I have been trying to intersperse my frantic writing attempts with more reading to make me feel a little bit methodologically informed. I found Bybee and Fleischman's "Modality in grammar and discourse" (1995) sitting on one of my office-buddy's bookshelves (where I do my best book browsing...).
I figured it would probably be worth reading, given that my topic is supposed to be the use of grammatical modal categories as used in discourse. While reading the introduction I got the same feeling I normally get while reading about modality; a sinking that sits somewhere in the base of my skull and pit of my stomach at the same time. The final paragraph, however, filled me with such delight I will copy it verbatim:
"So, here goes, readers. We hope you enjoy the papers. And don't be put off by the realization that mood is a grammatical category with an attitude! We'll get it straightened out on of these day."