Salt Creek Road
FAMILY MEMOIR HISTORICAL FICTION BIOGRAPHICAL
LETTING ONE'S SELF BECOME FREE OF ONE'S UPBRINGING.
1960s & '70s,20th Century (multiple decades)
HONEY JO: CHILD-40S. ADVENTUROUS, COMPASSIONATE, OUTGOING, STUBBORN, ASPIRATIONAL.
SOPHIA; CHILD-60S. HONEY JO'S WILD MOM WHO DRAGS HER FROM ONE BAD SITUATION WITH MEN TO THE NEXT.
MARYLIN: CHILD-40S. HONEY JO'S ATTRACTIVE OLDER SISTER WHOM SHE TEASES AS A CHILD.
JOSEPH: 20S-50S. HONEY JO'S FATHER WHO TEACHES HER ABOUT BEING DRIVEN AND STICKING TO YOUR DECISIONS.
ALEXANDRA: 30S. HONEY JO'S SISTER WHOM HER MOTHER GAVE UP FOR ADOPTION WHEN SHE WAS A BABY.
AUNT PEGGY: 20S-40. HONEY JO'S AUNT WHO IS JUDGEMENTAL OF HER SISTER BUT HELPFUL IN TIMES OF NEED.
A one night stand leaves Sophia pregnant in the 1960's. She hides the pregnancy from her father with the help of an up and coming downtown attorney who promises the child is going to be adopted by a very wealthy Christian couple who cant have children. The truth is revealed 30 years later!
Target Gender: Female Leaning,Universal
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: self-published
Publisher: SaltCreek Productions LLC
Year Published: 2020
I am taking care of my cantankerous disabled mother when I experience a miraculous event that allows forgiveness to heal the scars of our dysfunctional upbringing. I am shown my mothers life, and the hardships she endured including having to give a child up for adoption after moving back home.
The child my mother had to give up finds us through a miraculous series of events. She reveals the fact that she was adopted for the Savannah attorneys life long mistress. I notice how generational conditioning happens, and vow to live my own truth. Hearts are healed, lives are changed. Freedom.
Information not completed
Hard Copy Available
Mature Audience Themes
Plot - Other Elements
Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions,Twist,Happy Ending
Plot - Premise
Voyage and Return,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest
Main Character Details
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aggressive,Charming,Seductive,Romantic,Outspoken,Sexy,Naive,Engaging
Additional Character Details
Name: Honey Jo
Key Traits: Adventurous,Desperate,Uneducated,Funny,Secretive,Visionary,Aspiring
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Charming,Confident,Decisive,Heartthrob,Sexy,Uneducated,Seductive,Sophisticated,Unapologetic
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Aspiring,Charming,Confident,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Educated,Leader,Religious,Selfless,Gracious,Honorable
I had no idea this was going to be the book I would write when I sat down with pen and paper. It seemed to be there waiting for me to show up. As the scenes played like a movie, they came to life on the pages in front of me. It is a compelling story that takes place in the 1960's of a beautiful young naive southern lady who believes has to make a choice to give a child up for adoption to protect the relationship she has with her adored father. The trauma she suffers continues to haunt her as she bounces from marriage to marriage creating more and more dysfunction along the way. Until she receives a call from the child she gave up who was able to find her through a series of events that can only be described as miraculous! Old wounds are healed, major life changes occur and the secret of who really got the child is revealed. The attorney who pretended to be handling the adoption for a young very wealthy Christian couple who couldn't have children actually gifted the child to his lifelong mistress. He covered his tracks well. The messages in this book reach far beyond the story. I believe it inspires hope. It reveals the gifts of true forgiveness. It demonstrates how we can become empowered by taking responsibility for our own lives, and our decisions. It also demonstrates what happens when and if we don't. I have received countless texts, messages, and phone calls from people who said they were impacted greatly from the story. "I couldn't put it down" is a common review
Honey Jo is born to a tumultuous mother and father. She parties a lot when she's young, then attends massage school which awakens her to spirituality. She forgives herself and everyone else in her life and is able to feel truly free after a lifetime of being under the (often negative) influence of others.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
Yes, it is accurate.
Draw of Story
The characterizations of the lead's family and the portrayal of Southern life for ladies.
No, I didn’t feel like putting the book down.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The drama of a person's childhood in a flawed family.
Probably not. It's small, personal story that is heartfelt and relatable, but not to a very large audience.
Yes, if the adaptation is written very well and the actors do it justice.
Similar Films/TV Series
What’s New About the Story
Although well enough done, there isn't anything in this story that hasn't been done before. Since it's mainly an autobiography, nothing can be changed without fictionalizing.
Honey is a strong female character growing up in a period and place that has been hostile to females who think for themselves.
Uniqueness of Story
No. There aren't enough events with the gravitas to elevate it from other similar stories. There are a lot of depictions of lives but not much is said about the emotional fallout of big events.
Film: Indie, Streaming
WORK IN PROGRESS
There just isn't enough gravitas in the journeys of these characters.
Tips for Improvement
A rewrite that depicts more of the emotional fallout of characters' decisions and their consequences.
Honey Jo's mother Sophia was born in the south when women were deemed inferior to men. She gives up a baby for adoption and regrets it until they are reunited 33 years later. Honey Jo is eventually able to forgive her mother's poor treatment which gave them lives of instability.
What We Liked
An upbringing with unstable parents is relatable to a lot of people. The interesting part is how the children cope and deal in life without good role models. Some kids do down dark paths, but in this story the main character is able to finally come into her own as an adult - and forgive those who made mistakes and, more importantly, forgive herself.
Broken families are attractive to film goers. It allows them to feel better about their own family's dysfunctions. There is plenty of dysfunction in this family to keep movie goers in their seats. Will Honey Jo succeed in life in any way? This is a strong "need to know" in this story because so many different outcomes are possible.
Plucky female characters
Men who fail their women
Children growing up with odds against them
Adults stuck in their ways which causes conflict
Losing a child to adoption - will they ever reunite?
Honey Jo lies in bed and dreams of going to a jewelry store with her boyfriend Tony. He says he’s going to marry her one day. She goes to an office she’s rented to give a massage to a client. The client remembers when they were in second grade together and they were both chunky but Honey Jo laughed and played with abandon. Honey Jo is into self help and new age healing. She drives up to her mother’s house in Springfield, GA. She admires the little house she bought and renovated. Her mother complains about her last nurse whom she fired. This is a pattern. She’s an entitled woman. Honey Jo goes home and takes a bath then gets angry at her mother for her childhood. She was moved around constantly, lived in hotels, had to save her mother from bad men, and never felt safe. She forgives her mother, then recalls when her mother told her she had another child she gave up for adoption. 1965, and her mother is about to give birth. She has her mother Doris watch her other daughter Marylin who’s 18 months old. She’s belligerent through the labor and the doctors keep her for five days to evaluate her mental health. Doris married an equestrian named James and they lived on a ranch and gave riding lessons. They had two kids, Peggy and Roger. After their third child, Sophia, they moved to Savannah. Doris was angry that she left her privileged life to live in a small house and raise three kids. Women were very proper at the time. Roger eventually joined the Navy and Peggy tried to get married to William but her father forbade it since she was only 13. She ends up pregnant by a Navy guy passing through, and marries a different older man, Henry, and names her son Monroe. Henry molests Monroe and they separate and she never sees Henry again. She moves in with her mother, and William proposes again and they get married - but her father still doesn’t like him. Their father is very protective of his daughters and even takes the phone out of the house. Doris grows up to be a beautiful tomboy and her father teaches her to hunt and fish. He also drank, then whipped his children and hit his wife. Sophia was sent to Aunt Peggy’s while Sophia figured out her marriage. Sophia is excited to see Monroe, and her other cousins, Peter, Sarah and David. On her bus ride back home, she meets an advertising executive named Charles who promises to take her out on his birthday. He has to meet her father first but charms them and the date is allowed. The date is a great success, but the family finds out that Charles was married before and has a kid. Her parents secretly take Sophia to the doctor to find out if she’s still a virgin, afraid Charles may have taken advantage of her. Sophia is furious. Although her father forbids it, she marries Charles anyway but he loses his job and they have to move out of Savannah. Sophia and Donna, Charles’ mother, do not get along and Donna flips out when Sophia becomes pregnant. Relatives offer their vacation home to get them away from Donna and they move in, but Charles is constantly travelling and neglects his family. Sophia finds out he never left town and just wasn’t coming home, so she calls her father who comes and picks them up and takes them back to Savannah. She hires an attorney and waits for Charles to call. She finds out he’s moved in his boss’s secretary and Sophia is devastated, so they go to an attorney and sign divorce papers and she heads back home.
Sophia and Marylin go to Texas to visit Peggy. Peggy takes her out dancing and Sophia meets a man named Marcus and they exchange numbers. Sophia and Peggy get into a huge fight over her sister’s behavior with another young man. Peggy tells her she likes to have her fun and Sophia can’t believe she’d run around on her great guy of a husband. Marcus happens to be driving to Savannah the next day so Sophia and Marylin ride with him. She sleeps with Marcus in a hotel. She gets home and finds out she’s pregnant. Terrified her father would find out that she slept with a stranger while still technically married, Sophia decides to give the baby up for adoption. Their lawyer Jacob gets in contact with Marcus in Paris, asking him to return and wed Sophia. Marcus says she could be promiscuous and the baby might not be his. The attorney finds a wealthy Christian family to adopt the baby, and Sophia and Marylin go to live with a woman named Jackie who’s in a similar situation. Jackie is cold, and tells Sophia she’s leaving after she has her child, so Sophia will have to find her own accommodations. Jane, a neighbor and friend, moves Sophia and Marylin into her house.
She gives birth, and then they find out that William was killed in Vietnam. He and Peggy have six kids and it’s very sad. Out at a club, she meets a man named Joseph who insists they meet for coffee. Sophia isn’t ready for another relationship and is coy, but Joseph invites them to a baseball game where he is the umpire and Sophia shows up with a friend and she and Joseph hit it off. Joseph charms her family and they spend a lot of time together and she gets pregnant. They move into a small apartment. They visit Joseph’s family in Minnesota and Sophia finds out that his mother and a girlfriend died when he was young. This made him rebellious. She’s having his baby. She calls Jacob the lawyer to find out how the child is doing whom she gave up for adoption. The child is doing fine, and when Sophia has her own she’s surprised to find out it’s a girl - and names her Honey Josetta.
Joseph gets called to be an umpire in the big leagues and the family is thrilled. He tells Sophia to get a new house in a safe part of Savannah because he’ll be gone a lot. He goes to spring training in Florida and Sophia goes down to visit in her big new Buick. They swim at the hotel pool and enjoy each other’s company. Another time, she takes the kids to Disney World and they have a great time. She tries to call Joseph one night and gets increasingly paranoid because she doesn’t get in touch with him until the next day. He says he had to babysit a drunk colleague all night. When he comes home, she finds his little black book, full of women’s names and a rating system. He tells her it’s only her now but she wonders why he had the book with him. She gets sick from the thought of Joseph running around with other women. He invites her to the Dominican Republic for a month and she has a wonderful time until she realizes he has his black book with him. Back home, he calls her, infuriated that she’s called the hotel so much that they’re kicking him out. She tells him if he was in his hotel in bed instead of with different women there would be no problem. When she picks him up from the airport she says she refuses to be in this type of marriage and says he needs to call everyone in his black book and tell them he’s happily married and won’t be seeing them anymore. He won’t do it. When he leaves to go back on the road, she files for divorce. He signs the papers. She moves in with her parents and calls a lawyer in St. Pete where Joseph is living. She wants more money. She goes down for the hearing and the beautiful judge reduces her child support and winks at Joseph. She’s devastated. He must be sleeping with her too. She gets a few different jobs, then a house where she has a man named Don over all the time which angers the Marylin and Honey Jo. She asks Joseph to send the girls to private school because there’s a lice epidemic at the public school and he agrees, but Honey is forced to repeat the second grade and ends up getting kicked out - since Sophia doesn’t make her go to school enough. Sophia gets fired and she and Honey Jo move into a motel while Marylin stays with her grandparents, who are angry at Sophia’s life choices. Sophia asks Honey if she’d rather live with her father and when she says yes Sophia has a breakdown. Her car gets repossessed when Marylin calls and tells the dealership she’s been fired and is planning on taking the car. They move back in with Sophia’s parents. This makes the kids happy. They have neighbors to play with and their grandparents teach them all sorts of activities. Marylin grows up to be a beauty and Honey teases and tattles on her mercilessly. Mom gets a bartending job, then a nanny job for some record producers on the beach. Marylin is 15 and fed up with their gypsy lifestyle so she moves in with some friends. She wins a lot of beauty contests and becomes a local bikini model. A producer sees her pictures and wants her to call him but her boyfriend won’t allow it. Honey waits tables at a Greek restaurant and uses the money to play a lot of Ms. Pacman. Never having gotten over Joseph, Sophia is upset to find out on TV that he’s getting remarried. She meets a man named Kenny who is nice - until he’s drunk and then becomes violent. They move around a lot. Her grandfather dies and everyone is devastated.
Kenny goes to jail, and her mom sends her to live with the neighbors until she gets things straightened out. Sophia has terrible back pain from a work accident, and they have to rely on Kenny, who moves them down to Georgia for a while. He sets their furniture on fire in the backyard, so Honey and Sophia move back in with Granny Doris. Kenny begs to be back in their lives, claiming to have found religion. They move to Georgia again, and Sophia calls the cops on him because he’s growing pot. Honey’s father Joseph invites her and Marylin to live with him and his wife Carol down in Florida and they’re happy to go. Honey finds Carol to be cool and interesting, and they become friends. Her mom calls crying and asks her to come home. She feels guilty and tells her father. He doesn’t understand why she wants to leave, but lets her go. Mom buys her a horse named Shamrock and a moped. A car hits Sophia on her moped, and her upper leg is ruined and she can’t walk for a while so she’s homeschooled for three months. She gets her license and moves in with an older friend and buys a car with money her mother gives her, and her mother also gives her the $225.00 of child support her father sends every month. Despite a dent left in her leg from the accident, she gets modeling jobs. She gets pregnant, and marries the boy just before she turns 18 because it’s “the right thing to do.” It lasts two years, then she and her daughter Crystal move back in with mom and Kenny. She marries again, bartends, and parties hard with her new husband Harvey. Their baby Amber comes when she’s 22.
Her father gets picked to umpire the World Series, and Honey goes and parties all week. He suggests that she goes to massage school, and she finds one in Florida and enrolls. She gets friends to watch her kids while she’s there four days a week. She skips an exam after being up all night trying to get in touch with Harvey, and her father goes ballistic on her. He tells her one always has to show up, no matter what - and she’s cut off and can go back to Georgia. She tells him she’ll move out and pay for school herself somehow, but she’s not quitting. He lets her stay after that. Massage school was the best decision she ever made, and it introduces her to new age spirituality. After giving a massage to a co-worker, where she was thinking about cleaning the house the whole time, her co-worker comes back the next day and says she cleaned her entire house and didn’t know why. Honey Jo thinks this is the universe working and tells herself to keep her mind off things while massaging people. She gets a job at a high-end Aveda spa. She makes more money than she ever did. She moves back in with Carol and Joseph, then back to Georgia where her dad co-signs a mortgage. She finally has a home for her and the kids that she can call her own. Her mom and Kenny buy a place that turns into a farm with horses and goats and a lake in back. Kenny builds things for the kids to play on. Sophia develops another ailment and gives up on writing and painting. One day the phone rings - it’s the daughter Sophia put up for adoption 33 years ago. She is completely overjoyed. Her daughter Alexandra lives in Texas with her husband and three kids and works with special needs children. She’d signed up for a registry for adopted children who were looking for their real parents, and just when she’d given up, she got an email from a person who does this as a hobby. Alexandra gets Peggy’s number and calls, but Peggy gives her a litany of reasons why she shouldn’t contact Sophia, including calling her a hopeless alcoholic. Alexandra says she doesn’t care and calls Sophia. It turns out that she was never adopted by a good Christian couple. Her attorney Jacob kept the baby - and gave it to his mistress named Heather. When Jacob died, Heather moved herself and Alexandra out of Georgia because she was afraid Sophia would find out and take Alexandra away. Sophia tells her about her real father Marcus and Alexandra wants to call him. Honey, Sophia, Marylin and a friend of Sophia’s go to the airport to meet Alexandra when she flies in from Texas. They are overjoyed to have finally met. Sophia feels an emptiness in her has been filled. Sophia finally leaves Kenny.
Honey Jo lists all of the negative things she was brought up to believe, many things which women of her generation internalized. She says the one thing you should think when making a decision is: will this make me feel good about who I am? If the answer is no, then don’t do it, don’t say it and don’t think about it. She delves into therapy and self-help books and learns not to believe in what she was programmed to think. Her last marriage ends in 2002. In 2012, she stands on a beach in a wedding gown and makes her own vows - to herself - then plunges into the water.