I'm a brand new self-taught knitter as well. I ran into the same issue with short rows as you have just last week. The best, and most simple, answer I received was this:
When you work a short row, you just turn the piece and leave the unknitted stitches on the other needle. Don't worry about them for now.
Then I just worked the next row as stated in the pattern.
Basically, you just flip the work even though you have unworked stitches on the needle. It really comes out looking great, but I still haven't found a way around the larger holes I ended up with when I turned. You'll see what I mean most likely.
Great good luck! Hope this helps.
Ps. I put stitch markers in my knitting when I turned on a short row to know where I did that. Don't know if it's relevent in your pattern, but it helped in my sweater.