Well, after many hours more work, the damned novella is nearly hammered into the can. I think I've fixed all the small and medium sized problems, and there's a good chance I've fixed the big problem. (For those who've read it, I merged the characters of Mackie and Arnetta -- she's still Cicero's mother, but she also drives the nameless soldier into the mountains.) It's out to a few last readers now. I'm formally turning it into the editor tomorrow, but I may petition for the right to a resubmission on Monday to allow a bit more stepping.
Still, it's close, very close. This was as bad as writing a book, albeit somewhat less time consuming. And lemme tell you, writing in public is something else. I thought I'd done it before, but I've never been as exposed as on this piece.
Most of all, my profound gratitude to those who had time and energy to read the story. I was on a short deadline with a new writing process in play, and this needed some very careful attention. Thank you very much for your support.