Tales from the Trail of a YA Author – Aloha

Greetings from the Big Island of Hawaii! I'm so fortunuate to be vacationing here in this lush tropical paradise! Been busy writing my third as-yet-untitled book in the mornings – I'm up to about 70 pages yay!
But the afternoons have been been filled with snorkeling, volcano adventures and sun bathing, star gazing, reading and relaxing!
I admit I haven't visited any schools here – most are closed for the summer anyway – but I can share two incredible educational experiences.
The first was that we happened to fall upon an impromptu ukelele lesson given by Grayden Hai-Kelly at the Sheraton Hotel in Kona. He gathered a few students who had never played the ukelele before and within a half hour lesson he taught them three basic but critical chords C, D7 and G7 (known as the 1,4 and 5 progression in music theory). Grayden taught about 6 kids, including my daughter, to play the progession and after a half-hour lesson, they accompanied hula dancers. Just like that! This is especially cool because this 1,4,5 progression is used over and over in many popular songs like "Twist and Shout" and "La Bamba", explained Grayden who comes from a long line of musicians. So grab those ukeleles and start rocking!
Another cool educational experience was getting to see the release of Honu (sea turtles) to the Sea on July 4 – which is traditional Turtle Independence Day in Hawaii! The honu are raised for two or three years until they're big enough to be released into the ocean. Hundreds of people gatered to watch the ceremony, but the best part of all – I think — is getting to swim in the sea afterwards with the turtles!! The festivities raise awareness of the need to protect Honu. Imagine if we could save all species this way. It could be a "Honu" world! Looking forward to hearing your comments and suggestions. Heading back to California later this week! Mahalo!

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