I always find it extremely interesting whenever perch_and_creep and I discuss muses. For her, they seem to be very real and substantial. She's been kind enough to share hers with me on many, many occasions, and we've had hours of fun with them. They are amusing, comforting, and very solid seeming at times.
But when it comes down to it, during these conversations, I'm playing with her toys, not mine. There are a few that we share. Others have sprung fully formed from her imagination just for my pleasure and amusement, but a muse solely for my own playful enjoyment...never.
I've wondered about this quite a few times. There are a number of characters within my fandoms for whom that I feel a sincere affinity. I'm adamant about what I consider their 'honest' portrayal and I'm obscenely protective of them, at least my version of them. But they don't haunt me and the only time I can even truly feel their moods are when they are being extremely difficult and badly behaved. In short, when they refuse to be written. I can't even go so far as to call them 'muses' per se, they are merely the characters that, somehow, embody the entire fandom for me.
It's fairly easy to break them down:
As much as I love many other characters, Rogue is the one I adore. Since the X-Men fandom has so many canon realities, I'm free to enjoy a number of different versions of her. My favorite, however, is Ultimate Rogue. This character, so far, has had little activity in the Ultimate Universe, but every appearance just serves to make me adore her more. Oddly enough, my least favorite version is 616 Comicverse Rogue. I tend to base this relative dislike on the Rogue/Remy 'romance' that has plagued readers for well over a decade. Although it will never happen with Claremont writing the title, I can't wait for the day when Remy is foisted off on someone unsuspecting, Ororo perhaps, and Rogue is free to be paired with someone...anyone...else.
There are a couple key things I love about Rogue:
1) Her mutation balances out the sublimely tragic with the ultra-powerful. In 616Rogue, her powers have been toyed with to a disgraceful degree, but Ultimate Rogue, Movieverse Rogue, and Evolution Rogue have a character whose powers remain untainted. This is alluring as hell.
2) She has always had a certain unwavering brutality to her nature. Yet it is a flimsy false front for anyone disposed to delve deeper. She's like a refugee wearing rags and believing that they somehow conceal her vulnerability. God, it's downright beautiful.
Harry Potter: Sibyll Trelawney
*blushes* I sometimes thing that my attachment to this obscure, awkward character is a sign of my impending mental instability, but I love her. I truly adore Sibyll.
You have to understand that I don't see her as she is portrayed in the books...and yet I do. For me, all that Harry sees and presents to us of Sibyll is what he perceives. There has to be more behind that. I KNOW that there is more behind that.
Actually, again it's the thinly veiled vulnerability of the character that draws me.
First off, Sibyll is an actress, a drama queen, desperately trying to keep her job and her home through whatever means possible by teaching, as best she is able, the theory behind a discipline in which she is talentless, but which was practically fed to her in her mother's milk. The true visions she has are unwelcome and, given the fact that Sibyll is a coward of the first order, frightening as hell. It's far more pleasant for her to try to dazzle and sparkle and draw at least a small percentage of her pupils into her charade. Every actress requires an audience, after all.
Secondly, I have Squib!Sibyll theories that I adore and embrace and love and pet in the darkness of night. I snuggle them, and cradle them, and pretend that they're mine, all mine and no one else will take them from me!
Shut up. *grin*
I realize that most fic depictions of Sibyll portray only the drama queen farce that is presented in the books. I'm ok with that, as long as it's done with respect. There's nothing I despise more than seeing a character, ANY character used cheaply as a plot contrivance. Er...well..I guess it's passable if Rowling does it, but y'all others better watch it! *shakes fist*
My loff for my scrawny, be-speckled and bejeweled goddess is pure!
Finally, if you would ask perch_and_creep, she'd tell you that my 'muse' is Samwise Gamgee, but I don't know as to how that would work. Muses are supposed to be guiding spirits. Inspiration. I don't consider ANY of these characters to be guides at all...
But with Samwise, I can't help but adore his simplicity, honor his generous spirit, and admire his steadfast nature. He is worthy of regard in every way that counts, and I would feel negligent in overlooking his many qualities. It is perhaps odd to hold the merit a character so highly when I'm not even involved in the LOTR fandom, but in his case it is unquestionably deserved.
Maybe my love for Samwise Gamgee comes from the fact that, in contrast to SO many other fictional characters, I would actually want to be like him. If I could even approximate some of his qualities, I'd be content.
I never write him. I don't know if I'd dare.
When I actually let them, these and other characters will mill about my brain, acting grumpy, sniping at one another, or generally goofing off. I pay very little attention to this sort of activity, in part because it isn't lively enough to be distracting, but also because I'm no where near as passionate about writing as I'd like.
In short, I have no muses. I just have characters that I love for their vulnerabilities as well as their strengths. The end. *grin*
Crossposted to my own LJ.