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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“But Thanks Be to God”: A Ninth Reflection

Today is the day the United States government designated for public thanksgiving to God, and so it is fitting for me to, as I have done for the past eight years on this day, reflect on the various ways God has blessed me over the course of my life, and in particular in the past year.

The failure of time in which to write and of memory, and my instinct to prefer brevity over repeating myself, ensure that my first reflection on this theme, in 2009, remains the most extensive and detailed; in subsequent years I have mostly more-briefly listed blessings I had forgotten and those I saw as new. Continue reading

Writing status update (#53)

It’s been over a month since my last “monthly” writing-status update, which was combined with my “goals check” at the end of the third quarter, so it’s past time to look at how well I’ve done on what I hoped at that point to get done in the next several weeks. Continue reading

Strategic Primer assistive programs release, development report, and roadmap (0.4.9015-rc2)

It’s been over a month since the previous release candidate and point release of the suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer. In that time I’ve made some somewhat significant fixes and new features, so it’s past time for a new release candidate. I’ve made a new “point release,” version 0.4.9014.2, that includes the bug fixes described below and those in 0.4.9014.1 but not any new features beyond 0.4.9014, and also a release candidate for 0.4.9015. You can download them from GitHub (at those links) as usual. Continue reading

Shine Cycle Character Profile: Reginald of Transylvania

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

Reginald – Prince of Transylvania, which is a member of the Shine Council, a vassal state of the Empire, and famous among those in the Empire who know for its intelligence capabilities. Continue reading

An Important Anniversary

The Nailing of Luther's 95 Theses by Julius Hübner
Half a millennium ago today, the story goes, an obscure college professor posted a list of propositions for debate to the church bulletin board, and from that one spark God breathed his fire in the Church back to life again.

The central insights of the Reformation have been crystallized in what, five centuries later, we now think of as “the five Solas”: the salvation of Man is

  • By grace alone, not because we in any way deserve or could deserve it;
  • Through faith alone, not by or on the basis of anything we could or will do or accomplish;
  • Through Christ alone, for there is and can be no other way;
  • As recorded in the Scriptures alone, for they are the sole infallible Rule by and against which which all other claims of truth must be measured; and
  • To the glory of God alone: the salvation of Man is the means, not the end.

Oh, that the fire of the Holy Spirit would once again set the world ablaze!

Shine Cycle Character Profile: Esmeralda

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

Esmeralda – Captain of a nation whose ancestors once traveled between universes but had lost that technology (and much else); under her leadership they regained it and joined the Alliance. She now represents her people in the Council of Worlds. Continue reading

2017 Goals Third Quarter Report: Strategic Primer

After looking at the last quarter to check my progress on my general goals for the year and check up on the same for the Shine Cycle, it’s time to take a similar look at Strategic Primer. Unlike my report three months ago, I’m not combining this with an assistive programs development report; that was last week. Continue reading