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.
At times, my life appeared to resemble an unfolding fern frond. An inner force pushed me to create and face hard challenges: a career teaching adults, public speaking, forming enduring relationships, becoming an exhibiting artist, child-raising, learning meditation and aspiring for enlightenment and founding two civil right organizations (the Ingraham-Garfield Student Exchange Program in 1964…Read More
I’m not always clever enough to comprehend other people’s inner realities at the moment I’m talking to them. But a recent incident astounded me. My adult son lives in a different city and I take great delight in visiting him. He often takes me out with his friends for coffee, drinks, or a party. I’m…Read More
Twice in my life, I’ve stood above rainbows, looking down at them. Each occasion spawned different spiritual surprises Twenty years ago I hiked with my son’s sixth grade class in the mountains rising above a jungle valley called Manoa, a part of Honolulu. Known for its plentiful rainbows, we trod up the steep trail to…Read More
Kaethe Kauffman has five poems included in the newly released poetry anthology Pua La’a Kea: Sacred Light of Flower, edited by Robert Uhlene Maikai, published by Savant Books and Publications. Kauffman’s poems include: The Primal Modern, Snake Lovers, Meditation, Hurtling and Dead Girls Float. PRIMAL MODERN -explores neighborhood closeness while singing and dancing around a…Read More
Throughout my long life, I thought I’d encountered every form of negative communication possible. Growing up with two older sisters, I early learned about anger, bullying and put-downs designed to shut up their much younger sibling who eternally wanted to be included. As a teen and young woman, I dated charmers who tried to pursue…Read More
In late spring and early summer of 2021, we felt optimism. Covid-19 was on the wane. We’d beat it. Stores reopened and people began to travel again. But when the Delta variant slammed us in the summer, we reluctantly began to wear masks and isolate more. Back to square one and back to the maelstrom…Read More
When I lie in bed, waiting to fall asleep, it often seems like a war breaks out between my mind and my breath. In the last moments of consciousness, my brain often races, seemingly desperate to manufacture thoughts that solve my problems. As I try to bring my attention back to each relaxing breath, I…Read More
Nature designed humans with an inability to imagine what reality will look like after twenty-years. When I gave birth to my son, Jon, I couldn’t conceive what kind of person he would be or what he’d look like in two decades. After years spent hovering over the exuberant toddler and worrying about the rebellious teen-ager,…Read More
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
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