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 as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, which I have discovered I love with an almost irrational passion. While was blessed for the opportunity, after four years of being an adjunct, the lack of pay combined with heavy work load stopped working, so have transferred this teaching passion to private workshops in NYC 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. As of 2018, I also started leading writing retreats to my beloved Orkney Islands. If you ever want two weeks that will restore your soul and give you time and space to write, get in touch. I am leading two retreats this year in July and September.

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 now work full-time as a freelance writer, writing workshop leader, coach, editor and writing retreat leader. 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

In 2017, I launched a website Our Grandmothers, Our Selves, which has stories about many people's grandmothers. Please check it out. You can also contact me through that site.

In May, I directed my newest play, On the edge of/a cure, and have finally updated my publications list, which now includes an award-winning chapbook of my short-story White shoe lady, which you can find on the sidebar. I also have become a certified yoga instructor in the Kripalu lineage. What a year!

And FINALLY, I have created a website, which I hope you will visit, The Unadapted Ones. I will keep this blog site up, since it is a record of over 8 years of my life, but will eventually be blogging more at the website, so if you want to know what I am up to with my writing, teaching, retreats and so on, the site is the place to check (and to subscribe for updates). After eight years I realized, no, I'm never turning into One Thing. So The Unadapted Ones embraces the multiplicity that comprises whomever I am, which seems to always be shifting. That may in fact be reality for everyone, but will speak for myself here. So, do visit there and thanks for coming here, too. Glad to meet you on the journey...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Asking for help (aka Lessons in Humility)

I haven't written here for a while for a number of reasons. The batshit crazy state of the world being a big reason, but also I tripped on last step down to subway platform on June 14 and fell. I thought I had sprained my ankle and muscled through the Wesleyan Writers Conference for 4 days, then came home to take care of it. It didn't heal, went to urgent care twice, was x-rayed and at first no sign of fracture. When - a month later - I saw an orthopedist in a clinic (the fun never stops when you're on Medicaid), they took more X-rays and there was a fracture - a small fracture - on top of foot. I now have an air cast and feel saner, because there's a reason it wasn't healing. I'm not a wimp or whatever.

So, that is difficult because we live on the fifth floor of a walk-up. I am isolated much of the time, because: stairs. Lots of stairs. I do go out, because if I didn't I'd go insane, but can't walk for very long, etc.

OK, so there's that. And of course that has meant asking for a lot of help. I am not good at asking for help. Ask my husband. I either refuse to acknowledge I need the help and potentially hurt myself or decide I do need help - but when I do - I Need To Have The Help NOW. Fun times for both of us as you can imagine. I'm getting better at it. A little bit.

But...this has converged with a couple of editing jobs falling through for me while John has gotten work, so he's also had the motherlode of the paying work plus dealing with me limping around and not able to do much around the house. Thank Goddess we had fixed up the study before this happened, so he has a good place to work. And the living room is now a space for just being. So we can have some space to work and rest.

So, this is where I start to need asking for help from you. John and I have begun a small editing business, that I have announced here, but again here is that link: Barclay-Morton Editorial+Design
If you know anyone who could use writing, editing, proofing and/or design services, give us a shout. Or recommend us. or both!

I have also begun - after careful consideration - a Patreon. This is a different kind of crowd-funding platform that helps creators fund their creations, per month. I have chosen this model, because I have a number of projects on the go right now, including my book that is now complete and for which I am seeking representation and publication, beginning another book, a play-text that will be produced in September on Governor's Island, a photographic and video practice that documents daily life in small-form meditation, and of course this blog. I am also beginning to write essays for publication.

Therefore, what I could use - as this platform is set up to provide - are patrons of my artistic life in general. As with a regular crowd-funding campaign, at different levels there are different perks, but you can become a patron for as low as $1/month. I figure this is as democratic as it gets.

Am I going to save the world with my work? No. Am I glad I - and my other wildly talented friends -can create works of beauty and contemplation in the middle of a world gone seemingly mad? You bet.

Last night, I accidentally put on the RNC. I saw Giuliani practically foaming at the mouth but in a relatively articulate way, and a crowd who adored him. I became afraid. I then went and looked at my little Patreon account with the short meditative videos, and I could breathe again. I then started to type up handwritten work for November that is the beginning of a new book. And I could breathe some more. Even with my gimp ankle, I did some gentle yoga and some breathing meditations. I did some more writing. I was able to breathe a little more.

My work cannot save the world, but as William Carlos Williams wrote:

It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.

So this is me asking for your help to do my part to put my kind of poetry into the world - in the form of play texts, performance events, prose, short videos, askew photos, reflective blog posts and essays. I will send you little bits of me and my work every month, so you will know what I am doing and why and something about the process of creation. You can partake in as much or as little of that as you want.

Any support - no matter how small or large - means the world to me. It holds me accountable to you and to my work. It means that I am creating for an audience, that there are people out there who believe in poetry - in the largest sense - and supporting living artists, specifically this living artist.

Here is the link.

Alternatively, if you would like to make a one-time contribution to the original crowd-funding campaign for The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick & Jani, you can do so. The book, as mentioned, is now written, but not yet published. However, if you donate on this site (and on some levels of Patreon), you will receive a copy of the book as soon as it is available. I am in the midst of querying agents and publishers. This process - including revising the book (last revision this past month in response to excellent feedback at Wesleyan Writers Conference) has taken way longer than I imagined, so could use help completing this process as well.

Thank you all for reading these words. Thank you for letting me ask you for help. This is me now letting this go.