WORDS CHANGE US: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

brad wetzler creative nonfiction fear and loathing in las vegas hunter s thompson memoir writing to find your fire Nov 24, 2020


I submitted my memoir to agents. The book's working title is: Shiva Blues: A Seeker's Journey.
It's about travel, kicking an addiction to strong pharmaceuticals, and trying to live against the grain of American Big Alpha toxic masculinity...but, primarily, the book is about personal transformation.
Is transformation possible? If so, how do we do it?

To that end, I'm starting a new miniblog on social media called, WORDS CHANGE US.

When I first read tonight's passage, I was in 9th grade, and I'd never taken drugs. But these words practically leaped off the page, swirled around my bedroom bestrewn with famous sports figures, and then bore into my little teenage skull.

I knew.... I just knew...that...

1. there must be more to the world than Kansas.
2. I wanted to use my imagination and be a writer when I grew up.
3. I wanted my life to be an adventure.

Here goes (and it doesn't get much better than this for opening passages):

"We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like 'I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive...." And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: 'Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?" --Hunter S. Thompson

What words changed you???