Sunday, February 1, 2009

And so it begins...

by Lisabet Sarai
Initiation by Eric Maslowski

Initiation. The word evokes images of secret rituals, trials designed to test the mettle of novices who seek knowledge or power or membership in some elite association. Rites of passage. Transitions from innocence to experience. Of course “initiation” also simply means “beginning”, but its deeper meaning has more emotional resonance, especially for a writer.

We’ve all lived through initiations. The first nasty rejection. The first scathing review. The first public reading of our work. The first tattoo or piercing. For some of us, the first time we were bound or sodomized, or the first time we made love to someone of our own gender.

Initiations are challenging and often uncomfortable. Looking back, we might forget the discomfort, but the reality is that it’s never easy. However, these experiences usually make us wiser or stronger -- more skilled, more sensitive or more loving. That’s the whole point.

So, what does this have to do with “Oh Get A Grip”? For the last two years, I’ve been resisting the universal recommendation that every author should blog regularly. I wasn’t willing to make the commitment. I don’t have anything to say, I rationalized – though whenever I was invited to guest blog, I always managed to fill the page. I don’t have the time, I complained to anyone who would listen. (Not too many people did, of course. They were too busy blogging!) I knew in my heart that I should bite the bullet and join the blogosphere, but I was reluctant. I resisted making the next transition in my developing career as an author.

Then, out of the blue, one of the former members of “Oh Get A Grip” contacted me, asking if I’d like to take over her slot, as she was planning to move on. I figured this was a sign. I swallowed hard and agreed. The next thing I knew, the whole original Grip crew wanted to retire. I thought long and hard. Did I want to find another group and take over responsibility for the whole shebang? I loved the topic-based organization and the lively discussions – could my group and I do as well, keep the energy flowing?

I – we – have decided to try. This week you’ll meet a whole new collection of authors, most of them friends and colleagues whom I’ve known (on the ‘Net, at least) for years. We all write erotic romance, erotica, or some combination. We’re all rather opinionated. (That’s meant to be a compliment, guys...!) I’m hoping that, in collaboration with our readers, we can create an enlightening, exciting and entertaining space here in the cyberworld.

We can’t do this without you. We want you to participate! Don’t just read, comment! In fact, to get you into the habit, all this week we’re running a “Grand Re-Opening” contest. Every time you leave a comment, you’re entered to win. The prize is a $30 Amazon gift certificate – bound to be useful in today’s lean times. I’ll announce the winner next Sunday right here. Stay tuned!

I’m about to hit the “Post” button, sending this inaugural message into public view. I am definitely nervous. Once you cross the threshold, there’s no going back. Once you’ve survived the trial by fire, you can only look ahead to the next challenge.

I’m looking forward to new tests and new opportunities to grow.

Welcome to the next generation of the Grip!

Image used with permission. Visit Eric's website for more compelling digital art.


  1. Hi! Thanks to Lisabet I found this blog. Thanks for the chance to win! I will be adding the blog to my google reader.

  2. This sounds like a fantastic blog! I am adding it to the one's I follow. :)

  3. Excellent opening Eric! I look forward to reading what all of you have to say!

  4. Wow! You sure gave me food for thought on a cold Chicago morning! I so agree- there are many forms of initiation.

    I also must thank Lisabet and will visit your blog often!

    Happy Grand Re-opening!

  5. Happy Grand re-opening! Just a note: your blog text was unreadable with your background (had to highlight the text to read it).

  6. This sounds like a very informative blog. I am glad it is re-opening and will be a return visitor.

  7. I'll be here when there's a contest. Lol Are you going to post more books.

  8. We're working on fine tuning the blog today- it appears correct in Firefox but not in IE. Sorry!

  9. Congratulations on your blog. I also just started one yesterday. I gave the same reasons why not to but in the end I decided to try and go for it also. You, being a writer, have thoughtful and insightful things to say. If your first post is anything to go by, I know that it will be a huge success. Congratulations.

  10. Wishing you much luck on your new blogging venture. I too have resisted the blogosphere for the most part. It's hard to fit it in with all of the other things going on! I'd rather be writing stories than blogs. *LOL*

    I do like to read blog posts though, even if I do not always comment.

    Carpe Noctem,

    Desirée Lee
    Putting the Romance Back in Necromancy

  11. congrats on the reopening of the blog. i found the blog because of Lisbet. The blog seems very cool. I like the post today.

  12. I wish you the best of luck in your new endeavor. After reading your first blog, I can say with certainty.
    You will be a success!! Good luck.

  13. Congrats on your Grand Re-Opening. Thanks to Lisabet's email about your blog info, I didn't know about this blog. Your blog looks great!!

  14. This should be a fun week, I am looking forward to getting to know everyone.

  15. As a science fiction author the word "initiation" opens a multiverse of possibilities.

    So many of my characters come to mind with their multitude of journeys into becoming their more enlightened selves. Without exception, all of their initiations into adulthood were difficult.

    It isn't that I enjoy torturing my poor characters, it's that the darker or more tragic their pasts, the deeper and the more compassionate are the personalities that emerge from the struggle.

    Good luck with your blog.

    Look around... I'll be following you...


    Brittany K.

  16. Good luck with your new blog! I'm looking forward to reading your posts.

  17. Good luck with the Grand Re OPening. Love the artwork.

  18. Congratulations on the grand re-opening of the blog
    Shall be checking back to read more

  19. Great group! Here's wishing you all the very best of luck. I LOVE good "writerly" blogs and will certainly be popping in regularly.

  20. Very nice blog debut, Lisabet. It does help to share a blog with several writers so you don't feel pressured to write every day. I manage to get my blog updated about twice a week is all.

    Loved the opening artwork, too. Eric does some nice work.

  21. blogs are hard for me but I try to
    go to one or more once a week.I just don't remember where I posted so I have to make a list

  22. I have two personal blogs, one as Sapphire Phelan, the other as Pamela K. Kinney and I do try to blog--just not over do it. But know that the Pamela does really well, so don't dare drop it.
    I also share blogs with other authors-the newest ParanormalRomanceWriters.
    But I understand. Good luck with this one.
    Sapphire Phelan

  23. Oh wow, I wasn't sure we'd get this thing up and running so quickly. Thank you, Jamie and Helen!

    Great first blog, Lisabet. I love the picture you found. Initiation, it does bring so much to mind. Sigh, college men, college women... oh my!


  24. Congratulations on your blog.
    I'll be checking back.

  25. Well I am glad your trying this and wishing you a great year,its always scary trying things especially as we get older. It makes me want to go post something on my blog which I have neglected a bit. Thanks.

  26. HAPPY grandreopen!!!!!!!!!!!
    im glad to find a new blog and going to join all the myspace and yahopo group

  27. Good Luck on your new venture. Hope it is a spectacular success. I really like the picture of the tatooing...

  28. Good Luck on your new venture. Hope it is a spectacular success. I really like the picture of the tatooing...OOPS didn't input my blogger name...

  29. Well you did a wonderful job!!! Congrats on the Grand Re Opening.

  30. Whooooohooooo!!!! Happy Grand Reopening guys! You WILL be successful! Congratulations on taking that giant leap and know that all my best wishes are with you!!

  31. Congratulations on taking up the slack. Thanks to Jude I found what looks to be a very interesting blog.

    Great start Lisabet. Love the art work.


  32. Congrats on your grand reopening. I willcome back and visit regularly.

  33. Wow! Thanks to all of your for your comments. I'm in a weird timezone, so I woke up to find your many opinions and snippets of wisdom.

    Please come back soon!


  34. Good luck! It is tough to keep up with a blog (I should be updating mine right now) but it can be great fun, too.

  35. Well it is a time for new beginnings since Spring is on its way. Will come back and visit. And a swear word for Anny is "ouilde" but I have no idea how to pronounce it.

  36. Hi There.

    Well I guess if you are going to try your hardest to be a regular blogger for the first time then we readers can also promise to try our hardest to be regular blog readers !

    Hows that !


  37. Happy reopening! Looks like you're off to a good start. Beginnings are hard but harder to follow.
    : D

  38. Love the picture.
    Love your writing.
    Think I'm going to love the blog.
    Of course, now I'm reading blogs instead of writing, promo'ing, or even doing my PT exercises. (*Bad writer, no coffee! Or in my case, no spankings.*)
    Good luck to all of you with the new venture.

  39. Congratulations on the grand reopening of the blog. :)

  40. Wow, you're all off to a great start! COngrats!

  41. Well you may not have thought blogging was your thing, but what you wrote came out just fine.
    To walk a mile you have to take that first step. Your first step here was a good one.