Ruffed Grouse and Buck,
Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait,
Frankly, there's nothing more heart-stopping when you saunter through the woods than to have a partridge explode out from under your feet. I can well see why in some countries hunters employ beaters to drive the game.
Some say that the Fall is a good season to approach agents and editors, because, presumeably, editors are looking to fire off the shells in their cartridge bag, while agents are ready to salt down more venison. Others say this calendar no longer applies and that deals during off-times are no longer the exception.
One has the impression that in lean times, the industry reacts in two diametrically opposed ways: retreat and advance. Some rely on the supplies already in their storerooms (the proved and successful best or steady-sellers), while others stride out hunting for fresh meat (new voices.)
While creeping through deep thickets and crawling through underbrush, looking for pug marks and game trails, I discovered a couple of interesting things. First: the forums on Absolute Write often have the most up-to-date information on who has moved where/quit the business/begun a new agency/takes months to reply/changed their focus, etc.
The second doesn't affect me personally -- since I'm a TechIdiot without bells, whistles and beaters -- but I thought it deserved mention. Seems one of the ways to get shot while hunting and left to rot in the forest is to have imbedded signatures and virtual business card widgets and similar stuff attached to your query. They can send your inquiry to spam hell. See agent Colleen Lindsay's (Fine Print Literary Management) Sept 1 blogpost for details.
Her post may explain why all you hear are crickets.
My apologies for the mangled metaphor. Memory turns with the seasons, and once my family held a farm called Hunter's Home.
Construction Update: The little toy back-hoe is gone, replaced by a groaning yellow Jurassic monster that claws and gulps up pavement at the foot of our street. Arcane symbols in orange and yellow, graffiti red and blue have been sprayed on our sidewalk. I twitter at my window in anticipation.