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: Regina

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

Regina Princess at large, journeyman mage under the tutelage of Windstorm of the Rivers Kingdom, and a senior ombudsman in the Imperial Service. She has declined to attempt the great-mage examination even though she is obviously eminently qualified. Continue reading

2017 Review, 2018 Goals

In this last full week of the civil year, as in past years I’ve taken this opportunity to review the year that was and set new goals for the coming year. I began with the two “magna opera” that have taken up so much of my attention, the Shine Cycle on Tuesday and Strategic Primer on Wednesday. Today, I’ll cover “the rest,” starting with a review of the goals I set for myself a year ago. Continue reading

Strategic Primer 2017 Review, 2018 Goals

As the year draws to a close, I am again looking back to the goals I set a year ago, and forward to set new goals for 2018. I began with goals related to the Shine Cycle yesterday; today, I’ll consider Strategic Primer, the strategy game I’ve been developing in one form or another for many years, starting with the goals I set back in January. Continue reading

Shine Cycle 2017 Review, 2018 Goals

As the civil year draws to a close, I again pause briefly to consider how the last year has gone and how I might best address myself to the new year. In particular, I’ve been looking back to measure myself against the goals I set a year ago, and deciding what goals to set for the year to come. As usual, I will consider each of my “magna opera” in turn, starting with the Shine Cycle today, and beginning with my goals for that in 2017. Continue reading

“That first Christmas evening”

I wish a merry Christmas and blessed Christmas season to all my readers.

It is common, in some circles in which I move, to say that Jesus was born “that first Christmas morning” or even “that first Christmas morn.” But I, being curious and something of a quibbler by nature, have at times wondered: what time of day was the Christ Child born? Is the idea that he was born in the morning “possible, but in this life we’ll never know,” like the popular notion that there were exactly three Magi (or in fact that he was born on what is now December 25), or “unlikely,” like Rossetti’s charming, picturesque, theologically on-point, but in-details-dubious poem “In the Bleak Midwinter”? Continue reading

“The King shall come”

The King shall come, when men have proved their worst,
Into the squalor of their ceaseless war
To prove God righteous, merciful, and just,
And lead from shame into a way of peace.

The King has come, announced by herald hosts,
And by his life, his sacrificial death,
And taking up his life again in might
Begun a kingdom that shall never end.

The King shall come when every knee has bent
And every foe surrendered to his rule,
Greeted with acclamation by his folk,
To sit down on his rightful throne on Earth.

I wrote this poem about this time last year, but at that time decided to postpone posting it here until this Advent, since I filled last Advent with my series on the O Antiphons. I tried to distill my understanding of the various subjects of the Advent season, which I meditated on in three prior posts in 2012, briefly into verse with some definite structure.

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.

Reintroducing the “Hymns” series

In 2013 and 2014, I ran a series of posts here highlighting favorite, preferably old, hymns. It’s now been three and a half years since I last posted anything in this series, but if anything the call for a focus on the truly “great old hymns” is greater than ever: Continue reading