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

“Veni, O Sapientia”

O living Wisdom, more than merely wise
But Whom all who are truly wise must love,
Your speaking brought the universe to being,
And made time begin its ceaseless pace;
You understand all things in perfect truth,
From galaxies too far to see from Earth,
To particles too quick and small to know,
To every thought a man has ever dreamed,
And knew them all before you made the first.
And all these things are under your control,
So everything must happen as you say,
According to your word and to your plan,
More perfect than a note that’s just in tune.
Come, Wisdom, teach our hearts and mortal minds
To know and always walk in prudent paths,
To shed our folly, and hereafter live
As wiser people, following your ways.

This is a verse expansion or meditation on the first of the O Antiphons (since I relied far more heavily on both the English translation in Wikipedia and the standard Neale-et-al hymn text than on the Latin, I hesitate to call it a translation); I plan to continue on to all of the other six of the antiphons, and post my expanded poetry throughout this Advent season.

As always, I earnestly welcome your questions, suggestions, or other comments 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); get my book, which contains over sixty of my best poems, each paired with a public-domain illustration or drawing; or follow this blog for (now only occasional) new poetry (among other things). You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

Shine Cycle Précis: The Snowmane Succession

The Snowmane Succession is the third planned novel in the “Alternate Universes” sub-series of the Shine Cycle, and the last of the three planned to be set in the same world as the main series. This post is a brief introduction to this planned work. Continue reading

Year-end summary

As tomorrow is the First Sunday of Advent, this is the last day of the year on the Christian liturgical calendar, and so this week’s posts have looked back over what has happened on this blog in the last year. Monday I summarized posts related to the Shine Cycle, and Wednesday I briefly reviewed those relating to Strategic Primer; today we’ll look briefly over all the other posts that have appeared in this space since last year. Continue reading

“Deo gratias”

“Thanks be to God!” let all my being say:
For light, and eyes to see it, breath of life,
Abundant water running clean and clear,
The harvest’s bounty, stars on high so fair,
Friendship’s warmth and kindness, family’s love,
The glory of the ever-changing earth,
And so much more—but let me not forget
That God deserves my greatest thanks of all
For the great mercy he has daily shown
To this unworthy sinner, in his grace
Accepting me, forgiving my offenses
(More each hour), and with his sworn assurance
Promising a lasting share in Christ.

Thanksgiving (Jennie Augusta Brownscombe)
I’ve had the beginning of this bouncing around in my head for several weeks, ever since I first tried to think about writing a poem for the week of Thanksgiving. But every time, it seemed, I tried to sit down to write any more of it, some distraction intervened, so I didn’t finish it until today.

As always, I earnestly welcome your questions, suggestions, or other comments 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); get my book, which contains over sixty of my best poems, each paired with a public-domain illustration or drawing; or follow this blog for (now only occasional) new poetry (among other things). You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

“But Thanks Be to God”: An Eighth Reflection

Today is the day designated for public thanksgiving to our Creator for gracious gifts which his divine Providence has lavished upon us. Thus, it is fitting for me to, as I have done this day for the past seven years, reflect on the various and manifold blessings God has poured on me over the course of my life, and in particular this past year, and how I have responded to this beneficence (with the inevitable conclusion that I have utterly failed to show appropriate gratitude).

This is the eighth year I have written on this theme; in the first such reflection, in 2009, I explained the blessings I was grateful for at length and in some detail, and in subsequent years I have more briefly listed those blessings I had forgotten and those new in the past year. And so again today. Continue reading

Strategic Primer year-end summary

In this last week of the Church year, this blog is taking a look back over the last year’s posts. I covered posts related to the Shine Cycle on Monday; today, those related to Strategic Primer since last year’s retrospective. Unlike the last couple of years, I’m not combining this with a development report and releasing a new assistive programs snapshot; I did that last week. Continue reading

Shine Cycle year-end summary

This coming Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent, the start of a new year on the Church calendar, so as in past years I’m taking this last week of the liturgical year to look back over the past year’s posts on this blog. (I’ll do a look back over the year outside of the blog, to reflect on how I did on the goals I set last year and set new ones for 2017, at the end of the civil year.) Today we begin with a look at posts related to the Shine Cycle since last year’s summary. Unlike the last couple of years, I’m not combining this with a monthly writing-status update; that was last week. Continue reading