I had the great pleasure of being part of a collaborative dinner party with a number of other women authors the other night. Our host, Claudia Casper, asked us each to reflect for a few minutes on our relationship with storytelling. This proved to be an incredibly thought provoking and heartening exchange. Upon my turn, I spoke briefly then read a short, new piece “The Host.” Here it is for your consideration.

by Betsy Warland

It is a common assumption that we humans (and certainly, we writers) feed upon other forms of life around us; that these various forms of life are there for our use. As I sit here wondering what to write next, I look out the window at early-summer’s countless hues and shapes of leaves, watch strangers walk by, hear the protective caws of crows around their nests. It’s then I’m reminded that all of life – without cease – is voraciously feeding upon me. That I’m a host for all narrative life forms to have their eating frenzies upon. Am bombarded by their appetite for my attention; my submission.

Writing, in fact, is a desperate act. When I give way to this – I encounter these hungry ones with an inventiveness that moves me (and them) beyond sheer survival.

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