Someone once asked me why I refer to my muse as a person, as in "My muse informed me she did not wish to work today, and that I could just tough it out without her," or "In order to make my muse happy, I am feeding her daily dollops of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. She has such a crush on him..."
The answer is simple--I think of my muse as a prima donna, an elegant, sophisticated female who now and again graciously assents to giving me an idea or two. She likes to pretend that she is above such things as potty humor (a few scenes in Corset Diaries were particularly trying to her), but the truth is that she is responsible for everything I write.
She spends most of her time on a fainting couch, browsing through slick European magazines, and if I look over and ask her for a bit of help with a tough scene, she will sigh in a very dramatic fashion, purse her lips, and almost always say that if I just thought things through, the answer to the problem would be clear. When I inevitably whine that I <em>have</em> thought, and I <em>can't </em>find an answer, she will stroll over to me and, with a martyred expression, read the last couple of paragraphs I've written. Then she gives me a look that lets me know just how much I've disappointed her, and will offer, in as few words as possible, an idea.
I am then expected to spend a minimum of five minutes in profound gratitude for this condescension on her part, after which she returns with languid grace to the fainting couch, and waves me away with a little frown of irritation that she was thus bothered.
This, then, is my muse. I once thought about getting a new one, but when she found out I was talking to the muse people about a different one, she damn near razed the house, and behind my back arranged for me to write an extremely boring non-fiction software article. She said it was penance for my evil ways. I learned my lesson from that, let me tell you.