Welcome!

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

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Strategic Primer assistive programs release and development report (0.4.9017-rc4)

In the three weeks since the last release candidate of the suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer, the code-base has seen much less change, and more minor changes, than in the last few months, so while I’ve “cut” a new release candidate today, I expect this will be the last before 0.4.9017. There were no “pure bug fixes” in the last three weeks (that I thought important enough to include in a “point release”), so 0.4.9016.3 remains the “latest stable.”You can download this new release candidate from GitHub as usual, or read a summary of the changes since the last release candidate below. Continue reading “Strategic Primer assistive programs release and development report (0.4.9017-rc4)”

“But Thanks Be to God”: A Tenth Reflection

Today is the day the United States government designated for public thanksgiving to God. Despite the fact that the holiday persists as such through sheer inertia and commercialization rather than through the survival of the late statesmen’s understanding of the reasons for it, it is still fitting for me to, as I have done for the past nine years on this day, reflect on the various ways God has blessed me through the course, and in particular during the past year.

Because I prefer to try to avoid repeating myself when I can, because my memory fades more each year (though particular memories have been brought into sharper focus), and more importantly because the time I allow for the writing of these meditations is always briefer than I intend, my first reflection on this theme, in 2009, remains the most extensive and detailed; in subsequent years, and below, I have largely more-briefly listed blessings that were either new or newly-brought-to-mind. Continue reading ““But Thanks Be to God”: A Tenth Reflection”

Strategic Primer assistive programs release and development report (0.4.9017-rc3)

It’s now approaching two months since the last release candidate of the suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer, and in that time the code has seen a far greater number of, and far more intrusive, changes than I wanted to make anytime other than right before a first release candidate. Because the more intrusive changes are, in my estimation, improvements, I’ve made a third release candidate for version 0.4.9017 and an only-adding-bug-fixes point release 0.4.9016.3. 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 and development report (0.4.9017-rc3)”

“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.