First, please note that many of the things I hoped would not happen in my last post regarding Boston marathon bombing are either (a) are happening or (b) are gearing up to happen.
Having said that, saw a heartening stat that most Americans now would rather risk terrorism than give up more liberties. Good sign. However, rampant racism and using this horrendous event to try to thwart immigration reform is just inane. Plus the fact that we can't pass gun control legislation in this country, even now, because politicians are bought and paid for by NRA and are therefore voting against the vast majority of Americans is equally depressing.
Every time I think politics in this country has hit a nadir, it manages to surpass itself...again. Thanks for the memories 'legislators'. Sigh. Anyone else in NYC up for trying to secede?
So, there's that.
Then there's the fact that I had an informal reading on Saturday at my apartment of my newest stage text (a part of my larger William James project:...whatever God is) and that rocked the house. By that I mean the actors rocked the house. The text needs some work...but seeing it, hearing it and getting feedback from these great actors and some trusted friends, made it Very clear what needs to happen next and what decisions I need to make about development, etc... So, thank you Andrea, Marietta, Jeannie, Julie and Nicole - with valuable assists from Paul and Paulette! So great to have other voices and bodies in the room besides me...a relief actually.
I'll be applying for some development time/grants in hopes of being able to create the piece, which I want to do in collaboration with others, because the themes of loss, transformation and spiritual experiences in relation thereto is something a lot of people share and I want to bring in others' experiences, in the same way James did in Varieties of Religious Experience, which I'm pillaging for this text (along with Book of Job)...James is a genius by the way, waaay ahead of his time, even preternaturally feminist in his ability to listen to and not pathologize female experience. In some ways his views were blinkered but - rarely for a philosopher in 1901-2 - not deaf to women's voices.
So, I'm rewriting that text now...
In other writing news, I thought I might have enough polished pages of my grandmother book to send to an agent who is interested in reading them, but first sent those pages to a trusted writing mentor, Jill, who gave me feedback I need to take on board first. At first I was sad (because while I fear I'm a fraud I always hope someone will tell me I shit gold), but then realized her suggestions were good and that I want to do something with this book that I have not thus far managed to do, namely, write something which is complex but also more accessible than my other work. So, I'm going to take suggestions from people, like her, who are excellent writers who have completed books that have been published, awarded, etc. Because they might know more than me (shock, horror).
My beloved Canadian and I are physically separated right now, which just sucks, but he should be able to come down to NYC again in time for my (gasp) 50th birthday, so that'll take the edge off...However, even separated, our love continues to grow, which is just wonderful, and I know that this love has a lot to do with the groundedness I feel in relation to my writing and creativity in general. Plus being back in NYC, which I always find grounding...though as I write this my eyelid is twitching a bit, so it all may be a giant illusion. However, whenever I'm away from New York, after a time I start getting unhappy, then very unhappy. I wish I loved another more peaceful place, but I don't...so that's that.
Spring is springing, green buds appearing, grass growing, little birds flying about, warm cool breezes lovely air...Inwood lovely. Pictures soon...
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.