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.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Back up in Maine - stepfather in ICU

So today they had to intubate my stepfather and so I came up to Maine.  I got the last seat on a JetBlue flight (unpaid endorsement: JetBlue = great) - ticket was remarkably cheap and the staff were uniformly helpful.

Was met by my stepsister and stepbrother Dru and Peter, and we had a dinner before going to the hospital.  It's so strange to be suddenly in each other's lives in the stressful time but everyone's coping well.  We all fell into each other's lives when we were young adults so there is always a bit of a dance in attempting to find connections, but they are very good people.

I'm delighted that I can be of use and support to my mother, that we've been around the thousands of blocks necessary to make that happen...and we have and so it can.

Seeing someone you love hooked up to machines and unconscious is horrendous, as anyone who has had this experience knows.  Fortunately, he has color in his face and his vitals are OK, but the fact the doctors aren't sure why certain things are happening is always somewhat distressing.  On the other hand, the fact they are honest about it, is encouraging in terms of their trustworthiness.

Because I'm insane, I brought my writing with me.  If I do any of it, that will be a minor miracle but I don't know how long I'll be here so it seemed the right thing to do.

Speaking of which:a shout out to Team Ugo - my friends in Inwood and Washington Heights who are taking care of my sweet kitty while I'm away.  If this isn't a testament to this neighborhood, I don't know what is.  I moved in in October and have a whole group of people willing to take care of my cat in June. That's amazing and beautiful and why I love NYC and at this moment in time Inwood in particular.

I'm listening to bullfrogs in the pond out back, hearing crickets and smelling the sweet air that only smells this way in Maine...something about pine trees, moist air, cool breeze and whatever else makes up the sweet smell...it even is noticeable in the airport.

I'm on the blow up mattress in the den, feel like a little kid again, which when about to turn 49 is (to now turn entirely British) no bad thing.

OK gonna try to get some sleep now in preparation for Whatever....prayer gratefully received.  If you are into Hindu deities at all, Tom (my stepfather)'s favorite is Ganesh.

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