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 25, 2014

Writing mostly but: Coney Island Mermaid Parade!

That's it.  That's pretty much all I do.  Thanks to all of you funding this stage, it's my job and I'm treating it as such.

Almost done with the research...and hoping to be writing the draft by July.  It will have been a whole year of research - thousands of pages of writing, correspondence, documents, photos, etc...well worth it, but damn...it'll feel good to be able to write again (of course most of the stuff I wrote before this methodical research year is destined for the circular file...but hopefully some will be salvageable)...

I therefore have precious little energy to blog.  Have tons to say about what I'm finding but am going to save all that for the book right now, with the exception of the Dinner Prize given to the folks who commented on the term micro-history (which will happen on July 17 - finally)...and my beloved Canadian who gets to hear All of It now that he's here (& he's here, he's here - hooray!)...and my friend Susan who gets text messages about my progress...but mostly it's me boxes of papers a room summer heat a cat a husband in other room engaged in job search...party on...

But, John & I did take one day off this past Saturday for the fabulous Coney Island Mermaid Parade - which if you haven't been is one of the most delightful experience ever - people of all body types, ages, races, sexualities, etc. dressed up as Mermaids, Mermen, Pirates, Sea Animals, you name it...parading along the boardwalk with hundreds of people watching, cheering and taking pictures.

I was one of them (taking pix) - have hundreds, but here are a few:

my fave photo embodying the spirit of the day: everyone gets to be a mermaid!

another lovely mermaid passing through

groovy punky gorgeous mermaids - rocking my world

she's just fabulous - nothing else to say


Saturday, June 14, 2014

I get to live with my own husband - hooray!

A quick post, because I need to get up crazy early to pick up John (aka my beloved Canadian) at the scenic Port Authority because he finally got his passport back with visa in it and we get to live together - FINALLY.  11 1/2 months after getting married...I could rant about that, but instead will just say: hooray!  He'll be here in the morning just in time for my birthday (on Sunday)!  Best birthday present ever!  Also in time for our July 1 wedding anniversary.

You can tell how tired I am by use of excessive exclamation points...

I am so grateful for this moment...and a moment to express gratitude again to all who donated to my Indiegogo campaign, because I've spent this week working on the book, which has been great.  Beginning to get that wonderful sinking into the work - down below the resistance and into the flow. And I get to keep doing this for the whole summer at least! Thank you all for making this possible.  Second best birthday present ever (see above for best one)!

The music gig I did earlier in the month (mentioned in last post) also went really well - singing, vocalizing and working with my own text in front of people & improvising with violinist (Alison Blunt) and soprano saxophonist (Gianni Mimmo) was a revelation.  I hope for more such wonderful experiences soon. The world feels like it is blooming in all directions - like a late spring garden gone mad - in a good way.

Here's to happy times...gratitude & friendship & love & artistic creation...

Not a bad way to turn 51.  Not bad at all.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

And now for something completely different...

Tomorrow I will have the great privilege and honor of performing at the Commons in Brooklyn with the amazing Alison Blunt, violinist, from the UK.  She and I worked together in many ways when I lived in London, including as part of my theater company (Apocryphal).  She now plays with fabulous saxophonist Gianni Mimmo from Italy - and lucky me, they asked me to gig with them on Wednesday!

I will be adding in excerpts of text and vocals, drawing from my multi-year meditation/text inspired by William James.  Should be a rollicking good time, if you like way out improvised music and your text cut up and sung (sort of).

Here's the details...come on over, down, up...etc...if you can.  First set looks to be amazing, too!

Music Now! at the Commons


June 4th, 2014 7:00 PM
PERFORMANCE
Music Now! @ the Commons
Julia Lee Barclay-Morton, Alison Blunt, Rocco John Iacovone, Gianni Mimmo, Ras Moshe, Dafna Naphtali, John Pietaro, Reuben Radding & Tor Yochai Snyder
7 PM Spring Music
With Ras Moshe
Tor Yochai Snyder
John Pietaro
Dafna Naphtali
Rocco John Iacovone
Reuben Radding
8 PM Words+Music
Alison Blunt (Uk): Violin
Gianni Mimmo (It): Soprano Sax
Julia Lee Barclay-Morton (Us): Text, Voice
Julia Lee Barclay-Morton is an award-winning writer and director of experimental theater, whose work has been published and produced internationally. She founded Apocryphal Theatre in London. Most of her stage texts are published in anthologies and online at www.indietheaternow.com.  She is working on a book about her grandmothers, The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick & Jani.
Mimmo/Blunt Duo: Soprano saxophonist Mimmo and violinist Blunt began to work together in 2013. A sparkling acoustic duo featuring a contemporary wild chamber attitude, improvising instant compositions, sound texture explorations and sudden lyrical flights, they have already performed prolifically in the UK, Germany, Italy and Finland. Experimental flavors, multi-perspective intuitions and reciprocal listening are the extremely well balanced blend of this duo that strives for an improvisation where “things happen.”
Continuing in the tradition of the loft jazz scene (i.e.- Studio Rivbea and Ali's Alley), Music Now is a monthly series featuring some of the most innovative artists on the music scene. The series is curated by veteran reedist and cultural worker Ras Moshe.

Admission: both sets $11
The Commons
388 Atlantic Avenue
BrooklynNY 11217
United States

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Honor Roll!

So, I'm back from Montreal - and today I have spent organizing my office/writing area and tomorrow I re-start work on the book.  I want to thank publicly every person who has made this moment possible (the donors to The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick & Jani campaign).  Some folks chose to stay anonymous, so there are more than meet the eye.  There were also people who donated time, ideas and help spreading the word to whom I am very grateful. But this list is for the folks who donated ranging in amount from $1 to $2,500 - each person a part of this book now.

If you donated and don't see your name here and wish you did, please do tell me so I can add you. The Indiegogo site perhaps listed you as wanting to remain anonymous and that's why you're not here.  I can change that.  Also, if you did choose to be anonymous, I do know who you all are and will be in touch with you all on progress of book.

One more note about this list: it includes people I've known throughout my whole life - some going back to summer programs and high school, some from college, some professionally and some through fabulous friendship that has spanned continents and years. Other people on this list I've never met and am astonished by their generosity and support. Of the people on this list I do know, I can tell you they are all amazing individuals who do great things in this world - some creative, some entrepreneurial, some activist, some academic, some in deep and profound service to others and many whose lives are a combination platter.  I'm going to take a leap and say I'm pretty sure the folks I don't know are the same.  Is this a certain kind of humblebrag? Yeah sure, but it's Also True!

Drum roll please....(thunder and lightening of gratitude...cheesy yet heartfelt effects...and...)

Very special thanks (and a place in heaven) to:

John Barclay-Morton, Allan Bilsky, Julie Clark Boak, Christoph Bolten, Ellen Boscov, Zoe Bouras, Jenny Boylan, Melinda Buckley, Glenda Burgess, Christine Campbell, Joanna Caldas, Francelle Carapetyan, Mark Cassidy & Suzanne Hersh, Sabrina Colie, Jay Davidson, Michael DiGioia, Peter Felsenthal, Robyn Flemming, Kathy Franklin, Dana Leslie Goldstein, Kélina Gotman, Susan Greenfield, Carle Groome, Renata Hinrichs, Julia Hough, Christian Huygen, David Irons, Bill Jose, Jeffrey A Lewonczyk, Jennifer Litchfield, Jana Llewellyn, Timothy Lone, Amy Loomis, Alyson Lounsbury, Sarah Lowengard, Amy Ludwig, Pam MacLean, Rachel Malbin, Jane Marcellus, Carol Martin, Susan Meeker, Sharon Miller, Glenn Mitchell, Katherine & Peter Myles, Veronica Needa, Nicole Poole, Steve Potter, Susan E. Purdy Pelosi, Nina Roberts, Karen Rush Rizzo, William Roetzheim, Tamara Rogers, Jonathan Salisbury, Nic Sammond, Amy L Sanders, Peter Schmidt, Robin Schmidt, Michael Steven Schultz, Rajni Shah & Theron Schmidt, Hasan Anil Sepetçi, Luis Sotelo, Malin Stahl, Carol Lynn Tabas, E Jill & James Tobak, Mario Veenstra, Sallyanne Wood and all the Anonymous Donors

and

with a special shout-out to my mother's friend Fran Woodring

who sent me a check (unsolicited) a few months ago, because she believes in what I was trying to do with this book and wanted to be a part of helping make it happen...which spontaneous gift gave me the courage to try the Indiegogo campaign...and has now led to this astonishing gift of time to put all my attention - without distraction on writing to complete the research and a draft.

I thank you all again and again.  Now to work....