Welcome to my blog..

"We struggle with dream figures and our blows fall on living faces." Maurice Merleau-Ponty

When I started this blog in 2011, I was in a time of transition in my life between many identities - that of Artistic Director of a company (Apocryphal Theatre) to independent writer/director/artist/teacher and also between family identity, as I discover a new family that my grandfather's name change at the request of his boss in WWII hid from view - a huge Hungarian-Slovak contingent I met in 2011. Please note in light of this the irony of the name of my recently-disbanded theatre company. This particular transition probably began in the one month period (Dec. 9, 2009-Jan. 7, 2010) in which I received a PhD, my 20 year old cat died on my father's birthday and then my father, who I barely knew, died too. I was with him when he died and nothing has been the same since. This blog is tracing the more conscious elements of this journey and attempt to fill in the blanks. I'm also writing a book about my grandmothers that features too. I'd be delighted if you joined me. (Please note if you are joining mid-route, that I assume knowledge of earlier posts in later posts, so it may be better to start at the beginning for the all singing, all dancing fun-fair ride.) In October 2011, I moved back NYC after living in London for 8 years and separated from my now ex-husband, which means unless you want your life upended entirely don't start a blog called Somewhere in Transition. In November 2011, I adopted a rescue cat named Ugo. He is lovely. As of January 2012, I began teaching an acting class at Hunter College, which is where one of my grandmothers received a scholarship to study acting, but her parents would not let her go. All things come round…I began to think it may be time to stop thinking of my life in transition when in June 2012 my stepfather Tom suddenly died. Now back in the U.S. for a bit, I notice, too, my writing is more overtly political, no longer concerned about being an expat opining about a country not my own. I moved to my own apartment in August 2012 and am a very happy resident of Inwood on the top tip of Manhattan where the skunks and the egrets roam in the last old growth forest on the island.

I am now transitioning into being married again with a new surname (Barclay-Morton). John is transitioning from Canada to NYC and as of June 2014 has a green card. So transition continues, but now from sad to happy, from loss to love...from a sense of alienation to a sense of being at home in the world.

As of September 2013 I started teaching writing (composition and rhetoric) as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, which I have discovered I love with an almost irrational passion. While felt blessed for the opportunity, after four years of this, the lack of pay combined with heavy work load stopped working, so have transferred this teaching passion to private workshops in my own apartment and working with writers one on one, which I adore. I will die a happy person if I never have to grade an assignment ever again.

I worked full time on the book thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign in May 2014 and completed it at two residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Wisdom House in summer 2015. I have done some revisions and am shopping it around to agents and publishers now, along with a new book recently completed.

I am now working full-time as a freelance writer, writing workshop leader, coach, and editor. Contact me if you are interested in any of these services.

Not sure when transition ends, if it ever does. As the saying goes, the only difference between a sad ending and a happy ending is where you stop rolling the film.

For professional information, publications, etc., go to my linked in profile and website for Barclay Morton Editorial & Design. My Twitter account is @wilhelminapitfa. You can find me on Facebook under my full name Julia Lee Barclay-Morton. More about my grandmothers' book: The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick & Jani

Recently, I started a website Our Grandmothers, Our Selves, which has stories about many people's grandmothers. Please check it out. I will be blogging there, too, now. You can also contact me through that site.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

yet another transition...

Hello dear readers...well tomorrow's blog will be written today, and perhaps by the time I finish it will technically be tomorrow anyway.

Levels of transition have just been ramped up again, as my husband and I are now talking about separating.  So far, we're talking about living separately and seeing where it goes from there, so we're not necessarily splitting up, but still this is a big change.  Ever since he left for China for a few months, I think we've both seen this coming.  It's been a rough few years for a lot of reasons, and we both felt some relief at living on our own when he was away.  I'd love to make him the bad guy here, but that would be wrong.  In fact, as sad and scared as I am by all this, I am deeply glad to report that there are no bad guys here and no other women or men involved, etc.

Please understand I am not preternaturally calm about this and many tears have been shed tonight.  He brought it up, which made me sad, but I could not pretend to be surprised or like I had not been thinking along similar lines.  As there are many sensitive issues here and it is not my husband's blog, I will not go into lots of details, other than to say this is happening and obviously sends a lot of stuff up in the air, as if there weren't enough already.

However, and this is important to note, I feel strongly that he and I will help each other through this, no matter how it plays out.  This is the miracle of this marriage, and the one time we separated briefly and lived apart for a year (before getting married), we did so gently and without harming one another.  While this will be harder for many reasons, I know that that will be true, and that is no small thing (very British way of saying it, I know...but somehow appropriate here).

So, tomorrow/today I am flying to NYC and as mentioned in the last post to the best possible human being I could be going to see under these or any circumstances, but now even more so.  Weirdly enough, such is the nature of this blog that I am writing this down here before telling anyone else directly.  This is due to the hour of the night, the fact Bill is asleep upstairs having to leave for Belgium early in the morning and somehow it's easier to write this into virtual world.

It's due to the fact I've worked with an extraordinary therapist for about 7 years, with whom I just recently finished, that I don't feel like my world is caving in on me.  This plus the friends I have that keep me sane.  I know deep down I will be OK no matter what and this is an astonishing feeling for me to have at a time like this.  Usually these kinds of things send me into a whirl of abandonment panic and somehow that is not happening.  The feelings are there and come up at times but they are no shaking my core sense of OK-ness.

And now there is this huge open space, another one, where I don't know what will go there - and this includes where to live, how to live, with whom to live and how in the midst of all this to stay focused on my writing.  Please wish me luck.

When my first husband and I separated and then divorced, it was loud and ugly, involved another person and made me feel like I'd been cast against my will in a bad TV movie of the week.  This time, I don't even know if the marriage is breaking down or if we're just evolving into a new shape and even if it does dissolve I know we will always be friends.  So, there's progress I suppose.  Though I must admit that the prospect of a second marriage breaking down thrills me not, especially as I so hoped not to join the family multiple-marriage soap opera, but that seems to be not up to me to decide.  Imagine that.

However, I should also add here, as I am someone who when younger drank every day and to excess and have now not had a drink for over 24 years, that I do not want to drink, and that is a miracle.  In fact, I mostly right now just want to go to sleep, which is another miracle.

I may or may not post tomorrow/today later, as it's now gone 12 midnight here in London, so this can technically count as the next day and I have a lot of packing and preparing to do tomorrow before I go later in the day.

And to those of you in the U.S. that I will see soon, I'm very much looking forward to it.  The warm embrace of the familiar will be lovely right about now.  To those of you I love here in the UK, I will be back in July and to the rest of you I do not know at all, bless you for reading this.  You rock my world.

Here's to new horizons, ways of going and walking towards the moon.


  1. I am sorry to hear that...but it seems that whatever the outcome, each of you will continue to to be supportive and full of love and respect for one another.
    Good luck Julia...creativity can go some way to compensate for these earlier losses and the regrets that continue to haunt. I think as artists we are lucky to have the desire and ability to make things and to nurture them to fruition xxx Clare

  2. Thanks Clare and I do agree with you about creativity. It reminds me of this documentary of Louise Bourgeois, when she chides another artist who is telling her how 'hard it is to be an artist.' She says "nonsense! to be an artist is a privilege! the greatest privilege of all!" She is right of course as we all who create know.