The Distillery was a new magazine for me when Jeffrey Johnson mentioned recently that he’d had a story accepted for publication. When I saw it on the freebie table at IU Writers’ Conference, I added Vollume XII No.2 to my colleciton. Some of the work is really excellent.
I enjoyed very much “The Things We Keep” by Terena Elizabeth Bell, about a family of secret-keepers, and the holes from which they can’t extricate themselves when their lies collide:
“The difference between what was told and what was kept was hard to tell. For example, we would tell that Momma had a biopsy, but we wouldn’t tell it when Aunt Jane had one. Or we’d tell it that Ellyn flunked her math class, but we kept the part about her masters to ourselves. It almost got to where you were afraid to open your mouth at all in our family, for fear you’d tell something you should have kept.”
Not unlike a lot of families, I think.
I also liked “The End of the Line” by Andy Christie, which has the feel of memoir. It tells the story of a roguish Scotsman and the son who takes after him. The structure is unbalanced and there’s a hanging thread (Andrew goes off to Canada and has a second family, but we never hear anything about them again), the language and the storytelling is otherwise superb.
In addition, this little magazine (published by Motlow State Community College in Kentucky) has beautiful color art throughout. It’s a pleasant discovery, and one worth seeking out in the future.