Been talking to Eileen Robinson from the critique service F1rstpages.com -- she used to be an editor at Scholastic, among other things. Also I spilled chocolate milk on her, but obviously she was very nice about it. She's going to critique a couple of my stories from my short story collection. Yay! Of course I'm going to pay her. But I'm looking forward to it.
In the meantime, I've been working on the mythology of the raccoon tribes. Right now I'm reading through American Indian Myths and Legends, compiled by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz. (Just discovered that it was banned in Anchorage schools -- somebody didn't read through all the stories, obviously.) I'm just picking up bits and pieces instead of using stories straight out of there, and I'm finding some cool details.
Also working on thinking about a raccoon's creation myth. How would a raccoon look at the world? What's most important to them and their way of life? Also pulling details out of my own way of life. These are Missouri small-town raccoons, so you're going to have some rednecks and some nice church ladies and stoic farmer types and some hellraisers and a lot of nice folk and two-three folk who thinks there's always a conspiracy somewhere.
And then we have the outcast caste, the outlanders, the raccoons who (so they say) are only wild raccoons who have lost all power of speech, uncivilized as any bird or dog or human. A lot of prejudice against these. Unfortunately for Thorn, he has to tell everybody that his successor was born from an outlander mother. Actually Thorn's successor, Silverlady, is a member of the tribe, but the spirit of death came and killed her litter just after it was born. Thorn managed to save Silverlady, but he has to keep her identity secret so the spirit of death doesn't find her again.
Also, to make things more interesting, the gods here are not all-knowing or all-powerful. (And actually, I don't think that our God is all-knowing and all-powerful, either. St. Thomas came up with that theory, and the church fathers were probably all over that. What better way to say, "Our god is best?")
I better get to work on the story or else I'm going to have 30 sale books show up on my desk today.