PREVIEW: The Pocket Monster Diaries, Part 14

Greetings gentle reader(s),

I know that this is kind of unorthodox, but I’ve been writing and deleting the same two sentences since early January, and I finally came up with something for my next Nuzlocke post. It feels like the dam has broken. I hope this doesn’t come off as too self-indulgent, but I’m really excited to be working again and I’d like to share it with you, if you don’t mind (I also put the boring personal reasons for the delay at the end of this post, so you can just read this preview and skip that hoo-hah if you wish).

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

***

Pallet Town is so small, so remote, and of so little consequence, that by all rights it should not exist. Like most children who grew up in such places, my swimming did not take place in a “pool”, but a “hole,” and as a reflective child who had very little else to do, I gave a great deal of thought to this distinction during my hours of Summer idleness. I decided that a “swimming pool” must be much cleaner, safer, and generally more civilized than a “swimming hole,” which sounded suspiciously like some sort of trap for reckless swimmers, and besides that, experience had taught me that holes are

1. Dangerous as a rule,

2. almost always dirty, and

3. sometimes have things living in them.

In retrospect, I was wrong on one point: our swimming hole was not a hole at all but in fact a shallow estuary that flowed into the sea along Route 21. I was not wrong, however, about the danger and the dirt and the things and so this was only a small consolation to me.

All the same, every morning in Summer I raced to the swimming hole with the others. It’s a very normal thing for children to run to a swimming hole in hot weather, but we ran with a special desperation, because everyone knew that every single second in the water was precious, and not to be wasted. It was only a matter of time until some poor idiot got himself stung by a Tentacool, curled up in shivering agony on the beach while someone made the barefoot run to get the antivenom from Oak’s lab. As painful as the sting was to its victim, it was never half as dangerous or fast-acting as the ensuing outbreak of mom-panic which would spell the end of our days at the swimming hole, at least until next year. So while the other children splashed and roughhoused with one another, eagerly gulping down mouthfuls of bacteria, I chose wisely to stay within the safety and comfort of the knee-deep shelf near the shore, and I was grateful for even that relief from the heat and the boredom. But I always nurtured a small hope that, one day, I would visit a proper swimming pool where I didn’t have to worry about waterborne microorganisms or being envenomed by the nematocysts of a Poison type lurking just beneath the surface.

That said, the moment I walked into the Cerulean Gym, I decided that I was willing to go home and take my chances with the Tentacool.

***

There, just wanted to prove that I wasn’t dead, and that I still give a crap about this story, at least. If you want to know the truth, I had something of a fanfiction crisis of faith in recent months. Although I realize that there IS good fanfiction out there, as well as bad fanfiction (so, SO much bad fanfiction), I’ll admit that I have always been something of a writing snob at heart. It comes with being an English major, I guess. So it came as a serious shock to me, and probably only to me, when I realized that what I had been writing since last April (i.e. The Pocket Monster Diaries), while intended at first to be just kind of a jokey screenshot run with narration, would probably be perceived by most of the world at large as fanfiction, because even though it stars an original character, it takes place in the licensed world of Pokemon™, and so oh my God it IS fanfiction and OH JESUS I’M A FANFIC WRITER HOW DID THIS HAPPEN AUUUUGGGH WHAT HAVE I BECOME

Anyway, the important thing is that I grew some balls, drank a steaming mug of humility, and got over myself. Yes, I’ll probably want to write original fiction someday, but there’s no reason that playing around with and deconstructing a fictional universe can’t be both fun and a good writing exercise, which is all it takes to make something worthwhile in my book.

So now that I’ve overcome this obstacle that I made up and inflicted on myself, it’s time to start getting back on a semi-regular writing schedule, and if this hunk of text I produced this afternoon is any indication, I’m on my way to doing just that.

Fair warning: due to unforeseen circumstances, this chapter is probably going to be necessarily depressing, overwrought, and melodramatic, which are all qualities I’ve tried to leaven with humor in the past, but hoooooo boy do I have my work cut out for me this time. However, I’ve come way too far to falter now, so wish me luck folks. I’m diving back in after a long dry spell, and I’m not coming back up for air until I hit rock bottom.

– Toasty Out

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About toastybiggins

This guy? He's alright.

Posted on February 26, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. don’t stop berieving

  2. Ooh, please do another pocket monster diaries entry!
    I can’t get enough. This series has me laughing non stop. Can’t wait to see what happens when Winston finds G’yorp had become Champion.
    It’s been months.
    I’ll go down on my knees and beg, dude.
    Please update!

  3. Toastasaurus Rex

    Every time I check the site for updates this post makes me sad, talking so hopefully about an implied-inevitable continuation for a great series that I will miss for a long time to come.

    If you every read this Toasty Biggins…. I don’t know what to say. This is the last time I’m going to check back here. I wish it didn’t have to happen, but there it is. Thanks for the laughs I got while it lasted, I’m sorry they apparently couldn’t continue.

    • NO COME BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK

      Listen, I know I’ve been wrong before. But this time I mean it! I haven’t given up on the series yet. I’ve been going through some rough times. But I’ve also been planning out the rest of the story. I didn’t know where I wanted to take this series, but I have almost everything figured out now. There are such great things in store! I finally know who Winston’s dad is! I finally know why Professor Oak is a broken old man hiding from the law instead of a world famous Pokemon researcher! And most importantly, I know now why G’yorp says “G’yorp.”

      (I’ll give you a hint…that’s not his real name.)

      Anyway, I don’t know if you’ll see this, and I feel bad that you’re leaving, but I guess I just have to hope you’ll come back and check it on a whim sometime in the future. Just like you’ve been hoping I was going to update all these months…I just gotta have faith.

      Farewell, my friend.

      • Please come back soon. I know most people throw out “BAWWWWW WHY IS THIS FREE AND AWESOME SERIES THAT I HAVE NO CREATIVE INPUT IN NEVER UPDATING THIS IS SO UNFAIR” but I freaking love your storytelling style. I just wanna laugh at you spinning some funny Pokémon stuff.

      • Toasty! So glad to see you haven’t forgotten.

        I agree with Jason. I understand that you are very busy and that you can’t just drop your life to appease us readers, but I truly hope you’ll get the Pocket Monster diaries up and running again soon.

        I find your writing to be some of the most equisite I have ever come across in all my years. The voice you speak with is so unique, clear and distinct, it projects a marvelous atmosphere that I am unable to find anywhere else.

        I’m interested into going into writing myself- I can only hope to someday muster up a bit of the talent you possess.

        Sincerely, a teenage fan

      • Wow! Thanks for the great comment! I know this blog doesn’t have a TON of readers, but just knowing there are people like you out there who are still checking back and commenting is extremely heartening. I just started my first real job back in July, as well as moving out into my first real apartment, and it’s taken me some time to get used to doing actual work on a 9-5 schedule. But now that it’s been over two months, I’m starting to settle into more of a daily routine, and I’m trying to make writing a regular habit again.

        Sheesh, all that praise is a little embarrassing…but also motivating! I was going to go to bed, but after reading your response, I think I’ll do a little work on my draft for part 14 first. Slowly, but surely…

  4. Hey Toasty

    How do you take the screenshots for this? They’re so perfect.

    • The emulator I use, Visual Boy Advance, actually has a built in screenshot function that saves the screen captures as PNG files. However, Visual Boy Advance only captures them at the resolution of a real GBA screen, so the original screenshots it takes are very tiny. Fortunately, IrfanView has a handy batch function that I use to resize them en masse before I upload them to the blog so they’re easier to see.

      And now you know!

  5. THANK YOU TOASTY!!
    Let me just say that I think it’s pretty friggin’ amazing that you haven’t forgotten all of us.

    Ever since your reply about getting back on the old wagon, I’ve been checking the site almost obsessively. And I’m never disappointed because I KNOW that little by little, you’re working.

    Can we expect a new post in the next month or so? Just a rough estimate?

    Thanks!

    -Ps, you gained a follower.

  6. Merry Christmas, Toasty!

  7. Hey, Toasty. Happy 2013. (A bit late, yes, but.. I’m still here. Waiting.)

  8. As M I; do you get emails letting you know people post? I’ve been reading since you first mentioned this on the IGN forums; unfortunately you’vebeen gone for a year now! You coming back or is it finished? (Totally understand if job/work has rendered this kaput, but a little heads up would be nice).

  9. Gah; As “am I”* not sure how I made that typo above.

  10. Argh, sorry everyone, I feel really bad about letting this go for so long. I really appreciate everybody’s comments, though. In order:

    – Thank you! I did have a merry Christmas, and I hope you did too

    – I think, in the interest of not being the biggest hypocrite ever, I can forgive you for being a bit late wishing me a happy new year

    – I do get an email when a new comment is posted, but I guess I felt bad for not really having anything new to report. Life has been pretty crazy for the last year, but I do have a notebook I’ve been jotting ideas and story outlines in for the blog. Going back and reading over the old entries is a weird experience; it’s sort of painful seeing all the little mistakes and errors that I wish I had done differently at the time. But I suppose that’s a normal part of the writing process.

    I’m seriously impressed that you’ve been following the blog this whole time, and it’s hard to believe that an entire year has passed since I posted this preview. A lot has changed since then, and I’d like to think that my writing has changed as well. Maybe it’s time to pick up the pen once more…

  11. You still have fans that check back weekly.. monthly.. we haven’t lost hope!
    We won’t pressure you to work faster. After all, if it was supposed to be for fun in the first place, who are we to give you deadlines?

    I’m just here to say, good luck, Toasty! Keep on writing. We’ll be waiting in anticipation.

  12. ToastyBiggins, you have inspired me to try and create my own Pokemon Nutzlocke game file/ story! I just wanted you to know that. I read through this awesome story for like the hundredth time, and thought, well, it won’t be nearly as good, but I’ll pick up the pen and see if I can carry on myself for some amusement while I’m waiting. I need to force myself to write again to try and get back into the groove of things. 😉

    Can’t wait until the next installment! This little preview here is real quality. I’m sure the rest will be just the same!

    • That’s awesome! It makes me really happy to know that, even if I haven’t gotten off my duff and posted anything for a while, I’ve at least inspired someone else to do something creative! This blog was the first thing I’d written (apart for the usual school stuff) for a long, long time, so I can definitely understand the need to shake off the rust. But once you get the flow going, it can be hard to stop.

      Good luck in your adventures! I’m sure it will be great!

  13. Sir Anonymous

    Don’t worry, Toasty. I’m something of a huge writing snob as well- (english majors UNITE!) but I never really would classify this as ‘fanfiction’- it’s exactly as you put it, “making a jokey story out of a de-constructed fictional world”. Even if it technically counts as fanfiction, it’s far from much of the monstrosity forced upon us by ‘internet writers’ these days. Keep doing what you’re doing, you’re adding class to this. I never thought I’d find anything like this I could love so much!

    • Thanks! That actually makes me feel a lot better. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this, and I’ve concluded that the difference between “fanfiction” and “regular fiction” isn’t nearly as important as the difference between “good fiction” and “bad fiction.” So I’m just going to focus on making sure my fiction is the good kind!

  14. Hey Toasty

    It’s nice to see you replying to comments. It makes us feel like you haven’t forgotten. We understand how busy you are.
    Hope you can come back soon! After reading your response earlier to somebody, I’m itching to know who Winston’s dad is and what G’yorp’s real name is! Ah..
    my email is only subscribed to your blog, so whenever I get an email I’m always like “holy nuggets toasty posted!!” and it’s always spam, hahaha 😛

    waiting joyously for the day when the email notification is from this blog!

    oh also i totally agree with those previous commenters, it’s not fan fiction to me either??
    but you’re right, it’d about writing something GOOD. your works don’t fall into a category except ‘awesome’ and ‘badass’ for me.

    Good luck writing!

  15. As the days pass, I occasionally think of this website out of the blue, sometimes while in class- I’m growing more and more excited thinking of the day I’ll be able to return and see you’ve posted!

  16. well, it would appear that i’m a little late to the party .
    i just wanted to say, though, this story was really really good!

  17. Maybe toasty will come through for us, and post another one on the two year anniversary of this post!
    *holds on to tiny fragments of hope*

  18. It’s almost the two year anniversary of this post. Wow, I feel old.
    Toasty, Are you gonna come out with another installment any time soon??

  19. Whoa.. tomorrow is the two-year anniversary of this post! Toasty, please, you’re killing me here..

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