We all know that personal challenges have a way of leading us in new—and often very creative and fulfilling—directions.
This is true for Denise J., Business Operations and Communications senior manager, who has just written a children’s book whose genesis she can trace back, in part, to a family ordeal.
“Previous to my husband’s surgery, we had enjoyed water sports of all kinds together, but afterward, we had to find new activities; we settled on horses,” Denise explained. Now, the couple owns three horses, and Denise has come to love the competitive aspect of riding, especially seeing young children blossom as they begin their own journey with horses. “I’ve always had a love of horses, even as a young girl. In fact, my father promised that one day we’d have horses,” she said. “We never did, so I guess this story was born a little out of personal experience as a child and now as an adult.”
Denise’s book, “Tall in the Saddle,” is a moving story about a determined young girl and her equally spirited horse. It takes the reader on a journey of true companionship, triumph over adversity and the loss of a loved one.
“I think the book really speaks to those who believe in reaching their goals through dedication, courage and love of family,” Denise said. She is about to begin the editing process, and she plans to self-publish after that. In the meantime, Adobe Life caught up with Denise about her background and how Adobe supports her hobby of writing.
Adobe Life: Tell us about your history at Adobe.
Denise: In the fall of 2002, the start-up I was working for suffered a major tragedy (the CEO died in a car accident), and its future was unknown. A good friend was consulting for Adobe and told me about a position managing sales communications and executive communications for the senior vice president of Worldwide Sales. The rest is history. Over the years, I’ve held several roles at Adobe, all focused on communications—a combination of written and digital.
Adobe Life: Tell us about your background in writing and other creative endeavors—and how that has led to your book project.
Denise: I’ve always loved writing. My first “book”—or, story, more appropriately—was about Bobo the Elephant; I was in fourth grade. It was my first full story, complete with graphics. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, I lost the manuscript, but I always remember it fondly.
Growing up with five siblings, writing was my quiet time. Whether journals or stories, I continued to write and was fortunate enough to land in a career that fosters that passion.
Denise: Just being around creative people inspires me every day, and the support I’ve received from colleagues and executives at Adobe has been tremendous. Some have even allowed their children to be my test market! And the book cover was done by my very talented co-worker who’s incredibly creative. Also, I have a pretty long commute on the train, so when work isn’t piled up, I use some of that time to write. Planes and trains are where I’ve done some of my best writing.
Adobe Life: What is most enjoyable to you about this work?
Denise: I love letting the story take me where it wants or needs to go. I get so excited when a new character is perfectly introduced organically, not through any brainstorming on my part—it begins to take on a life of its own. It’s really fun.
Adobe Life: How do you find the time for work, family and your passions?
Denise: For me, it’s important that all aspects of my life work together and that I give 100 percent to each. I’m incredibly lucky to have a supportive family that helps to bring it all together.
Here are more stories of Adobe employees who’ve shared their hobbies and passions.