Sandrine Anterrion

My name is Sandrine Anterrion.

When I was a youngster, I was very keen on writing. My first full novel, in French, was written when I was 14.

When I moved to England, aged 20, I mainly carried on with my dancing and singing skills, started a company, and joined choirs. I found myself naturally pulled back to writing a few years back, whilst forced to face Life's tough obstacles, in a foreign capital such as London. I now write a combination of artistic prose, poetry, music analysis, and essays on sociology, fashion, etc...

 

The accolade "Midnight Notebook" (MidnightNotebook.com) comes from my long-term chronic insomnia, which finds me, most nights, writing, thinking, drawing, tossing around... I have for a long time tried to cure the symptoms, but then came along a therapist who advised me to let flow my creative thoughts, and use them productively. I must say that those wise words were quite literally, life-changing...I sort of sleep better now, but still dream of opera staging, social structures, psychology, and musical scores; whenever I find myself wide-awake at night.

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• I grew up wanting to be a famous Fashion designer: worked and prayed daily with that goal in mind, from age 6. When I was 14 I could predict trends every season; and was so prolific I could not sleep, visualizing hundreds of dresses in absolute precision, but too fast a slideshow for me to be able to snatch all of them. I believe my chronic insomnia probably stemmed from that...

 

• I conceive things as they happen. I dream up streets before they meet. I see designs, fabrics and attitudes as I sew materials for one given design. Every pleat offers a multitude of opportunities for movement, character, and therefore destinies... It gets very distracting, and indeed, frustrating...

 

• I was born and raised in a working-class family, in Martinique; and was taught to prioritise manners, respect towards the Elderly, and charity. Looking around today, I am not sure where those basic social principles have all gone...


• I would love to write a film, except I am not quite sure of any technical detail...


• I am told over and over again, by well-meaning people, that I should choose one subject over the other. The truth is I can’t, for I have already tried many a time, and failed lamentably, every time... Besides, I want to use all the art forms I have the privilege to know to reconcile cultural traditions across the Globe. It is one hell of an ambition, I know; but also a great passion...


• I have striven through hours, days and months of penniless labour, for the sake of pursuing those goals and living those passions. Not out of selfishness, not because of stubborn will, but rather, because, well, I do not think I do have a choice. I am not healthy, I am not happy, and certainly not myself, when doing anything contrary to those, my truths.


• My greatest joy would be to be able to help somebody, some people in need, whilst living out my creativity. I would then fulfill two long-term ambitions: to create Art, and to save the World. (No comments at the back, please...)

 

• I am grateful for the gift of Life, as I very nearly lost it a few years ago, through depression, hardship, and illness. It isn’t easy having your whole world crumbling around you, whilst so-called friends betray you and put you in an emotional quarantine. I have learnt since that I must be my own lantern, my own lamp, with the Word of God as my Eyes and Feet. No one around to cling to, no abusive relationships, nor accumulated prejudices: I have been through the mill, but Thank God, I have learnt to respect myself, and to see people for what they must be going through, not for what they appear to be wearing, or appear to be weighing... I will help people who went through what I went through, for it was not possibly lived in vain. I will build a castle for people with depression, those who face prejudice, women who suffer abuse, and helpless living creatures.

This ugly experience has marked me with a painful and permanent hot iron seal. Never in my lifetime will I forget the pain, the injustice; never will I forget the faces, body languages, the fears, of these women, men (and angels) who shared my loss. I will forever recognise that same distress on strangers I meet by chance, and use any opportunity to lend a caring hand.

 

"Despair is not in my vocabulary. I have been close to it; I have sensed it, sometimes, in a room, like a cold draft. But somehow, something crept up and pushed it aside, so I could walk: however slowly, however lonely."

 

• I feel sometimes like a 100-year-old; because I have lived so much. I often wish I had reached the end of the road, allowed to rest, with my feet up, telling great tales to my grand-children, and writing philosophy books. No more rat-racing to do...

 

• I was always physically, intellectually and emotionally, very different from everyone around me. I meet people I can relate to, from one life-experience’s point of view or another; but hardly ever meet someone who can fully relate to me altogether...

 

• I love cooking, though I don’t do it so much for my own self... I find it such a beautiful way of expressing creativity, love, cultural identity, as well as individual identity; it shouldn’t be classified as an old-fashioned torture stake for women, an object of hatred for Aga-burning feminists...


• I dropped out of University, after studying English (2nd language), Spanish and Linguistics: I was bored and miserable to no end... What is more, I did not want to end up as a language teacher, translator, or tour guide. I was at uni doing something I loathed, because some luminaries in the education system decided that  Arts were only good enough for stupid people. Maths and Sciences were forced through my throat via feeding tubes, under the pretence that this was better for a good brain like my own. I am now picking up the pieces, labouring to get somehere, with bare fingers, fists and knuckles. I will one day write a letter to my old lycee principals, and kindly ask them to rot  in hell.
(Incidentally, the same applies to complete strangers who elect themselves as saviours, letting me know that such or such course IS available, and who kindly ask me IF I have TRIED (or THOUGHT of) one college or another... How patronizing can one get??!!)

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"I shall only be reassured when I see evenings of Man turn into conclusions to His existential fulfilment."

Sandrine Anterrion

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