North Woodmere resident Ariela Rossberg had an idea for a children’s book simmering in the back of her mind throughout college and it wasn’t until the summer of 2010 when the idea came to life.
Rossberg, 24, a Hewlett High School alum and member of the Penn State class of 2010, participated in a two-week creative workshop in Manhattan and while doing a visualization meditation, she saw the story playing out in her mind. “I thought, ‘oh my God I have a story and I have to write it,’” she said. “Our assignment in the workshop was to write a children’s story so that night I locked myself in my room for four hours and wrote. I knew this was something I had in my head for along time and it came out so easily.”
That children’s story, now a self-published children’s book, “The Gray Days,” is about a child’s journey of rediscovering the imagination in a world where it no longer exists. “We live in a time where technology seems to run our lives and there is such a heavy reliance on our gadgets so we neglect our own creativity and imaginations,” Rossberg said. “Our imaginations need to be nourished and we can’t rely on our gadgets or the ability to create and imagine will be taken away from us.”
When Rossberg began the publishing process, she originally wanted to seek out a publisher but faced difficulties after several months. “Children’s literature is difficult to get into; you have to be well-known or match up with the right person so after doing some research on self-publishing companies, I gave Minuteman Press in Lynbrook my artwork and words and they created something beautiful,” she said.
According to Rossberg, illustrations for her book came from her mother, Wendy’s, second grade class at Oaks School #3 in Oceanside. “Shortly after I wrote the book I went to her class and read the book to the children,” she said. “Every child drew a different moment from the book and it was some of the most beautiful artwork I’ve ever seen.”