I'm new to mead as well, but I have a JOAM that I started in early September currently aging. It already passes the "read a newspaper" test and my latest sample was already delicious. I'm going to wait to bottle until January, though. With similar luck, you should have a nice, basic mead in plenty of time for April.
Here's the recipe I used: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/joes...ge-mead-49106/