Hi! I’m Jonathan Lovelace, an aspiring author, self-published poet, amateur game designer, technical writer, software developer, and 2009 graduate of Calvin College. Welcome to the Shine Cycle Online!

From 2010 through mid-2014, this blog tried to feature a new post in each of four quite different “departments” every week, and thereafter the same four “departments” continued in a looser schedule. 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 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 (the usual common sense, but 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.” 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.

Because I hoped to pubish a collection of my poetry (which is now available on Kindle), 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; 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

Year-end summary

This is the last day before Advent, and so the last day of the year on the Christian liturgical calendar. This week I have again spent the week looking back over the past year, summarizing what has happened on this blog, and in the areas of my life that this blog covers, in the past year. I’ve already covered posts related to the Shine Cycle and to Strategic Primer; today, a look through other posts (poems and “essays”) that have appeared in this space in the past year since last year’s retrospective. Continue reading “Year-end summary”

“But Thanks Be to God”: A Seventh Reflection

This is the day designated publicly to give thanks to our Creator for the gracious gifts he has, in divine Providence, lavished upon us. And so it is fitting for me to, as I have done this day for the past six years, reflect on the manifold blessings with which God has showered me over the course of my life, and in particular the past year, and whether I have responded as I ought to this beneficence (to the inevitable conclusion that I have utterly failed to act in appropriate gratitude).

This is the seventh year I have written to describe and summarize those people, events, and things for which I give thanks to God; 2009 saw an extended reflection in which I explained them in some detail at length, and each subsequent year I have written an addendum, more briefly listing those blessings I had forgotten and those new in the past year. And so again today. Continue reading ““But Thanks Be to God”: A Seventh Reflection”

Strategic Primer year-end summary and assistive programs development report

In this last week of the liturgical year, this week’s posts on this blog are looking back over the past year on the blog. We covered the Shine Cycle category on Monday; today we’ll look at posts related to Strategic Primer, and also a report on development since the last update. Continue reading “Strategic Primer year-end summary and assistive programs development report”

Shine Cycle year-end summary and writing status update

This is the last week of the year on the Christian liturgical calendar, so (as in past years) posts this week will look back over the past year on the blog. First, let’s look back at the Shine Cycle worldbuilding and other background material that’s appeared here in the past year, since last year’s year-end summary. After that, I’ll give a report on my progress since my last status update. Continue reading “Shine Cycle year-end summary and writing status update”

Resource Modeling in Strategic Primer

As I wait for the players of the current campaign of Strategic Primer to finish their strategies for the current turn, I’ve spent some time adding support for resources and equipment in the map to the map viewer. Today I’d like to briefly discuss how the map represents these things, what this means for players, and how I’d like to further improve this support in the future. Continue reading “Resource Modeling in Strategic Primer”

Shine Cycle Character Profile: Waker

This is the latest of an intermittent series of profiles of characters who will appear in the Shine Cycle.

Waker – Great-mage. She is universally acknowledged as the best Power in the field of sleep and waking and at Master-level in nearly every other. Since her first year in the Empire, when her aptitude came to light, she has immersed herself in searching for new applications of her existing workings (already orders of magnitude better than her competition) or for new workings using existing techniques. Continue reading “Shine Cycle Character Profile: Waker”

“Molly’s Wedding”

We come from under winter sun-lit skies
And, from first opening the door, we hear
Such golden flourishes of sound pour out
From silver strings that brighter smiles break forth.
Then, for not quite five hours’ space of time,
I almost float across the polished floor.
When words need scarce be said—hands, bows, and smiles
Exchanged amid each passage through the dance—
My heart cannot but leap for joy to see,
Experience, this poetry in motion: Continue reading ““Molly’s Wedding””