Well, things are moving along. I handed in a draft of my research proposal to my prof a couple of weeks ago. It was only 34 pages and he was looking for 40-50, so I was a bit apprehensive about there not being enough content.
We met yesterday and he had scribbled on the hard copy I'd given him, making several useful comments. Most of the changes I am to make are editorial and some consistency errors, but no substantive edits. He said, "Fix this up and then I'm comfortable sending it on to the committee."
That's a step in the right direction! After your supervisor says it is OK, then it goes to the committee. They can then either request a meeting and ask you to verbally defend your proposal, or they just sign off on it, approving it as is. The rule is, if even one person requests a meeting, then the entire committee (and the student, of course) will meet.
My prof is going away next week and asked if I could give him my revisions before he left. I agreed. So... by this time next week, my committee should have my proposal in hand.
Wish me luck...