Shine Cycle Character Profile: Elaine

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

Elaine – Great-mage and a senior analyst in the Queen’s service in the Imperial Service. While she proved her courage and good sense on the battlefield more than once in the Fifth War of the Dragon, after the war her analysis of the events made her even more valuable and caused the Service to request that she not go onto the battlefield again. She agreed to their request, which was coupled to a job offer with an unusual immediate promotion, but took an immediate leave of absence to go to the Academy. In her studies there she discovered an affinity for the academic aspects of the Power, and a respectable (though not unusual) practical aptitude. Continue reading


Shine Cycle Background: The Academy

In today’s background essay for the Shine Cycle, my fantasy series in preparation, I’d like to talk about the Academy, an educational institution that is quite important to many, and centrally important to a few, of the planned books in the series.

The Academy is located in Capitol, the capital of the Sunshine Kingdom and of the Shine and Wild Empire, or perhaps in one of the nearby towns. It was founded as a military academy soon after the kingdom was settled. In the following years its graduates proved demonstrably superior to other commanders, so attendance was made compulsory for officers. But as time progressed—and with the frequent need for commanders with trained and tested expertise in other fields—it expanded beyond that focus to other subjects and became a “school for advanced studies” in general. Continue reading

Designing the Ideal Curriculum

In writing An Internal Conflict, one of the novels-in-progress I’m focusing most on right now, I’ve come to the point where I need to be thinking about what the protagonist and her friends will be studying for the next several years of her life at the Academy. Worse, to even outline any farther I need to know what they will be studying. So I want your help designing a curriculum. Continue reading