Ok, I've analyzed my historically awful cross country stage check flight from last week. I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I was never really off course (the VOR at the time confirmed this). The bad news is, I just didn't know where I was along the course.
So today I'm going to fly the same course again with a CFI and this time I'm going to know where I am at all times. I've gotten a painful lesson in waypoint selection so I think I can do a better job. I should have a report tonight.