OK, so I RTFM again (by the way [url]http://svnbook.red-bean.com/[/url] is the best technical manual I've ever read).
My original post describes [b]switch[/b]ing my local changes into a branch. So, create a branch, switch my trunk to it, commit my local "trunk" changes (which go to the switched-to branch), then update on my working copy of the branch. I now have a branch with my working changes in it. I should switch my trunk back to the real trunk URL, then revert my trunk to avoid confusion. When finished committing all my branch changes, merge the branch from the branch point (revision) up to HEAD into trunk. Branch can be removed to avoid confusion.
Here's a rundown of the command lines:
First, note that I've made changes to /local/trunk that I do not want to commit.
svn copy [url]http://server/trunk[/url] [url]http://server/branches/my-branch[/url]
svn switch /local/trunk [url]http://server/branches/my-branch[/url]
svn commit /local/trunk -m "committing to branch"
svn switch /local/trunk [url]http://server/trunk[/url]
svn update /local/branches
I must note the initial revision number of the branch, say 10. Now I have /local/branches/my-branch to work in. Next, I'll commit changes to the branch, then merge it into trunk. Let's say the HEAD revision of trunk is 15.
svn commit /local/branches/my-branch -m "all changes"
svn update /local/trunk
svn merge -r 10:HEAD [url]http://server/branches/my-branch[/url] /local/trunk
svn commit /local/trunk -m "merged my-branch from r10:15 into trunk"
I can also remove the branch if I'm not going to be working in it anymore.
Very sensible process once you get in tune with subversion's basic concepts!