It’s called Splitting the Sky, and it’s directly inspired by Sally Ride, Judith Resnik, and Kalpana Chawla and the rest of the lost Challenger and Columbia crews. When Sally Ride died early last week, I went on a Wiki quest, click click click. I was nineteen when Challenger exploded, and while I had no desire to see space, Ride’s adventures were a huge inspiration. We were living in England when Columbia broke apart, nearly ten years ago. Who were those people, besides astronauts?
Ride lived a quiet, private life, what came to light after her death. What might Judith Resnik and Kalpana Chawla and all those other travelers achieved? We are astounded by flashes of light and plumes of smoke, but those persons, precious and singular, seem to fade from consciousness.
Word counts and other novel musings can be found here. I’ve been inundated with the playlist, resounding with Doctor Who tunes, Willie Nelson, and The Police, among other artists. Those songs thump and clash with furious noise and much tenderness, what all lives contain. Listening to it yesterday my heart raced, my soul teemed with wonder. Emerging strongest was the thrill of breathing life into characters, continuing the tale. I can’t extend Resnik or Chawla’s lives, but I can honor them. Those space shuttles will remain as lore for ages. Those aboard them shouldn’t be forgotten.