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

Shine Cycle Précis: Feuding’s End

Last month, I finished my extended introduction to the “World’s-End” sub-series I plan in the Shine Cycle, my fantasy/SF series-in-early-development, with a précis of what’s still tentatively titled Revelation. Now we turn to the one sub-series I haven’t covered in such detail, which I call the “Alternate Universes” sub-series. I wrote about that sub-series as a whole in 2011, and listed the basic ideas in 2010. Today’s post is a brief introduction to Feuding’s End, the first planned work in this sub-series. Continue reading

“Psalm 11”

God is my chosen shelter from all woe;
In vain the craven bid me flee, saying,
“The wicked stand in ambush for the just,
With readied bows and secret plans afoot!
Who can resist them? Therefore rise and run,
Take hidden refuge in the desert hills
Just like a startled songbird seeks its nest.
Has even God’s good government now failed?
With what he he promised seeming now undone,
What can we do? What can he do?” they say.

But God sits, holy, on his throne above,
Within his temple hearing all our prayers.
There is not one on earth he does not see;
Their hidden ways, the secrets of their hearts,
And all their deeds lie open to his thought.
Because the Lord is righteous, a just Judge,
He concentrates to keep the righteous safe,
But stares with hatred on all evil-doers,
And for those who delight in violent deeds
Prepares this just and fitting punishment:

Since they have burned with zeal for wickedness,
Fire, coals, and sulfur’s stink shall rain on them,
With only desert winds for their relief,
A dry and scorching heat that has no end.
Not so, however, for those God protects;
Our righteous Lord loves justice. In his court
Those who are upright in his sight shall stand,
Secure from harm and unafraid of threats;
Within his temple they shall see his face.

An den Wassern Babylons by Gebhard Fugel

This poem is the eleventh in my series of verse paraphrases of the Psalms. I began this project in 2012, starting with the first Psalm, and have worked on one Psalm at a time; I began this poem soon after finishing my setting of Psalm 10 in June, and finished it earlier this week.

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 assistive programs release, development report, and roadmap (0.4.9010)

It’s been more than two months since the last snapshot release of the suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer, so it’s long past time for a new development report and snapshot release, which you can download from GitHub as usual. Continue reading

Writing status update (#42)

It’s now been about two months since my last report on recent development of the Shine Cycle, my fantasy series-in-preparation. The lack of an “update” post has been due more to the difficulty of adjusting to a new and busy schedule than a total slump, which more usually explains such an unplanned hiatus, though productivity did slip some. Continue reading

poetry_ebook_utils: Scripts to Publish Poetry in PDF, EPUB, and Kindle

A couple of years ago, I self-published my first collection of my poetry in print and on Kindle. In a comment on a project status update about a year and half before its publication, the author of one of the \LaTeX packages I use suggested I post the “integration code” I had developed in the course of the project. I recently, finally, did just that. Continue reading

Shine Cycle Character Profile: Emerald

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

Emerald – Great-mage, prophet, and a senior aide to the King in the Imperial Service. One of the greatest Powers of Prophecy the Empire has ever seen, and able to use her precognitive abilities to improve her mastery of other areas of the Power.

A somewhat tall fair-haired woman. She favors long, billowing robes, usually in a deep color or black and embroidered in white. Continue reading

“Hodie decennis”

Ten years, ten years today, since first we met,
God’s gracious gift I scarcely saw at first
But since have learned to treasure more than gold.
And though the swiftly rushing stream of Time
Would wash those cherished memories away
And so, pretending royalty, dissolve
That golden thread, I will not have it so
And, while God lends me strength, resist that tide
And fondly hold your memory in mind.
Still, better far than holding fast alone
Would be to spin new strands into that cord
(As first changed cloth to silver, then to gold)
Again and yet again, as time flies by,
That friendship may yet thrive for decades more
Until its final flowering at last
upon the heavenly and eternal shore.

On the day after Labor Day, 2006, I had my first Latin class at Calvin, in which I met some of my dearest friends. (By numeric date, ten years ago yesterday; by day of the week, ten years ago today.) When I realized the milestone last week, I wrote this poem. I had hoped to translate it to Latin as well, as would be most fitting to honor my Latin classmates, but while I had little trouble (given helpful software) creating a prose rendering, fitting it into the traditional meter of Latin verse proved beyond me, particularly in the time before today. The title I gave the poem for this post is the first two words of its Latin prose translation.

The New Scholar by Ralph Hedley

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.