Thank you everyone for the good wishes and for your condolences about my aunt.
My return to Albuquerque was wonderful. I spent most of the time working hard, but I managed to eat two breakfast burritos with green chile, an order of huevos ranchos, frog-eye salad, and a Roswell beer. Even better, I got to visit my girl Dana (pregnant with twins and looking fabu!), her lovely friends Caroline and Claudia, lots of my UNM pals, and Scout and Mona.
I'm pretty happy with how my defense went. I felt capable, even when I had to think fast to form answers that would sound intelligent. I came away with some good ideas about what to do next to make my novella work better, and I think I have some good writing goals set for the next nine months.
All that stands between me and my degree now is an annotated bibliography and 15-page paper on the Wife of Bath, and a Chaucer final. Hot dog!