An Open Letter to Winter, and Other News for January (Including a Giveaway…)

What follows is an open letter to the winter season from Porcupette Steph, typing with frozen fingers from the frozen wasteland that is Southwestern Ontario at this point in time.


For the past few weeks, glacial temperatures have invaded my little (and usually temperate) corner of Southwestern Ontario. As a resident of the so-called Banana Belt, I feel entitled to whine about this.

Dear Winter—

I want to offer my sincere thanks that you took the time to visit this holiday season. I, like so many others, dreamt of that oft-carolled-about White Christmas, and boy, did you ever deliver! Big, gorgeous globs of snowflakes danced through the air on the 24th and 25th, along with visions of sugarplums, and at one point, also, my life, which flashed before my eyes while the proverbial four-wheel family sleigh fishtailed wildly on the 401.

So. Thanks for that.

To be fair, your biting winds made it all the more compelling to snuggle up inside with a book and a blanket or four, and to rest by the merrily crackling fire, adding that little bit of extra light and life to the room you darkened even before the clock struck 5:00 p.m. Your grey, overcast demeanour was, by the way, a perfect reminder to pipe down and dull our holiday spirits just a bit, at the risk of offending the holiday grinches among us.

In the end, Winter, we’ve enjoyed your company. But please, we beg you. Go home.


Porcupette Steph


What’s happening this month….


The shop will be busy this January printing, sewing and binding Richard Teleky’s fascinating book of criticism, Ordinary Paradise. Look for first copies in the next few weeks.

Also at the Quill…


PQL Holiday Giveaway Week 4

Happy New Year everyone! As a special gift, we’re wrapping up (see what I did there?) our PQL Holiday Giveaways with a gift for each and every one of you loyal PQL fans.

What is it, you ask? Well, we’re happy to announce a brand new addition to our digital STICKY fingers imprint with The Fleming Files: Allan Fleming’s Life & Works. This eBook is chock full of Canadian design history, focusing on the career of Allan Fleming, a prolific and highly respected graphic designer. It features eleven articles that explore all aspects of Fleming’s work, and over fifty images to add illustrative accompaniment.

Everyone’s a winner! To download your free eBook:

1. log in to the form below using email, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
2. earn your download by completing any of the actions below, then clicking “continue”
3. click the green “Download” button to take you to the download
4. you can log into Dropbox to load the files there, or click the link “No thanks, continue to view” to download the file directly to your computer.
5. use the sf5_epub.epub file if you want to view the eBook on your personal computer, or on an iPad, Kobo, or Android device. Use the file if you want to view it on a Kindle.


Enjoy your free eBook!

OK, that was fun. Now back to business.


In the world.

If you’ve made any New Years resolutions, don’t worry—January 17th is Ditch New Years Resolutions Day, so you only have to stick it out for about half a month.

Here’s a holiday not to be missed. January 21 is Squirrel Appreciation Day. Even if they do chew up your fence and destroy your trees.

And finally, January 31st is Inspire Your Heart with Art Day. I just love the sound of that! Plus, we’ve got lots of art to inspire your heart

Arts List

From the porcupette’s corner.

To be honest, I haven’t felt particularly productive lately. There is certainly something about the holiday season that keeps us distracted. Plus, we’re all prone to getting pulled to and fro to various social engagements as friends and family from abroad descend upon us in one fell swoop!.

But I resolve (not New Years Resolution resolve—more like, a vague desire to do better resolve) to crack down on the old to-do list, no matter how distressingly long it is. I’ve already done some plotting as to how I can best tackle it all. I’m convinced that the key to success is to get some early wins under my belt by taking care of some of the smaller tasks, before confronting the much bigger, lengthier ones.

PortraitWhat’s your strategy for getting stuff done? I encourage you to share your pearls of wisdom—I definitely need them!

Until next time,Steph

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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.