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.
Driving over the Ko’olau mountains on Oahu with a guest from Europe, we came to the Tetsuo Harano tunnel and I felt the old childhood impulse to hold my breath. All my youthful friends and neighbors adhered to this custom, so I assumed it was a common practice. I asked my friend if she and…Read More
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu As I stroll on a city sidewalk, I see a young mother gently instruct her two-year-old to move over, to make room for me on the walkway. I say a heartfelt,…Read More
When I meet someone, their attitudes and assumptions often reveal underlying themes that define them. The most common personal script is: “Here’s how important I am.” Each time I visit my cousin, she shows off her five boats to me, a non-boat-owner. Another popular self-concept is: “I know best and others should copy me.” An…Read More
One day a few years ago, my oversized and ancient refrigerator, inherited when I moved into a thirty-year old condo, exhaled one last cold breath and died. I read on Google that this type of machine, with its motor balanced on top, required special handling. I quizzed the movers that I interviewed as to whether…Read More
In college, I took a class on Buddhism and I learned, for the first time, that I needed to discover the illusions that ruled my life. I remember thinking, What are they talking about? I don’t have any delusions. Life is straightforward. I work to earn my way through college. That’s it. I conveniently ignored…Read More
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” Henry David Thoreau Can someone’s death force me to see hard realities I wouldn’t have seen otherwise? Two years ago, an old friend, Josie, said she had emailed and phoned to…Read More
My cousin’s mom, Miyoko, not quite five feet tall with two silver streaks running through her short, dark hair, stood out in my life as the only devoted religious person I knew. She arranged flowers in the traditional ikebana style to place on the altar of the Seattle Betsuin, the largest Buddhist temple in the…Read More
The other day, a big sign popped up on my inner mental screen: Ego Alert. When I saw this signal, I knew to stop. I relaxed, became thoughtful and asked myself, Am I able to release my ego from this situation?” Ninety-nine percent of the time, the answer I’ve heard in my mind was, Yes.…Read More
I assume I’m a likable person, perhaps even interesting at times. I pride myself on getting along with people. I rarely question my assumption that most anyone would enjoy hanging out, cracking jokes or having a meal with me. When I realize someone doesn’t like me, I suffer a rude awakening. A few examples come…Read More
As a middle class male growing up in Japan in the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, my friend Nobu enjoyed the privilege of never having anything to do with meal preparation. Three delicious repasts appeared in front of him each day and afterwards, the dirty dishes disappeared. When work brought him to Hawaii in his…Read More
I didn’t plan to become a blob and I certainly didn’t imagine I would enjoy the experience. Like much of my life, it happened accidentally. I had literally sailed off the grid into remote Alaska and Canada to relish hiking and kayaking. I spotted whales, grizzlies, Orcas and eagles daily, happily absorbing more wilderness than…Read More
When I went to Venice, Italy to install an exhibit of my art, I had no idea I would experience a car-free city. With summer tourists, the population of 50,000 swelled to over 200,000. When I arrived, I was stunned and exhilarated to see no cars at all. Boats lazed through the canals, but Venetians mostly…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