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, February 24, 2012

sometimes you just gotta break the rules

No, I'm not talking about anything risque, simply about being sick and trying to rest, eat and medicate properly, still feeling sick after antibiotics and virtuously going in to teach the last two days, to hear such lovely phrases as this charmer from one student "I think you should have taken another day off, professor."  Thanks for sharing, I said.  No, not nicely, but sarcastically in my squeaking voice.  Acting class the night before I didn't mind, because the students are so enthusiastic and self-motivated.  But a 35 student lecture class that is required of anyone who wants to graduate from BCC, not so much.  Especially when you have no voice.  And a contract that only gives you 2 sick days, with which fact you wisely decide not to regale this particular student.

However, some students were quite sweet and a number are complimentary of the fact that I correct every sentence they write so they can learn proper grammar.  No one has done that for most of them.  No one.  Like ever.  It's horrendous.  As I said to one student, yeah, you can get so far in the world without writing properly, but Only So Far and then there's a limit.  If you want to shoot high, you Need to Know How to Write.

So I get home, call my mother to whine, which was quite comforting.  That was after first rule break: bought Boston Cream Donut and ice-cream.  Zero nutritional value but sick of green stuff and my throat hurting.  I then had some chicken bullion, which inspired ordering a pizza.  I ate some of that along with drinking Diet Pepsi.

I know this sounds dubious but it reminds me of when I had had an operation in the UK in which there were some complications, so I had been under anaesthesia for too long.  Afterwards I felt like I was recovering from a drug overdose.  I asked for ginger ale, but that is not common in UK.  Instead, there is this hideous looking and tasting drink called Irn Bru.  It is pink-orange, tastes like drinking bubble gum.  My friend Keith brought it to me, chirpily saying: this is the best cure for a hangover that exists.
So, after having not been able to hold down any food or drink, I started sipping this seemingly toxic drink, which, you guessed it, stayed down and somehow defeated the overdose feeling.  I think it's like two negatives equaling a positive.  Simple math for toxicity and strange infections that Won't Go Away.

I'm hoping now that I feel content this feeling will last - it may or may not.  But at least I have one evening of some pleasure, which is more than I've had for days and days and days....

The writing of which brought on a coughing fit.

Fun times.

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