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, September 9, 2011

Good news, Obama and now toast

So, I got the job and will be teaching 'interpersonal communications' at Bronx Community College - twice.  They have a system wherein the classes are taught in 5 week intensive bursts.  So, those 10 weeks in total will be busy but everything happens within them, which is a bonus.  Also class size is limited to 20, which is great.

The amazing thing about this job, besides the fact it happened to quickly, is that it is a walk from where I will be living, across a bridge.  I got to see the 'East of Broadway' part of Inwood today and enjoyed it very much, reminded me so much of what the Upper West Side above 96th Street used to be like in the 1980s, Latino, lively, taco stores, cheap furniture, dollar stores, music everywhere and people seeming generally quite happy.

The students at Bronx Community College are the New York version of my students at University of East London, so I am glad of that as well.  Diverse, lively and striving against pretty steep odds - a good mix.  There's also surprisingly nice bits of architecture throughout the campus, along with the requisite horrendous more modern, now just kind of sad looking architectural mistakes that abound on campuses the world over.

I am very grateful to have gotten the work, though am feeling somewhat overwhelmed by how much I need to turn around in a short period of time that now also includes a syllabus.

I have received more invitations to speak with heads of departments elsewhere and am very gratified with this response, which makes me feel better and better about my decision to move back to NYC.

However, after the interview and trying to get a bank account and not having the proper paperwork and realizing half of my life is still in London, I just turned into toast and realized I needed to eat and stop.  Paperwork will happen, and I simply cannot do it all at once.

So, I ate, watched Obama speak to Congress - and realized once again that the reason I have liked him is that he is reasonable in the face of such total fucking insanity.  I know he's no left wing firebrand, but damn compared to the vaguely - well - really scary looking Tea Party people sitting ramrod straight and angry, and the mostly bored looking apathetic Democrats in his own party, he looks like a superhero.

No one probably watched the speech though and a bunch of people will comment on it that care, most people will ignore it and the Republicans will make damn sure the economy stays in bad shape so they can get re-elected.  Apparently all the Republican candidates had to take some kind of pledge that climate change is a lie as is evolution.  They all did except for one - who will now be marginalized as the Dennis Kucinich of the Republicans and not allowed to play in their reindeer games.

And I'm coming home!  Even with this...ahhh, welcome baaaack....but at least I'm here and can say and do stuff about it.  She said bravely...

Luckily I went to meet with my sane friends, am suitably tired now go off to bed...


  1. i am so very proud of you. cannot quite believe all that you have achieved in just one month. you are one heck of a lady. obama may be a super hero - but so are you.

    will miss you like crazy and to me london will never be the same without your presence here. lots and lots of love bibxxx

  2. Thanks my dear, you know I will miss you terribly but this means you Are visiting NYC and you know that, too. Then you will find a way to stay. This is my devious plan...

  3. -amazing news, Julia! London's loss is NYC's gain.