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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!
Shooter
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!
Indy
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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 O Come All Ye Faithful, OPEN - All welcome!
Constance Campbell
 Posted: Jun 4 2017, 03:18 AM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening


Grace Calveley sat nervously in the front pew as the final rehearsal for the Christmas nativity play took to the makeshift stage under the stained glass window. Up until now the children had held, rocked and presented their gifts to a porcelain version of the baby Jesus. This time a real-life baby was taking the role. Miss Eleanor Grace Calveley, or Ellie as her parents preferred to call her, was making her debut, not only to the play but the church and life in the town. If all went well, the one-month-old would sleep through the entire thing and make both doting parents proud.

“Are we ready children?” Constance Campbell asked as each child nodded in their places off stage. “We aren’t rehearsing the whole thing, just the parts with the baby. Shepherds, you may begin.”

Mary, Joseph, the wise men, and shepherds were all sent off to their families for a well-deserved supper. The church was providing dinner for all the families who had signed up in the weeks before Christmas and for anyone in need of food for the body as well as the soul. There was plenty of food to be purchased around town, but over the years Connie had found it was a hard time for many, especially those that hadn’t fared well with their crops or livestock over the spring and summer.

It was a potluck, and the offerings served up by the generous members of the congregation somehow went together and made for a hearty and tasty meal. Those that didn’t cook slipped a monetary donation into the plate in an envelope marked ‘Christmas’. Later, after the service, many would walk over to the City Hall for the lighting of the tree before heading on back after some merriment to see the children re-enact that very first Christmas night.

Notes: @Indy Word count: 313 tagged: OPEN!
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0
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Joseph Cole
 Posted: Jun 7 2017, 10:44 PM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening

Christmas was always a holiday that Joseph Cole enjoyed. The getting the family together, the presents, and the whole story that involved Jesus entering this great and grand world. Its meaning stuck with him over the years, but he never really knew what it meant exactly until he was a little older. He figured it was the same with all children, that they wouldn’t truly understand what Christmas until later on in life. For some time after his mother died, Joseph didn’t enjoy the holiday to its fullest, but that was how it was when someone died. Things that the family normally enjoyed just weren’t the same without the missing relatives. Was it that way for everyone else too? Surely there was some kind of unfilled space without that member in their life, a void that wouldn’t be filled by anything but love, and even then… that wasn’t what this night was about though. It was about sharing, giving, and that holy man that was born in a manger so long ago.

Joe was dressed in his Sunday best, as was the whole of the rest of the family. They had all arrived together, and went about their separate ways to see what and who there was to see. Eventually they would gather in the church for the highlight of the evening – a play put on by the children of the town. That was what the parents of the children had talked about all month, and the fact that he knew that was saying something. The gunsmith wasn’t exactly very social around this time of year. People wanted special guns made as gifts for other people, and he had never been so busy in all of his life. In fact, this was the first time this month that he had made a visit to the church. He knew that wouldn’t please any of the regulars, and it might also make the preacher approach him sometime during the night – but none of that deterred the youngest Cole from coming tonight and enjoying the time with the rest of the town and his family.

As he had anticipated, a few parishioners corned him when he had a moment to be alone. He was all smiles and politeness, even when they said that they were upset he hadn’t been there. Apologies were given, of course, but for most of them it just wouldn’t be enough. Church and prayer was important to the whole of this community, and where his social life suffered by not coming to church, he still prayed at every meal and before bed each night. No one was perfect, and people had to work. He was sure God would understand that. Like most of the people in town, the Cole family had cooked and prepared food for the night’s meal, but Joe did one better and donated a hefty sum to the church. His business was doing well, and why not share some of the wealth with the church, which always needed it more than he did.

At 7:20, Joe filed into the church by himself, his family among the rest of the people in the pews. He went to sit with them, and ten minutes later the show began. After it was over, Joe hung around outside, the cold nipping at him, even in spite of the heavy coat he was wearing. He cupped his hands, and blew warm air into them, nodding and smiling at people who passed him as they walked out of the church. When most of the people were outside, Joe went back into the church, and went right up to Constance Campbell, a regular at the church and likely someone who would have noticed he was missing on Sundays. He removed his hat and smiled at her, holding his Stetson in his hands as he said, “Good evening Ms. Campbell. It was a wonderful performance. The children worked very hard I could tell. How are you?”

Tag: Constance Campbell, and Open.

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Constance Campbell
 Posted: Jun 9 2017, 02:34 AM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening


The play was over and much to everyone’s delight, baby Ellie had gurgled in all the right places. Grace had whisked the baby away before she needed feeding or changing and Constance has remained behind to help clear up for services tomorrow being Christmas Morning. With all she’d needed to do, she’d not managed to get away to join in with the others for the potluck meal and her stomach was giving her a bit of grief for the oversight.

It had all been worth it to see the delight on the children’s faces, the proud parents as they watched their young’uns remember or stumble over their lines with the play ended with a soft rendition of Silent Night and ended with O Come all Ye Faithful. Constance was still humming the latter as she cleared some straw that had spilt from the manger and picked up a child’s forgotten bonnet when a male voice interrupted her thoughts.

“Mr Cole,” she greeted in her Irish lilt, “a very merry Christmas to you and yours.” Constance smiled back and nodded in agreement of how hard the children had worked on the play this year. “I think it was one of our best, but I suspect the baby stole the show.” Babies were a bittersweet thing for the town librarian and church organist. It never helped when Christmas was the time she would receive demanding letters from that woman in the south, a constant reminder of the fact she’d never had children with her late husband.

“I can’t complain,” she replied to his query regarding her health and she couldn’t. She had a fair paying job, a small circle of friends, a cosy roof over her head and now a handsome young man asking after her well-being. "I’ve not seen you for a spell, I trust your father is well, and your shop is flourishing?”

Notes: tagged: Joe/ OPEN!
Created by Blitzy of Caution 2.0

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Joseph Cole
 Posted: Jun 14 2017, 08:15 PM
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December 24th, 1868
Christmas Event
Evening

His family seemed to have enjoyed the play, and he did as well, of course. The children were always stole the show, so to speak, and attentions of all those in the audience. The baby was the highlight clearly though, apparent from the reaction she got from the crowd. Babies always won the hearts of the masses. He knew that he was a man whose heart was always softened whenever a family entered his shop, sometimes with a small baby in tow. A newly married couple, once, even. Their baby couldn’t have been more than a few months old at the time. Similar things had happened since; fathers with teenaged boys, wanting to teach their sons the ways of life and all that. Things that every member of society should learn. Life and death, primarily.

Once the play was over and he’d come back inside, he managed to catch Constance by herself, and engaged her in conversation, being the gentleman he always was by removing his Stetson first before speaking to a woman, “A merry Christmas to you and yours, as well, Ms. Campbell.” He said in return; seemingly the right thing to do when wished a merry Christmas. “Oh clearly. Babies always seem to do that, particularly with there being a lot of family types in the audience.” He considered himself among those as well, even though he wasn’t married and didn’t have a family of his own quite yet. Why rush into that part of his life when there was a business to take care of and a ranch to see to? One step at a time, and one day at a time.

He felt a little ashamed that he’d not appeared in church for some time now, and knew that the topic was bound to come up if he was talking to a loyal member. “I am sorry for not appearing here more often. The shop is always busy from about two months before Christmas to the day of,” which wasn’t a lie, really. Once he had gone back into the shop to finish up an order and deliver it to someone before Christmas day was over. Needless to say his family wasn’t too enthused about that, even in spite of the profit he’d made from it. “Oh yes, father is doing well. As is the rest of the family.” Meaning his brother and sister, the latter of which was always pestering him this time of year, always inquiring why he hadn’t married and given her nieces and nephews to spoil with presents.

“Yes it is. Lots of orders to fill, and some even from out of the territory,” there was pride in his voice as he talked about the shop, a thing that required so much of his time and demanded him to be solitary so he could work, “I donated some money to the church, even. I certainly don’t need all of that myself. Why not give it to those that do?” Best way to look at life, he knew: give to those who needed more than yourself and all that. “I take it there’s been a pretty nice turn out one Sundays? I miss coming here to see everyone. Any new membership lately?” Something he could have easily missed, new members filing in from territories unknown, Indians converting or what have you.

Tag: Constance Campbell, and Open.

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