What’s with the guy under the pretty dome?

The guy in my banner photo is Thomas Jefferson, and the pretty dome is the Rotunda in the U.S. Capitol, one of my favorite buildings. There are lots of free and fantastic things to do and see in Washington, D.C., and a Capitol tour is among them. Used to be, anyone could walk into the Capitol and wander around. Now, of course, security is tighter and the Visitor’s Center is there to funnel everyone through key public areas at a rather rapid pace. Not much of a chance for lingering.

Washington DC 037

U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

But the first time I visited? I could wander at my leisure. It’s common enough to say that we’ve got a “do nothing” Congress, but that’s not exactly true, is it? A lot goes on in Congress – big and small – and we may not agree with all of it and it may be frustrating as hell, but the idea behind the institution? That’s pretty cool. And so is the building. I took the Visitor Center-offered tour in 2014 and snapped this photo then.

So why did I choose this photo for my blog banner? The thrillers I write are set in the near future, where democracy is a broken relic and an oppressive regime does its best to discourage anyone who wants to revive it. The more I learn about how we got the government we have, the more fun I have layering bits of history into my storytelling. What do you sneak into your writing?

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