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, July 22, 2015

New Hampshire, finishing a book, and the fine art of letting go (no I'm not good at it)

So, I have edited a section of the book in record time staying at a cottage in New Hampshire, thanks to a most excellent friend, Marietta, who is hosting me. There is something about being on a lake, writing on a deck overlooking water and just not having to deal with most of modern life that suits me just fine - and my writing, too.

On to the very last section tomorrow, then to review what I have done over the next few weeks, with an eye to sending it out to some beta readers by end of August.

So, why do I feel depressed? I think it's because this process is about to go out of my hands, meaning I will be sharing the writing, after 5 years almost of incubating it. I think this is scaring the living crap out of me and one way that is manifesting is some level of depression - not the debilitating clinical kind - because I'm writing and taking care of myself, etc. - more the underlying, mild variety.

This is not a complaint, by the way, just an observation and somewhat of a puzzlement. But, I think it indicates something coming to an end and a letting go, neither of those things being anything I'm particularly good at pulling off with grace. Ends and/or letting go that is.

But I am moving forward (my theater director soul with a schedule as if I was in rehearsals with an opening night motoring away). And supported by all the wonders of clean air, pine trees, blue skies, white cloud, gorgeous sunsets, good food and a good friend. I miss my beloved John, but we Skype each night - back to the way we started. No substitute for in person being together, but it does mitigate the missing. My cat, Ugo, is not impressed with Skype however and just ignores me. Happily, he and John are now friends, so at least I don't have to feel guilty about that.

So, the weather forecast is: book on schedule to be in draft form by end of the summer with underlying northeastern depression. More as I know it.

However, I do want to end this post on note of profound gratitude for my week up here, which is already glorious and as always when I'm near the water and out of the way of most of civilization deeply healing...and some photos...(these were taken with my phone so not the best quality, but to give you an idea....)

beautiful sunset on the lake yesterday, from dock in front of cottage

reflected sunset light back of cottage, pine forest

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Happy 21st Birthday!

Happy 21st Birthday, Willow!

I hope you are having a fabulous day.

If you are reading this blog, I want you to know how much I look forward to meeting you, and how much I can relate to the weirdness of having step-parents thrust upon one. If you read back into this blog, you will see that my mother and father split up when I was young and there was much re-marrying and relocation in my life. I found it a bit dizzying and by the time I was your age, frankly annoying.

So, if you are annoyed by this post even, I get it. Unfortunately, I now also know what it was like for the step-parents. I thought, when I was young (yes I'm old enough to say that, which makes me even More annoying), that these people were trying to curry favor with me or one or the other parent, etc. I found their efforts to be disingenuous or lacking in some way. Now, what I know is that they just wanted to get to know me. However,  I - especially in my teens and twenties - did not want to get known. So, if you feel like that, too, I get it.

I also didn't talk to my father for years. Understand that, too. Though I am glad we did reconnect later on. Was our relationship perfect? No. Did it exist? Yes. Could I even venture to know what you want in this regard? No. Do I hope you'll someday want to get to know your Dad again? Yes. Is that my call? Absolutely not.

So, why am I yammering on anyway...well, just so you know, whenever, if ever, you do want to be in touch, I'm here, happy to get to know you in any way you'd like to be known. My virtual and actual door open to you at any time.

But no matter what, have a great birthday and welcome to 21!  For me, that was a wonderful, scary, strange but gorgeous year. I wish for you that your dearest dream come true.

All love to you from your (probably not evil) step-mother.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Another retreat and random good stuff...

So, hooray, I've been accepted to another writing retreat, this one is Wisdom House in Connecticut - a place that offers artists, writers and spiritual seekers refuge in the beautiful Litchfield!

I will be there in the first two weeks of August to - hopefully - complete the draft of the book. I really need to have that happen before I start teaching again in the autumn.  I'm about 4/5 through the current edit but still need to do another fine-tuning pass through before I'll feel comfortable sending it out, even to beta readers (friends who are writers who have agreed to read the draft and give me feedback) or possible agents.

I'm not writing much on the blog, because I'm writing many hours a day - or rather editing - but also writing, so am fried. I'm sure you understand.

In other good news, Indiegogo invited me to re-open the crowd-funding campaign for The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick and Jani (see right hand column). They have invited projects that reached their original goals (like this book did back in May 2014) to be able to accept contributions again on an 'in-demand' platform. So, like, if you want to help me out, please do!  There are nice perks involved (such as copies of the book, manuscript reviews and suchlike) and for all contributors an invite to the draft completion party.  Even if you can't contribute monetarily or if you already have, giving the campaign a shout-out on Facebook or Twitter, etc. would be great. Even clicking on the site helps bring project to attention of people browsing apparently...So, whatever floats your boat, and...

ANOTHER HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has already supported this project without whom it would be nowhere near completion.

The book will get written no matter what, but my funds are running low and the writing process has taken way longer than I expected, so any help is appreciated.

Now, back to the book....