The other day I got the outside reader's report for the press I'm now working with. And it's really good. Glowing, even. There are certainly suggestions for improvement, but they're smart, reasonable, and helpfully detailed--moreover, it's the kind of work I could easily accomplish in a couple of months, even during term-time, without pulling my hair out.
So I'm meeting with the editor at MLA to talk about bringing the project to the publications board. It's not necessarily a lock for a contract, given the mixed reviews from the press I was previously working with, but I feel pretty hopeful. (On the blogosphere's advice, I disclosed my experience with that press when this one indicated its interest--and I shared all four of the previous two reviewers' reports, and my responses to those reports. I was apprehensive about doing so, but it turns out to have been the right move.)
I'm not gonna lie: it's been a tough six and half months, and the past few weeks I've felt sick to my stomach every time I opened my work email. But if this works out, it'll amount to maybe a seven-month delay, with the end result of having a smaller, better, more attentive press see the project through.
So. Fingers crossed.