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.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Doors opening where there only used to be a wall visible...

Just finished the surreal have the person you've separated from over to dinner thing - anyone who has separated from a long term relationship and still lives in the place shared with said person and has had them over will know the weirdness of this.  The weirdest part being it doesn't feel weird at all, until after the fact when you're alone in the house again.  A strange disconnect between the familiar and the rupture from the familiar.

I feel in many ways comfortable with holding a space for the ambiguity of this situation, but in other ways - like when I just typed that sentence and my whole internal physical structure went whaaaaat in some mysterious yet unmistakable way - I'm obviously not.  So I should say it this way: I am Attempting to not have a story-line here, cling to a way of thinking about this either in the negative or positive.  But that may or may not be humanly possible.  We'll see.

Meanwhile, today I started feeling how wonderful it will be to be in NYC for a whole month, uninterrupted, in one place, most of the time by myself - with writing to do and reviewing for FringeNYC for nytheatre.com.  I've never done that before and will attempt to bear in mind my rants and raves at critics in general when I try to do it myself.  I have a feeling I will fail miserably in being fair and even handed but will see.

I am so glad that I will be able to see friends without it being frantic and that I can just stroll around and meet up with people when I want and not when I don't want to do that and well - ahhhhh.  It just feels so Right.

I met up with some friends earlier and also just enjoyed just walking in what was a drop dead gorgeous day here in London - when it's sunny and mild here, it's just amazing, because I have a back garden and there's green space in the city, and it's just great.  Also, seeing the heatwave in the US, I am grateful beyond measure for the 70-75 F degree heat here in the summer - sometimes dropping to about 60 or raising usually max to 80.  Ideal.

My final day for dealing with taxes is tomorrow as I have to call another government agency with that figure (the UK is full of government agencies - many of which appear to work in parallel to one another but don't seem to Quite know what the other one is doing - it's a bit like the movie Brazil in this way) - managed to avoid them today but almost done.  Will start with yoga however - it's healthy Friday.  After tomorrow's paperwork is done, I hope to begin writing again and/or plotting theatrical projects.

Oh, that reminds me, a fellow named Ben started a discussion thread on a listserve on which I am a member about being an independent artist-researcher.  He, like so many of us, has a PhD but no permanent post - is doing ongoing research (which if you are an artist means your artistic practice itself, which - if you did a PhD - has critical stuff built into the system) and is wondering about how we get funding to continue our work in an academic as well as professional context.  Happily, not only I, but many people came out of the closet to say - yeah, me too, let's Do something about this.  And so we're going to get together sometime, probably in September and talk about how to unite, organize and think of ways of disseminating our knowledge and practice, outside of the begging fields of visiting lecturing (Americans: adjuncting), guest lecturing, workshops, etc., etc.  This is very exciting and shows the power of one person - in this case Ben - to simply say - hey, what's up with that?  And for a bunch of other people to say - yeah, good question - and begin organizing.  So simple, so clear, so brilliant for this, so thanks Ben!  And for anyone from the US or elsewhere reading this, we are thinking of this as an international endeavor.  Anyone interested  who is in NYC, get in touch when I'm around (mid-Aug to mid-Sept) and I'll tell you what's up on our end and get your ideas to bring to the late September meeting.  Or, if you're interested and can't do that, send me an email or tell me in comments, and I'll make sure you're in the loop.  This could be very exciting.

So, on that uncharacteristically optimistic note, I will send this post.  Here's to new doors opening, especially ones we didn't even know were there to open in the first place, new ways forward and all the good stuff.

p.s. as I was about to post this my good friend Renee (see picture and discussion of our relationship in June 19 post...) now living in Vancouver called.  We had a wonderful long talk about many things, but for public consumption, I realized talking to her that the performance I did at Southend-on-Sea is something I can bring elsewhere...not that performance, but the idea of being somewhere, getting images and words, creating a new piece and involving the audience...so if anyone who's been reading this blog is interested in such a project happening in your town/city/abandoned building, etc., get in touch!  Posts about the creation and performance of the show are in and around May 31 and July 13-17.

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