Hi! I’m Jonathan Lovelace, an aspiring author, self-published poet, amateur game designer, technical writer, and software developer. Welcome to the Shine Cycle Online!

From 2010 through mid-2014, I tried to feature a new post in each of four quite different “departments” here every week, and thereafter the schedule loosened but the same principle continued. Since this organization appears to confuse some readers, I’ve “stuck” this post here to introduce myself, the blog, and its subjects—briefly here, and in more detail “below the fold.”

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.” This part of the blog, which originally ran on Mondays, includes 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. For a while—from late 2009 on—I posted a new poem here on the blog each Friday, and I continue to post them when I have new ones to post. This is the most popular “department” of the blog. Many of these poems are collected in A Year in Verse, now available on Kindle and in print. Most of my poetry is blank verse.

In the process of developing that collection, as I’m a notoriously bad critic of my own work, and most subscribers started reading this blog long after I began posting 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; in the third “department,” which originally ran on Wednesdays, I write about the game—its design, implementation, development, history, and so on.

The last “department,” which originally ran mostly on Saturdays, is “miscellaneous”—usually essays on a variety of topics.

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


“Nostalgia” (A New Poem)

“Those were the days!” each generation cries,
Remembering a time from its own youth,
Before its paths went utterly awry,
Its plans all failed, and dreams all turned to dust.
But were the seeds of failure not first sown
In those first “glory days,” and do not tears
Inexorably follow, come to, those
Who spend their youth as youth is always spent?
Is not the cup of sorrow we now drink
Pressed from the grapes our youthful hands once picked?
“Those were the days!” they cry, to idolize
The age their parents had in turn deplored.

I began this poem nearly two years ago, at a time when I was getting the new-to-me famous ’60s pop song stuck in my head a couple of times every week or more, and the idea for the poem came to me. I quickly reached a mental roadblock, though, and shelved the fragment. When I came back to it earlier this year, I first added a couple of new lines, then two and a half months later I managed to bring it to what I considered a reasonable conclusion.

As always, I earnestly welcome your comments, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. If you’d like to read more of my poetry, you can read my archive (also organized in more manageable installments), follow this blog for (now only occasional) new poetry (among other things), or get my book, which contains over sixty of my best poems, each paired with a public-domain illustration or drawing. You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

Strategic Primer assistive programs release, development report, and roadmap (0.4.9017-rc2)

The month since the last release candidate of the suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer has seen a few small but significant bug fixes and a number of other small improvements. I’ve released a second release candidate for version 0.4.9017 and the only-adding-bug-fixes point release 0.4.9016.2. You can download either new release from GitHub, at those links, as usual, or read a summary of the changes since the last release below. Continue reading “Strategic Primer assistive programs release, development report, and roadmap (0.4.9017-rc2)”

Shine Cycle Character Profile: Octavia

This is the next in the series of profiles of characters who will appear in the Shine Cycle, my fantasy-series-in-preparation.

Octavia – Knight and a clerk in the Imperial Service. She is noted for winning the amateur division of the Imperial Cup in cross country in the years her sister Elva did not, for her unwillingness to take a promotion she feels another deserves more, and for her courage under fire. Continue reading “Shine Cycle Character Profile: Octavia”

Hymn: “I would, but cannot, sing”

The next in my series on great old hymns is a text that has put words to my wordless feelings ever since I was first introduced to it by a post on the Cardiphonia Project‘s blog, but which I hesitated to call a “hymn.” Still, I won’t quarrel with the hymnal editors who have chosen to include it in their volumes, and I was going to share it with you anyway. Continue reading “Hymn: “I would, but cannot, sing””

Second-Trimester 2018 Strategic Primer Goals Check

For the past week, I’ve been belatedly looking back over the past four and eight months to see how I’m doing on my goals for the year, starting with my “miscellaneous” goals on Saturday and continuing with my Shine Cycle goals on Monday. Today, a look at my goals relating to Strategic Primer. Continue reading “Second-Trimester 2018 Strategic Primer Goals Check”

Second-Trimester 2018 Goals Check

Back in December, I set a goal for 2018 to

After each trimester, assess progress and note any necessary amendments to goals in a blog post.

As I said in May, “Where have the last four [now eight] months gone?” But, however belatedly, I’m now following through with that goal for the second time this year. Today, a look at how I’m doing on my “general” and “miscellaneous” goals, with consideration of those in re the Shine Cycle and Strategic Primer next week. Continue reading “Second-Trimester 2018 Goals Check”