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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Guest rant about 'smart phones'...

I got an extended response to my smart phone rant yesterday and because on top of everything else some people can't leave comments on my blog for mysterious reasons known only to She Who is All Powerful Who We Don't Know Who She is Except that She is Not Us...Kristine sent me the below rant by email.  With her explicit permission I am reposting it.

And for the record, I STILL spent time today watching (yes I said WATCHING) reviews about smart phones...even though some part of me wants to throw up my hands and give up - this would be the wiser part of me...

But at least this much I know: no contracts.  They are insane(ly expensive).  Beyond that I'm still stuck...which is just weird, because it simply does not matter That Much.  

But now over to Guest rant from Kristine:

I succumbed and bought one  ("smart", not so sure) this past month.  Had a stupid phone for decades and sort of took for granted the luxury behind punching in a number, pressing redial and voila, a human.  Since I lack training on the depth, breadth, usage of this phone, punching (you don't punch  -- you must focus, take a breath, tap with feather-like precision WHATEVER the f @#k you want to do or you end up in very dark places) . . .

I'm having a difficult time with it.  In fact, I hate this phone but now I'm addicted.   

When my Verizon contract expired, I SO wanted to go with Credo / Working Assets, that 1%- going- to-charity-making- a-difference, but after reading that Verizon has some kind of satellite connection that emits LESS radiation to your ear-brain and concerned that i wouldn't have a satellite connection AT ALL living in boons, I went to the dark side.   I do like the camera / video capability and, yes, Julia, peer pressure played a part.   I have no qualms about admitting that -- the beauty of aging - you simply don't care.   I've never been part of a pack.  Now i'm howling at the moon.  

This ridiculously expensive phone which I got on sale b/c of my 'loyalty to Verizon' (this makes me far sicker than the peer pressure comment), features an internal robot named 'Siri' that you 'communicate with' to ostensibly set-up appointments.  I walk through the tedious 5-step process and am on the verge of setting up the appointment when she says "I am unable to do that."  Siri's a sadist.  

So there I go,  inadvertently disconnecting calls, launching games and apps I don't remember downloading,  randomly punching Siri's button and when i'm not jumping out of my skin wondering why Siri's calling, I want to wring her neck for not setting up my appointments which are few and far between these days which brings us to the real reason I'm a tad bit frustrated.. 

I have finally accepted that, along with the rest of us, I've been officially cast in a Phil Dick novel.  End of story. 

Kristine's rant proves something very important: I am not alone.  There are others like me.  And weirdly enough, I have met some of them, like Kristine, on the internet.  Originally I met her through my Linkedin group 'Independent Theatre Artists and Producers' - which if you haven't joined yet, feel free to do so.  There are now over 2,200 members from All Over the World - every continent and multiple languages.  I am proud of that.

Had a fun afternoon with Dana who I met at the BlogHer conference.  She came up to Inwood, which was not so pretty today as it's cold and rainy - alas.  We are about the same age and couldn't be more similar and different at the same time, which amuses us both no end.  She wrote a book and created a website/blog (listed on my blog roll) called Momover and has a delightful, light voice, which is a patina covering a lot of depth of soul and heart.  I am in awe of people like her, because I spend a lot of time in my little corners making experimental Stuff when people like Dana who clearly is whip smart, funny and interesting, manages to write and communicate on a much more accessible level.  All hail to you, Dana and thanking you in advance for the beauty product care package.  

Earlier, I managed to crawl through my class today on 'perception' (yes I find the humor in that as well) and now tonight am about to pack - hooray - for Thanksgiving.  A good friend Marietta will be staying at my place with lovely Ugo...who - stop press - did Not run under the sofa when Dana walked in the apartment.  This gives me hope that he will get along with Marietta and not be too freaked out about having a babysitter.

I do find myself pre-missing him, perhaps because it was when I was in Maine in December 2009 my cat of 20 years died.  Just made that connection.  Ouch.  Well with any luck Ugo, who is young, will make it for 3 days with a caring sitter.

He's been playing a lot and when I was typing the above, he came over to be pet by me.  He still isn't crawling up to the loft bed, but he's definitely feel this is his place now, which is just so great.  

OK, time to go finish grading mid-terms.  That would be a better use of time than watching reviews of smart phones...sigh.


  1. And when you arrive in Maine you can spend all your free time reading about smartphones in a couple of magazines we get -- Wired and Laptop (well, Tom reads them, I mostly just pick them up and stare stupidly at most of the articles).

    Teehee -- Snow, maybe rain here. Can't wait for tomorrow (while asking the gods for no flight delays)!!


  2. Julia, there's an open box here so I can respond after all! Very sweet of you to post my rant. Thx . . .

    I totally understand the separation anxiety re Ugo. :(
    May you both travel well, within the apartment, and beyond.

    Take care,