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.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Unravelling...(...and reading at KGB Bar on 9/25!)

So, when you finish a five-year long project - like oh say a book about your grandmothers - apparently the first response - if you're me - is to: get a summer cold.

I have, in short, been unravelling for the past week or so. A long process of unwinding tightly held together string or something along those lines.

The good news is: I'm present again in the world. The bad news is: I feel barely functional within it. Part of that has to do with the cold.

Good news is the local grocer hooked me up with some dried sage and told me to make a tea out of it for the cold, and that is working.

Bad news is I need to turn around two syllabi for teaching by Friday latest. Yes, I have outlines of both, and one class I have taught already so not a big issue, but the second one: yikes. Good news is: I'm really excited about teaching that class, which I have entitled Reality Hunger inspired by David Shields' eponymous manifesto.

So, I've been sleeping for a couple days, with yesterday and today including walks in the local gorgeous park. Reconnecting with friends and suchlike.

It's a slow unwind.

On a practical level: have sent the manuscript to an agent who was interested in reading it and to a novelist friend whom I trust to give me both honest and constructive feedback. Now, I wait.

There is not really much else to say. I could rant and rave about many aspects of the world right now, but happily there's Facebook for that now. So, you all just get me reflecting in calmer moments.

More as I know it.

Gratitude for completion of the project, even if I barely know what to do with myself now...but oh, before I forget:

SAVE THE DATE: I will be reading from The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick and Jani at KGB Bar on East 4th Street on Friday, September 25 at 7pm - along with some other writers from Paragraph. Should be a great night of writing shared with some very cool people and it's FREE! I would LOVE to see you there!

Peace out (and put down the damn gun...OK, so I couldn't not mention something...)

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