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.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Finished teaching and grading so have no brain...

Just finished the last grading of the semester, finished teaching last Thursday.  Consequently, I have the brain of a squid - no offence to squids but you get the idea...

I wondered why on Friday (the day after I finished teaching), I could not instantly focus.  I had planned that by today, Monday, I'd be back writing regularly.  Probably needless to say, that has not happened.  I am in desperate need of what I hope I can give myself right now: deep rest.

However, all my stuff arrives from London on Thursday so am wondering what that will bring in terms of space issues, etc...what I'll do with stuff and blah blah blah...I also have the voices telling me I have to be writing at least One of the books I'm working on...or else I'm a Fraud...(yawn...even I'm bored with my own self-laceration routine...)

I have some little things to do here and there and am doing them and I guess I'd like to believe I'm allowed to believe that's enough - I've been on GO since mid-June when my husband said he wanted to separate and I agreed to try that out.  I did not have the break I had envisioned in September in Orkney or any kind of break at all really (if you think I'm exaggerating - re-read this blog from mid-June on and please inform me when you get to the break part).

However, saying this, even SAYING this makes me feel guilty - like I should be on GO at all times, every moment...OR if I'm going to rest it has to be in some particularly wholesome zen yoga way that involves incense and focus.

Christ on a stick.

Please dear JesusBuddhaMaryJosephAllahVishnuWhoeverThe Fuck save me from this Driven Madness...this is workaholism pure and simple - driven by the dogs of self-hatred and exhaustion.  A nasty little demon, tiny annoying with bite like some particularly heinous parasite...

Which is all a long way to explain why there was a break however brief in this blog, as I needed to even Not to do this...

This feeling of MustDoNow is also blowback from some good decisions I made earlier this week to not to do something that would have been exhausting, so the usual pattern is this: first, feel ashamed of making that decision, then feel better, and even somewhat proud of myself, then find a reason to worry about something or a reason to feel badly about myself, then focus on a project I am Not doing and begin the process of lashing myself over the head with that.


OK, so I'm going to stop typing here and allow myself to Imperfectly Rest...or as someone once said to me: whatever's worth doing is worth doing badly.

Amen to that.

So I bid you sweet dreams while I go off and do something badly...


  1. I'm trying to internalize SlowLoveLife. Still have a way to go with that practice, but little by little I'm beginning to hear the Whispers of "Go Slow" or, at least, find way to "Pace" my days -- without the guilt and shame that, in turn, leads to overdrive, followed by not pretty physical crashes. Some people talk about yo-yoing diets. I talk about yo-yoing days. Sanity says to me, "Get Off That Bus"....


  2. Thanks, Julia, a very good description of where I find myself! Finished money-earning type work projects for now, so have launched into a) clearing out old papers, b) preparing for Christmas, c) learning some new work-related stuff, d) trying to take care of body/mind/spirit better -and chastising self for not doing all these and more perfectly.
    Will also try (and I do mean try) to allow myself to be more and do less. Love etc. xxx

  3. Thanks Robin and Lesley...still working on the resting business - with stuff arriving on Thursday, it's a bit harder than I'd like plus paperwork, etc. Wish going slow came more naturally but don't want to start beating myself up for that, too (!)

    Now, to bed...speaking of rest...

  4. Understand -- oh yes -- so understand.