Volunteer Prose

For years, my wife and I grew Pansies in a planter that ringed our small cabin. We live in the boreal forest and as far as flowers go, we have to choose species that the deer will not nibble. Pansies and Geraniums fit the bill, among others.

That planter is long gone, but the Pansies persist. They poked their yellow and purple heads above ground last week and we were happy to see them make a return engagement.

Janice transplanted some into a small flower bed. Others were left where they grew, brightening the stony soil beneath our wood deck.

I thought of these hardy blossoms and was reminded of my stories, many of them successfully “planted” on web sites across the internet landscape. The stories have been featured online and in print where they have flourished for a short time – receiving a brief glimpse of the sunlight of exposure. (I hope you will permit the metaphoric idea of readers being the sun. It works for me because readers are the source of life in my writing.)

Anyway, I wondered how I could revitalize those existing published stories, in much the way that wild Pansies have sprung up in the shady space beneath our deck where daylight lies on the ground in long white stripes.

One solution is to submit them to sites that allow reprints (as I did with “The Margin of the River” on riverbabble.) Another approach is to employ focused redirection – here on Niume, and on twitter via retweeters like #IARTG and #BeingAuthor. Also, if my work eventually makes into an anthology – great! But that’s a venue I don’t control and can only hope for.

Overall, I feel I should be aggressive; use whatever promotional bucket brigades I can connect with to bring new readers to my stories. (And my stories to them – a bi-directional brigade.)

It seems to me after all, that the cumulative hard work of conceiving, writing, editing and submitting has been DONE. An editor has been wooed and won! That’s no small feat given the thousands upon thousands of writers who, like me, saturation- bomb the slush piles of the English speaking literary world. It seems a shame to waste this enormous accomplishment – getting accepted – by simply letting my stories flicker like a strobe light for a few seconds and then recede into the frenzied blizzard of words that is the web.

So, please wander in my garden (sounds creepy, but it’s better than “sniff my Pansies”) and tell your friends and let my stories volunteer their way into your reading list. Here are a few of my fav yarns from some of my fav publishers:


riverbabble, one of three literary journals published by Pandemonium Press of Berkeley, CA, published “The Margin of the River”, a story of unintended violence. (It is a piece that first appeared in CommuterLit – home to seven of my short stories and one flash fiction.)

The tragic tale, “The Log Boom”, appeared on Storgy.com. @morestorgy had this to say:

“The impressive ‘The Log Boom’ by Mitchell Toews, a brilliant author and voice which we are proud to be bringing you!”

Literally Stories (UK) published the twisted yarn, “Breezy and the Six-Pack Sneaker”; as well as the nostalgic walk down a dangerous alley in 1932 Winnipeg, “The Fifty Dollar Sewing Machine”; the contemporary tale, “Frozen Tag”; the story of teenage friendship, drink and folly, “South of Oromocto Depths”; and the satiric imaginings of Big Church in, “The Business of Saving Souls”.

Visit the Search field on Fiction on the Web and query Toews. Your search will bring up four stories chosen by Editor Charlie Fish.

For my complete back catalogue and upcoming publication dates, please see: https://mitchellaneous.com/write-clicks/

allfornow – Mitch