Well, my first suspicion is that most of you guys probably didn’t even notice, but for those few of you who did, yes I have been somewhat missing in action for the last three, maybe four days. The reason for that, is that I have been deep in thought, and yes, I do think from time to time (I heard the snickers). Lol. The need for the deep thinking was a simple one line comment that I received after publishing the last instalment of my continuing poem/prose story, “The Angelic Mission”. While the one line comment could certainly not be called hateful, neither could it in any way be called friendly, and I found this rather disturbing since it came from a person whose blog I have followed rather regularly, and with whom I had exchanged many comments, coming to think that even if we weren’t friends, we were at least friendly acquaintances. The tone of the comment indicated I had offended this person, although no specifics were given, so I had no way of knowing in exactly what way I had done so.
There was some indication that it was in my telling of the history that I had committed the offence, but like I’ve already stated, no details were given. Not really sure what I was apologizing for I mainly tried to stress that the story was a Christian fiction story, and as such, it was generally accepted that I might take some liberties with the history that I was portraying. I pointed out that if the story were to be found in a library, it would very likely be found on the same shelf as stories about dragons and wizards. But of course I still didn’t know what it was I had done wrong.
After sending my reply, I was faced with another conundrum. The person had sent the comment on the Public comment Board, as opposed to the more private email that the writer could’ve used. I wasn’t at all sure that my detractor, in a calmer state of mind, would want that comment left on the public board where everybody could see it. Like I said, it certainly wasn’t hate mail, but it also wasn’t very polite, and I wasn’t the only target that the person was apparently offended at. If I didn’t publish it, however, I thought I would be setting myself up for accusations of censorship, charges that I only publish comments that were favourable to my views, or whatever. So finally after thinking about it for a little longer, I approved the comment.
Later that first night I finally discovered what I think might have been the actual offensive statement. For those of you who’ve been following this story, you’ll know that I’ve been jumping around back and forth in history, or in time if you will. Well, if you also read the article I wrote for the Tour In Blogland Award, then you have a little understanding of how I go about writing these things. For those of you who haven’t read that article, however, let me fill you in on just a couple points. First and foremost, I don’t write from an outline. I write a story as it comes into my head, and that means there are times when I have very little idea just where that story is going. At other times, I’ll be writing one part of the story, and another part that may be quite distantly removed from where I’m writing at that moment will suddenly pop into my head. When that happens, I start writing like crazy trying to join the two pieces together before I forget the part that connects them. With a story like the one were talking about here, that can be really confusing.
Because of the time travelling that’s involved in this story, things change quite drastically from one stanza to another, and as a result, when I’m rushing things to try and meet a deadline, or to get a post on time, it’s not all that unlikely that once in a while you’re going to see the Ottomans defending a wall in 1799 with “bows and arrows”. Lol. Please, no offence meant! It was a simple mistake. I fully realize that the Ottomans had rifles and cannons, and they weren’t fighting with bows and arrows. It was a mistake and it got by me, and for that I apologize. But if that is what you were offended by, all you had to do was point it out to me. A simple, “Hey you silly man, we had gunpowder before you did” would have done it. There was no need to be insulting about it. As soon as I saw the mistake I edited the the story, and swapped the bows and arrows for the appropriate weapons. As for dropping rocks from the walls, that is a method of battle that is still used even in modern times. Now I don’t know for certain that that’s what offended anybody, but if it was my depiction of the Turkish fighting forces that caused the comment, then it’s truly ironic that I should get jumped on over that particular issue.
I say this because if you do read the Western history books that tell of the Siege on Acre, then you will see that the historians do in fact take most of the credit away from the Ottomans and give it to the British naval forces. Let me offer just one quote in support of this statement I have just made, “Although the Ottoman forces greatly outnumbered the French, they didn’t win any decisive battles or make a significant contribution¹…” After reading their version of these events I found myself to be in disagreement with them. It seemed to me they were basing their judgment on the fact that Napoleon’s forces won every battle that they fought with the Ottomans on open ground. And while that may be a fact, it is also a fact that those same French forces could not fight their way into the city of Acre though Napoleon laid siege to the city for a month and a half. To my way of seeing things, that makes the inhabitants of the city of Acre look an awful lot to me like the defenders of the Alamo, and then some.
The part of the story I had written, for which I received the comment on, was only the first day of the angels arrival. As I’ve already said, the actual siege lasted a month and a half, and my depiction of that siege is going to require two or three instalments to tell. As things turn out,(and I guess the rest of this is what they call a spoiler) the angels are only there to make sure the hero of the story does not fall victim to a certain intrigue that has the potential to destroy him before he can become the hero that he is destined to be. That is all that their mission entails. Once that has been done, Gabriel and his troops leave the city in the hands of the true hero of Acre, and go their way to help Uriel with the next stage of the plan to save Michael. So if you had just let me finish telling the story, maybe you wouldn’t have gotten so upset, and I wouldn’t have spent three days figuring out whether or not to continue putting this out publicly, or once again keeping my writing private, and safe from the critics of the world.
I have decided anyway, and sometime tomorrow or the next day, a new instalment will be published, and though I really don’t want to offend anyone with anything that I write, I’m afraid that I won’t be letting that stop me, or even slow me down in the future. I know my writing, and I know the care I take not to be offensive. I can’t guarantee that mistakes won’t get made, but I am always willing to correct them when I find them, or when they are pointed out to me, in a civil manner. So, sorry for the length of this post, but I really did have to get that off my chest, and now that it is, I think I feel much better. So we’ll see you tomorrow, or the next day.