Seasonally-Induced Rise-and-Shininess from the Porcupette, or, News for October at the Porcupine’s Quill

I have been waking up in the most unbelievably good mood all week. This is bizarre given the fact that my normal wake-up routine involves jolting awake to my alarm, clumsily making my bed—in the dark, mind you—as an early-morning “win”, stumbling down the stairs and turning on the Today Show, and, finally … falling asleep on the couch. Eventually I manage to pull myself out of my stupor to make coffee and breakfast and get to work, but the point is, I’m not at all a morning person.

bird in a nest

With the recent cold snaps happening, it’s officially time to get cozy, like this nesting bird, who looks comfy, but for the look in its eye, which might be an avian anxiety surrounding Thanksgiving.

Which makes my recent rise-and-shininess something of an oddity. These last few mornings, as I sit ensconced on the couch, wrapped in a snuggly blanket and sipping a coffee, I’ve been struck with glee over just how positively autumnal it is becoming.

Do I always forget, in early October, that Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up soon? Yes, yes, I do. But the harvest décor cropping up everywhere, though not something in which I myself would invest, still imparts a little frisson of excitement. Do I enjoy Halloween? Not even a little bit. But I’ve been getting an undeniable little trill thinking about little trick or treaters ringing my doorbell in a few weeks. Do I scoff at the fact that stores are already selling advent calendars and Elf on the Shelf and other Christmas décor? Absolutely, I do. Am I also mentally planning a Christmas movie marathon in the back of my mind? You bet your seasonally-appropriate boots I am.

I guess I’m just all for cozy season, for weather-induced homebodiness, for warding off the chill with that hallowed book-and-blanket combo. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that new fall books are dropping all the time like brightly coloured leaves from overburdened trees.

Let’s gather them up, and dive in shall we?


What’s happening this month?


This month, we’re setting our sights on printing the latest in the Essential Poets series—The Essential Kay Smith, selected by Michael Oliver. Smith’s poetry examines the purity and wonder of the imagination, demonstrating a sophisticated blend of figurative language, surprising diction and her own unique poetic mythology. This slim volume would be a great addition to any poetry library!

Across Ontario.

Naming the Shadow’s author Sharon Berg’s reading tour of Ontario is officially underway! She is currently in the middle of her week-long tenure as a Writer in Residence at Cardiff House, which includes an upcoming writing work and shop manuscript consultation, and which culminates in the Word Is Wild Literary Festival in Cardiff.

Tonight, October 8, she’ll be reading at Novel Idea in Kingston from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with Elizabeth Greene (The Dowager Empress, Inanna).

Later this month, Sharon will take part in the Oakville Literary Café Reading Series (Sunday, October 20), a reading at the Alvinston Library (Tuesday, October 22) and in the Urban Folk Art Salon at the Mount Pleasant Library in Toronto (Thursday, October 24). For more information on these awesome events, visit our events page.

In the world.

October 12 is Cookbook Launch Day. Sounds like a recipe for success to me!

astronomer looking through telescope

Let’s not look too closely, eh?

October 19 is Evaluate Your Life Day. This sounds ominous and/or potentially traumatizing. Proceed with caution, Quill fans.

October 25 is Frankenstein Friday, celebrating Mary Wollenstonecraft Shelley’s literary masterpiece. A perfect literary holiday to celebrate in the lead-up to Halloween.


From the porcupette’s corner.

old presses at Howard Iron Works

I defy any book lover to not be utterly fascinated by the sheer wealth of print history hanging out in the Howard Iron Works Museum. Photo credit: Don McLeod

September was a crazy month! With so many fantastic festivals and book fairs to attend, I was all in a tizzy travelling to and from Toronto to take part in the festivities. With such highlights as lunch at The Pearl, soaking in the atmosphere at the Fisher Rare Book Library, and getting to learn all about printing presses of all sorts at Howard Iron Works, I felt like the whole month was one giant gift to this book-obsessed porcupette.

Of course, there was work to be completed as well. Tipsheets are officially done, so now I’m just looking forward to sales conference before the Spring 2020 season preparation is officially underway. What does that mean? It means I’ll be happily buried in edits for two upcoming collections.

In the meantime, I’m busily coding up one of our fall titles for typesetting. Coding tends to be one of my favourite tasks because it allows me to do a different kind of problem solving in order to make sure I tag all the words that need to be italicized for example, and that I input all the correct codes to deal with accented characters and so on. I find particular pleasure in coming up with just the right regular expression—an advanced method of find-and-replace—to make my coding more efficient and accurate.

I am a nerd. This is not news!


Hope you enjoyed this little update. Catch you next time right here on the PQL blog.


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.