I am an August graduate with a Master’s in English Generalist degree–continued from the same school I graduated from in May 2007 with my Bachelor’s in English, concentration in film studies, minor in Communications Media–Indiana University of PA in Indiana, PA–the same school I flunked out of in 1989 after a disastrous first start. I conquered the demons of failure and I am victorious!

I am grateful for the release from the stress of being in school for I am able to finally focus for on my family–my husband and our ten-year old son. I miss them when they are at work and school during the day when I am here alone. At least the three cats we love are here all the time to keep all of us from being lonely! What I plan to do with my degrees is find a position as a professor of introductory English in a community college or online school. However, I have physical problems and depression that are stopping me from pursuing this path. Doctors are searching for ways to get be back into peak performance, so I hope and pray that by this time next year I will be grading papers and being called Mrs. Ferguson–or Lori–by my students. I will feel better when I am gainfully employed again and a productive member of society once more. I am a wonderful support to people who I know online and around me, but all the love I give people does not put food on the table. I have skills in writing and interpreting film and literature that I should be sharing with people and my illnesses are robbing us of that, and this demon fibromyalgia and whatever problems are plaguing me and causing me to spend most of my days in bed must be eradicated! Besides my plans for becoming a professor and of course, my family, the most important thing to know about me is that I am at heart a writer. I want to write novels, short-stories, non-fiction essays and memoir, but mostly I dream of an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. It can happen, if I believe enough and work hard enough! Matt Damon and Ben Affleck–two men near my age–won one, so there is a chance for me, too!

By the way, I coined my pseudonym “MaraLorelei” when I went to set up an IM account and the name I wanted were already used, and I took two names that I liked–that were also taken–and put them together.  “Mara” comes from a darker side of my life, the one that is bitter about the hurts that I have had to endure to become the person I am today.  While I am grateful for all that created me, I am human and do have some anger still inside, so I look to the Book of Ruth 1:20 “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.” I also want to use “Mara” as a name for a character in a vampire story who also faces some incredible hardship that pushes her to accept a vampire’s offer of “eternal life.”  As for Lorelei, that’s the happier, more confident and sensual side of me, based on the German Sirens who lure men to their deaths.  Not that I want to go to that extreme–I’m not that nasty–but being beautiful enough inside and out to have that power is the fantasy of most women, if they are honest with themselves.

Another funny thing about my choice of pseudonym is that it is the reverse of my real name, Lori Marie, but it was an accident in those regards.  At least it was on my part, on my conscious level of thinking.  However, at times I realize my words are guided by a higher power, and that may have been one of those times.

I must bid you adieu for now.  I love my online life, but real-time is even more precious and deserves nutring!

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