Our next topic for our virtual writing group meet is ‘Wonder’ which is a very open subject to write to. We write our pieces, email them to each other, read them and then discuss when we zoom. I think the others have all sent me theirs, but I haven’t read them yet as i want to write my own first and not have others’ ideas creeping into my mind. To be honest, I don’t yet know what I’m going to write, but I do have an idea. Near where we live is a house called Wonderstone House, which is a marvellous name. I’ve researched it as far as I’m able and can’t find anything about why it might be called that. Not too far away from Wonderstone House, less than ten miles away is something called the Wimblestone, which is actually a standing stone, so I’d thought there might be a Wonderstone which was similar. As far as I can tell, there isn’t – which means I’m free to imagine one and write about it.

Apparently the Wimblestone is triangular shaped and about five foot tall and it seems there might have been other stones nearby, maybe five of them, but what they were like, and whether any archaeological significance could be understood from them, I don’t know. Some writers in the past describe a hole through it, but no-one seems to now anything about that now. There is a lovely legend attached to it, that there’s treasure hidden beneath the stone it and between midnight and dawn, the stone heaves itself out of the ground and wanders about the field. In the base hole where it rests there’s supposed to be a crock of gold! I think this idea might strike gold! I will share it when it arrives!

It seems that there is a type of rock called wonderstone, found in the USA; I got a little confused because it is called Vernon Hills wonderstone and I found a place called Vernon Hills in Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. I soon unmuddled myself when I realised that Vernon Hills wonderstone from Vernon in Utah, a small town of less than three hundred people.  It sounds absolutely beautiful; it’s a jasper and has formed in bands of cream, a yellowy-brown and every shade of maroon that you could imagine. Thanks once again to Wikipedia, jasper, an aggregate of microgranular quartz and/or chalcedony and other mineral phases, is an opaque, impure variety of silica, usually red, yellow, brown or green in colour; and rarely blue. The common red colour is due to iron (III) inclusions. Jasper breaks with a smooth surface and is used for ornamentation or as a gemstone.

So, supposing in my yet to be written story there is some connection between a standing stone called the Wonderstone, and nearby  deposits of jasper? If that were the case, I would have to locate my story in the Campsie Fels in Scotland which is, I think, the only place in the UK where it can be found. I may need to do some more thinking on this idea!

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