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

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Shine Cycle Character Profile: Honora

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

Honora – Knight and herald, in the King’s service in the Imperial Service. When she arrived she applied to the Academy nearly immediately, intending to take a purely academic route but finding herself unexpectedly good at every subject needed for the knighthood track. During her tour as a squire, when separated from her knight-master, she very quickly put together a successful investigation into a smuggling operation on her authority alone; when the news of this reached the King after her graduation, he made her a herald and one of his Voices and expedited her application to the Imperial Service, where she rose through the ranks quickly. Continue reading

Second Collection: Title Announcement, Betas Wanted

As most readers of this blog surely know by now, back in 2014 I published a collection of my poetry, both in paperback and on Kindle. Some of you may also be aware that I’m currently working on a second collection. I have one item of news about this project, and there is one part of it with which I would like the help of some of my readers. Continue reading

“Psalm 16”

Protect me, God, my chosen hiding place!
As I have said, you are my only good,
And all my joy is in your holy ones
Whose lives show forth your glory in the land—
But those who leave the truth for other gods
Shall surely always see their sorrows grow,
So I will make no offerings to them,
Nor shall I even speak their names aloud.

Lord, you in grace have given me a share
Within your kingdom and among your folk,
And even welcomed me within your house;
Your will and law securely hold my cause,
And you assigned a pleasant place to me.
I praise you, Lord, for showing me your way;
Even at night my heart repeats your words,
And while you always stand at my right hand,
Nothing can move me or shall make me fall.

Even my flesh is safe within your care;
You will not let me slip out from your hand
To fall into the silence of the grave,
Nor suffer rot to touch your Righteous One,
And so my heart and tongue rejoice with praise.
For you will show the road of life to me,
The path to meet you, where is utmost joy,
And grant me pleasure for uncounted days.

A Summer Day (Eduardo Leon Garrido)

This poem is the sixteenth 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 15, back in February, but didn’t finish it until earlier this month.

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.

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

It’s been a little more than a month since the last release candidate of the suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer, so as I’ve continued to work to improve the code, and have tested it myself on all the major platforms it’s designed to run on, I’ve declared its current state to be version 0.4.9014. You can download the release from GitHub as usual. Continue reading

Writing status update (#51)

It’s now been two months, instead of the one I intended, since I last reported on my progress in developing the Shine Cycle, so I’m long overdue. And while this neglect is all too typical of both the last few weeks and the last several years, these last weeks have shown some definite improvement. Continue reading

Shine Cycle Character Profile: Aerin of Aldaria

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

Aerin – Duchess of Aldaria, princess at large, knight, and bard. She consistently coaxes those under her into something approaching greatness, but always under-estimates her own abilities. Continue reading

Shine Cycle Précis: From Carthage to the West

From Carthage to the West is the tentative title of the twelfth planned novel, and the last in my notes so far, in the “Alternate Universes” sub-series of the Shine Cycle, and is set in a world where the Muslim conquest of Spain never happened. Today’s post is a brief introduction to this planned work. Continue reading