Thursday, October 31, 2013

Paranormal activity at the Augusta Library

Terry Fisk in one of his frequent haunts (ha ha!)

Attention, everyone who loves a good ghost story! Terry Fisk--co-author of several books covering the paranormal with his friend, Chad Lewis--is coming to the Augusta Library to talk about all things ghostly in the state of Wisconsin on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 6:00p.m.

According to his website, "Terry Fisk is also a paranormal investigator for Unexplained Research LLC and noted authority on death and the afterlife.  He is a shamanic Buddhist practitioner and member of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies who studied Philosophy and Religion at the University of Wisconsin.  Terry co-hosted The Unexplained paranormal radio talk show and directed The Unexplained television series.  He has investigated hauntings with famed medium Allison DuBois and TV psychic Chip Coffey. Terry has been featured in hundreds of radio interviews, TV appearances, and newspaper articles. Terry is also the co-author of the Road Guide to Haunted Locations book series."


Fisk's presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Augusta Library at or call (715) 286-2070 during normal library hours.
You can find out more about Fisk at his Unexplained Research website.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Reminder: Come to the library tomorrow for a scarily good time!

Don't forget that the library is hosting an Open House tomorrow (October 31) from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. Kids can enhance their Trick-or-Treating experience by stopping by for stories, games, activities, and (yes) candy at any point during the Open House. We hope to see you there!

Monday, October 28, 2013


The end of the short story writing contest, that is. The deadline is tomorrow (October 29), so don't forget to bring your manuscript to the library!

For more information, please contact Samma Johnson at or call the library at (715) 286-2070.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Follow your muse to the Augusta Library for NaNoWriMo Write-Ins

National Novel Writing Month is almost upon us, and the Augusta Public Library is here to help you in your literary endeavors. Every Saturday in November, Samma Johnson will be leading Write-Ins for aspiring authors. Novelists can share ideas, commiserate, or work quietly on their own. Johnson, a veteran novelist, will be on hand to provide all the tips, tricks, and coping strategies she's accumulated over her years as a writer.

Write-Ins will be informal; writers can come at any time during library hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays), write as long as they wish, and leave when they need to.

For more information, please contact Samma Johnson at or call the library at (715) 286-2070.


Isabel Suppé holds her book, Starry Night, at the Augusta Public Library
No one adjective can capture the spirit of climber and author Isabel Suppé, although “courageous,” “indomitable” and “inspirational” are among those that could try. On October 23, Suppé visited the Augusta Public Library to share her amazing story of survival.

Suppé had been climbing in the Andes when the partner to whom she was roped slipped, sending both of them plunging 1100 feet. Despite her severe injuries, Suppé was determined to live, and she spent two days crawling across a glacier. “I decide to continue,” she wrote. “To keep on dragging myself over the ice, maybe for nothing. At least not to die without having fought to the last; to have a chance, as tiny as it may be, to live.”  

Suppé was finally rescued, but her struggles weren’t over. One foot was shattered, requiring her to endure multiple surgeries. Even so, her spirit was strong as ever; early in her convalescence, she jerry-rigged a wheelchair that would keep her foot elevated so she could escape from her hospital room and sleep on the roof. “I couldn’t stand it in there,” she explained. “The hospital smelled like death.”

Most people with injuries as severe as Suppé’s would never climb again, but within months, she was scaling mountains on crutches she’d designed herself. She also took up bicycling upon a doctor’s recommendation, although the doctor probably couldn’t have foreseen how seriously she’s taken that advice. She borrowed her grandmother’s bicycle and, in her words, “baptized it Rocinante after the famous horse Don Quixote rode during his crusade against the impossible.”

Riding Rocinante, Suppé bicycled from the German-Swiss border to northern Spain, where she had an experimental but unsuccessful surgery. Undaunted, she impulsively bought a ferry ticket to Morocco and, joined by her brother, bicycled across the Atlas Mountains.

Bicycling may seem an odd way to travel for a woman with an injured foot, but she has good reasons for her choice. “Traveling on a bike, you’re not surrounded by a metal shell, so you’re more approachable,” she said. “Being forced to touch the ground connects you to a place in a different way. And I’m still not finished. I climbed Mount Rainier on crutches, and now I’m in the process of crossing the U.S. by bike so as to raise awareness for the life-saving cause of organ transplantation.”

Although Suppé was born and raised in Munich, Germany, she’s truly a citizen of the world. She speaks six languages and, during her journeys, she’s met hundreds of people. She’s currently working on a book about her travels, and she has plenty of material to work with. “You find a huge collection of characters in the United States,” she observed.

While Suppé’s fans will have to wait awhile longer for her travel memoir, they can already read Starry Night, the award-winning book she wrote about her ordeal and recovery process. She originally wrote the book in Spanish, but she’s translated it into English in order to spread her inspirational message to a broader audience. “What I do know for sure,” she wrote, “are the following: That having a physical problem does not mean that we cannot do something. It simply means that we have to try harder. That dreams and hope are the most precious things we own. That almost nothing is impossible as long as we dare to dream.”

Anyone interested in learning more about Suppé or purchasing Starry Night can visit her website,

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween Open House

The kids have more than just candy to look forward to this Halloween: The Augusta Public Library will be hosting a Halloween Open House from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on Oct. 31. The Open House will feature Halloween-themed stories, crafts, games, and (of course) candy. Guests aren't required to stay the whole time or follow a specific schedule; the stories will be read every half hour, and the games and activities will be available throughout the event.

The Open House is free and open to the public, so every kid who would like some literacy mixed in with all the sugar is welcome to attend.

(Please note that the Open House begins and ends before the official Augusta Trick-or-Treating hours, which run from 5:00-7:30 p.m.)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Author and ice climber Isabel Suppe will be here soon!

Ice climber Isabel Suppe will be at the Augusta Library on Wednesday, October 23, to share her amazing story of survival. After barely surviving an 1100 foot fall while climbing in the Andes, Suppe went on to write an award-winning book, Starry Night, about her ordeal and the strength of will that got her through it. Don't miss her presentation at 6:00 p.m. in the library!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Author and ice-climber Isabel Suppé will speak at the Augusta Library

Most of us have bad days, but few have days quite as bad those Isabel Suppé experienced. While ice-climbing in the Bolivian Andes, she fell 1100 feet. Despite being badly injured, she spent two days and nights dragging herself to safety.

Her book, Starry Night, describes her ordeal as well as her inspiration to not only survive, but to return to climbing. She explained that it's a story about "the desire that drives us to climb and write." Starry Night was nominated for the Boardman Tasker Prize, and the original Spanish version was nominated for Desnivel Award for Literature in Spain.

Suppé will be speaking at the Augusta Public Library on Wednesday, October 23, at 6:00 p.m. Her talk is free and open to the public.

For more information about her presentation, please e-mail the library at or call (715) 286-2070.

Interviews and information about Suppé can be found at the following links:

National Geographic Radio Interview

ESPN interview

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Monster Bash at the Augusta Public Library

A dozen children came to have a monstrously good time at the Augusta Public Library's Monster Bash on October 11. This afternoon program featured monster-themed stories, games, and monster cupcakes baked and decorated by library director Leslie LaRose.

Cassie Banaszak reads Crankenstein to her group of little monsters

Cassie and company get into monstrous character
Intern Amanda Gaveske reads Leonardo The Terrible Monster
The library's very own gang of kid-shaped monsters
The monsters get silly
Amanda and Jane help the kids create their "monster eyeballs"

Cassie helps Chloe play "Pin the Eyeball on the Monster"

Leslie LaRose and Samma Johnson serve cupcakes to the famished horde
Leslie's incredibly artistic, totally unique, utterly delicious cupcake creations (what was left of them, anyway...)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

News from the Book Club


The Augusta Library's Adult Book Club (adult in the strictly respectable sense of being composed of adults, that is) met on Wednesday, Oct. 9, to discuss Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin. The meeting featured a long and lively discussion, particularly about the characters' actions and motivations. The general consensus was that the characters were well-developed and the plot intriguing enough to sustain readers' interest. (Although one book club member DID complain that the ending left "too many loose ends...") Overall, though, the members seemed pleased with the selection, and many expressed interest in reading other books by Tom Franklin.

The Adult Book Club meets at the library at 6:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month. Our next selection will be Great House by Nicole Krauss; copies are available at the library's front desk.

The following is the synopsis of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter featured on

Tom Franklin's narrative power and flair for characterization have been compared to the likes of Harper Lee, Flannery O'Connor, Elmore Leonard, and Cormac McCarthy.

Now the Edgar Award-winning author returns with his most accomplished and resonant novel so far; an atmospheric drama set in rural Mississippi. In the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county— and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town.

More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has returned as a constable. He and Larry have no reason to cross paths until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again. And now the two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the past they've buried and ignored for decades.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Role Readers (Reader's Theater for kids) is starting soon!

Are you a kid who likes  

A) Books?

B) Talking?

C) Having fun?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might want to check out a Role Readers meeting. This group will meet at the Augusta Public Library every Saturday from 2:00-3:00 p.m. starting October 19, 2013. Group members will select, read, and act out a variety of popular children’s books. Role Readers is free and open to all children who love to read. Members can attend as many meetings as they wish; don’t worry if you can’t make it every Saturday! 

For more information, please contact Rebecca White Body at or call the library at (715) 286-2070.


National Novel Writing Month comes to the Augusta Library

National Novel Writing Month - Press Start

Do you want to write a novel but need some motivation? Now is your time! National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) arrives in November. The goal of participants is to produce at least 50,000 words in thirty days.

Sound hard? It is!

Is it worth your time? Definitely!

Becoming part of the NaNoWriMo community can nudge you to produce writing that you may not get around to creating otherwise. (Click on the link to check out the official NaNoWriMo website.)

Six-time NaNoWriMo veteran Samma Johnson will be sharing her insights with interested participants in her NaNoWriMo 101 presentation at the library on October 16 at 6:00 p.m.

Samma will also be sharing writing insights with aspiring teen authors at her Teens Write 2.0 presentation at the library at 5:00 p.m. on October 24. The Young Writer's Program is National Novel Writing Month especially formulated for the busy student. At this presentation, teens will learn the benefits of writing as young adults and find resources for jump-starting their writing.

Both programs are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Samma Johnson at or call the library at (715) 286-2070.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Falling Leaves Art Tour falls into the Augusta Library

The gray, soggy weather didn't prevent a steady stream of art lovers from stopping at the Augusta Public Library, which was host to four artists on the Falling Leaves Art Tour.

The library was full of art and people on Saturday, October 5, for the Falling Leaves Art Tour. (This was a rare moment when the crowds thinned enough to show a large section of the library's new set-up as an art gallery.)



Judy Dorf of Jazzy Jewels by Judy

Judy Dorf poses with some of her jewelry.

Lovers of jewelry—especially jewelry that’s unique, vintage, and handcrafted—adore Jazzy Jewels by Judy. Artist Judy Dorf uses genuine stones, shells, and vintage pieces to create original necklace and bracelet sets.
Judy began creating her jewelry eight years ago, when her mother talked her into making necklaces. Although she doubted she’d have enough time for a new hobby, she was quickly hooked, and she’s made thousands of necklaces and bracelets since then. She’s especially passionate about vintage jewelry. “I love vintage!” she said. “I use it to create new masterpieces. I’m inspired by years of travelling and having an eye for creative stand-out pieces of jewelry.”
Although the art Judy creates is beautiful in and of itself, she especially loves the happiness it brings to her customers. “The biggest appreciation I have for what I do is when someone just loves their new jewelry piece,” she explained.
People interested in viewing or purchasing Judy’s jewelry—or in having her repair jewelry they already own—can call her at (715) 286-2063 (home) or (715) 533-8386 (cell). They can also write to her at
Katie Kaufman of ArtByKatieK

Katie Kaufman poses with one of her favorite paintings.

     Katie M. Kaufman was raised on a small farm outside Fairchild, WI. Art has always been a major part of her life; even as a five-year-old, she was drawing birds and creating bird books. She’s worked with many different media over the years, but she prefers to work with oils; she also often incorporates small found objects into her pieces. She describes her art as “surreal/dreamscape with some impressionism.”
Katie’s paintings are especially notable for their intensely colorful compositions. “A late artist mentor of mine once told me he thought too many artists are afraid of color,” she explained. “That always stuck with me and made me feel OK about my bold use of color.”
Her art, which is heavily inspired by nature, is also inspired by her grandmother.   “My grandma Gagnon was a crafter,” she said. “I feel close to her spirit when I paint.”
Anyone interested in viewing Katie’s work can see images of it at her Facebook page, and find her shop on They can also contact her at or call her at (715) 597-2151.
Ann Preston of Live Wire

Ann Preston works on one of her beautiful wire sculpture trees.

Live Wire is an ideal name for Ann Preston’s beautiful, intricate artwork. Her sculpted wire trees really do give the impression of being live bonsai trees at first glance. Their verisimilitude is no accident, though; as a child, her grandmother taught her the names and characteristics of Wisconsin hardwoods, and she’s been inspired by a wide variety of tree species since then. “My tree sculptures depict trees that have spoken to me in my travels,” she explained. “I place them on bases that reflect their natural environment: rock, driftwood, and occasionally glass.”
Ann currently lives in the Green Bay/Door County area where, in addition to being a mother and grandmother, she’s also a teacher, tutor, and small business owner as well as a sculptor. Anyone interested in viewing or purchasing her work, commissioning a piece, or attending one of her art classes can go to, write to her at, or call her at (608) 475-2546.

Kris Crowe of Out of My Gourd

Kris Crowe poses with some of her gourd art.

     Kris Crowe knows how to take a humble squash and Cinderella it into a beautiful piece of art. The gorgeous bowls and flowers she creates from ordinary gourds attract a great deal of admiration whenever she puts up her display at the Falling Leaves Art Tour. The beauty of her work has its price—her husband complained that listening to her drill gourds is like living in a dentist’s office—but the diverse array of art she’s produced has rendered his sacrifice more than worthwhile.
Fortunately for him, Kris also works in the much quieter medium of watercolor. She’s a member of the Chippewa Valley Watercolor Artists, who meet at the Beaver Creek Reserve from 9:00 a.m. to noon on the first Wednesday of each month. She also notes that any aspiring artist is welcome to attend an informal gathering of artists who meet at the Augusta Community and Senior Center on Tuesday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. during the fall, winter, and spring.
Kris has recently begun painting on Yupo, a non-absorbent plastic medium, and she’s willing to teach anyone interested techniques for working with it.
While Kris—or more specifically, her compost pile—has only grown four gourds, she’s created many intricate and unique pieces from gourds she’s obtained elsewhere. If you would like more information about Kris’s art, you can write to her at

Friday, October 4, 2013

Monsters are coming to the library!

On Friday, October 11, area teachers will be busily working to improve their curricula, and hordes of school-less children will be set free to roam the streets. This could be the stuff of nightmares for parents desperate to entertain the little monsters, but never fear: the Augusta Public Library is here to help.

All children are invited to attend the library's Monster Bash at 1:00 p.m. on October 11. This free event will take place at the library and feature monster-themed stories, crafts, activities, and a snack.  Please note that all children should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

For more information, please contact Cassie Banaszak at or call the library at (715) 286-2070.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Short Story Writing Contest

If the Muse has descended to inspire you, this is the time to share your inspiration with the world--or with the Augusta community, anyway.

The library is pleased to announce its second annual Short Story Writing Contest. All ages are welcome to submit original short stories that are up to 1500 words (about 3-4 typed pages) long. All entries must be typed, preferably in Times New Roman font with double spacing. Writers should include their names, telephone numbers or e-mail addresses, and ages with their stories.

Entries can be e-mailed to or printed out and handed in at the library's front desk. The deadline is October 29, and winners will be notified on November 6.

If you would like more information, please write to Samma at the above e-mail address or call the library at (715) 286-2070.