(To go directly to the page “Short Stories” click the link)

A huge part of the reason that a life of #VoluntaryRadicalSimplicity was adopted by me was because of a desire for freedom — so that instead of regretting I had spent my life making someone I didn’t approve of rich or that I had overstepped my limits within my place on the planet, I would end with feelings that whatever value had been endowed in me was used for its best purpose. Pursuing wealth didn’t seem to meet any of those goals, but personal austerity had merit — the less I needed, the less I had to ‘work’ in unhappy places. I wanted to break free of the mundane.

  1. lacking interest or excitement; dull.

“seeking a way out of his mundane, humdrum existence”of this earthly world rather than a heavenly or spiritual one.“the boundaries of the mundane world”

2. of this earthly world rather than a heavenly or spiritual one.

“the boundaries of the mundane world”


Mundane of course has a place. Practice can be mundane. And the earthly world is not one I would want to not be part of.

Sewing, gardening and writing are things that lift me from the mundane while doing. They are creative endeavors and once a zone has been reached, through practice, they can all deliver mind to a spiritual place of being — the constructs of time seem to disappear and an out-of-body sensation replaces the void time left.

It doesn’t really matter if anyone sees what is produced during these times — it is enough for me to see. Part of why it is so hard for me to make any money with any production is that I can’t seem to let go. I need to return to see myself from time to time. But, it is extremely encouraging nonetheless to have others approval, and living in simplicity, it doesn’t hurt to have a possible vehicle for austerity relief available if needed. Sewing has saved me all throughout my life, but I must say, I enjoy it far less when it is for hire. My love for all things fabric made a career for me that allowed me to reach this deliberately austere new place to play — a career in interior fashion. It also exposed me to all the devils in the details.

In my 30s, I took a college course in ‘creative writing’ — something I felt compelled to do at the time. It was something seemingly endowed within me that needed release. I think the teacher gave everyone an A for his class, writing being so subjective, if they merely showed up.

The first lesson was for us all to sit at our desks and write whatever came into our heads. I can remember thinking, “What if he makes us read them aloud.” I guess that was the purpose of the lesson — to help us realize that what other people might think couldn’t matter.

The next lesson was to write a short story, which I did. He had very encouraging things to say about it and the class had mixed comments, but most of them helpful.

Before the class ended, he stressed the great importance of practice — he said, “Write something every day. Set aside two hours and write something, anything. Write, write, write.” Practice. He also recommended that we not imbibe or try to relax in any artificial way, that we stay real and without distractions — a candle was permitted, Stephen Halpern-type sounds in the background perhaps.

“‘Happiness’ is a pointless goal. Don’t compare yourself with other people, compare yourself with who you were yesterday. No one gets away with anything, ever, so take responsibility for your own life. You conjure your own world, not only metaphorically but also literally and neurologically. These lessons are what the great stories and myths have been telling us since civilisation began.”

Happiness has always seemed overrated to me. Having what I believe is a rather sanguine bent to life, even while feeling the oppressive weight of human failing, it has always seemed that what I might be able to do with my own life could matter — if for no one else, I certainly wanted it to for me and any loved ones in my proximity.

So, the point of this newest page to this website is to place another marker in the virtual spots kept by Ms. Jackie of all Trades SpoolTeacher so that her distinct sites are kept separated but inclusive. First Do No Harm Front Yard Farmacy is supposed to be about gardening and simple living, SpoolTeacher is supposed to be about all things to do with ‘spooling’ — sewing, crochet, knitting, etc., Spare Shelf is supposed to be about business building. Ms. Jackie of all Trades SpoolTeacher is supposed to be about anything that doesn’t fit neatly into those categories.

#FromNowOn she intends to retake the advice of her teacher of long ago and start practicing writing again. So a new page entitled Short Stories will be devoted to link to the practice writing she is doing at Ms. Jackie of all Trades SpoolTeacher. Since Jackie is trying to write everyday, this link will take you to the most recent and you may click “previous” at the top of the page or “older posts” at the bottom to find any others. And, of course, there is a “calendar” and “archives” somewhere on the page. The bottom margin loads what it wants and always something older, sometimes linked to the current one.

“What if he asks us to read them aloud?” aside, here is a link to the page Short Stories. Feel free to comment here, there or anywhere Ms. SpoolTeacher expounds around.


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