It is truly sad when a rejection letter counts as progress.
My final submission for one of my novel projects just came back with three - four sentences of explanation typed into the letter. This marks the first time I've received a non-form rejection from a major press (Luna Books) and there were some nice things said, though she also confirmed what I've heard before - everything is simply too complex. Unfortunately, this really can't be fixed and still tell the same story, but it is still nice to be regarded well enough that someone took the time to comment.
This is something I'm trying to work on. "Journal" has the potential to be equally complex, but the advantage is that I can ease the complexity into the story, as it starts small and expands slowly. But really, how do you make a non-earth society with its own terminology and language and NOT be complex? Lord and Lady, dukes, counts, etc, really ground you in a particular European period, and that's not what I want. I tried to circumvent this in Butterfly by using ranks that were normal words and still fairly easy to interpret - the Grand Holder is the chief noble in charge of a city, a Scion-Grand would be his son/daughter.
My frustration right now is compounded by the fact that I think I lost several mails over Wednesday night, and I have no way of knowing which/how many/if any were in regards to submissions. I'm reaching the point where my "out" list is far long than my "forthcoming" list to the point where it's depressing. I wonder at the same time if my progress has halted ...