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 24, 2015

Thank you all those who made writing Dick and Jani possible!

So, it's Christmas Eve and a time to think of the light that follows the dark and all that fun stuff. As I have been nattering on social media recently, tonight marks a holiday that celebrates a pregnant woman who no one would let in their house, so she gave birth amongst farm animals to an spirtitual-anarchist-nomad.

How this became a religion is beyond me, but I digress...

So, what I want to say is THANK YOU to everyone who has supported the writing of The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick and Jani! The list below mentions those who contributed money and/or time, and includes in spirit all the anonymous donors as well.

As most of you know, I did finish writing the revised draft of the book in August. Hooray! I am still waiting to hear back from the agent who expressed the most interest, and also seeking other agents. The book was long-listed for a prize in UK but was not short listed. I have read excerpts a couple times in NYC at KGB Bar and in Bruce's Garden uptown in Inwood, also read some for the first time ever at Vermont Studio Center, which was an incredibly affirming experience. So, I am in the hallway, waiting for that next door to open, but with a completed book rather than a pipe dream, and for that I am extremely grateful.

Without all the people below, I would not have had the dedicated time to complete the book, and I cannot express enough gratitude to you. Some people listed offered time (reading or helping with crowd funding campaign), and all the help has been invaluable. If your name is not listed below, that is because you marked anonymous on your contribution. If you want to change that at any time, get in touch and you will be added.

So, here's the honor roll of gorgeous, talented and generous folks, including the good people at Vermont Studio Center and Wisdom House who offered me residencies this summer (and Marietta who had me at her other cabin in New Hampshire on the lake) and Paragraph Writer's Studio for allowing me into your sanctuary in NYC. You are all fabulous!

John Barclay-Morton, Allan Bilsky, Alison Blunt, 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, Wendy Coyle, Jay Davidson, Lisa Dierbeck, Michael DiGioia, Peter Felsenthal, Robyn Flemming, Kathy Franklin, Dana Leslie Goldstein, Kélina Gotman, Susan Greenfield, Carle Groome, Marietta Hedges, Renata Hinrichs, Julia Hough, Christian Huygen, David Irons, Bill Jose, Judy Kamilhor, Jeffrey A Lewonczyk, Jennifer Litchfield, Jana Llewellyn, Timothy Lone, Amy Loomis, Alyson Lounsbury, Sarah Lowengard, Amy Ludwig, Pam MacLean, Rachel Malbin, Jane Marcellus, Dave Maine, Carol Martin, Carmel McMahon, Susan Meeker, Sharon Miller, Glenn Mitchell, Becky Mode, Katherine & Peter Myles, Veronica Needa, Paragraph Writer's Space, 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, Vermont Studio Center, Sallyanne Wood, Frances Wooding, Wisdom House and all the Anonymous Donors!

Also want to thank other people not on this particular list for being generally supportive in so many ways all year, including attending readings, listen to me bitch, moan and celebrate as it went along. The list is too long, but I trust you know who you are.

Apparently, it takes a village to write a book. Thank you for being part of this village.

If you would like to join this amazing group of people (or just want to know more about the book), you can always check it out here: The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick and Jani 

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the holiday season even if you are a pagan like me. Don't let religions get you down, enjoy the festivals of light and the excuse to be generous and kind to those you love...and even those you don't (extra credit for that!)

My beloved Canadian and I are spending the holidays together, pretty low key, and that is nice. A tad melancholy for Christmases past with those who are no longer with us, or friends and family not living nearby, but overall grateful for our little patch...and the wonderful friends with whom we are spending time throughout this season.

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