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Writer | Editor | Video Game Nerd — Find me on Twitter @CyclopediaBrain
Photo by Fabian Gieske on Unsplash

When my Basenji/Beagle mix Dewey died, it felt as though I would die right along with him. My constant companion during some of the most difficult times in my life, Dewey had to be euthanized just two months after my partner of ten years died suddenly. …


Tilly from Red Dead Redemption 2, standing at a cliffside, looking at mountains with a double rainbow above them.
Tilly from Red Dead Redemption 2, standing at a cliffside, looking at mountains with a double rainbow above them.

For the last several months, I’ve been using Red Dead Redemption 2, a 2018 video game from Rockstar Games, to teach creative writing. Every week, students are assigned part of the game to play, along with a corresponding lesson and writing assignment to go with that game section. …


A brightly colored brick wall with the word “Welcome” in contrasting bright colors on it.
Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

Online events and the barriers to networking when you’re disabled

You have just graduated with your MFA in creative writing! Congratulations! The world is now yours to do just as your professors advised you to do and network, network, network. The global pandemic means all networking events have shifted to online events and that means you can attend all of…


A textured cement wall with a Do Not Enter sign in the center.
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

The inherent ableism of traditional publishing

“You must write Every. Single. Day. You will never make it otherwise!

“Start your query with a personal connection!”

“Writers hustle! Good writers must love the hustle!”

These were the lessons taught over and over throughout all of my writing education. Repeated to the point one might wonder if instructors…


A sidewalk filled with rainbow stripes in chalk.
A sidewalk filled with rainbow stripes in chalk.

For nearly a decade, I’ve been walking my dog around my Chicago suburb donning a rainbow dyed mohawk. What began out of boredom and on a whim one day has, over the years, become something of a signature look. It’s how people know me, how people spot me from the…


Close-up screencap of YouTube’s auto-captions that say, “wish a happy book birthday to Gabriel our 12-inch author…”

On any platform

You made a video! Maybe it’s your first, maybe it’s your 500th. Whatever the case, you have a video and now it needs captions. But…how do you get captions? And why do you need them? And if you’re uploading it to YouTube, surely the auto-captions provided by YouTube will suffice…


Woman biting a pencil while sitting at her laptop.
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Even When Their Schools Don’t

All three of my degrees — a BA in sociology, an MA in English and literature, and an MFA in fiction writing — were earned online, from the same university. Having had lupus since the age of four, traditional school has always been inaccessible to me and because of this…


My partner’s Fallout 4 character with a purple and orange sunset behind her.

Grief-Gaming is a series in which I will explore video game worlds playing as my deceased partner’s avatar.

Games have been a gift in my life. They’ve not only given me a career but after my partner’s first stroke in 2017, they served as the greatest tool in her recovery…


Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash

They don’t tell you at the hospital after you’ve unplugged your partner from the machines keeping her alive, that you’re expected to leave the dark room and go back home, and unlike in the movies and on TV, the halls aren’t empty. No, there are dozens of people there waiting…


Skyrim, like many games, has always been something of an escape for me. Here’s a world I can do just about anything I want and be fairly unstoppable. I can befriend my companions, get married, adopt a kid, and go out adventuring, living the life of a hero, despite having…

C. L. Craven

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