Hollow Empire

Hollow Empire


Doom scrolling and worrying. My kids constantly touch everything in sight and then their faces. Spend an unnatural amount of time fantasising about touching my own face. Who knew how great touching your face was?


Manuscript is with the copyeditor and schools are closing so I’m determined to ace homeschooling. We do PE with Joe every morning and judo in the evening. Enthusiastically plan science experiments, tie-dyeing t-shirts and chalk murals on the driveway, and try to teach the kids ping-pong. Legs get swol picking up the ball 4,500 times from the kids’ shots. I suggest we try darts instead.


My credit card company: We would like to query a suspicious transaction. These expensive... medieval tools you appear to have bought?

Me: sigh

CCC: ...

CCC: ... quarantine hobby of your husband?

Me: quarantine hobby of my husband yeah

Order upsetting amounts of takeaway, fruit boxes, piles of books and hundreds of bulbs (despite having nowhere to plant them, inadvertently setting off a chain reaction of garden projects). My Facebook ads are all for bamboo loungewear and home-delivered dumplings.

We have a smithy now.

My book comes back from copyedits. God, why did I make this so long? I gaze wistfully at svelte 100K books on my shelf. Homeschooling efforts degenerate to a bit less tie-dyeing and rather more screen-time. Minecraft is educational, right?


Grumble about people covid baking and taking all the yeast even though Husband is covid baking and that’s where my yeast went. He names his sourdough starter Davros.

A possum moves into Husband’s smithy. Possum eats my Spanish bluebells and is declared my sworn enemy.

Attempt to write a short story. Somehow more difficult than 200K novel??


We should have been on a family holiday to NZ and attending Worldcon. Instead of feasting at Hobbiton I celebrate my 40th birthday drinking wine from a kid’s plastic cup while frantically finishing page proofs on my book. Change out of bamboo loungewear for the first time in months for the online Hugos ceremony and discover I no longer fit any nice clothing. I blame Davros.

Our state is close to covid-free so school’s back, to the disappointment of my kids, and even judo, to everyone’s relief. Husband-now-blacksmith makes me a cool highland dirk.

Meet the possum. He has one perky ear and one floppy one, so past sins are forgiven. Feed him apples and google “how to build luxury possum house”.


The book is done and I’m free to work on exciting new ideas but it’s frightening starting a new thing. I don’t know any of these characters! How do you word, again?

Inadvertently get the family hooked on Hamilton and now Youngest can do the rap from Guns & Ships. The garden now has fruit trees, zucchini tunnel and (conservatively) 4000 flowers, and I’ve take up drawing again. I may be procrastinating. Books are hard.


Can I interest you in a home-made marshmallow fork?

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