Year-end retrospective, part 3

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been looking back over the history of this blog. Since I’ve already covered previous years and the first half of this year, today I’ll bring you from July of this year to today, the Saturday after Thanksgiving and the last day of the Christian year. I’ll mention my posts by what I might call “departments” were this a newspaper.

Features: In July I wrote an essay investigating what the Bible has to say about coming down from a “spiritual high”, a somewhat common Sunday School or sermon topic that I had never seen treated well. Much later, after watching the Dawn Treader trailers I expressed doubts about the quality of the adaptation, explaining in passing much of what I object to in the first two Narnia films and in the Lord of the Rings movies. In September I began a more comprehensive treatment of my list of books everyone should read, explaining why each book belongs on the list. And just this last week I wrote my second annual grateful-reflection Thanksgiving Day essay.

Shine Cycle: More background essays, beginning with more character profiles but moving to other essays as I ran out of prepared material for the profiles. I began a more detailed treatment of the series outline, beginning with the first arc. After asking for your comments (more about that below), I wrote essays on the Academy, a largely alternate-history subseries I’m planning, and other topics. And in August I posted a political map of the two continents on which much of the series is set.

Poetry: I continued posting a poem each Friday. The poems included “Fear not, my beloved!”, “God showers our world”, Approaching Harvest, Taliesin Before Arthur, Fleeting Vapor, and “What splendor lies”. (Nearly) all the poems I’ve posted on my blog so far are linked from the poetry archive page.

Strategic Primer: On the campaign side of things, I posted turn summary reports as I produced them as well as some background essays, including an explanation of its origin that included the full text of the initial rules and a sample strategy for the current campaign. I also began discussing changes I can’t make in the present campaign but plan to include in future campaigns, such as a somewhat different resource model. And in the past few weeks I began a series on the “distinctives” that set Strategic Primer apart from other somewhat similar games and make it a game you should play. On the “computer” side, I began designing and programming both the game itself again and a suite of assistive programs for me and the players in a campaign.

Help Wanted/Letters to the Editor: I’ve asked for comments and other help from my readers on several items, such as designing the Academy curriculum and considering whether to make an RPG set in the Shine Cycle (we concluded “not yet”). I eagerly welcome your comments on just about anything I’ve posted about on this blog, but those items where I particularly requested and still need your help are listed on the Help Wanted page. Some I want to mention here:

As I mentioned,, today is the last day of the Christian year; the new liturgical year begins tomorrow with the first Sunday of the season of Advent. I plan to write a seasonally-relevant essay for each Saturday in Advent. The other “departments” will continue with their normal content.


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