Tag Archive for Stephen Helmes

Chiroptophobia, the Fear of Bats

Phobias are constant, irrational fears that afflict some people. Their fears should be taken seriously. They should never be made fun of or belittled. But, as writers, we can bless (or curse) our characters with phobias and make the story so much more interesting. What happens if someone encounters the object of their fear? They…

The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton – a Review

Elizabeth Cady Stanton definitely had a mind of her own. She had no interest in things that women were supposed to find fascinating. Instead, she had an insatiable desire to involve herself in chemistry, law, mathematics, the freeing of slaves, and improving the rights of women. In 1823, many laws were unfair to women. This…

The Classic Poison Strychnine

Arsenic, cyanide, and strychnine are the classic poisons. The seemingly innocent little old ladies in Arsenic and Old Lace, one of my favorite movies, used these three poisons in their deadly elderberry wine. One gallon of this toxic wine contained one teaspoon of arsenic, half a teaspoon of strychnine, and just a pinch of cyanide. Unsuspecting…

Martha Kennedy Guest Post/Interview – The Protestant Reformation and Freedom of Religion

Did the Protestant Reformation improve the quality of the lives of wives? Or did it make it worse? When the Anabaptist Swiss immigrated to the U.S. during the 17th and 18th centuries, what three faiths did they bring with them? Why did the Anabaptists believe that the powers of church and state should remain separate?…