As a country-reared-child I looked forward to my families trips into the nearest town. The main attraction for all ages was a vintage carousel. I loved to go to the park where the carousel had been the main event for a century. The merry-go-round allowed me to go in circles and get that little buzz from the repetitive action, but most of all I wanted to snatch the golden ring.
While the horse/swan/goat/rabbit moved up and down as the platform went round and round, the challenge was to grab a ring from an extended arm. Each rider could lean to the side of her/his creature and try to snatch a ring from the holder. Most of the rings were silver, but the gold ring would get the winner a free ride and a prize.
There were two rows of majestic structures
and I rushed to get an outside horse closer to reach for the ring extender. If I didn’t run fast enough I was willing to trade my silver rings (silver rings could be collected and used to get free stuff) in order to ride a four-legged beast. There was something about the smooth leather of the halter and lead, the vibrant colors of the saddle and sometimes sticky neck.
I wanted a gold ring more than cotton candy or other sweet treat.
Finally, one Saturday we went to the park and I obtained a prime horse in the wondrous menagerie. The ice-cream truck type music seemed louder that day. On the last round I leaned to reach for the ring and noticed it appeared shinier than usual. Could it be the gold ring?
I slid to the side and reached. My finger slipped, disappointment rushed through me until my pinkie finger caught the ring.
Years later I challenge myself to try for the gold through my writing. Entertainment is my goal, but to obtain that gold ring is to know the reader enjoyed the story—felt the characters’ joy, pain, and experienced the heart-throbbing excitement of the fast-paced suspense.
The prize is a positive review. Possible readers want to get an idea of the story’s value and content. Obtainable shiny gold beckons, teasing me with what did the reader think of the story. Will you extend that precious ring?
And as usual once you have the gold ring, honor of any sort, you want it again and again.
What’s your gold ring story?