JM Williams

A home for all things fantasy and sci-fi.

Fireball – One Word, One Story


This is a prompt for the author of One Word, One Story. The word prompt is “fireball.” And I’m going to add the rule that it must be a S.F. or Fantasy story, since that’s what I do.

I sit on the cold stone looking up at the glowing sky. Our once red star flares with spectacular light and color. It is the most amazing sight I have seen in my long life.

Most of my people have fled our homeworld, having known the end was coming. Only myself, and a few others remain, the ones who have experienced all life can offer except for the wonder of an exploding star.

As I wait for the end, I think about my children. I wonder if they found a new home. There are so many stars in the galaxy like ours, I feel certain of their success. 

The air is warming like an oven; the ground rumbles in anticipation. I will not survive to feel the power of the sun overtake me; radiation will kill me long before that. But at least I can see the sky filled with glorious light one time in my life.

8 Responses to Fireball – One Word, One Story

  1. Reblogged this on One Word, One Story and commented:
    There is a new challenge for One Word One Story: write your own story based any of the words on the site already, or based on a word you’re donating to me!

    I’ve been given “Fireball” as a word and I’ll be posting my own take on it shortly. JM Williams, the fabulous sci-fi writer who’s donated said word, has already written his take – and here it is!

    Thanks JM!

    – What would YOU write if given 100 words and the title “Fireball”? Pop something together and link it here!

  2. To be honest, I’m considering ending the project and closing down the site. I was hopeful of a larger audience than the site has ever managed to attract. I feel sad about it. Very sad. But without an audience, I don’t feel that I can justify the time it takes to write and promote each story. I am very proud of some of the work up there but it’s been a fight to attract readers and I suspect that the format and genre will forever be against me.

    • It seems there are so many similar sites out there, 100 word story prompts and such. It must be hyper-competitive for readers and writers. You might be better off using your time on your own writing rather than management. You can participate in other groups or just write whatever the heck you want.

      I started this blog as much for me as for the public. Yeah, I want people to read my stuff. But another big part of it is just giving myself a medium to produce content in. It’s good practice; it keeps me writing. Also, many of the stories I write here build on the worlds of my formal productions, my book and my short stories that are going out for publishing. Each little bit I write for this blog gives me a clearer picture of the worlds I am creating. So it helps me either way, and I feel some benefit from it.

      I’m hoping to get a bigger audience, but I know that will take time. My plan is to get some things out in formal publications, too, along with this blog. That will help me establish a fan base for when my book drops later. In the end, though, I think the writing has to be meaningful to you on its own, otherwise it isn’t worth it.

      Stephen King wrote: “Put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support-system for art. It’s the other way around.” — If writing stops being fulfilling on its own merits, or becomes too much of a burden, then it’s time to take a break. Or maybe the better answer is to try to figure out how to make it worthwhile again.

      • At this point I’m not sure how to make it worthwhile again. I’m a storyteller by nature. I enjoy telling stories. But a very big part of that is the satisfaction I feel from having those stories read and enjoyed.

        My reason for writing is clear to me: I have stories that boil up inside me and I feel an urge that those stories must be told or else they just sit away in my memory and will die alongside me. They’re alive in my imagination and I feel like I’m betraying them in not telling them.

        OWOS was an attempt to build an audience for myself as a writer so that I could justify the time it would take me – someone self employed, without a secure single income – to write the 4 novels I have in my mind.

        Sadly, that audience hasn’t materialised – I think that the format of flash fiction over numerous genres has been too unfocused, and short stories, as a genre in themselves, are not popular at the moment.

        It’s an uphill struggle I can no longer afford.

        • I don’t know if I would agree that short stories are not popular. There are tons of publications for short and flash stories. I think that’s your problem, the competition is more established than you. Instead of trying to make your own venue, why not just write your stories and try to get them published? There are many places that will pay you for flash fiction, and you will get an audience in addition. Look at Daily Science Fiction, Flash Fiction Online, Flash Fiction Magazine, Wigleaf, and Smokelong for a start. There also a comprehensive list out there I found on google once, I could try to find it again if you’d like the info. Right now I have ten shorts and flashes at publishers and more ready to write. Most places won’t take stuff you put on your blog because they consider it already published. I keep my good stuff off the blog for that very reason. If you want to build an audience, getting published is the best way, no?

    • Note: I liked your comment for support, not that I like your stressful situation! I’ve always hated that ambiguity.

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