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April 19th, 2007

The One Way Street

Communicating with others is something we do on a daily basis in one form or another.  Yet though we practice this art all of our lives, at times it is one of the most neglected aspects of it.

Lack of communication is normally cited as one of the major causes of issues at work, at home, at play.  It is so easy to do and yet so taken for granted, that often it gets totally forgotten or ignored.  Yet without it, misunderstandings and more can ensue.  Sometimes with devastating results.

As an author, communicating is a very important part of the process of writing.  Books are a definite form of communication -- with them we impart knowledge, feelings, locales, situations, reactions.  And the more apt we get at showing these things, the better we get at communicating with our readers.  So in some ways it has been a hobby of mine to keep an eye on communicating and communication and how these relate to everyday life and therefore hopefully teaching me things to better improve my writing.  (Not that this means I ever learn anything or have gotten better at it! lol!  But we must trudge on as best we can.  Even I, the clueless.)

Yet there is more to learn from seeing how communication relates to life than just the writing we do.  It also teaches us about relationships, human behavior -- direct correlations that can be used in the societies and organizations within the stories we create. 

By this point you're probably scratching your head thinking - "yeah, that's all well and good, but what does any of this have to do with the weird title?"  Ah, we're almost there!  It's all about that whole communicating thing again.

One communication deficit which I have noticed occurring from groups of two to hundreds of people is the One Way Street.

In an optimal situation, communications would would work like a giant, double decker superhighway, with information/feelings flowing from and to other individuals, regardless of their status, sex, or age.  Normally, however, you get anything but a free flowing highway.  Throw in some construction, some pitted roads, detours, and communications get jumbled, lost, discarded.

Unfortunately, what tends to be most prevalent is that some never even make it out to the car, let alone drive.  Signs get posted forbidding admittance and at times there is no road!  (But I digress as I go off alone down a path of metaphors and cute phrases and make everyone gag. Okay...back on track...)

What a One Way Street is is a situation where communications should be flowing back and forth and instead seems to come entirely from one side only.  As an example, let's use a boss and his employee.  (Mind you the roles can be reversed on this easily and often are.)  The boss sends memos or has chats with the employee and keeps them updated on what's going on and what expectations he has of them.  He informs them that his door is open and to please feel free to bring up anything amiss so he can help work them out.  Basically, the boss is doing what one hopes he will do - his job! 

Not hearing from the employee, the boss will assume all things are fine, for surely he told the employee to come to him with any problems.

The employee, meanwhile, is actually very unhappy.  He hangs in his corner and complains to his friends. The gripes fester and boil. He has all these problems and his boss never helps.  His life is the pits.  He knows the boss is in his office just surfing the net leaving him with all the work all day.  Yet whenever he sees him, he smiles and says everything is swell.

So the boss is going along thinking all is good and fine when - wham!  Something will happen that will bring all the dirt up into his face when he least expects it.  (And that's if he's lucky!  He might just continue on cluelessly for who knows how long!)  It will be a blow from left field - totally unexpected.  And worse, might not be able to understand why it happened in the first place or correct it.

Take a look around your work place, home, social setting.  I mean really look.  You'll see what I am talking about. 

The saddest part is, the employee will probably never come to realize he was not holding his end of the highway and wasn't communicating as he should have with his boss despite the free toll tag.  (Humans don't read minds you know! Despite the belief of some!)

The bigger the group, whether work or social, the more chance of there being one way streets. And as long as communication flows only one way, the road is ripe for misunderstandings, resentment, and imagined slights to ensue.   All leading to eventual IMPLOSION!

People thrive on adversity - even if they have to make it up themselves! :P

So don't be a One Wat Street!  Get out there and communicate!






Disclaimer:  No boss's or employees were harmed in the making of this blog.  Any similarities to actual persons or places was not intentional, and no such knowledge should be inferred from the above.:P 






Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


JEWEL OF THE GODS

(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!


Excerpt:
"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."





INNER DEMONS

(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!


Excerpt:
The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.



WILLING SACRIFICE
(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”

Excerpt:

Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”



IN THE SERVICE OF SAMURAI
(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”

Excerpt:

Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.



VASSAL OF EL
(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”

Excerpt:

Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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