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. So blessed for the opportunity and hope to find a more permanent job doing same.

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 having written a rough draft of a new book and some other projects.

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.


Friday, October 30, 2015

I'm Still Here & More Good News!

Apologies for falling off the map, but it's been a crazy transition into the school year, plus some wonderful news, which was The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick and Jani was long listed for Mslexia, a fiction prize in the UK! This was based on the opening pages of the book, so, I had to format the manuscript, look it over for some final edits and add in some photos to send to them for the short-listing process. I just sent this book off on Monday night and it took whatever last little bit of energy I had left.

I have since taken some time off, but still am teaching, so it's not time off precisely, just not trying to teach and write at the same time, which I find very hard.

More later when my brain and body returns, but did want to share the good news.

The autumn here is lovely. Some pix will be posted soon, too!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Good news, anniversary and Maine...

Some good news!

My story The God Thing was nominated by its publisher Stockholm Review of Literature for a Sundress Best of the Net 2015 award. That was quite a pleasant surprise and will hopefully help in the agent/publisher hunt ongoing for The Book.

Am in Maine now, enjoying a few days off with John, celebrating our one year wedding ceremony anniversary, and my mother's birthday - belated. October light in Maine is spectacular. I forgot. Haven't been here in Maine in I don't know how long.

Still unreeling from writing the book. Had a lovely reading at KGB Bar - wonderful response from the audience that included friends of mine from parts of my life ranging from the 1980s to now - always a great feeling. Here's a photo of me with my fellow readers from Paragraph, Sarah Wetzel (gorgeous poet) and Kiri Milburn (at work on very moving novel):

Sarah, me, Kiri at KGB on Sept. 25, 2015 - great night -
photo by my love,  John Barclay-Morton


I'm writing this in cafe in Brunswick, Maine - Little Dog. Hence the choppiness, but it's also the only time I've had in ages to write here, so trying to steal this moment to do so.

So, post-book, I'm mostly breathing but also having lots of ideas for possible plays and books and wanting to get started on those. Because I had to do quick turn around to teach haven't had a chance to begin that work yet, so feel terribly guilty about that but also out of sorts. Without a creative project on the go, I can feel bereft. On the other hand, I know I have a 'baking period' - and that is happening now. I am not at a computer or notebook writing but my ideas are percolating. Given how much I had to push myself to get the book done, I think a month or so without active writing is probably OK.

Also beginning to dip toe in tiny ways back into theater world. I want to do that mindfully for many reasons.

What I've realized is that the few years off I've had from theater for the most part has given me a chance to survey more carefully the NYC performance scene and consider where I may fit in best. Because NYC grows in dog years, having been away for 8 years means when I returned in 2011 everything had changed. At first I found that disorienting and disturbing, but now I see the possibilities in carefully returning to places and people that may be better fits with where I am now...Have been meeting people these past couple of years who feel as if they would be good collaborators. I am surprised by how much I have changed in many ways. That doesn't mean there aren't people who I've worked with before I don't want to work with now - not at all - it's more about the whole thing - the how, where, why, when of it...and how that can manifest. This probably all sounds hopelessly vague, so the short-form version is: feeling it out slowly...

But for now, for now, enjoying the autumn light, the ocean at Pemaquid Point, the changing leaves and visiting with people I haven't seen in a while is enough - is more than enough. I have some pictures from the ocean on my phone but am on computer here so will post later.

Meanwhile, here's a photo of milkweed on Rock Schoolhouse Road from yesterday, in front of where my mother and Tom used to live. Haven't been back there since 2004. A beautiful place they kept lovingly from 1993-2005 when they had to move. For practical reasons, Brunswick is best, but it's melancholy to see such a gorgeous place they had loved so much. Life-the fucker-the whirligig-the magic show-she never sits still.

Milkweed on Rock Schoolhouse Road, Bristol, Maine, Oct 2015






































I could go on about the state of politics, etc. in the US, but will spare you that. Other than one quick observation: I have hope for the Bernie Sanders movement. I do not know how deep and broad it is, but glad to know it exists at all. The garish, loud stuff is all about the GOP and the crazies, but there seems to be a much quieter, more persistent movement for real change. Am I dreaming? Could be. Am I hopeful for the first time in many years? Yes. We'll see.