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 Character Profile: Sophia

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

Sophia – Minister of the Provinces. One of the King’s closest advisors, with a keen grasp on the most complicated international situations. Continue reading

Strategic Primer assistive programs release, development report, and roadmap (0.4.9016-rc2)

It’s again been more than a month since I made the first release candidate for version 0.4.9016 of the suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer, and in that time I’ve implemented a few new features and done a lot of refactoring. It’s again past time for a new snapshot release, so today I’ve packaged version 0.4.9015.2, containing only bug fixes and the like since 0.4.9015.1 (and only three commits at all, which is few enough that I will briefly explain each individually below), and version 0.4.9016-rc2, containing those fixes, the other changes described below, and more. You can download either version on GitHub, at those links, as usual. Continue reading

Shine Cycle Character Profile: Agnes of New Tara

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

Agnes – Duchess of New Tara, bard, Harpist to the Queen’s Chamber, and Deputy King’s Harpist. A harp instructor at the Bardic College and occasional visiting instructor to the Academy.

A demure, slender woman of medium height, with straight light brown hair flowing down her back, but usually covered with a cap. She generally wears robes cut in the bardic style, loose so she can play a full-size harp without trouble, and usually chooses robes in muted colors. Continue reading

First-Trimester 2018 Strategic Primer Goals Check

For the past several week, I’ve been looking back over the past four months to see whether I’m on track to meet my goals for the year, starting with my “miscellaneous” goals on Saturday and my Shine Cycle goals on Monday. Today, I’ll look at my goals relating to Strategic Primer. Continue reading

First-Trimester 2018 Goals Check

Back in December, I set a goal for 2018 to

After each trimester, assess progress and note any necessary amendments to goals in a blog post.

Where have the last four months gone? But now that I’ve noticed the passage of time, and the most urgently pressing demands on my time have lifted for a moment, I’ll belatedly follow through on that goal. Today, a look at how I’m doing on my “general” and “miscellaneous” goals, with consideration of those in re the Shine Cycle and Strategic Primer next week. Continue reading