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 year-end summary, post-hiatus plans, and assistive programs development report

This is the last week of the liturgical year, and the first week back from the blog hiatus, so this week we’re looking back over the past year on this blog and the subjects it covers and forward to what the schedule will be like in the future. Monday covered the Shine Cycle; today we’ll look at posts related to Strategic Primer, my plans for this department post-hiatus, and a report on development since the last status update. Continue reading

Shine Cycle year-end summary, post-hiatus plans, and writing status update

As has become traditional on this blog, this last week of the Christian liturgical year will be given over to posts looking back over the past year on the blog. Today, a look back over the Shine Cycle worldbuilding and other background material that has appeared on Mondays throughout the year since last year’s year-end summary, and also an update on my plans now that the hiatus has come to an end and a report on my progress on the Shine cycle since my last status update. Continue reading


It’s now been over a month since I’ve made a post on this blog other than a status update. This was not by design; I had an (in retrospect over-ambitious) schedule of posts I wanted to write, but that schedule constantly slipped. And the demands on my time are if anything increasing.

So today I’m making that hiatus formal. The next post on this blog, other than perhaps writing status updates and development reports, won’t be until the end of the year—by which I mean, of course, the liturgical year, the week, octave, or a little longer before Advent.

In that time, besides trying to get ahead on all my other time-sinks, I hope to write at least a short queue of “pre-made” posts (such as I had when I first started posting regularly) that I can just paste in and set to run. I will also consider how ambitious a blogging routine I’m likely to be able to keep up with, and will announce changes to the “posting schedule” when the hiatus ends.

Strategic Primer assistive programs development report and roadmap (#29)

In the month and more since my last report on the development of my suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer, there’s been fairly few noteworthy developments, but it’s time for a new release and report anyway.

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

Shine Cycle character profile: Adelaide

Adelaide is a bard and great-mage, in the Queen’s personal service, and a princess at large. She has the peculiar ability to break opponents’ workings targeting her and their concentration, which generally removes the necessity of doing damage to achieve objectives. Continue reading