As always when I post the sort of thing I posted yesterday, I am full of regret afterward. Of course I am supremely grateful for your tonic words, both here and in private notes, but I feel I ought to have been indifferent to this rejection, or at least have had enough gumption to hold my tongue. Call it my internal war between Puritan and Romantic, silence versus volubility, whatever you like.
Much of my shock arose, as Maureen pointed out, from the bizarre three-year gap between submission and response. I told a friend yesterday that reading that letter felt like being hit by a Bugs Bunny slow pitch. I wasn't armed for it.
I haven't decided whether or not I should respond to the publisher or just let the issue die. For the moment I lean toward letting it die.
Anyway, onward. I'll never learn to write in any more salable way, so I might as well keep doing what I'm doing. It's either that or do nothing, which doesn't seem to be one of my character traits.