Moreover, I'm proud of all the stories and poems I have in circulation. I believe that any one of them could genuinely be bought, and that I'm sending them to appropriate markets. I've made a wall of rejection, which I remember someone in an old writing group once doing--all my rejection letters arrayed together in a mosaic of right angles, colorful old letters mingling with printed e-mails from the last few months. Disappointingly, all but one of the modern rejections have been form letters, but I'm still hopeful, given that I regularly see stories printed in the magazines I'm submitting to that are (in my judgment) no better than mine.
I used to tell myself that if I could get seven pieces under consideration, I would have a sense of things churning behind the scenes and I would feel comfortable returning to novels. I have four stories and four poems currently being considered (and a fifth story to submit somewhere new), but I can't say I feel that sense of churning. Still, I am returning again to my novel Reba of Rivermill, which I left for some time due to losing months worth of revisions due to a faulty understanding of my back-ups combined with a hard drive failure. I feel like I've reached the point where my new revisions will be quite possibly better than the ones I made before, anyway. And some distance helps makes the novel new and delightful again.