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.

Friday, July 8, 2011

At JFK Terminal 4 with birds

July 7, 2011

See below photos of the small birds - perched on lights - inside Terminal 4 at JFK airport (yes the birds are tiny in photo but are visible - barely - on greenish ledges of light fixtures): 

birds tiny in photo but there are 3 perched on light green ledges of lights

there is a bird but also creepy face in ad notable in this picture

just to give you an idea of Terminal 4, people and bird ratio...

Imagine my surprise when saw and now hear them while drinking my last good iced coffee for a while.  Note to anyone who serves coffee in London: please add iced coffee to your menu, not frappuccinos, just coffee, cold, with ice.  It’s amazing, and a great way to use old coffee.  Ok, enough begging for food items from major international cities.

I am writing the text for this post waiting for my flight back to London but don’t think I’ll be able to post it until I get back to London.  Unlike other saner places, at  JFK, wifi can be received but for a fee.  I love the birds here though.  They are dive-bombing the café area for food.

Woke up today terrified of going back to London but now feeling OK.  Went to a meditation meeting, which was great, as we talk afterward, and I was able to cry and share my feelings.  Then, somehow, the deep sadness and fear feels held and lighter for that.  Though one woman came up to me twice to try to give me an annoying acronym about fear (Forgetting Everything is Alright – presumably the R is meant to be capitalized).  I hate it when people I don’t know come up to me with unsolicited advice, especially when it involves annoying acronyms.  Fortunately, no one else had that response, instead listening and holding space for the feelings.

Then I met with the lovely, irreplaceable and inimitable Martin and Rochelle Denton.  Now, for those of you not in NYC, you may not know about the miracle that is Martin and Rochelle.  Martin started a website called nytheatre.com to publish his reviews of mostly Off-Off-Broadway, but also Off-Broadway and Broadway shows that would invite a new reviewer.  Over the years, his site has become known as the most comprehensive review of the downtown (now called ‘Indie’) scene.  He had the even more brilliant and brave idea of publishing an anthology each year of plays that he had seen and particularly liked Off-Off-Broadway.  He realized that these plays were being lost and should not be.  At some point in here, and I can’t remember precisely when, his mother Rochelle moved up to NYC with him to aid and abet this endeavor.  So in a little over 10 years they are a mini-empire of reviewing and publishing, all out of their apartment shared with their cats Briscoe and Logan (two characters from Law and Order).   

They now live in midtown. Their first place was downtown near the World Trade Center and they had about a foot of ash and debris on the concrete patio outside their window after 9/11.  On the day itself, the sky outside their apartment went black (they lived in the shadow of WTC).  They had been forced to leave without their cats and were horrified that they might die, but happily they both survived.  Their story about walking through the devastation that night is gruesome and I will not detail it here, however with a little imagination you can probably picture it, along with the trauma of having been forcibly evacuated from their place and not knowing when or if they could return.

However, now they are happy and publishing and reviewing away.  Seeing them always cheers me up, not least of all because they are fans of my writing and my work, but equally because they are lovely, intelligent people who have devoted their lives to promoting independent theater in NYC.  Two of my plays will be published soon on their new e-publishing project Indie Theater Now, so you can read them for $1.29 (less than a subway ride!) along with lots of other plays.  And if you want to produce one, you contact the author and/or agent directly.  Me, I’m still represented by – well – me.  Someday soon I hope for this to change but for now, get in touch with me directly.

OK, gotta go find my departure gate now….will write more if I can.

July 8

Back in London, which feels like a crash landing onto a mountain of glass.  Boxes around the house, the inevitability of departure of my husband on Monday, many tears and wishing it could be different.  I knew it would be like this.  That’s why I dreaded it.

However, will post this as is for now.  Need to get up and out of the house and meet with some friends or will just sink into depression.  I know I can walk through this but right now is the excruciating bit and, as is necessary for me to stay alive, without anesthesia.

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