2009 has been an interesting year already. And when I say "interesting," I mean "could use some room for improvement" or perhaps "send more chocolate, I'm gonna hibernate instead."

Oh yeah. Even exercising regularly has done little to curb Little Miss Cranky Pants. She's still having that tantrum in the corner that started last week. ;) So that makes this excuse an appropriate one, since it might have inspired my thoughts of hibernation.

"Someone doesn't like it."
It could be that recipe you slaved over for hours, that query letter you spent weeks crafting or, in the absolute worst case, the novel you spent the last year polishing, revising and making sure it was really, really good.

And still, someone out there isn't gonna like it. No matter what you do. Even if you decorate it with butter-cream frosting. Okay, maybe you don't frost your manuscripts, but you know what I mean.

That's what sucks about trying. Sometimes it doesn't work. Sometimes it does. It's just hard to know which "sometimes" we're in until we get verbal or written confirmation that whatever we did wasn't to that person's taste.

Perhaps they don't like macadamia nuts or teen girls struggling with a big secret. Maybe they already had a fabulous turkey dinner at someone else's house and just aren't hungry -- or read a lovely query letter that sounded almost like yours, except it had a dance sequence in it and yours didn't.

Le sigh. It's just hard to know what people mean when they turn down your offer. Or simply let the tray of cute little homemade pastries pass them by without even giving them a glance.

Sure, I might be talking about seeking publication, but the same concept also applies to a lot of other ventures, be it becoming a chef, photographer, Broadway star, major league baseball player... even some astronauts get turned down. Heck, being an astronaut might be even harder to do than getting published right now, given the state of the economy.

So if one door closes, does that mean it's time to give up? Well, what if it's been a couple more doors than one, and it's been longer than, say, five days?

When is the right time to let someone else tell you to stop pursuing your dreams?