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 8


How loftily, O Sovereign Lord, our Lord,
Have you displayed your name, your character,
In all the universe that you have made!
Your glory shines from far above the skies;
Your praise rings out from even infants’ lips,
That all your enemies may be struck dumb. Continue reading

Shine Cycle Character Profile: Anselm


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

Anselm – Knight and bard. Personal bodyguard to and musical partner of Mary of New Bethany.

A tall, somewhat thin man with short, untidy black hair over his youthful, nearly always smiling face. He almost always wears armor, usually a breastplate, helmet, and greaves plus chainmail to cover the rest of him, and carries a sword at his hip. Continue reading



God give you joy!–you whom I thought I loved,
And love too much to wish the slightest grief—
Give you, whose burdens I would rather bear
Than see God’s glory in your face grow dim
Beneath the smallest shadow, tear, or frown,
That joy that I in you but briefly glimpsed,
As though (as I now understand at last)
I saw a house-light’s glare over a hill,
And God has brought you thither, made it yours,
And opened up your door—When I shall find,
Or if I find, that joy that you deserve,
I do not know, but if one grief-filled year
Could save you but one hour of heartache’s tears,
How could I not—Beloved in the Lord,
Beloved friend, dear heart: God give you joy! Continue reading

Strategic Primer assistive programs release, development report, and roadmap (0.4.9006)


In the four weeks since the last snapshot release of the suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer, I don’t think I’ve made many major changes. But development has continued, so 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 Legion


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

“Project 74”: A Treat For Fans of Red Rain


Project 74 coverIn my review of Red Rain, four years ago, I wrote that “There are, in my experience, only a few authors whose work makes me say, after only a sample, ‘I must read the rest of this!’ … but based on that first sample of Red Rain Aubrey Hansen is another. And once I had the book in my hands and started reading it, I had to keep going until I finished.”

With her second entry into the series she is calling “the Unaccepted,” a prequel novelette titled “Project 74,” much the same thing happened. Despite the disinclination I mentioned in my earlier review to reread Red Rain, and having never had any desire to read more about the characters or world of “the United,” after she sent me a copy (in exchange for an honest review, I hereby note and disclose) and I started reading, I could not set it down or look away without coming back to it no more than two minutes later to keep reading. Continue reading