Welcome to Brook Haven Ranch! We are a 18+ premium role playing community set in Trader's Bend, Montana. Our concept is the culmination of twenty years of plotting and planning. We feature a rich, developed program in which many troubled characters thrive. Our community is one of the best on jcink and we look forward to you becoming a part of it!
Healing Horses & Troubled Teens since 1995
Not every teenager has the benefit of growing up in a loving, happy home. Some are victims of abuse, neglect, a system that shuffles them from foster home to foster home. Brook Haven Ranch was established in 1995 as a refuge for abused and neglected horses -- and teenagers who needed a second chance in life and the opportunity to become something more than society expects of them.
Full Name: anne renee howard
Date of Birth: april 29th, 1981
Current Age: 35
User Group: wellwader
Eye Color: brown
Hair Color: black
Weight: 103 lbs
Scars or Marks: no significant marks
Tattoos or Piercings one in each lobe
Face Claim: julia jones
MBTI Type: infp
Likes: the smell of paint, being outdoors, hiking, camping, summer weather, the lake in mid summer, loose clothing, chocolate, quiet time, meditation, long walks, sailing, the scent of rotting wood, worn-in hiking boots, classic trucks, beer, drinking at the tavern, time spent alone, accomplishing things on her own, dogs, spending time with her animals, reining, the powerful connection with a horse, horses, empty canvases, campfires, creativity, sharing her creativity, museums, creating something new, warm socks, autumn weather, eagles, watching the sky, cloudless days, the color blue, art stores, teaching, natural lighting, smoked meats, rapids
Dislikes: being crowded, being boxed in, living indoors, being constrained by rules, not being able to see the sky, the word "can't," people who place limitations on her, limits, being told what she can't do, whining, people who whine, complaints about things people can change, complaints about things that people can't change, people who disrespect the earth, excess of plastics, artificial ingredients in foods, diet soda, decaf coffee, pain enough to stop her from working, not following through on plans, when other people don't follow through on plans, men who think they're better than women, when girls think they can't do anything with their lives, rats
Strengths: adaptable, flexible, harmonious, peace-keeper, understanding, creative, passionate, energetic, hard-working
Weaknesses: lacks compassion, stubborn, impractical, poor statistical skills, poor math skills, private, sensitive, withdrawn
Fears: rats, drowning, being hit by a car, getting stuck somewhere and starving to death, bears, getting truly lost, being alone forever, hate crimes
Aspirations: to be recognized for her artistic works
Romantic Orientation: homoattracted demiromantic
Sexual Orientation: homoattracted demisexual
Relationship Status: single
Significant Other: none
Career/Occupation: artist / wellwader leader
Education: bachelor of science in biology
Dream Job: artist, gallery owner
Home Town: trader's bend, montana
Religion: native american
Preferred Riding Style: western
Disciplines: reining, barrel racing
Riding Strengths: excellent communication, good seat, excellent posture
Riding Weaknesses: demanding, harsh, rigid
April 29th, 1981 - Anne Howard is Born
Annie was an expected and highly anticipated baby. Her parents, Michael and Carrie Howard, had been trying for three years to get pregnant when Carrie finally conceived. They celebrated her throughout the entire pregnancy, and she came home to a happy house full of love and everything that a baby needed to thrive.
August 23rd, 1982 - Annie Falls Down the Stairs
Annie was less than eighteen months old and only a new walker when she first fell down the stairs. Someone had left the baby gate open and she tumbled down the entire flight of stairs, but came away unharmed. Her mother shushed her and told her that she was "fine." Though too young to remember this long-term, it would lock itself into her unconscious memory: She could do anything.
Summer, 1984 - Mike Builds the Tree House
Although Annie was only four years old, this is the year that her father built the tree house in the back yard. She'd been begging him for nearly a year, and he finally caved and built it in the old oak tree in the family's back yard.
August 8th, 1984 - Annie Breaks her Arm
Annie fell out of the treehouse on a September morning before her parents were even out of bed. Her ulna snapped in two places on contact with the ground. Her mother thought she'd never climb again, but found her in the treehouse -- cast and all -- four days later.
September 2nd, 1986 - Claire Howard is Born
Annie was thrilled to have a little sister from the instant that her parents brought her home from the hospital. Claire was many of the things that Annie was not -- fairer, with lighter hair and a paler complexion. She was too busy admiring her little sister to be jealous of their differences.
September 8th, 1986 - Annie Starts School
October - December 1986 - Annie Faces Bullying
The kids at Annie's school were typical in that they didn't understand other students who were different from them. Annie's black hair and darker skin made her a target, and although she was still young, kids could be mean. Because of this experience, Annie learned how to stick up for herself.
December 25th, 1986 - Annie Receives First Art Set
Up to this point, Annie didn't know much about art and she didn't care much about it either. The art set came as a complete surprise, a gift from her father that she quickly discovered she loved. Over the next few months, she would use up every last bit of that art set and then request another.
May 24th, 1987 - Annie Begins Art Classes
Only basic art classes at the local cultural center, but important for Annie. She was already showing proficiency in the use of pencil at the age of six, and was quickly picked out as a remarkable student.
July 9th, 1988 - Annie Breaks her Arm
This time Annie fell off her bike and broke her radius. She bounced back right away and resumed normal activity within three days, as the previous time she broke her arm.
November 9th, 1989 - Mike Howard Leaves
Annie still isn't clear on the reasons that her father left her mother, her sister, and her, but he left the year that Annie was eight years old and Claire was only three. His leaving devastated Annie, but it would ultimately change the way that her mother raised her.
Nov 1989 - Jul 1990 - Annie is Depressed
Though only eight years old, Annie shows signs of being depressed. She refuses to touch her art supplies and teachers write home notes from school stating that she's not participating in class. She's surly and refuses to cooperate with her mother.
July 21st, 1990 - Annie Meets Rochelle Caine
Until this point, Annie had always been an introvert who kept to herself. Though obviously still an introvert, meeting Rochelle opened up new doors for her, and she learned that it was okay for her to be different. The pair did almost everything together, and for the first time Annie really shared the tree house with somebody.
October 10th, 1990 - Maggie Joins the Family
Maggie was a golden retriever rescue Carrie thought would help to perk everybody up. The entire family struggled with losing Micheal, and the dog was meant to boost their moods. Since they hadn't heard from Mike, Carrie thought the dog would fill the void. In some ways, she was right.
May, 1992 - Rochelle Moves Away
It came as a surprise both for Annie and for Rochelle, whose parents held the news from her until the very last minute before revealing that they were going to move out of state. The news hit Annie particularly hard, though she promised to write to Chelle every day that she was gone.
1995 - Annie loses contact with Rochelle
February10th, 1996 - Annie Attends her First Dance
She went alone, only to find that most of the other students in her year had paired up with other students and gone as dates. This had never interested Annie, and she was confused by the pairings she saw in the gym.
February - October 1996 - Annie Bullied for Being "Gay"
For the next several months, Annie was bullied for being "gay." She knew what the word meant but she didn't identify it with herself. The notion of homosexuality was ridiculous to her and she refused to accept that she could be gay herself.
October 27th, 1996 - Annie is Suspended from School
Annie decked a girl for calling her a "lesbo" between classes and was subsequently suspended, then grounded for a month.
June 12th, 1999 - Annie Graduates High School
September, 1999 - Annie Begins University
Annie attended the University of Montana, where she majored in Biology.
June 14th 2003 - Annie Graduates College
July 2nd, 2003 - Annie Moves Home to Trader's Bend
August 9th, 2003 - Maggie Passes Away
September 18th, 2003 - Mike Contacts Annie
Out of the blue and entirely unexpectedly, Mike contacted Annie to inquire about her career path. They talked for a few minutes and when Annie hung up the phone, she didn't hear anything from her father again for a long time.
Sept 2003 - Feb 2009 - Annie Works in a Lab
Having never finished her master degree, Annie had few options, so she went to work in a lab processing samples. It was far from being her dream job, and she was angry that she had chosen to major in biology and not in art. Sometimes she resented her mother for pushing her into a STEM subject as a woman of color. She had nothing to prove.
March 2009 - Annie Takes a Job at Brook Haven
Frustrated with working in the lab, Annie applied for and took a job at Brook Haven Ranch. She's lived in town her entire life and has watched the program grow and expand since she was a teenager. Now she got to be part of it.
December 2015 - Annie is Promoted to Group Leader
April 2017 - Mike Shows Up in Town
April 2017 - Rochelle Shows Up in Town
It's Dark in the Closet
To say that Annie struggles with her sexual orientation and identity might be something of an understatement. She simply does not understand homosexuality, and identifies as heterosexual because that's what's "natural." She's supposed to be straight, and therefore she has convinced herself that it's normal to want a relationship with a man. Since she does not want a relationship with a man, she has simply accepted that the right man hasn't come along. When he does, then she'll know it. Never mind that she finds the female form more attractive than the male form.
Not only is homosexuality a difficult concept for her, but asexuality (and demisexuality) is a concept she hasn't so much as heard of. It hasn't crossed her mind that other people feel more attraction than what she does, and that not everybody struggles to figure out what and who they like the way that she does. It's separated her from other people, and so she doesn't talk about who she likes and what she prefers because to do so would set her apart from others even more than she's already been set apart.
Annie's about to find out in a big way what she's into and why she's into it. Her world is about to come crashing down around her (see below) and it's going to hit her hard.
Annie's father, Mike, left her and her sister when Annie was eight years old and Claire was only three. Since then, Annie hasn't used the tree house that he built for her, and she suffered a series of brief depressions that her mother got under control with therapy. She never expected to see her father again, but now he's back in town with a story that will threaten to tear their family apart. Everything that she thought she knew about her mother is now in question. Who is she supposed to believe? The father who left her all those years ago, or the mother who supported her when he wasn't there?
The answer ought to be obvious, but it's not. Mike has a good story for why he was gone for so long, and Carrie's not denying it. Claire (who has since moved to Alberta) refuses to see their father while Annie struggles to avoid him. She wants answers about why he walked out on them so long ago, and she's willing to hear him out.
His story will change the way that she feels about her mother, and possibly about herself. Because of this, Annie will finally move out of her mother's house and into her own place, where she has her own art studio and can follow her own passions, without letting her mother push her in the direction that she wants her to go. No matter how much her mother taught her that she could do anything she put her mind to, Annie's grown tired of being told what she should put her mind to, and even at thirty-five, she appreciates her father's attitude more.
Like a Long Lost Friend
And then, only a week after Mike showed up in town, there was Annie's long-lost friend, Rochelle, returned to Trader's Bend to settle down and make a life for herself in town. They haven't written to one another since they were teenagers, but Chelle was quick to look Annie up and to invite her out for coffee in town. Annie didn't hesitate, though Chelle is clearly a different person than she'd been back then (at least in Annie's eyes) and she doesn't know what to make of her. Since they lost contact, Annie has grown up but without changing much. Such is small town life.
But now there's Rochelle, larger than life with a big smile and her heart on her sleeve. She's more open about things than Annie is, and she talks about things that make Annie uncomfortable -- like her recent divorce from her husband due to her own affair with a married woman. Rochelle can joke about it, but Annie's not sure what to make of it, and as much as she missed the friendship, having Rochelle around is making Annie retreat into her studio more often than not.
The most difficult thing is that Annie is experiencing some attraction toward Rochelle. It should be simple, but it's not. They were childhood friends, as close as two friends could be, and now that they are together again, Annie doesn't want their relationship to be more complicated than it has to be.
The New Counselor
Dawn Barnes showed up on the ranch three months ago, a quiet whirlwind unlike any other counselor that Annie had met so far. Assigned to Annie's group, Annie must take charge with Dawn and get her quiet intensity directed toward something productive. Right now it feels as though Dawn is more apt to make the kids run amok than she is to guide them toward the purpose that Annie -- and Jack -- have set out for them.
Things are further complicated by the fact that this whirlwind is attractive, gay, and has a crush on Annie. Annie's done her best to keep control of her feelings for Rochelle, and Dawn has made no point of hiding her feelings for Annie. Now Annie's stuck between the woman she has feelings for, and another woman who has feelings for her. She has no idea how Rochelle feels, but Dawn's boldness is both terrifying and refreshing, and she's thinking about taking the leap with the younger woman.
Annie has lived in Trader's Bend her entire life. She was born here, she grew up here with a single mother after her father left when she was eight, and she knows the town and its culture very well. Her young life was good, a solid start with a mother who taught her two daughters that they were independent and could do anything. The word "can't" was never part of their vocabulary growing up and this is something that Annie will probably take with her to her grave. She might be ninety years old and rappelling off a cliff because by golly, she can.
She's a fierce sort of woman without a lot of soft outer parts (but plenty of soft innards). She's athletic and pushy and doesn't give up on anything that she wants. Nothing can stop Annie once she's decided to do something: She is a hard worker with a good head on her shoulders and her feet planted solidly on the hiking trail.
She loves to hike, camp, fish, swim in the lake, ride her horse (reining) and to drink down at the tavern at the end of a long week. Although she can be sensitive at times, a lot of people identify her as being a more masculine type of energy, as she enjoys hobbies and interests that are typically associated with men.
Annie will push the people she cares about -- and she cares about most people she comes into contact with -- to give up the word "can't" and to push themselves to the very best that they can do. She believes earnestly that there is nothing that isn't possibly if you continue to work hard to achieve it, and this carries through most of her personality.
That being said, she is an introvert. This is important because Annie only rejuvenates when she's by herself, and she needs her time to recharge in her home studio and to get away from people to regroup. Small groups are one thing, but more than three people (including her) and she'll become tense after too long.
Annie is the sort of person (an introvert) who prefers to keep a small group of friends rather than having a large community of people she spends time with. When she does hang out with a group, it has to be on her terms and she has to be totally in control of when she leaves, so she's most often going to be around large groups of people at the tavern, or occasionally at events. Just don't be surprised if she heads out early or refuses to engage in large events. Her own group is one thing, but participating in big parties is something entirely different.
She doesn't do friendship well. Annie has awkward social skills and doesn't always understand people as well as others do. The nuances of human interaction are lost on her and she literally doesn't understand complaining. Most people complain from time to time, and Annie is always quick to correct her the people around her by pointing out that complaining isn't going to get them anywhere. This makes her somewhat anti-social, and means that she won't have a lot of friends.
The friends that she does have are likely to find her blunt and sometimes difficult to get along with, but will soon learn that she does what she does out of love for the people who are in her life. She has the best of intentions when she tells people to stop complaining, suck it up, and do the work, and the people who listen to her discover quickly that she has a good point and that they are capable of accomplishing anything that they want out of their lives.
This makes her a very good friend to have for the few people who she is friends with.
Anne doesn't self-identify her sexual orientation at all. In fact, she doesn't know a lot about the different identities. Because I know about this on her behalf, I will let you know earnestly that she is somewhere on the greysexual scale (probably demisexual but possibly sapiosexual). Romantic and sexual relationships are difficult for her because she simply assumes that she's heterosexual and that's the end of that. Since she's not attracted to males, that just means she hasn't found the right one yet.
Of course, speaking for Annie is impossible. I have to speak in stead of her. Annie is homosexual. She finds the female form beautiful and it arouses her. Unfortunately, she's also homophobic in spite of being gay herself. She cannot therefore admit to being homosexual as it goes against everything that she believes is correct and natural in the world. This is complex for Annie, and she is struggling with her feelings.
She will naturally reject any man who propositions her, not because she innately knows that she's more attracted to women, but because she simply is not attracted to men. She will naturally reject any woman who propositions, not because she believes she's not attracted to them, but because that's just not how things are done.
Getting close enough to Annie to have a romantic relationship is going to take time, effort, and a lot of trust-building. Romance is not high up on her personal list of priorities, but that doesn't mean that she doesn't need the companionship. She'll be a stubborn lover who doesn't always give as much as she takes, and therefore not the easiest lover to get along with, but the rewards of getting through to somebody like Annie are immense.
It's very difficult to get Annie worked up to the point that she would consider another person an "antagonist" in her life story. She's too stubborn to let somebody who is going to mistreat her be part of her life, and she's not into being held back by dead weight, so she tends to cut it very quickly. For this reason, if for no other, there won't be a lot of antagonists in her life in the first place. No matter how much somebody dislikes her, it's not likely to have a significant effect on Annie.
She just does not let things get to her. The most hostile relationships that she's likely to have will stem out of those determined to keep her -- or the kids in her group -- from achieving goals. If you tell Annie that she can't, she will simply prove that she can, and she will expect instant surrender from her opponent. This obviously isn't the way that it's always going to work, and that is where she might develop some actual enemies.
Annie will readily accept a challenge, but she doesn't like it when people directly question what she or her students are capable of. If a person continues to hammer on this point, she will become an enemy, and she will work hard to prove that person wrong. She's not the type of person who will make personal attacks, however, and therefore these types of enemies are likely to be rare with short-lived animosity toward her, as she just won't continue to tolerate it.
Family is highly important to Annie. Her mother and sister have been the center of her world throughout most of her life and she doesn't plan on expanding to that family at any point in the near future.
Adoption isn't totally out of the question for Annie, but it will take a lot of trust building to get her to that point and I would prefer to allow that to build organically than to go into detail here.
There is no question that Annie is hard on her group. She's not the cushy affectionate sort of leader who's going to tell her students that everything is going to be alright: She's the sort of leader who is going to tell her students that they're only going to get the things in life that they are willing to work for and that they have to work their tail ends off in order to get those things that they want most out of their lives. Nobody is going to hand anything to them, and if they want it, they're going to have to reach for it and take it with both hands.
Anything else just isn't enough effort.
She's prone to calling them out for not trying hard enough, even when the kids are already exhausted and feel like they can't keep going. She's also known for pushing her kids further than most of the other group leaders are capable, and getting better results out of them in terms of their physical effort. Unfortunately, this can have the opposite of the desired effect and lead to discouraged kids who aren't sure that what they do is ever going to be good enough, because she is not always good or easy with praise and she expects a lot from her students.
When people first meet Annie, she comes across as a cold and calculating person, very stiff, but strangely sincere. She's rigid with her own set of ideals, not always open to hearing what somebody else has to say, and tends to put quick distance between herself and someone who she has never met before. This generally comes across a standoffishness rather than as shy (which is a more accurate assessment of her personality). A lot of people don't like her when they first meet her because she does not appear either approachable or friendly.
Someone who has never met Annie but who knows her only by reputation is likely to have an altogether different impression of her. Annie will come across to a stranger as driven, intelligent, and committed to being the best in her field, whatever that particular field happens to be. Strangers will likely think that she is quite a happy person as Annie is generally successful and most people equate success with happiness. Unfortunately this is not the full picture, and they are likely to miss the fact that Annie spent a lot of her life not doing what she loved in an effort to please her mother.
The few friends who Annie is close to know her as somebody who has spent her life putting her own needs and wants aside for somebody else (her mother) while convincing herself that she was doing what her mother had taught her -- that she can do anything that she sets her mind to and the word "can't" has no place in her vocabulary. Her friends have sympathy for her situation and understand that she wants something more for herself than where she's wound up. While Annie enjoys helping children, her friends know that this isn't her ultimate life goal, and it saddens them that she's settled for less than what she "deserves."
Annie's family does not know her well. Her mother considers her a driven young woman while her sister views her as somebody who has done nothing but follow by the rules. Neither are entirely accurate, and Annie just cannot be herself with her family. Her mother has always wanted a particular thing from her and Annie has always given that to her mother, while secretly striving for something that pleases her more. Claire only sees the part of Annie that follows her mother's line and lacks a spirit of adventure, and neither of them are accurate about Annie at all.
Rivals (generally people who disagree with the way that Annie runs her group) view Annie as too hard and not evenly matched to their abilities. As far as they are concerned, she lacks the compassion to handle her business on the ranch and because of this, her group will never succeed in the program as well as theirs do. It's rare to find them arguing with her directly, as her rivals are more apt to talk about her behind her back. It's easier to do that than to hear her side of the reasons why she does things the way that she does, and the reasons that her students will succeed in their own time -- and often more quickly than the students in other groups.
Enemies generally dislike Annie's attitude toward life in general. They consider her unfair and believe that her stubbornness makes things difficult for the people in her life. The people who really loathe her are either homophobes who hate that she is homo-inclined, or gays who view her as nothing more than a homophobe. Few people have more reason to despise her than these two groups, and she is literally caught directly between the two of them, unable to find balance between them. Both view her as the person who is in the wrong, and Annie has no room to fight against these sorts of accusations. Therefore, in spite of all of her strength otherwise, her enemies view her as very weak.
Annie's authorities wish that she was better at taking direction. She is so apt to do things her own way that she often ignores the rules in order to follow her gut. This works out well often enough for her group and herself, but it is frustrating and infuriating for her authorities to want her to do things according to the rules only to have her make an entirely different decision that doesn't line up with the philosophies of the ranch. Ironically, her actions often lead to greater growth within her group, making the Wellwaders one of the strongest groups on the ranch. Because of this, authorities often cave to her rule breaking, because it gets results.
Annie and Jack don't work together so much as they work side by side, doing the same job, but separately. The group leader cohesion isn't what it could be as a result of somewhat differing philosophies and Jack's militaristic outlook on their mutual group. They would likely get along better if they made an effort to do their work in a more mutual way, as their philosophies are not, in fact, that different from one another. Due in part to both of them being on the shy side, however, they have worked separately since Jack joined the team, and Annie has never really accepted him.
In all of her thirty-five years, Annie has never had a lover. This is in large part because she is so deeply in the closet that she can't see the light. She's never dated, never danced with a partner, never considered romance an option for her. Her view of the world is that everybody is straight and she just hasn't found the right man yet, while still being attracted to females more than she is to males. It's confusing for her, and this makes her resistant to romantic gestures of all kinds. Lovers -- those who are crushing on her for the time being -- will have a difficult time breaking down her barriers to find the romantic individual who is underneath.
To put it mildly, Annie is frustrated with herself. She's tired of doing what other people expect her to do and she wants more than anything to succeed at something that she personally loves. She sees somebody who got stuck paying student loans for a degree that she doesn't even want and she's furious with herself for not being stronger when she had a decision to make. A lot of the time she simply doesn't like herself, and she's prone to self-criticism and beating herself up over things that she can no longer change. It's a vicious cycle for Annie, and one that she may be able to break once she's comfortable with being herself.
Many people will be indifferent when Annie is dead. There isn't likely to be a wide turnout at her funeral, and people will quickly forget her as she accomplished little for the world and more in her own personal realm. Those who think much on her at all will likely remember her as a selfish person whose end result was to work out her own story and to contribute little to the lives of others. She won't leave much behind, other than her parents and her sister, who will remember her in different, varied ways. Her mother may remember her as somebody who always believed in "can," while her sister will remember her as somebody who did whatever their mother said. Her father will remember her the most accurately: As somebody who didn't know when to give up, but had a heart big enough to keep trying.
Annie's been pretty tough for me. She has a distinct personality but not a lot of story to go along with it, and it took me a long time to extract the story that she wanted to tell from her. I knew who I wanted her to be -- and then later who she was, but writing this app has been a struggle because she didn't want to cooperate and tell a story. The fact that her story is so tied up in her sexuality is probably the main reason. Not only is this something I abhor doing myself, but she's not comfortable talking about it. All in all, however, I like Annie, and I can see the sadness inside of her that's difficult to put down into an application like this. She's struggling with her identity in more ways than one, including the fact that she wants more than anything to pave her own way and to not be stuck in a filial situation where she must do what pleases her mother. Fortunately, her story should work that out.
Rochelle Caine • Childhood Best Friend
For several years Rochelle was the only friend who Annie had. The two of them were inseparable and went everywhere together. She was the first person other than Claire who Annie allowed into her tree house. When Chelle moved away, the two of them stayed in touch with one another until they were in their early teens and then lost contact with one another.
Chelle is recently back in town, and Annie is dealing with unexpected feelings for her. While Chelle seems oblivious, Annie is struggling to figure out what this means. Girls aren't supposed to be attracted to girls.
Dawn is the new Wellwader counselor, and she's unabashedly flirting with Annie. Annie's not oblivious to her advances, though she's definitely confused by them. Girls aren't meant to be attracted to girls, and Annie is currently mostly avoiding Dawn. They can't keep apart for forever though, and Annie is going to have to accept that she's going to have to work with Dawn.
This presents a peculiar challenge because Dawn's gaydar is strong enough for her to "sense" that Annie is gay, but not strong enough to gather that Annie's not accepting of her own sexuality. Their relationship is complex, and in the end it might be Dawn who Annie chooses.
Annie's relationship with her mother is complex and confusing. Believing that it was best for her daughters, Carrie pushed both Annie and Claire into college and pressured them to prove that they could do anything that they set their minds to. They were, as she put it, proving themselves both for women, and as people of color. While Carrie taught Annie much of what she knows about succeeding in life (no such thing as "can't"), she also pressured Annie into doing something other than what she loved.
As Anne has gotten older, her relationship with her mother has become more tense. She feels pressured to do things her mother's way, and it no longer feels like encouragement, but like demands. The more that Annie chooses to do her own thing, the more uncomfortable she gets with their relationship. She has no idea that her mother has supported her all along and that she's the one placing limitations on their relationship.
Michael Howard • Father
Mike left the family when Annie was eight years old. He left no explanation for his reasons for leaving, and he's only contacted her twice since leaving. The second time was to tell her that he was in Trader's Bend, and that he wanted to see her. Annie has been avoiding him, but she's curious about his reasons for being back in town. If he has an explanation for the reasons that he left in the first place, she wants to hear what that is.
It turns out that Mike left their family because Carrie pushed him out. She refused to accept him as he was and prevented him from actively parenting and supporting her daughters. When he found out that she was having an affair with another woman, he left angry and she refused to allow him to see his children.
Claire Howard • Sister
Where Annie followed their mother's prescription for success, Claire rebelled against it, moving to California when she was twenty-three and not returning since. There's some resentment between the sisters, as Claire doesn't see Annie in a full way -- only that she followed the rules and is miserable because of it -- and Annie only sees part of Claire (the part that rebelled). This has made things tense between them, and although they have the potential to be close, their relationship is currently very rocky.
Every morning, Annie wakes up early and opens the window treatments on every single window throughout the house. She loves natural lighting, and this allows the sunlight to reach every corner of the house. This is especially important in her studio, but Annie has a distinct preference for sunlight, and she keeps the lights off in all of the other rooms as a result. As long as there is sunlight, she will leave the other lights off, and her house was built to get the best of the light from every time of day.
It isn't enough that Annie has deleted the word "can't" from her vocabulary. She spends part of her morning every day reminding herself of all of the things that she can do. This is one way that she reminds herself of everything that she's capable of, and that she boosts her confidence in making her own goals more accessible to herself (and to others). The morning affirmations remind her of who she is and bolster her ability to make things happen in her life.
Annie's morning start at five o'clock, regardless of the day of the week. She is in her clothing and eating her breakfast by five in the morning, every single day. Over the years she's learned that this particular habit helps her to get more out of her day, and she generally spends time in the morning journaling and making herself a list of what she needs to get accomplished that day. This is one of the ways that she affirms she can get done anything she commits to.
A lot of people are homophobic. Fewer are actually gay. The number of people who are both are few and far between. Annie is one of those people. She has never been attracted to males, but she doesn't recognize that attraction to the same sex is really possible -- in her mind it's something teenagers do to rebel, and it's nearly always a phase. Self-hating, Annie doesn't accept homosexuality as an option, and it's about to turn her life on its head.
Most days Annie has been in her studio before arriving for work (unless her group is cooking breakfast that week) and so she shows up covered in paint splatters. These cover everything, including her face, and she is often entirely plastered with the signs of her hobby -- or rather, her secondary career. Her clothing is perpetually stained and the paint isn't coming out of it, so she's given up trying to get it out of everything. Paint stains are just something people will have to put up with!
"No Such Thing as Can't"
One thing that her mother taught her when she was younger is that there is no such thing as "can't." The word doesn't exist in Annie's vocabulary. She won't say it unless it is absolutely, 100% true (humans can't grow a third set of teeth). Even then she tends to avoid it by replacing it with another suitable word (humans won't grow a third set of teeth). "Can't," she says, should be reserved for those rare times that you're talking about something that is literally not possible.
Being an introvert doesn't make Annie any less adventurous. One of her favorite hobbies, especially when she's alone, is to rappel the cliff faces around Trader's Bend. Most of the time she does this on the ranch property, usually to give her students the opportunity to see her do it. When she wants to be active, this is one of her favorite go-to hobbies, and it takes her mind off of almost everything that gets her swamped and upset.
When Annie really wants to get away, she will often go hiking. This is a lonely pursuit for her and she nearly always goes out by herself. One might say that this is foolish, as a person alone can get hurt on the trails, but she's never been injured yet, and she always makes sure to take her cell phone out with her. Since the whole ranch gets coverage, she's not at any real risk out there on the trails as long as her phone remains intact and she doesn't wind up knocked out!
Living in Montana, Annie doesn't get to go sailing very often, but it is one of her favorite ways to spend her time. She doesn't own her own boat, but she's rented one the few times that she's been able to get to the coast and get out on the water. She prefers sail boats over power boats, and she's become quite good at controlling the boat using only the wind. This has been one of her favorite sports for a while, but not one that many people know about, as she's kept it very private.
Motivation • Exceptional
Thanks to her mother's teachings when she was younger, Annie has learned a lot about how to motivate people. She uses her words to keep the kids driving forward, and she does it without excessive use of other punishment or reward. Obviously students earn their privileges as they go, but for the most part she's able to avoid making them feel as though they are going to be punished for the slightest infraction in the group.
Painting • Excellent
It's taken time for Annie to gain true proficiency with her artwork, but she's gotten better and better over the years and she's actually confident in her painting ability now. She spends as much time as she can in her studio, and would one day love to make a living selling her paintings. The closest she is likely to come is illustration for books, but she doesn't believe in "can't" so she will keep pushing until she's sure that she has the most she can.
Organization • Proficient
For quite some time Annie worked in a lab as a tech. Most of her job involved organizing data and samples, so she learned very well how to file things based on their similarities. Organization is one of her strong suits, and one of the reasons that she takes the time out of every morning to organize her day on paper before it even starts. It's no longer the most useful skill, but she's good enough at it to note it.
Now that it's over, Annie doesn't engage much with biology, but there was a reason that she chose it as her major in college. She's interested in the subject, and in particular the way that genetics interact with one another. Sometimes Annie wishes that she could have taken this interest further, but she gave up when she was young and not interested in pursuing something that was at the time a dead end.
Annie often thinks about the way that things would be different if she hadn't been raised by her mother, or if she'd wound up being born to other parents. The fact that she possesses so many of her mother's traits fascinates her, and she wants to learn more about the theory of personality. She touched on this some when she was in college, and has entertained the idea of genealogy and the genetics of psychology, but her real life is of course for art.
Annie spends so much of her time outdoors, and she has grown concerned about the environment and the effect of human interaction with the environment on the earth and the animals that share it with them. She's studied biology, and so this is something that is important to her and that she pays attention to. She recycles because she doesn't feel that there's any other choice.
While Annie herself is homosexual, she is put off by the idea that one might be attracted to one's own biological sex. She's been in denial for a long time, mostly telling herself that when the right man comes along, she's going to be interested in him. Besides, she's not interested in girls either. Is she? Now that things are starting to get weird for her, it's time for Annie's innate homophobia to be confronted.
I'd love it if she had a gay student in her group. Not bisexual or even pansexual, but straight-up homosexual. Lesbian would be better than a gay boy, but either way this would give her the room to explore supporting that student in spite of her misgivings, forcing her to interact with this person with whom she disagrees, but she must support him/her.
Annie doesn't make a lot of money -- never has -- but she has invested a lot into her home studio at her house in the woods around town. The studio is her favorite place on earth, and she has several paintings stored there, just waiting for her to figure out how to strike it big.
An interesting plot could be if somebody broke into her studio and stole something from her -- canvases, paint, some of her paintings -- and left her to discover that her studio had been ransacked. This doesn't necessarily need another person to resolve, though the confrontation could be interesting!
At some point, Annie is going to have to deal with the fact that she is same-sex attracted -- gay. She's demisexual, so getting to that point is going to be somewhat complex. She knows she's in no way attracted to any male she's ever met, and she knows that she finds women beautiful, but she doesn't know that she can be attracted to females. That's going to change given her current key plots, but it's also important for her to really come to terms with the way that she feels about sex and identity.
To have somebody confront her about this in a way that is very direct would be remarkable. If it's Dawn, that's fine, but somebody needs to bring her to an awareness of who she is and break through her thick skull so that she can start to move forward and develop as a person (even though she's 35).
Time Zone: GMT-5
Native Language: English
Preferred Word Count: 300-800+
Likely Triggers: positive adoption language, abortion, miscarriage, needles, graphic, bloody violence. if you tag these, i should be okay!
Your Other Characters: rachel vanderbilt, logan brook, isabella curry, rebekah brook, grace somers, nathan curry, william jenkins, katelyn yu, eleanor noble, montana sheridan, nadia grisham
When people look at Nick, they tend to see a big dumb bully. For all most people experience of him, they might as well be right. At heart, Nick is a smart, sensitive kid who’s learned to act tough because it keeps him safe, but that’s buried deep enough that plenty of people will never encounter that side of him.
I could see this relationship going a couple ways. Nick is a hard worker, and he doesn't exactly expect praise for it. I suspect he works hard, does what he's told, and doesn't try to give Annie a hard time.
But, because she's aloof and he's doing what he's told, he's expecting her to stay out of his way. He's not expecting her to overlook something that happens in front of her, of course, but he doesn't think she should be looking too hard into what he's been up. That may be what you mean by him trying to take advantage of her. The result is that if he ever does get in trouble with her, there's a chance he'll escalate it into a real argument.
Karl would have definitely liked her as a student, and I'm sure he's friendly (in the overbearing, longwinded way Karl is friendly) when he sees her in town.
He is a bit of a gossip, though, so he might know some of Annie's skeletons. Which he wouldn't spread around, given that he likes her.
I do want to note that, whatever he knows or suspects about Annie's homosexuality, he doesn't disapprove of Annie for being attracted to women - he disapproves of people acting on homosexuality, not just for wanting to. (Maybe that's obvious, but I want to be clear that Karl isn't that particular stripe of hypocrit.)
I'm super excited its finally time for these two to interact. I agree with you that it might be best to skip through the awkward meeting stage. I was thinking that a formal event for staff would be fun for Dawn at least to follow Annie around like a persistent puppy with a bone. Looks like the masquerade won't work after all, though, with the awesome prompt set up.
I'm sure that staff will be doing a lot of planning and preparation though for the millions of events happening soon. Seeing as Dawn lives on the ranch she'll likely be spending time in any office space the cliffhangers have, or working on things in her own cabin. I'm not sure if Annie would be comfortable with an invitation to join her at said cabin for a cup of tea to work on decorations or if accidentally bumping into her at the office later in the evening when everyone has gone to bed would be more her style?
I'm really open to anything at this point but we should definitely have them meeting at an odd time and Dawn will definitely be pushing the tea invitation.
Remy and AnneI'm excited to plot with whoever you choose. Anyway as I've said before I think Anne and Remy would definitely have some interesting interactions. I definitely think they'll butt heads but he would definitely benefit from her consistency. Although in some things Remy is less I can't and more I won't , if he has adamantly decided he doesn't want to do something for a reason he feels is fair then it takes a hell of a lot to convince him otherwise. I think they're definitely going to have a battle of wills more often than most but given time and realising that Anne doesn't drop her expectations just because he's got difficulties would make her someone he'd trust, look up to and probably be more open with when he's having difficulty. I noticed that Anne enjoys outdoorsy activities and Remy is much the same. He's happier outside than indoors so this could be something that Anne notices and maybe she takes him with her on the occasional hike. I noted that this was something she liked to alone so this could possibly not work. If she's outdoors a lot then she'd probably be the one that ends up finding Remy when he's run off or wandered off to do his own thing, or up a tree. I think that Anne could definitely become someone that Remy relies on, mostly because she won't back down when he's being, him. Hit me back!
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Otter is the brains behind Brook Haven Ranch, which is the culmination of twenty years of roleplay admin experience. She developed Brook Haven in response to a personal need (both hers and River's) to have a safe place to work through some of the emotions brought about from childhood and adolescence. Brook Haven as evolved from there into a rich and complex setting which permits players to examine not only their own lives, but the way that other people live, so that we can better understand not only ourselves, but one another. It is, without a doubt, Otter's favorite playground.
Otter prefers threads with action, that move the plot forward or foster strong relationships between characters. She is not a fan of one-off interactions or most slice-of-life types of threads, and becomes bored with them quickly. Her preference when plotting is a "one-two-three" plot system (plot-reply-thread) and therefore she likes to provide (and receive) strong ideas that will lead to threads. Relationships are wonderful, but she prefers to foster them organically, which means threads with action first.
When she's not roleplaying, Otter loves to knit. Her favorite projects are socks and mitts (or mittens). Small projects suit her best, but she also enjoys knitting scarves and hats to donate to the local juvenile correctional facilities, victims of abuse, and otherwise the needy in the local area where she lives.
She also loves to read. Her favorite books are constantly changing, but she is a constant fan of The Hunger Games. She keeps a notebook (Leuchtreurm) with a list of the books that she's read with notes about who might enjoy them, and Otter loves to give book recommendations (but is pretty sure she's not good at it). She also has a blog that she frequently forgets to update with her book reviews.
Squirt joined Brook Haven after searching for a site focused on teenage growth in a detailed setting. She became a moderator after displaying initiative and interest. She comes with a wealth of experience in the Harry Potter and high school genres.
Every thread she participates in has a distinct purpose: to develop a relationship or further the character’s story. She quickly grows bored with one-off threads or stalled threads. She’s looking to play more antagonistic threads and difficult familial relationships.
In her spare time Squirt plays desktop video games, watches kids movies, fosters cats, and takes naps.
Ben has been a player on Otter and River’s sites for the last two years, and became a staff member on Brook Haven after when it was starting up again. He’s a big fan of both the detailed setting and the complex themes of the site.
Ben likes threads which move the character’s stories forward. Often those are high intensity emotional scenes, but sometimes they’re little moments in an ordinary day where people say the right thing.
Outside of roleplaying, Ben studies and teachers mathematics loves video games.
Hello members and guests! Brook Haven Ranch is now hiring! We are looking to fill positions for Outreach Admin, Events Moderator, and Global Moderator.
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At the present time, we are seeking an Outreach Admin, Events Moderator, and Global Moderator. Two of these positions are specialized, while a Global Moderator's purpose is to help with claims and to join the staff in reviewing applications for acceptance.
The Outreach Admin is responsible for leading the Outreach team in advertising Brook Haven Ranch on other sites, chatting with guests and new members in the cbox, greeting new members via personal message, and reaching out to members when there is a discipline problem which needs to be resolved. They help manage the Outreach team, which currently consists of one moderator.
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