She didn't seem to take me seriously, which I understand. I'm sure the vast majority of people with an idea don't make it too far.
Anyway, I understand that it can be dangerous to write up your own provisional, but I have no other option, as I see it. I'm going to do it myself. I've found a course on the process, and I've got the next 5 days off to study and come up with a sound explanation and some drawings. Once I file it, I have a professor at the university who will get his engineering students to work on a prototype for me, with NDA's and all. All I have to pay for is materials. Then I'll spend the next few months working on writing up a real non-provisional.
Am I naive to think I can so this myself, or, if I put in the time, and if, given enough time, I have a decent enough mind to understand what I study about it, could I really do this? And what about prosecution? Are a few months enough time to figure this one specific thing out?
I must admit, I'm a bit bitter about how difficult the process seems to be, but I'm excited to try to get around the need for an attorney. After all, they're just people like me, and they had to learn it somewhere. I can learn it, too.