Well Worth the Wait, or, News for August at the Porcupine’s Quill

Some things are just worth the wait. That mouth-watering meal, whose fragrant steam you inhaled with gusto as the ingredients combined in some mysterious gastronomic alchemy? So worth the wait. That budding little plant you grew from seed and nursed into beautiful, triumphant bloom despite your propensity to drown your seedling babies in love and water? Worth it. That home renovation, painstakingly planned, meticulously budgeted and designed to make your life that little bit easier? Worth it … right? (Or it will be once you can actually park your car in that garage that is costing you an embarrassing amount of money to rehabilitate, right Porcupette Steph???) And when that day comes when we can finally shop, work, visit, travel and generally enjoy ourselves without worrying about infecting others with a virus? Well, I very much hope that will be worth it, too.

magic lamp sitting atop a book
Publishing a book ain’t magic–though it may look like it! In reality, it takes hard work, skill, and a lot of patience.

There is a feeling of satisfaction in finally achieving a goal that doesn’t come easily. I can empathise with the many authors who find themselves taken aback by the sheer amount of waiting that can be involved in publishing a beloved manuscript. There’s a wait for it to be read and considered and acquired. There’s a wait for it to be edited—more than once. There’s a wait to see the cover design, the promotional materials, the catalogue copy. Nowadays, with the current COVID-19 situation, it’s a wait to see if in-person events might happen or whether digital launch plans are in order. And then there’s the wait to see what kind of reviews the book inspires, what the sales figures might be, whether there are any award nominations. It’s a waiting game, all of it, and it requires patience and fortitude and, probably, a tiny bit of insanity, if I’m being honest.

But I think all this waiting is what makes books so precious—to authors and to readers. You might have seen the recent news articles about outspoken fans who are disappointed that their favourite authors haven’t released highly anticipated new installments in book series. But would fans be so rabidly excited—or so fulfilled—if authors could dash off an intricately plotted book in a fortnight? Would writers feel the same sense of pride and accomplishment if their finished book came unceremoniously, delivered as if by literary stork, the very moment the words “The End” cross the word processor’s page?

Well if that doesn’t look satisfying to you, I don’t know what will!

I think not! Books, by their very nature, encourage us to slow down, to savour, to put in a little work for our ultimate enjoyment. And with every new PQL title that rolls off the press, after the hard graft of editing and production, I can’t help but feel a little frisson of satisfaction the first time I crack the spine. Worth it.

What’s going on this month…


Speaking of things that are worth the wait, P.C. Vandall’s smart and sassy poetry collection The The Blue Moth of Morning is officially in print. For the best ordering experience, we encourage our Canadian fans to order now from our distributor (and don’t forget to browse our other offerings, too).

Up next, you’ll be pleased to note that Frances Boyle’s long-awaited story collection Seeking Shade will be coming very soon. Keep an eye out for copies in the next few weeks, or, if you can’t wait, snag the eBook from our PQL eBook Store.

On Gabriola Island.

The Blue Moth of Morning

PQL and Poetry Gabriola invite you to an actual, real live book launch for P.C. Vandall’s The Blue Moth of Morning. The event will take place on the lawn of Surf Lodge on beautiful Gabriola Island from 2 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST Attendance is limited and social distancing protocols are in effect in order to protect all participants. For those who can’t make it, you can attend the launch via Zoom. For information on how to attend the virtual launch, info should be forthcoming on the Poetry Gabriola Facebook page, or you can email

In the world.

August 4th is Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, which sounds sweet and wholesome and just like what the world needs right about now.

August 9th is Book Lover’s Day, which should be self-explanatory to anyone following this blog, amirite? Take the time to enjoy a book—old or new!

And finally, a reminder that August 18th is Bad Poetry Day, which I find delightful, and which I would particularly enjoy if people took the time to send me bad poetry on that particular day. #BadPoetryDay anyone?

From the procupette’s corner.

Last month, for the first time since March, probably, I finally felt like I’ve managed to steer myself back into the groove. Many, myself included, experienced a bit of difficulty being productive during the early days of the quarantine, when so much was unknown and unfamiliar. As we settle into the “new normal” (that hated phrase!) I feel like my mental lethargy has lifted a little bit—or perhaps I’ve just run out of patience with my self-indulgence.

victorian toy train
The porcupette is getting back on track. Get it?

At any rate, the fog is beginning to lift and I’m starting to feel like I’m making progress towards the new crop of titles coming soon. Most of our fall titles have been coded and designed and are ready to be proofed. A last little shuffle has resulted in us finalizing our Spring 2021 list, which means I’ll be burying myself in manuscripts and minutia as I prepare product copy, title information sheets and bibliographic data. It’s a whiff of spring despite the late summer weather—a refreshing and exciting change!


As you can see, we’ve got lots on the books (couldn’t resist), so there’s no better time to subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or just generally web-stalk us so as not to miss any upcoming releases or new title announcements.

Keep in touch!


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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.