Dear Ms. Sparrow,
I passed your ms along to our second reader, and she wrote the following:
This is interesting, but not really there yet. The author's sense of pacing needs work. Some stuff probably needs to be brought out sooner to make better sense to the reader. Better character development would help too. I think she has talent, but isn't publishable yet.
I'll add, please consider us in the future, and best possible luck with your writing.
So, I've tackled all of that stuff... even though it was really a side effect of a thorough rewrite. I'd assumed they were telling me "thanks, but no thanks" in a nice way. When I read "please consider us in the future," I was reading "hey... you're not half-bad and maybe if you have different manuscripts in the future you'd like to send our way... we won't hate you." Heidi says they were saying "this is what needs to be fixed... fix it and resubmit." The husband said that they were most likely assuming that I was, like many other writers, focused entirely on just this single manuscript. He thinks they meant that they didn't want to focus on editing this manuscript, but it has potential, and they would reconsider after I'd attended to these flaws.
What is your translation on this?
(I feel all anal and nitpicky for even bringing this up. It reminds me of the after-date breakdowns among females when I was still single. "So... he said goodbye in like this really final way, but maybe he meant for me to call him every twenty minutes... what do you think?" )
After I've smoothed through any rough edges on this last re-write... should I resubmit or move on to other places?