News for December

I’d like to tell you all, due to my avowed love of Christmas, that my childhood home was a festive winter wonderland decorated to reflect all the light and joy of the season. And I wish I could share with you the tradition of unknotting the tangled lights for Dad to nestle along the eaves, of helping Mom wrap the pillars with greenery and of pushing Brother aside to place the requisite plastic Santa in pride of place on the lawn.

Outta the way, people. There’s some serious hall-decking going on here.

Outta the way, people. There’s some serious hall-decking going on here.

Unfortunately I can’t do any of that because, alas, our house was pretty much the Scroogiest on the block. There were no over-the-top, Griswold-esque displays for this family. No strands of icicle lights dripping down the roofline. (And that’s saying something because the ’90s and early ’00s were peak icicle.) There were no moulded plastic Santas or woodland figures for us either. (This was before the inflatables trend, too). I know that we had, at one point, some floppy, red, velveteen bows that we twist-tied to the porch lights when we could bestir ourselves, but the effect was somewhat ruined given the fact that a) we never actually turned the porch lights on and b) we had to chase said bows around the neighbourhood when the wind invariably tore them off the light posts and hurled them down the driveway.

Lest you think my childhood completely bereft, we did make more of an effort inside (and a good thing, too, or else the flagging flicker of Christmas spirit in my soul might have been extinguished forever). But what it is it about those outdoor lights that just puts you in a holiday mood? Is it a metaphor for the joy of the season? A throwback to holidays past?

Whatever it is, it sure does put you in the mood for some holiday cheer. On the other hand, no matter how unseasonably warm it is and no matter how twinkly the lights, there’s something to be said snuggling up indoors, with a book, by the Christmas tree.


What’s happening this month…


We’re marking the end of the fall season at PQL with the publication of two handsome volumes. The Art of P. K. Irwin is now available in all its colourful glory, and look for the latest issue of the Devil’s Artisan, coming soon!

In Toronto.

PQL friends Joe Rosenblatt (The Bird in the Stillness) and Tony Calzetta (Fabulous Fictions and Peculiar Practices) will be displaying their work at yumart as part of the annual Holiday Salon. Stop by the opening reception on December 3.

Also in Toronto this month is the OCAD U Book Arts Fair. We’ll be there selling our wares at the OCAD U Great Hall on McCaul Street. The event runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., so find some time to come say hi.

And finally, we’re exceedingly pleased to launch Bruce Meyer’s Portraits of Canadian Writers. Bruce will be reading and signing copies at Ben McNally Books on December 15.


In Hamilton.

Shane Neilson will be participating in the Lit Live Reading Series in Hamilton. He’ll be reading from On Shaving Off His Face on December 4, alongside Dick Capling, Melanie Mah and more.

Also in Hamilton, Jarrett Heckbert will be launching his wordless novel Metamorphadox at James Street Bookseller & Gallery. He’ll also have a small exhibition of artwork for you to peruse. Come meet the author-artist and get your book signed.

In the world.

December 8 is National Brownie Day, which I will be celebrating wholeheartedly with a brownie in each hand.

If you need an excuse to exercise your noggin, December 21 is Crossword Puzzle Day. Go forth and solve, Quill friends.

And December 30 is Bacon Day. As if an excuse is ever necessary.


From the porcupette’s corner…

Now, as you know, I’m fully invested in capturing the spirit of the season. Which is why we’ll be organizing three—yes three!—giveaways as part of this year’s…


Stay tuned as we spread some PQL cheer with weekly giveaways for the next three Tuesdays. Be sure to follow us on social media, on our blog, or in our newsletter as we reveal all the details.


portraitThanks for lending us your ears at this busy time of year. We wish everyone a safe and happy (and relatively calm) holiday season!

All the best,sig

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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.