28 Aug

Life’s been a whirlwind this summer and will be for the next five weeks or so. The RPG I’ve worked on for the past few years for 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming, Exploding Aces, went before the public as a Kickstarter. I’m very pleased to tell you all that it hit its initial funding with just under four weeks to go. Now we can aim for the stretch goals, if we hit some of those it will be most exciting.


As Co-Chair of Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous, a new gaming convention here in Montana, I’m in the midst of the whirlwind. Things are moving fast. The event opens in just over a month, October 5-7, here at the Townhouse Inn in Great Falls. I’ve spent the last few weeks juggling the gaming schedule, writers workshop, panel schedule, and volunteer scheduling. Many things still aren’t finalized and will come down to the next couple of weeks. It’s been very rewarding seeing Montana’s gaming community come together to make GFGR a reality. 

On the writing front my short story, “The Sewing Room Witch and Uncle Kitty,” will be published next month in an anthology called “The Mystical Cat.” I’ll be sure to post when it releases. This summer has been busy and exciting and the great culmination will be the first week of October with Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous. Afterward I thing I’ll take a long winter’s nap.  


MisCon is nearly here and part of me is terrified.

21 May


The other part is excited and ready to take on the challenges coming my way. The number one challenge is the writer’s workshop. One part of me believes that the critiquing authors will totally hate my submission and call me a joke. I’m also worried about how I’ll perform on the panels I’ve been assigned to. Will I seem authoritative, knowing what the hell I’m talking about, or will I get laughed off the platform. Arggg… I know that I’ll do well on both the writer’s workshop and the panels, but that kernel of fear is there. Maybe I should just use it to ignite my passion and overcome the fear. Good course. Hey, I think I just gave myself a pep talk. 😀   

Next Weekend’s MisCon Schedule

18 May

Hi all, I’ll be in Missoula, Montana from Thursday til Tuesday (May 24th – May 29th), For the greatest little con in the world –  MisCon. Here is my schedule below if you wish to contact me or take me out for a meal or drinks.

Can’t wait to see all my old friends whom I haven’t seen for a year, and for the chance to meet new friends. And to set on the Iron Throne of course.

CJ Ruby’s Schedule at MisCon:


8 – 10 am, setup 4 Winds Merchant Table

Noon – 2 pm, @ 4 Winds’ merchant table

Meet George RR Martin

Fi 2 – 3 (Great Hall)

Meet Kenneth Hite

Fri 3 – 4 (Great Hall)

Writers’ Workshop Meet and Greet (Writing)

Fri 4:00 – 4:50 PM, (Great Hall)

Pros and Guests: Justin Barba, S. A. Bolich, Margaret Bonham, Patricia Briggs, M. J. Engh, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Deby Fredericks, James Glass, Andrea Howe, Vicki Mitchell, J.A. Pitts, Joyce Reynolds-Ward, Eldon Thompson, Parris ja Young

Moderator: Justin Barba

Participants and Critiquing Authors get together to meet and discuss how the workshop works. They’ll also discuss workshops in general, and how to take criticism. Open to anyone interested in the Writers’ Workshop

Convention Gaming 101 (Gaming)

Fri 5:00 – 5:50 PM, (The Cave) Rm 159

Pros and Guests: Justin Farrington, CJ Ruby, Keith Seyffarth

Moderator: Justin Farrington

Gaming at cons is a whole different animal than rolling dice in your basement. Here’s what you need to know.

Tackling the Silver Screen

Fri 6 – 7 pm, (Great Hall)

Opening Ceremonies (Geek Discussion)

Fri 7:00 – 7:50 PM, (Great Hall)

Pros and Guests: Justin Barba, Rob Carlos, Kenneth Hite, CthulhuBob Lovely, George R. R. Martin

Moderator: CthulhuBob Lovely

Attend our opening ceremonies and watch CthulhuBob cry. Also find out what’s happening at MisCon 26.

8 – 9 pm, dinner

9 – 11 pm, Gameshow of Thrones (Throne Room)


10 – 11 am, @ 4 Winds merchant table

Writers’ Workshop Great Hall (Writing)

Sat 11:00 – 12:50 PM, (Great Hall)

Pros and Guests: Justin Barba, Margaret Bonham, Patricia Briggs, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Deby Fredericks, James Glass, Andrea Howe, J.A. Pitts, Joyce Reynolds-Ward, Eldon Thompson, Parris ja Young

Moderator: Justin Barba

MisCon’s World Famous Writer’s Workshop. Submit your writing to us a month before MisCon, show up at the hotel, and meet with our professional critiquing authors and editors.

1 – 2 pm, short lunch or @ 4 Winds

Pixels or Player’s Handbooks? (Gaming)

Sat 2:00 – 2:50 PM, (Upstairs Programming 2) Rm 260

Pros and Guests: Kenneth Hite, CJ Ruby, Robert Thomson

Moderator: Kenneth Hite

Online RPGs provide a lot of bells and whistles and are easily accessible for players. Can table top rpgs compete? Can these same technologies be used by traditional gamers to enhance tabletop games?

3 – 6 pm, long lunch w/ the guys or @ 4 Winds merchant table

What’s the Deal With Card Gaming? (Gaming)

Sat 6:00 – 6:50 PM, (Upstairs Programming 1)Rm 259

Pros and Guests: John Goff, CJ Ruby

Moderator: John Goff

There’s a whole subset of gaming out there that relies less on what you roll and more on what you draw. Collectible and non-collectible Card games.

7 – 8 pm, E Publishing Today (Great Hall)

9 – midnight, late dinner, gaming, drinking


Running Games for Kids or Inexperienced Gamers (Gaming)

Sun 10:00 – 10:50 AM, (Upstairs Programming 3)Rm 261

Pros and Guests: CJ Ruby, Robert Thomson

Moderator: Robert Thomson

Roleplaying with kids or inexperienced gamers has its own special challenges, but also its own special rewards. Our GMs talk about the ins and outs of it.

11 – 1 pm, @ 4 Winds merchant table.

1 – 2 pm, System vs Story (Rm 159)

2 – 3 pm, So You Want to Run a Convention? (Rm 260)

3 – 5 pm, @ 4 Winds merchant table

5 – 6 pm, The Writing is on the Wall; The Future of Gaming (Rm 159)

6 – 9pm, dinner

9pm, Skywarrior Book Launch Party (Rm 261)


10 – 11 pm, @ 4 Winds merchant table.

Dwarves vs Elves (Gaming)

Mon 11:00 – 11:50 AM, (Great Hall)

Pros and Guests: Josh Aronoff, Justin Farrington, CJ Ruby

Moderator: Justin Farrington

It comes down to this, the bearded fighters of the mountains vs the graceful archers of the forest. Which race gets first place?

12 – 1 pm, @ 4 Winds merchant table

I Wanna See The Movie! (Geek Discussion)

Mon 1:00 – 1:50 PM, (The Cave) Rm 159

Pros and Guests: Bob Davis (Whatshisname), Justin Farrington, Rob McDonell (Illuminati Rob), CJ Ruby

Our panel of Geekologists discuss what books, games, comics etc they would like to see conceptualized on the big screen.

2 – 3 pm, Lore of Swords (Great Hall)

Closing Ceremonies (Geek Discussion)

Mon 3:00 – 3:50 PM, (Great Hall)

Pros and Guests: CthulhuBob Lovely

Moderator: CthulhuBob Lovely

Come see CthulhuBob cry for joy and catch a sneak peek at what’s in store for you next year at MisCon 27 May 2013.

4 pm, Stone of Accord.

MisCon 26

10 May

Getting ready for MisCon 26. George RR Martin will be there and the crowds will probably be crazy. I’m very excited to be on a number of gaming panels. I’m on one with the Gaming GoH Kenneth Hite, and on another with John Goff (of Dead Lands fame), we will be talking about card games. Hope I can get some gaming in this year, but the schedule is so crazy that if I do get into a game it’ll have to be a pick up game. I’m bring my Exploding Aces Titanic game “Terror Under a White Star” it’s a vampyre hunt aboard Titanic with a slight complication thrown in the mix. Hope I get to run this with some experience gamers. Maybe I’ll run it as the secret GM only game. 

Jazzed to attend Skywarrior Books Launch Party on Sunday night. Hopefully one of the books launched will be “Mystical Cats” an anthology which I have a story in.

The writer’s workshop is going to be fun, although I’m a little nervous about what the critiquing authors are going to say about my novel excerpt. I’ve never presented an excerpt before I have always written a short story. So I’m very anxious about how it will be perceived. 

Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous will also be announced during MisCon’s opening ceremony. We will be announcing our Guest of Honor at that time. Hopefully that someone will be in the room. We want to create some buzz about GFGR and collect some donations to get it off and running. 


4 Apr



Good News, Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous officially has a date and a venue. We are very excited to announce this new convention for central Montana. 


Politics. I hat…

3 Apr

Politics. I hate the division the politics stirs up. I really hate it when politics lifts its serpent’s head in an organization I love and have devoted my life to. I love gaming, it brings people together to have fun. That’s what the Sandbaggers Game Club has been all about. Now politics (the internal politics of our game club, which I wont specifically discuss here) is threatening what I love. It’s coming down to a fight, a political fight, which will be ugly and decisive and it will hurt the club no matter which way it goes down. It’s very depressing, I’ve been physically sick about it and only hope it ends well. But know this, there will be a gaming organization in Great Falls that is committed to the greater Montana Gaming community no matter the outcome. Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous is here and on Wednesday Robert Thomson and I will have terrific news to announce. So no matter what you hear about the Sandbaggers, know that Robert and I need your support as friends. And that we still love gaming here in Great Falls and will be supporting it.     


Been down and o…

31 Mar

Been down and out with a cold the past few days. It’s a beautiful day out sunny 60 with no wind. Think I’ll try and get out of the house today. Maybe go down to the game club later. 

Sent my story in to MisCon early this week thinking I’d beat the deadline by a week. Turns out that a conflict with Norwescon has caused the deadline to be a week later. Could I have done something with that week? No, I don’t think so. I might have worried over it a bit, but its gone and now I’m working on the next thing. I’ll think about it again at the writers’ workshop.