Hi! I’m Jonathan Lovelace, an aspiring author, occasional poet, game designer, software developer, and 2009 graduate of Calvin College. Welcome to the Shine Cycle Online!

Each week, this blog features a new post in each of four quite different “departments.” Since this organization appears to confuse some newcomers, I’ve written this “sticky” post to introduce myself, the blog, and its subjects—briefly here, and in more detail after the jump.

But first, I should mention the sharing policy (I encourage you to link to and otherwise share my work, and permit you to make personal archival copies, but other than that please don’t copy my work) and the comment policy (aside from the usual common-sense items you’d expect, please comment on the post you’re commenting about, rather than wherever you happen to be!); I encourage you to read them.

From childhood, I’ve had a story in my head that I feel called to write. That “big work,” tentatively titled “the Shine Cycle,” is the original nominal topic of this blog, but now is only one of the four “departments”: on Mondays I post background essays about the story and its world (and “writing status updates” about monthly).

I’ve also had poetry “come to me” on occasion since high school. Each Friday I post one of these poems, as I’ve been doing since late 2009. This is the most popular “department” of the blog.

Because I’m hoping to publish a collection of my poetry, I’m a notoriously bad critic of my own work, and most of my subscribers started reading this blog long after I began poems weekly, each Thursday from mid-2011 to January 2013 I asked for feedback on a few poems from my archive.

I’m also developing an innovative turn-based strategy/simulation game called Strategic Primer; each Wednesday I write about the game—its design, implementation, development, history, and so on.

Saturday is the day for “miscellaneous”—usually essays on a variety of topics.

I’ll describe each of these “departments” (and that term itself) after the jump

Strategic Primer future campaign ideas

Over the years that the current campaign of Strategic Primer has run, from time to time I’ve had ideas of how to improve the game that I can’t really apply to this campaign. Today’s post is a collection of these ideas, so I can refer to them later, and so that players can discuss whether any of them might be worth implementing in the current campaign despite the discontinuity with previous turns this would entail. Continue reading

Hymn: “God of our fathers”

Yesterday was Independence Day here in the United States, so the hymn I’d like to focus on in this month’s entry in my series is the one item, or one of the few items, in my hymnal’s “patriotic” section that is truly a hymn and something I would choose to sing. Continue reading

Strategic Primer assistive programs development report and roadmap (#27)

In the weeks since my last report on the development of my suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer I’ve fixed several bugs (a couple of which were truly egregious) and added some major new functionality.

As usual, you can download the new version from Bitbucket, and if you want to know more details than I list below, you can see the full history in the Mercurial repository. Continue reading

“O Holy Spirit, Lord, we see abroad”

O Holy Spirit, Lord, we see abroad
Your flames like hilltop beacons set alight,
Though not yet spreading through the valley plains.
But here at home, in this abundant land
Our fathers, fearing you, had wished to be
Your shining light and “city on a hill,”
Our altars and our hearths have long grown cold,
With few alight and fewer yet ablaze.
Come, Lord, and fill your people’s hearts again
With that same fire you gave us long ago,
That we, and all our land, may seek your face,
Repent and turn from all our wicked ways,
And live before you as your people ought.

Some of the ideas, phrases, and even lines in this poem have been tumbling around in my mind for the past week or so, since I’d been hoping to write a poem to mark Pentecost, but it finally came together only today. The opening lines were prompted by a report from a visiting missionary/musical couple to our church last week (entirely by God’s providence, rather than the will of man, that this happened on Pentecost, which went entirely unremarked) of remarkable revival in churches in Islamic countries.

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, suggestions (perhaps of a real title for this poem?), questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. If you liked this, you can follow this blog, which includes one of my poems nearly every Friday, or read other poems I’ve written here on my blog (starting with those linked from one of the “archive” installments, since the full archive is by now, at over two hundred poems, somewhat daunting); I’d especially like to know, as part of my preparations for a collection, which poems you think are my best. You may also share it with others, subject to my sharing policy.

This is also archived on my wiki.