I've been working my way through old computer files, and found this one-paragraph story starter that I had submitted for the Orlando Sentinel's "Chapter 2000" writing contest of December 1999. The instructions were to write "the first paragraph of a proposed story about the millennium in 100 words or less."
My story won no honors, being sufficiently forgettable that even I have no memory of writing it. But the advantage of having my own blog is that I have a second chance. Oh, look! I won!
The birds awakened him. Marcus drew aside the mosquito netting and sat up, causing his canoe to send gentle ripples across the lagoon. Looking eastward, he smiled. It was a fitting dawn for the new millenium, and well worth missing last night’s party with his co-workers from the Kennedy Space Center. Egrets and herons were better companions at the daybreak of a new age, he thought. As they rejoiced in the splendor of the sky, neither Marcus nor the birds realized that true sunrise was still several hours away, and they were viewing not a beginning, but the end.
I don't think it's a bad beginning, but this is why I don't write fiction: you have to write more than first paragraphs!