Tag Archives: storytelling

3 Easy magic tricks to impress friends, family, and strangers


I remember doing a magic show for my family when I was young. I pulled candy out of an empty paper bag by layering two bags and placing the candy between them, showing the empty inside bag, then reaching between the bags to get the candy in the outer bag. It was super obvious, but my parents were happy to humor me by being in the “amazed” magic show audience, and while my brother wasn’t impressed with that trick (“I saw you have two bags there. I know how you did it”), he got candy so he didn’t mind too much.

Now that I’m older, I’d like to be able to have a few tricks that I can do with common objects and regular playing cards, because then when I travel I can do them as an ice breaker.

So… Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: step right up to read about the Incredible Shelly’s masterful tricks:

{Click to quick jump to your favorite trick, or continue reading to learn them all}

Read all the magic tricks


Everyone Has a Story: Jess Caren

Today’s mini-interview is with Jess Caren, who was kind enough to send a bio with her interview responses, so I’ll let her introduce herself in her own words:
Jess Caren is a music maker and story-teller. Hailing from the south of South Africa she began blogging for The Big Blog Exchange competition which just ended. Her blog seeks to tell the stories of everyday kind of peoples. She’s always humming a tune or tapping a beat so that’s neat.

(If you’re interested in being interviewed for this blog or have someone in mind for me to interview, please let me know or leave a note in the comments section.)

Photo provided by Jess Caren (seekingstory.wordpress.com) - Used with permission

Photo provided by Jess Caren – Used with permission

Name and blog:
Jess Caren at Seeking Story

What is one of your dreams for your life?
Music is my life line and soul companion. Whether it’s penning lyrics, reading the latest Rolling Stone [magazine] or singing along to the radio, I’m totally obsessed with music of all kinds. My dream is to become a professional and successful singer-songwriter.

What is something on your bucket list?
The top item on my bucket list (surprise!) is to meet Joni Mitchell. She is my musical muse and biggest inspiration. I was first introduced to her life story and music in 2007 during my Honours year at university. The threads of story she weaves together are beautiful and real beyond measure. [Read Jess’ post about Joni’s album Blue and the meaning it’s had in her life].

What is the best advice you ever received?
It was at my 21st birthday celebration. My friend Laurie Crook ended her speech with the following quote:

“Learn everything you can,
Anytime you can,
From anyone you can,
There will always come a time
When you will be grateful you did”
– Sarah Caldwell

Thanks Jess, for sharing your time and stories with us!

Readers: Do you want to be interviewed, or do you know someone I should ask for an interview? Let me know.

Will you consider joining with me in supporting children’s literacy and healthy self-expression through storytelling? My goal is to raise $1000 for National Novel Writing Month, a non-profit that organizes the event by the same name. Learn more at my fundraising page.