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The Revealing of Carey Goldberg, Beth Jones and Pamela Ferdinand

May 27, 2010 By: larramiefg Category: Profiles


Successful journalists — Carey Goldberg, Pamela Ferdinand, and Beth Jones (pictured left to right) — are the co-authors of Three Wishes: A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on Our Way to Love & Motherhood.

This collaborative memoir is the uplifting true story of three best friends who transformed their lives by taking motherhood into their own hands. And these glowing reviews explain more:

“…like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for adults. Lots of women out there will want to read this book.” (Library Journal, Barbara Hoffert)

“The book is a riveting account of their journey to motherhood, which takes some unexpected twists and turns…” (Ladies’ Home Journal)

“This true story is a love story—but not a typical one….Though the idea that the “magical” sperm holds the power to transform each woman’s life is a little far-fetched (and the authors do acknowledge this), the book’s message is pretty good: when you decide to pursue your dreams, good things will find a way of happening.” (Woman’s Day)

“Three Wishes…is an incredibly wise, witty and powerful memoir written by three brave and accomplished women who had the desire to be mothers—each one, on her own terms. On their shared journey to becoming mothers, they forged an incredible sisterhood that speaks to the importance of friendship in women’s lives and shows how empowering friends can be.” (Irene Levine, The Huffington Post and Psychology Today)

The Divining Wand has scheduled a presentation/review of Three Wishes (could there be a more appropriate book and title featured on this site?) for Monday, June 14, 2010 but today let’s meet the authors through their “official” bios:

Carey Goldberg has been the Boston bureau chief of the New York Times, Moscow correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, and most recently a health and science reporter at the Boston Globe. She now writes happily at home.

Beth Jones is a freelance writer and educator who has contributed to the Boston Globe, the New York Times, and numerous academic journals. She plans to climb many more frozen waterfalls.

Pamela Ferdinand is an award-winning freelance journalist and former reporter for the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and Miami Herald. She remains an incorrigible romantic.

And now it’s a pleasure to learn more about each one in the revealing Q&A:

Q: How would you describe your life in 8 words?

A: Pamela: A beautiful adventure and unpredictable work-in-progress.

Carey: Full, and fascinating — at least to me.

Beth: Simultaneously predictable and spontaneous, which is great.

Q: What is your motto or maxim?

A: Pamela: Do what you love, and everything else follows.

Carey: The currency of love is time.

Beth: Keep your eyes open, there’s a lot to see.

Q: How would you describe perfect happiness?

A: Pamela: Simplicity. Being in my fiance’s arms. Holding my daughter in mine.

Carey: Attainable only in brief moments.

Beth: Being outside with family and friends on a 74 degree day while the rest of the world is at peace, too.

Q: What’s your greatest fear?

A: Pamela: Losing someone I love. Or being lost to them.

Carey: Harm to my children.

Beth: Danger or harm to my child.

Q: If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A: Pamela: Hiking in New Zealand.

Carey: In an alpine forest.

Beth: It’s Saturday morning, my son’s in the bathtub, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, I can hear birds and we’re going to go hang signs for a yard sale. Right here is fine. Somewhere in Yosemite would be great, too.

Q: With whom in history do you most identify?

A: Pamela: Explorers and female writers, including Rebecca West for some things: her intellectual curiosity, love of travel, writing, and independence. (But not for other things, including her troubled relationship with her son.)

Carey: Women; refugees; writers.

Beth: My grandmother, who knew that we often need to fight for what we want, but that grace can be a part of our struggles.

Q: Which living person do you most admire?

A: Pamela: Anyone who helps someone in need without being asked.

Carey: My dad.

Beth: An San Su Kyi

Q: What are your most overused words or phrases?

A: Pamela: Lately, “What do you say?” to my toddler as we encourage her to say “Please” and “Thank you”

Carey: “Lovely”

Beth: “Cool.” “What?”

Q: If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A: Pamela: To sing. On key.

Carey: Math.

Beth: Singing well.

Q: What is your greatest achievement?

A: Pamela: My daughter, though her achievements will be hers alone.

Carey: My whole written oeuvre and, to the extent it can be called my achievement, my family.

Beth: Optimism.

Q: What’s your greatest flaw?

A: Pamela: Impatience, impatience, impatience.

Carey: Impatience? Laziness? There are so many to choose from!

Beth: Envy.

Q: What’s your best quality?

A: Pamela: Maybe that I wouldn’t say I have a “best” anything.

Carey: Perhaps some kind of emotional fluency?

Beth: Humor.

Q: What do you regret most?

A: Pamela: That I didn’t find Mark earlier.

Carey: Not having more time with my mother.

Beth: Losing my temper.

Q: If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A: Pamela: Anything in my daughter’s orbit.

Carey: A blossoming tree.

Beth: A superhero who could help save the world and stop big businesses like BP from doing such stupid things.

Q: What trait is most noticeable about you?

A: Pamela: My laugh has been compared to a pig hunting for truffles.

Carey: Frequent smiling?

Beth: Independence.

Q: Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A: Pamela: Curious George, at the moment

Carey: Meg in a “Wrinkle in Time”

Beth: Elizabeth Bennett, “Pride and Prejudice”

Q: Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A: Pamela: The Wicked Witch of the West

Carey: “It” in a “Wrinkle in Time”

Beth: George Hustwood from “Sister Carrie”

Q: If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A: Pamela: Olga Korbut. “What is your most treasured memory as a young gymnast?”

Carey: I just don’t speak Sports!

Beth: Billy Jean King. “How did it feel when you knew you’d beaten Bobby Riggs?”

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?

A: Pamela: In the small picture, people who toss cigarette butts out of car windows. In the big picture, a lack of generosity of spirit.

Carey: Gratuitous meanness in any context.

Beth: Mean people.

Q:What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A: Pamela: Being a mom, potter, and traveler.

Carey: Exploring in any form.

Beth: My old job, teaching stress resiliency to kids and teachers.

Q: What’s your fantasy profession?

A: Pamela: Author. This is it.

Carey: I wish I could wave a wand and be great at Information Technology.

Beth: Being a writer who knows that millions of people will read what I write, and while my writing will elicit controversy, it will always be enjoyed.

Q: What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A: Pamela: Integrity, compassion, and an open heart.

Carey: (no answer)

Beth: Honesty, humor, deep ability to love.

Q: If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A: Pamela: Depends — either fresh fruit or coffee ice cream.

Carey: Salad (really! but with yummy dressings…)

Beth: Fruit and vegetable salad

Q: What are your 5 favorite songs?

A: Pamela: This is nearly impossible for me. I live in the city with the world’s greatest radio station – WXRT – and began in radio myself. I love music as much as books. But forced to answer, my favorite songs would include:
1. Boston: Peace of Mind
2. Rickie Lee Jones: We Belong Together
3. David Bowie: Life on Mars?
4. Billy Joel: Summer Highland Falls
5. New Order: True Faith
(runner-ups: Chaka Khan “Ain’t Nobody”; Dire Straits “Telegraph Road”; Bruce Springsteen “The River”; Rolling Stones “Beast of Burden”; Tom Petty “American Girl”; and Tori Amos “A Sorta Fairytale”; The Who “Baba O’Riley”)

Carey:
1. “You Me and the Bourgeoisie” by the Submarines
2. “Feeling Groovy” by Big Jim’s Ego
3. “Who Knows Where The Times Goes” by Judy Collins
4. “Falling Slowly” from the movie “Once”

Beth:
“Space Oddity” by David Bowie
O-o-h Child by The Five Stairsteps
“Good Day Sunshine” by The Beatles

Q: What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

A: Pamela: I hate to play favorites, but some of the books I keep going back to are:
“Romeo & Juliet” by William Shakespeare
“The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien
“Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of NIMH” by Robert C. O’Brien
“The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” by Michael Chabon
“The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke”

Carey: Too hard!! But I’m in the phase of rereading old favorites to my children, and have recently discovered or rediscovered:

“The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster
“James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl
“A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle
and the newer “If I Reach You” by Rebecca Stead.

Beth:
“Sister Carrie” by Theodore Dreiser
“Of Men and Fire” by Norman Maclean
“Busy, Busy World” by Richard Scarry
“Love Poems” by Pablo Neruda
“Collected Poems” by James Wright

To learn more about Three Wishes and its authors, please visit the book’s website. Also, for current news regarding these three friends, please follow Pamela on Twitter and become a friend on Facebook.

* * * * *

Announcement: The winner of Barrie Summy’s I So Don’t Do Makeup is Julie@my5monkeys.

AND

Colleen Turner is the winner of Emily Winslows’s The Whole World.

Congratulations! Please email: diviningwand (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address, and the book(s) will be sent out as soon as possible

2 Comments to “The Revealing of Carey Goldberg, Beth Jones and Pamela Ferdinand”


  1. I read the NY Times articles about this book (and the three authors) this past weekend. I was very intrigued. And even more so now!

    1
  2. Colleen Turner says:

    This story is amazing! I saw their interview on the Today show and I am just totally in awe of their story..what a wonderful bond they must have now!
    Also, yeah I won! What a great birthday surprise! I will email my address now.

    2


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