My Sister’s House

Today I tried to answer the question- Who is the Bancroft Miniaturist?

Photo A.M. Moscoso


In my Sister’s mostly

bare and very dark house

is a room

that nobody is allowed to go into

and in that room

are shelves and shelves of glass lined cases.


In the cases

my Sister says

are bits of magic

held in delicate hand carved figures

that no one is allowed to touch

and they most certainly are not that for anyone to see.


Then what’s the point in having them

I asked, for the billionth time.


My Sister said

to me one day,

” Fine go ahead, go on in and touch what you want and see what

is there.”


She pushed the door open and took my arm

and before she could push  through I stepped back.


I heard what was in there

and what I heard was pleading and a little screaming too.


The voices sounded far away but they were coming from the shelves

and what they were saying was:


” I have eyes. I can’t see, why can’t I see anything? ”


My sister put her lips close to my ear and said,

” It’s because their eyes are ornamental. ”


I left my sister to her dark and mostly

empty house

and the magic she trapped

in glass cases

that nobody is allowed to touch or see.

Photo A.M Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Inspired By The Bancroft Miniaturist

The Greatest Little Show On Earth

When I was little, one of my favorite museums to visit was Miniature World in Victoria, BC Canada.

I would spend an eternity in front of each display with no fixed idea in my head about what I was seeing. I would just imagine the little figures actually dancing, or running or sitting or riding horses.

Of course, I was a little on the macabre side as a child so I assumed that spirits and ghosts and maybe even a curse or two were involved because WHY NOT.

Here are some pictures I took of a couple of the exhibits- I think that after all of these years I should put some thought into what is happening here and why.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Bancroft Miniaturist

When Memories Dream

Last month I took a train ride from Washington State ( which is on the West Coast of the U.S. ) to Wisconsin which is in the Midwest.

Riding on the train was interesting- it was a solitary way to travel- much more so then flying or even riding on a bus. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because you can get up and move around or away from people.

Which I did because I was coming down with a cold, so I wasn’t feeling very sociable.

I had my own little room for part of the trip so I took a lot of pictures and I watched movies on my DVD player because the internet is spotty in a lot of areas, plus I didn’t feel like surfing the internet when I could look out my window and surf the world.

I saw lots of interesting things- sadly enough one of my experiences was that someone was out on the tracks and they were struck and killed by the train I was on.

But before that happened we were passing through Montana when I saw the most interesting formations.

They were golden and sandy, they were honeycombed and in some places I suppose you could find little caves.

I was sitting there in my seat, watching the sky, when I saw them- and as we raced by I felt like I had seen something like these before- but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

So I went back through my camera later and it occurred to me why these formations looked so familiar-

they looked like something you would have seen in Deir el-Bahari or maybe in the Valley of the Kings

one reminded my or the Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple.

Keep in mind, they didn’t look exactly like these places, but they did speak to them and like ghosts they haunted me- and they still day.

Something strange that caught my eye on a train ride.

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M Moscoso


Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M. Moscoso

Creative Memory#2

The Day I Got Scolded By A Tree Stump

One day

I went out to take some pictures.

Maybe, I thought

I will see something that wills inspire me, or give me nightmares or something.

In my mind’s eye I threw up a grid and started to methodically look for a little story to capture.

What I got was a bunch of nothing.

I had never deleted pictures so fast- on the other hand I’ve been getting a lot of things I haven’t liked so maybe I’m just getting better at hitting that delete key without putting much thought into it;

I was standing there, deleting pictures ( so glad I was accomplishing something ) and marveling at the fact that if there was a story to be found the only story I got was how fast ideas can run from you, if they put their mind too it.

Then I looked down and saw this stump and thought I could spook it up somehow for my Halloween posts this fall when I noticed…yeah, it looked like a face was staring up at me.



It even looked like it had a cigar in the corner of it’s mouth.

It also looked very annoyed.

At me.


I see a story in your future Sour Puss and in this one, I get the last laugh.


Thanks for the inspiration.


Bancroft Prompt: My Life As A Writer


It’s Actually A Funny Story

This is a little look into my creative process:

Last year I visited Wisconsin for the very first time and my family- with the happy addition of my beautiful Granddaughter- took a nature hike at a park outside of Fox Lake.

Here’s a picture of my handsome son and his beautiful baby:

Photo A.M Moscoso

There was greenery everywhere- even the turtles- who I had never seen in the wild before were green. I’m from Washington state, so the minute I see green and blue I instantly feel at home and I settled into my creative ways right off the bat.

That is always a good thing, right?

Because of  the I felt so at ease,  I saw a lot of potential  for some great shots that I could use for my Halloween stories.  Ok, Halloween was like five months away but if I want to post daily I get my work finished by the end of August.

Photo A.M. Moscoso


Photo A.M. Moscoso

Photo A.M Moscoso

So I was standing at this lookout point and I could see marshes and animals like hawks trying to not be noticed as they went about their day and these gnarly clusters of trees and the ground was super soft and if you wanted to:

” This would be a great place to dump body parts.” I told my son and about a dozen people standing next to us who were part of a bird watching group. ” I mean, what you don’t toss into the marsh is going to get eaten by a hawk or maybe foxes or something like that.”

My son who knows his Mother well wasn’t  exactly  taken back by my observation.

” So. ” I said as these beautiful birds burst from a tree and took flight over head and my Granddaughter crowed in delight. ” Are there any old cemeteries around here?”

” You know the kinds I like, the creepy ones ghosts wouldn’t get caught dead haunting.”

My son assured me there was and did we want to stop for Ice Cream first?

” Hell yes!” I  said with boatloads of enthusiasm, because who doesn’t love Ice Cream on a hot day?

I turned around and a group of very nice people who were enjoying a day of bird watching looked from the sky to me and I sort of tilted my head forward so that my bangs  fell across my eyes and I smiled, well my version of one.

Yeah. I didn’t help myself there much. It’s not one of my more Grandmotherly looks- unless you put it in the same category as the Wolf pretending to be Red Riding Hood’s Grandmother.

I suppose that sometimes it might serve me well to remember to use my inside voice when I’m working.

But when inspiration takes root and burst to life, I don’t think that reigning it in is the thing to do. In my case, I let it run wild.


The Wishing Well


Photo A.M. Moscoso

Her name is

Jingle Gravesend

and she was the there when the Sphinx was newly built

Her name is

Jingle Gravesend

and she was there when the Sun burst to life

in the sky.

Her name is

Jingle Gravesend

and she fought in the Crusades on a black horse

and wherever she rode

Death would step to the side let her have her way.

Her name is Jingle Gravesend


todays she sits by a Wishing Well

and she is  thinking  about her Cat

with the mismatched eyes

and her dog with two faces

and she is thinking about the years

she has spent

without them

then she hides her face in her hands

and she wishes with all of her might

after she drops her coins

into the Wishing Well  at  the Garden at Bancroft Manor

that  no one sees her crying.


Bancroft Manor: Creating Dossiers

It’s What’s On The Inside ( That Counts )

When I was in New Orleans for Halloween a few years ago, I ran across this doll.

It might look scary and it does look like a Halloween decoration, but it’s actually suppose to protect you from ill will, bad spirits and harm.

So I bought it and brought it home because I was not having the best year, at the time.

When I moved I lost track of it, but you know- I think that if I really need it, it will show up out of nowhere and I’ll find it on my bookshelf.

Like it did the last time.

But that’s another story.

Bancroft Manor: Creating Dossiers

Generators and Inspiration


I created this with The Horror Story Plot Generator,

Not only is playing with the generator fun, but it helped me work out some ideas for my Bancroft Stories By Me Project.

I’m not sure that I’ll keep the Cursed Guillotine in my projects, because as a rule Guillotines are pretty much cursed from the day they are put into service  so I don’t find them that interesting,  but the plot generator is great way to learn to organize an outline and it help you learn to focus on the elements that create a story. so it’s a fun tool to use.


The Curse of the Cursed Guillotine

A Horror Story
by animos

Whilst investigating the death of a local Pirate, an intuitive Funeral Director called Jingle Gravesend uncovers a legend about a supernaturally-cursed, cursed guillotine circulating throughout London. As soon as anyone uses the guillotine, he or she has exactly 55 days left to live.

The doomed few appear to be ordinary people during day to day life, but when photographed, they look translucent. A marked person feels like a quiet dog to touch.

Jingle gets hold of the guillotine, refusing to believe the superstition. A collage of images flash into her mind: an old-fashioned cat balancing on a slimy Pirate, an old newspaper headline about an unfortunate accident, a hooded rabbit ranting about hands and a drinking well located in a deserted place.

When Jingle notices her eyes have dog-like properties, she realises that the curse of the cursed guillotine is true and calls in her friend, a Bounty Hunter called Erasmus Ferndale, to help.

Erasmus examines the guillotine and willingly submits himself to the curse. He finds that the same visions flash before his eyes. He finds the old-fashioned cat balancing on a slimy Pirate particularly chilling. He joins the queue for a supernatural death.

Jingle and Erasmus pursue a quest to uncover the meaning of the visions, starting with a search for the hooded rabbit. Will they be able to stop the curse before their time is up?

Bancroft Manor Project