In Aggregate (2021)

As the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 attacks approached, I found myself increasingly displeased with some of the language of my original “In Aggregate”

I decided to clarify that while the unidentified of 9/11 may be forever bonded, physically, to the sites of the attack, their memory and their afterlife are not bounded by the location of their remains.

May God have mercy on those who died those day, on those who have died of diseases contracted on the Pile, and of all who have died in the War on Terror. May they be brought to “a place of light, a verdant place, a place of freshness, from where suffering, pain and cries are far removed.”

May their memories be a blessing. And may God bless America.

My soul does not cleave to the dust
Even if my flesh does
Even if my blood clots it
Even if my bone shapes it

Nowhere and everywhere I am
And I am not alone—
Like motes in a sunbeam
We hang together, strung
Between here and eternity.

This is eternity: to be bonded,
but not bounded, by time and space;
To see a day as twenty years
And twenty years a day

The line between life and death
Is so thin, and still so terrible
Like the sharp blue edge of sky;
So begrudge us not this sacred earth
Of which we have become a part.

For all victims of 9/11 who were never recovered

Allison Shely, 9/10/2021

Farewell, Dear Reader

Dear Reader,

It is with a grateful, but heavy, heart that I announce the end of this project. As you have doubtless noticed, my productivity with regard to this blog has dwindled over time, and simply plummeted during the last year.

COVID has forced me to reevaluate my goals and priorities. I have decided to consciously move away from True Crime Librarian, which my heart had done long before my head. While my career still involves writing, it has long since moved away from the true-crime niche.

I remain endlessly grateful and thankful for the kind attention, feedback, and support you have given me over the last five years. From interviewing authors to getting positive author responses to my critiques, from sharing with you a bit about myself to sharing great stories with you, I will cherish these memories and learning experiences for the rest of my life.

Sassy at the beginning of the blog

I will be keeping the blog up at least until June, when my WordPress contract renews, and will keep you updated as to if/when it will go offline. I hope someone else will be able to use the domain name in the future.

Sassy, my husband, and I are all well. Sassy celebrated her tenth birthday last fall and we are so blessed to have her. I started this blog shortly after adopting her, so it only feels right to acknowledge her as I leave it behind.

Sassy a week or so ago

If you want to keep up with Sassy or my future work, I would be humbled if you followed us on Instagram @authorallison.

My professional writing website is allisonshelywriting.com.

Again, thank you for everything.

Bittersweetly Yours,

Allison R. Shely

I Should Be Married by Now

How we spent today

I should be married by now.

After all, the ceremony was set to begin at 3:30, end at 4:30. By now we would be married, have celebrated with cocktails, sat down to dinner. At this very moment we’d probably be dancing.

But we’re not. Because that’s not what the time calls for. Instead we got a strawberry-and-cream cake and drank some champagne at home.

We’ve rescheduled for October, and have plans in place for social distancing, but as long as I get married and get to wear the dress I’ll be happy.

In another timeline, another Allison is having the wedding she planned.

And in that timeline nearly 100, 000 Americans are still alive, as are hundreds of thousands more around the world.

That they are not here with us is the real tragedy of today.

At the end of our times, I pray, another wedding will take place. And the dead will rise; Arlington Cemetery, across the way, will empty; dust will rise up from the streets and form back into towers long-lost.

Then we will have dancing.

Halloween 2019: The Scariest Darn Book I Ever Did Read

Best Tales of Texas Ghosts
Docia Shultz Williams
Republic of Texas Press
1998

Night. South Texas. A La Quinta hotel room. Circa 2007.

I have never been so terrified of the ceiling. My mother and sister are sleeping in the room, but that doesn’t comfort this twelve-year-old at all. A streetlight shines through the cracks in the curtain, reflecting a pale pool of light onto the ceiling. Shadows lurk at the edges of the pool, draping down to cover the bathroom door.

And it’s all my fault.

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DC Noir, #1

Train door at the Pentagon station opens. On the platform are a man in uniform–a Marine– and a civilian woman. She hops on. He tells her it’s the wrong train. They proceed to debate through the open train door, growing more urgent as departure time approaches.

A Metro worker begins to laugh and points at the electronic signage. The woman relents and gets off.

It is quiet on the train, except for the laughter of the Metro man.

My Freelancer Site Is Live!

Hello there!

It’s a time of big changes. I’m moving, looking for a full time job, getting married–and this shake-up has made its way to my blog.

How are you liking the new theme? I think it’s much less distracting.

Don’t worry, all the great true-crime and dark content of this site will keep coming–and more, I hope, as I finally see a light at the end of the tunnel of comps.

I’ve been doing some freelancer work for the last year, and I’ve decided to set up a separate website and blog dedicated to my professional writing and editing.

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9 “Forensic Files” Episodes That Aren’t About Murder

Forensic Files proudly advertises its standing as the longest-running true-crime series on TV. Originally narrated by the magnificent Peter Thomas, the series serves up perfect twenty-minute stories of crime and justice.

But not all the episodes focus on murder, or even crimes. A good portion of the early-season episodes focused on mysteries beyond the scope of human justice.

Below are 9 episodes from Seasons 1, 2, and 3 that actually didn’t feature murder:

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