics from Mark Twain and Johanna Spyri, and a few odd selection here and there, I didn’t really love reading.

You wouldn’t find me going into book stores at least once every week to buy at least one book. You wouldn’t see my lips curve into a big smile at the sight of a Kindle sale. You wouldn’t see red lines and highlights on any of my books. You wouldn’t see a “Yeah I read that already” look on my face upon encountering a book mention in another book while reading it. I know I didn’t really love reading then because I love reading now.

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