Hey all, it's time for another CYBREDISPATCH!! If you read my (completely unannounced) last one, you'll know that I've had a number of things in the works for CYBREMONDAY, and also, that none of those things have as of yet been published. I've talked about being busy in the past, but I wanted to take some time and get real in‐depth on why none of that has seen the light.

The short answer is, the time isn't right.

My primary (let's be real—only) audience is Mastodon, and to be entirely frank my community on Mastodon is full of people who are homeless or on the verge of being homeless, people who are depressed or on the precipice of depression, people who are overworked and exhausted, people who face regular harassment and discrimination, people who are isolated both from friends and from resources and who are struggling on their own to stay alive. The fact that, in spite of all this, we are still able to bond together and build communities of love and care and support is frankly incredible, and I am thankful for you all.

When the original Cybre Manifesto was published, we were all working together in a particularly magical way. Important conversations and discussions were happening every day on my timeline and people were starting projects and making things happen in really special ways. I felt that it was incredibly important—and still do—that that moment be preserved. I wrote the Manifesto as a way of capturing that spirit as something to build on, at a later time.

In the time sense then, however, a lot has happened.

I'm not qualified to speak on the particulars of everything that has gone on over the past two months, but I can speak to the effects. We lost (at least?) two instances— and—both of which had a huge impact on Mastodon culture. A lot of folks are financially desparate right now, and those that aren't have seemed pretty bogged down with work. There has been drama, and there has been controversy. We're all a little tired and our patience is a little thin.

To put it mildly, dropping into the midst of this a long dissertation on the theory of queer bodies in cybrespace that I've been developing since I was an undergrad doesn't feel like the greatest idea. I am reminded of that Blue Scholars line: You're tryna change the world when your home is a mess—got your priorities mixed, huh? You're failing the test. We need to find each other again. We need to take some time and focus on our survival. The theory can wait—and if there's one thing which helps a theory develop, it's sitting on it and waiting. I'm not patient enough to hold it in forever.

There are other things we need right now.

I, personally, have been working on two of them. (Keep in mind that I am just one person, and can only really do one or two things at a time.)

Thing one:

I have resumed work on my serialized novel, Vague, and the second issue is currently in its final editing stages. (This is where the vast majority of my time has gone these past few months.) Vague is a story I started a full year ago, in a similarly tumultuous time, after the influx of users and my controversial Mourning Mastodon piece. It is a college‐age queer‐I‐promise anime‐inspired comparitive‐literature slice‐of‐life romantic comedy—which is, I admit, not everybody's cup of tea. But in stressful times, it is always stories, and not theory, that I turn to to see me through. Vague is a story about ordinary people overcoming ordinary difficulties, learning from it, getting stronger, and better understanding themselves.

If you haven't yet read the first issue of Vague, you can do so here.

Thing two:

I have, with the help of a friend, begun the implementation of Pokémon‐style game mechanics into Mastodon in a project titled Monstodon, and written a number of draft specifications regarding these features, which are available here. Lately, doing work on Mastodon and developing features for the fediverse has felt like a chore—and I think this is largely because the structures and systems of the fediverse itself, while great for making memes and shitposting about how depressed you are, aren't actually that fun.

I think fun is important and underrated when it comes to designing social spaces and software. I don't want a fediverse where the only endorphin rush comes from gaining followers or attracting boosts. I similarly don't want a fediverse where fun is something people always have to reinvent for themselves, because no thought or care has been placed into designing entertaining communal activities. When I get together with friends, I like to play games. I want a fediverse with cute friends you can play with and cute mon to be captured. So that's the fediverse I'm going to try to build.

CYBREMONDAY isn't going anywhere.

I actually have a ton of content, some of which will make it into the zine, some of which I will publish on my other blogs, that I'm mostly just sitting on right now in order to focus on the two items above. This is a decision on my part to focus on stories and community‐building in a time where those things are lacking, and save the theory and ideas for the days when those things are had. If you're eager to hear those thoughts, you can help out by joining me in the quest to build a stronger community together.

As always, if you have content you want to publish through CYBREMONDAY, or if you are looking to set up a publishing outlet of your own, please please get in touch. I am happy to help with editing, technical concerns, and publishing original content.