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, September 4, 2011

immigration and coming home...new and old

I've had a mixed day of real estate and writing - pondering where all my books will go in a small studio (that woke me up in a panic at 4am).  Yes, that's right, I woke up at 4am panicked about where I would put my books and papers.  Do you see where my priorities are?  I then realized that God invented storage units for a reason, so I could breathe again.


This much I have recently discovered in my searching for a place to live: Inwood is kind of great and reminds me of old school NYC, open air cafes, kick ass live jazz playing, a real mix of folks, lots of different languages, bodegas, donut shops, cafes, galleries, grocery stores, parks, gorgeous buildings and the air smells a lot better.  And it's still part of Manhattan.  Not bad, not bad at all.  As I have been living at the end of the Victoria line in London, it somehow seems fitting that I'll be living at the end of the A train in Manhattan.  


I am also working on writing for another project that I can't really write about here as it needs to be unpublished writing and blog posts count as published.  But suffice it to say I'm continuing on the trail of irony-itis and seeing where it goes.  I will be submitting what I'm writing now for paying work, which is why I can't go into it more here.

I will however, show you a photo of some of the papers and photos for my grandmother project, because I find other people's process stuff fun to see, so will see if you do, too.

(clockwise from top left) Jani's baby photos and her letters,
Dickie, my grandfather and father on album of Bukoski family photos
and genealogy papers of Bukoskis/Whitbecks (both given to me in June) 


The above photos and genealogy also reminds me of the Ellis Island heritage of NYC and it is strangely moving and humbling to realize I had relatives who just shipped themselves over here on a boat (either in the 1600s or 1900s) probably not having a clue how they would make a living or what they would do when they got here.  That's impressive.  Me, I have to make sure I have some money and a CV ready, get to take a plane and have a moving company schlep my stuff.  Not the same really, is it?



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