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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Art of Attempting to Take A Break from Something You Care About A lot

So, I haven't written on here in a bit because have been working hard trying to finalize my book & find a home for it. This is a long process. Longer than I had anticipated. And in the meantime, I have thought about it from many angles - the book itself, how to approach this process, etc.

As I was melting down about it again today, I realized something: I haven't Not thought about this book in Years. I conceptualized it in 2010, began writing in 2011 and didn't finish the current draft until August 2015 - which draft itself has been revised, restructured, then re-restructured etc...And in all this time, most especially since about July 2013 has eaten my life.

Hence, the need to take a week to Not think about the book. And that day begins now. It is such a radical idea I'm actually blogging about it. I am wondering if I will lose my shape as a person. It has defined me to such a degree that I am not sure who I will be when it's not my focus.

So, for this week I am not going to Do anything about the book, and I'm going to try to ward off all my endless rumination about it. However, like a young woman who can't let go of an obsession, this blog post is kind of like going to meet the bad boyfriend one last time to break it off. I know that.

But I'm also hoping this will make me accountable to do this.

I have lots of other things to do, including promote John's and my new website for our editorial and design business. Which - by the way - is here: Barclay-Morton Editorial+Design and I'm going to launch some other ideas as ways to bring in revenue as an artist. I'll announce those here. So I have plenty to do. Also going to venture into theater again in September with a new piece on Governor's Island...Not to mention typing up original draft of a brand new book-length thing that I'm not sure what it is yet...

So, I hope I can give some breathing space to the first book, and let some ideas come to me and maybe some responses come back from various places. And then - most importantly - an internal cue that is from somewhere besides endless rumination around the same parking lot of the same mid-sized mall in my brain...

Wish me luck!

Oh, and speaking of the launch of our new website, I'm a really good editor and teacher of writing, so feel free to contact me through the site if you need/want either. My specialty is working with writers of all kinds (academic, professional, creative) to help you find what you are trying to say and how you want to say it. I am particularly good at helping organize many disparate thoughts and ideas. I can do this as an editor of an existing manuscript or as a coach to help get you going on a new project or strategize on moving through a large project. What many students and clients have commented upon is my ability to help them synthesize their ideas and the way they want to express those ideas rather than putting those ideas into my own words or telling them what I would do. 

In addition, I'm an excellent copy-editor and proofreader! Happy to provide that service as well!

So, hit me up! I'm available now!

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