Quick & Quirky Questions with Finola Scott

Finola Scott’s poetry and short stories have appeared in anthologies and journals including GutterNew Writing ScotlandThe Fenland ReedLighthouse, RAUM and The Ofi Press. Her work has won and been placed in UK competitions. She is also a prize-winning performance poet and was the 2020 Federation of Writers (Scotland) Makar, as well as the 2020 Autumn Voices Poetry Competition judge.

1. Tell us something significant about yourself:

I was a teacher of English as well as a Guidance teacher in and around Glasgow. I am a first-generation Scot – my parents having come from Ireland.

2. What is your favourite age in life so far and why? 

My life has been like everyone else’s – up and down, full of challenges and happiness. I have found joy and meaning at every stage. Now retired my time is my own to use or to squander. I am bubbled with my grown-up children and grandchildren. Also, I am very lucky with health and friends. Life now is sweet. 

3. Who is your favourite fictional character over 60? 

I really liked Maud in Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. I admired her loyalty, tenacity and intelligence. I also was absorbed by Eamon Redmond in Colm Toibin’s wonderful Heather Blazing.   

4. You are alone in your house (no pets). You have three minutes to get out before the house collapses and burns to the ground. What one possession would you grab and take with you? 

My daughter commissioned a piece of jewellery from my wedding ring, along with my mother’s wedding and eternity rings. Everything else is replaceable. 

5. What’s your favourite creative pastime?  

Writing! And gardening … and cooking.

6. Tell us something about yourself that’s surprising or unexpected:

I was a fierce tennis player in my teens. 

I have been involved in political demonstrations, picket lines, leafleting and Union battles all my life. 

I’m a Slam-winning granny! After achieving runner-up in the Luminate Slam when I was in my sixties, I went on to win other slams. I have also been involved in judging slams.

7. Tell us three ways that you are still learning:

I am a Zoom workshop junkie doing at least two writing workshops a week. Once a fortnight I visit the Smithsonian Gallery in Washington. Keen to teach my grandchildren skills, I have taken up knitting again after 60 years. I’ve had to watch videos to find out how to cast off. The scarves we’ve knitted for Teddy are all a metre long so I’m eager to master it soon. I also enjoy online lectures. Yesterday along with my cousin in Derby, I was at the National Library of Ireland in Dublin for a lecture on Yeats and the Fairies. Great to hear about Wandering Aengus!

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