Welcome!

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

Future History: The Third World War: Causes and Effects

In the future history of our world that will underlie the “Game of Life” sub-series of my Shine Cycle, I’ve developed events primarily based on “trends” that either are extensions of patterns I see in the present and past or are (rarely) required for the stories I feel called to tell. But today’s topic is an event that, despite recent historical trends, I fear is all but inevitable: a third World War. Continue reading

Strategic Primer: NEWS (August 2014)

It’s been three months since the last installment in the quasi-quarterly series of posts collecting “recent” information of interest to players of Strategic Primer, so it’s time for another, though there’s fairly little “NEWS” to report. Continue reading

Strategic Primer assistive programs development report and roadmap (#28)

It’s been well over a month since my last report on the development of my suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer, so it’s high time for an update and new release.

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

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