Farewell to FtB & Blag Hag; Introducing my new blogging home, The Jenome

EDIT: Well, the moment I announced the site it crashed from the traffic, oi. I’m also aware that the comment form over there isn’t working right, and I’m trying to fix the problems.

Yes, you read that correctly – I’m leaving Freethought Blogs and “Blag Hag” is officially no more. But don’t despair! I will be writing, doodling, and ranting away like usual at my new solo blog, The Jenome.

To explain my reasoning about the move and name change, I have reproduced my welcome post at The Jenome below (though if you want to comment, why not try commenting at my new blog?). I’ll post a couple more reminders here about the move over the next week or so. Don’t forget to change your RSS feeds to the new feed!

Hello, former Blag Hag readers. Welcome to my new home.

The Jenome was created as a sort of rebirth, even though it still falls victim to my curse of only being able to come up with pun titles. I’d like to compare it to a phoenix rising from the ashes, but that’s a little too grandiose. The Jenome is more like Selginella lepidophylla, the “Resurrection Plant”, blooming back to life after withering away into dormancy due to years of drought and hardship.

And you thought there couldn’t be a geekier metaphor for resurrection than a phoenix. Pfft, why turn to mythology when you have biology?

My blogging waned in 2012 due to a combination of graduate school stress and time commitments, a vicious harassment campaign against me by internet misogynists, and a stupid brain that’s predisposed to depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, the following year was even worse. In March 2013 my mother was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer, and in April of 2014 she passed away. I simply didn’t have time for blogging or speaking when I was constantly worrying about and visiting my mom, while simultaneously try to work on my PhD.

As horrible as these last couple of years have been, they’ve also given me a new perspective on life. As an atheist, I’ve always believed that this is the one shot we get at life and we should live it to the fullest. But this last year made me realize exactly how true that is. You never know if you’re going to get cancer or get hit by a bus, and all the planning in the world can still get derailed by the unexpected.

This wake up call also showed me exactly what my priorities are. I want to explore how the universe works, share that wonder and excitement with others, and create art to make the world a slightly more interesting place. I don’t want to think writing something is pointless because someone else beat me to a topic. I don’t want to spend weeks debating a sexist comment posted by some random asshole living in a basement. I don’t want to be an unintentional amplifier for hate and vitriol. I don’t want to feel pressured to write about specific topics. I don’t want to worry about creating professional posts for getting a job. And frankly, I can’t totally relate to the “Blag Hag” persona anymore – Blag Hag was effectively my less thoughtful, more reactive college self, and I have definitely changed since then.

I originally fell in love with blogging because it was an open, interactive journal for me to be creative. And this is my attempt to get that back with a fresh start. If I want to write about serious topics like the latest scientific advancements, or religious privilege, or feminism, then I will. But I’ll also feel free to post about my strategy in Civ 5, or what I thought about the latest episode of Game of Thrones, or a random doodle I made of butts wearing glasses.

I enjoyed my time at Freethought Blogs and still consider the bloggers there my colleagues and friends. I don’t want to imply that they restricted my blogging topics in any way, because they gave me absolute freedom. So why did I leave? Honestly, I’m a perfectionist control freak who hates working in groups. I’m simply happier and in a better mental space when I have total control, even if it’s control over minor things like how to arrange widgets in a sidebar or what font color to use. I gave joining a network a chance for the increased exposure and the extra spending money, but I realized that’s not what’s important to me. My anxious brain got too caught up in writing “Freethought” topics, or worrying about the frequency of my posts and how it reflects on the network as a whole, and it sucked the fun out of blogging. What I really wanted was simply a space that’s 100% mine.

So, welcome to The Jenome, where the theme is yet again Shit Jen Thinks About. I really can’t express how thankful and touched I am to have readers who have stuck by me through these hard years. I’ve constantly received messages from people who miss my writing or are just hoping I’m doing okay. I still have to pinch myself that anyone wants to read what spills out of my head, but I’m happy to be able to share it with all of you again.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    May the sun shine upon your face, the road rise to meet your feet, and the trolls never darken your door!

  2. says

    Also FYI, I cannot comment at The Jenome: my WordPress account login doesn’t get me in, and the login screen it offers no alternative login via Google, Twitter etc. : |

  3. Desert Son, OM says

    Heartiest wishes for good things at your new blog location, with all support in your endeavors. Like irisvanderpluym WordPress wouldn’t let me log in over at Jenome, so posting this here, instead. Three cheers, good writing, and thanks for your continued work!

    Still learning,


  4. Seth says

    I *was* going to leave my good-wishes (and my vow of continued readership!) over at the blog in question, but it looks like your new home has gone and got itself Pharyngulated. And the first day, too! ;)

    Good luck, and see you soon.

  5. catlover says

    I am SO happy you have found a place all your own. :) I really have missed your blogs here, but I do really understand why you stepped back. I wish you all the good luck in the world at your new site — and I love the name! Very inventive! I have just now bookmarked it. I love the graphics at the top! Very apt!

    I send you virtual warm fuzzies and hugs — if you want them. I really feel for what you have gone through in the recent past.

    I really am looking forward with happy anticipation to whatever you write (I’ll comment there, once you get the Comments working. No rush — I can wait.)

  6. gussnarp says

    I’ll keep reading, wherever you end up when this is all sorted out ;-)

  7. says

    Congrats on the new blog, Jen. I’m sorry for all the bad things you’ve been through, but am glad that you’ve found motivation to do something you love. Will definitely be following you over to The Jenome.

  8. Raucous Indignation says

    Good luck at your new site. I’m sorry to see you leave FTB, but am delighted that you have a new name for your blog. “The Jenome” is as awesome as the old name was awful.

  9. palaverer says

    Congratulations! I’m so glad to see you back. Will the new blog have an rss subscription? I didn’t see one but I’m not observant, probably why I didn’t go into science.

  10. leni says

    Welcome back! Spikemoss is now in my vault, so thank you for that :) Best of luck at your new home.

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