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 8, 2011

Ugo update plus more beauty

OK, so since I started blogging about Ugo the Rescue Cat I have seen a huge uptick in my readership.

So, what you want to know first:

He (Ugo) is playing with toys I bought him and a scratching post as we speak, right behind me.  When I came back in this evening, thinking he had decided to go live behind the sofa again, he was on window sill.  Last night he ate a lot of food and - well - made use of the litter box.

He's now thumping around and making a racket with things that have bells and cardboard.

I tried to take a photo but flash did something weird and it won't transfer.  He is camera shy!

However, having taken a long walk again today after teaching, I'll let Inwood after that speak for itself...

While sitting and looking at the water below I realized it's time for soul diving.  Time to give up whatever ideas for good or ill I've had about how my life Should look and simply make sure I am feeding my soul and let the gods and goddesses sort out all the achievement-recognition stuff.  I\ve been obsessed with that in one way or the other since dirt, and it's time to end the: when I've acheived x and y, I'll be worth z routine.  Yes, it's taken many tricky turns over the years and covered itself over in much more righteous clothing, but it amounts to the same thing: this or that external thing (usually recognition) will make me feel better and/or a relationship or whatever.  And it won't and it never has and never will.

I do know this: I love where I live more than I can ever remember loving where I live and I want to remember this and say a momentary prayer of gratitude for all this beauty, the great cafe where I can chill out and work and the general population up here, which includes everything from the hippest street kids to a couple teenage hippies playing guitar on the rocks, including - and I shit you not - Norwegian Wood.  2011...and Crosby and Nash were downtown playing at Occupy Wall Street.

What next?  The Beatles reunite after George and John come back from the dead???

Ugo is just playing and playing now...which makes me very happy.

To sleep....


  1. Loved reading this--what a nice voice you have--and was particularly happy when you 'got' me with the memory of 'Norwegian Wood.' What a blast from the past!

  2. Thanks Jan, what a lovely thing to say...and yes Norwegian Wood was a blast from the past that moment for me as well! Glad it came across for you, too.

  3. I haven't heard of Norwegian Wood for -- well, decades... Thrilled to hear that Ugo (new name?) is continuing to do so well, though sorry to know you spent a sleepless night worrying about him. He is going to do just fine. And like all of us, probably with some "interesting" personality quirks.

    More amazing pictures!! What an astonishing area of the city you landed in. Hope camera allows you to take some of Ugo, too, soon.

    Soul-diving. What an insightful concept. Tough, but very revealing.


  4. Isn't it amazing, Inwood? I honestly feel I've found a piece of heaven. Ugo was name, I discovered from person who originally fed Ugo to get him off street, that the person upstairs from her had named her cat who looked identical to this Ugo. Her cat died last year and she was devastated by that - and Ugo 2nd (my Ugo) is apparently so similar that she (upstairs neighbor) could not bring herself to adopt him.

    For some reason as I was contemplating name, Ugo just kept coming up over and over in my mind, so that's his name. It's also 'silly beast' and 'sir lancelot'...