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, February 20, 2012

Hello Cruel World and why UK is better place to get sick.

First things first as Gretchen Peters love-fest continues.  Here's the link to her website with this new album Hello Cruel World on it.  You can listen to it here.  If you don't, you are a fool.  Period.  This woman is amazing.

She also had the class to retweet my post about her album and send a tweet saying she loved my blog, so of course she has gone from amazing to sheer genius (OK, but you know I loved her before she did that, so...).  But seriously, the lyrics have actual real-live depth, the music is smart and includes the mandolin.  How can you not love that?  Plus, this woman has lived. some years. on this planet.

And for those of you who know my work, you will appreciate that her bio on Twitter is "I turn found objects into songs."

OK, so if I've done nothing else of value this month, I've introduced you who read this to her and again thanks to NPR for their show.

Now a rant: do not get sick in the US.  If you have to get sick, it is far better to be in the UK.  I am still sick, voice still not back, fever coming and going.  So, not only do I have the anxiety (because I have no health insurance as a first year adjunct at CUNY) can I afford doctor?  I have to go now, as this has gone on for days.  But also, if I ask for my Legal sick day from work tomorrow, will they decide I'm a horrible person and not reappoint me.  As an adjunct you are appointed term by term, so even if you work according to the contract, that may not be considered good enough.  So, all this stress on top of an Endless flu/cold, which has probably been so prolonged due to dragging my ass through first part (cold) the week before last, so as not to have this concern.

OK, in UK: (a) GP (doctor) is free, as in Free.  Then, if GP decides you are too sick to go to work, you get a note saying that and you don't have to go to work.  End of story.  Everyone knows it, everyone adheres to this.  That's that.  If you get sick for too long, you get disability, help paying housing costs, etc....

So, like, you see my point.  So, after day 5 of this thing dragging on and all of the above, yes, folks, I am missing the UK and the social safety net that exists because of a fundamental idea of caring for people who are vulnerable.  US works really well when you are healthy, young and making money - starts crumbling when you get sick, older and don't make a lot of money.

End rant.

Nice things today - people I ran into when out for a few minutes to buy some stuff all seemed quite friendly.  Two friends braved House of Sickness to visit.  My cat continues to save my sanity.  And the Knicks (basketball team) are fun to watch now.

Speaking of which time to go watch them again....even though they are having difficulties tonight...

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