I'm getting some positive feedback on the new opening stuff. I've been concentrating on two major sections, and the bits I've shown around are going over well.
Then, last night Jenna was kind enough to read through everything I have. She said some very encouraging things and it looks like I'm definitely going in the right direction with these changes.
It'll be a while before I finish everything and smooth it out, but hopefully it will be soon. I'd love to send out the opening chapters to see what people think. I'm feeling really good about everything right now, and the gaps are slowly filling in. If I can get through this opening -- with all the cuts and losses -- I think I can definitely make it through anything. It was hard to let this stuff go, but in the end, it was likely for the best.