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, August 18, 2011

so much theater so little time...

I spent the day watching or reviewing theater is what it feels like - probably because that is what happened.

I saw a reading of a new play by Micheline Auger first at 59 E. 59th St. called 'The Feminisim of a Soft Merlot (or How the Donkey Got Punched),' which was more intriguing than I expected it would be.  I'm a big theater snob basically, and generally don't warm to 4th wall, we're supposedly in someone's apartment type theater, but this was written well and the subject matter was intriguing, characters drawn well and the plot did not go along a predictable path.  I will not write much more about this, though, as it was a staged reading, and not for press as far as I could tell.  But, if you see it's playing somewhere near you, it's worth a look.

I was there with my new friend Eileen, but also saw people there I knew from my theater days in NYC past, and found talking with people I either did not know or did know but not that well incredibly stressful so fled home to eat a consolation bagel, drink iced coffee and write a review of Virgie (which will appear soon).  Ah, this reminds me, my first review of a FringeNYC show 'How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Lost My Virginity' is now published here: nytheatre.com.

The play I saw tonight was 'Theater of the Arcade,' and I will write about it tomorrow here on this blog.  As I am tired as per usual tonight, don't want to write about it and do it a disservice, especially as it has an interesting and complex structure, which deserves precise description.  But in general, it's a thumbs up (as I know you were all waiting for That kind of assessment...)  Even seeing people I knew well tonight also felt stressful, which makes me realize I am definitely not on top of my social game right now.

However, I can do one on one with the right people, and had dinner with my friend Nanette (who I've known since 1991 - 20 years if you're reading this Nanette - 20 years!!), which was lovely.  We met when she was accidentally a real estate agent (subsidizing her art habit) and helped my then partner and me find a place in her house in Williamsburg (before it was WILLIAMSBURG).  Tonight, lo these many years later, we bonded over the late 40s-early 50s weirdness place, which if you are female has quite specific parameters, hormonally, in terms of body shape, fertility and all sorts of questions about life in general.  We also have had many 'life events' impinge on our various career/creative trajectories, and commiserated over this state of affairs.  But in so doing lightened our burdens, as such honest sharing often does.  I also highly suggest for moods of tiredness and vague melancholy iced green tea and raspberry.  It did wonders.

But now, only sleep will do.  More tomorrow morning, when I will inaugurate the first official theater review to appear on the blog.

Just FYI, there is a massive and loud thunderstorm outside.  I hope it breaks the humidity, which is simply oppressive.  I love lightening and thunder.  Always have....when I was little, it would take out the electricity where we lived in rural Maine, so we got to eat cheese and crackers for dinner and it felt special.

So, probably getting off electronic equipment not a bad plan right now.  Good night!

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