I heard back from that agent this morning and much to my disappointment, she declined my work. I guess I've probably taken this one a bit harder because I thought if I ever had a shot, this would really be it.
She pointed out a few things, which I've discussed with my CP. We'll start working on them straight away, but not today. I know when I wake up tomorrow I'll be prepared to start the battle all over again, but today I just can't bring myself to look at it.
I also decided to take a risk. I've been tempted to email agents following a rejection with a 'please explain' reply in the past, but had never done it before. This time, since this agent had been so nice and encouraging towards me, I decided to do it. I thanked her for reading the chapters and asked her if there was any other advice she could give me, or possibility of re-submission in the future. I ended the email saying I understood, however, if she didn't have the time or felt it necessary to reply. So I guess I'll see if she responds. I'm not really loosing anything either way, I don't think.
I sent my entry into the Colorado Heart of the Rockies comp today and am thinking of also entering the Golden Pen contest. And once I've gone over these chapters with my CP again, I'm going to query The Agent for the 50th time (it hasn't really been that many, but I'm sure it feels like it some days). She said she thought I was a talented writer, so I guess I have a lot of hope with her as well. So its not the end. I have to remember that, its just a big, gigantic bump in the road that knocked me down and broke some bones. I just have to get up, mend myself and keep on with things.
But not today.
I'll start again tomorrow.