Friday, February 1, 2013

Three Thursday Things

So I'd planned to continue showing off pics of the Austrian Alps this week, but something's come up - or down, rather.  Specifically, a whole lot of fat white fluffy snowflakes.  That's right, serious snow has come to the Colorado mountains at last (after a horribly dry early winter) and I intend to ski the hell out of it.  Which means instead of writing blog posts, I'm digging out powder straps and tuning skis and stretching and generally getting ready to have an awesome weekend.

But I don't want to abandon my faithful few blog readers completely, so I've got three quick things to share: first, a bit of internet news; second, a spoiler-free teaser for The Labyrinth of Flame; and third, a photo from one of my favorite mountain ranges in Colorado (can't do a Thursday post without some wilderness content, right?).


  • The Tainted City got a great new review from King of the Nerds, woo hoo! "The Tainted City takes everything I love about The Whitefire Crossing, particularly in terms of characterization, and turns it up a notch creating a tense, emotional novel that with only some relatively minor pacing problems was an absolute joy to read. With her subtle worldbuilding and unique setting Courtney Schafer is definitely an author that deserves your attention, particularly if you enjoy character driven fantasy."
  • Fellow fantasy author Mark Lawrence started quite the interesting conversation over on Reddit's r/Fantasy forum about piracy, publishing, and authorial riches (or lack thereof).  I would talk about my own views on piracy, but again...the mountains call.  Maybe sometime next week.  (Guess you can tell where my priorities lie!)
Labyrinth of Flame teaser

A while back everyone was passing around this "7 lines" meme, in which writers share 7 lines taken from either page 7 or page 77 of their manuscripts.  I finally caved and shared some lines on Facebook - although I did 8, not 7, because I'm too OCD to leave off the last line of the paragraph!  Anyway, I realized I'd never posted them, here you go.  A spoiler-free 8 lines from page 7 of the first draft of The Labyrinth of Flame.  (First draft, remember.  Who knows, these lines may change entirely before the final.)

“Khalmet wasn’t so kind to a pair of footsore prospectors, this trip,” I said.  Kiran shifted.  I couldn’t see his eyes, hidden as they were by his hair, but irony was plain in the slant of his mouth.  Yeah, he must think that one hell of an understatement.  Likely he believed the god of luck’s skeletal bad hand was permanently fixed to his shoulder, dooming him to disaster.  Me, I wasn’t sure.  Some might think my very survival these last months a miracle signaling Khalmet had favored me with the touch of his good hand, not his bad one.  Then again, chances were good the gods just meant to save me for a fate horrific beyond all imagination.

Photo: on the trail to El Diente (14,159 ft), San Juan Mountains, Colorado

I love the San Juans of southwestern Colorado.  They're far more rugged than the ranges close to Denver, full of jagged peaks and crenellated ridges.  They're also far wetter, which means gorgeous displays of wildflowers in the summer and vivid aspen in the autumn.  It also means some truly epic thunderstorms.  This pic is from an attempt on El Diente in which we were turned back by thunder at 10am (this after we'd gotten up at 3am to drive to the trailhead from our campsite near Telluride, and started hiking at 5am...oh well!)  El Diente's one of the more challenging 14ers to climb, and I look forward to making a second attempt one day.

Waterfall beneath the bulk of El Diente.  The lower brown slopes might look like dirt, but they're actually fist-sized, horribly loose scree.  The route ascends to the left of the waterfall and then climbs through the cliffs to the ridge, which you then follow to the summit.  The climbing is reportedly stiff 3rd class, even 4th class in spots.  (4th class means foot and handholds are plentiful, but either the rock is dangerously loose or the exposure is so great that a fall would mean death.  Sounds fun, right?  Come on, just look at that peak...)


  1. >>A fall would mean death.

    :gulps: Yeah, more for you, Courtney. More for you. I'll just concentrate on shots of that waterfall.

  2. I wasn't going to read the excerpt 'cause it's on page 7, and I like to start right at the beginning, with no peeking, and... then I peeked.

    It's an excellent excerpt 'cause it hints of trouble just passed and worse trouble to come. And very cool to see the guys again.