I can not say how many hours I have invested in this short piece but it seems that now it is destined for the archived folded on my hard drive. Perhaps it's just not good enough to be worth much of anything other than an exercise in writing.
All I can do is move forward, resolve to write better and keep submitting.Of course this rejection came at a crucial time in my current manuscript. I spent the majority of my writing time this week rearranging scenes and smoothing out the transitions so they make sense. I was nearly frozen at the beginning of the week not knowing how to move forward. There was something wrong with the last few scenes I wrote and my temporary solution was to avoid it because it was difficult.
I finally sat down Tuesday evening and hacked away. Coming up for air on the other side of what was a very tedious and nail biting process, I saw that I did what I had to do in order to keep the story in line and moving forward. I am happy with it now and hoping I can make quick work of the last third of the novel.