Copy the Greats -- free course on imitation

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I don’t feel the water with my feet in the fins. Nor see beyond the trees swaying outside in the wind. Fast fading are my thoughts as I stroke, evenly left than right, in the indoor pool where I exercise. Swimming on this cold and dreary evening distracts me from looming fears. A friend may die tomorrow morning when the snow flurries arrive or maybe she will wait until the afternoon when the sun shines bringing a smile rather than tears to my eyes.

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Awesome! Thank you @MichelleZ!

Hi Daniel, thank you for making this available!
Here is my piece:
At 3 am my quiet Caribbean home with its familiar semi darkness surrounds me as I drink from my always there glass of water. Sleepy contented thoughts float freely, then pause: I’ll meet Jesse mid May! The smile in my heart spreads to my lips. So much joy, trust, love…Back in bed, arms folded around me, warm sleep takes me back without a word.

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Hooray! Thank you @Suchi!

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the invitation! Really looking forward to this.

Here’s the first piece:

We would go from street to street in this small city, this town of ours at the end of the line, senses fast fading as we were carried by our moods into new pubs and karaoke bars. And we would be laughing in the warm summer darkness, listening to the haunt of murmurous flies and cicadas, as we checked the signs and small doors, all guessing what worlds could exist behind each one.

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Fantastic – @A.Clark – it’s a lovely passage.

The sensations of summers in Miami Beach loom thick as the humid air, where palm boughs were laden with coconuts ready to be carved into souvenir heads, shell earrings dangling, and palm leaves woven into straw hats. I can still feel my feet scraped bare from hours in the concrete-bottomed pool, my face and shoulders burnt red, later to be soothed from the jar of Noxema. And with our family on the modified American plan at the hotel, where else could I, a ten-year-old, order anything I wanted from the breakfast menu and sign the check with a room number?

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My eyes are blind to nature’s garden surrounding me and to the aromas hanging upon the branch, yet even in darkness, I inhale May’s heady sweetness of meadow and fruits hanging from the branch, white hawthorn, sleeping violets, waking musk rose, and my ears perk at a myriad of summer’s flies singing before retiring for the night.

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Great stuff, @Fred! I like it.

I can’t see my father’s face but I can hear his voice and I can see the red dot of his lit cigarette dance against the blackness of the night. My two sisters, mother and father and an uncle who has decided to ride with us are all packed into our car heading to some unknown destination. The smoke of my fathers cigarette grows thick and my mother cracks open a window to let the cool night air in. Suddenly the car is filled with the rich scent of pine and the sharp smell of gasoline from the cars and trucks that zip past us. We are migrant farm workers headed to our next harvest. I try to stay awake and listen to the whispered stories but the whine of the tires on pavement lulls me toward sleep, and so I nestle deep into my nest of blankets and let the darkness of night swallow me whole.

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Hi, Daniel! Thanks for the prompts!

Here goes for Day One:

“I brush his hair away from his eyes, fix his coverlet one more time. He smiles. I forgot to wash his hands before tucking him in, but it’s okay. The strawberry smell is so sweet. And it was worth sneaking him out, with our bare feet on the grass, just for a minute, to pick two forgotten strawberries from our garden, a surprise treasure hunt in almost darkness, right before bed. I smile back at my smallest child. These summer eves won’t last long, but for now, our hearts expand.”

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Hi Dan. I really enjoyed your part in the summit.
I’m a tech writer by profession, so I’m really looking forward to this.
Heres day 1:
It was a seasonable day in August 1957, as my uncle Clarence and I struggled to clear the hay from the barn that we were about to tear down. Stripped to the waist, sweat poured off our bodies as we plunged our pitch forks into that huge mound of hay. Suddenly the tines on my fork strikes metal. I cannot see what lies beneath the hay, but somehow I knew I had discovered a hidden treasure. Slowly, as we carefully removed more of the hay, a 1932 Dodge Coupe came slowly into view. I had been scouring the junk yards for an old car that I could restore with no luck, and one had been right under my nose all the time. My uncle had forgotten all about it being in that barn and it was in sad shape, so he gave it to me. It took me two years to restore that old car, but it was ready when I got my junior license. Ah, the pleasure I felt driving a car that I had practically built from the chassis up. That was a moment of unspeakable joy that I will never forget!

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Day One:

Forty miles north of the city, in the bucolia of farmland and largely undisturbed country, lay the two-and-a-half mile roadcourse and my home for the next four weeks. If I did well, an invite back was good as a romantic proposal spoken just right. For now, it was mostly scut work and how well—meaning how quick—you could fetch a box wrench or a socket, discern by touch 3/4s from 5/8s in a jumble of gear, in the heat of a drive-out, in the wild holler of a race track’s adrenaline. We’d drill for a couple of hours, then cross into the meadows of tall grass and thickets of wild blackberry, drink ice’ tea and tell stories tall as the sorghum. In the evenings by the light of a million fire-flies, we’d whisper our hopes and dreams of a NASCAR life.

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I cannot see the DNA connecting us. Just the fast fading voices of my niece and my father, and the murmurous haunt of their ukulele strings, as she guides him in his lesson. I watch and listen and bathe in the glow of the mix of generations. Between my daughter and my sister, we study together a puzzle in a language we haven’t yet mastered. An invisible string holds us together around the table, rather than cell phones and television, music, laughter, thought and creation carry our moment.

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My garden, a twenty-year-plus art project, is a dragon. Poor soil, poor drainage, and a finite budget have quadrupled the time necessary for digging out a lovely spot for hummingbirds and bumblebees, cicadas and me. Chickweed is the current scourge, but always something interrupts my vision—noxious Johnsongrass, mildew, mites, violets in the asparagus bed, invasives choking the cherry boughs—wild skirmishes provoked by chemical-free guardianship. Then the wind blows. I swallow the wind whole, lift my arms in an embrace. The woods sway. A perfume distills. A feeling so impossible finds purchase. For a breath or two, as long as I keep inhaling, expanding, the garden swells with harmony. I yield the battle.

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Here is my first piece.
The time when I was really happy was in 2015. Where I cannot see what flowers are at my feet. I used to play badminton in school with my best friends. We also used to run races in the grass and the thicket around Mid May’s eldest child.

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(Day Two) Hi Daniel! Hope you’re doing well. And sorry to everyone for the length of this one. I got a little carried away :sweat_smile:

It was an unusual place at the end of the line, more of a town than a city, where the modern world seemed to still be in transit. Surrounding the city were green mountains, too steep to climb and thick with trees, between which nestled and scurried all manner of territorial creatures. Near these mountains, on the outskirts of town, were the old markets and cafes and warehouses, shuttered and rusted and slowly losing their colour in the sunlight. The centre of town was quite different. Here, the City Hall towered over the market district like a lighthouse, and around it were all the restaurants and bars and cafes, no two alike, glowing with their bright neon signs like pockets of past decades, still thriving as though no time had passed at all. One bar, on the second floor of an unassuming building, had a carpeted floor you walked on with your socks, and piano-filled jazz and dark maple lighting, and the owner in a tuxedo and bow-tie would bow and say ‘welcome back’, and point to a chalkboard menu on the wall that had been the same for over forty years.

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Not too long – glad you got carried away!

I hurry to the door, keys in one hand and my water in the other. Unlocking the door I step out into the brisk summers eve only to be stopped by my sister-in-law calling my name. Turning back I see her rushing to the door. She pulls me into a hug and wishes me well at work. The hug is warm and comforting and just what I needed. I say my goodbyes and hurry down the steps. Starting my car I drive to work reminiscing over the hug given out of love. I cannot see what willed her to give me such a loving embrace, but it was just what I needed to begin my day, as the fast fading rays of the sun sets.

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