The Extra Guest: A Titled Story

titled story, unwanted guest, extra guestTina is The New Girl and, according to Thomas – The One to Watch. How she made it on The Guest List is anyone’s guess. Even though Every Note (Tina) Played on the cello is sweeter than summer, more revealing than The Light Through the Leaves, she’s the reason for all of the Anxious People at the wedding.

What makes her so frightening? anxious people, uninvited guest

Unlike others, unlike everyone, actually, Tina has no Tiny Imperfections. She can never be Tina, Lost in a Crowd, because she’s too singular, too stunning, like The Last Fallen Star gracing Earth.

Dream Girl, univited guest, storyWhere did Tina come from? As she plays the cello at the wedding, people whisper, calling her a Golden Girl, a Sunshine Girl, or more irritably, The Nothing Girl.

Tina arrived in town six months ago like People We Meet on Vacation –  she was too unusual, too unlike the residents to remain. She has an air about her, with Stars in (Her) Eyes, more Dream Girl than Cellist, although she does play heavenly. Some say that she’s one of the Tree Fairies that children see Whereabouts in the nearby forest. She’s certainly no President’s Daughter, but for those who still Believed in Mermaids, Tina puts them in a State of Terror.  What if, in the Dead of Winter, wee folk and goblins and even The Ferryman’s stories of the Sea Witch are true? memoir, creative writing

Thomas, the groom, scoffs at these misgivings. He views Tina as an example of Beautiful Things that exist in our world. Life Is Like a Mosaic,” he whispers to his best man Caleb as they wait near the church altar. Tina plays her cello and the bride, Sarah, waltzes down the aisle toward him. The Space Between Us is narrower than you might expect,” Thomas adds.

romance, creative writingCaleb eyes his friend worriedly. In Five Years Caleb has watched his boyhood buddy change from party-boy with a Beginner’s Mind to a quiet, introverted philosopher.

I Thought You Said This Would Work,” Caleb whispers to Thomas, then reminds himself silently that The Last Thing (Thomas) Told Me was that he was still on a search to Find(ing) Freedom. books, reading in 2021, finding freedom

Oh no! Caleb tries to hold Thomas back now, but the groom escapes and trots toward Tina and away from his bride.

cracked mirror, memoirThe Magic of Found Objects is like The Cracked Mirror,” Thomas states to Tina in a firm clear voice.

The cello stops playing, Sarah the bride stops mid-stride halfway down the aisle, fear in her eyes. “Thomas, I’ll Meet You in the Middle!” Sarah  pleads.

But Flashes of Life spark from Thomas’ entire being. He takes Tina’s hand and pulls her up from her cello chair. He can feel The Madness of Crowds around the two of them, but he doesn’t care. “This is Happiness,” he claims. “Before you’re Gone with the Wind, take me with you, Tina. We’ll be a Party of Two, in A Promised Land of possibilities.”gone with the wind, romance, historical fiction

“He’s bewitched!” the crowd murmurs, and they leave the pews to circle Sarah the bride, beginning The Art of Mending.

poetry, poemsBeneath a Scarlet Sky, Thomas and Tina disappear, leaving Slivers of heartbreak and hope, never to be seen again.

In order of appearance;

The New Girl, Daniel Silva

One to Watch, Kate Stayman-London

The Guest List, Lucy Foley

Every Note Played, Lisa Genova

The Light Through the Leaves: A Novel, Glendy Vanderah

Anxious People, Fredrik Backman

Tiny Imperfections, Alli Frank

Tina Lost in a Crowd, Miriam Hurdle

The Last Fallen Star, Graci Kim

Golden Girl, Elin Hilderbrand

Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life,  Julianna Margulies

The Nothing Girl, Jodi Taylor (audible)

People We Meet on Vacation, Emily Henry

Stars in Our Eyes, Lee Darby

Dream Girl, Laura Lippman

The Cellist (Gabriel Allon, #21), Daniel Silva

Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories, D.L. Finn

Whereabouts,, Jhumpa Lahiri

The President’s Daughter, Bill Clinton, James Patterson

When We Believed in Mermaids, Barbara O’Neal

State of Terror, Hillary Clinton, Louise Penney

Dead of Winter, Journey 1-12, Teagan Riordain Geneviene

The Ferryman and the Sea Witch, D.W. Peach

Beautiful Things, Hunter Biden

Life is like a Mosaic: Random fragments in harmony, Sally Cronin

The Space Between Us, Thrity Umrigar

In Five Years, Rebecca Serle

Beginner’s Mind, Yo-Yo Ma (audible)

I Thought You Said This Would Work, Ann Garvin (audible)

The Last Thing He Told Me, Laura Dave

Finding Freedom, Erin French

The Magic of Found Objects, Maddie Dawson

The Cracked Mirror, Reflections of an Appalachian Son, Billy Ray Chitwood

Meet You in the Middle, Devon Daniels

Flashes of Life, Pamela S. Wight

The Madness of Crowds, Louise Penny

This Is Happiness, Niall Williams

Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell (audibles)

Party of Two, Jasmine Guillory

A Promised Land, Barack Obama (audible)

The Art of Mending, Elizabeth Berg

Beneath a Scarlet Sky, Mark Sullivan

Slivers: Chiseled Poetry, Balroop Singh

For the titles of all 94 books I read in 2021, please visit my 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge. . I hope you enjoyed this story, created from my reading list. Here’s to more wonderful reading in 2022!


111 thoughts on “The Extra Guest: A Titled Story

  1. Very clever, Pam, and an interesting list.
    I was sad to read the recent poll about how few books most Americans read–some did not read even one book. I remember last year when you did your list, I thought I’d keep track of my books read. . .but somehow I didn’t. 😀

    Liked by 5 people

    • I wish I could have included all 94 titles in my story because one of your books is in my good reads 94 list and several other bloggers’ books. But then the story would’ve been too long and no one would’ve read it! 🤔😆

      Liked by 1 person

    • I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that I amaze you, Darlene! Because you and your Amanda books and your ability to promote them always amazes me. 💓 Yes, I read some fascinating novels in 2021 and am better for each one. Books just fill up our mind and help it expand.


  2. I am so glad you decided to do this again, this year. You, of course, realise we shall not expect a yearly story, sharing the books you read! I read all of two on your list! Sheesh… 94. I made it to 19. 😦 Working on improving this year.

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  3. This is a carefully rendered list which inspired Flashes of Light in my mind. Miriam (Hurdle) will be happy to see Tina named as a main character. Sally Cronin’s work is also worth reading, including Life is Like a Mosaic. I could go on. . . . What a clever way to promote indie authors and bloggers and creatively present your 2021 list.

    I didn’t like Anxious People on Netflix, so I’m probably not going to read the print version. I DO like how you change your banner. Pam, a Pretty Amazing woMan! 😀

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    • I loved using the name TINA as the main (and secretive) character of this story. I wish I could have used other Indie titles of books I’ve read, but the story was the generator.
      Now, I purposely did not watch Anxious People on TV because as you know, the movie is generally not as good as the book. Backman stories include quirky characters who I usually end up loving by the end of the story. But the reader has to put up with their quirks and foibles for a while. Anxious People was a really good read – but at first I wasn’t sure. I’m so glad I stayed with it! 🙂
      Finally, (I’m wordy today!) thanks for noticiig my banner. Yes, that’s our resident male cardinal on there – he brings his entire family to our suet feeder, and they are all gorgeous against the snow. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That was amazing, Pam. I can’t believe you fit so many in there, and actually crafted a coherent story! Lol What a feat! And I’m tickled that the Ferryman is among them. Congrats to all the authors on your 2021 list. Here’s to a wonderful 2022 of books. 🙂

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    • I SO wanted to get your Sea Witch in there, and am thankful to the superstitious town folk in the story helping me do this. 🙂 Yes, here’s to our 2022 reads ahead – what a wonderful treat to look forward to. Will one of them include a new D.W. Peach book?????

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hope it will, Pam. I plan to release another stand alone this summer. 🙂 Not writing much this January, but February and March are lookin’ good. Thanks for fitting the Ferryman into your story. 😀 Happy Reading!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Grinning is always good. Tina in this story is much different than Miriam’s Tina, but I was thrilled to use the name. I must admit, this was NOT an easy task, using titles to move the story along. But a great challenge (and for me, more fun than a jigsaw puzzle). 🙂

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    • Actually, sometimes I’m worried people will think I’M a slug because I read so much. I’m fortunate to be a very fast reader, and honestly, a day is not a good day if I don’t find time to read. I enjoyed each and every one of these books listed here (and more in my Goodreads link). Fiction. Non-fiction. Memoir. Suspense. Literary. Romance. Fantasy. The only thing missing is the horror genre. Nope, not for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a creative way to string all the beads into a shiny necklace, Pam! I loved it. You read 94 books, almost 2 books a week, in 2021! That’s terrific! I’m on cloud 9 being in your Hall of Fame among all the talents! Happy Reading!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I always forget about the books I have read so this year, I’m going to actually make the list. I guarantee you I won’t list them in such a creative way as you did here. I have already bought 2 of the books on your list here. I didn’t know Fredrik Backman had another new book out. I’ve read a couple of them already. Of course, I loved reading your books. I couldn’t put them down either. I’m going to hang onto this list just in case I run out of reading material. 😉 Hugs my friend. Note to follow.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good for you, Marlene. I find that keeping a list on my computer and writing down a title as soon as I finish the book, helps me keep them in order. And helps me remember what I’ve read. Once I see a title, I immediately remember everything about the character(s) and plot. I recommend Backman’s Anxious People – a little different in the beginning (as his books tend to be) but worth the wait as you find out the story about each character throughout the book. Thinking of you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Clever way to share the books you read this past year. I will say my favorite on your list was Beneath the Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan! His latest book Big Green Valley is good. And I received State of Terror for Christmas and look forward to reading it. I read so many MG and YA books that I have time carving out my own reading. Kristin Hannah is my favorite author. I gave up posting my reviews and books on Good Reads.

    Liked by 2 people

    • One of my writing students (elderly) recommended Beneath the Scarlet Sky and both my guy and I read it with pleasure. I didn’t know about Big Green Valley so will check that out. Thanks. State of Terror was a terrific page-turner but frightening as well. I also love Kristin Hannah books. And thanks to my grandson (and your recommendations) I’m enjoying more MG and YA books now too! A plethora of riches. ❤


  8. That’s quite a list! The only one I also read in 2021 was Anxious People (which I loved). Your list reminds me that I need to start keeping track of what I read. If I get the book from the library, they have a record and, of course, anything on Kindle is still there. But other books? Lost in the ethers.

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    • I know – that’s why I created a file on my computer, BOOKS, and a file under that for each year. It’s fun to go back and remember books by their titles. My three ways of reading books are hard/paperback (from the library), e-books (mostly from the library also) and Audibles. ❤

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  9. Beautiful, beautiful! I love the way you creatively do this. Whenever I read a list like yours, I swear this should happen here, too. But it doesn’t. Alas. So I will keep enjoying these lists and perhaps getting ideas on books to read!

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  10. Just wow Pam. That’s a lot of reading. And I’m intrigued with your reviews. The presentation was fantastic. And, about Anxious People – I have the book and haven’t read yet. I began watching the limited series made from the book on Netflix, I just couldn’t get passed the first episode. With thousands of amazing reviews, I’m afraid another great book was shredded in the TV version. Hugs xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly, Deb. I’ve heard many got turned off about reading Anxious People because they didn’t like the TV version (which I didn’t watch for this very reason). The book? Excellent. This author is quirky as are the characters, and as with his other books, I found it was worth the slow beginning to see how all intertwined. Thanks for sharing on Twitter and thanks for your compliment – appreciated!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Pam, you’ve got such a wonderful gift for storytelling … and then to weave in the titles of many of your read books is genuis! There is pure magic in the tale and your writing, my friend! I’ve enjoyed many of these books and as well as new ones I wish to read … that TBR pile will definitely take over the world! As a huge fan of Backman books I really liked his ‘Anxious People’ and also just finished watching the Swedish mini-series on Netflix which was very well done!

    Here’s to a very happy year of Reading and look forward to your round-up of all your books this time next year! hugs xx ❤️

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    • Laughing at your “that TBR pile will definitely take over the world.” Tee hee. I’m going to take on Diana Peach’s challenge and create a poem on this very subject. Heads up on Friday. As both you and I know, storytelling IS pure magic. ❤

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  12. Ahhh, Pam – you are so clever! Looked at your entire book list, and we really do have similar tastes. Just starting The Midnight Library, just returned Apples Never Fall halfway through because she was taking soooooo long to get somewhere, and any number of others. OK, tell me … of all you read last year, tell me one book that was a really good mystery, well-written, and kept you on the edge of your seat? I’ll make it my next. 😊

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    • Louise Penny’s A Madness of Crowds comes to mind. Each of her mysteries (with the same characters, readers need to start with the first one, Still Life) is extremely well-written, a page turner, and includes insight into human beings. I adore her writing and her characters.

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      • Louise Penny is always on my list – another book (series) we share. I’ve been working my way through from the beginning for a few years. I just finished All the Devils Are here a few weeks ago, and will likely get to A Madness of Crowds in a few months. I totally agree with you.

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  13. Such a great post Pam and so impressive! I’m feeling the pain of trying to get all to list them all. It’s so impressive that you not only have read and made reviews but you can access the account. Loved how you blended three tails into one for a great read ❤️

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  14. Wonderful list but maybe a little more poetry? Last year I challenged myself 50 and read 84, so for 2022 I challenged myself to 75. I don’t want to get carried away ;). Your book was one of the 2021! 🙂

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  15. Hola from the Philippines, fellow bookworm! I started to make reading a habit this 2022 and I stumbled upon this post when I was searching for books to be included in my list. i must say, this post is a very creative way to present wrap-ups and book lists and I am so impressed and inspired by this! Also, I have read Anxious People and I have always loved Fredrik Backman. I’m following your posts from now on! 🙂

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    • Thanks so much, Sherr. I’m glad you found me. Each time after I read a book, I type in the title in a file (for each year) so I’ll remember them all. This also helped me create the “story from the titles” post. So glad you enjoyed. I’m hopping over to read your blog. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

    • PS. Beautiful blog. I tried to leave a comment in the post about vulnerability and creativity, but it wouldn’t post. Here’s what I said: “I absolutely agree that we must be willing to be vulnerable to be creative. This is a wonderful post. I like the glass raindrops the best. In my creative writing classes I teach my students that they must be totally honest in their writing, to not think about “what they can or should write,” but to just “let it out.” Oh yes, that makes us quite vulnerable. But that’s when the best writing occurs.”

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