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.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Want to help me - for free (!) - with The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick & Jani?

Well, here's how...

I just published a synopsis of the book here on Medium: The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick & Jani

The lovely folks at Medium (which is kind of like Tumblr but for longer-form articles) are hosting a contest for people who 'won' National Noveling Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), i.e. wrote over 50K words in November.  They have asked us to submit a 500 word synopsis of our books, and the three synopses with the most 'recommends' on the site (that's where you come in) then gets read by four literary folks, editors and agents. The book from the synopsis they choose can be submitted to an agent at ICM and an editor at Vintage and Anchor books.

This is clearly a fabulous opportunity.  Because the first part of the contest involves having folks recommend the synopsis, I am reaching out to you.  If you would be so kind as to read the synopsis and if you like what you see recommending it, I would be much obliged.

Thanking you in advance for all your support and - as always - for reading this blog.


In other news, My First Autograce Homeography (1973-1974) has been published today by Indie Theater Now, hooray!  So, if you didn't get a chance to see the show or you saw it and want to see the next, check it out.


In other news, yes everyone I know in New York is horrified that Eric Garner was killed in a chokehold by a member of the NYPD for the crime of selling cigarettes on a street corner and the officer was not indicted even though the whole event was videotaped.  I have been writing about that a lot on Facebook and Twitter, sharing links and outrage.  I am still mulling how best to articulate my thoughts on this beyond the initial and obvious horror.  All I could write last night was the simple - but clear feeling of everyone I know, which also happen - tragically - to have been Mr. Garner's last words:

I can't breathe.

Of course, for Mr. Garner the lack of breath was a real, physical reality and meant his death, while for us who are alive, it's a feeling of frustration, anger and especially for men of color - fear.  I am not equating the two, simply seeing the connection a lot of us are seeing.

On the bright side, the protests are made up of people of many colors and ages. Because I am teaching right now, I don't feel I can go and participate until the semester is over. This is because the police have a nasty habit of kettling and arresting people. Later though, I will be there, too.

Interestingly enough, my grandmother, Jani taught reading at integrated high schools in Milwaukee in the 1970s and had her share of run-ins with racist pinheads. She did things like hurl herself in the middle of racial fights, the shock of which generally diffused the situation.  So, in a sense, the book - tragically - addresses the situation we find ourselves in now - lo these many years later.

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