Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Even the flowers

Car Mirror 2

I keep wanting to run
for the hills
To cut off my head
and replace it
with flowers

But I can't escape
the fear
and the anger

I carry them with me
they've blinded my entry

into the places
and people
I imbued with beauty

So that even the flowers
are doubted now

Yes, even the flowers

are cowards 

Friday, January 20, 2017

A New Nation

There is no
deus ex machina,

There is only
the machine—
and us 

I hope we all meet this moment with fierce resolve. I hope we find reservoirs of courage and conviction inside ourselves we never knew we had. 

I hope we select a few issues we're utterly committed to and hound the hell out of our congressional representatives and senators when they're in danger of being trampled. My priorities are:

1. Health care
2. Climate change
3. Civil rights

My rep is Steve Stivers. My Republican senator is Rob Portman. They're in my iPhone contact list now. If they hold a public forum in my area, you can bet I'll be there, asking questions. Making my opinion heard. Forcing the media to pay attention. 

Find your reps here: http://www.whoismyrepresentative.com

So many of my illusions have been shattered in the last year. But I still believe in the kindness and decency of an enlightened people. I still believe that most people will do the right thing if they have access to good information.  

I still love my country and think she's worth fighting for. 

But this is America now. 

Donald Trump is the president.

Who will we become?      

Friday, January 13, 2017

It Began In a Forest

I'd like to share an excerpt from my new novel, SARABANDE. This is a stand-alone piece and possibly my favorite example of pure writing in the book. It was the closest I could get to writing something akin to music. Anna, the main female character, is a world-renown cellist. During a performance of Bach's second cello suite, she imagines her instrument's beginnings:

It began in a forest, divided in maple and pine, working on stillness before the ax could cut free its song.

And while it waited, it listened. Absorbing the beatings of hooves and wings and keeping them tight inside the knots and rings. Distinguishing the answers of robins from the asking of the owl with all the eager pencils of its limbs. It learned to amplify the sound of rain with leaves and tent it beneath bark and moss and fungiform. It saw how the moon spelled the sun’s baton, how the insects were deflowered by darkness, how the hours recycled themselves in an infinite variation of the same basic themes. And it began to understand, as the years stretched tall its canopy, that music is made in the silences, too. In the sunlight speared deep inside a wood, in the spider’s light and fatal loom, in the rotted logs of yesteryears. 

It waited centuries, listening. 

And when, at last, the ax struck, it found some relief in the whelping of a wolf, some hills and hoofbeats away. Because it knew, though its vessels were clipped, its heart would pump again. 

The man’s name was Stradivari. The master, they called him. A close man, a concentrated man, with hands more patient than a monk’s. He knew the secret of making wood liquid. Of how to destroy one thing to make something more of its essentials. Where to frame the masculine tension of surviving around the female folds of creation. In his workshop, the hands were many, but his eyes had final approval over all he sired. And in May of 1712, he placed his palm on the apprentice’s shoulder and told him to step aside and watch. 

When Stradivari finished applying the last coat of varnish to the bleeding wood, he set it aside and took his first meal of the day. The meat tasted of oil and resin. Covered in its childbirth, the instrument drank from the falling light of day. 

Many owners laid claim to its pedigree in the years that followed, as if they could be lifted up by association. None were deserving of the gift. The cello sat, forgotten, in the great, empty houses of privilege. On occasion, it was violated by small children, its neck cracked by an Italian duke given to wild social displays. During one harsh winter, it provided needed warmth for a family of mice and remembered—like a memory scratching around in its attic—old roots in a forest floor. Approaching its two hundredth year, it was thrown out, rescued, at the last moment, from an estate sale’s wheelbarrow, its case warped by the rain, neck twisted like a strangled chicken’s. The woman wanted it for a decoration. Christmas lasted all twelve days that year. 

Thunderstorms were its only solace. At times the thunder was cracking enough to induce small vibrations—an echo of an echo—inside the ribs. 

Salvation arrived in the compact form of a Spaniard with sharp eyes and a physician’s hands. A man so deserving of the gift that the instrument sang for him with as much humility as its long confinement had earned. The Spaniard listened and nodded, placing his ear against the snapped neck, hearing the pure flame of its throat before its song could splinter. His name was Casals, he whispered, touching the wood with Stradivari’s tenderness. And it knew that home had come. 

Two hundred years after its birth, it would come to be christened “El Colom.” The Dove. When the ax swung again, silencing Casals, a white rose laid across its strings, in silent tribute to this second father. 

So it waited. Until it could be born again.

So it waited. Perhaps, this time, a mother would come.


If you would like to purchase Sarabande, it's now available for $3.99 on the Kindle app or $13.95 in paperback. Click HERE

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


I'm happy to announce that my new novel, Sarabande, is now available on the Kindle and in paperback. 

Jennifer Zobair, author of Painted Hands, says: 

"Hauntingly lyrical and richly detailed, Sarah Hina’s second novel is a smart, sophisticated exploration of online romance. Like the finest maestro in complete control of her craft, Hina interweaves delicate, plaintive sections the reader will slow to savor, with raw, carnal passages that cause pages to turn in a flurry. Sarabande is wondrous and soaring—like art, like music, like love—should be. An uncommonly beautiful book."

I started writing Sarabande in 2009. It's now 2017. So you might say this novel was a bit of a slow burner for me. It didn't always come easy. These two characters—Anna and Colin—demanded I get their story right. 

In the end, I think I did. This is the story I wanted to tell. A love story for our modern times, if also a bit of an old-fashioned dance. 


  • 1. A fast, erotic dance of the 1500s of Mexico and Spain.
  • 2. A stately court dance of the 1600s and 1700s, in slow triple time.
  • 3. The music for either of these dances. 

If you'd like to take a dip, here's a preview just for you: 

I'd be very grateful if you decided to purchase a copy. And if, after reading, you could manage to post a few kind words in a review on Amazon, or Goodreads, I'd be downright giddy.

Thanks to you all. I know blogs don't have the reach they once enjoyed, but I appreciate the readers who still swing by here on occasion, and I count you all as friends. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017


For those of you who have been following my blog for awhile, you'll know I have a New Year's tradition of posting a story on the first of January that touches on some facet of "new." 

This year, though, I want to tell you about a new book of mine, Sarabande, which I'll be publishing in the coming week or two. (I don't have an exact date, thanks to some uncertainty on the processing end.) 

From the back cover:

When Colin Ashe digs up a box of childhood treasures buried in his front yard, he's drawn to the woman who put it there, twenty years before. Anna Brawne is a renowned cellist, recently engaged to her conductor, who wants only to put her family's past to bed. But with the loss of her mother, Anna makes a major break from the ambitious path carved out for her—a break that includes Colin Ashe.  

The two connect online, where their physical distance guards an illusion of innocence, even as their revelations and longing grow. Colin reignites Anna’s passion for her art. But for the married Colin, desperate to preserve his young son’s trust, Anna Brawne might be his biggest mistake. 

Sarabande is a powerful love story for our digital age, in which intimacy is easier than ever, but integrity remains a constant struggle. The paths of Anna and Colin will pull them toward Paris—and each other—but their fate is up to them.

And, of course, the cover: 

I'll post more about Sarabande when the book is actually available, but for now—just this preview. :) 

Happy New Year, everybody! May 2017 be kind to us all.