The novel has begun!
The first couple pages are always really rough for me. I'm very conscious of needing to give enough flavor of the setting that a reader isn't confused, describe what I want people to "see" about my main character early enough that a reader hasn't formed another image in their heads, and all the while kicking off the plot without bogging down in info-dumps. Once I've gotten moving, it seems to flow much more naturally.
Right now, this is compounded by the fact that the beginning of the novel follows the events of my original short story very closely, so I keep being tempted to consult it. I've only used a couple small pieces verbatim, and even those are tiny enough that they've been clipped in and inserted other places.
This is what is currently serving as my first paragraph:
Waiting behind the airlock door, Anaea Carlisle tried to wrap her mind around the fact that she might see one of them on the other side – maybe as many as twelve, if they were alive. She clutched her medic’s kit in twitching hands and flicked an anxious glance to Valasca Braun, the harsh, angular woman who led the team. Why the chief doctor insisted on leading every salvage mission was a mystery.
Once I get through my informal mental list of things to get across as soon as possible, I can relax.
Still working on ... err, everything else. I am juggling way too many balls here.