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.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Now what?

I was writing the below as a FB post, then realized it was a blog post, so here it is:
In case anyone is wondering why I was not surprised when DT won, indeed predicted it, and why not so sure about Dems getting Congress in 2018, it's in part due to having lived with my grandparents during Watergate, and hearing my grandmother say over and over again "everyone does it, he just got caught" and blaming everything wrong with the world from oil prices to speeding cars on the Kennedys. (We lived btw next to Hyannisport, so most traffic violations were their (the Kennedys) fault, just so you know...) Plus she was irritated that her soaps had been preempted by hearings.
The 1970s included this, too. Archie Bunker was not just a sitcom character, and his sons and daughters are alive and well in 2017. Do not overestimate public opinion based on your friends, who probably mostly agree with you. Because like they're your friends.
And honestly, I am thinking a lot about this, in part because I wrote a book about both my grandmothers (the other one, Jani, would be at Women's Marches et al) and so am considering this all deeply, not flippantly. How do we reach across our borders. Seriously. It's easy to dismiss people and wish them ill. But we have a real problem here. I am looking for any serious proposals about this.
Even in All in the Family there were both viewpoints, even if in joke format. Where does that happen now? I don't mean accepting DT by the way - don't get me wrong. I really think he's a monster, or at least clinically a sociopath. I mean accepting how we got here and what to do Now. Berating people who voted for him is not going to get us out of here. And we really Have to get out of here.
I spent years trying to get into my grandmother, Dick's head and write from her POV. It was really fucking hard, sometimes I thought I was losing my mind, but I'm glad I did that. There is pain, there is a lot, there is fear. We all share that, but where and who we blame for this fear and pain and hardship ends up defining our politics. But my suspicion is the only way through this is to get under that to the fear and the pain. To meet somewhere we can meet. I am not sure how to do this. I am as sure as I can be about anything that we must.
And no, I am not asking anyone who feels directly attacked by anyone because of racism or any other hatred to do this. I think I am speaking here mostly to my fellow white people. Because folks, we gotta do something. We can't just be chatting amongst ourselves. That is getting us precisely nowhere.

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