The answer came today...in a big box on the porch, delivered by the mailman. It reminded me of something my sister told me years ago, about a guy she knew who took many times to pass his driver's road test. At that time they didn't tell you at the end of the test what the results were, instead they made you wait and receive the notice in the mail. He said, when the envelope comes and it's fat, you failed. If it is thin, that means you passed.
I knew that big box meant at long last an answer, and I knew the answer was "no," but for a moment after I opened it I thought maybe I was wrong. On top of the box were several books. Books! I didn't see my returned proposal right away. So I read the enclosed letter, savoring each word until I realized that my first impression had been correct, just like the thick motor vehicles envelope. It was no, but to soften the blow, there were three wonderful complimentary books for me, as well as a recommendation for another publisher to try.
So I went right over to the computer - the network is up and running and my old machine is right there in the living room - and whipped up a query letter. On the way to Samsonville, I mailed it. I'd figured, during this long wait for rejection, that when it came that was it. I was going to stop querying and go Print on Demand, risk a bit of money up front, sacrifice some prestige, have total control, but maybe more profit. So the recommendation was appreciated, but time's a-wastin'. I guess I will see what the query yields - but at the same time, start researching POD. You see, on the one hand prestige is hard to sacrifice...but on the other, control is very attractive.