Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of conducting some writing workshops at Marshall Middle School. I love doing this kind of coaching and in fact don’t know what I enjoy more: writing, or getting other people — particularly teens and tweens — psyched about writing. In any case, I had a limited amount of time and a lot of motivating to do so I went straight to Mega Jersey Girl Mode. For the uninitiated, Webster’s defines Mega Jersey Girl Mode as “Rapid fire speech accompanied by rapid fire hand gestures. Those on the receiving end of Mega Jersey Girl Mode frequently report an increased need for white lined paper, pens, and, occasionally, oxygen.”

It gives me great pleasure to report that I am the only one who needed help breathing after my day with Mr. Danile’s and Mrs. Simpson’s seventh grade English classes. I can’t thank them enough for having me, or for their incredible thank-you notes, excerpts of which follow…..

“Dear Mrs. McCorkindale, you were very funny when you were talking about writing from the perspective of a flat iron.
I was really inspired! Your friend, B.R.”

“Dear Mrs. McCorkindale, thank you so much for being our guest speaker. You gave me a lot of great writing tips,
and you’re funny too! Sincerely, M.P.”

“Dear Mrs. McCorkindale, I am so glad you came and talked to our class. I couldn’t fall asleep with your fun
and energetic stories! Yours truly, S.L.”

“Dear Mrs. McCorkindale, thank you for coming to our class. I love the idea of keeping a writer’s notebook
with me wherever I go. And thank you for talking so fast that we never got bored! Your fellow writer, Q.S.”