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 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 publish a collection of my poetry (which is now available on Kindle and in print), 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

Psalm 9


O Lord, my heart is full and sings your praise;
Rejoicing, I shall tell your mighty deeds,
The wonders that your outstretched hand has wrought.

For you have put my enemies to flight;
They stumble as they perish in the way.
In justice you have lifted up my head
As you have sat in judgment on your throne,
And ended all the nations’ wicked schemes. Continue reading

Shine Cycle Character Profile: Angela of Glasscoast


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

Angela – Princess-duchess of Glasscoast, mage, and Visiting Scholar. One of the Shine and Wild Empire’s most notable experts on emergency, Power-enhanced, and military engineering.

Angela is a slender, striking woman of medium height with straight light brown hair flowing past her shoulders. She prefers simple, comfortable yet functional robes, usually in gray or dark blue. A delicate but sturdy pair of spectacles rests unobtrusively on her nose, a pen is often placed carefully behind one ear, and she carries a surprisingly heavy bag of books, blueprints, and other papers, usually slung over one shoulder. Continue reading



It had now been ten years since last we met,
All but a very few, as all our lives diverged,
But when we meet to mark the decade’s passing,
Though our lives have changed more than we know,
We still fall into patterns, as we speak
And as we listen, almost just as if
No time had passed at all since our last parting. Continue reading

Strategic Primer assistive programs release, development report, and roadmap (0.4.9007)


In the four weeks since the last snapshot release of the suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer, there have been some fairly significant changes, but few that users should really have to concern themselves to know about. In any case, it’s time for another development report and another snapshot release, which can be downloaded from GitHub as usual. Continue reading

Shine Cycle Précis: The Convergence


The Convergence is the eighth planned novel in the “Game of Life” sub-series of the Shine Cycle, following The Legion. Today’s post is a brief introduction to this planned work. Continue reading