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

Writing status update (#46)

For all that it feels in some ways more like a week has passed than a month, it’s been four weeks since my last report (on the second day of Christmas) on recent progress on the Shine Cycle, my fantasy series-in-preparation. In that time, despite the busyness that always makes Christmastide hectic, and despite being laid somewhat low by a cold last week, I did get some Shine Cycle development work done. Continue reading

“Psalm 14”

The wicked person, in his senseless folly,
Says, to calm himself, there is no God.
And all are, like this, full of wicked deeds,
Their minds unfit and bent by love of sin;
There is not one who knows and does the right. Continue reading

Strategic Primer assistive programs release, development report, and roadmap (0.4.9013)

In the weeks since the last snapshot release of the suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer, there have many minor “fixes” and “cleanups,” a few “major under-the-hood” changes, a few changes that may affect players but they won’t see directly, and at most a couple actually “user-visible” changes. But it’s time for a new release. You can download the new snapshot from GitHub as usual. Continue reading

Shine Cycle Précis: Pax Nova

Pax Nova is the fifth planned novel in the “Alternate Universes” sub-series of the Shine Cycle. It will take place in and around the New Roman Empire, early in the starfaring phase of its history. This post is a brief introduction to this planned work. Continue reading


Inspired by a star, they traveled far
To kneel before the cradle of a king,
But then went home, and dropped out of the tale.
For once astrology was on the mark:
Not only Judah’s rightful king, but theirs,
Lay in the poverty of Bethlehem,
But did they later heed his gospel’s call?

As I was thinking about what to write to mark Epiphany this year, some lines popped into my mind. They weren’t quite right (to use them as they were would have meant switching to a different meter for the rest), but as I thought them through and revised them the stanza above nearly wrote itself.

Three Philosophers by Giorgione

As always, I earnestly welcome your questions, suggestions, or other comments 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); get my book, which contains over sixty of my best poems, each paired with a public-domain illustration or drawing; or follow this blog for (now only occasional) new poetry (among other things). You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

Strategic Primer 2016 Review, 2017 Goals

With the coming of another year, I’m again looking back and forward, checking up on the goals I stated a year ago, and setting new goals for 2017. I began with most of my goals on Saturday, and continued with my Shine Cycle-related goals on Monday; today, a look at Strategic Primer, the strategy game I’ve been developing in one form or another for many years, starting with the goals I set a year ago. Continue reading

Shine Cycle 2016 Review, 2017 Goals

At the beginning of another year, I again pause briefly to take stock of the past year and look forward to the next, specifically looking at how what I accomplished compared to the goals I had set and then setting new ones. I looked at my “miscellaneous” goals on Saturday; today, I’ll look back over how much I accomplished on the Shine Cycle, my fantasy series-in-preparation in the past year, and set new goals. Continue reading