No longer rurally screwed (AND CONTEST!)

by Jessie K on November 8, 2012

I’ve been thinking about changing the name of this blog for quite awhile now.

When I first started blogging in 2009, the name “Rurally Screwed” was apt because that was how I felt: rural and screwed. I had overhauled my life for love, gave up office life, women’s magazines and my NYC friends to come live in the country with my dream man only to sputter and languish, unsure what the heck to do with myself in the country. I felt alone. Misunderstood. A country reject. Like I’d torpedoed my career. Hence, Rurally Screwed. (Full disclosure: it was really my friend Paula who first suggested it, though her iteration was “Rural and Screwed”  and I quite stupidly turned it into an adverb, and you’d be hard pressed to find a clunkier blog title than Rurally Screwed! Reminds me of the 30 Rock bit about the ill fated film The Rural Juror that no one could pronounce without mangling their mouth muscles.)

Still, Rurally Screwed made me laugh in a “sad clown” sort of way.  Writing it gave me something to focus on, a way to work through stuff that was bugging me. And over the years as the blog has grown  – and keeps growing — and I’ve managed to eke out new creative endeavors and opportunities for myself, I find that my career, my life, my relationships have blossomed in ways I’m not sure they would have had I stayed in New York. Not there is anything wrong with New York. I love New York but I personally was stuck there–stuck in old patterns and negative thinking — that I inadvertently carried with me into my new environment. (I explore these themes in my book, by the way, in case you still haven’t read it.)

But now I don’t feel so rural and screwed anymore.  I feel the opposite. I feel Rural and Psyched. Rural and Real Happy. Rurally Stoked, dude.

This entire journey has been a slow, gradual reminder that when one door closes, another opens. But the door never opens when we need it to, when we demand it to. New opportunities present themselves only when they are good and ready. i.e. when we are finally able to let go of the past, let go of old ways of thinking and doing and, in my case, griping. That can take a very long time indeed.  Because we don’t trust in the process. We keep trying to graft our old ways onto new surroundings which fuels dissatisfaction typically followed by long bouts of inertia.  New directions presents themselves only when we ourselves are ready to let go of the past.

Which brings me back to the name. My concern is that “rebranding” myself  (sounds so Frito Lay) will spell blog suicide. I’m known for Rurally Screwed. I wrote the book Rurally Screwed. Will people even know me without this moniker? Wait, don’t answer that.

So I put it to you, dear readers, those of you who have been with me for awhile. What do YOU think? Do you think I should lose “rurally screwed” once and for all? Or slap it on bumper stickers already? And if I do change the name, what should it be?

My criterion for a new name:

  • Should probably mention my name, even if it’s just “TK NEW NAME, a blog by Jessie Knadler”
  • No “city to country” or “homespun country livin’” references. Examples: “From Prada to Pitchforks.” No. “Apple Butter and Apron Strings.” No! Not that anything is wrong with such names but the blogosphere is chock full of them, and I don’t see myself as a “country gal,” even though I live in the country, drink moonshine and process chickens every other weekend
  • Bonus points if it’s funny
Have any ideas? If you suggest a name and I end up selecting it, I’ll give YOU a $100 gift certificate to 6pm.com. Deadline: Saturday, Nov 10. 

 

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula November 8, 2012 at 12:42 pm

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Just be sure you’re set up with a redirect for a while if you change the name. It may not meet your criteria, but the first thing that came to mind was “Rurally Blessed”, as it indicates the change in your thinking and how you’ve grown in your new environment.

Chuck Smith November 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm

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Green Acres II

Peg November 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm

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I think changing the name could be a very positive move! Sadly, I am not real creative, so have no ideas for a funny name. I say take the plunge and embrace the positivity.

Andrea November 8, 2012 at 1:30 pm

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I really love the name Rurally Screwed! (Was it intended to sound like Royally Screwed, because that’s what I always thought)…

But I understand that you are feeling pumped about living in the country now, which is fantastic. ( btw, I read your book & loved it).

I think the thing I like about the title is that it is sarcastic, which definitely fits w/ your writing style. I grew up in the country and absolutely LOVE it, but I think people get the wrong idea and think that living in the country is always magical and never messy…. rose-coloured glasses, if you will. I love your take on it! Very real & funny.

Sadly, I am drawing a blank on funny/positive titles…

Jessie K November 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm

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It was most def a pun on royally screwed!

Laura M. November 8, 2012 at 1:35 pm

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My first reaction is to say keep Rurally Screwed and revamp your tagline. Or add a tagline that explains how you thought you were screwed but turns out a new door opened.
Rurally Screwed: Following love from the ‘hood to the backwoods.
Rurally Screwed: City girls finds her place in the outlands.
Rurally Screwed: City girl finds her place in the wide open space.

Still, I have seen many bloggers change the name of their blog after a milestone and none of them have dropped off the face of the earth. So, either way, you’ll be fine. :)

Laura M. November 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm

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Reread your criterion and maybe I had too much city to country goin’ on. But you get the idea. Fix it with the tag line, is what I’m sayin’. :D

Jessie K November 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm

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Nah, I appreciate the suggestions. They is good.

Caitlin November 8, 2012 at 1:39 pm

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Huh, interesting to read how you ended up with the title. I’d always thought it a play on “royally screwed”. FWIW, I don’t think it comes across as overly negative, just kind of sarcastic or irreverent. I like how you always own up to the difficulties of rural living in good, if dry, humor. That said, just let me know your new address, and I’ll keep reading.

Laura November 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm

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My thought process: I absolutely love the phrasing of “Rurally Screwed”, so I wanted something that would be a pun on another popular idiom, but something to reflect the positive side of all your adventures in everyday life. Ready for this? (Brace yourself, hahaha!)

“The Sylvan Lining”

(Sylvan = wooded; and it’s a play on “Every cloud has a silver lining”! )

In any case, I will continue reading your fantastic writings no matter WHAT you call your site! :)

Jessie K November 8, 2012 at 2:27 pm

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Damn, girl, you’re brainy. I didn’t even know what ‘sylvan’ meant. Thank you for plumping my vocabulary.

Sarina November 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm

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“There’s a Cheerio in my Latte”
“Jessie’s Greenhouse”
“Jessie K. Queen of the Coop”
“Pot Cluck” You never know what you’re gonna get

I’m terrible at this stuff.. but when I see someone else’s suggestions.. I will say.. DOH!

Jessie K November 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm

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“Pot Cluck!” Ha ha ha ha!

Leah November 8, 2012 at 2:34 pm

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I tripped across your book in Barnes and Noble. Rurally Screwed caught my eye and made me pick it up. In all honesty the picture didn’t do it for me. From there I got to the blog. Some other name may have let me walk right by. It was catchy and I’m weird, what can I say. For a new name how about: Life, Love and Chickens. It kind of covers it all. Because of your food and animals, you need to remain somehow connected with that element. Good luck, you’re taking on a real headache maker.

Jessie K November 9, 2012 at 10:26 am

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Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of people say that about the book — the cover image put them off. It reads chick lit and I didn’t write chick lit. We’re changing it for the paperback. And I really like the suggestion “Life, love and chickens.” Thanks, Leah!

lizette November 8, 2012 at 2:59 pm

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i don’t think you should change it but as a person in academia (i.e. the land of wordy titles and subtitles) i kinda agree with laura m.

rurally screwed: blah, blah, blah.

sarah November 8, 2012 at 3:27 pm

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I like “Rurally Screwed”

I never thought it was negative, just funny… I figured it was more about how you don’t mind writing about mistakes or when things go wrong.

Root Simple changed their name and it’s fine. I liked their old name better though.

tab November 8, 2012 at 4:54 pm

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I kinda think you should keep the name. It was the name that caught my eye and the meaning behind the name that led me to your blog, as I too am rural and screwed ( I however am also actually “off the grid”). Even though it is not where you are anymore so to speak. It already is your brand and you still have the sarcastic humor and honesty in your writing that the name implies.

Nancy at Coneflower Ranch November 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm

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I love the name and think you should keep it! It doesn’t seem negative to me in the least. Makes me smile. It’s tongue in cheek like we all know “The Pioneer Woman” is not a pioneer woman, right?

Jan November 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm

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No!! Don’t change the blog title. You have a book with the name and those of us that follow you and know your story understand your transformation. I never thought of the title as a slam on rural life but as a play on words. I agree with Laura on adding the tagline now. A tagline will clearly do what you want to do without changing the blog title. Change your blog header picture to reflect the new tagline and go on from there.

Rebecca November 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm

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I love the name, and agree with the other comments suggesting you add a tagline. Rurally Screwed: positive sassy tagline TK. I like the play on royally screwed. It fits your writing style, which is fun and a little badass, sometimes sweet and sometimes cranky, and you can talk about prada and cute babies but also deer neck tacos and box wine. It’s like if ’90s era Jane Pratt moved to the country and became a very chatty feisty cowgirl.

Molly O November 8, 2012 at 9:28 pm

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I like Rurally Screwed and I agree with a lot of these comments. You could change it up by adding a tagline. I am the wrong person to ask though – still trying to think of a name for my blog after two years! Good tagline, but can’t think of a catchy and succinct title to save my life! I even tried to make my brother do it for me but that was a year ago…

jodi November 8, 2012 at 9:34 pm

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Okay, so I do agree with others about liking the old name, and it does fit you well in the sass department. I also get it that you don’t feel screwed anymore. So, what about evolving from being Rurally Screwed to The Lucky Plucker?! Lots of other variations on that one: What the Cluck, What the Pluck, Lucky Cluck, Lucky Pluck… you get it.

Kathryn November 8, 2012 at 9:47 pm

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Rurally Screwed: this ain’t your momma’s chicken
…no.
Rurally Screwed: not so screwed anymore
…wait, probably not.
Rurally Screwed: Living, Loving, Learning
…cheesy.
Rurally Screwed: Jessie’s happy fun time!
…yeah, I suck at this…

Bill Kimsey November 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm

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. . . If it’s not broken, don’t fix it . . . you captured something with “Rurally Screwed” . . . let it stand . . . now, you need to move on, you’re beyond all that you’ve written . . . “today is different” and tomorrow is different if you embrace it . . . go for it and trust serendipity to give you your next project . . . Cheers, Bill

Olga November 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm

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I also love RS, makes me smile every time I type it in my phone. Rurally Socked is funny too, but not worth changing for that. Love the idea of a tagline that would reflect that. Rurally Screwed: but currently stocked. I don’t know. But yeah, sounds like a lot of people like this idea. And don’t worry, if you change we’ll still read you b/c you are funny and smart!

Jill Adams November 9, 2012 at 12:21 am

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I like the name of your blog. I’ve never thought of the title as negative myself; more comedic than anything. I think since you don’t think of yourself as a country gal the title still works. Maybe add a subtitle: Rurally Screwed – Reinventing My Life in the Country. I’d have to take time and brainstorm stuff like this but I think your title is great. Plus, my husband knows what I’m talking about when I say, “I read Rurally Screwed today and. . .” Honestly, I follow several blogs about homesteading (the country gals), and they are so serious, so hardcore! Their blogs are filled with great information but sometimes I feel so depressed after reading them. I like that you keep your insight real with a twist of humor.
Good Luck!

Brad K. November 9, 2012 at 12:52 am

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“Home from the Wars”
“Living with my Rural Family”
“Really Skewed” — But this farm doesn’t even look like New York!

I like the name, “Rurally Screwed”. If there were a way to convey how the feeling of being disadvantaged became instead a celebration of the passion and blessings that the Rural life has blessed you with, that would be good. That is, take “screwed” in the sense of an experience of respect, honor, compassion, passion, and exuberance. I don’t mean to wax ribald or anything, but the name will always lay the foundations, the beginnings of your path to here, and on to wherever you continue toward.

Blessed be.

Jessie K November 9, 2012 at 10:23 am

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YOu always have such a thoughtful take on things, Brad. I appreciate your brain ;-)

Melanie November 9, 2012 at 1:23 am

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I love ‘rurally screwed’ but I’m sure if you change it, people will still find you. Though maybe keep the “Rurally” part and change the second word, so that’s it’s similar but more to how you’re feeling now. Sorry, wish I had that second word. You’ll find it :) And “they” will find You.

deb November 9, 2012 at 6:45 am

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“Rurally Screwed” is your literary identity….I think adding a fresh tag line will accomplish what you’d like? No ideas from me, just the opinion….but on a side note, I’m happy with this ‘new’ place you’re in!

Brad K. November 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm

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What comes to mind is “Rurally Screwed . . and counting the blessings!”

Sarah November 9, 2012 at 9:16 am

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Jessie Agrarian

Karen Stanley November 9, 2012 at 9:18 am

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I also like Rurally Screwed. But I don’t think it has to convey your previous dissatisfaction with living in the country. I don’t think of it that way at all. I’ve always liked the play on words. Agree with the tagline.

Rurally Screwed… and plucking happily along
Rurally Screwed: Diary of a sassy mother plucker
Rurally Screwed: But up to my rubber boots in the good life

That’s all I got. ;)

Jessie K November 9, 2012 at 10:20 am

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Oooh, ooh, ooh, I love the second one, Karen! Das good!

Brittany W. November 9, 2012 at 9:26 am

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To follow the consensus, I really like Rurally Screwed. And like others have said, play with the byline.
Rurally Screwed: Hanging with Jessie, June, and Jake
Rurally Screwed: 3 is a family, chickens make it a crowd
Rurally Screwed: My life as my job
Rurally Screwed: The Next Chapter (or The next Page)
Rurally Screwed: A Glimpse into the Life of Jessie Knadler

Okay, I’m done lol.

Jessie K November 9, 2012 at 10:19 am

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I like “3 is a family, chickens make it a crowd.” Ha ha ha ha!

Molly W November 9, 2012 at 10:30 am

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I’m quite partial to RS! When I stumbled across your blog it’s the name that drew me in. If you must change it, I LOVE Karen Stanley’s “Rurally Screwed: Diary of a sassy mother plucker.” Hilarious and awesome!

Frédérique November 9, 2012 at 11:11 am

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Rurally Screwed: Jessie à la campagne… et plus si affinités
Nobody would get it, but a French title would be so chic, don’t you think?

Donna Consola November 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm

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I’m not big on change – but I get your words –
having said that – I still love the name rurally screwed . . .
it’s funny, it’s not negative –
it’s who you are – even though you are in a different place now!

Charlie November 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm

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I have to agree with Bill K. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Have always liked the name, it’s what caught my eye at the bottom of the Newsweek article and first brought me here. Your question about rather you should lose rurally screwed or slap it on a bumper sticker, my vote is for the bumper sticker. In fact send me one and I’ll slap it on my pick up.

Katie November 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm

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Had to join the conversation! I also think you should keep Rurally Screwed. I’ve thought a lot about whether I should change my blog title to something that’s less of a mouthful (how many of us were thinking about our future “personal brand” when we first hit that publish button??). But I think that Rurally Screwed is part of your history, and any new (or old!) reader knows that you’ve come to love your rural life!

gypsypf November 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm

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Yes, yes, yes. Rurally Screwed – Diary of a Mother Plucker. Hands down.

And also yes, more blurbs about the hubby and the child and the dog too.

Kristin November 10, 2012 at 6:17 am

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I vote for keeping the name Rurally Screwed. I never thought it was clunky sounding and always thought it was very catchy. I think that those who follow your blog know that you don’t feel screwed by rural living anymore. If anything, I think that it’s a great reminder of how far you’ve come .. how much you really love this rural life of yours.

Melissa W. November 10, 2012 at 6:58 am

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Yes, yes! The mother plucker tagline is awesome! And have always loved RS. Fun to say!

Chin November 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm

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My husband suggests: “Ware yat?” (redneck for “Where are you at?) har har har

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