1) Do you ever ‘talk’ to your characters?
Absolutely. Fanny especially. I do because to me, she isn’t just a character, she is based on an actual ancestor of mine and part of my own spiritual belief system is that our akhu, or ancestors are not gone, they just moved to another address. As such, we do interact with them whether we realise it or not.
2) Do they talk back? Yes. Fanny is the strongest, but her voice is always quiet and dignified, she is never shrill. She is very precise in her speech, she does not use contractions in a sentence. Elizabeth ( nomanselizabth) is a typical loud Tudor monarch, and she can be extremely loud and obnoxious! Having two queens in my head can be a real pain in the backside. Fanny’s daughter Caroline is very polite and she is of all my muses the “sweetest” and most gentle. When she does feel strongly about something – like she does about her music or about her beau, Stelios Lakiotis (immortalsparta), she can get a bit more chatty. Caroline’s sister, Jocelyn (faedefrance), is very precocious as children go. I hear her mostly of a child of about six or seven at present, even though technically we never got around to telling the story of her being born. We knew she was coming, and then about a year or so later, she just started talking. Right now she is talking the most to Azazeal (1st_of_the200), and she thinks he is neater than cake! What is worse is that he isn’t even my muse and I can hear the two of them having conversations and planning all sorts of mayhem *facepalm* . I have the same problem with Fanny’s husband, Sebastien de Rochefort (all_forme) deciding to visit. He was most obnoxious when we got a chance to see a bottle of Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac in a store once. I told him if he wanted it, he could cough up the $1800 dosh to buy it! Thankfully in checking with either Azazeal’s or Rochefort’s writers, they get the same sort of thing with my muses visiting them, so it works out. Perhaps we are all just collectively insane?
3) Is there a particular ritual you have that lets you get in touch with your inner voices?
No. They just sort of pop up. It happens mainly when I am driving or shopping or just minding my own business. A lot of times I will be reading a bit of history or literature and one or two will expound on the event – or in Fanny’s case she will talk about why something isn’t quite what was depicted in history, but rather give a slightly different viewpoint. When I am doing my work as an herbalist, I sometimes will get input from her to check something and lo and behold find out that the Muse is right about something I had not thought about. Where the ancestor that I have based Fanny on stops and Fanny who is the character begins, sometimes that is not always very clear. She has very specific tastes in music, food and wine and things she enjoys. Some of those tastes, interestingly enough are definitely not mine. She likes chess, it bores me to tears, she hates embroidery, and I don’t mind it – as long as I can find my glasses and see what I am doing. She definitely is of Celts ancestry and this is something that I have a little of, but it really is not a culture that for me is of any deep interest.
I have bought her things that she likes. There was a statue of the Goddess Danu that she really connected with, and so I bought it. In my spiritual path we also have an ancestor shrine which is a small cabinet that is shared collectively and holds pictures and mementos from those people who are very much a part of who we are. Fanny ended up getting her own akhu shrine. In it is the statue of Danu, and a book that was written by the real life Comte de Rochefort printed in the early 1700’s because she definitely wanted that as well amongst other things.
In short, I don’t know really what Fanny is. She isn’t like the other muses that I have in there, too. I’ve been approached about it by others who share the same spiritual beliefs and they have said , “she really isn’t just a character is she?”. I have to say, I don’t think so and plead ignorance about just what I am dealing with. I just roll with it and continue to take dictation for her. Does all this make me nuts? Maybe. But aren’t all we writers and artists just a little bit crazy anyway? 😉