Saturday, September 14, 2013

Boulder's Aquapocalypse, and other news

The rain rain rain came down down down, in rushing rising rivulets... That's exactly what we got in Boulder this last week. Nonstop rain, much of it heavy, oversaturating the soil and raising the creeks to gargantuan levels until on Wednesday night into Thursday we got the infamous "100-year flood" that Boulder officials have been muttering dark warnings about for years.

Boulder Creek in flood.  I took this pic on Friday, so water levels are already far less than they were at the height of the flood!
Thankfully, when we bought our house in Boulder we made sure to buy out of the city's multiple flood plains, so Casa Schafer was spared serious flooding. That said, thanks to a leaky foundation and supersaturated soil, we did get water trickling (and sometimes pouring!) into our underground storage area through various cracks. The sump pump kept it more or less under control, though, so we never suffered more than a few inches.  We did get a nice lake in our backyard:

My husband and son standing in the newly-created Lake Schafer
But nothing like the neighborhoods near the various creeks, some of which got slammed:

Parking lot of Boulder's main library on Friday: check out the mostly-submerged bench on the right!
Looking down from a bridge at a flooded bike path on Friday
Really, Boulder was fortunate: the damage here was nothing like the devastation in Lyons and some of the mountain towns, where roads and gas lines got completely ripped out, leaving people stranded without heat and power.  But watching the creek roar past from the surviving bridges is yet another stark reminder of how fragile we are in comparison to nature.

In happier news, look what showed up on my doorstep mere hours before the flood sirens went off:

Author copies of the German edition of The Whitefire Crossing (a.k.a. Die Chroniken von Ninavel: Die Blutmagier)! 
Holding a foreign edition of The Whitefire Crossing in my hands is definitely another mindblowingly cool authorial moment.  Hooray for my German publisher, Bastei Lübbe!  

A few other authorial bits of news:

  • Want to see a back-cover-copy style summary of The Labyrinth of Flame?  Then check out Fantastical Imaginations's "Upcoming Fantasy Novels in 2014, Part 2" in which I and a bunch of other authors discuss our upcoming releases.  (But beware spoilers if you haven't read the earlier books in the series; the summary does have spoilers for both Whitefire Crossing and Tainted City.)
  • Whitefire Crossing got used as a (good!) example in author Violette Malan's post at Black Gate about how to gracefully handle exposition. How cool is that?

Oh yes, and since this came up on Twitter - for anyone interested in getting signed copies of The Whitefire Crossing and/or The Tainted City, I bought up a bunch of the books back when I thought Night Shade might go to bankruptcy court (I figured better safe than sorry!).  I'm happy to sell signed copies direct to readers until I run out.  Email me (courtney (at) courtneyschafer (dot) com) for details.


  1. Artist friends of ours had their studio turned into a river. But not too much damage, fortunately. I just hope the forecast for Sunday is overly pessismistic, for all your sakes.

  2. In a few more months, you could go skating in your backyard.

    But really, can't imagine what it's like there. Those kinds of pictures just floor me, 'cause not only is it devastating to everyone, but you wonder how it affects animals, too. Like everything with a burrow, or turtles in lakes that become rivers. I hope everything that could took to the hills.

    1. Not even a few more months! It snows here in Sept often - so we could easily have had a freeze immediately after the rain. (Glad we didn't, given all the people in the area w/out heat & power!)

      I know flash floods in canyon country can catch even big animals (deer, cow, coyotes, porcupines, etc) by surprise. (I once read a quite memorable trip report from some canyoneers who found an extremely pissed off porcupine stranded on a narrow ledge deep in a slot not long after a flash flood. A ledge which was the canyoneers' only possible handhold for a climb over a dangerously deep pothole, and they couldn't retreat because they'd pulled their ropes from the previous rappel. Both porcupine & canyoneers survived, but not without trauma on both sides.)

    2. I bet that porcupine was pissed!

      And by the way, great article by Malan, but in no way am I taking a look at the back cover of Labyrinth! See, I always try to avoid back cover summaries, and if I've already decided to read a book, then I avoid them even more. So if you even hint at what might be happening in Labyrinth, please forgive me if I cover my ears and go lalalalalalala...