WHEN PEOPLE SAY “DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO BE A WRITER?” I HAVE TO SAY, “NO, I ALWAYS WAS A WRITER.”
As far back as I can remember there have always been three constants in my life: my love of music, reading and writing. Childhood memories of reading to my dolls; endless outpourings of adoration in the form of fan letters to my idols, The Beatles; scribblings in my diary of the mundane and the momentous, locked away for only me to see; pen-pal letters to that young marine in Vietnam whose name I’ve sadly long since forgotten; romantic notes to and from my boyfriend tucked away in an old cigar box.
In school I was the one who couldn’t wait to finish a novel so I could write a book report or spend hours working on an essay about the Great Schism of 1054. How clearly I remember the day my paper on “Doctor Zhivago” was returned to me with a big fat A+ stamped on the top in red ink followed by my teacher’s chicken-scratch: “Excellent work! We’ll make a copywriter out of you yet!”
Fast forward to another life. I’m married with two small sons. Reading to them became a daily tradition. Writing about them and to them in my journals was a labor of love. Some forty years later and I still have those now yellowed journals which I read when feeling nostalgic or a new grand-baby enters our lives.
I never did become a copywriter or an author – life and all its trappings took over and those dreams fell by the wayside, replaced by others equally or more important. I was heavily involved with my church choir as music curator. One day I took a stab at writing new lyrics for a children’s song in an attempt to make it more relatable to the Gospel reading of the day. It was well-received and I felt that familiar joy of writing wriggling its way into my soul. It was a nice feeling.
Facebook became a big part of my life, connecting with old friends and making new ones. It was on one of The Beatles groups I belong to where I ‘met’ someone who commented on one of my posts. Obviously we were both Beatlemaniacs and while posting back and forth we discovered another thing we had in common: writing. We exchanged email addresses and developed a unique rapport and my new friend encouraged me to pursue my long-abandoned passion for writing. Then he shared an interesting piece of information: he belonged to an online creative short story writing group and suggested I give it a go.
That was the summer of 2017 and I was on vacation in Montauk. I replied to him that I’d check it out when vacation was over. After all, there was nothing to lose. As promised, I looked into it discovering it was more than just a little group of people writing about whatever popped into their heads on any given day. There were rules and writing prompts to adhere to such as: write a 300 word story starting with the word “impressive” and incorporate three additional required words in the body of the story. Each writer could submit up to three stories and had two weeks to accomplish this task. What’s more … it was competitive! Members of the group could vote for their favorite story and the winner would be announced two weeks later when a new assignment was posted. The love of writing combined with a challenge. No prizes were handed out, no money was awarded. It was all for the joy of writing, stimulating one’s imagination, improving writing skills, adhering to the rules and doing the best job possible.
Thinking “Hey, I can do this”, I submitted my first story on September 10, 2017 and to my utter amazement and sheer delight I came in first place on my first attempt! And I’ve been hooked ever since. What you see here on my site is a collection of every story I have written so far for our group and a few guest posts by writers who have moved me beyond words. Being a member of the group has renewed my passion for writing. I face every new assignment determined to do my best and I’m proud of my work. But it’s not always easy and there are times when I sit staring at my computer screen waiting for divine intervention. As you read through my collection you’ll find quite a few references and a couple of stories devoted to The Beatles; not to include them would be inexcusable. There are also a lot of stories about me but only those people truly in the know will be able to say for sure. Those are my little secrets!
I’ve been asked how I came up with the name ”The Elephant’s Trunk”. There are a couple of answers to that question. First, the elephant is my favorite animal; it is loyal, smart, loving and never forgets a kindness or a friend. Second, the word ‘trunk’ has more than one meaning: it is obviously the physical “nose” of the elephant but it can also mean a treasure chest where all things precious and important are stored safely away.
My site is a labor of love and it has introduced my work to many new and diverse writers around the world; they have become my followers and friends. This site has also allowed me to reach other creative writing groups online, especially Facebook, where I have made many friends – short story writers, photographers, poets and even cooks. We share a passion for writing and a lively camaraderie. To mention names would be too difficult a task; I’d be afraid of leaving someone out and that would be unforgivable. I am proud beyond reason to say that my granddaughter Mckenna is a very talented young writer and one of her stories appears on my site as a guest post. I see great potential in her and am sure she will go on to realize any dream she decides to pursue.
It would be a grievous error on my part not to acknowledge Simon J. Wood, the leader of our online group, “Write Away”. Simon is first and foremost my friend, my mentor, and the man with all the answers to my questions. I encourage you to check out Simon’s website, “To Cut A Short Story Short”; I guarantee you’ll be blown away.
My husband Bill is my biggest supporter and encourages me every step of the way. I read my stories to him and he’s completely honest … something I value in a partner and friend. We have two adult sons, Bill and David, and four grand kids; they are my best accomplishments and my greatest loves.
So there you have it … the bio of Nancy Richy – wife, mom, grammy, lover of family, friend, singer, musician, dreamer, Beatlemaniac and writer of creative short stories about this and that and everything in between. I hope you’ll join me on my adventure.