[syndicated profile] askmefi_workmoney_feed

Posted by koakuma

How can I make my dream come true, or should I give up? I want to follow my soul-mate back to Switzerland and find a job in the IT field. Difficulty: I'm an American living in Asia. My partner is returning to their home country Switzerland in July for unavoidable reasons. With them over the past year, I've been happy for maybe the first time in my entire life. I know 100% for sure that if I were able to follow them we would both be able to achieve our dreams. I'm ready to make any sacrifice to chase this happiness. I'm single and don't own property so I'm in an ideal situation to make a move overseas.

But... I'm an American citizen with intermediate French (and native level Japanese, which obviously doesn't look like it'll be very helpful). And marriage for a visa is not an option for us.

I'm a hard-worker, extremely good at what I do (IT - infrastructure and cloud support/administration), and I'm confident I would quickly prove myself. However, because I need a work visa, I'm applying from abroad- which seems like it would be a huge handicap. From searching around, I've found many positions in my field, in the Geneva area, and that require advanced English skills. I've applied to around a dozen jobs over the past week and have received a couple rejection letters.

I know it might still be early in the game, but I'm asking for your advice as I'd like to calm my nerves or prepare my heart: is it possible to find a job in Switzerland from abroad? Is there anything I can do to improve my chances?

Any advice or personal anecdotes are welcome.
beren_writes: Manga portraits of Harry and Draco (Default)
[personal profile] beren_writes

Today my new book is out - Dreams and Reality. Superheroes, an alternative reality, a bisexual lead, lots of action and some steamy male/male and male/male/male sex make for an exciting and fun read.

The book already has two 5star reviews over at GoodReads.

Dreams and Reality is the long awaited second book in the Dark Reflections series which I began publishing back in 2012. Truth be told this languished 2/3rds done on my hard drive for over two and a half years because it stalled while I was writing it. I just didn't know how to make it into the book it could be. Since I didn't want to disappoint my readers I put it on a back burner and moved on to other projects.

Then, at the end of last year, I was suddenly struck by inspiration and I knew how to plot had to go. It took me a while to wrangle it into something that I could be proud of, but now it is, so I present to you my new book.

The first book in the series, Me, Myself and I, is a permanently free novelette on all the major eBook sites, so it can be downloaded anywhere. Just click the link and you will be presented with options.

However, you don't have to have read Me, Myself and I to enjoy Dreams and Reality; all the pertinent information is to be found as you read.
About the Book

Title: Dreams and Reality: Superheroes, Sex and Surreality 
Series: Dark Reflections
Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
Word count: ~50K
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy, Romance, Gay, Bisexual
Published: March 30th 2015

Tristan Havering believes all the crazy things he experienced in an alternative dimension, real-world version of the superhero saga ‘Power Up’ were a dream brought on by concussion; he’s about to find out how terrifyingly wrong he is.

Four months after the steamy, narcissistic liaison he shared with Devon, the supervillain he plays in the movies, dangerous things begin spilling over into his world, and Tristan has no choice but to believe the impossible: superheroes and supervillains are real.

His only hope is Devon, mercurial and unstable, once driven completely out of his mind by his own power, but will he help Tristan a second time? Tristan has no choice but to frantically reach out and return to Devon’s crazy reality or face insanity at the whim of a power he cannot hope to control.

Buy Links

Amazon | Smashwords | Google Play | Nook | iBooks | Kobo

Chapter 1 Part 1 of Dreams and Reality read by Natasha Duncan-Drake


FREE Book Offer

If you leave an honest review for this book where you bought it I will give you the follow-on short story ‘Oh, Really?’ absolutely FREE as a thank you. Simply fill in this form to point me at your review. None of your details will be shared or used for any other purpose than contacting you about the free book.
spiralsheep: I have a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel (boz4pm Blackadder Cunning Plan)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
London, 1978, and I probably ought to know who this band is but I don’t. Name the band with balls and a Big Ben?

1978, London, name that band

"Date Stamp" is a romance comic, from Mates annual 1979, set in a library and featuring librarian Alyson Grey.

Date Stamp comic, three scans. )

That FFXV interview.

Mar. 30th, 2015 01:12
owlmoose: (quote - flamethrower)
[personal profile] owlmoose
So unless you've been living under a rock (and if so, please tell me where this rock is and let me crawl beneath it with you), and if you're interested in the Final Fantasy series at all, you've probably seen people talking about this interview with Hajime Tabata, the director of Final Fantasy XV. Among other things, he discusses his decision to publish the first Final Fantasy title with an all-male team since 1990 -- yep, that's confirmed now, five dudes and no women in the player party -- in terms that are, shall we say controversial?

"Speaking honestly, an all-male party feels almost more approachable for players. Even the presence of one female in the group will change their behaviour, so that they'll act differently. So to give the most natural feeling, to make them feel sincere and honest, having them all the same gender made sense in that way," Tabata said....

For Tabata, the journey will have the cast adopting what he dubs a "boys will be boys" type demeanor. "It was the story we wanted to tell and what we wanted to show players," he explained.

"The world might be ready to see the curtain lifted on what boys do when girls aren't around, when they come out of the tent all prim and proper."

Ugh. So much ugh, I don't even know where to start.

Maybe I'll start by saying that, for me at least, the all-male player cast of FFXV wasn't a deal-breaker. Given Square Enix’s past track record with providing gender-balanced casts with interesting male and female characters in the Final Fantasy series, I was hoping for better, and the decision to break with that tradition disappointed me. But I had still planned to buy and play the game, to give the story and the characters a chance.

Tabata's interview has pretty much killed that desire for me, and if I'm reading reactions correctly, there's a lot of people who agree with me.

This got long, predictably. )

If SE wants to break with their traditions and make a Final Fantasy game with an all-male cast, that’s their right. It’s their game, their company, their choice. No one is claiming otherwise. And who knows, maybe Final Fantasy XV will break free of the expectations that Tabata is setting up for us here and be an awesome game. But given his commentary, I have serious doubts. As it stands now, I expect I'm going to have to give this one a pass.

Fanwork Recs - March 30, 2015

Mar. 30th, 2015 02:56
helloladies: group shot of three My Little Pony's (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies in [community profile] ladybusiness
Fanwork is awesome and sharing fanwork is even more awesome. Join us as we keymash and squee over our favorite fanwork, from fic (both written and podfic) to art to vids and meta and back again.

Recommendations included:
  • Agent Carter — art (1)
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender — art (1)
  • Captain America — art (3)
  • DC Trinity — art (1)
  • Iron Man — art (1)
  • Ms. Marvel — art (1)
  • slashreport — podcast (1)
  • Teen Wolf — art (1)
  • Terry Pratchett — art (1)

On to the recs! )

(no subject)

Mar. 30th, 2015 00:23
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
List of foreign markets for SFF: http://www.smithwriter.com/foreign_market_list.htm

The only other language I write in is Malay but this looks it might be of interest to some folks.
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
You can now read the novella "Salvaging" by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer in full, if you were waiting for the end of it.  The story features an assassin from Terramagne stumbling into Schrodinger's Heroes.  Begin with Part 1, end with Part 26, or visit the Index.  
thefourthvine: Girl in pajamas with laptop. (I sleep with computers.)
[personal profile] thefourthvine
I read Brenna Clarke Grey's post on why she quit Goodreads and decided to write up my own recent unfun experience there. (I haven't quit the site, but I'm on hiatus from it. Again.)

In January 2015 I was hungry for fiction and had run through my friends' recommendations, so I started looking through Goodreads. I found a book called Flight of the Silvers, by Daniel Price. The reviews were largely positive and the summary seemed interesting. I downloaded a sample and decided it was engaging enough to buy.

Trouble began shortly thereafter. At the 20% mark, I knew this book and I would never be friends. The story wasn't right for me for many reasons, ranging from Science Doesn't WORK That Way to These Women Are Like No Human I've Ever Known to Please Stop Using That Word Please Stop PLEASE JUST STOP. The pacing fell off as the author tried to manage more characters and a more divided plot than he knew how to handle. There were long chunks of text that desperately needed editing. And I was frustrated by the fact that one of the characters, Hannah, was described pretty much only by her boobs. Her characterization could be summarized as "the attractive one with the giant hooters." Her plot role was "the mobile boobs that everyone either admires or is jealous of." The obsession with her breasts was like a dripping tap: ignorable right up until it becomes all you can think about it. I read distractedly, waiting grimly for the next mention of Hannah and Her Boobs. (As there were typically multiple mentions per page in any section she was in, it was never a long wait.)

From 25% on, my notes in the ebook consist of:
  1. Increasingly sarcastic comments on some of the mentions of Hannah's boobs (they come too often to note all of them).
  2. Complaints about overuse of the word "shined." (Three months after reading the book, I'm still flinching when I see it. It was really overused.)
  3. Lengthy strings of question marks after some of the seriously, um, interesting word choices in the book. (After a while, I started to slip some exclamation points in these, too.)
Here's an example. At one point, one of the characters describes a pseudoscience substance as "both airy and dense." A male character (one of the good guys, of course; misogyny is a noted good guy trait) responds, "Huh. Just like Hannah." The next part, a direct quote: "More people laughed as the actress irreverently narrowed her eyes at Zack. He shined a preening smirk." Okay, so I think we can see that this is, just in general, really bad writing (he shined a preening smirk?), but what the hell is irreverently doing in that sentence? It makes no sense. My note on this one: "????? wtf wtf wtf EW also shined NO." As you can probably tell, the book was getting to me.

We all know how this goes. The bad writing distracted me from the, you know, actual story. (I probably missed a lot of it, which is what bad writing does: it gets between you and what the writer is trying to convey.) The pacing, already flawed, entirely stopped carrying me. I reached the point where I was looking for things to do instead of reading, which is weird for me. I'd read a page, spend five minutes on twitter, and come back and realize I had no memory of what I'd read, also very weird for me.

I should have walked away. I didn't.

When I was done (so very done) with the book, I went to Goodreads and reviewed it. I have to either adore or truly despise a book to churn out a 3000-word review of it. Flight of the Silvers didn't seem worth that, so instead of detailing all my problems with it, I wrote a description of what reading it felt like to me. The word "boobs" is featured very heavily. And that was it. Two people read my review, I think. No one really pays attention to that stuff.

All of this is textbook standard reader behavior. I bought a book, I read it, I didn't like it, I complained about it to my friends. And that should have been the end of it.

Except. Then Daniel Price read my review. And he got mad, which is totally understandable; someone slamming your work is always tough to swallow. (I'm going to guess that most authors know better than to read one-star reviews for this reason.) And then he decided to respond, which was probably not the best choice he could have made. His response makes me so embarrassed on his behalf that I've never read it all the way through; I get maybe a quarter of the way through skimming it and my brain just shuts down. But, basically, as far as I can tell, he was trying to be funny. He missed that mark for me, but maybe that was because I was, you know, writhing in secondhand embarrassment. Or maybe that's because I was his target rather than his audience. Hard to say.

And then a few of his fans got involved, which was inevitable -- they love his work, they saw him doing this, they assumed it was okay. (Guess how many comments it took before someone accused me of being his ex-girlfriend. GUESS.) He also started complaining about me on Twitter, which encouraged more of his followers to comment angrily on my review.

In response, I did a Dumb Thing (because not responding is the only way to deal with this stuff) and complained about this situation on Twitter myself, which meant that my friends started reading my review and Price's response. (This is how my review ended up the first one on the book's page on Goodreads. Authors, if you're looking for motivation not to get into it with a reviewer, there's a point to consider.) My friends also started searching through the other reviews. And noticing stuff. Several of them pointed out that while other reviewers complained about the boob fixation, Price only got publically mad at the lady who did. This may not be a coincidence.

The commenters on my review got personally insulting (remember, folks, it's not that you disagree with the reviewer, it's that the reviewer is a terrible person and a troll or simply a bitch) and kind of gross. I stopped visiting the page, which kept me from getting notifications about further comments. My friends kept on following them, though, so I got occasional updates on the situation. It apparently took Price a week or two to stop complaining about me on Twitter. (Or, I guess, for my friends to stop looking.) It took longer before his fans stopped insulting me on Goodreads. (If they ever have.)

And here's the thing: this is, by itself, a minor incident. But it isn't fun. It isn't how I want to interact with a community, or something I want to deal with. And I realized that using Goodreads meant accepting a chance of this kind of bullshit every time I posted a less than five-star review. There is a lot I like about Goodreads, but I am not that invested in reviewing in that space, not enough that it's actually worth being harassed by an author and his fans. So I finished my self-assigned challenge (rate the first 24 books I read this year) in February and started avoiding Goodreads again. I'll maybe try again next year. Who can say?

Is there a way to avoid this? I don't know. But Goodreads doesn't seem interested in trying. And, in the end, this part of the internet isn't important enough to me to wade through the sewage.

Wanted: a mostly sewageless place to review and discuss books.

(Also wanted, always wanted: recommendations for great books you've read lately.)

(no subject)

Mar. 30th, 2015 00:02
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
I did get dumplings, thanks to walking to the grocery store early in the morning and buying gyoza. They were good, but not super filling.

I have felt extraordinarily crappy today. I think it lines up with missing my med dose yesterday and getting discontinuation symptoms, since I've been shaky, shocky, in pain, and nauseated.


After dinner at my parents' I persuaded my dad to put Gallagher in his travel case and bring him over to the house. The cat-introduction routine begins with feeding them on opposite sides of a door, so they can associate each other's smell with good things. Both Emily and Gallagher were a little freaked by the change in routine, so when they did eat Emily was six feet from the door, hidden by the couch, and Gallagher was twenty feet down the basement steps in the territory he's used to. We'll build up from there, moving them closer and closer until the door can open (with the occasional instance where Emily gets locked in the bedroom as Gallagher roams the kitchen and living room).

*fingers crossed*

One of my SCA sisters has two-week-old kittens living in her back shed thanks to a feral mama-cat, and I... kind of want to see how Emily will react to a kitten. I would love to have a kitten. KITTEN.

Watched The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness today, which is a documentary about Studio Ghibli. Super thought-provoking for me, about art and what kind of art I want to make and who I want to make it with.

I have more to talk about since this week I've been thinking a lot about religion, but I feel like late at night when I'm tired is not the best time to type that up.

On the upside, my Employment Insurance payments FINALLY came through. FUCKING FINALLY.

Ishita Basu Mallik, "flood"

Mar. 30th, 2015 16:39
surpassingly: (art: world of love)
[personal profile] surpassingly in [community profile] poetry
by Ishita Basu Mallik

flood came by today, was looking for you
wiped feet useless on the mat, hands trembling
invited self to ek cup holey mondo hoy na
settled by the dining table, discreet in bespoke
silt shirt. debdaru leaves, listening, flinched

flood didn't say kintu bola no bola ak-i byapar
was left by you, was expelled, eyes drooping deep
into the skull, fingers pruned, was left high and dry
ministers visited affected areas, fish vaulted in trees
flood's gentle hand had tousled the map

flood understands about your mother, flood
had a mother, too, once, meltmouth polyglot,
damned if she did and dammed if she didn't,
amar obosthya-ta bujhte parchhen; flood cannot count
in single digits; flood's cracked serenade

i didn't have the heart to interrupt flood
watched flood fold into a raincoat of rain
and trickle down the kitchen window. sheshbesh
taake bollam na, how you've moved mountains
and still feel that tidemark on your throat.


This poem was published in Stone Telling issue 9: Menagerie. The following notes appear at the end of the poem:

Some lines and phrases in this poem are Romanised Bangla. For reference, the following translations have been provided by the poet.

ek cup holey mondo hoy na — I wouldn't mind a cup of tea
kintu bola no bola ak-i byapar — but it doesn't make a difference if it's said out loud or not
amar obosthya-ta bujhte parchhen — you realise my situation
sheshbesh taake bollam na — in the end I didn't tell hir

Free pretty spiral boy!

Mar. 29th, 2015 22:37
aris_tgd: Daenerys "Come not between the dragon and her wrath" (Daenerys dragon)
[personal profile] aris_tgd in [community profile] flight_rising
So I have been breeding my crystal/shim/crackle coal/rose/rose skydancer and my iri/shim/smoke silver/rose/rose spiral for a while, and FINALLY got a crystal baby!

Pretty boy under cut )
[syndicated profile] askmefi_workmoney_feed

Posted by Anonymous

For a few years I've been trying to build a career in the game industry, but unfortunately it's been mostly contract work. Despite glowing reviews and a seemingly stellar resume I can't find an actual FTE position. My hopes for something longer term are dimming, so I'm looking at alternates based on the skills I have. Right now I'm doing QA for a company and making almost close to minimum wage, locally. This weekend I'm sorta taking stock of things and wanting to move to a job that pays for my health insurance and maybe have job security longer than 6 months?

Skills include:

1) Programming multiple languages.
Mostly C#, but I seem to pick these up others pretty easily. I've used AS3, Java, C++ and recently got into PHP.

2) Game Design
At a previous company I shipped a lot of updates for an existing game as a designer, including multiple playtest sessions and several feedback iterations. I also have a huge portfolio of personal games. Some of these games have been featured on Kotaku and Rock Paper Shotgun. The significance of this seems to be lost on hiring managers and recruiters.

3) QA Engineering
Sorta what I'm doing now. I use a bunch of tools to break things and troubleshoot problems. I'm okay at it but it can be boring.

4) Writing / Illustration / 3D Modeling / Etc
In addition to doing the 3D art for my personal games, I also wrote, illustrated, and self published a comic last year.


I like building things, telling stories, and creating meaningful experiences.


- I live in Washington state, and according to law contract workers have a cap for the number of months they can work before being rolled off or hired on full time. This means I kind of have a string of jobs that i work at a year before having to go somewhere else.

- I don't have a 4 year CS degree. I keep thinking of going back to school sometimes, but I tried this years ago and fucking hated it. Plus, I'm not sure what I would learn that I don't already know.

- It seems like any job requires 4 years experience doing that exact same thing previously, which is why it seems like I can't transition into something else easily.

- I've tried applying to most game companies in the area who are staffing for FTE, for positions that I fit, but don't hear back. I've also tried several recruiting agencies in the area and found them to be as effective as a damp pool noodle.

So basically.

What other jobs/industries would I be a good fit in?
How should I market myself to these jobs?
[syndicated profile] this_day_in_history_feed

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr.

The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahaney was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he’d been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital.

The president was shot in the left lung, and the .22 caliber bullet just missed his heart. In an impressive feat for a 70-year-old man with a collapsed lung, he walked into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. As he was treated and prepared for surgery, he was in good spirits and quipped to his wife, Nancy, ”Honey, I forgot to duck,” and to his surgeons, “Please tell me you’re Republicans.” Reagan’s surgery lasted two hours, and he was listed in stable and good condition afterward.

The next day, the president resumed some of his executive duties and signed a piece of legislation from his hospital bed. On April 11, he returned to the White House. Reagan’s popularity soared after the assassination attempt, and at the end of April he was given a hero’s welcome by Congress. In August, this same Congress passed his controversial economic program, with several Democrats breaking ranks to back Reagan’s plan. By this time, Reagan claimed to be fully recovered from the assassination attempt. In private, however, he would continue to feel the effects of the nearly fatal gunshot wound for years.

Of the victims of the assassination attempt, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and D.C. policeman Thomas Delahaney eventually recovered. James Brady, who nearly died after being shot in the eye, suffered permanent brain damage. He later became an advocate of gun control, and in 1993 Congress passed the “Brady Bill,” which established a five-day waiting period and background checks for prospective gun buyers. President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law.

After being arrested on March 30, 1981, 25-year-old John Hinckley was booked on federal charges of attempting to assassinate the president. He had previously been arrested in Tennessee on weapons charges. In June 1982, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. In the trial, Hinckley’s defense attorneys argued that their client was ill with narcissistic personality disorder, citing medical evidence, and had a pathological obsession with the 1976 film Taxi Driver, in which the main character attempts to assassinate a fictional senator. His lawyers claimed that Hinckley saw the movie more than a dozen times, was obsessed with the lead actress, Jodie Foster, and had attempted to reenact the events of the film in his own life. Thus the movie, not Hinckley, they argued, was the actual planning force behind the events that occurred on March 30, 1981.

The verdict of “not guilty by reason of insanity” aroused widespread public criticism, and many were shocked that a would-be presidential assassin could avoid been held accountable for his crime. However, because of his obvious threat to society, he was placed in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, a mental institution. In the late 1990s, Hinckley’s attorney began arguing that his mental illness was in remission and thus had a right to return to a normal life. Beginning in August 1999, he was allowed supervised day trips off the hospital grounds and later was allowed to visit his parents once a week unsupervised. The Secret Service voluntarily monitors him during these outings. If his mental illness remains in remission, he may one day be released.


piranha: stylized white figure lifting a red barbell with weights (Default)
renaissance poisson

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