Sand in the Gears
In Edward Ahern’s “After Taste”:
- Is Roger delusional? If so, what really happens in his apartment?
- Is Roger haunted? If so, does Joyce’s ghost show she’s learned something?
- What does Roger learn about himself, especially about his feelings for Joyce?
- What might happen to Larry?
In Megan Lokensgard’s “Oatmeal Girl”:
- What seems to motivate Hailie’s acceptance of her stepfather? Is there a progression in her feelings about him?
- The story ends with a kind of poetic justice for Janie as well as a kind of admonition to Hailey. What logical problem might be raised by Hailey’s view of Janie and her father?
In Ann K. Williams’ “Coming Undone”:
- Is the narrator male or female? Does it matter?
- What is the function of the ring? Does the narrator ever find out what it does?
- Does the story overstep Bewildering Stories’ guideline against plots that end with “But it was all a dream” or the equivalent?
In Tim Simmons’ “What Grandma Done”:
- Grandpa has to tell Hannah what is essentially a story within the story. Can it be done in any other way than by embedded narration and dialogue?
- At the end, who speaks the last words: Grandpa, Grandma or something else?
- Need Hannah be told the truth? Why not tell Hannah that Grandma has run away with old Cletis and offer Hannah some apple pie to distract her till after sunset?
- Why might Hannah notw keep “Grandpa’s” secret? Will she return to spend the night at her grandparents’ farm?
In Garin G. Webb’s “The Devil in Blues, Ragtime and Jazz”:
- The devil is a time-honored figure in literature. Does it seem to have a similar role or importance in music?
- New schools and trends in the arts have always met with reluctant acceptance and even resistance in some quarters. What makes the blues, ragtime and jazz a special case?
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