First-Trimester 2018 Strategic Primer Goals Check

For the past several week, I’ve been looking back over the past four months to see whether I’m on track to meet my goals for the year, starting with my “miscellaneous” goals on Saturday and my Shine Cycle goals on Monday. Today, I’ll look at my goals relating to Strategic Primer. Continue reading


First-Trimester 2018 Shine Cycle Goals Check

On Saturday, I checked up on my progress so far on “miscellaneous” goals for the year. Today, a look at how I’m doing on my goals relating to the Shine Cycle, my fantasy series-in-preparation. Continue reading

First-Trimester 2018 Goals Check

Back in December, I set a goal for 2018 to

After each trimester, assess progress and note any necessary amendments to goals in a blog post.

Where have the last four months gone? But now that I’ve noticed the passage of time, and the most urgently pressing demands on my time have lifted for a moment, I’ll belatedly follow through on that goal. Today, a look at how I’m doing on my “general” and “miscellaneous” goals, with consideration of those in re the Shine Cycle and Strategic Primer next week. Continue reading

Strategic Primer assistive programs release, development report, and roadmap (0.4.9016-rc1)

It’s been over a month since I released version 0.4.9015 of the suite of assistive programs for players and Judges of Strategic Primer, and in that time I’ve implemented a few significant new features and done heavy refactoring. It’s past time for a new snapshot release. So today I’ve released version 0.4.9015.1, containing only the bug fixes since 0.4.9015, and version 0.4.9016-rc1, containing those bug fixes and all the features and other changes described below (and more). You can download either version on GitHub, at those links, as usual. Continue reading

Numbered Sonnet Opus 2 #3

Alas, my lady, what is happiness?
For music, dancing, wit, and jesting fade,
And even beauty pales as time grows less,
As do all mortal joys that God has made.
But weighty conversation with dear friends,
And peaceful silence, swaddling with its hush,
Because they seem to serve eternal ends,
Do not so quickly dim beneath Time’s brush.
Still, as the starlight fades as dawn draws nigh,
And tongues find subtler scents as hunger wanes,
Our souls were made to taste the joys on high,
For all that sense is dulled by sin’s black stains.
But even so, I cannot but protest:
Alas, my lady, what is happiness?

Back in high school, I began an (execrable) sonnet beginning with the line “Alas, my lady, what is happiness?” And apparently I finished it, but when I reorganized my (digital) poetry-related files sometime in college I thought, from my brief glance at it, that I hadn’t finished it, and so decided to thoroughly revise it, just so I could get one more piece out of my “unfinished projects” collection without completely discarding it.

About two years ago, I thought of a concept for a “reimagining” of the sonnet, completely changing everything about it except the form and the first line, and started into writing it. But my thoughts ran dry, and the poem lay essentially untouched (except for a slight revision that also added one line, that fall) until earlier this month, when browsing through my unfinished poems I happened on it and thought of how I could continue it. Getting that thought down turned fairly easily into finishing the poem.

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.

Shine Cycle Character Profile: Thalia of High Reach

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

Thalia – Baroness of High Reach, headmistress of the Imperial Academy, Visiting Scholar, and knight. Known to her friends for her biting wit but across the Empire for her ability to bring out the best in anyone willing to learn. She also coaches several teams on the Academy debate circuit. Continue reading