Mr Jedi Spreadsheet Man

Swapna HaddowScrapbook

I recently sent my manuscript off to a publisher. I heard it can take up to six months to hear something (if anything) back. I’ve also heard the best way to stop incessant inbox-checking for a reply or constant curtain twitching for the postman is to start a new project. I was quite sure that I had enough self-restraint for it to be completely unnecessary to start a new project and take my mind off where my manuscript might have sunk to in the slushpile.

Yesterday morning a new postman arrived at the door. My old postman had switched his route to avoid me. Right, time for a new project.

But my faithful moleskin failed me. I thought I’d shoved a plan for a coming-of-age teen novel in there somewhere. I definitely remember scrawling over four Costa napkins and also partly on the back of my son’s baby-gro. I had been mulling over my protagonist for months and suddenly the complete story plan materialised during a trip to the high street last week. It was like a thought waterfall. I have a horrible feeling the napkins were used to mop up my son’s projectile vomit off of the Costa counter. I could murder the moron who thought it was fine to bring their germy brat to playgroup the previous day. And I’m pretty sure I’d binned the baby gro, knowing I would wind up projectile vomiting myself if I had to clean off the mush of spaghetti bolognaise and soya yoghurt that had reversed its way up through my son.

Blast. I’m going to have to rewrite the plan.

This is the kind of thing that would never happen to my husband. Firstly he would never keep a pile of post-its and napkins and claim there was a publishable novel in amongst the scrappy notes. He’s the sort of technological whiz who’d be able to send a plan straight from his mind to his computer desktop. I’ve been peering over his shoulder for the past ten minutes. He has actually made a spreadsheet comparing the costs of the new iPhone across the networks. He’s using actual excel equations and everything. How is it possible that Miss Napkin-Jotter met and married Mr Jedi-Spreadsheet Man? Mr Jedi-Spreadsheet Man would never have lost his storyboard to bolognaise vomit. We’ve been together for seven years now, shouldn’t our organisational skills have synced by now? Like a period?