Gracetopia is both my website and my online nom de plume. I am a writer of sci-fi/fantasy with a current focus on superheroes and space wizards. If that sounds like your cup of tea, I’m actively seeking representation for my work and you can contact me at the above link. :)

This site used to be a relatively active blog but right now I am less interested in blogging and more interested in writing fiction, so operations here have pretty much shut down. You can see any recent posts and the blog archive by scrolling down.

You can also find me on Twitter (frequently) and Tumblr (infrequently), and there’s a bit more about me on my About page.

Merry Christmas!

From my little family to yours. :)

A tower of kitties.

A tower of Christmas cats, what could be more festive?

race report: Superhero 5K

The Superhero 5K in Cambridge, MA, will always hold a dear spot in my heart—last year’s was the first road race I ever ran in my life, after a knee surgery and physical therapy and many months of training. After a great experience last year, I was obviously going to run it again.

This year I dressed as Guy Gardner, the douchiest of the Green Lantern Corps:


And I beat last year’s time by 10 whole seconds! Go me!

The other runners were awesome as usual, going all out on their costumes (looking at you, Doc Ock). I’m a little disappointed in the race organizers, though. I never got my race pint glass (for being an early registrant), and as far as I could tell they weren’t giving out participant medals at all even though they were listed when I registered. I did get my t-shirt, and I’m honestly only in it for the running, but it was a little disappointing to not receive all the bling I’d been promised.

MATERIAL THINGS ASIDE, it was a great race. I love all the strange looks we always get going through Central Square. (Although it seemed like traffic had no warning and people in cars had to stay put for 30-40 minutes while we ran through. Sorry guys.) See you all next year!

Autumn/Flash Gordon approaching

And then, somehow, it was September, and Autumn was in the air.

I’ve been making an effort recently to slow my life down a bit, to make sure I take some time to stop and smell the roses—to be more thoughtful about what I’m doing each day and not just bulldoze my way through work and come home too tired to do anything other than watch MST3K and fall into bed. I’ve started doing yoga every day that I run, and some days that I don’t, and I’m trying to read more and watch less TV and cook more and just generally slow down and improve my life. We’ll see how long this lasts.

One of the things I’m reading right now is this:

photo 1

Flash Gordon: Spaceman with a Sword.

I found this at Boston Comic Con last month, buried in a 50% off box behind a bunch of $1 comics. I’d seen the Flash Gordon movie and some of the old serials, but never read any of the comics. I have to say, I’m sold. This book is amazing. Flash Gordon is going on a mission to find a missing spacecraft, and along the way there’s a jailbreak at a space prison, a sexy ice queen and crazy ice monster on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, and then they get transported to a far-off planet and it gets even MORE crazy. The stories are completely ridiculous and kitschy and oh-so-earnest and fabulous.

One of the things I love most, I think, is the juxtaposition of the serious, masculine, realistic art with the complete goofiness of the story elements. Before you ask, no, I’m not really sure what I mean by “masculine,” either—the art just seems rugged and manly, somehow, in a way that isn’t inherent to some more modern art. There’s something funny and intriguing to me about this serious masculine style being used to represent pretty butterfly men and Flash Gordon fighting an ice monster/space triceratops.

photo 2

Butterfly men and Flash Gordon’s chin.

The back of the book has an essay by Dave Schreiner and some old pencils and layouts by Frank Frazetta and Harvey Kurtzman, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

I also have a collection of the Flash (DC’s Flash) that I’m working on right now, and then I guess I should find a book without pictures to follow up with. Maybe it’s time for some Dickens.

I hope everyone out there in the internet-land is doing well! Anyone in the middle of any good Autumn reads right now?

Disney Princess Half Marathon, take 2

I was supposed to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February 2013. Instead, I dislocated my kneecap multiple times and had knee surgery in December of 2012, aka no half marathons for me in Feb ’13. We did go to Disney World, since we’d paid for everything already, but I didn’t run. So as soon I got through PT last year and was able to run again, I set my sights on 2015. (2014 would have been pushing it for both my training and my budget.)

The race sold out the day it went on sale last week. I was working at a conference in Florida with approximately a 20-minute window around noon when I would be able to register. I was ready. So was everyone else. The site was broken from about noon til 1. I was not hopeful. However, thanks to some very accommodating coworkers, I was able to persevere and finally register around 1pm. I’m in!

So—Disney Princess Half Marathon 2015, here I come!! Now I just need to figure out a costume. I have a bunch of ideas, but I’m leaning towards… well, I’ll just point out the newest member of the Disney princess lineup and leave you to draw your own conclusions:

I've always known Leia was secretly a Disney princess. I mean, she talks to animals and ends up with a Prince Charming/Scruffy-Looking Nerfherder. Duh.

I’ve always known Leia was secretly a Disney princess. I mean, she talks to animals and ends up with a Prince Charming/Scruffy-Looking Nerfherder. Duh.