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Lily Pierson

April 5, 2011

The idea for Typetrigger originated from founder Lily Pierson’s writer’s block. A lull in freelance writing left Lily feeling directionless without deadlines. So, she came up with a way to prompt her own writing and, in turn, created a sensational tool for  inspiring creativity from 4 word triggers. In 300 words or less, any Typetrigger member can write, publish, and be read in a supportive community of fellow writers.

To further encourage writers to hone their craft, Typetrigger is offering quarterly cash grants of $500 to a member whose work inspires and delights a panel of fellow writers and other creative types. Applications are being accepted until May 1st and the award will be announced in June.

Lily would like to work as an archivist and loves the fact that Typetrigger is a kind of collection. She lives in Seattle with her two young daughters and her husband Ted Pierson, an industrial designer who makes super cool doorbell buttons.

1. What is your hometown?

Seattle is home; Santa Cruz, CA is my hometown.

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Cassandra Mortmain in Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle. I read that book for the first time a few years ago and really wish I’d had it when I was 12.

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

Myrna Loy.

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

I over think everything, whether I like or hate it, so I don’t often have transcendent experiences with art. The following list is a few works/bodies that I would really enjoy spending time with: paintings of El Greco, 18th century royal paintings from Rajasthan, the cut paper works of Mrs. Mary Delaney (I’m a fan of 18th/19th century landscape and botanical obversations generally), stuff by Hieronymus Bosch, the compostions of Erik Satie (played on almost any instrument–piano is great, but Teodoro Anzellotti did a knockout job with Satie on his accordion), the scuplture and furniture of George Nakashima.

The first piece of art I purchased was a small French watercolor landscape of one tree near the beach, painted in 1918. It is grey and blue and I love it every single day.

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

I am currently reading a book on Finger Math, which is essentially using your fingers as an abacus to do all sorts of calculation. My daughter’s interest in numbers brought me to the book, but I am really excited to learn it myself. I am also reading about Japanese pickle making in preparation for the summer months.

I just finished Chris Cleave’s Little Bee, which Typetrigger will be working with for Seattle Reads (a program of the Seattle Public Library). I rarely read contemporary fiction, and it was great to think about what makes a good novel for group discussion.

I am always recommending Hons and Rebels, the autobiography of Jessica Mitford, especially to young women. To my peers I often recommend Alain de Botton’s Status Anxiety. I have read, given away, and re-purchased The Murder of Helen Jewett, a history of a pivotal 1836 New York murder case, at least twice, and I recommend it to my friends who say that reading history is boring.

I have also been revisiting A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander lately; it’s about urban planning, but it is more about what makes people happy and how we can facilitate movement that enhances healthy action and interaction. I read it first when I was 14, but it totally applies to Typetrigger.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

Been digging my turntable more lately: Roberta Flack (Killing Me Softly) is in heavy rotation, along with Frank Sinatra’s In the Wee Small Hours.

On my iPod, which is mostly used at the gym, I have been listening to the new Byrne/Eno album (Everything That Happens Will Happen Today), Caetano Veloso (Sem Lenco Sem Documento), Johnny Cash (Folsom Prison), Brian Wilson (Smile) and Gonzales (Gogol).

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

I don’t recall. I don’t cry much. Once in a while insurance commercials on the radio make me cry.

8.  Cat person or dog person?

Neither. Not much of a pet person. My daughters claim they are otters, and I like them a lot.

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

Delivery is incredibly important if you want your message to be heard. Kindness, if genuine will usually be truthful. Obviously you can’t value one over the other, but I’d rather be around kind people than honest brutes (who often mistake opinion for truth). Note: kind does not mean saccharine.

10.    How do you define sin?

Perpetual narcissism.

11.    How do you define virtue?

Curiosity and respect, mingled.

12.   Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

I’ve been wordy enough in life. I’d like a mossy boulder good for reading or picnicking on.

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

Alain de Botton, Anne Focke, Greg Lundgren, Carla Saulter, and my sister Bridget Schwartz.


Typetrigger Grants

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