Launch of “Plague Take It” almanac leads to additional project

(Participants enjoy their lunch during the launch of “Plague Take It” co-written by Ann McMillan and Jon Peirce at the Amberwood Lounge on November 9, 2021. Photos: Ann McMillan)

The book launch and signing of Plague Take It: A COVID Almanac By and About Elders was quite the success, says co-editor Ann McMillan. Hosted on November 9th at the Amberwood Lounge and Eatery, the event drew a crowd of 17 in person, but was made even larger by the approximately 20 who attended via Zoom. Ann was happy to tell Stittsville Central, “over half of the writers were able to attend, including some from across Canada and even the US.” Not only in attendance were the book’s contributing writers – some relatives also joined in to celebrate the launch.

Plague Take It: A COVID Almanac By and About Elders, co-edited by Ann McMillan and Jon Peirce, features selections which “portray the effects COVID has had as people try to earn a living, raise their kids, and stay sane and healthy through it all.” The 475-page book features over 70 pieces of writing (whether short stories, memoirs, plays, essays, or poems) from 50 writers, with pieces in both English and French.

In addition to a lunch served by Amberwood Lounge and Eatery, attendees were treated when a number of the book’s authors read their short pieces aloud. Overall, the event lasted a couple of hours. Ann says, “it was good to meet some of the local contributors I hadn’t been able to meet yet.” She was amused to hear from many of the writers that contributing to the book felt like a group project.

Plague Take It is dedicated to Jeanette Grant, one of the contributing writers, who suffered from ALS until passing away in August. Jeanette submitted a piece about being sick with ALS during COVID. Ann made sure to reach out to Jeanette’s family to give them a copy of the book, a gesture they were especially touched by as they hadn’t realized Jeanette contributed to the almanac.

Regarding what’s next, Ann states that she and Jon have been discussing an additional project. This would include following up with some of the writers from Plague Take It and further exploring COVID, considering “things have changed quite dramatically since our last cut-off for submissions,” says Ann.

Plague Take It: A COVID Almanac By and About Elders is available for purchase on Amazon.


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