The Orphan Scrivener   by   Mary Reed & Eric Mayer

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Mary Reed writes: The Orphan Scrivener is an email newsletter issued every two months. We each contribute a personal essay on whatever suggests itself at the time, sandwiching such writing news as we have. Topics thus far addressed have therefore ranged from an M. R. James short story, a giant slingshot and King Cotton comics to Victorian charities, Carry On films and odd occupations.
Mary Reed & Eric Mayer's Website
Read the Current Issue of The Orphan Scrivener (August 2009)
Archive Issues:

2000: Issue 1 (Feb) | Issue 2 (Apr) | Issue 3 (Jun) | Issue 4 (Aug) | Issue 5 (Oct) | Issue 6 (Dec) |

2001: Issue 7 (Feb) | Issue 8 (Apr) | Issue 9 (Jun) | Issue 10 (Aug) | Issue 11 (Oct) | Issue 12 (Dec)
2002: Issue 13 (Feb) | Issue 14 (Apr ) | Issue 15 (Jun) | Issue 16 (Aug) | Issue 17 (Oct) | Issue 18 (Dec)
2003: Issue 19 (Feb) | Issue 20 (Apr) | Issue 21 (Jun)| Issue 22 (Aug) | Issue 23 (Oct) | Issue 24 (Dec)
2004: Issue 25 (Feb) | Issue 26 (Apr) | Issue 27 (Jun) | Issue 28 (Aug) | Issue 29 (Oct) | Issue 30 (Dec)
2005: Issue 31 (Feb) | Issue 32 (Apr)| Issue 33 (Jun)| Issue 34 (Aug) | Issue 35 (Oct) | Issue 36 (Dec)
2006: Issue 37 (Feb) | Issue 38 (Apr) | Issue 39 (Jun) | Issue 40 (Aug) | Issue 41 (Oct) | Issue 42 (Dec)
2007: Issue 43 (Feb) | Issue 44 (Apr) | Issue 45 (Jun) | Issue 46 (Aug) | Issue 47 (Oct) | Issue 48 (Dec)
2008: Issue 49 (Feb) | Issue 50 (Apr) | Issue 51 (Jun) | Issue 52(Aug) | Issue 53 (Oct) | Issue 54 (Dec) |
2009: Issue 55 (Feb)| Issue 56 (Apr) | Issue 57 (Jun) | Issue 58 (Aug) |
List of Essays

Eric's Bits

Character Descriptions
How We Write Together
King Cotton Comics
Sighting A Tree Frog
Historical Accuracy in Mysteries
Believing in Santa
Going to the Movies in the Old Days (U.S.)
Interactive Fiction
Working at Writing
Fantasy in Mysteries
Anachronisms in Historical Fiction
Santa's Longest Night
Who Was That Cat?
Louis H. Silverstein
The Writer's Ticker Tape Parade
From Typing Fingers to Broken Legs
Naming, and Renaming, Characters
Bad Reviews
Bordering on Fiction (about maps)
Wood You Believe? (about orinteering)
We All Have the Raw Material (writing nuts and bolts)
Writing for an Audience
A Spell Cast by Willows (favorite childhood book)
Red Star, Silver Lining (Musings on a review)
How Now Snow Plow?
Batting Ideas Around
Falling Into A Revery (about writing historical mysteries)
The Square on the Hippodrome (fact in history mysteries)
Don't Leap to the Wrong Conclusion (Bull-leaping. Fact?)
Salary and Egg Sandwich (Working at the law library)
The Giant Slingshot (Activities of a childhood club)
Little Nell's Gone Missing (Things Eric doesn't like to see in mysteries)
When I Had a Purple Head (Misadventures on the stage.)
Between a Turkey and a Hard Place (Reflections on the holidays.)
Hacking Needed Revisions (The joy of revising.)
The Horror Behind the Curtain (Fear of photography)
Purple Stains, Purple Prose (How Julius Rosenwald and Sears kept the author writing)
The Vasty Deeps of Nothingness (Writing about ... nothing ....)
Working for Treats (Memories of Halloween)
Pillars of the Community (Using personal experiences in writing)
Street Seens (Recalling street people)
Brassica of Byzantium (Research and Roman cabbages)
Meteorite Memories, Sort Of (Vague recollections of unforgettable things)
Board With Life (The mystery board game Clue)
Spring Forward to Fall (Falling into autumn)
Fit to Be Tied
Biscuits, Buns, and Byzantium
Curses Spring Eternal
Dark and Stormy Beginnings (weather in writing)
A Clutch of Chamberlains
Stringing Listeners Along (a basement radio station)
A History of Histories (Our personal histories)
Tea at the Palace
Chairman of the Board
Burn-Out of Another Sort
Returning to Reading (Reading more books)

Mary's Bits

Christmas Chaos
Ravens/Corpus Juris
Hadrian's Wall
Garden Gnomes and Mithraeums
Empress Theodora and the Duchess of Devonshire
First Footing on New Year's Eve
Going to the Cinema in the Old Days (England)
Roman Taxation
The Last School Holiday
Thoughts on a Story by M.R. James
Naming Characters
Fruit Gums vs. Wrapping Paper
Three For a Letter Rhyme
Some Ideas Take the Biscuit
Theodora, Champion of the Working Schmoe
Justin Time
Roman Around Camelot
Modern Statues Commemorating Ancient Romans
Baaaaa'd Crimes
Ancient Quit-rents
Changing a Bathroom Washer
How Dare You Call Me That? (historical figures named John)
Stomp A Reed's Hero (Justinianic anagrams)
Reading Doc Savage
Woolly Thinking (listening to radio with the lights out)
Making a Reader Atrabilious (esoteric words discovered while reading)
Youthful Fortitude (a snow fort)
Keeping Cool is a Sirius Business
Mything Links (Greek Gods in the marketplace)
What A Carry On (The Carry On Films)
Another Sort of Good Character (Victorian charities.)
Grinding Out A Living (Odd occupations)
Mayor the Best Man Win (Some British folk customs)
A Strange Case (Mary speculates about a 19th century murder)
Leaps, Foot, and Leaves (Misadventures in interpretive dance.)
Fruit of the Yule (Christmas memories.)
Speck-ulating About the Future (Odd methods of divination.)
A Stuck-up Family (The sticky business business of wallpaper.)
Not Exactly an Open and Shut Case (Umbrellas in history and crime)
The Wild Side of Life (Wildlife in the backyard)
Stamping Our Crime (Detectives on Stamps)
Room at the Bottom (Professions in British sitcoms)
Cloak First, Dagger Later (Maybe)(Ancient curse tablets)
Crimes and Canonicals (Tales from The Newgate Calendar)
Remaining True to Type (Adventures with old typewriters
Neither Poisoned Nor Purloined (A 19th century forger)
Revere Revisited (A motorbike ride in the rain)
Forecasts for the Forecastle
Never a Doll Moment
Can You Dig It?
Footnotes on History (Tales told by shoes)
The Sands of Tyne
Soot and Cinders (steam trains)
Woollies Thinking (Remembering Woolworths)
A Bit of a Mistery
Games for the Bored
Bread and Cheese and Money, Oh My
No Siren Song for Us (A tornado passes by)
A John the Eunuch Chronology

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