1st Place Award Winner in the Paris, London and Amsterdam Book Festivals.
"Each of these forty comical stories conveys a satisfying quirky message that empowers the reader. Several years ago, I decided to explore the happy side of life, while seeking deeper truths--or not," says Burns. "I wanted to see what humor could show me. At times I was inspired by the thought of a pagan Anne Lamotte or David Sedaris on estrogen."
Libido Tsunami: Awash with the Droll in Life enchants with forty humorous stories. Burns unearths the ludicrous in the emotional live traps surrounding us -- in families, friends and disastrous romances. She relishes the uproarious human spirit and its on-going absurd wrestling with ego.
"Absolutely LOVE the descriptions [in this work]. The connection to chakras, along with the metaphorical richness … is wonderful. Very very very clever and, dare I say it?—unique. This is refreshing, funny, inventive, and delightful."
Sharon Whitehill, Ph.D.
Professor of English Literature
Author of The Life and Work of Mary O'Hara
Author of My Friend Flicka and On the Trail of Flicka's Friend
LIBIDO TSUNAMI is a collection of forty humorous short stories exploring human tragedy, drama, vulnerability and adventure in laugh-out-loud incidents taken from Burns' quirky experiences. In them, Burns salutes the droll in her life within four topics which correspond to four directions on the Native American medicine wheel.
The West, “A Flood of Family,” reconnoiters the emotional live traps unique to our original home nest. Burns’ familial tradition, to laugh, is a way to frame, hide and disguise essential domestic spectacles as seen in the comic frustration in “Unrequited-it is” or the ridiculous awe of “TWNBD or Twin Bed” short for “Those Who Need to Be Deified.”
In the East, “Male Amazements,” Burns exposes curious relationships with men that go topsy-turvy, and are never what any logical person would expect. From the miscommunications in “Sentence Interruptus” to an odd male desire for bondage in “Order in the Court” to basic lust in “Male Scent,” Burns tickles the funny bone of relationships.
In the South, rooted in the land, “The Unknown Hawaii,” Burns explores the most recently formed real estate on earth. With an erupting volcano daily creating ever more land, Hawaii lends itself to themes of phantasmagoric regeneration and bizarre comedy.
In the North, we see the human spirit and the absurd ways people attempt to disguise and transcend ego in “The Life Divine.” One can do this by grieving with underwear, staying in a state of self-hypnosis, eating money-cakes, and by avoiding archetype attacks.
As far as I could see, many people created an image of themselves that usually proved to be better than they actually were. They tried to live up to it, needing to convince others that their façade was the real thing. Forty years ago, when a distant relative, Julian, had an amicable divorce, his kind…Read More
The other day I stood in a Las Vegas Walmart Customer Service line to return the wrong size of batteries. As I waited, I overheard a remarkable conversation, one that filled me with wonder and, later, gratitude. A clerk behind the counter, a beautiful mixed race woman, declared, “My feet ache. You have no idea…Read More
During the pandemic, I’ve noticed most people have a default response to our new dilemma. When something startles my friend, Sue, she lashes out in anger. Luckily, she’s usually mellow and is rarely caught off-guard. The late psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross taught us that people react to the prospect of death in five typical ways: denial,…Read More
As a child I felt light and free, as though weightless. I bounded and bounced wherever I wished, up trees, across streams, under water. At the time, I didn’t realize how unique and temporary this physical elation would be. Although I’ve maintained a normal weight throughout my life, I remember when, in junior high school,…Read More
Now in my seventies, I notice friends and family members in the same age range making far reaching decisions that may shorten their lives. When I’m flummoxed and plunged into distress by the actions of people I love, often not open to outside help, what resources can I turn to? I’m fortunate to have Buddhist…Read More
Last month, I dyed everything on my bed red. This desire came over me in a rush. All at once, I dumped bright dye in the washing machine, followed by sheets, pillowcases, a bedspread, shirts, nightgowns, pajamas and underwear. My eyes danced with the visual feast that emerged. Every night I wallowed in varieties of…Read More
A few days ago, I squatted next to my four-year old neighbor from down the street, Toby, as he sat in his mom’s jogging stroller on the sidewalk. I asked a typical adult question, “Do you think Santa’s coming this year?” Solemn, he silently nodded. I only saw him every few months and we didn’t…Read More
By Kaethe Kauffman. Re-printed with permission. Every ten days or so, I spoke to my spiritual counselor and she often advised me to deepen my gratitude. In our land of plenty and at a time of personal financial comfort, I tried feeling sincerely grateful for food and shelter, things I normally took for granted. Slowly, in…Read More
Once a week, I buy a cucumber. I hadn’t realized this fact until the pandemic, when I began to order food from a grocery store for delivery to my home. This forced me, for the first time, to draw up a list of food I required: one cucumber, four potatoes, one head of romaine lettuce…Read More
By Kaethe Kauffman. Re-printed with permission. In October, our thoughts turn to those spirits who may still roam among us. Other cultures didn’t try to keep these phantasms away, but encouraged them to stay with us, believing them to be ancestors who could help us from the beyond. The Standing Gong from North Ambrym Island…Read More
I’ve fallen in love with Zoom and other electronic meetings. Most people I know use this novel medium for group gatherings now. I’ve come to admire our collective frontier gumption. As we’ve felt our way toward this new communal experience, we’ve become explorers. With more people using digital get-togethers, I’ve become delighted to see us…Read More
I’ve never envied my older sister, Marlene, until a handsome seal fell in love with her and not me. While kayaking in the Queen Charlotte Islands in western Canada, a group of friendly seals suddenly surrounded us. After five or ten minutes, the one pictured above stayed near while the others wandered off. The seal…Read More
Recognition & Awards
2019 Amazon Genre Bestselling Poet
Entwined: 2019 Savant Poetry Anthology
Kindred: 2018 Savant Poetry Anthology
2017 Amsterdam Book Festival, 1st place, Libido Tsunami
2017 Paris Book Festival, 1st place, Libido Tsunami
2016 London Book Festival, 1st prize, Libido Tsunami
2016 Pacific Rim Book Festival, Runner-up, Libido Tsunami
2016 Los Angeles Book Festival, Wild Card Honorable Mention, Libido Tsunami
Running From the Pack: 2015/16 Savant Poetry Anthology won an award from the Pacific Rim Book Festival
2015 1st prize for non-fiction, Lorin Tarr Gill Writing competition
Volutions: 2014 Savant Poetry Anthology won Book Festival awards in the Los Angeles, Paris and Pacific Rim Book Festivals
2007 Chroma Award, National League of American Pen Women
1998 Wu & Elsie Ject-Key Memorial Award, N.A.W.A., New York City
1997 International Woman of the Year Award, International Biographical Center
1997 The 20th Century Award for Achievement, International Biographical Center
1996 Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation Award, N.A.W.A., New York City
1995 Juror's Award, National League of American Pen Women
1986 Teaching Excellence Award, Sierra Nevada College, Incline, Nevada
1980 Grant, Tosco Corporation, Los Angeles, California
1974 Juror's Award, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, CA
1966 Max H. Block Award for Humanism , City of Seattle, Washington