Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Star of the Sea
The name Maurita Mason came to me when I thought I was going to be a romance writer, and would therefore need a name that no one could possibly connect to me. I didn't know at the time that an author's real name is usually located next to the date on the copyright page.
For a while I considered Vicki Stone, a shake-up of letters from my maiden name. My dad invented that one, and I might still use it someday. You know...if I ever finish a manuscript. And get it published.
But I've come to identify myself with Maurita. She is me, and I am her. If I were walking down the street, and someone yelled, "Maurita!" I would turn and look, in exactly the same way I still respond to "mom" in public. In the same way I nearly panicked when a co-worker called me "Chickie" one time - my Yahoo Chat incarnation.
So where did I get Maurita? From my given name, Laura, and from a friend who was very dear to me at my first job. Her name was Marita. And Mason is a family surname from my mother's side, and merged magnificently into the Margaret Mitchell-esque author's name I was trying to create. I'm very fond of the initials MM (salute to Lermie), and I also used them previously at Journalspace when I was Moira McGartland and not yet gossamer.
I Googled Maurita Mason earlier, to see if it was safe to give out an email address of that name to someone from work. It isn't. But it led me to discover that Maurita means "star of the sea," which I think is the loveliest thing ever.