Mitchell Toews lives and writes lakeside in Manitoba. His short fiction and creative nonfiction appears in print and online, in places near and far. He is working on a novel. You may follow him on the trails or out on the water or ice, or more conveniently here at Mitchellaneous.com, or on Twitter or Facebook..
This writers’ website and blog is a bit like a first date. Hopefully not a last date. Maybe more of a job interview for a position you’re not sure you want. Or maybe marriage counselling. By these maunderings, I mean to say the blog is intentionally unfiltered. Unfortunately genuine. The blog posts, some of which are rants or ramblings, are loosely edited and rough-edged. Transparency that is provided even when not requested.
I thought, “why not?” The internet is full to overflow with false placidity: According to our social media posts we’re a bunch of well-adjusted, average folks living successful lives of quiet satisfaction and blessed accord. On the internet, even the conspiracy theorists (with a basement full of automatic weapons) catch stringers full of fish and cry at their kid’s wedding. That plastic persona belies the experience of real life.
Creating a self-serving website is part of the whole, if you’re going to get published, here’s what you have to do schtick. While I do have an entry in that very crowded regatta, it just feels so boring and specious. You know? I put in my time — twenty years — in advertising and marketing, so I have a low tolerance for persuasion.
“It’s necessary to be pushy but fatal to appear so…”—attributed to one of Bertrand Russell’s university professors
I hope it’s okay to break the mold for the typical writers’ website, or at least put it under some pressure. (It is kinda predictable, yeah?)
Therefore: This site is a place to reveal a personal manner less affected by decorum. And, unlike my fiction where I can hide behind characters, immerse my real self in imagination, and describe outcomes I create, “Mitchellaneous,” is intended to be more of a Rommedriewe; an under-planned, unaffected romp. A more open, direct feed about what I am thinking, have experienced, or hope to achieve.
Besides, how many people will actually see this? (“More than you might want,” says an ominous voice in my head.)
“Life goes on,
like the Red River flows.
Our troubles and victories,
it never knows.”
My published writing is sometimes not that much different from these blog posts but certainly exists on a different trajectory. In a blog post I might run naked through a metaphorical minefield whereas in my short stories, someone once ran naked, or was alleged to have done so by others who would have never! Etcetera.
I invite your comments, but advise you to keep your clothes on.
—Mitchell Toews, Jessica Lake