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

People Talking: Read More


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.


A Lesson from Death

By Cate Burns

“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…

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The Last Laugh

By Cate Burns

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…

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Big Ego

By Cate Burns

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.…

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I Thought I Was More Interesting Than That

By Cate Burns

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…

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Making Meals

By Cate Burns

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…

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Pleased Protoplasm

By Cate Burns

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…

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Food Glorious Food

By Cate Burns

The other day I spent time with a lovely sixteen-year-old young woman. I remembered how self-conscious I felt about my body at that age. I’d already begun to restrict my diet in attempts to lose weight. In the 1960s, during my teen-aged years, my friends and I idolized the British model, Twiggy, whose figure matched…

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I Love Meditation

By Cate Burns

Why do I love meditation? Let me count the ways. 1. When I’m anxious or upset, I count each breath. When I can’t sit with closed eyes, respiration is always available. Perhaps for this reason, focus on breath is the foundation of most meditation. It’s easy to remember to do it. Sometimes, I put a…

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The Last Playboy

By Cate Burns

On the last Friday of each month, when Ernie, my mother’s third and final husband, had finished his Playboy magazine, Mom took it. With her flashing blue eyes and platinum wig, she effused dramatic flair. Over time, she devised the most interesting and amusing way to recycle the monthly subscription.  Their driveway swooped up a…

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Busy Birds

By Cate Burns

Amongst birds, it apparently matters who you spend the night with. At sunset, I love to wander outdoors to hear the raucous and high-pitched chirping and squawking from the tops of trees. The brouhaha emits intense sounds and makes me laugh. I take great comfort in the birds’ busy squabbling. Animal research has found that…

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Odd Hairdressers

By Cate Burns

Why is it hard to find a good hairdresser? I want a simple “bob” haircut (longer on the sides than the shingled back), which seems to be fairly standard. But apparently not. When I meet a new stylist and make my request for a “bob,” most hem and haw and turn me over to someone…

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By Cate Burns

I walk around in the world considering that, at my essence, I’m equal to everyone else. Of course, I see that some people are smarter than me or more skilled, for example, at surgery or computer repair. However, in terms of basic human respect, I feel parity with others. We’re human, with all our joys…

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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