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Perception Matters When Trying to Communicate

photo of Delaware River Gap

The Delaware River Water Gap is where the Delaware River passes through a short canyon or gap in a Ridge that runs along the New Jersey – Pennsylvania State Line. The view shown here is from an overlook on Allemunchy Mountain in Allemunchy State Park, Allemunchy Township, New Jersey Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

If you look at the hub’s caption for this photo, you will see what he “saw” when he took this picture: the distant water gap. The first thing I saw was the lone picnic bench. I “saw” myself sitting there, maybe with my lap top, doing some writing. I could “see” myself being inspired by the isolation and the lovely surroundings.

But I would not have noticed the distant water gap without the caption. This has happened before with the hubs and I. He is a geologist, so when he looks at the world, he often sees features. And I see the picnic bench.

Years ago, I saw this postcard that read something like:

wherever I take my eyes, they see things from my point of view.

Perception differences aren’t just guy/gal. They are also shaped by experience. You might recall the story of the mom lecturing her 4 year old about not stepping off the curb. The little tyke looked up at her mom and asked, “What’s a curb?”

As an author, I spend a lot of time mulling point of view and perception. I use it to mess with my characters and create tension and conflict. In my real life, I sometimes forget that two people – even two people who have been married for years and years – can look at the same thing and see totally different things. My goal in my real life is to reduce conflict and tension, not ramp it up.

To ramp it down, somebody — preferably both somebodies –needs to expand their view, to see with “new” eyes, to be certain you both agree on what a curb is. While I don’t always get the hubs geologic excitement (and the pop quizzes are killer), it has been a fun adventure seeing the world through his eyes. And I’m a better (and happier) person when I expand my perceptions to includes others view points. But I still like to mess with my characters.

What about you? Have you any adventures in seeing with new eyes? What did you see first when you looked at the hub’s photo? Inquiring minds love to know. AND all comments are entered into my monthly drawing for an AnaBanana gift basket. Because I’m excited to be participating in NaBloPoMo this month, and because I have so very much to be thankful for, this month’s gift basket will be worth $50. Winner will be announced the first blog post of Dec. 🙂

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Perilously, and perceptively, yours,

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Pauline now perceives the water gap and will take that new knowledge into the writing of her new book. While you wait for her to perceive how to totally hose her characters, you can browse her back list here on this blog or on her website. 

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Can she do the impossible one more time?

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