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The Body Era – David Biddle visits for Fourth-Wall Friday

Welcome to another Fourth-Wall Friday, today David Biddle, the other of “Beyond the Will of God (A Jill Simpson Mystery) where I am a bit lost in the corn fields at the moment, but if I stand still I can just make a conversation out…. 

The Body Era

A conversation at the scene of the end of the novel Beyond the Will of God

There’s a line in a Patti Smith song.” It’s a raspy woman’s voice coming out of the shifting darkness.

I’m sitting along the first base line facing east looking out to left field. They’ve built a wall now, but there are three separate doors in it so that it is possible to move in and out from one world to the other and back again. Beyond the wall is the proverbial cornfield that you see in the movie. I know this more than see it. Like the woman’s voice, the wall and the field are lost in the dawn gloaming.

The idea was to make the field before sunrise. I’d left our motel room in my socks at
5:00 AM.

The voice clears its throat then says, “Did you hear me?” It seems like she’s standing between the pitcher’s mound and the bleachers. She wasn’t there when I arrived in the parking lot and made my way across the field in the violet dark.

Missouri farmland in your mind.

Doesn’t matter. I asked you a question.

I look past where she should be to the first spark of sun shooting up over black hills in the distance.

I shake my head and then squint, my eyes adjusting and the sky finally yielding some visibility. She is a bit short with straight dark hair falling to her shoulders. She has the body of an ex-athlete and is wearing sweat pants and a V-neck tie-dyed tee.

Do you or do you not know the line from the Patti Smith song?”

I shake my head again. “You are very familiar.

Yes. I should be. I’ve been waiting for you now a while. Everyone else is out there, too.” She points to the cornfield.

I know the line from the song. I’ve known it for over thirty years. Smith penned her own lines to Byrds’ jazzy song “Rock and Roll Star.” You could say those lines started everything for me.

This is the air where everyone creates,” I say.

She smiles, puffing out her lips a bit, then closes her eyes and bobs her head up and down. “Nope.”

You got it wrong. The line goes: This is the era where everybody creates. Not air. Era. Not everyone. Everybody. Era. Body. Got it?

Body era,” she goes on. “You are in the body era. I’m not.

I am Janie Hawthorn. I wanted to thank you.

That sex scene. The way I got to be in charge.

Why do women not understand that if they are assertive, men like that? Men who don’t like that…well…

I smile at her. The sun is igniting beyond spark. A good eighth of the disc spreads rays of heat to us. Janie glows with a spray of electric promise behind her.

We’re impressed you got up and came out here.

She points back at the cornfield. I nod. “Right,” I say. “We…

She contorts her face. “None of us sent you the thought to come out here. We’ve sent you a lot of thoughts over the years, but not this time. We just talked about you a lot and wanted you to know it would be nice to see you.

Yes, and we’ve all understood from the beginning that just like the drug issue isn’t really about drugs, baseball fields like this field of dreams aren’t really about baseball.

This kind of disappoints me. I agree with her about drugs, but not about baseball. Not exactly.

I can’t remember,” I say, “whether I read the book Shoeless Joe first or saw the movie.

You saw the movie before baseball had re-entered your life.

You took a lot of heat for that early on.”

Maybe. But people are sometimes very myopic.

I rub my eyes. The sun is now nearly fully exposed, bobbing above the hills. It’s veiled just enough by haze to have turned into a ball of bloody orange fire.

Janie, sex is only a very small part of things,” I say. “I’m talking about the magic of the mind. Baseball is a metaphor for that. So are drugs.

You’re serious here, aren’t you,” she says.

People spend so much money on books and movies about sorcerers and wizards and dragons and ancient rings,” I say a bit too forcefully. “They don’t realize that all good stories end up being about magic – real magic. The magic that is at the edge of what it means to be human.

Still, when that scene for me showed up you got pretty excited. And it got re- written over and over again. You kept getting more and more excited.

Have you been here before...?

I consider what I had just said as if hearing it for the first time. She needs to focus on the idea of magic, I think. I’d driven over a thousand miles with my wife to see this new field of dreams, a place built over the ending of The Red House in farmland that no one had seen in decades. My 22-year marriage has been one of great, deep love. Sure, there’d been some problems along the way, but still…We watched the movie every year together. “If you build it, he will come.” And here has come Janie Hawthorn out of a book I wrote talking to me about sex.

She snickers. I’d forgotten that she could read every thought I had.

Janie,” I say outloud. “You are a very voluptuous and mysteriously desirable woman. That scene got tweaked for many years.

I rock my head around, partially nodding yes and partially shaking off her words with a no. I’m a bit embarrassed. She is hotter than I ever imagined in her V-neck shirt with her full breasts tight against the fabric.

Yes,” I laugh. “It made me horny, but I’m here mostly because of the magic.

You’re writing another book, though. Already.”

The sun is now up and off the hills, floating and spreading full, hot August rays at us. It occurs to me that Janie hasn’t looked at it once.

She goes on. “Because sex is about something, too. I mean, it’s not about sex when you read about it in books. There’s more to writing about sex.

I chuckle at this then I realize I’m hungry and wish I had a cup of coffee and maybe some cornbread. My wife brings me coffee in bed every morning, but I snuck out of our motel room and am here sitting in the bleachers watching the sun rise with a woman who is, indeed, very sexual in her presentation of self.

She smiles at this. I sigh through my nose.

She says, “I’m glad you’re trying to figure out sex and the meaning of life.” She takes a step backwards then glances over her shoulder. I can’t tell if she’s looking at the cornfield or the new sun in the distance.

Both” she says without opening her mouth. “I’m looking at both. The sun is a jewel every morning. I know you think about beautiful morning blues all the time now, too.”

I cock my head and smile. “Beautiful morning blues are nothing like beyond the will of God.

She chuckles. “An author’s humor is pretty pathetic.

You really stay here in this cornfield?” I ask.

She smiles. “No. I do not stay in a corn field.

We’re everywhere. We figured that out. It’s not so hard. We moved beyond the body era. Most people don’t believe things enough to notice. Some do. Like you say, there’s a real magic on the edge of being human, and if no one understands that, then it’s pretty easy for people like us to just move wherever we want to.

Shitao, Tim Williams

This painting by Tim Williams, inspired the author throughout the last year of finishing Beyond the Will of God and publishing it.

I need to get back to my wife,” I say.

What happens if I come back here with her?

She only sort of believes in this stuff.”

You are quite contradictory at times, Janie. None of this is about belief or faith. It’s about knowing.

I think she’d say this is not a place to know anything. But why are you asking me? Can’t you read her as well?

I don’t think anyone wants to mess with her.

I give this some thought. “No, I suppose that makes total sense. My wife is a pretty hard sell on just about everything.

She gives me a stilted grin. “We’ll be here when you return with her. I guess we’ll see how she does. Just don’t forget though about the next book and all that good stuff about sex.”

I stand to leave. “I won’t forget, Janie, but, like you say, most people don’t get this stuff.

Go get your coffee and cornbread,” she says turning to leave. “We’ll see what people get and don’t get. Just give them time. It’s a whole new ballgame when you’re standing here. Remember what I said.

This is the era where everybody creates,” she says over her shoulder striding quickly towards the door in center field.

Did you?” She laughs and is somehow gone through the wall and I’m alone on the new field of dreams, knowing very well what sex with Janie Hawthorn is like and what it means to be beyond the will of everything.

The Body Era - David Biddle visits for Fourth-Wall Friday

Beyond the Will of God

Beyond the Will of God: A Jill Simpson Mystery

by David Biddle

If you’re looking for something different to read this year, Beyond the Will of God is a mystery/thriller that goes completely off the grid. As much as it’s a murder mystery, it’s also about the hidden magic of music and all those questions about the cosmos that seemed important at one point in your life.The plot centers on investigative work by police detective Jill Simpson and reporter Frank Harris into a murder of an Amish teenager. As these two work first separately and then as a team, Harris and Simpson uncover the answers to bizarre questions and conspiracies far beyond simple murder.

Threaded through this whole story is the question of the power of music, especially loud guitar music, and whether we have missed out on identifying a secret dimension of human perception as we’ve passed on into the 21st century. The story plays with the meaning of music as a transcendent force for the Baby Boomer generation in a way that no one has ever done before.

“Beyond the Will of God” is a cross between a Tony Hillerman mystery, Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” and Carlos Castaneda’s Yaqui Sorcerer series. It is serious yet playful, questioning and entertaining. You could call it a YA novel for Boomers. You could call it a paranormal fairy tale for refugees from another time. Or you could just call it weird, a bit sexy, and a good summer read.

David is also trying a new and kick-ass idea for his book. Only-Indie sells exactly that kind of book, apparently. The Books start off as “FREE” and once 15 sell the price goes up to 1¢ ns up a penny every time the book sells! So sure you can get it at B&N and Amazon for$4.99 but when not try it here!

The Body Era - David Biddle visits for Fourth-Wall Friday

ABOUT David Biddle

Author David Biddle

The author of BEYOND THE WILL OF GOD and a collection of short stories called TRYING TO CARE, David also is a contributing writer for and publish frequently as a freelancer both online and in print. As a freelancer he has published with everyone from The Harvard Business Review to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Kotori Magazine, and BioCycle. In addition, David was a contributing editor to In Business magazine for over a decade. His fiction has been published in a number of online magazines including WildViolet, ToastedCheese, and Sleep.

Having a love for baseball and writing since 1966, David attended Reed College in Portland, OR (1976-1980), he graduated with degree in anthropology. After 30+ years as environmental consultant, David quit his day job to write full time. Residing in Philadelphia of his wife of 20+ years, he has three fabulous sons, one who is a kindergarten teacher; a starting pitcher in a Philadelphia Phillies organization; one awesome actor singer, stud athlete and super student! His new release, a collection of short stories, called “Implosions of America” is available for review.


 Thank you David, for being a part of Fourth-Wall Friday. I just get goosebumps every time I read one of these. How lucky am I to have the rest of 2012 filled! I will start scheduling more in December so keep this in mind! Till then, keep coming back to read. Authors are saying this is some of the most fun and original series they have been a part of in a long time. Where else do you get to play out loud with your characters!

SPECIAL GUEST POST & AUTHOR HIGHLIGHT – Allow yourself as an author to open up a new avenue of sharing your AUTHOR PERSONA & WORLD BUILD in a unique and creative fashion.. Just take a chance, write fluidly and from within that “place” you hangout at with your muse when you are writing. Walk in the door and sit down, watch your characters, talk to them… this is not a character interview. Why I call it Fourth-Wall is because it allows you to look out at us, your readers and audience and occasionally say, hey, what can I say, they are fairies/spies/cyborgs/zombies/policemen etc.. or step in and grab a soda at the local store from within your world build.

Interested in bringing your own Fourth-Wall Piece to Cabin Goddess?


PLEASE peruse the archives if you are wondering just what a Fourth-Wall Friday can do for you as an author and just how special it is!

(as much as I abhor Wikipedia this is a quick run down.)

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  1. David and Kriss,
    This is kick-ass. I loved it. I loved having David interact with his characters–I sometimes think I’m the only one who has conversations with my fictional characters, but apparently, it’s a writer-wide phenomenon.
    So, thank you for this. Plenty to chew on here, and think about throughout my day.
    Show me some love!

    • Thanks Lorraine. Kristine Morton is the bomb all the way around. A true writer’s treasure. Thanks so much, Kriss, for all you do.
      Show me some love!


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