I am a full-time mama with a passion for writing and talking to fascinating people. I live in a one horse town with a Cowboy and my son.
Thank Lord for cyberspace!
I lived a colourful life in Sydney for a number of years. Working in advertising and journalism for FPC and the Sydney Morning Herald.
During my time in Sydney I competed in a Dragon Boat race, choreographed a dragshow, used the Share Accomodation advertisements as a way to meet men and was told by Noiseworks frontrunner Jon Stevens that I was a bitch!
Then came the decision to move back to country for 3 months to help out my Father with newspaper business while he was having treatment. Convinced I was a city girl I was caught by surprise when I fell in love with a farmer (and no, he didn't want a wife... still doesn't it seems!) convinced him that we needed to see the world, popped off to Vietnam to teach english in Saigon - before realising that the "food" in Nam didn't agree with me... turned out to be Monte - my son who is now with the Cowboy and I back in country NSW!
I am in a wonderful stage of my life where I am focusing on the things that really make me tick.
Including writing these chronicles.
In two days I am launching a brand spanking new website...
I have been working on this with my designer (love saying that, daaarlings) on and off for quite a while now.
We will unleash it on the world in just 2 days... I am excited and nervous all rolled into one.
The Chronicles will remain (at this stage) but Sharnanigans will be the more polished, user friendly version.
The Chronicles will be kept for Odes to PMS and the like hahaha
I have been on such an amazing journey since I started blogging in August it has inspired me to crank it up a notch.
I have met wonderful people and little did I know when I wrote my first pathetic blog post that writing online would take me to such terrific highs! (and help me come to terms with the sometimes crippling lows)
The website will have a bit of everything that is me, but written with you in mind.
I am really proud of it and am so grateful to my wonderful website designer and friend Olena who has been so accessible to me and so intuitive in converting my ideas into a design that I feel truly reflects me.
It is not just any old designer that could do such a thing. She is a real talent.
I hope you will follow me to my new home on Friday.
(And for those who need bribes, I am having a month of giveaways to celebrate
We have dealt with that and tomorrow ( my birthday if you must know) we are off to ..... Echuca, little town halfway between the One Horse Town and Melbourne for a Jazz and Wine festival - MINUS Monte..... for 2 days!!!!
I am SO EXCITED. Wine, jazz, deluxe food, time, time, time...! LEISURE TIME! OH MY!
I am concerned that I might have to book into internet-aholics anon while I am there because I will miss the computer - which is sad, and precisely the reason I am going with my Cowboy and living it up for 2 little days with no technology in sight.
Anyway so I won't be writing or tweeting or facebooking or anything - just wanted to let you know that I still exist.
Catch you when I get back.
Oh and guess what - I am launching my website next week!!!
When I asked for assignments the other day, one was for me to tell you "Ten Unique Things about me"
1) When I was seven I won a local competition to come up with a slogan for Tidy Towns.
It was "Be like Mr. Sheen and keep Hay Clean" hahaha, I was so excited I wrote a letter to Mr. Sheen himself and I was so chuffed when he wrote back, though a bit sad that he addressed it to "Master Sharni ......" Damn Mum for giving me boy haircuts
2) I completed a Television acting course in Melbourne.
You think I would have AT LEAST got myself the gig on the NRL Ad after all that training. NUP. (for the record - the NRL people are still considering coming out to Hay to do more screen tests)
3) I once called in sick to work from a nightclub at 6am (not one of my prouder moments - it was in a former life, future employers)
4) I was mates with the very posh and proper concierge man at the Sydney Morning Herald.
I think I was the only person who ever spoke to him.
He was the ultimate professional.
He was quite sad when I was leaving but still only referred to me as Ms Montgomery. I must confess the main reason we became so matesy was because I lost my security pass many times.
5) I used to suffer really badly from anxiety attacks.
They seem to have disappeared off the face of the Earth since I left Sydney and became a Mother - I believe my body was protesting because I was taking the wrong path - and now I am on the right one, everything is coooool.
My organs can relax.
6) When I lived in Bondi I lived next door to Paul McDermott, and across the hallway from Annaliese Brakensiek - (so not her surname) but you know, she is a model - she used to come jogging up the stairs in a teeny weeny bikini while I took the lift a couple of floors up.
7) I have lots of projects going on at once and finally understand what people mean when they say "There just aren't enough hours in the day" - trying to find a life balance at the moment.
While my cyber life is kicking goals, the laundry life is failing miserably.
8) I am struggling with the sugar addiction still. Need help.
9) I can't sleep unless I have my pillows in a certain arrangement.
10) Cowboy is THE best cook and I must have some good karma owing to me because he cooks for me and I don't know how I would cope if I had to cook on top of everything else. Since its Valentines Day (which I resent, you know me and commercial things) but since it is - I thought I'd add this one because he is the most thoughtful Cowboy I know.
Yesterday I received a request from the National Library of Australia to archive my website.
"PANDORA, Australia’s Web Archive, was set up by the Library in 1996 to enable the archiving and provision of long-term access to online Australian publications.
Since then we have been identifying online publications and archiving those that we consider have national significance. "
Although I have already made that point boldly, I now intend to rewrite it in capslock (after this stint in italics of course)
Chronicles of Sharnia - nationally significant eh?
Who'd have thunk it?!
Tell me, did any other Australian blogs receive this honour?
Or am I really that special?
Hope it is because I am special.
They then go on to tell me of the benefits:
"If you grant us a copyright licence, the Library will take the necessary preservation action to keep your publication accessible as hardware and software changes over time. The Library will catalogue your publication and add the record to the National Bibliographic Database (a database of catalogue records shared by over 5,200 Australian libraries), as well as to our own online catalogue. This will increase awareness of your publication among researchers using libraries. "
The preservation part got me thinking.
Wow - how cool - maybe in 100 plus years when I have kicked the bucket as Sharni - my great, great grandchildren may discover The Chronicles of Sharnia as part of a school assignment or something.
Just thinking about this spun me out!
I am imagining these future children discovering these here Chronicles (chronicles does make it sound like something the future kids would dig up too!) and reading through them, bamboozled by their crazy, great great grandmother (aunt/ cousin / whatever) and what she got up to.
This has inspired me to write to these future people, if they are discovering my blog in its preserved high tech format in the future.... I want you to know that I have forseen you doing so - and I'd like to say .... umm... Hi
Sorry I can't be with you, but maybe you could catch me via a seance?
Ok, no that was silly.
I hope you are reading this and that it provides you a glimpse into your ancestory!
For the record, I am having an incredible life.
I am just about to turn 31 when you are reading this. The Vancouver Winter Olympics have started today and ACDC are currently touring Australia....
Not really sure what else to say to you in the future, but I guess just the thought that you could be here is really cool to me, so I hope you will take the time to get to know me and other people from your family tree that I talk about!
Hope the future (your present) is good and that you haven't trashed the planet anymore than we did.
When I asked for a writing assignment recently, a couple of readers suggested I write a "Sliding Doors" moment.
For those who haven't seen the said movie, a Sliding Doors moment is the "what would have happened if - " moment.
Where life would have gone if you had of missed an important train ride, knocked back a job offer, etc...
The movie shows the path that Gwyneth Paltrow's life went on when she missed a train, it also shows how her life went when she made it.
Doors slide many times a day - some more obvious than others.
Just as readers suggested I use this theme as inspiration for a blog post, my doors they... slid... and I missed the damn train....
Here is my story..
As regular readers would know, Cowboy and I have been looking forward to a getaway to Melbourne, our first outing as a couple since the birth of our son 14 months ago.
It was to attend the ACDC concert, Cowboy is a huge fan.
We ordered the tix online AGES ago - I realised a month or two ago that I didn't have them and we needed to get them resent. They were for the 16th of February, I was convinced.
So yesterday, yes , yesterday (nothing like a looming deadline to spring us into action) I asked Cowboy to ring Ticketmaster and get them to resend it.
So he does, and he gives them his credit card details and they find our tickets.
Which he discovers are for the concert LAST NIGHT!!!
Our little old One Horse Town is approximately 4 and a half hours drive to Melbourne and we found out our tickets were for the concert that started in... hmmm 2 hours.
ROYAL ROYAL UCK UP OF ALL TIME!!!
Long story short after heavy campaigning on twitter, facebook and the phone (lucky I am the queen of distress sales thanks to 10 years selling advertising) I closed the deal and quarter to six -- sold two tix for $200 that we had bought for $350.
SO SLIDING DOORS MOMENT THAT YOU HAVE ASKED FOR?
It pleases me to present to you the Sharni & Cowboy's that are currently co-existing.
The version that was smart and made it to Melbourne and the concert... and .. of course, the other version.
"THAT was the most brilliant night of my life" Cowboy says to Sharni as he gazes lovingly into her eyes.
"Thank-you SO much for thinking to get these tickets - you are so thoughtful."
"No problems!! Hey, I didn't think I would enjoy it - but that was AMAZING" an elated Sharni says.
She has been so overcome by the noise and the adrenalin of the ACDC concert she has temporarily forgotten she is a Mama and has reverted to her old ways, crowd surfing, moshing - singing - laughing - having a ball!
As the pair high on life leave the packed stadium they hail a cab and head into the city which is absolutely pumping.
The air is electric - thunderstorm cracks around Melbourne and it seems like it has been set up by the band themselves.
Melbourne is completely thunderstruck - and the loved up pair from a One Horse Town just know they are going to have the most brilliant night of their lives.
They head next to...
Meanwhile, back at the Ranch...
"Can you grab me a nappy?" An exasperated Sharni says to Cowboy while trying to hold down Monte flipping like a fish out of water.
Cowboy has the remote control in his hand -
"QUICK" Sharni says.
He throws her a nappy.
She changes it.
Cowboy changes the channel.
Sharni writes a blog post.
She goes to bed.
So you know me, I am not a believer in grumping on and on about this error. I do believe things happen as they should and for some reason, we were not meant to go to that concert, or Melbourne right now.
I just can't wait until the Universe reveals the reason by giving us an even better opportunity in the next couple of days............ as I sit here waiting.................... I think back to those tickets I sold on the last minute.
thanks to all for their assignments, will try and do all- but first - inspired by a conversation I had with Corinne from A day in the Life -- I decided to write about when I first started working for a newspaper.....
I was perched over my desk feeling like the lady from the AAMI ads.
Headset on, best smile on face (they can feel it through the phone you know) hands nervously hovering over the keyboard hoping I could co-ordinate their words with my typing.
"Courier Newspapers , Sharni speaking" I said enthusiastically, though terrified.
"Need to place an ad in the Wentworth Courier" said the voice on the other end.
She sounded like an older lady, maybe someone my Mum's age.
So here I was nervously about to officially place my first ad into the paper with a real life advertiser.
Everything we had been taught at training about to be applied.
"What would you like to say in your ad?" I asked in my best voice.
" Big, bouncy, and expensive ladies" the voice muttered as if reeling off items at a garage sale.
I felt a lump form in my throat. My voicebox attempted to reply but the lump rose and suddenly I was frozen in my tracks.
This had not been in my training!
"Um.... sorry?" I asked, hoping I had severely misheard my first client
She took an exasperated sigh before repeating again " Big, bouncy and expensive ladies"
"Oh, ummm.. what section did you want to place your ad in? " I asked looking around at the other operators.
One of my more senior colleagues was looking over absolutely lost in hysterics at me.
She realised who I was talking to and could see I was ill prepared for what I was hearing.
"A place to rent, what do you think?" the now annoyed lady on the phone replied
"Oh you are placing an Adults Service ad?" I said, trying to sound like I took these sort of ads all the time
"Derrrr.." she replied.
"Just hold the line for a sec"
My colleague was now falling over her chair in laughter, my face had turned white and I did not know what to do.
"Can I put her through to you?" I asked my colleague in desperation
"No!" she said " Just take the details down!!"
I got back on the phone and apologised to my client.
I decided honesty was the best policy here.
"I'm sorry, " I said "First day here and my first Adult services ad."
This seemed to soften the lady a little
"So," I said regaining my compusure "Big, bouncy and explosive you said?"
"EXPENSIVE" she said
"Oh no, it is $8 per word" I replied
"No, the ladies are expensive, not the ad" she said
I was totally confused. I quickly typed the words in - went through the booking and had successfully placed my first ad into the Wentworth Courier and it went straight to the Adult Services section.
When I hung up - I burst into laughter. I wasn't ready for that for phone call number one.
A week later when the paper came out I was called into my bosses office.
She asked me about the Adult Services ad that I placed as there had been a complaint.
In the advertisement I had typed "Big, Bouncy, Explosive ladies" but it should have read " Big , Bouncy and Expensive ladies"
"Really?" I asked my boss.
"Surely explosive sounds better than expensive??"
I couldn't believe these words were coming out of my mouth!
My introduction to newspapers and what a baptism by fire!!
Luckily my boss saw the funny side of it, whereby apparantly the client did not.
I called the client up to apologise for my mistake - in the end she saw it funny.
A week later, the lady in question turned up to the offices and asked to see me! I nervously went out to the foyer where I met up with my 'adult services' client.
She eventually come around to thinking that explosive did sound more appealing than expensive.
Would you believe from that moment forward she made weekly trips to the FPC offices for advice on how to write her ads, yes little old me - kid from the country, being asked if it sounds better to say "Naughty but nice" or "She loves to be spanked".
Apparantly I had a way with the words.
My boss found it hysterical, and I will never forget my introduction to working at newspapers in the big city.
I am a new recruit to the world of twitter. I have been on it for a while, but I have only really taken to having a crack at it and learning about it in the last week.
I am pleased to report I am quite taken with him!
Sure, our first few dates were a disaster, but I have delved deeper and really tried to get to know Twitter - and have to tell you , he has really grown on me. (yes Twitter is a male, and no it has nothing to do with the word twit being in the word)
The whole concept of summing up what you want to say in 140 characters or less is a wordy challenge that I like! I am just quietly a fan of the status update on Facebook too.
I'm a word nerd, if you please.
In some circles, Twitter has the reputation of being a useless add-on in the world of social media.
People who have come to this conclusion haven't really taken the time to get to know the charming young man, who at first seems a little shallow.
Sure, those who have misread his cues might find him to be nothing but a self-indulgent vehicle for people to lament how tired they are, or how hot it is.
Hey I have toyed with these type of announcements too, they went down like a lead balloon.
With good reason.
Happily, I have discovered his good side (and have quickly learnt just not to follow those types - easy!)
When I first registered I threw myself into it by just randomly following a stack of people. Anyone I came across.
I treated it like a numbers game, hoping they would follow me back.
I quickly ditched this idea.
It felt desperate and futile all at once.
Twitter wasn't at his best when I was just using him as a popularity contest.
He left me feeling empty and wondering what the point was.
Then I started reading up on the art and science of Twitter. I was intrigued as to why so many people claimed they were hooked.
I was missing something, surely.
I started following 'Twitter tips" who have interesting lessons in tweeting. For example, to get news spread it is not how many you know, but who that counts (hence my culling)
Sure I had a heap of people to follow - but most of them were annoying the hell out of me with self-indulgent tweets.
I didn't care if they were hungry.
So I 'un-followed' a heap, and found some more.
I found people of interest to follow, celebs I like - including Jane Kennedy, Sarah Wilson, Wil Anderson, Dave Hughes and Mia Freedman. They generally have good value tweets that often lead to interesting places, but of course like anyone are sometimes riddled with self-promotion (which is another point of it, so follow those who you don't mind reading about their products or gigs)
Stand up comedians are particularly good to follow as it allows them to perfect the one-liner!
Twitter is also unique in that it gives you an opportunity to interact with celebs you admire.
I have bantered back at a couple and happily received direct messages back.
Gives your heart a little flutter to know the celebs you admire are a little more accessable!
I have since started following Richard Fidler (love him on Conversations on ABC radio) and I follow Pro Blogger who advertise blogging jobs which I have been able to forward to appropriate friends.
Through following some PR groups and newsgroups, I get quick links to news of interest and feel my general knowledge is rapidly increasing.
In fact I think I would be a far more interesting guest at a dinner party now thanks to Twit.
For me, tweeting replaces watching or listening to the news.
I am going to read the news that interests me and save the propaganda of elsewhere for the masses. Tweeting lets you be selective in the news you want to read about.
Following people with similar interest is a great way to fast track getting the latest information on the stuff you are interested in.
I am loving it.
If you tweet with like-minded friends it can be better than a night at the pub AND you can quickly share great links - you can also toot your own horn guiding people to your blog posts.
Though having said this too much of this is a turn-off.
I think a balance of tooting your own horn, banter among friends, sharing interesting bits you have found online and following people you admire is my recipe for enjoying twitter.
So do you tweet? Join me!!! You don't tweet because you think it is silly? It really isn't, if you do it right, so I am learning anyhow.