Event: Pelikan Hubs 2016


Last Friday I visited the Pelikan Hub 2016 in Munich.

I don’t know if you heard what it is, but I’ll tell you anyways, just to make sure. Every year for a few years now, the company Pelikan helps organize these Pelikan Hubs all over the world. It’s a marketing tool for them, and an opportunity for their customers to meet and share all over the world. They organize it via their homepage, and select a so-called Hubmaster in every city, with whom they coordinate the gifts and materials, and who organizes the meeting in the respective city for as many people as registered via the platform.


As participant you get gifts, of course. It’s really cute 🙂

This year we got some paper (that’s a pad in the background) – though I’m not quite certain it’s all that fountain pen friendly…. The pen sleeve on the left you can slide onto a notebook – not sure if it is leather or imitated leather, but it’s nice, and the ink of the year! A bottle of Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine. (the pen is mine, though. But it looked like it wanted in there.)

Very nice gifts, and it made me feel appreciated. I’m easily impressed like that 😉

We were ten people in Munich and met in an arabian restaurant, which had a very pleasant athmosphere, though I’m not much for the food sadly. That’s a personal flaw of mine and not of the place itself. Our Hub-Master, Angi, did a wonderful job with the preparation and setup, and brought along a lot of great ink samples as well. And a glass pen to try them, though I have to admit I still haven’t found out how it works. It didn’t for me. Glass pens and me are no friends. Ah well… 🙂


There’s a lot of talking and showing off pens and paper and discussing inks with ten people around the table, I tell you. And it was a really nice evening with all those pen enthusiasts, where I was able to try out and feel a few pens and materials I always wanted to experience first-hand. When the food arrived it became a little chaotic to get it all packed away until afterwards. 😉 tisch-rechts

All in all I enjoyed myself, met some very nice people and got some gifts from them as well – a few ink samples of wonderful ink I can’t wait to try out, and some cartridges others didn’t need anymore but I really look forward to try – if I find a cartridge pen. 😉 I’m sure I got the one or other in my collection. Angi even brought an Urushi pen – a wonderful piece of art that wrote like a dream.tisch-links

The pictures are my fault, I’m still no better at taking them than I was a while ago. I really have to learn to take better pictures. 🙂 I’ll ask my best friend to help me out.

In retrospect I’d have loved to take a few more of the great pens the other participants took along, but I was a little overwhelmed at that time, I have to admit.

The Pelikan Hubs are a great idea and I hope Pelikan will continue to do them. This was my first one, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Thank you, Pelikan, for the great idea and for the wonderful gifts. I will enjoy them a lot. And I really am looking forward to next year’s Hub, especially since I’m really curious about next year’s color. 🙂

Here’s a little special picture I was allowed to take, a close-up of above’s pen wrap:


A beautiful collection, and I have to admit I didn’t write down half as many names as I should have. The blue-white one, a Visconti Opera, writes like a dream, by the way.

I enjoyed myself and I hope you’ll enjoy the pictures. I didn’t know there were so many pen enthusiasts in my area, and that at least was a really pleasant surprise. Though I shouldn’t do it too often – I have too many pens as it is. 😉

So that was it. Did you go to a Hub somewhere? I’ll certainly be looking at some other blogs and videos from different regions. I like the idea.


Pen: Pelikan M205 Aquamarine frosted Demonstrator


Today I have a special little something for you.

I just received my pre-ordered Pelikan pen of the year, in the beautiful gift box together with the fitting ink of the year, and it’s a special little beauty.

But first things first. Look at that beautiful box!

Pelikan M205 Demonstrator Aquamarine Box

The feeling of this pretty box is a lot more qualitative than any of the others I had before. I’m not usually one for boxes, but I’ll make an exception for this one.

The silver one in the background is the fitting Pelikan pen catalogue I got from my supplier as well. It’s a nice touch, and I appreciated the thoughtfulness.

Actually, my supplier was extremely thoughtful, adding little touches that made getting this package feel like a special gift – even though I paid for it. 🙂

If you want to oder Pelikan products in Germany, I can fully support the shop of Fritz Schimpf (no affiliation other than being a happy customer 🙂 ). They have stellar customer support, very helpful personnell and the small additional touches are amazing. I got a handwritten note with this, that they are hoping I will have a lot of fun with my new pen (written with ink, of course), the warranty card was filled in, and the catalogue. The box was very securely packed and beautifully wrapped. A wonderful experience!

But now, onward with the pen. Pelikan M205 Demonstrator Aquamarine Box inside

The box opens to a beautiful package, the pen and the ink of the year.

I was completely surprised to see the pen isn’t a clear demonstrator, but a frosted one. I love demonstrators, but this suits the pen perfectly and makes the aquamarine colour come out beautifully. A wonderful piece of art.

Did I mention I love my new pen? 🙂

I think this would make a beautiful gift package for pen enthusiasts (who aren’t like me and can’t wait to order it themselves).

Pelikan M205 Demonstrator Aquamarine capless

My little beauty has an EF steel nib, something I wanted to try out for ages now. I had hoped the aquamarine color would come out different than the blue demonstrator I just

Pelikan M205 Demonstrator Aquamarine against the light

got, and I wasn’t disappointed. I have to say I like this one even better than the blue.

Though I won’t tell my blue demonstrator that, or it’ll pout. 😉

And here is another picture, photographed against the light, to show just how beautiful that frosted finish is. It might not be as see-through as a clear demonstrator, but it’s giving this pen a little special something that I really like. And I will still see the ink slosh around inside, so all’s good.

I haven’t tried it out yet, and I think I will celebrate it a little. I’m really looking forward to my EF nib, and will let you know how it feels for me, who’s usually leaning more towards the M and B nibs until now.

I hope you got a nice impression of this beautiful pen. I couldn’t wait to show it off, to be honest. 🙂

So worth it!

Writing: NaNo Prep… already starting?


I have been thinking…

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about writing. And reading about writing. And… stuff. 🙂 And then I looked at my calendar and thought… yes, I could start thinking about NaNo already.

You see, I’ve been an avid member of NaNoWriMo since 2008. Diligently, every year in November, I sit down and write at least 1,667 words a day, until at the end a novel suddenly appears. Or that is the rough plan. Usually I end up writing a LOT more than that during weekends because I somehow ended up not writing enough during the week, or I start racing off at the beginning and get stuck in the middle.

Pelikan Souverän M605 blue-black uncapped

Do you know the feeling?

Do you even know NaNo?

All right, for those of you who are currently thinking “what the hell is she talking about?” I will explain.

NaNoWriMo is the National Novel Writing Month, also known as November. It is the urge of a lot of people around the world to start, get stuck, fantasize, despair, and fixate about writing a book in one month. The month of November. It is the idea that, if you write 1,667 words a day, you will end up with (just over) 50,000 words a month, which is the minimum length of a novel. And it is the conviction that if a lot of people do the same at the same time, peer pressure and enthusiasm will see you through where lone work did not manage to.

You don’t publish your work on the website (and trust me, with this kind of first draft power-writing that is a very good thing… I wouldn’t want to inflict my first drafts on anyone) and you don’t even have to join the forums, the writing prompts, the write-or-die groups or any of the other fun projects going on on the side. Sometimes it’s just enough to update your wordcount every day, have friends with you who do the same, and think “I can beat your wordcount today!”

Italix Parson's Essential Green nib

Yes, I’m prone to peer pressure. 🙂

But there are two kinds of writers on the NaNo Forums. (There are probably a lot more, but two distinct groups)

Pantsers                         and                            Planners

Pantsers are those writers who will write with wild abandon, at times until they fall into plotholes, brush themselves down, and start anew with gusto.

Planners are those who already have their roadmap before they even start. They know their scenes, their characters, and already have worked out exactly what their book is about, where the twists and turns will happen, and what the hell this story is going to tell the reader.

I belong firmly mostly to the second group.

I keep wanting to be a pantser, simply starting to write and see where it leads, but usually it leads to me meandering and at one point completely running into a wall, without the story ever coming to an end. And over the years, I learned that I do my best work when planning well ahead.

Pelikan M200 demo page closeupAnd it’s only four more months.

Well, I certainly won’t plan the whole time, and right now I have to even decide which of my ideas I want to write, but it never hurts to get some early ideas, if you ask me.

Though really, for NaNo I put my pens out of the hand and go to my keyboard. 🙂 When it comes to speed, pen and ink aren’t the true heroes for me. But I have a lot of notebooks and pens and inks and combinations thereof to plan and write backstories and altogether have some fun until then.

So do any of you take part in NaNo? Will you? Did you get curious? Or are you thinking “you’re completely mental, Nadine, and come November I will NOT listen to you whining”?

Let me know. 🙂 And until then… where did I put that new notebook I got? I think I need to go interview my cast.



More Comic Con Pictures and thoughts about Writing Inspiration

About Me 65

So yes, I have been lazy. I haven’t posted in a while, though I’ve thought about it a great deal, and I’ve pointedly been doing nothing over the weekends, which is always good for me. Also, it’s been too hot for me outside to be very active.

I’ve been re-reading some of the Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series over the last few weeks (I read a book a day / every two days, usually, so I regularly re-read series I bought just because buying all new books would be hell expensive) and corresponded with some pen friends. I also got some more pictures from my friend Sebastian, who is a lot better than me at taking them, of our time at Comic Con, and been thinking of the stories behind them to tell you.


© Sebastian Geiger

Like Hawke. I saw that guy and was amazed at the detail that went into his costume. While Sebastian took this picture and great care with background and lighting (things I have no clue about), I talked to his friend in the background and heard that mostly everything of this outfit was adjusted and redone over the better part of one and a half years. I think it was worth it. The costume looks amazing! And it’s Dragon Age. I love Dragon Age. (One of the few things I still go fangirl about… just slightly embarassing 🙂 )

Or those two. Not only were their costumes very intricate and greatly detailed, they also were very nice people who took the time to have a little chat with us about how they made them, how long it took, and the steampunk world in Germany and Europe in general. It was a great chat, and a great picture, too, in my opinion.


© Sebastian Geiger

Sadly, this particular picture doesn’t show the backpack of the Gentleman. It was a little work of art in itself.

So why am I showing you even more pictures?

Well… I love the fact that behind every picture there is also a story. And not only that, it also inspires stories when the watcher doesn’t even know the original. No matter if drawings, works of art in oil or digital, or photographs, pictures are impressive mediums for transporting a story. Of inspiring new ones.

I’m currently polishing up my writing skills and that got me thinking about where my inspiration comes from. More often than not it comes from pictures I see, scenes I witness, photographs or drawings. The “what if”s and “what could be the story behind it” is a strong source of inspiration for me.


© Sebastian Geiger

So please, people of the world who are able to make that art (like the pretty lady up there who drew the visitors of the Comic Con), go on and give me inspiration for my writing for years to come. I love it, and I know I’m not alone with it.

That said, I’ll go back to writing soon. And then there’ll be more about pens again, I promise. 🙂 And ink, can’t forget the ink.

Where does your inspiration come from, if you like to write as much as I do? Personal history? Meetings? Or pictures as well? Let me know.

Nadine was at Comic Con Germany 2016

About Me 65

I hear you asking (very discreetly, of course) “Nadine, where have you been? Why aren’t you updating more?” Well, that was because I actually was away on a short holiday this weekend, and I brought you some pictures as peace offering.

And I am clearing up some misconceptions I had about this fair and German comic fans in particular. I’ll get to them as I go along.


Foto: Messe Stuttgart

I was at Comic Con Germany this last weekend with a very dear friend of mine, and we were in press mode. That means I was pretending to work and enjoying myself immensely, while he actually had to work. It was great.

Misconception #1: It’ll be a tiny fair

We were in Stuttgart, where it was the first Comic Con ever, and we were really looking forward to a very small fair, rather niche, with a few comic geeks (like us) and a lot of fun.

Well, shows what I know.

It was, actually, extremely well set up. Even though it wasn’t a huge fair (we don’t quite get to US standards yet), it was extremely well organized, not as many halls as it should have had (in hindsight) and I do hope they’ll make it even bigger next year, but it wasn’t by any standards a small one. And that is good, because…

Misconception #2: there will be a few comic geeks like us…

Even in Germany, comics have arrived in mainstream and it is good. And really… look at this! “A few” really don’t cut it (and that was at a time where not so many were in the halls, too):


People_© Daniel Dornhöfer - Comic Con Germany-77

© Daniel Dornhöfer

And that’s just one of the three areas. This was the main hall of the fair, with the artists in the foreground, the shopping goodies in the middle and the Cosplay area at the end.

Here’s the Foyer just before the Cosplay Contest:


Foto: Messe Stuttgart

Which brings me to…

Misconception #3: German Cosplay isn’t up to US standards.

Yes, I’ve been to DragonCon an age ago and saw there what was possible in Cosplay. Around the same time I saw what was possible in German Cosplay at that time and was of the impression the Germans had a lot of catching up to do. Well… they were good at it, because look at that! They are gorgeous!


Foto: Messe Stuttgart


That attention to detail should be commended. But what’s best, there were so MANY of those great cosplays. You really should click the following group shot, ’cause there is a big version that’s totally worth it!

So there I was, with all my misconceptions alleviated, and I really hope they’ll go on with this fair. ‘Cause it’s amazing fun. I’m certain we’ll go visit again if we get the chance.

Oh, and of course, there were great artists as well:

CC_16_P_111_gr_Barry Jazz Finnegan-artist

Foto: Messe Stuttgart

It is a Comic Con after all 🙂

So there I am, happy (and with achy feet) after a weekend on a fair, and with a great new experience to boot. And of course I bought a few things at this fair, which I might be convinced to show after hoarding them in my corner of the world, cooing at them for a while. 😛

There you have it. That’s what I did the last few days, and I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed being there. I hope they’ll do it again. Just bigger.

Reading: Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate


Since my hand is demanding a little break in the writing world, I’m reading again. I pulled out some of my favorite books from my shelf, and I wanted to share them with you today.

Genre:  I’d call it Victorian Urban Steampunk Fantasy – and yes, it is as fun as it sounds


The Author: Gail Carriger

A peek into the story:

This is a series about Miss. Alexia Tarabotti, a Preternatural, which means she has no soul. A fact she is very much aware of, and tries to balance with an overabundance of proper behavior. She’s not very good at proper behavior, though.

She’s not the typical heroine, but dreadfully charming none the less, not stumbling but poking her way into trouble at every corner. She’s strong, as self-reliant as any Victorian Lady of good breeding could be, and while she does have no soul and therefore no creativity, she has a surprising penance for stumbling into the most outrageous plots – with her trusted parasol, of course.

But the very best about Gail Carriger and her books is her author’s voice. I adore it! The language of the books is amazingly victorian, extremely distinctive and so funny I kept laughing out loud while reading it. Still. Despite already having read it at least three times. Here is the link to her book blurb of Soulless.

This is a book I love going back to – not that it keeps me from reading her other books, mind you. And, for some unfathomable reason, I always end up with a deep desire for tea.

Go visit her author’s page (where I also took the picture from, I’m sorry for stealing Miss Carriger) and read the book blurbs – also written in her unique voice that makes me sad she can’t write those books as fast as I read them.

And to sum up the amusement I have while reading, here is a quote from Soulless that embodies the voice so well I will never forget it:

How ghastly for her, people actually thinking, with their brains, and right next door. Oh, the travesty of it all.

And I’ll go get some tea 🙂

The importance of going analog (for a bit)

About Me 65

I’ve had a very analog week. I didn’t go to my computer, I didn’t write mails (other than at work, naturally) and I pretty much didn’t worry about it either.

Though I am sorry for not doing my regular posting. 🙂 But it was necessary.

Do you know that feeling that, sometimes, you have to take a step back and just… be? I’ve enjoyed pouring rain this last week (a sound that really calms me) – and got annoyed by getting wet. I’ve enjoyed sunshine – and got annoyed at being too warm. So the typical nothing is quite right but it’s okay week.

And I didn’t write much. Sadly, but I have to take care of my arm before I get a carpal tunnel syndrome again.

This got me back to reading. Not a book, for once, but my old stories. My own writing. Those writing stories will know what I’m talking about when I tell you that, during writing, I got really frustrated with those stories. I thought they were the worst kind of drizzle anyone could ever have gotten to paper. I was – and am pretty much every time – very much tempted to chuck it all out.

But due to my tendency to hoard things (don’t start that, it’s not a good idea 🙂 ) and my reluctance to throw away anything written, especially by me, I pretty much kept it all. And such a good thing. It’s not all great, of course, and many things still would need polishing, but I can see gems shining through here and there, and that’s very satisfying.

I will soon let you know about my favorite music to writing, which inks I’m at right now, and which pens have currently caught my interest, but right now I’m pretty much basking in my analog life.

Do you guys know that feeling? Do you enjoy it or does it unsettle you? I’d really be interested in some insight.