News for September, or, The Footsore Porcupette Muses on the Vagaries of Vacation Reading … or Lack Thereof

Vacationing is hard.

I know it sounds ridiculous to those of who positively yearn for a short trip away from the daily grind, but then, perhaps my conception of vacationing has always been a bit skewed. Growing up, vacations consisted of a succession of whirlwind, weeklong excursions to discover Ontario’s cultural and natural gems. These were very much early-to-bed-early-to-rise propositions, filled with museums, galleries, science exhibits, zoos and basically anything that could be considered an ‘attraction’ in the pamphlets we dutifully picked up from the travel information centre.

Gotta be honest, this is me after pretty much every out-of-town jaunt. I don't travel well.

Gotta be honest, this is me after pretty much every out-of-town jaunt. I don’t travel well.

Truth be told, I’d have been just as happy sitting at home with a good book.

Fast-forward ten, fifteen years and my own personal vacation time pretty much mirrors those family trips. I am reliably informed that during my most recent time away I visited two museums, two monuments, an aquarium, half a harbour and walked at least twenty miles in two days. And that was only the beginning. For a desk-sitter like me, this is a rather stunning achievement. But when I returned home triumphant and footsore, I realized that I hadn’t really had a chance to just sit down and enjoy a good book. After all, airport reading is distracted, keyed-up page flipping, characterized in my case by lamentably low comprehension, and therefore doesn’t count.

We have rather circuitously reached my point, which is this: we should all find a little time for some true vacation reading with what’s left of this summer. A day to recharge with a good book and to remind ourselves of the joy of summers past. A day to escape that hideous, humid (one might venture to say … humideous) weather and go on an imaginary vacation of a different kind.

Now that sounds like a trip worth taking!


What’s going on this month…


You’ll be happy to hear that we’ve been hard at work on a whole bunch of books, which will be ready for purchase very soon. First off the blocks will be The Essential D. G. Jones, selected by Jim Johnstone, followed later by JonArno Lawson’s The Hobo’s Crowbar and Tom Smart’s Palookaville: Seth and the Art of Graphic Autobiography. We’ll be sure to let you know as each new book is available so you can get your very own copy.

In Victoria.

Late breaking news! The artwork of Joe Rosenblatt (of The Bird in the Stillness fame) will be on display at Discovery Coffee’s Oak Bay location on September 1st. The exhibition, called An INSIDE VIEW: Visions and Dreamscapes, also features the work of Robert Kinnard. Stop by for some coffee and stay for the art.

In Saskatoon.

The Bird in the Stillness author Joe Rosenblatt will take part in a presentation called “Sonnets, Mothers and Others” at Word on the Street Saskatoon on September 18. He’ll be joined by Allan Safarik (Famous Roadkill) for a discussion in which “two poets confront monumental forces in the universe while juggling metaphorical grenades without blindfolds.” Who wouldn’t want to see that?

In Toronto.

More Word on the Street action, but this time in Toronto. We here at PQL are super excited to be participating in this year’s Word on the Street festival in Toronto. We’ll be hanging out and selling books at Booth # 155 on Sunday, September 25 at Harbourfront Centre. Do be sure to pop by and say hello … and maybe pick up a new book or two.

In Fanny Bay.

Stop by Fanny Bay Hall for the Fat Oyster Reading Series on September 28th. Joe Rosenblatt will be reading from his thought-provoking book of ecologically minded poetry, The Bird in the Stillness. Also in the lineup are Kelly Madden (Rabbit Punch) and Fred Stenson (Who By Fire).

In Charlottetown.

PQL friends Shane Neilson (On Shaving Off His Face) and Jim Johnstone (The Essential D. G. Jones) will be travelling to the east coast for some lovely reading events. Be sure to catch them at the Confederation Centre Public Library on September 29th.

In Moncton.

Shane and Jim will also head to Moncton to take part in the Attic Owl Reading Series during the last week of September. Stop by for some great poetry, and perhaps a little local music as well.

In Dublin.

PQL friend JonArno Lawson will be in Ireland for the 2016 Children’s Books Ireland International Conference on September 17. He’ll be talking about collaboration with illustrator Sydney Smith for his book Sidewalk Flowers (Groundwood, 2015). You may recall he’s also collaborated with Alec Dempster for a couple of books with PQL … namely Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box and the upcoming collection, The Hobo’s Crowbar.

In the World.

September 2nd is International Bacon Day. Regular consumption isn’t enough for some people, so it requires an official day to celebrate properly.

September 22 is the Autumn Equinox or first day of fall. And thank goodness, too, because this weather is killing me.

September 28 is Ask a Stupid Question Day, which is great, but does that mean I have to save them all up or…? Wait. Was that a stupid question?


From the porcupette’s corner.

The dog days of summer are in full swing, and this porcupette is feeling the heat. August was mostly spent in editorial pursuits, which was a nice change of pace after so much travelling and networking this summer. Sometimes, a girl just needs to sit at her desk by herself and think about words.

Sitting at a desk. Thinking about words. As one does....

Sitting at a desk. Thinking about words. As one does….

Now, after a few days off on a whirlwind adventure in Baltimore, MD, I’m back and ready to tackle the gargantuan task of preparing for the Spring 2017 list. Wish me luck!


portraitDon’t think I’ve forgotten about you, dear readers. I’ve got you covered. With all those new releases coming your way soon, you’ll have plenty of varied PQL gems to keep you entertained right into the month of October.


This entry was posted in Letters from the Porcupette (the Intern's Blog) and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


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.