Brain-Melting Summer Heat and Other News for August at PQL

I think the summer heat is melting my brain into spongy puddles of goo. Is anyone else out there experiencing this phenomenon, or is it just me?

To whit: Yesterday I sat down at my computer, blank Word document open in front of me, fingers poised to type up a blog post with which to regale you all, and … nothing. Not even a word. The sound of crickets echoed through my mind.

Doctor leaning over patient.

“We have a diagnosis. I’m sorry to say your brain is leaking out your ears. We hope you’ll one day recover your creativity, but at this point, we just don’t know.”

My thoughts succumbed to the inevitable panic spiral. Which nuggets of wisdom could I possibly share? Which pieces of tantalizing news could I deploy to entice and entertain? No embarrassing childhood anecdotes to explore? Really? Nope. Nothing. Nada. And the more I sat there, the more paralyzed I became. Unfathomable that I should have nothing to say. Unthinkable that I should not be able to come up with even a single, solitary post idea. Inconceivable that I should resort to writing about having nothing to write about.

My spirit sags with the shame.

I’m sorry to say this is not my first mental lapse of late. Yesterday I was positively mortified that my dithering on wording caused me to be soundly taken to task for typos I inadvertently introduced into a final draft of metadata. Last week I went positively green after spending a harrowing few hours thinking I had somehow coded the wrong version of a manuscript. (I hadn’t, thank goodness.) The list goes on.

I’m beginning to think it’s the dog days of summer finally taking their toll. Is it the humidity that is sapping my focus? Is it the temperature that is steadily boiling my brain cells?

I’m starting to wonder if my lack of pleasure reading these last few weeks has something to do with it. Perhaps all I need to spark a little inspiration is some down time and a good book. Now that’s a prescription I can follow.

At any rate, if you’re out there feeling burnt out, unfocused, and a bit frantic with it, you’re not alone! Join me in picking up a book. After all, it can’t hurt.


What’s happening this month?


The PQL staff are a-hopping as we all try to prepare for the impending Fall 2019 season. From coding to proofing to printing, we’ve got manuscripts at pretty much every stage of the game waiting for their publication date to arrive. It’s a mad dash every year, but we’ve got some very exciting books on offer, and we couldn’t be more pleased at how they’re turning out. Stay tuned for details on new releases!

In Sechelt, BC.

RBC Taylor Prize-shortlisted author Ian Hampton will be participating in the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts this month. He’ll be talking about his fabulous book Jan in 35 Pieces, joined by his editor on the project, Barbara Nickel, at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, August 16.


Around the world.

August 17 is National Thriftshop Day—potentially an opportunity to pick up some old backlist books to fill up your bookshelves for just a few bucks.

August 20 is apparently World Mosquito Day. Given my allergy to these pests, mosquitoes are officially my collective nemesis and I hereby refuse to go outside.

August 31 is International Bacon Day, which I’m only including because the number of friends I have who are obsessed with bacon is quite frankly alarming and requires awareness all on its own.


From the porcupette’s corner.

thre people in press shop looking at papers

Scurrying hither and yon working on upcoming fall (and spring!) titles.

Despite my leaky brain this last week or so, I was not completely useless during the month of July. I managed to tackle proofreading a manuscript (which I always find very tricky),  finish the final round of edits on a fairly massive manuscript (quite good, if I do say so myself), start title information for Spring 2020 books (yep, starting to think about those already) and prepare a manuscript for the design process.

I also spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to pull weeds out of the jungle that is my backyard. (What does this have to do with my work? Nothing, but I’m feeling rather delicate about it and I think it deserves recognition.)

Looking forward to more tipsheets and editing this coming month.

Wish me luck!

PortraitThanks for keeping abreast of all the happenings here at PQL via our blog (and our newsletter, if it brought you here). We hope to see you back soon!


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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.