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

Shine Cycle Précis: Godwinson’s Heir

Godwinson’s Heir is the tentative title of the ninth planned novel in the “Alternate Universes” sub-series of the Shine Cycle, and is set in a world where the Norman Conquest failed. Today’s post is a brief introduction to this planned work. Continue reading

Strategic Primer assistive programs release, development report, and roadmap (0.4.9014-rc1)

It’s now been four months since the last snapshot release of the suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer, with my only public comments about development progress being a few lines in the quarterly goals check last month. Most of my development efforts in the past months have gone into porting the suite to Ceylon, but that port has been essentially complete for several weeks now, and I’ve implemented some new features as well, so I’ve built a new “snapshot release,” or to use a new-to-this-project term, a “release candidate.” Players, please try it out and let me know of any issues you run into! You can download it from GitHub as usual. Continue reading

Writing status update (#48)

Another month has flown by since the quarterly goals check that functioned as my last monthly report on my progress developing the Shine Cycle, so it’s time for an update on the last few weeks, which have seen a near-return to what I consider normal progress. Continue reading

Shine Cycle Character Profile: Opal

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

Opal is a knight and a royal adviser, listed high in the Queen’s service, in the Imperial Service. In the Sixth War of the Dragon she scraped together a brigade from the ruins of a battle gone wrong deep in enemy territory and brought it, and a large collection of captured enemy equipment, back to the Empire. Continue reading

“Crowds”

“Hosanna! Savior, hail!” the masses cried
To greet their rightful King, though in their hearts
They shouted more to strain the chafing bonds
That long-oppressive Rome had laid on them
Than from true fealty to God’s anointed.

Not one week later, these same thronging crowds,
Incited by their leaders’ selfish plots
And stirred up into frenzied lust for blood,
Now clamored for their King to be condemned,
Abused, accursed, and put to gruesome death.

As he trudged through the streets, and up the hill,
Then hung in agony for his last hours,
The multitudes passed by to mock his end
Or stood to shout more scorn, but he was silent,
Suffering the bitter fate he chose
Without complaint, and even speaking grace
To those who tortured him before he died.

At last he breathed his final mortal breath
And cried his work’s completion to the sky;
An earthquake marked the opening of the way
That greater multitudes thereafter tread
Who have been, by his sufferings, brought to peace.

Photograph of Golgotha by an unknown photographer

I had long intended to write a poem for Good Friday, or at least for Holy Week, as in several of the last few years, but the first glimmers of an idea for the above only came to me less than a week ago.

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.

Shine Cycle Précis: A Wall Against the Tide

A Wall Against the Tide is the tentative title of the eighth planned novel in the “Alternate Universes” sub-series of the Shine Cycle. This story will be set in a world where the Carolingian dynasty lasted longer. Today’s post is a brief introduction to this planned work. Continue reading