First Lines, 01/18/14
First lines of the novel I'm not going to write today:
"He sat, strapped into the Captain's seat, beads of sweat collecting on his forehead as the shuttle's engine roared to life beneath him. Quite suddenly, unexpectedly, he remembered that day in his first-grade classroom.
The whole class watched, riveted, dreaming of becoming astronauts, as the Challenger came apart before their very eyes. He remembered the confusion and terror as gravity pulled the shuttle's thousand tiny parts — ceramic and steel — back to Earth.
Years of training, conditioning, had desensitized him to that anomalous explosion — a rare tragedy marring NASA's glorious history. With the rumbling rocket beneath him, he calculated the unlikelihood again and again. Then, Virginia Woolf's words crept, unwelcome, into his head: 'I am in the mood to dissolve into the sky.'"
— Damien Willis
January 18, 2014