Pimp It! 2 - Electric Boogaloo

This time it's infectious!Okay, so I did one of these before where I do NOTHING but spend a blog post pimping the talents of people I know. And holy fuck do I know a lot of talented people! As always you are encouraged to leave a donation of your own acts of pimpery in the comments. Whore out yourself, your friends, whatever, just link me to more awesome sauce that is to be found in our world! Let the pimpery begin!

The Strange Family Circus - Phoenix, AZ. The Dr. Reverend Steven Strange and his delectable wife Sahar entertain audiences with a show that hearkens back to Vaudeville and the traveling mud shows. Eating razor blades, taming snakes, swallowing fire, juggling, silt walking...they can even perform weddings! The Strange Family is everything I want to be when I grow up.

Simply Sanity Creations - Cheryl runs this side-business out of her home. She sews and knits quality work and specializes in reusable diapers for children. She made a bag for my daughter that I'd expect to find in a chain store. It's just that good. (And cute!) She has an Etsy store and a Facebook. Go check out her wares!

Crystal Lloyd - Glass Artist, Wedding Officiant, Potter, Mother and geek... is there nothing she can't do? (Reach things on really tall shelves. HA! *rimshot*) Seriously, Crystal is a friend of mine with so many talents it's difficult to know where to start. I will, however, highlight her latest artistic passion: glass work. Her work is stunning and is truly worth of the term "art". And she just keeps improving her craft.  Crystal has a gift. What's even cooler is that she started this about a year ago, if that, and took to it like a duck to water. Sparkly Mallard - Speaking of ducks and glass...My stepmom, Lynne, has been working on jewelry for more than a decade now. I've watched her go from simple lapidary and wrapping to making her own glass beads. She also sews bags and purses. She's made several for my daughter and they always get compliments. Her most recent fascination is making ornate glass beads that resemble fish. She's entering some of her work in the Indiana State Fair this week.Touching the Monolith - Two of my friends, DeLaJuan Fondue and The Master Bob, wax geek for an hour or so on their podcast Touching the Monolith. Gaming, movies, tv-shows... all things GEEK. Dry wit and a good time. Give them a listen. (You may stumble across an episode about gaming styles with a special guest...that would be me.)

Plaza de Anaya - Tempe, AZ This is a dance studio in Tempe. I used to go there when it was under different management to take poi spinning classes. I *want* to go back, but free time is not something I have in copious amounts. So, that means YOU should go. Belly dance, tribal style, prop classes like poi or fire fan, fire staff... their classes change every 6 weeks or so. Definitely worth a look.

Nicole @ Urban Art Tattoo - Phoenix, AZ. Nicole is responsible for one of my six tattoos and it is not a fair representation of her work. She is a very talented artist--both of body and canvas--and a dream to work with. If you want to get inked, go see Nicole.





Philby @ High Caliber Tattoo - Indianapolis, IN. Not in Arizona? Fine, go see my buddy Philby in Indy. I went to high school with this cat. We were in drumline together. Back then he would do tattoos on people using Sharpies...and they were epic. When he was 16. His work has only gotten better. He is one of the few people in the world I'd be willing to hand a wad of cash and say, "indulge yourself. make it something i'd like".

Renlightenment - I have several friends who work at the Arizona Renaissance Festival (ARF) and among them  is Jeremy Martin. He started this series of videos to help educate new performers and it snowballed into something much cooler: Inside the Actor's Studio for Rennies. Jeremy has interviews with circuit performers and plans to add more to his growing list of Renlightenment videos. One day, he hopes to add Penn Jillette to that list.

Tricia Moore & The Circus Farm - Phoenix, AZ. Tricia is a belly dancer, fire artist and teacher here in the Phoenix area. She got to do what many of us only dream of: she ran away and joined the circus! Then she came back to Phoenix and brought it with her. Tricia is adept at several circus arts including hooping, acrobalance and poi spinning. Where I think she really shines is her work with Somoan fire knives. Dangerous, sexy and downright inspiring. And what's more... she's formed a little commune of sorts called the Circus Farm where people can come and share their talents. It's a wonderful, supportive community for circus enthusiasts.

Joanna 23 - Phoenix, AZ. I think Joanna could run the world if she so chose. She is a bellydancer, mother, henna artist, painter, fire performer, teacher and awesome soul. With her husband Michael, she helps run the Firehouse Gallery. Joanna is an artist, pure and simple.

Sabrina Ogden - She's a writer, she's a cheerleader, she's an awesome person. Ya know, she's one of the reasons I'm glad Twitter exists, because otherwise, I wouldn't have stumbled on this fine person. Her tweets are funny, she's got a great wit, but she's also just downright nice. She cares. Go show her some love.

Stephen Blackmoore - Author, blogger. He's hysterical when he gets on a roll. (Oh, shit, last night just watching him, Julie Summerell and Chuck Wendig go to town was hi-fucking-larious!)

Tribe Ohana - You like this? This whole thing where I show you awesome people who are doing beautiful things? Well that is every day over at Tribe Ohana. Like Guise Knights, this is something I am personally involved in, but it's a group that is only strengthened by numbers. It's a pet project of mine that I started with friends based on a few simple principles:

  • Pay It Forward - If someone does for you, do something for someone else. Keep it going.
  • Support is currency - While the "real" world needs money, Tribe Ohana is about supporting people. Give support. Get support. It's that simple. No really.
  • "Ohana means family. Family means no body gets left behind or forgotten."
Tribe Ohana is constantly-growing network that reaches across several states and into Canada....so far. What do we do? You ever find yourself with car problems but no money to work on it? Well, I know a guy who is a mechanic looking for extra jobs on weekends to pay the bills. Need to clean out the closet of baby clothes or old toys but don't want to just schlep to Goodwill? Well, Krista knows someone who is about to have a baby and could use a stroller. Need a music teacher? Math tutor? Robotics specialist? Engineer? We've got those. People have talents, even if they aren't "real world marketable" and people need those things. We help you get what you want and give what you need to give.  So check it out and every day can be pimp day. :)
Alright. Now it's your turn. Hit me with people that turn you on and make your existence more colorful!

Pimp It!

Today I'm doing a post solely for the pimpage of others. I encourage you to get in on the act. Leave comments to hawk for writers/bands/people/whatever that you like. (No Porn, dude, this is a family show.) If you want to pimp yourself, go for it. Just be hospitable, k?In no particular order...

1) The Scientific Mom: My friend Amy has started a blog to keep track of the many things she's been doing with her daughter over the past few years. Seriously, I'm jealous of the mom Amy is. She makes me feel lazy. Anyway. Amy has been homeschooling her daughter for...well, ever...and the results have been amazing. For a long time she just posted about her adventures on Facebook, but recently she decided to share her magic with the rest of the world. Amy is a terrific friend, a spectacular mother and one hell of a teacher. 2) Absence of Time: My friend Chris started a garage project of making jewelry. Because of this, we all win. His steampunk-inspired jewelry is not just fashion, it's art. I love his work and wish I had oodles more money to throw at him. He does original work as well as commissions. Earlier this year, mutual friends got married and the bride had the spectacular idea of commissioning jewelry for her bridesmaids. I got this stunning hair clip to add to my collection of AoT bee jewelry.

Good Night Gracie  Fort Wayne, Indiana. I used to march drumline with this guy named Dan McCoy. Fun, tattooed, terrific player. Turns out that when he isn't being a dad, starting a curling league or growing out an epic beard, he drums for Good Night Gracie. Rocktastic band, tons of fun. GNG throws a great party and pleases the crowd. They do a lot of covers and you can listen to them on their site. Go. Like now.

3) Friends' Bands: 

  • Collectible Boys Iowa City, Iowa. Again, I used to drum with their drummer, Chris Wood. He's got a few other projects, but this one stands out as particularly stellar. The vocalist for Collectible Boys, Renee Zukin is nothing short of amazing. Their debut album Sense of Redemption drops this week. Indie band with a lot of talent behind it. Check out the teaser tracks on the link above and buy the album!
  • The New Guilt Indianapolis, Indiana. Fairly new band still growing a following. They're a bunch of talented guys who found one another and are building a foundation for boss work. My friend Brian "Shadows" Burke (formerly of Valhalla) takes lead guitar on this one. Check 'em out. Friend them on Facebook and go see them if you are in the area.
  • Clay Colton Band  San Diego, California. Again, I used to drum with the drummer, B.J. Morgan. Like Dan of Good Night Gracie, B.J. helped me refine my set technique and pushed me to be a better player. Check out their summer tour dates and see when you can experience them for yourself.

Book Country - Writer's community initiated by Penguin Publishing. You'll find a lot of talent here and great feedback for your work. Fantastic place to connect with other writers. Go. Friend me so I can read your stuff. :)

4) Guise Knights: So yeah, I'm involved with this one personally, but hey, it's a group thing. Guise Knights is a Phoenix, AZ based gaming organization. What started off as a group of friends getting together weekly to shoot the shit and kill things with dice has turned into a larger group of people scattered about the state (with a few friends in other states that we bring in for events because they rock). We go around to conventions and make the gaming awesome. Our members run and teach several kinds of games, from Dungeons & Dragons, to big box games like Doom and starter games like Dixit. GK also provides game reviews. So yeah, if you need a gaming fix...Guise Knights can help you with that. 5) Artists/Writers/Writerly Things: Okay, so I can't narrow this down, so here's a list of people I think are phenomenal. If you don't see your name here it's probably because I'm just forgetful this morning.

  • Gail Carriger - Writes the Parasol Protectorate series (Orbit). Fun steampunk with vamps and weres. I recommend them.
  • Candace Ganger - Strong woman whose blog is a delight to read.
  • Julie Summerell - I heart her Twitter. She makes me laugh a lot and also makes me hungry when she talks about her cooking.
  • Michelle M Welch - Podcast "Theme and Variations", has a trilogy of books out that starts with The Confidence Game. Great wit. And today's her birthday! (Going to her party later. Go show her love.)
  • DeAnnaKnippling - Writer of "Choose Your Doom: Zombie Apocalypse". She writes about zombies and it's really fun. Plus, she's starting her own epublishing gig. Her tweets brighten my day.
  • Johanna Harness - Writer, blogger, inspiration. Johanna started the Twitter hashtag #amwriting and maintains AmWriting.org for all of us word hounds. She has a lot of good things to say on craft and navigating the industry. She genuinely wants to see people succeed at their goals.
  • Zach Reddy - I love his work. Have some on my wall. And he's my husband's brother. I'm particularly fond of his ideas for the 13th doctor. Was very happy to see him in his booth at Phoenix Comic Con this year. He shared that booth with...
  • Emma Lysyk  - Comics and jewelry with quirk and style. A ton of fun.
  • Britney Lee - Found her work on a whim and fell in love. She has this series of prints of Hawaiian deities and I LOVE it. Wish I had more money to throw at her, too. PLUS! She's living the dream and working as an animator for Disney. She also does paper art now which is stunning. Go look for yourself.
  • Bald Pirate Photography - My friend Eric Fiallos started doing photography a couple of years ago and he's really flourished. Of course, I am slightly biased, he did my wedding photos. Eric also does more intimate work. He has a talent for making everyone look sensuous and natural.
  • Captured By Sable - My stepsister has started working on photography as well and her work just gets better and better. Her concepts of composition are unique and delightful to look at.
  • Monique Reddy - My sister-in-law, married to Zach Reddy. Her photography is, in a word, stunning. She has a terrific sense of the moment and a gift for finding light and color to make a shot go from a digital picture to a work of art.
Alright, so that's my list. For the moment. Add to it. Leave comments pimping out friends, family, co-workers, yourself... whatever. Go thou and explore!