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Dusty
Who is Dusty? Well I can tell you I am someone who enjoys creativity in many forms, the logic of code, the turn of a good phrase, historical genres (among many) and well-rounded written plots.

Hailing from the Southern Hemisphere, you may find me online at ‘weird’ times; however, it is just my time zone coming into play and I am always around every day at some point. So if you can’t find me in the Cbox, I am always available via PM.

Together, the founders have a combined experience level of over 50 years, so you are in good hands. So draw up a chair by the log fire and stay a while or longer and immerse yourself into the world that has been created here at Heart of the West!

Flint
Howdy all! You can call me Flint or Her Royal Highness or, of course, the ever popular Magnum PI, but if you can’t remember all that, I still answer to Tens :). I started writing when I was young but it wasn’t until my college years that I discovered RP. Yeah, never looked back, haha. I adore characters and plot lines and have way too many of them, if I’m being honest, but the heart wants what the heart thinks it wants! I play mainly males, finding them to be more comfortable in my mind, but I have my odd princess and I’m always ready to play! I do some graphic work for the site, advertising, and canon writing, and I can always help any of you with app and sizing issues, so just holler!
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Shooter has been writing with her fellow admins for up to five years! In 2014 she earned her degree in graphic design and now uses her skills to edit images for the site as well as design the maps for the area. Think of her as Heart of the West's personal cartographer and unqualified city planner. Fun fact; The Devil's Cradle Saloon used to be called The Blue Larkspur, this is the name of a plant as well as a race horse, a sport Shooter follows closely. Blue Larkspur raced for a stable called Idle Hour, which is the name of the hotel in Woodhurst. Every place on the maps has its own story!
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Indy arrived at HOTW to assist in written aspects of the site as well as moral support and has been role-playing for a decade now. In the past she has written in such genres as fandom, historic, and fantasy. She has a bachelor's degree in history and is currently a high school world geography teacher.

Outside of writing, she enjoys video games and long walks on the beach. ...Not really. She hates the ocean.

Blue
Blue came over to the HoTW to assist with coding and general admin duties. During weekdays there is always an excellent chance that she is lurking about the site as work gives her the flexibility to do so. So if you are about, swing on into the cbox and say hello!

Additionally, Blue is one of those weird math and science people who also enjoys writing, and she has been writing for over ten years. She loves good plotting, character development, and is always a sucker for a happy ending.


 
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Diana Grier
 Posted: May 21 2017, 06:12 PM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening


Diana Grier adored Christmas. She was sure that there was no better time of the year. The crisp air, the snow dusting over everything, the way people brightened and treated one another with cheer...it was just perfect in her mind. But it was no picnic. She always seemed to be far more involved in things than she planned. Every year she planned to do a little less and she tried, she did, but there was always something to be done and she ended up right back where she’d started. But it was so nice to see everything come together. The decorations were up, the market was going strong, the service had been lovely, the children’s play was going to be darling, and the tree adornment was right on schedule. At this rate, she was sure she could breathe around...six AM. She’d been employing Devin to move the bigger things and she appreciated the help, but she really believed that things weren’t going to happen unless she was in the middle of them and it was hard to get out f that mindset. Maybe next year. Right then, she needed to finish setting up for the adornment.

She was busy setting the last box of ornaments out, ready for the townsfolk to get the tree looking perfect, when she turned and nearly crashed into the person who had come up behind her. She nearly jumped out of her skin, but the relief flooded through her and she laughed a bit, setting her hand down on their shoulder so she could get a bit of air into her lungs around the laughter.

“Oh, I’m so sorry. I need to watch what I’m doing,” she offered, her free hand pushed against her own chest. “Are you alright? Please tell me you’re enjoying yourself!”

After all, that was what the Christmas celebration was all about. And God, of course, but she’d already been to mass and she was sure God knew where they all were and just what they were getting up to.

Notes: Word count: 341 tagged: Open!
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0

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Henry Scarborough
 Posted: May 22 2017, 06:13 PM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
6pm

Seeing so many familiar faces in the crowds of Christmas celebrators was comforting for the banker. Some of these folks were from out of town, visiting family or they had taken advantage of the free rides offered by the cab company in Woodhurst to travel here when they otherwise may not have been able to afford it. The wonderment in their eyes mirroring the decorations adorning the streets of Coalchapel, a look Henry smiled at seeing in the eyes of his two young children. His cousins were all sprinkled about, Jonah enjoying himself in the old fashioned way, just getting drunk and dancing at the saloon with any young lady who would entertain him, Hector keeping a close eye on him and Rusty was wherever the music was. The banker could hear the merriment from down the street, guitars and fiddles and drums playing various tunes, some Christmas themes, others not. Alighting in the glow of candles in the street lamps mixed the breathes of laughing merriment and cigarette smoke, especially around the saloon which was surprisingly quiet this evening, most folks coming in for a drink before spilling back out into the streets.

Arriving to the big tree on the corner of City Hall his children admired the size of the fir the mining company had donated. Having formerly run for a position on the City Council, this was a building Henry avoided most days, out of embarrassment and, to be frank … fear. He had also been privy to the many ways this town garnered its money, in ways these fine townsfolk would have never known, so anything having to do with the Tabor and Hurst Company made his blood run cold. It wasn’t just that, this time of the year was difficult for Henry to begin with, what with last year coming to the realization that his wife would have never missed Christmas with their children. She was never coming back. This holiday mixed some rather bitter feelings within him, but he was trying to choke it back, for the sake of Danny and Lily.

Skirting a few stacked milk crates undoubtedly filled with fragile glass ornaments, Henry gave his children a little free rein, five year old Danny and nearly three year old Lily, bundled up in their winter attire, were all smiles as Lily held her little mittened hands together and Danny grinned up at the tree, a gap where his two front teeth used to be,
“Who puts on the star?” he asked his father, seeing that it had already been put into place, as no one without a ladder could have possibly reached it,
“I’m not sure, maybe someone really, really, really, really,”
“Tall!”
Danny exclaimed, throwing his hands up, he himself was getting so tall, and was thin as a beanpole as Henry had been,
“Precisely.” he answered with a laugh as he spotted one of the students from the college, Di, setting out the ornaments, not sure he had been aware she had volunteered for such a thing. His immediate reaction was to help but having nearly reached her, someone called out to him and he turned to offer a cordial wave. Wouldn’t you know it, Di turned from her task, likely in a hurry to get everything ready for the children and townsfolk to decorate, when she very nearly ran into him. Moving his cane away thinking she may trip over it, he winced, feeling a little foolish, but she apologized first,
“It’s okay, I’ll cough next time, so you’ll know I’m here.” he laughed, “Of course,” he assured her he was alright and having a good time, “are all the ornaments out?” he asked next, knowing he was early and the tinkering of glass behind him alerted him to a curious three year old going through the shiny baubles, “I have two little critters here who would love to get started.” he scooped her up to avoid her breaking anything, these ornaments were likely donated and probably very old and very much cherished by the folks of Coalchapel,
“I’m not a cwitter, Daddy.” Lily insisted,
“You’re not?” he asked and she shook her head, “Well, I’m sure Miss Grier would love to show you how to decorate a tree.” and he turned the little girl with her blonde curls hanging in her face, toward the young woman who seemed to be in charge of this whole thing.

Notes: Word count: 738 tagged: Diana Grier! @Flint
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0
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Diana Grier
 Posted: May 27 2017, 11:25 PM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening


Di was actually quite pleased that it was Mr. Scarborough that she ran into. He was such a nice man and she knew he wouldn’t think anything of it. In fact, he made a joke that had her smiling even harder than she was.

“A bell would be fine at this time of year,” she offered cheerfully. “Not only will I know where you are, but I think your children will like it, too.”

They were two little darlings and they really made Di want to have children one day. She couldn’t believe anyone would ever leave them, but she kept her nose out of it and prayed for this little family and went on with her life.

“Oh, yes. There’s a spare box in case any break, but this should be enough for this one tree,” she offered, gesturing to the spread.

There were It was a beautiful tree. The mining company had done a lovely job making sure that the tree they donated to the event was the biggest and grandest that they could manageably bring to the town for this event. It had been standing pretty for weeks and it would probably be up through New Years when the committee had the chance to go and pull all the decorations down. It was a fun little ritual and she always enjoyed herself. Almost as much as she enjoyed helping the children get the little bobbles up on the pine boughs. It made her feel like a child again.

“Well, I think that would be a great idea,” she offered when he suggested his two little ones wanted to get started. And, of course, she had to hold in a giggle when his little girl informed them that she wasn’t a critter. It was so adorable, especially the way Henry seemed to play up on it. But they were there for serious tree decorating business. “Of course I would!”

She turned and gabbed one of the baskets off the table, kneeling so that she was on Lily’s level. “How about you and your brother pick the ones you like and then we can get them up on the tree so everyone can see them? Your daddy can help with the really high ones.”

She smiled at her professor, hoping he wouldn’t mind. She had a step stool, but this was a bit more fun.

Notes: Word count: 403 tagged: @Shooter !
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0


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Henry Scarborough
 Posted: May 28 2017, 11:44 PM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
6pm

The end of this past semester had gone well, he had many hard working students in his classes, Diana of course being one of them, her parents certainly had a lot to be proud of from among their children,
“I’ll put one on my cane,” he agreed jovially, “maybe some holly too.” wouldn’t that be a sight? Wrap a little red tinsel around it so it looked like a candy cane, “I wonder who invented candy canes.” he wondered aloud, something Di was probably used to as he did it in his classes pretty regularly, “Who saw a dude like me walking down the street with a cane and thought, I have a great idea, those should be marketed toward children. So I’ll make them edible, therefore smaller and out of candy so the kids will like them … oh, and obnoxiously colorful.” speaking of, Danny came over, dressed in his heavy coat and looked up at his father, a surprisingly intelligent boy who took himself almost too seriously for his age,
“You’re obnoxiously colorful.” he smiled up at the banker, a look that often got him off the hook for most things,
“Danny.” mock disapproval in his voice.

Diana went on to assure him she was done setting out the ornaments and Henry had to wonder if the tree would stay up until New Year’s. Though it was a bit silly, passersby sometimes liked to “borrow” the ornaments from the town tree. There was also the issue of wind toppling them to the hard surface of the courtyard below, leaving the stones littered with shattered, colored glass. He hadn’t had a good Christmas in a while, last year had been full of strife, coming to the realization that the imminent divorce from his wife was … well, imminent, unavoidable really if he wanted to move on with his life. This one was shaping up nicely at least.

Danny was riffling through ornaments behind the chatting adults while Diana took a moment to familiarize herself with Lily after Henry set her on the ground again. She was a bit shyer than her brother and didn’t have much to say, looking at the young woman in front of her with a hand in front of her mouth,
“Look, I found the one I put up last year!” always having some sort of an obsession with trains of course he had found a miniature rendition of a steamer colored in gaudy, gold paint that shimmered in the lantern light, “You can pick one, Lilian.” he assured her and she reached out a tentative little hand to take one from the basket, saying only one word,
“Mine.”
“Oh, no.”

Notes: Word count: 442 tagged: Diana Grier! @Flint
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0
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Diana Grier
 Posted: Jun 4 2017, 01:48 PM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening


“Oh, that would be very festive,” she offered, thinking that his cane would be quite dolled up after some bells and holly. And even the candy cane stripes...he’d practically be Father Christmas.

She wasn’t sure who had invented candy canes, but she supposed that it didn’t really matter if she answered or not. He was on a pretty good roll talking about how the idea may have come about and why the marketed it to children.

“I always thought that it was just supposed to be that shape and color,” she offered kindly. “I can’t imagine what kind of a thought process went into it. I will admit that the colors are quite bright, though. They’re hard to miss.”

Really, she couldn’t. She just wondered if maybe the shape had something to do with the process of making them and they called it the closes thing that they could akin it to. She did cover her mouth when the young boy commented that his father was obnoxiously colourful and was admonished. She needed to not laugh at that and undermine her professor, after all. So she watched as the children went through the baskets of ornaments. There were always far too many, but that gave selection to those who were really involved and wanted to pick the perfect decoration.

Still, it was darling, especially the way Lily seemed to be so shy. Diana was at the age where she wanted one of her own more than anything, and it was wonderful to spend time with the children and see how they enjoyed the Christmas magic.

Diana did laugh when Lily picked one from the basket and declared it was hers. She could remember being the same way.

“It’s very pretty, Lily,” she agreed, observing the ornament from between her little fingers. She put on her very warmest smile, hoping she could convince the little girl to put it on the tree. “How about you find a place to put it on the tree and when we take it down, you can keep it for your very own?”

She had a piece of chalk to mark some of them, knowing people wanted specific bobbles to come to them after the tree was down. Though most preferred to do what her brother had done and look for their decoration year after year, discovering it again and feeling the joy of that memory coming back time and time again.

Hopefully it wouldn’t be too much of a struggle. Di was willing to just let her have it, but she thought it would be fun for her to participate the way it was intended. She smiled up at Henry, hoping that he knew she was alright with whatever happened.

Notes: Word count: 462 tagged: @Shooter !
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0


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Henry Scarborough
 Posted: Jun 5 2017, 12:39 PM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
6pm

It would be festive he supposed, but Henry didn’t have it in him to tell Diana that he wasn’t much in the mood for Christmas, this was all a facade of sorts, an act put on for his children, and they seemed to be enjoying themselves. Normally they were a lot more attuned with what was going on than he gave them credit for, he could put on a smile and Danny would ask him if he was okay, knowing full well something was amiss, something was always amiss it seemed. But, perhaps it was the happiness of everyone else around them this evening, the promise of presents, the snow, the decorations, but his two little critters were happy tonight.

“It could be as simple as, they wanted to be able to hang them off the branches of a tree.” he shrugged dismissively, able to let go of his philosophical thought as easily as he had brought it up, “I can’t eat candy anyways, it hurts my teeth.” he admitted regretfully. Ever since he had turned thirty it seemed he had gained a few aches and pains that reminded him he wasn’t twenty anymore, a few of his teeth having rather volatile reactions to sweets was one of them, it felt as though he was biting into a piece of metal. It wasn’t excruciatingly painful, just very unpleasant and more than enough to turn him off candy of any kind now.

Lilian gave Diana’s words some thought, carefully considering her invitation to put her chosen ornament on the tree with the promise of getting to keep it later. Henry secretly hoped she just forgot but if she didn’t, she could just put it on the tree next year he supposed. Danny was already circling the towering pine, searching for the perfect place to hang his own decoration,
“What do you think, Lily?” he asked, pressing her a bit for an answer, if he didn’t she might just stand here all night,
“Okay,” she finally agreed in her small voice, “I wanna put it on the tree!” she squealed and ran to join her brother, as best she could in the boots her father had put on her, they were her brother’s from a few years ago. Henry’s oldest child was still circling, looking higher than he could reach as the banker followed his excited daughter. More children were beginning to show up, the tree already twinkling with baubles,
“I graded your paper a few days ago, best in the class, you should be proud.” he informed his pupil, “Have you ever thought about teaching a class yourself? I think you’d be good at it.” he asked next, Lily running around the tree and speaking to another girl about her age, pointing up at the bristling branches of the evergreen.

Notes: Word count: 468 tagged: Diana Grier! @Flint
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0

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Diana Grier
 Posted: Jun 11 2017, 10:09 PM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening


Diana laughed when Henry pointed out the obvious – they were curled so that someone could put them on the boughs of a tree. It was simple and it was just so blatantly true. Henry was clever that way. She always loved his lessons for that reason – he could just point things out and itwas lovely to just look blatantly at something.

“I suppose that would make the most sense. They are a good shape for that,” she offered with a smile, even though it faded a bit when she was told that he was unable to eat candy anymore. It was a shame – she loved candy, even if she didn’t spend money on it very often. It was a treat for sure, and she would be a liar if she didn’t have several in her pocket to take home and enjoy. “Well, at least you can still look and enjoy with your eyes.”

And that was really the best she could offer if his teeth were hurting him. She turned her attention back to the little girl, watching as the little gears turned in her head as she thought about the suggestion that she’d made. Her father was even nudging her along, even though Di could literally wait on her all night. She didn’t mind, remembering when she was a young girl and people would do the same for her. Mostly her father, but her brothers had picked upon it a bit and she grew used to people listening to the things that she said or telling her the things that she wanted to know. It was a lovely thing to pass on.

When she finally agreed, Di couldn’t help the bright smile she offered in return. She laughed a bit when Lily went running to her brother, eager to put her treasure up on the tree with the others that had already been added on. The other children were equally as excited. She straightened up a bit, listening as her professor addressed her. She blushed a bit when he told her how she’d done on her paper and made the suggestion that she should teach a class.

“Thank you, Mr. Scarborough. I enjoy your class,” she told him, and because she enjoyed it, she put more effort into the paper. “I don’t know about teaching my own class. I wouldn’t know what to teach.”

She knew a bit about a lot, but nothing she loved as much as her teachers all seemed to love what they taught. The only thing she was really good at was making a home and no one wanted to go to school for that. That was actually why she was in school. She wanted to know more than she did and maybe be better than she was.

“How did you know you wanted to teach literature?” she asked, wondering if he had some insight that would help her figure out what she could do with her life. She felt like she was running in place some days and she just didn’t know how to get momentum in her life.

Notes: Word count: 521 tagged: @Shooter!
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0


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Henry Scarborough
 Posted: Jun 25 2017, 05:34 PM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
6pm

Admiring something with his eyes had been a simple enough concept but not as a child, his father had often said those very words, in fact, “look with your eyes, Henry!” when he picked up something at the market and the old man told him to put it back only for his young son to assure him that he was “just looking at it.” When he got older and started noticing girls his father had similar advice for him, look only with your eyes, not your hands … that was advice Henry should have heeded,
“Like a priceless work of art.” he added just to be funny, knowing that candy cane was only worth a couple of bits at the very most.

Standing back to watch the children mingle with the others, placing their ornaments on the tree Danny found himself a good place and kept a close watch on his younger sister, helping her with hers but she was quite independent and insistent on doing it herself. Henry knew his firstborn had been quite the opposite, crying every time he was having even the slightest bit of difficulty. His mother had wanted to hand everything to him on a silver platter and it took quite a bit of convincing from Henry to have her stand back on occasion and let their son figure things out on his own, he was a smart boy, after all. Lily, on the other hand, had fussed and pushed their hands away at the young age of nine months when they tried spooning food into her mouth. She made a hell of a mess but at least she ate even if there was more on her than in her. His son had really stepped up since their mother had left, Henry was quite proud of him, but sad for him at the same time, Danny was acting more and more grown up every day.

“Whatever you have a passion for.” he shrugged, “Could teach underprivileged young women how to cook and sew, not every girl grows up with a mother to teach them those things.” with that, he turned back toward the tree, watching Lily hang her ornament and go back to a box to dig out another. He would certainly have no trouble raising Danny, teaching him how to ride, drive, run a business if he was interested but Lily, the thought of raising her by himself kept him awake at night, “Well, I first started teaching literature in rural North Carolina, lots of tobacco and cotton farms, people were very poor, and few knew how to read. Apparently it was fairly common but not to me, being from New York City. If these children ever wanted to grow up and do something more for themselves, get out of the South and go somewhere like Philly, New York City, Chicago, somewhere where they would need to know how to read, they wouldn’t make it.” he explained, “Ya know, God forbid something happen and they had to move out of the South.” he added for emphasis, obviously something had happened. Those innocent children who had come to his class not even knowing their letters, now losing their innocence in some bloody, God forsaken war that had torn their homes and families apart and left them with nothing, except their abilities to read, “Knowledge will last a lifetime, it’s something the war can never take from you when it destroys your family, your land, your life, you can still move to a city where knowing how to read can help you get your foot in the door, get a job, make a living. Make a difference.”

Notes: Word count: 606 tagged: Diana Grier! @Flint
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0
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