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 2, 2011

weird day

A day that starts on the phone with your therapist in London, when you are in NYC is probably going to be a weird day, and this one did not disappoint.  Stuff came up, as it does, and then that made it hard to focus on the Tasks At Hand, etc., etc.

However, after some drama involving a family member who shall remain nameless, I had a good talk with my step-father Tom and then managed to finally send off a couple CVs to some places I would actually like to work.  I have some ideas bubbling away and that is good.

I also decided to go officially look at an apartment - this one in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn - the price was right, the place itself was cute, but there were two young men in the foyer on their phones just kinda hangin' around.  Now, seeing as they were not actors or doctors on call, my vast experience - which is actually quite extensive - with living in such buildings is these guys are drug dealers.  This being the New, New York, they were quite polite and I would say even amused by my presence.  However, I think the time has passed when I would be happy to live in a building inhabited so casually by dealers.  I have done that, it is called being in your 20s and an artist living in NYC.  So, that one's not gonna happen.

Then I come back to a note from a broker that an apartment I was interested in is available but you have to have an income 40x the monthly rent.  Ha.  I say.  Ha.

OK, so Welcome Back to New York!

Perhaps, I am delusional - no, let me rephrase that: clearly I am delusional and thought once I made up my pretty little mind that I'd move back that that seas would part and all would slot into place.

Um.  No.

In other words, I'm moving back to actual New York, not fantasy New York, and that's OK.  Also, it was the first place I checked out officially.  So...there's hope.  She said bravely.

After this traumatic experience I went to meet with some friends and had dinner with a woman I met at a writer's group, had a lovely Thai meal and came back here.  I'm feeling some anxiety rising in me, so I will focus on chilling out tonight, maybe watching some therapeutic tennis or baseball and go to bed early.

There is a lovely place I go on Saturdays to be with some folks I find to be deeply sane and look forward to that.   I need it to ground me.

I know I'll be OK, that's the funny part, but I also know I need to take good care of myself as there is some part of me that is fragile and precious that is emerging and I need to protect.  That may sound like a contradiction, but it isn't.

So, goodnight everyone.  Wish me luck and send me good apartment and work finding kinda prayers and thoughts or whatever you believe works...


  1. Sending luck and lots of good wishes your way, Julia. I know we are yet to meet but I pick up your excitement with NYC and these new plans. . .go for it. And thank all the gods for friends and for Thai meals !


  2. Thanks so much, and as you can see from my next post, I have found a place, so one major thing sorted out, hooray! And yes indeed thanking all gods, goddesses and demi-gods for friends and Thai iced tea in particular - though today was all about dosa, gluten free dosa...

    A lot to do between when I move back here and now in a relatively short period of time, but it's certainly exciting, scary...all that...and hopefully we will still meet someday on one side or other of the planet. Hard to believe we haven't already.

  3. Easier these days than it's ever been to meet up.Our great-grandparents and our grandparents would stare at us, amazed.

    And hurray for Art Deco, and the Hudson River, and greenery !