Cedar Woods has posted this video with his ideas for how to adapt Primal Tears for the screen. I think he has some great ideas. OK all you movie producers, get on board now!
Cedar Woods has posted this video with his ideas for how to adapt Primal Tears for the screen. I think he has some great ideas. OK all you movie producers, get on board now!
Last fall at my old alma mater Chico State, Professor Sarah Pike used Primal Tears as required reading for her course in Religious Studies.
RELS 482/HUMN 400
Animals and Religion
Instructor: Sarah Pike
Required Texts: Kelpie Wilson, Primal Tears
Linda Hogan and Brenda Peterson, Sightings: The Gray Whales’ Mysterious Journey
Gee, next thing you know they'll start calling Primal Tears "The Good Book"!!!
Hi, Kelpie. I’ve been wanting to read your book since it came out, and got it given to me as a Christmas present, and then devoured it. It’s a nice book! It was far from intuitively obvious to me how you were going to take the premise and make it not seem too contrived; I think the plot flows elegantly, and thus you really have the opportunity to talk about issues and your readers can hear you and ponder along. Thank you.
I was particularly intrigued about your including the rainbow serpent story, about which I’ve wondered about what sort of connection there could be to the Chinese and Mexican feathered serpent tails. Who knows, but below is a poem that came to me not to long ago. And I’ve attached a little write-up that I keep playing with, about how we could re-sacralize our neighborhoods, our regions, largely using inspiration from Australian Aborigine explanations.
I’m feeling tired, not like writing much, just now, so I thought I’d send this brief note, and hopefully a bit more later.
Every grimy little scrubby mundane
stretch of country, gravel desert,
Shows the corrugated purple long view, but then
The precious diamantine jewels of the sand too,
laced with silver-grey filigreed leaves.
This must suffice, for the middle is not there…
…Unless we see it, see into it, see in it, the rainbow serpent:
Her body and her dreams,
the rocks, undulating (oh so slowly) and
Reeling out, budding,
bubble streams and droplets of colored stories.
Myths to make the blood rich and
the monkey mind hum contentedly,
Right and left, right and left,
casting couplets for footfalls,
Dancing up the ground, singing up the country.
My goodness, but she’s big.
Her massive ribbons of scaled flesh rise and swivel and swish.
I see it, I see how she moves,
the sunlight glinting off her rocky skin.
I stand, on this entire hill,
merely a protruberance of her vertebrae.
The Earth not as stage,
but we as minute insects upon her, running this way and that.
In the deluded grandeur
of our wildest fantasies,
We tickle her, as we reel ’round the trunks of trees,
Playfully running our lovers to ground,
nipping and tucking amidst her feathers,
the long plumes of her sequoias,
the soft down of her willows.
And what must she,
the great serpent,
Think of our rumbling throbbing roads, our straight steel lines, our eruptions on her skin,
The hard crystalline scale of our concrete and glass cities?
Our political divisions slapped on her like impromptu faddish tattoos?
It is reassuring to know her song
was only forgotten just the other day.
Maybe my friends and I can remember bits of it.
Sing the song of songs,
the lover’s litany of praise for her translucent skin
her shapely curves, her downy softness, her old stories,
Her raging red eyes.
Primal Tears: The graphic novel
Here are the first few pages of the graphic novel illustrated by Grace Roselli:
Primal Tears, the graphic novel, is searching for a publisher
Primal Tears, the novel, was published in 2005.
Primal Tears is the story of Sage, born to a young woman who has volunteered to be a surrogate mother for an endangered bonobo chimpanzee. The process goes awry, and Sage, a lovable youngster, is neither completely one species nor the other. When her existence becomes public knowledge, she needs all the best characteristics of both species to find a place for herself in our human-dominated world.
Book Info: Frog/North Atlantic Books, 2005, $13.95
“PRIMAL TEARS is a high-concept exciting adventure story.... I liked it. It is well written…. I am altogether impressed.”
“PRIMAL TEARS is primal storytelling, thoughtful and passionate. Kelpie Wilson wonderfully expands our definitions of human and family.”
"What a great book! I loved it, and found it to be totally enthralling. As I read, I felt drawn deeper and deeper into a primal sense of hope. Not a naive hope, not wishful thinking, but a hope arising out of a sense of the immensity of human evolution and the profundity of out interconnectedness with all of life. I hope everyone on our dear and endangered Earth reads this book."
"PRIMAL TEARS is a novel of tremendous power. Passionate and erotic, at times tenderly lyrical, it confronts head-on, without flinching, brutal environmental and feminist politics. Its protagonist, Sage, is unique, magical, and haunting."
"Kelpie Wilson’s PRIMAL TEARS has rounded, memorable characters, evocative descriptions, lively dialogue, an exciting plot, … and an understated, evenhanded wit that is very engaging. … It is a clear-eyed, courageous look at some of the most denied and neglected threats to the biosphere and the place of humans in it."
Primal Tears Reviews
Are We? Kelpie Wilson's Primal Tears Offers One Response
"Not long after 9/11, I found I had a sudden intense hunger to know what was irreducibly human, to know exactly what we are, described with the precision, detail and accuracy of science. My archaeologist husband suggested lists of anthropology texts. My colleague, Truthout Environment Editor Kelpie Wilson, sent me to Steven Mithin's wonderful "After the Ice." But for all these books' inherent interest, I did not find any answers there. On vacation this summer, I reread Kelpie's intriguing first novel, "Primal Tears." While Wilson also does not offer "answers" to the what-is-a-human question, she takes her readers down a suggestive and intriguing line of inquiry."
-- Leslie Thatcher, Truthout
“This is a book that deals with serious issues and is unwavering in all of its explorations. Top-notch near-future ecological speculation”
-- John Joseph Adams, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show
storytelling talent really shines in this first novel...the main character
will feel like a good friend by the time you finish the book. And
you'll finish it fast—she has written a real page-turner...
In addition to raising some serious issues, she has permeated the
book with spirit and hope, particularly in the person of the main
character, Sage, whose sweetness is like hope itself.”
-- Karen Wood-Campbell, amazon.com reviewer
Anneli Rufus writes in the East Bay Express:
Bonobos are the beasts du jour. Social critics laud them for having so much sex, some of it bi, much of it face to face, and for being a female-dominant species whose males would rather boink than fight. It's not the boinking that matters most to Wilson. "The big news about bonobos is not the sex but their peacefulness. People crave peace and bonobos show us how one peaceful primate society is organized. Human aggression is destroying the planet. Bonobos are a brand-new story."
Date: Thu, 10 May 2007 01:27:18 -0400
Dear Kelpie Wilson,
I am a highly dedicated fan of your book Primal Tears. Sage is one of my favorite fictional female characters of all time. Sometimes I feel frustrated by the fact that Sage isn’t a real person. I admit I have a bit of a crush on her.
I wanted to ask you some questions.
1. Would you consider setting up a Primal Tears Fan Fiction page on your website?
2. Do you have any plans in mind for a sequel?
3. Would you enjoy seeing Primal Tears turned into a movie?
4. Will you be putting out a Primal Tears audio book?
I had some ideas about the sequel and the movie that I wanted to share.
A .THE SEQUEL: I refer to Primal Tears 2, as ‘The Blood of Trees.’ This is a reference in part to Sage’s line “The blood we share is the blood of trees” and also to a scene in the imagined sequel, in which Sage makes a blood oath to a tree, after returning from a conference in Washington D.C to discover that a large portion of her mountain home has been burned down. Sage smears some of her blood on a tree stump, and vows that she will bring it justice.
1. Sage meets a young lesbian named Tanya, who works at a rape crises clinic, and is the daughter of conservative Catholics. There are hints of romance tossed about, but it takes a little while for them to actually become lovers, due to Sage’s unfortunate experience with Virgo Jane and Tanya’s fear of upsetting her parents any further. Tanya is shy when it comes to relationships, but overcomes her shyness at work.
2. Carver leaves his medicine practice to pursue a career in animal rescue, after he finds an abandoned kitten, and drives it to the vet, only to discover that it will not make it. This idea was inspired by the fact that my niece and nephew are big fans of the Animal Cops shows on Animal Planet.
3. Richard Martin is threatened with the loss of his job if he does not collect Sage’s tears. Eventually he does the right thing, and is thrown a congratulatory retirement party by the staff at Stonewell.
4. Some of the members of Tree Nation get together at Savage Ranch, and decide to make Tree Nation an official environmental agency. Stonewell Primate Lab funds the project and soon the official TN Inc. offices are built directly across from Bonobo House. Sage is elected President.
5. Sage and her friends learn more about the Kristian Kommand, when some of the TN Inc. members volunteer to go undercover at secret Kommand meetings. Sage learns from her spies, that the man responsible for the burning of her mountain is also the C.E.O of the oil company that Virgo Jane committed suicide over. I refer to the man as Jack, and he is also a member of a very secret and appalling operation being conducted by the Kommand.
6. After discovering all of the horrible things Jack has done, Sage buys a gun, and runs away to the oil company’s headquarters to kill him. Along the way however, she is attacked by a group of angry loggers, and is taken in by a kindly African priestess living in the area. The priestess and Sage talk about lots of things, and by the time they are done, Sage has decided to forgive Jack. She tracks him down to his office at headquarters, and has an emotional conversation with him. At the end of it, she tosses her gun on the floor, and tells Jack to dispose of it if he has any heart. Jack, unfortunately, attempts to shoot Sage. He is gunned down by a cop who went to Jack’s office when Richard Martin informed the local police of Sage’s plans. The kindly Sage grieves for him.
7. Sage also decides to have a baby, and it is born in the last chapter. She names it in the story’s final sentence.
What I’m actually imaging is a ‘Sage Trilogy.’
B. THE MOVIE: One activity that gives me great pleasure is drawing conceptual art for various characters, and scenes that might take place in the Primal Tears movie. I spend a great deal of my time writing amateur script samples, and sketching out storyboards for my own amusement. I have thought up very basic summary ideas for 68 episodes worth of ‘Primal Tears T.V.’
C. ACTORS: I fantasize that cast members will include Mariska Hargitay as Sarah. Tom Hanks as John Stengers (I have given him my own personal award for ‘Most Interesting’ male actor). Johnny Depp as Kevin (my award for ‘Second Most Interesting’), and maybe Anthony Hopkins as Bo Breaker. Who are you hoping to see in the movie? I am also envisioning Kanzi the talking bonobo as Dexter. Wouldn’t that be neat?
D. FILMING: The way I imagine it, the cinematography for the movie would be done in a way that makes it seem very haunting and mysterious. It would feature extensive use of that creepy zoom in and out simultaneously effect during moments of tension (such as when Sarah is walking down the hall to Hixton’s office). During Sage’s frustrating teen years, as she struggles between her human and animal personalities, she is often depicted in Film Noir style as if to convey the peculiar aspects of her character. By the end of the movie however, things become brighter, when Sage finally makes peace with herself.
How do you hope it will look?
E. THE SOUNDTRACK: I’m hoping that the soundtrack will include a remixed version of ‘The Sunshine of Your Love’ by a modern rock band, and another version sung by Kevin and young Sage. I also think it would be neat to have ‘R-e-s-p-e-c-t’ and Stevie Wonder’s ‘Isn’t She Lovely.’ Some of the other artists I hope to hear in the soundtrack include Melissa Etheridge, Pink, The Indigo Girls, whoever ends up playing Marleybone, The Dixie Chicks, and Alix Dobkin. And finally a traditional tribal song, sung by the Tree Nation chorus featuring Sage.
Which artists are you hoping to hear in the soundtrack?
NOTE: I have also written lyrics for a song called
‘Your Okay’ inspired by the character of Sage.
Well I had a fun time writing this. Rest assured I will be the first in line to preorder the sequel if you ever write one, and one of the hopefully thousands in line to buy tickets for the premiere of the film.
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 15:50:23 -0500
Your novel, Primal Tears, was indeed VERY moving. I have been reading sci-fi- alternative universes/ fiction for 35 years now - with just a bit of sci fact to temper and I cried like a baby when I was finished with Sage and Sarah.. I was raised in Colombia, a third world country, and understand how out of touch we are in the USA, where desires for what's not needed drive and real needs get swept under the dirt floor of your tin shanty. Loved your book and what you are doing for us! I returned the book to the library without jotting down the sites for the preservation of the Bononbos. Please, if you can, reply with the websites. Keep writing; your knowledge of bio/eng is a great mix and very welcome in this fundamentalist, know nothing, follow the cow bell, war on the OTHERS, world in which we find ourselves trying to live and make peace in.
Thanks again for the great read!
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 19:16:21 -0500
I just finished Primal Tears. Good story. I most appreciated the way you worked science and spirituality into the story. A note for future reference: dilated pupils are large pupils with a relatively narrow ring of iris; small pupils are called contracted and have a relatively wide ring of iris (reference to Sanene's eyes, while she acted out the part of the snake, page 165.
Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2007 01:08:08 EDT
Subject: Book Report(s) etc.
Dear Kelpie et al,
I've just finished reading one of your books (haven't you written more YET?) and appreciated it thoroughly. I don't think that merely "enjoying" such a serious and thought provoking story is even proper. Maybe " Primal Tears" will start a new trend in Science Fiction and you will extend the path that Ursula Le Guinn explored a bit some years ago. I surely hope so. My Better Half (of 53 years) and our No. 2 Daughter will read "Primal Tears" next.
I'm uncertain as to how much of the literally "Pre Historic" religious info and "History" in your book is from research and how much of it may be your original and imaginative though truthful thought. It may well be worth footnotes and references in future editions.
Sincerely, VTY etc., Phil
Date: Sun, 28 Jan 2007 19:44:07 -0500
Dear Ms. Wilson,
My wife and I read your book Primal Tears, and have become fans of yours, and are sharing it with friends and relatives.
I greatly appreciated your article on Sea Shepherd---we had already read about it in a magazine photo article a few months ago and were much impressed. Perhaps your fine article brought us more up to date. Perhaps it should have had a place or contact to which we could send a donation---specifically, the bucks that I formerly sent to Greenpeace! Please let me know.
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2006 12:13:23 EST
Subject: Frogs and Chimps
I just finished Primal Tears which I enjoyed at many levels.
I may have missed a chapter when Sage learns to speak. Do you go into that and how it differs from homo sapiens. With my interest in language development in humans and non humans I recalled in Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" the monster learns to speak by 18 months.
At some point during reading your novel I tried to remember a novella some years back by an English writer about a woman, bored with her husband, who falls in love with a human sized frog and has to hide him in her car when she drives through town. Do you know that story or who wrote it? I can't remember the author. Interesting that you just posted frogs' insensitivity to rising temperature.
"Primal Tears" was a great read. Thank you for writing it.
Date: Sun, 07 Jan 2007
Subject: With great appreciation
I have just read your exquisite and profound Primal Tears, and I want to thank you and honor you and sing your praises. I absolutely loved it.
If there is ever any way I can be of help, it would be a joy.
With great appreciation and respect,
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 22:39:59 -0800 (PST)
Subject: your ideas!
For months I have been imagining a bonobo-human cross.
Don't know that I got the idea from you.
Googled "bonobo-human cross" recently and got nothing.
Don't remember ever hearing about your book until last evening when I read about Primal Tears at truthout.org. And now I'm even more intrigued by the possibility of such a cross.
Watch out Kansas, watch out monkey trial!
Best wishes, yours, Cosmos
Subject: Your book, "Primal Tears"
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 12:20:47 -0600
A few months ago, I emailed you about the review of "Primal Tears" I read on the Truthout website. Now, I have just finished reading the book, and I just had to drop you a note telling you how much I enjoyed it. The only thing I didn't like was having to turn the last page! I wanted it to go on and on.
Thank you so much for the wonderful characters and story.
Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland
Contains my essay and interview with Texas wonder woman activist, Diane Wilson.
What Liberals Believe: Thousands of Quotes on Why America Needs to Be Rescued from Greedy Corporations, Homophobes, Racists, Imperialists, Xenophobes, and Religious Extremists
There's a quote in here from me on evolution.
Kelpie Wilson: Primal Tears
My novel about a bonobo-human hybrid girl named Sage.