In 2013 I published online my first completed novel I am the Local Atheist set in Invercargill ("the arsehole of the world" according to either Mick Jagger or Keith Richards after visiting in 1965 on a tour). It tells the story of David, a young Christian man who was kicked out of his church and abandoned by his friends, and who proceeds to seek a new life with new experiences outside the comforting walls of a church community. In doing so, he meets Lucas, a young man of similar age who experiences life on his own terms with the goal of fulfilling his own ego - not those of anyone outside himself, or some imaginary higher being. This influence allows David to see himself in radical new terms beginning a transformation that breaks down the walls that were previously surrounding and inhibiting his actions.
This new edition began last year after publishing and distributing my first poetry book The Tasman Journey - a successful endeavour that planted it in independent and franchise book retailers all across the North Island, as well as Page & Blackmore in Nelson. This independent distribution being done by myself from my own car, travelling from city to city, stopped when I stopped in the Kapiti Coast last year for a winter retreat and working to earn some more financial backing (first on Transmission Gully Motorway drilling and delivering bitumen samples, and later as a Gardener at a Retirement Village). The idea for a new cover began as a pencil sketch in my sketchbook, but when passing a church I suddenly realised the front and the angle I was looking at it from both replicated with close similarity to the idea that was in my head, so quickly got out the cellphone and took some sample photos.
The final design:
Currently the final proofing is being done for the text file, and soon the book will be printed and available to purchase online from this website before seeking wider New Zealand Distribution.
Here I am on the Sign-in Gatehouse manning the Arrival Time-in/Time-out sheet. There I was about an hour ago having a deja vu. It felt like a premonition of being here and being asked to stay on this job. I was awoken at 4:40 by my alarm playing the Allegro from Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 6, a light and fluffy rise to the morning, less brutally cold than other mornings, and time enough with 40 minutes of travelling to arrive at this destination before 6 o’clock.
I cannot pull out my laptop on the civil construction site like I can now. Even if it has taken four hours to catch up on all the names that need to be ticked off after the vans, utes and cars coming up and stopping for my window to slide open, me trying to scribble down their names with their time of arrival, and then to find on the Time-in sheet afterwards, it is still a welcome change from labouring around concrete and machinery. I brought books with me also. I have done one set of 21 press-ups, 9 pull-ups with my boots on (leg-ups combined). I cannot do these on the site, unless we are in a waiting mode (press-ups, yes, but chin-ups I’d have to find a scaffold area).
I have put on bulk. Weight is questionable, as I always seem to weigh around 65-68kg, but my stomach has definitely pushed out into a more rounded look opposed to the toned almost-abs I had last year. I keep buying shit food after work, ice creams while filling up with petrol (two in one night! (but to be fair on the ice creams - they were bloody nice!)), or takeaway hamburgers, fish and chips, and am not doing any exercise (of any consequence beyond some hard work on the site). For today, tomorrow and Monday’s stint here at the Gatehouse, I bought chocolate milk to have with my coffee, wine gums, a block of chocolate, gluten free bread with plum jam and "Everything Butter"; and I’m thinking WHY WHY WHY??? - this shouldn’t be any different from any other day. But it’s the old “eat to kill the time and boredom trap”. I won’t be bored. I have a laptop, I have books, I have vehicles consistently coming in and out needing to be registered. Truth is, I saw a toaster, a small oven, and a sandwich toaster in here when spending time with Ian on Tuesday and Wednesday to see how he did things and get a hang of the process, and my mind went crazy with thinking about the things I could eat and cook for myself while here. Yet all those things are not what I usually eat. And it would be okay to make an exception across these next few days IF I was exercising and eating better during the week. But after every dinner meal this week, I have continued eating: cheese and honey, salami, yoghurt, whatever I have that fills me beyond the point of satisfaction. Its been crazy. And I’ve had no self-control. I started bringing food to work, more to stop feeling left out while everyone around me ate than to try to curb the after-dinner eating by making me fuller through the day, but it hasn’t made much difference.
It’s cold, and I want to eat to keep myself warm.
If the premonition was never realised as such, was the premonition just a deja vu of the feeling of a premonition?
If time is static with no past or future and only exists as a present state within the three dimensions of space, what made my brain create a feeling of deja vu in the first place?
But we know that time is a fundamental property of space by the distortions created on it from gravity and speed, so how can deja vu not be a real interaction with the future? In what way has time been distorted by gravity to create this sense within myself? Because gravity is already exerting its influence on me? Would that not mean then, that I entered a time-frame that itself had remained static? Had gravity in some way stopped, or slowed time from this future state and I walked into it?
What happens after that interaction to that future state? Does it remain in a temporal stasis? Does it spring forward like a rubber band? Does it fade like it was the remnants of a quantum potentiality, an alternative path that I will never know because I either took it and it came to fruition, or I didn’t take it and it didn’t come to fruition?
Is that what deja vu is – a rubber band of potential futures stretching backwards and forwards as these biological brains of ours suddenly come into contact with them? It affects us because we recognise a memory, but that memory is of us living in the now. And we ask ourselves ‘how can that be?’ We do not memorise the now, we experience it, and what we remember is translated into the concept of a past.
Some updates to keep me updated.