Friday Link Round-Up!

Categories: News

It’s Friday again, and that means it’s time for another link round-up. (We’ll let you decide whether you’re more excited about this week’s links or the upcoming weekend. It should be a no-brainer, because one of them involves amazing Russian foxes, Will Smith’s weird kids, and an emoji decoder.)

On to the links!


1. Jaden and Willow Smith on Prana Energy, Time, and Why School is Overrated


Take the ten minutes and read this insane interview if you haven’t already. Highlights include:

Willow: “There’re no novels that I like to read so I write my own novels, and then I read them again, and it’s the best thing.”

Jaden: “[Babies] breathe through their stomach. They remember. Babies remember.”

Jaden might benefit from reading What to Expect, where he’ll learn that babies do, indeed, have lungs.

(If you’re still not correctly processing this interview, maybe reading the Shakespearean version might help.)


2. 6 Links That Will Show You What Google Knows About You


The original post, published on Medium, was deleted a few days ago, but not before it was reposted all over the web. It’s a short, fun, navel-gazing, mildly alarming way to find out a few things about your Google Persona. (My interests apparently include public safety, African music, and cats.)


3. The Immortal Horizon


(Cary Norton)

The Barkley Marathon isn’t a typical marathon. It’s well over 100 miles. There’s no trail. The cumulative elevation gain is nearly twice the height of Everest. If you run it (unlikely, since only 35 people a year are admitted and the official entry procedure is secret) you’ll be treated to rats the size of possums, a flooded prison, flesh-tearing briars, and a hill simply referred to as “the Bad Thing.” This article is a longer read, and an older one (published in 2011), but it’s well worth it.


4. Foxes!


My best friend sent me the link to these photos taken by Russian miner Ivan Kislov on his lunch breaks. Okay, maybe this link is more apt for Wednesday Cute, but it’s Friday, it’s freezing up here in NYC, and I would love to curl up with one of these little guys during MY lunch break.


5. The Rapid Evolution of Emoji


Editorial assistant Rachael forwarded me this piece on how emojis are transforming language and “softening” the harshness of the written word (this is part of our ongoing emoji correspondence—the last thing we discovered was the secret life of the pink-shirt emoji lady).


6. Missed Connection – m4w


In the vein of Sophie Blackall’s Missed Connections, here’s my favorite missed connection.

“I was wearing a blue-striped t-shirt and a pair of maroon pants. You were wearing a vintage red skirt and a smart white blouse. We both wore glasses. I guess we still do.”

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8 NaNoWriMo Success Stories

Categories: News

Today’s post is written by Editorial Intern Perry Minella, who participated in NaNoWriMo in 2011 (no, she did not finish and no, she doesn’t want to talk about it).

Every November for the past 16 years, people from all walks of life have gathered in a special place on the internet to support and encourage one another in an exceptional task – writing a novel in one 30-day period. They do this through National Novel Writing Month, an non-profit organization founded in 1999 by Chris Baty and other writers. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel over the month of November (about 1,667 words per day). No one is expecting perfection—as conventional NaNo wisdom goes, editing is for December. The point is simply to put pen to page (or fingers to keyboard) and to see what comes out.


Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

The website provides participants with forums to socialize and share ideas and commiseration; it also has exercises and suggestions to help those suffering from writer’s block. Pep talks written by established authors are regularly sent out to give encouragement. The 2014 pep talk line up includes Veronica Roth, Tamora Pierce, Brandon Sanderson, Chuck Wendig, Kami Garcia, and Jim Bitcher.

Last year, 310,095 people participated in NaNoWriMo and many tens of thousands more participated in the other programs the organization runs during the other eleven months of the year, the Young Writers Program and Camp NaNoWriMo. This year is no different.

It is now day 20 of NaNoWriMo 2014 and we here at Workman thought those of you furiously typing away might need a little encouragement. So here is a list of 8 successful novels that started out as NaNoWriMo projects:

1. Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

Water For Elephants Cover

Published: 2007 by Algonquin (a Workman imprint)

Summary: This story is told mostly in flashbacks detailing the life of Jacob Jankowski and his time working in a struggling circus during the Great Depression.

The NaNo Story: It may come as a surprise to some readers that this successful novel’s first draft was the result of NaNoWriMo! The book spent over a year on the New York Times Best Seller List and was later turned into a major motion picture staring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson.

In a 2007 pep talk that Gruen wrote for NaNoWriMo, she passed on some important advice:

“However far behind you are, take comfort in knowing that there is somebody else out there in the same boat, and look for that next fun scene. And then the next. And if that doesn’t work, set someone on fire. In your book, of course.”

2. Cinder, By Marissa Meyer

Cinder Cover

Published: 2012 by Macmillan Publishers

Summary: This YA hit is a re-imagining of the classic Cinderella story with a sci-fi twist: Cinderella is a cyborg in a futuristic setting!

The NaNo Story:  The first in a five-book series, Cinder was once a NaNovel. In fact, all three of the currently published books in this series (Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress) were started during the 2008 NaNoWriMo! As Meyer tells it, there was a contest in which the writer in her area who wrote the most words during NaNoWriMo would win a small role on a Star Trek episode. She managed to come in third place with 150,011 words, but all’s well that ends well, because those 150,011 words would became part of a best-selling series!

When discussing her NaNo experience, Meyer noted that not everything that was written during NaNoWriMo made it past the editing phase. As she puts it, “I may not produce anything of quality during NaNoWriMo, but I always come away with a  great road map.”

3. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus Cover

Published:  2011 by Doubleday

Summary: Another circus-themed success story, The Night Circus centers around a magical, traveling circus and the two young magicians who are forced into a deadly competition by their mentors, with the fates of performers and patrons alike hanging in the balance.

The NaNo Story: This book, which spent seven weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List and won an Alex Award from the American Library Association in 2012, was formed over the course of three NaNoWriMo challenges (which is technically cheating, but we won’t hold it against her). Morgenstern has said that the book’s unusual setting came about when she was she was writing a different novel and wasn’t getting anywhere with the plot. So she followed “some ancient NaNo wisdom: when in doubt, just add ninjas.” She sent her characters to the circus and never looked back. Now the movie rights have been optioned by Summit Entertainment and the project is in development.

4. Wool, by Hugh Howey

Wool Cover

Published: Self-published in 2011 and then traditionally published in 2013 by Simon & Schuster

Summary: A post-apocalyptic story about a society that has moved underground to escape the toxic environment above. Everything is fine as long as everyone follows the regulations. But one day a steadfast leader breaks all the rules and asks to go outside…

The NaNo Story: In 2011, Hugh Howey was already a NaNo veteran, having participated in two previous years. He had an outline for his third time around and knew exactly what he was going to write. But unexpectedly, a novelette that he had self-published earlier in the year, Wool, began to get a lot of online attention and readers were demanding more. So he dropped his carefully planned outline and decided to write three more novelettes further exploring the world he had already created. These would later become the Silo Series, a total of five stories (three of which were NaNo babies) you can find in one volume called Wool Omnibus Edition. Since publication, this book has spent time on the New York Times Bestseller List and won IndieReader’s Best Indie Book of 2012 Award in sci-fi. Ridley Scott has since picked up the film rights. Howey himself says:

“I can say with confidence that I wouldn’t have written the same books if I’d written them any other way. The compressed nature of a NaNo-novel makes for a tighter plot. It reinforces the importance of not taking a day off. NaNoWriMo isn’t a writing exercise for me. It trained me to be a pro.

5. Cuckoo, by Julia Crouch

Cuckoo Cover

Published:  2011 by Headline

Summary: Rose’s perfect, normal life is interrupted when her best friend Polly, grieving after the recent death of her husband, comes to stay. Rose gladly opens her home to her friend, but soon dark and mysterious things start to happen. Is Polly responsible?

The NaNo Story: In 2008, Crouch, like many, came to NaNoWriMo to help with her writer’s block. She done NaNo the year before at the suggestion of a tutor from her creative writing class and had been intrigued by the concept:

“The whole ethos of sending your internal editors away for November was incredibly useful – no more despair, just the necessity to keep going, spurred on by a frequently crashing website full of wonderful communities, motivational exercises and inspirational stories.”

When she tried it again in 2008, Crouch ended up with a complete manuscript to work with and after some heavy editing she sold her NaNovel to Headline, with a deal for two more.

6. Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl Cover

Published:  2013 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Summary: Cath is a huge Simon Snow fan—rereading the books, dressing up in costume for the midnight movie premieres, even writing popular fanfiction. Now she and her twin sister Wren are going off to college for the first time. When Wren tells Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates and encourages her stop being involved in the Simon Snow fandom, Cath doesn’t want to let go. She has to wonder: can she handle all this change?

The NaNo Story:  Rainbow Rowell has confessed to being “skeptical” of NaNoWriMo before she tried it. After all, she had already published two books and both had taken her more than a month to write (the first took five years). But Rowell was intrigued by the idea of speed-writing a first draft, “to fast-forward through that desperate, blank-page phase and get to the good stuff.” So she signed up for the 2011 NaNoWriMo and got to work. The fast pace forced Rowell to put down the red pen and just write and when she had in the end surprised her:

“Here’s something that really shocked me during my revisions: I kept almost every word I wrote during NaNoWriMo.

That 50,000-word pile I made wasn’t a mess at all. It’s some of the bravest writing I’ve ever done, and it includes my all-time favorite character, a guy I think I would’ve second-guessed to death under normal circumstances. NaNoWriMo helped me push past so many of my doubts and insecurities and bad habits. And I think that’s partly why I love Fangirl so much now—because I remember how swept away I felt when I was writing it.”

7. The Darwin Elevator, by Jason M. Hough

The Darwin Elevator Cover

Published:  2013 by Del ray

Summary: It’s the mid-23rd century and humanity has been decimated by an alien plague. The only human settlement left is Darwin, Australia, where a space elevator built by the plague’s creators mysteriously protects the inhabitants. But now the elevator is malfunctioning and it is up to Skyler Luken, who has a natural immunity to the plague, and Dr. Tania Sharma to save what is left of humanity.

The NaNo Story: Hough was another NaNo veteran, having first participated in 2007 . In 2008, he decided to try again and penned a first draft of this novel, the first of the Dire Earth Cycle series. Hough then edited and reworked the manuscript until 2011 when he sold it to a publisher, with a contract for two more books in the series! The Darwin Elevator made it to the New York Times Best Seller List and has been compared to such sci-fi favorites as Joss Whedon’s Firefly and James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series.

8. The Beautiful Land, by Alan Averill

The Beautiful Land Cover

Published: 2013 by Ace Trade

Summary:  Takahiro O’Leary works at the Axon Corporation in the coolest job ever—he is an explorer of parallel timelines. All seems to be going well until one day he returns with some information that gives Axon the means and incentive to change the past and the future of our own timeline. If Takahiro doesn’t stop Axon, he’ll lose the woman he loves forever. As he fights against Axon for the future, Samira, the inventor of the time travel device has plans of his own, searching for a timeline called the Beautiful Land—and he’ll do anything to find it…

The NaNo Story: Averill wrote most of the first draft of this novel during NaNoWriMo when a few of his friends decided they were going to participate in the event. He finished it by January  of the following year and went about trying to get it published. After a few unsuccessful attempts at getting an agent, he eventually decided to take a chance and enter the manuscript into Amazon’s 2012 novel-writing contest. He ended up winning the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and the publishing contract that came with it.

Averill credits NaNoWriMo with helping him to keep up the pace:

The Beautiful Land turned out to be a pretty fast-paced book, and I credit NaNoWriMo for a good deal of that. One of the great things about NaNo is that you don’t have time to think about what you’re doing. You can’t decide to rewrite the first nine chapters because you had this really great idea, or go back and turn your Iowa farmboy into a lesbian bowler from Canada. You’re basically a Writer Shark, and if you don’t keep swimming forward at all times, you’re going to die.

The best piece of advice he can give to fellow writers is simple: “… finish the book. That sounds really simple, but it’s one of the harder things to do. Don’t tweak. Don’t edit. Don’t go back and change things. Don’t do any of that. Just keep going forward until it’s done and then worry about all that stuff. Be the shark, man.”

So there you have it! That’s our list of NaNoWriMo success stories. There are of course plenty more–over 250 NaNovels have been traditionally published and many others have been self-published. For the full list, click here. And if you’d like to participate in NaNoWriMo this year (it’s never too late to start!) or in the future, you can visit their website, here.

And finally, to all you slogging through week three of your novel writing endeavor, we wish you the best of luck! And psst: you may want to check out The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published when you finish.

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Wednesday Cute: The Majestic Manatee

Categories: Wednesday Cute

Today’s installment of Wednesday Cute comes from Workman editorial intern Perry, who considers the manatee her patronus/spirit animal.

Today, I give you the Majestic Manatee.


How could anyone not love that face?

Known for their gentle nature and slow-moving lifestyle, manatees are sometimes called sea cows. They live mostly solitary lives, only sometimes moving in pairs or small groups.

Manatee kisses for all:*

Manatee kisses for all :*

Manatees are herbivorous marine mammals, so they spend half their day sleeping and the other half grazing for sea grasses and algae, surfacing for air every 15 minutes or so. They can consume up to 10% of their body weight every day. Napping and eating in the deep blue sea? I’d say manatees are living the dream!


This guy just wants to be your friend!

Manatees mostly prefer shallow coastal waters and rivers. They live in three main regions around the world: in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, in the Amazon Basin, and in West Africa.

Most adorably, manatees are often connected to mermaid folklore. It may seem like a stretch, but throughout history many sailors sighting manatees from a distance thought they were mermaids! Christopher Columbus himself made this mistake when he first sailed to America in a report that later became the first recorded sighting of manatees in the New World.


Unfortunately, all three species of manatee are classified as vulnerable to extinction–habitat destruction has hurt manatee population numbers, as have as tragic boat accidents. Because manatees move slowly and are fairly curious creatures, they are especially vulnerable to injuries from boat propellers. Many of these beautiful creatures carry the signature spiral scars from such encounters.

If you are a sailor, the best way to help these cuties is to stay alert while boating and to stay in deep water and move slowly. This keeps your boat away from manatee feeding grounds and gives them a chance to swim away.  If you are just a manatee lover like me, there are many organizations you can donate to to help protect both the manatees themselves and their habitats, including the Save The Manatee Club.


Manatee Kisses

Finally, I’d like to leave you with a website that I’ve used pretty frequently during times of stress: Calming Manatee. Trust me, it will make all your troubles float away.

Manatee OK

Thanks, Mama Manatee. I needed that.


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CraftFail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong

Categories: Baking, Crafts and hobbies, News

craft fail 3d coverThe holidays have a kind of magic that lures you into thinking you’ll be able to make perfectly decorated gingerbread men, give a gorgeous handmade gift to everyone in the tri-county area, and put on an elegant dinner that will even impress your mother-in-law. But we all know that handmade crafts can lead to disappointment on the faces of gift recipients who would rather receive “real soap” from Bath & Body Works.

Heather Mann celebrates this creative process, but from the other side, in her new book: CraftFail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong. Because even if you can’t build a picture-perfect gingerbread house (see below), why shouldn’t you laugh while trying? Laugh with us below and enter to WIN a copy of the book. Happy Holidays!

Pumpkin’s Gotta Give


At first, these gorgeous sparkly pumpkins were the stars of the stoop, the pretties of the porch, the darlings of the doorstep. But then? Rain Happened.

Gingerbread House of Horrors

Gingerbread House of HorrosWilliam and Demetra went out to dinner. This is what they came home to.

Broken-Glass-Window Cookies

good and bad cookies‘Tis the season to make cookies, fa-la-la-la-laaaa, la-la-la-FAIL!

Turkey Cookie Cuties?

good turkeys

Sure, these turkey cookies look like they’d be the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving celebration…if you want your turkey cookies to look as sad as an actual turkey on Thanksgiving.

turkey bad

Click here for more!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Buy the book for the crafter your on holiday list from any of the following online retailers:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Workman

craft fail 3d cover

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Friday Link Round-Up!

Categories: News

Here at Workman, we read…a lot. When we aren’t checking travel destinations off our bucket-lists with 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, or looking up quick and easy dinner recipes in The Mom 100 Cookbook, you can find us scanning The New York Times or sites like BuzzFeed and Mashable. This week, editorial intern Rachel shares the articles we’ve been reading.

1. Tristan Walker: The Visible Man – A Fast Company profile of one of the few black entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, a place where so-called “meritocracy” often wins out over diversity.

The Visible Man

2. Bonfire of the Inanities – A history of the New York Times‘s style section, a.k.a. (arguably) the worst but also the best section of the newspaper.

Bonfire of the Inanities

3. Cashier, 92, Rings Up Friendships – From Megan, a senior editor, “the most important article you’ll read all week,” with the best pull quote, too: “What do you want me to do, sit and home and look at the cat?”

Cashier Friendships

4. 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman – From Moira in the marketing department: “As a woman living and working in New York City, this video about street harassment hits pretty close to home.”

NYC Walking

5. A Hollaback Response Video: Women of Color on Street Harassment – And also from Moira, “The response that Jezebel put out about week after the above video broadens the conversation in an especially important way.”

Jezebel NYC Walking

6. Why I am Teaching a Course Called “Wasting Time on the Internet” – Justin’s pick, from Kenneth Goldsmith at The New Yorker: “Come January, fifteen University of Pennsylvania creative-writing students and I will sit silently in a room with nothing more than our devices and a Wi-Fi connection, for three hours a week, in a course called ‘Wasting Time on the Internet.'”

Wasting Time on the Internet

7. How to Make Thanksgiving Better, According to a Bunch of 8-Year-Olds – Also recommended by Justin, from Bon Appetit: “Everyone sits at the same table in my family, but the grown-ups ask all these questions: ‘How were your reports? Do you like writing? Do you like science?’ Sometimes I’m like, ugh, and sometimes I just don’t answer. Then they leave me alone.”

Thanksgiving kids

8. Joshua Ferris is My Nemesis – From Sarah B., editorial assistant: “Earlier this year, I read Joshua Ferris’ third novel, To Rise Again At a Decent Hour, and afterwards, I somehow Googled my way to this Salon article from 2012. In it, a self-professed ‘nemesis’ from UC Irvine goes full-on middle school and bashes Ferris for being a suck-up, a golden boy, and a misogynist (okay, she infers that last one, but still). Bonus: includes the Ferris-penned phrase ‘the rusted anchor of my loins.'”

Joshua Ferris

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Wednesday Cute: Sugar Gliders!

Categories: Wednesday Cute

Today’s installment of Wednesday Cute comes from Workman editorial intern Rachel, who is exploring her options for sugar glider adoption.

This, dear readers, is a sugar glider (or, if you prefer, Petaurus breviceps).

Why such a sweet name? Sugar gliders get their name from their preference for sugary nectary foods and their ability to glide from tree to tree. That’s right, they can fly.Sugar GliderAnd those eyes?big eyes Sugar Glider 1

Sugar gliders are primarily nocturnal, and those big, beautiful eyes are really handy for seeing in the dark.

big eyes Sugar Glider

They’re also really stinkin’ cute.

cute Sugar Glider 1

cute Sugar Glider 2

cute Sugar Glider 3

Sugar gliders are marsupials, like koala bears and kangaroos, meaning that they carry their young (called joeys) in a pouch and, once the joey is able to leave the pouch, the mother carries her baby on her back.

mama Sugar Glider

Though sugar gliders are native to the northern and eastern parts of mainland Australia, as well as other islands in the area, they are an increasingly popular exotic pets in the U.S.

To sum up, sugar gliders are essentially nocturnal flying squirrels who fly from tree to tree looking to ingest more sugar.

cute Sugar Glider 4

Sounds like a perfect life, no?

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Happy (Almost) Thanksgiving!

Categories: Baking, News, Recipes

Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, but we can’t stop thinking about turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and most importantly pumpkin pie! In celebration of the pumpkin pie that we’ll all be eating on Thursday, November 27th, we’re sharing the recipe for Mary’s Pumpkin Praline Pie from Anne Byrn Saves the Day! Cookbook — a collection of 125 guaranteed tried-and-true recipes for any occasion. Happy Baking!

pumpkin pieMary’s Pumpkin Praline Pie

Makes: One 9- or 10- Inch Pie

Prep: 20 to 25 Minutes

Bake: 52 Minutes to 1 Hour

Cool: 2 Hours

Judy Wright remembers her mother, Mary Kane, making this pumpkin pie every year for Thanksgiving in Rhode Island. Mary’s parents were from Sicily, so the food heritage runs deep in their family. Whether the ingredients are Italian- or American- based, they were sure to come together in a wonderful dish. With its praline topping of pecans and brown sugar, this is a pumpkin pie with attitude and sustenance. Enjoy it warm on Thanksgiving or better yet, cold the next day.

Ingredients for the Pumpkin Pie:

1. 3 large eggs

2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar

3. 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

4. 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6. 1/2 teaspoon salt

7. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

8. 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

9. 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin

10. 1 can (12 ounces, 1 1/2 cup cups) evaporated whole milk

11. 1 store-bought 9- or 10- inch deep-dish pie crust, thawed for about 10 minutes if frozen (see note*)

Ingredients for Topping and Serving:

1. 3/4 cup chopped pecans

2. 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) lightly salted butter, melted

3. 1 tablespoons light brown sugar

4. Sweetened whipped cream, for serving


1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F. Transfer 1 pie crust to a glass or stainless steel pie pan if you wish or leave it in its aluminum foil pan.

2. Make the pumpkin pie: Place the eggs, granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin, and evaporated milk in a large bowl, and using and electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. Pour the pumpkin filling into the pie crust.

3. Bake the pie until the crust begins to brown, about 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F and bake the pie until the filling begins to set, 30 to 35 minutes longer.

4. Meanwhile, make the praline topping: Place the pecans, butter, and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in a small bowl and stir to combine.

5. Remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle the praline topping around the edge, pressing it slightly into the filling. Leave the center of the pie free of topping. Return the pie to the oven and bake it until the filling has browned and is almost completely set but still a little jiggly in the center, 12 to 15 minutes.

6. Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool for about 2 hours. Serve slices of the pie at room temperature with dollops of whipped cream.

*Save the Day Note: If you cannot find a deep-dish pie crust, bake the pie in a regular pie crust. Pour the leftover filling into 2 small custard cups and set these aside to bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes for incredibly delicious pumpkin custards.

Do Ahead: Bake the pumpkin pie a day in advance and keep it lightly covered with aluminum foil in the refrigerator. Reheat in a 350°F oven, covered with foil, until heated through, about 20 minutes. The pie will keep in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

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Friday Link Round-Up!

Categories: News

Here at Workman, we read…a lot. When we aren’t checking travel destinations off our bucket-lists with 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, or looking up quick and easy dinner recipes in The Mom 100 Cookbook, you can probably find us scanning The New York Times or entertainment & news sites like BuzzFeed and Mashable. We’ll be posting the top links of the week each Friday. This week, Lauren from the Marketing Department is sharing the articles she read. Hope you enjoy!

1. Wild Messengers - The New York Times


2. Why Cuba Is So Good at Fighting Ebola - Time


3. Sandwiches: Eating from Hand to Mouth - Time

Good Wholesome Fare

4. What’s the Deal with Butter in Coffee? - The Kitchn 


5. “Toy Story 4″ is Coming to Theaters in 2017 - BuzzFeed


6. Taylor Swift Explains Why She Pulled Her Music From Spotify - The Huffington Post

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - October 30, 2014

7. Halloween Candy S’mores - Workman’s Blue Plate Special

smores image

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Wednesday Cute: Meet the Munchkin Rug Hugger

Categories: Wednesday Cute

Today’s installment of Wednesday Cute comes from Workman editorial intern Perry.

Behold, the feline glory that is the Munchkin Rug Hugger.

The Munchkin Rug Hugger, the world's cutest cat

The Munchkin Rug Hugger, the world’s cutest cat

For those you who have not yet stumbled across this adorable creature, the Munchkin is a relatively new breed of cat, having only been recognized  by the International Cat Association in 1995. Its main characteristic is, obviously, it’s stubby little legs. This cute-tastic feature is caused by a dominant genetic mutation. Other than the legs, Munchkin cats are normally proportioned.

Essentially the Munchkin Rug Hugger is the Corgi of cats.



For Comparison

The story of the Munchkin cat starts in 1983 when a Louisiana music teacher found a pregnant stray that she named Blackberry. When Blackberry gave birth to her litter, half of the kittens displayed the short legs of the Munchkin. One of these kittens, named Toulouse, was given to a friend and since he was un-neutered and allowed to run free outside, a population of stubby-legged strays started popping up around town. Think of Toulouse as the Atilla the Hun of Munchkins.

Munchkin booty

Munchkin booty

Munchkins have been cross bred with many different breeds (all of which have hilariously adorable names, like the Napoleon and the Bambino), rendering it possible to get your favorite kind of cat in an even cuter package!


I’ve decided to name this kitten Butterball

All in all, the Munchkin Rug Hugger is pretty gosh-darn cute! Now good luck going about your day knowing that these little darlings exist ;)

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Really Important Stuff Our Dogs Have Taught Us

Categories: News, Pets

“Make it squeak until someone pays attention.” Chew-toy noise is how dogs get you to notice them, but when you think about it, it’s also a useful tip for everyday life: sometimes you gotta keep speaking up until your voice is heard, and even Fido knows that. Just because dogs get scared of thunder and think it’s perfectly acceptable to sniff the butts of fellow canine friends doesn’t mean they don’t have a whole lot to teach us. Cynthia L. Copeland shares some of the life lessons she’s taken from dogs in her indie-bestselling book, Really Important Stuff My Dog Has Taught Me, and the examples are accompanied by heartwarming photos of pooches being both cute and goshdarn life-affirming. We asked around the dog-loving Workman offices for more examples of “stuff I learned from my dog;” here are the pearls of wisdom Workmanites shared.

  • “Making eye contact gets results.” –Suzie
  •  “My dog, Zimme, has taught me the importance of holding hands. Sometimes it’s just a nice way to be close to the people (and animals!) you love!” –Moira


  • “My dog has taught me that someone else’s pillow is always the warmest, to always enjoy the scenery, and that I can always count on her to be the most excited when I come home, no matter how much time has passed.” –Rachael


Two lessons from Sam:

  • “Always greet loved ones with enthusiasm, no matter how long they’ve been gone. There’s nothing better than seeing Vincent’s happy dance at the end of a hard day (or even after a two-minute trip to the bodega).”


  • “Swagger goes a long way. Vinnie may be small, but all the dogs on the block respect him. He’s tough, he stands up for himself, and he holds his head high. He also struts. I’ve never seen a dog strut like my dog. He’s basically Tom Haverford as a terrier. If I can live my life with a fraction of Vincent’s self-confidence, I’ll be okay.”

And a list from Sarah B.:

  • “No matter how dumb you look, if it makes your mom happy, it’s worth it.”


  • “Take risks, even if they’re small.”
  • “Stand next to someone less photogenic than you.”


  • “If you’re appalled at someone’s behavior, a subtle side-eye is the best way to express it.”
  • “Put your best face forward every day.”

And a contribution from bookseller Lynn Riehl:

  • “Don’t let obstacles get in the way of living.”


For many more pup-inspired tips and truisms, seek out a copy of Really Important Stuff My Dog Has Taught Me.

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