Log in


Recent Entries

Journal Info

DeAnn Marie O'Toole



February 27th, 2007


What a difference a week makes, huh? This is my daughter's "I did it!" face, and that's exactly how I feel today.

Lowercase M's first steps from many moons ago. Do you like my crazy mid-blink eyes?
(And yes, my kids do actually wear clothes on occasion. Ahem.)

No baker's dozen for me!

My humorous poem "The Perfect Cure" will one day appear in Highlights for Children! Woohoo!

February 19th, 2007

Is it so wrong

. . .to eat the better part of a giant Hershey Kiss in one sitting?

Does the fact that I'm coming off a How-Many-People-Can-Possibly-Reject-Me-in-a-24-Hour-Period weekend help my case any?

February 8th, 2007

I realize I’m the last one on the planet to do this, but it’s been a crazy week around here. I was tagged by nic_owens   (check out her fun blog) to do the five things meme, so here is my lame attempt to make myself seem more interesting than I actually am.

When I was eight, I taught myself how to juggle.
I was at my grandmother’s house and saw some guy do it on TV. I noticed there was a pattern and was determined to figure it out. I sat there for hours with my three blue racquetballs until I could do it with ease. I’m still waiting for the day when the purpose for this skill presents itself. I imagine distracting bank robbers till the cops get there, but we'll see.

I can fake sneeze like nobody’s business. I had to sneeze during a play in the fifth grade and, being the method actor that I am ::snicker::, practiced until I got it right. After the play, all the kids were so impressed that I practiced even more. (Isn’t this such a sad commentary on my childhood? Coupled with the juggling thing? Oh my.) Anyway, if we ever meet, just ask and I’ll faux-CHOO! for you.

I was a testimonial in a Crest mouthwash commercial. It started running in 2005 and just ended this past November. Actually, just a couple days ago the ad agency called to say that Crest was considering running the spot again. They had to call to ask if I’d done any commercials for the competition. (Bahahaha!) I was like, “Well, they have been beating down my door. . .”  The girl giggled and said she’d let me know. I’ve been meaning to blog about the whole thing but I never have. Have you seen it on cable? I'm the dorky one who laughs too much.

My father-in-law, Jim O’Toole, pitched for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1961 World Series. He played with the Reds from 1958 to 1966 and with the Chicago White Sox in 1967. Needless to say, baseball in general and Opening Day in particular is a huge deal in our family. Along with Jim, a lot of the grand kids participate in the Opening Day parade and then it’s an all day, all night affair. A total blast!

Ain't he cute? He's a real sweetheart, too.

I used Hypnobirthing during my fourth delivery. Yes, it sounds very hippy-dippy-hocusy-pocusy but it's not really, and it worked! It’s actually just a method for relaxation that lets your body do its thing without you getting in the way. You are totally conscious and aware, just very relaxed. Incidentally, this is what I'm always trying to do with my writing. Get out of the way and let the natural magic happen. I think that’s what attracted me to this method in the first place.

So are you still going to be my friend now that you know how strange I am? Please say yes. Or any other one word response, because I really liked that meme too. Hee.

January 29th, 2007

Ooh, remember this one by Thomas Dolby from back in the day when they actually played music on MTV?
(OMG, did I just say back in the day? Shoot me, please.)
Anyway, two fun science-y things happened this past week, and you know how I like a list even if there are only two things on it.

1. I was a judge at the 7th and 8th grade science fair! This gave me an overblown sense of self-importance which I embraced with open arms. And let me just say, “Dang, Clark! Them kids is smaaaart.” I actually had trouble following one little seventh grader. I’m like, “Dude, would you mind not using so many big, fancy words during your oral presentation? Talk to me like I’m three, kay?” (No, no, just kidding. I said six. Talk to me like I’m six.) It was all lots of fun but I MUST say that I was a little disappointed that I never received my gavel and black robe. I think if I’d had the appropriate garb when I screamed, “I OBJECT to your use of the scientific method!” maybe I wouldn’t have gotten so many evil stares. But whatever.

2. The author copies for my science feature arrived from Clubhouse Jr.! I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the photographs and layout look amazing. And you won’t believe what my son said.
::cue the Hallmark Hall of Fame music here::
He said, “Mom, can I take your article to show and tell instead of my basketball trophy?”
Huh-wha? you say. I know!
::passes you a Kleenex::
I’m like, “Kid. If you actually got an allowance, I’d so totally double it right now.”
::fade to black::

January 22nd, 2007



She won a Newbery Honor aaaaaand the Schneider Family Book Award for RULES!

cynthialord! We're so thrilled for you!

January 18th, 2007

If you found yourself singing that headline, you've either owned a preschooler or have come in close proximity to one.

Anyway, so here's what Leon the mailman brought me. (Do you know your postal worker's name? It speaks to your writer-ly neurosis.)

1. a rejection for a humorous poem

. . .but we're just not going to dwell on that one, okay?

B. an acceptance for a humorous poem! Yay! With stickers on the envelope even!

And let me just say, that I have discovered a little something about myself. Here it is. Ready?

Stickers make me as happy as they did when I was nine years old.

(Crooked photo of De when it was perfectly normal to be giddy about stickers. Do you like my feathered bangs? Huh? Do ya?)

I mean, you would think that a grown woman with four children who taught third grade and handed out stickers on papers on a daily basis--a woman who probably owns a thousand stickers that were accidentally collected over the years--would not be so thrilled by seeing them on a little acceptance envelope. But I AM! I AM! What gives?

So let me share exactly what the envelope looks like, because it is so cute. There are actually three fun things to look at. Three!
::claps and jumps::

1. On the front there is an oh so shiny big golden sticker (like the golden ticket!) with a cute mouse who is rejoicing as he opens his mailbox which says, "Egad! It's an OUAT Acceptance!" (OUAT = Once Upon a Time)

2. On the back there is a 5" x 2" sticker of a very real looking five dollar bill.

3. There is an ink stamp which reads, "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup."

How random. I love these people.

Maybe if my rejections had stickers, they wouldn't be so hard to swallow.

Hmm . . .nope. Still hard.

January 10th, 2007

DE-LICIOUIS TIPS #86 and #87

  • Do not attempt to remove safety seals from concentrated food coloring gel bottles with your teeth.

  • BLACK food coloring gel is perfect for making:
                    1. a whimsical bowling ball birthday cake
                    2. Mom look like a hillbilly

That is all.


(And thank you to lizjonesbooks for the most excellent dental work!)

January 3rd, 2007

Can you believe . . .


 . . .that I had no idea I could post photos on LJ without a paid account? Um . . .duh. Thank you to whoever started the discussion about Photobucket several weeks ago. I had no idea. This is my own Baby New Year--lowercase M. She's older now, but this one seemed so fitting for the new '07 that I couldn't resist. Hee.

BTW, if you've wondered where I've been, I was really sick--especially in December. What they originally thought was a pinched nerve in my back in October (it's been a long three months!) turned out to be some weird virus that was affecting my peripheral nervous system.   Basically all my nerves went haywire--pain, numbness, burning, freezing--all that fun stuff. Ha! It started in my feet but as time went by and the problem wasn't solved, it spread throughout my body.

BUT ::insert the ever funny and recently discussed big but joke here::

After ugly, scary words like "brain tumor" and "permanent nerve damage" were ruled out a few weeks ago, my body relaxed and started to fight the virus on its own. I'm 95% better now and so happy to be back in the swing of my usual life. Back to cooking and dancing and holding my children and laundry (yes, even that) and writing and YOU! Oh, how I've missed you!

It really is a HAPPY NEW YEAR for me and I truly hope it is for you, too.

November 28th, 2006

In a plain envelope
That didn’t reflect the emotions
The true story
About my sons making a lemonade stand
To raise money for soldiers
Was illustrated
By a real artist
And there was my name
Right there

My throat tightened

I thought about
My nephew
In Iraq
Too young
To be away from home
Especially during the holidays

And how presents
From money made
At the lemonade stand
Didn’t come
Because my sons realized
That homemade cards
With perfect words
Would be a better gift
And those cards were sent
With unconditional love
In a plain envelope
That didn’t reflect the emotions

November 15th, 2006

I was going to lock this post, mainly because I thought it would be fun to pretend like I was telling a big, important secret at a slumber party (after kellyrfineman fell asleep and we froze her bra.)

Okay, that's not why. (But wouldn't that be fun?)

Actually, I was going to lock it because what I'm about to tell you could lead you to believe that I am truly Pathetic. I'm hoping that instead, you think I'm Persistent. And it is that hope that has lead me to keep this post open to the P-P-public. At least for now (heh heh).

So here goes: Of course I’d love to sell one of my books and am always working to that end. But in the mean time, I’m also subbing to the mag markets. And although I’ve sold several magazine stories, articles, and poems, I keep only almost selling to Highlights magazine. I’m afraid submitting to them has become a sort of obsession—a sick, twisted, addiction that needs a 12 step program.

Well how many times have you tried? you ask. Umm . . .can you say a dozen? (Maybe this is the 12 step program?) 

I have enough bear cards to tip some scales, and enough scale cards to, uh . . . tip some bears? Well, you get the idea.

Here's the count:
3 forms
1 revision request (the editor left after I got the revision)
1 very nice invite to keep sending on a fiction contest entry
8 Send more!
   We love it!
   Wonderful but we just bought something similar!

Today I received a bear card for a humorous poem.

If it sells, I'm gonna party like it's 1998 and you're all invited.
(Why 1998? Because I just had a baby on New Year's 1999, so there wasn't much partying going on.)

Pathetic or Persistent. That is the question.

Feel free to cross body parts and align stars. I’ll take all I can get! 
Powered by LiveJournal.com