Thanks for the kind reply! I am glad to have found a circle (in real life and online) of people slogging through it with me who help me feel less demoralized when the mean reds hit.I swear the waits to hear back about sub are longer than they used to be pre-pandemic, or maybe that's simply my erroneous perception of time!
Hi, iblamejane! I think what you're experiencing is very common to many of us on this thread... sub starts out as enormously exciting, but then it becomes very hard to manage and demoralising. I'd say you're doing the best thing by detaching a little and working on something new that is standalone but has a nod to the past book. I know someone who writes romance whose first sub book didn't make it, but the second sub book (featuring a supporting character from book 1 as the MC) did, and that was no problem at all. Hang in there, it's tough, and you're in good company here.
Good luck with your pitch to your publishing house! Sounds nice to be getting encouraging news about your work, even if it's not a confirmed sale yet.
Good luck to all who are still waiting (which is all of us all the time, I realize, but some times are more anticipatory than others).
I had a mini-update from my agent, per my request. One more house passed, so a handful remain. She said she'll nudge until she hears back from them all because she hasn't had a consistent sense of what the problem(s) with the ms could be. I feel really okay! Gotta keep moving forward until we know for sure (and beyond).