February Members of the Month

Greetings and salutations, Nine Lives family! It's that time again, to honor those lucky winners of our Members of the Month contest. This months winners: Haitus80 for Author and sweettooth7 for Reviewer! Woot woot!

Haitus 80: Author of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
Well, I was kind of a shipper before I knew what a ship was. During the second season I would watch the show and after every episode I would have all of these ideas in my head about how it could go so much better for those two characters. The two characters that seemed to actually need one another. Because, face it, they aren't like anyone else. Anyway, I would kind of make up all these scenarios in my head, envolving Caryl. One night I walked into my living room and my little sister was on the computer and I was like, "What the hell are you reading?" And she was like, "Fanfiction." And she told me what it was. So I called her a dork, laughed at her and walked away. Then she was like, "There is walking dead fanfiction and people write Daryl and Carol together." I laughed it off, of course... and then asked my boyfriend to buy me a laptop and I never looked back. I needed to put them together because them being together made sense to me. Their chemistry is what drew me to them before I knew anything about any of this. Oh, and I don't laugh at my sister anymore. But every now and then she laughs at me. lol

Who are your writing influences? I read everything. I stole my mom's Dean Koontz books when I was a little kid and read the hell out of them. It took a long time because that was back when I was still sounding words out. lol I love him still. He's probably my favorite writer. I also love to read anything classic. Harper Lee. Oh man! I had a Last of the Mohicans book that was published in 1903 but some ass spilled something on it. Anyway, I love that book. Umm... really, I'll read anyone that can weave a good tale. I also love poetry. Kipling, Poe and... Jim Morrison. I love Jim. So yeah. I don't know if any of these influence my writing but those are my faves. Jesus, I'm so long winded... And I've cussed. Am I allowed to cuss? You can just bleep out the bad words if you want.

How do you handle writers block? One shots. If I'm stuck on a chapter story sometimes I'll write a one shot and it jiggles my muse a bit. Music is always a plus. Sometimes though, I just get burnt out and need to step away. Far away. And I wait for it to just come back. 

Anything you want to say to your readers? I am amazed by my readers. Most of them have been with me from my very rocky early stories. I hear it all the time. People say, you have to write for yourself first. And you know, sometimes that's true. But I really want to write something that I know my readers will love because without them, I would be hiding in my room with a note book and I would really be writing for myself. I love my readers. I appreciate them more than they could ever know. They have pushed me, infuriated me, made me smile, made me laugh, made me miserable. I love them. I absolutely adore them. I write for myself. I write these stories and I post them, for them. It's that simple.  

sweettooth7: Reviewer of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
Caryl is the most beautiful, unique, authentic pairing I've ever seen on television. MMB and NR have created something so special with these two characters, and I've been enamored with them right from the beginning. Even without the physical aspect of their connection, they're the strongest and most solid unit. I've never seen anything quite like it, really. They're just...perfect, you know? (You know.)

What do you look for in a story to keep reading?
This is an excellent question, and I have no idea! I've started reading stories before and haven't been interested enough to make it through the first chapter, but a month later I'll try again and be completely hooked. Some days I love OOCs or AUs (for example), and other days I don't so much. I will try anything and everything, really, and can really enjoy an author's individual style for what it is (not a very helpful answer, I know).  : P

But I really do appreciate a story where you can tell that the author has put a lot of heart and effort into it. It's so amazing to see what people come up with, I'm constantly blown away by the talent and creativity of the writers on this site. 

What are your top five favorite stories?
This is the hardest question! There is no way I can pick just five, it just can't happen. Maybe five authors? Let's go with that, though that's really not much easier  ; )  There are a handful of new-to-me authors that have consistently floored me with everything they write: Stephtron312, Lamport, wndrw8, strychnine and TheWalkingCaryl. But really, I could name 25 more. (please let me? Please?) (ADMIN NOTE: I told you it would have been ok! LOL! - FM)

Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?
Thank you!! Your hard work and creativity are very much appreciated. Each of you inspires me every single day. Keep on writing even in the hard times (*coughSeason4cough*), because reading fanfic is the best way to keep the Caryl feels good and strong!  oxox


Congratulations to our February Members of the Month! Special thanks, as always, to the wonderful untapdtreasure for the custom banners for the winners. Happy ficcing and Caryl on!


--Fairies Masquerade on February 03, 2015 4:34pm 8 Comments
Anniversary Challenge

Hey, hey party animals! To celebrate the first year of Nine Live's existence, the girls and I decided to throw a little FANFIC CHALLENGE at y'all. 

This one is open to Caryl and McReedus stories alike! The theme of the challenge: Anniversary. The trick with anniversaries is that they can be joyful or angsty. There is always something remembered, which gives you a wide open field to play with.

Here are the challenge details:

    • THE PROMPT: Your entry must revolve around the theme Anniversary. It can be Caryl or McReedus, happy, sad, ridiculously silly or horribly angst-ridden. Rock on with it, peeps.

    • It must be at least 100 words.

    • THE DEADLINE: All entries are due on February 6, 10pm MST. Everything will be posted on February 7.

    • THE RULES: Here is how you enter the challenge:

      • Send a PM to Fairies Masquerade, Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl stating that you’re going to enter the challenge. This is very important! If we don’t get a PM, you won’t be on the list. 

      • Write your fic!!

      • DO NOT UPLOAD IT YET!! Wait until February 6 to upload your fic – we will be suspending automatic validation for that day for all authors who enter the challenge.

      • Submission Day is February 6 post your fic. It will not appear on the website, but will enter our validation queue. Make sure you submit it under the Nine Lives Challenge category!

      • Posting Day is February 7 – We will post the Master List and post all of the challenge entries so everything shows up at once. That way, we’re all surprised by what we get to read! Any challenge fics that are posted before February 7 will be deleted.

That's it, my friends! Drop a comment or PM us if you have any questions. Happy writing!

--Fairies Masquerade on January 25, 2015 3:30pm 2 Comments
Happy Birthday, Nine Lives

Greetings and salutations to our Nine Lives family! Saturday the 24th marks a rather momentous occasion for the archive – it’s our 1st birthday! One year ago, the Nine Lives archive officially opened to the public. The admin team back then was our fearless founder Ravenesque (then known as Peta2) and her trusty recruits: Fairies Masquerade, atoizzard and Spikeslovebite, with some extra support borrowed from our host site, Elysian Fields, in the form of our tech goddess Susan. We put the word out on social media and crossed our fingers for success. We only had a couple of people sign up that first day, but it was enough to put smiles on our faces as we dreamed of bigger things. We thought if we hit 500 members by year's end, that would be pretty darn swell. 

Fast forward a year: with over 1,400 members and close to 1,000 stories, Nine Lives has already surpassed our wildest dreams for our first year.  We’ve made some changes along the way (new admins and new ratings), started new traditions (Featured Story and Member of the Month - click the links to see the complete lists for both) and engaged in some highly hilarious shenanigans (The Summer Survival Challenge Series) and wonderful tributes (CarylBYOB). Most of all, though, we’ve succeeded so far with the site’s mission as posted in our inaugural news post by Ravenseque:

With this site I hope to foster that sense of safety within our own community, support for writers and readers with the inclusion of the chat box and chat room, a beta service, a moderated service that helps those entering the fandom to improve their work and thus improving the reading experience of all Carylers that want to read quality fanfiction. What we are about is acceptance and support, love of Carol and Daryl, Melissa and Norman, and hopefully a place where our detractors can recognise that this is not their space to impose upon.

If you want an idea of what you guys have accomplished, check out the final tally for 2014:

And that's just the first year! Just think of everything we'll manage to accomplish this year!

Tomorrow, we’ll present a special Fanfiction Challenge for our birthday! In the meantime, everyone bask in your awesomeness and share the love.

We really do believe that we’re on the path towards making Nine Lives the ultimate safe haven for Carol and McReedus fans alike. Really, it all boils down to each of you. YOU are what makes Nine Lives tick. 

Thank you, all of you, for choosing to be a part of the Nine Lives family and making us what we are today.

-Fairies Masquerade, Ikkleosu and subversivegrrl

--Fairies Masquerade on January 24, 2015 12:27am 10 Comments
Ratings Changes

Hi everyone! Subversivegrrl, Ikkleosu and I have ben very busy fine tuning things behind the scenes of Nine Lives. While we have some seriously fun things headed your way (just wait for Saturday - it's gonna be awesome!), we have a major housekeeping note you all need to be aware of.

We are changing the Nine Lives story ratings. The ratings as they stand currently are G, PG, PG13, R, NC17, Adult Only and RPF (Real Person Fanfiction). We're making major changes to our ratings lineup, in many ways to simplify the classification system but also to avoid issues with the MPAA, which is targeting fanfiction websites for using their ratings system. (*sigh*) As of today, the new rating system will be the following:

  • G (General): No curse words, sex, descriptive violence, etc.

  • T (Teen): Maybe a little violence, a swear word or two. 

  • M (Mature): Violence, language, some gore, sex (but not a specific play-by-play of the sex itself, just allusions to the act)

  • E (Explicit): Anything goes, with as much description as you want. Not for the faint of heart.

  • The RPF ratings (for you McReedus writers) will follow this same system, except now, you'll see G-RPF, T-RPF, M-RPF and E-RPF in the ratings list. 

I'll be making these changes over the course of the next hour or so. Most stories should switch to their new rating automatically. HOWEVER, the big exception is going to be the McReedus stories. Since we're adding entirely new ratings to the system, we're going to have to go through and update each McReedus story individually. Sorry guys! There really wasn't a way around that.

Authors (Caryl and McReedus alike), if you want to lend us a helping hand and double check the ratings on your own stories once the new system kicks in, that would be awesome! EDIT: I can't believe I forgot this! The Adult Only rating is being deleted entirely. We will also have to change all of those stories manually, unless authors change their own works to the new rating system first. Thank you!

I hope all of this makes sense! Please PM me or leave a comment here if you have any questions. Thanks and Caryl on! Stay tuned for fun news coming in the next few days.


EDITED TO ADD BY IKKLEOSU: Authors, if your story was previously in the ADULT ONLY category, it is now likely in the M category. It would be very helpful if you could have a reread/check and see if you think it would be moved into the E category. PM an Admin if you need help moving, or deciding. THANK YOU! - ikkleosu


--Fairies Masquerade on January 21, 2015 5:00pm 2 Comments
Back to Basics

Hello NL chums! This is Ikkleosu doing my very first bit of proper admin for the site, and wishing you all a happy 2015.

With the start of a new year, it seems like a perfect opportunity to go back to basics and have a reminder of the core principles of this site.

Megan set up Nine Lives as a safe place for Caryl fans to find fantastic Caryl fanfiction without fear (say that three times fast). In doing so, it was decided that we would have a basic level of quality for submissions. That's not to scare anyone off, or be snooty, or elitist, it's simply to ensure that all fics can be read and understood by everyone. We want to ensure fics can be viewed at their very best. I think most of us who write would want to make sure what we post can be understood by as many people as possible, and that's what we as admins want for our writers too.

To that end we do try to ensure all fics have good grammar, punctuation and general writing standards. We try to work with writers to make sure that if they are struggling with this, we can get them to a place that their ideas can be enjoyed by everyone without the reader being caught up trying to understand what’s being said. We do this by suggesting betaing when a story has a few issues that might prevent it being enjoyed as it should be, and we may reject a story or chapter that we think hasn’t got to that level yet.

The importance of betaing cannot be overstated, even for the most experienced of writers.

Anyone who has read anything I have posted elsewhere will know how badly I need a beta! I am a terrible typist - I miss words, I use the wrong words, and autocorrect mocks me on a regular basis. And because I am so used to seeing these errors, I don't always spot them on a reread. When we KNOW what we expect to read, our brain has a habit of lazily just assuming that is what's there, even when it's clearly not. That's why it's so important to have someone else read your work.

When you have a good relationship with a beta, you can discuss with them what level of betaing you want them to do. If you are a control freak like me and worry about them telling you the entire story sucks and Daryl and Carol don't have enough sex, you can ask a beta just to do grammar and punctuation. Or you can ask them to check for sentence flow and structure, and even to help with the actual content and ideas of your story. It’s entirely up to you and your beta.

Betaing is a great process, and shouldn't be something to be afraid of. The bonus is you get someone's feedback on your story before you set it free into the wild, and expose it to predators - or reviewers!

If you're looking for a beta check out the beta's page for a list of people taking on fics, and what they specialise in:
And for some tips on working with a beta check this page:

But even before (or without) betaing, there's lots you can do to ensure your story is as readable as possible before clicking that submit button.

1) Read and reread your own work. I know it can be tough - either because you get a cringe on and start to doubt yourself, or are bored of our own words - but reading through can make a huge difference. You can spot obvious errors and even improve the story. Also try printing it off, if you have the facilities, or viewing it on a different format. Amazingly seeing it someplace different can help you spot mistakes.

2) Use your word processor, be it Word, Open Word, or whatever you use. Most have a built in spellchecker and grammar checker which highlights mistakes or possible problems. If you don't have access to word processor software, some of the browsers - such as Chrome - also have this facility built in. And there are even some websites - such as - that you can paste your fic into to get a spell check.

3) Ask someone to read it. Even if you don't want to go so far as betaing it yet, ask someone you trust to read it through. Maybe an online friend or RL friend that you trust, who can read it over and just let you know if they found it understandable, or if they noticed obvious mistakes.

4) Check for Americanisms. This is a controversial one, but it's something that immediately takes readers OUT of the action if they suddenly come across a word or phrase they don't know, or know isn't something you'd hear our characters say.

This is NOT to say you have to be American to write fanfic for this show - heavens, half the cast isn't even American. Megan - who set up this site - is Australian, and I am Scottish, so we KNOW how easy it is to slip up and use the wrong word (I have posted elsewhere a story which uses "nappy" instead of "diaper"). This is why it really pays to have an American read your story. They can spot when you've used a word that isn't common to the North American part of the world.

If you don't have someone you can ask, you can post a quick question in Nine Lives Shoutbox asking one of the many wonderful readers what they call fizzy pop or whatever you need to know (That particular question is a bit of a hot topic, mind you!). Alternatively, a tweet or post on tumblr in the Caryl tag will be sure to get some helpful replies.

Another good tip is to type the question into Google, using speech marks around it - for example, "American word for spanner", "American word for toilet". Often this will throw up plenty of answers for you, and even extra cool slang words you may have never heard!

Obviously we have some writers for whom English is not their first language, and my WORD do we admire you. We welcome you with open arms and we think you are amazing to write fanfiction in a second language. We are here only to facilitate you and help you ensure your work is able to reach its audience. So we hope you too will find the above tips helpful.

We don't want ANYONE to feel discouraged or disheartened from posting their fic. All we want is to make sure as many people can read and enjoy your story as possible, and that any obstacles to that end are fixed. We are trying to work WITH authors, not against you, to get your fanfic to the best status it can be when it's housed on Nine Lives. We hope our authors understand that, and know we're here to help, not to hinder.

Remember you can always PM one of the admins for help, advice or if you want to talk through your fic and why it may have been rejected. Write on, ladels and germs, write on!

--Ikkleosu on January 09, 2015 1:43pm 4 Comments
January Members of the Month

Hello everyone and happy 2015!

We are off to a great year already here on Nine Lives and I'll be sharing a lot of great bits of information in a few days as we approach our first anniversary. To kick off the new year, though, it's time we congratulate our newest Members of the Month: rhinozilla and vickih!

Before we do that though, we want to throw out an additional thank you to untapdtreasure for creating the custom Nine Lives Member of the Month banners and taking the time to customize them every month for our new winners. You're awesome!

Rhinozilla: Author of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
In a word: chemistry. MMB and NR have amazing onscreen chemistry. Carol and Daryl share a lot of characteristics (strength, empathy, vulnerability, etc), but those qualities manifest in each of them in such different ways. Combined with the actors’ chemistry, that kind of camaraderie and recognition of what the other has endured just drew me in immediately. They are a pairing that simply isn’t depicted in most media, and their bond has come to a place that transcends the sexual and physical aspects of a relationship. There’s so much that’s communicated in even their shortest scenes, in glances, in expressions, in gestures, without them ever having to say a word. I love that balance and understanding that they have.

Who are your writing influences?
I am influenced a lot by the writing of movie and television scripts, and actually it’s more the execution by the actors that really gets to me. I get drawn in to the minutiae of the writing, the individual mannerisms and quirks of the actors that bleed through into the characters’ behavior and line deliveries. Eloquent, dramatic writing doesn’t get me as much as the halting, stuttered, fumbling way that realistic dialogue between people tends to happen. Little details are what lock me into reading a story, so I like to incorporate as much of it as possible in my writing.

In that way, I’m influenced a lot by MMB and NR themselves and what they bring to the table as far as nonverbal acting. I try to put those unique movements, tics, and gestures into words in my stories with Carol and Daryl, to flesh them out and create an image as much as possible. As far as other writers, I’m influenced by Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, Dan Brown, and Edgar Wright, among many others.

How do you handle writer’s block?
It depends on how stuck I am. If the words just aren’t flowing, but I know WHAT I want to write, usually I listen to music that has the vibe that I want to write. I have a very visual imagination, so listening to certain kinds of music helps conjure up some images of scenes that I want to write. If I want to write but have no idea what to write and no prompts or anything to go off of, I watch a movie that fits the genre or the mood that I’m wanting to write.

With the series of prompts that I’ve been receiving, my tactic against writer’s block is to focus on a visual image of what I want to write, and then work backwards to formulate how to make that image happen in the fic, devising the plot last.

As frustrating as writer’s block can be, sometimes I just have to step away and wait for it to pass, because once it breaks, it can be frantic to keep up with the ideas that follow.

Anything you want to say to your readers? ;)
Thank you for joining me on this wild ride, for reading my stuff, for giving feedback, for joking around, and for being you. Your enthusiasm is contagious and always spurs me out of my funk when I’m down. First and foremost, I love writing to make people happy, to provide escape or entertainment or distraction, for you all as well as myself. To get feedback from you, to know that you guys are engaging and enjoying my work, it puts me over the moon. It really does.

The Caryl Family is full of so many talented and amazing people. You are all awesome, and I hope the new year brings you all of the happy things.

vickih: Reviewer of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
The things that draw me to Caryl are the uniquness of them. They aren't the sterotypical couple. They have both been through so much in their lives, things that would have broken pretty much anyone else, yet they keep on going. There is a simplicity and beauty to their interactions. with very few words, they can share so much with each other. To me they are soul mates and they are beautiful to watch.

What do you look for in a story to keep reading?
I like well developed characters, coheasive story telling, plot points that flow and are not just tossed out there for drama. I LOVE a strong (and not crying all the time) Carol. I will say there are a few things that I will stop reading a story for and if anyone is interested pm me.

What are your top five favorite stories?
"Three Little Birds" By Fairies Masqurade. Actually anything by Fairies is golden in my book. "Fighting back" by Haitus80 - strong Carol, good story and plot and Merle being Merle. what more could a reader ask for? "Man of Honor, Woman of Worth" by SepticLoveBite. "Contrapposto" by darylsdiva1 is amazing. "Reckoning" by Three Little Kittens and "At the Mercy of the Muse" by Ramblin Rose are two more. To be honest, if I follow/favorite you, you are on my top 5 list, just depends on the mood I'm in.

Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?
Write what feels right for you, never force it, dont' try to write for the reader as much as write for yourself. As a voracious reader I can tell when when a writer tries to write what they think a reader wants to read instead of what comes natural. Not comfortable writing smut? Don't write it. Love angst? Write angst. The best advice I can give is if you like what you have written as a writer, chances are your readers will like it as well. Oh and update your stories! ( JK... but not really... sure I am)


That's it for now, folks! Congrats again to our new Members of the Month. To all of our Nine Lives family, thank you for making us great. Stay tuned for some seriously cool stuff and things headed your way! ;)

Caryl on!

--Fairies Masquerade on January 02, 2015 8:47pm 0 Comments
Happy Holidays!

To all the wonderful, talented, amazing members of the Nine Lives family and to Caryl fans everywhere:


Much love,

Fairies Masquerade, subversivegrrl, ikklesou & Ravenesque

--Fairies Masquerade on December 25, 2014 12:18pm 2 Comments
Staffing Changes

Hello to all of our members, old and new alike! It has been such a wonderful things to see the Nine Lives family grow as it has. We're not even a year old yet and we've come farther already than we ever envisioned possible. Thank you to our fantastic authors, our reviewers and readers for doing your part every day in making this place great!

Over the past few days there have been some changes behind the scenes of Nine Lives. I am very pleased to welcome Ikkleosu and subvsersivegrrl to the Nine Lives administration team! Both of them are incredibly talented writers and passionate members of the fandom. I have no doubt that they will help move Nine Lives into the next phase of being the true landmark home of Caryl and McReedus fans. Welcome to the madhouse, ladies!

Peta2 (now known as Ravenesque) is taking a step back from the active admin team. She is still listed as an admin and will serve as our continued liason to our host site, Elysian Fields, until further notice.

Nine Lives is Megan's brainchild, an effort to foster community within the fandom and provide a safe haven for all Caryl shippers to enjoy quality fanfiction in peace. This site would not exist without Megan and she will always be an intergral part of the Nine Lives family. 

If anyone has any questions, please PM me. Thank you everyone and Caryl on!


--Fairies Masquerade on December 12, 2014 6:59pm 2 Comments
Site Policy On Plagiarism

Some recent, behind-the-scenes issues have brought to light that we have been remiss in having a policy that addresses pretty much one of the dirtiest words in writing: Plagiarism.  For those that have never heard this word before, to plagiarise is to steal verbatim or copy another writer’s language, plot, dialogue and then try to pass it off as their own work.  Oftentimes I have seen in other fandoms writers who take works from fandoms far removed from the one they currently dwell in, in the hope no one notices. Almost always someone notices.  I have had friends who have had whole slabs of their work thrown into the middle of someone else’s story and the discrepancy of language and style will make it obvious that a theft has occurred.  What is less easy to prove but which leaves a rather bitter, unsettled taste on the tongue is when someone repetitively copies plot points, both major and minor within the story itself, and changes it up just enough to make it look like it was new.  As I said, this is harder to prove.

Using fandom tropes is not plagiarism.  Writing a story on the same event/knowledge/information that is available at large to the public, is not plagiarism.  In those cases, it is plagiarism only if the words used are identical to another writer.

This site in no way condones the use of plagiarism.  If you suspect this might be going on—if you are reading a story and it reminds you too closely of another story you’ve read—please report it.  Oftentimes it can be an accident, and sometimes we pick up ideas from reading a multitude of fic and I’ve known writers who don’t read others expressly for this reason, fear of their creativity being tainted by others.  All concerns will be dealt with seriously and with compassion and understanding—to a point.  If the claim is proven, then the thief will automatically be banned from the site and the story deleted.  I personally hold plagiarists to be utterly unworthy of support and this site won’t offer it.  However, that does not mean we are so hard line that we will confront and ban members without strong proof.  So, if you do make this claim, as incredibly serious as it is, please make sure you have comparative text to back you up.  We will come to the table fully open to listen but neither FM or myself have the time to do your investigation for you.

To reiterate, what to do if you catch a plagiarist:

  1. Contact one of the Admins.

  2. Ensure you include links to both works, specifically the chapters or text you wish to have clarified.

  3. Outline with specific examples what you believe has been stolen: list ideas and plot points, or highlight copied text from both fics.

If anyone has any questions about this, please direct your enquiries to myself or Fairiesmasquerade.

--Peta2 on December 10, 2014 9:15pm 4 Comments
December Members of the Month

The masses have spoken and it is time to shine the brightest of spotlights on our December Members of the Month: bonnyblonde and equuleus86! Congratulations, ladies!

bonnyblonde: Author of the Month

What draws you to the good ship Caryl?
More than anything, I have to credit the two actors responsible for bringing Carol and Daryl to life. Melissa and Norman have this amazing, almost palpable connection when they're on screen together, and that's what has forged the Caryl bond. The characters are connected on so many levels, from past tragedy and hardship to a powerful will to survive and thrive. Neither character would be who they are without the other - Daryl may have physically saved Carol's life on more than one occasion, but I truly believe Daryl would have succumbed to despair or anger without Carol there to smooth over his rough edges, and so she's saved his life in return.

Who are your writing influences?
I read a lot of different books - paranormal romance, mysteries, espionage, horror - and although what I write is focused on the relationships and the romantic aspects of the Caryl relationship, what I want more than anything is to tell a compelling story. Writing love scenes is one thing, but putting them in the context of a larger, more complicated plotline is what I strive to achieve. To that end, I am highly influenced by writers like Jeaffrey Deaver, Robert Ludlum, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Katie MacAlister...there are too many to even list!

I also want to thank some of my Caryl friends - Pixie Grunger, Faeries Masquerade, Liddy, Cheerful B, Jen Melton, Vicki H, MaryBeth - for influencing me with the positive vibes, for picking me up when my feels have sufffered and for all the fabulous prompts. They are DEFINITELY strong influences on my writing as well.

How do you handle writers block?
I give myself and my characters time to sort things out. Sometimes the writing flows and it's all you can do to keep up with a story, and sometimes it takes a while for the characters to let you know where they're going next. And more often than not, when the block is broken, Daryl and Carol like to hijack my plot and take in in directions I never intended when I first started the story!

Anything you want to say to your readers?
I want to say thank you - for supporting me when I took my stories in unconventional directions, for patiently waiting for me to post even if it takes weeks or months for an update, for their unbridled enthusiasm for the pairing. Most of all, I want to thank those who choose to post reviews. As I know I've said in the past, writing fic and putting it out for the world to judge is a very risky venture, and the ultimate payback for any author is feedback. It's what feeds our excitement about writing, it's what prompts writers to turn those niggling ideas into stories that engage and entertain. There are so many amazing writers at Nine Lives, many of whom are far more talented than I am, and I am thrilled to be part of the community!


equuleus86: Reviewer of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
What draws me to the Caryl ship has to be the fact they have both been the underdogs from the beginning, and to see how far they've come by nurturing each other in the unique way they do just warms my heart. I think the fact Daryl was a bad boy but has this warmth that's slowly shone through, coupled with Carol who was the opposite, cowering in another mans shadow, and together they've evolved becoming stronger through each other. They understand each other and have let each other in and to me that's beautiful and why I can't see either of them with anyone else.

What do you look for in a story to keep reading?
For a story to really grab me it has to be true to the characters. I do enjoy a bit of cheese but not to the point I'm cringing! I also think less is more re conversation at intimate moments. There are certain things I can't see characters saying and it makes it less believable to me. I do love angst also (as you probably guessed if you've read any of my stuff!) And anything I can have a good cry at happy or sad makes a story all the more enjoyable. 

What are your top five favorite stories?
Oooh now that's a tough one... The Long Road Home by Tinkerbell99 left me an absolute mess, it's just beautiful and the smut made me cry for about 10 mins straight. Mad City by Fairies Masquerade is another one of my faves. Just so cleverly written and made my heart clench it's just gorgeous. Blown Chances and Old Regrets by Peta2 of course because it's a gorgeous slow burn and I love the suspense of will they-won't they. Not strictly Caryl (McReedus - can I have it??) but The Surrogate by Liveinadive is defo up there, just such a beautifully written story and never done making me cry. And of course last but certainly not least is Damaged by Kaoscraze82. I know it might be biased coz she's my buddy, but this story kicked me right in the feels. There are looooads of others I could name but these are the ones that stand out for me.

Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?
Keep Caryling on and thank you for giving us beautiful, amazing things we would never get in the show. And to all you closet writers who think you're not good enough or are afraid to let anyone see your work... I was one too! I love reading everyone's work so be brave and just throw something out there - you never know where it's going to lead!

--Fairies Masquerade on December 09, 2014 3:56am 0 Comments
CarylBYOB Results

We are very pleased to announce the total amount raised in the CarylBYOB fundraiser for the Cherokee Family Violence Center is $1,663.94!

We cannot thank you enough for how much you have given financially and in every other way.

We will let you know when we hear back from the Cherokee Family Violence Center about how your money will change the lives of women and children in Georgia who have suffered due to intimate partner violence.

A huge congratulations to ikkleosu for organizing the drive. You did a terrific job, Dawn! Thank you for putting this together!

Huge thanks as well to everyone who donated. Every single dollar helped! We also want to thank the several VERY GENEROUS Carylers who matched their followers donations.

And finally, we want to thank you all for reblogging, retweeting, taking part in the fanfiction challenge, contacting us, buying the merchandise and spreading the word about CarylBYOB.

We are SO PROUD of this fandom and what can be achieved for good out of the love for an amazingly strong woman like Carol, and the lover between her and Daryl, who offers her unrelenting judgement free support. We hope this money will do the same for any woman who seeks help with the CFVC.

Thank you again!


--Fairies Masquerade on December 04, 2014 10:00pm 3 Comments
CarylBYOB Charity Drive

Hello Caryl fans and our Nine Lives family! Tonight's episode of The Walking Dead is 'Consumed', an hour that promises to revolve solely around our favorite characters - Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier. In honor of this special "bottle" episode, I'm going to talk a little about The CarylBYOB Charity Drive, an event that has been slowly building over the last couple of weeks.

The CarylBYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) was created specifically for tonight's episode to honor both the awesomeness that is Caryl and in particular, the amazing character of Carol Peletier. A lot of people have indicated they would be purchasing something to help celebrate and get them through the bottle episode - whether it be a bottle of wine, a large pizza, a tub of ice-cream, a box of chocolates - or even a box of tissues. All we ask is that everyone donate the amount they would have spent on their items to the CarylBYOB.

100% of the money raised for the CarylBYOB will go to the Cherokee Family Violence Center, a shelter for victims of domestic violence located in Canton, GA. 


There are lots of ways to donate and raise awareness for the drive today:

  • Go to the CarylBYOB tumblr page and click on the donate button on the left sidebar. Donations will be accepted through November 30.

  • You can go to Ikklesou's "Alone in Atlanta" Red Bubble Store, purchase an item and 100% of the proceeds will go towards the CarylBYOB fundraiser! (This is good through November 30!)

  • You can participate in the CarylBYOB Fanfic Challenge, which is open through 5pm EST on November 17. As a bonus, by entering the fanfiction challenge you have a change to win a Carol or Daryl Funko Pop figure! The winner will be announced on November 17. The Fanfic contest is now closed for submissions. The winner of the Funk Pops is Bottles and Bruises by our very own sweettooth7! Congratulations!

To help spread the word, we have asked that tumblr and Twitter users alike reblog or tweet from the CarylBYOB accounts.

CarylBYOB Twitter (@CarylBYOB) 

We all love Carol and Daryl, and Caryl, for various reasons. Carol Peletier speaks to me on a deeply personal level and as a result, this charity drive is very near and dear to my heart. Even if you do nothing more than read this post, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

So spread the word and lets get ready for tonight's sure to be epic episode of The Walking Dead! Stay safe, my lovelies, and Caryl on!



--Fairies Masquerade on November 16, 2014 3:10pm 0 Comments
November Members of the Month

Greetings and salutations, Carylers and McReedus fans alike! I am so very late in getting this posted, so my apologies. My feet got tangled up doing the time warp and it took a few days to fix. Wink Nevertheless, it's time to rejoice and celebrate our November Author and Reviewer of the Month! 

Author of the Month: ramblinrose

What draws you to the good ship Caryl?
I like the connection between the two characters.  They have a similar backgrounds, and they're very much alike, but they're different as well.  They have the potential to be an interesting couple in whatever universe you place them in. 

I honestly don't know how to answer this other than to say I like the ship.  I think the characters go well together and I think there's an interesting story (or stories) there to tell.

Who are your writing influences?
I read a lot, but honestly much of what I read these days has to do with my work and much of what I write is very different from that which I work with.  I can say that there are authors that I admire, but I really can't say that they are necessarily my influences as my style and choice of plots would differ from theirs pretty dramatically.  

How do you handle writers block?
I keep a lot of stories going.  I have to. If something isn't working out for me on a particular day, I write something else.  There's almost always *something* that I'm in the mood for.  If not, I write a one shot or something totally different to kickstart things again.  

Anything you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for reading and for reviewing!  You're great and I hope you enjoy whatever you decide to read!


Reviewer of the Month: liveinadive

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
Pirates. I was kidnapped by a fleet of pirates off the coast of Indonesia and forced upon the good ship Caryl. Five long years ago. If I could afford to pay the ransom I'd be home, safe and dry by now. Without the recurring case of dysentery ;) 

If you had asked me this question a couple of years ago it might have been that Carol needed a protector. She needed someone she could depend upon to keep her safe. I saw an obvious chemistry between Carol and Daryl and figured that while Daryl was 'saving' Carol, perhaps she could help him save himself. Now, my answer to this question is the way in which they compliment each other as equals. The evolution of their friendship has mirrored Carol's journey into a modern day action hero who doesn't need any man to save her; yet she chooses to keep him by her side, anyway. They seek each other out. They genuinely care for each other. Plus, their names rhyme. 

What do you look for in a story to keep reading?
Updates generally help.

I prefer stories that have a heavy focus on emotion and feeling. Stories where I can relate to the characters and be either empathetic or apathetic to their cause (depending on the day) and understand what they're going through. I like stories that make me feel something. A good plot. Decent grammar. Realism. All of these things help. The inclusion of characters like Glenn and Tara just sweetens the deal. 

What are your top five favorite stories?
This is hard (and so is not making an obligatory 'That's what she said' joke right here). The authors included below basically have my stamp of approval across the board, so check them out.

Comiconned by DarylsDiva1 - I make an excellent cameo in this story in which I became friends with Eulyn and design the clothes and aesthetics for a Walking Dead strip show. How could this not be one of my favourites? Contrapposto and Dreams run a very veeeery close race for this coveted position as well. 

At the Mercy of the Muse by ramblinrose - This story is very special to me in that it's one where I actually like this version of Norman. It's brilliant in that it takes place after the show has ended and Norman is trying to atone for his behaviour toward Melissa many years before and she is the one who is resisting. One of my absolute favourite stories. Ever. (Oh! And Steven and Alanna are in it and they're married and have a baby. That could also be another reason...) Our Little Secrets is also most definitely worth your time. Thank me later.

Turnabout by Little Cinch - Cinchy could narrate the back of a cereal box to me and I would give her a glowing review. I love the way she tuns phrase and the tempo of the story is perfect. Lots of fun and Caryl innuendo here. It's simple and sweet and I love it. Hard. 

The Long Road Home by Tinkerbelle99 - I love the slow burn and the quiet, arresting self doubt from both players in this story. Tink's Daryl and Carol reunite and painstakingly grow closer as Tinkerbelle99 reaches inside your chest cavity, rips out your heart and stomps on it a few times before shoving it back into place, beaten and bruised. 

Happy by LiveinaDive - No one ever said I couldn't include something I've written! This little story was inspired by the feeling of euphoria. That wondrous feeling of giddiness that starts low in the pit of your belly and blossoms in to full blown butterflies, that feeling of utter contentment. Melissa finds she's happy and she finds a friend in the process. That's what this one shot is about. 

Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?
Write for yourself. Write what you enjoy. Write down anything and everything that pops into your head - you don't know where your imagination may take you. Challenge yourself (write some McReedus). Push your own boundaries (write some McReedus). Hire someone else to make the inspirational speech at your college graduation because I am clearly not worthy. 

Oh and if you're ever in Las Vegas, go to Joe's New York Pizza. I mean, you're welcome. 

--Fairies Masquerade on November 05, 2014 1:57pm 1 Comments
Secrets & Signs Challenge: Master List

Happy Halloween to our Nine Lives family! We had a fantasic turn out for our Secrets & Signs Challenge, so without further ado, here is the master list of all the challenge fics:

Thank you to everyone who participated in our latest challenge! To the whole of our Nine Lives family: happy reading!

--Fairies Masquerade on October 31, 2014 11:35am 0 Comments
Challenge Time: Secrets & Signs

Greetings Carylers one and all! First, welcome to all of our new members. We are so excited you've found Nine Lives and Peta 2, Susan and I hope you're enjoying all of the great stories from our wonderful authors here.

We are two weeks into the new season and all of the fantastic Caryl moments have our feels flying all over the place! Peta and I decided the time was ripe for a new FANFIC CHALLENGE! In keeping with what appears to be an early theme for our intrepid couple this season, we're giving you two words with which to center your story around: Secrets and Signs.

Here are the challenge details:

  • THE PROMPT: Your entry must revolve around one or both of the two themes: Secrets and/or Signs. It must be Caryl and set in the current season. (No McReedus this time. Sorry folks.)

  • It must be at least 100 words.

  • THE DEADLINE: All entries are due on October 30, 10pm MST. Everything will be posted on October 31.

  • THE RULES: Here is how you enter the challenge:

    • Send a PM to Fairies Masquerade or Peta2 stating that you’re going to enter the challenge. This is very important! If we don’t get a PM, you won’t be on the list. 

    • Write your fic!!

    • DO NOT UPLOAD IT YET!! Wait until October 30 to upload your fic – we will be suspending automatic validation for that day for all authors who enter the challenge.

    • Submission Day is October 30 post your fic. It will not appear on the website, but will enter our validation queue. Make sure you submit it under the Nine Lives Challenge category!

    • Posting Day is October 31 – We will post the Master List and post all of the challenge entries so everything shows up at once. That way, we’re all surprised by what we get to read! Any challenge fics that are posted before  October 30 will be deleted.

That's it, my friends! Drop a comment or PM us if you have any questions. Happy writing!

--Fairies Masquerade on October 20, 2014 3:01am 0 Comments
NL Summer Survival Series #5: Music Master List

Hello to our awesome Nine Lives family and to Carylers and McReedus fans, one and all! We had another great turnout for our 5th and final challenge of the Summer Survival Series. This one centered around music and how it moved the Caryl/McReedus vibes of our souls (check the original post for the music playlist).

Without any further adeiu, here is the Master List from the talented group of challenge participants!



We hope you guys have enjoyed our Summer Survival Series. We've had a lot of fun putting it together for you and with the premiere of Season 5 just days away now, we're looking forward to seeing what new challenges are inspired by the new episodes.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our inagural challenge series! To everyone else, happy reading! Caryl on!

--Fairies Masquerade on October 07, 2014 12:11pm 0 Comments
September & October Members of the Month

Hello to our wonderful Nine Lives family! In August, we kicked off our new Members of the Month activity. It's our way of saying thank you to our supporters, to our reviewers, and to help our members know how much we appreciate their support of the site. One author, one reviewer, selected entirely by the members of Nine Lives via anonymous voting.

This month, we decided to start spotlighting our Members of the Month more. The 1st of the month, when the new winners are announced, there will be a spiffy news post announcing the winners and presenting a short interview so that the masses can start getting to know the people behind the usernames. The winners also get an awesome Nine Lives exclusive Member of the Month banner to sport in their profiles, created by the wonderfully talented and just plain wonderful untapdtreasure.

We didn't want to leave out our inaugural September winners, so they will be included with our October winners this month. Give a rousing shout of huzzah to our Members of the Month for September and October: DarylsDiva1, littleshelly0619, The Readers Muse and LAH! Without further adieu, off to the good stuff. 

darylsdiva1 (September Winner: Author)

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
So many things!  I like that they are both “of a certain age” and not romance novel stereotypes, not the jaded rake and the plucky virgin; that their story has been about slowly building trust between two wounded people and that they are good for each other. The chemistry between MMB and NR sells it, but their story arcs were deliberately paralleled starting all the way back in season one: in “Tell it to the frogs” the way they intercut and juxtaposed Shane attacking Ed and Carol weeping over the husband who’d just beat her, with Daryl losing it on the roof in Atlanta when they found Merle’s hand. How they constantly cut from one to the other or had them in the same frame; how initially the only time Daryl softened his voice and demeanor was when he was talking to Carol; how Carol was the one who kept Daryl from leaving the group; how the little beats and moments between them show both their character’s growth; how everyone knows they are each other’s person and uses it to influence them or tip toes around it when something goes wrong. They belong together.

Who are your writing influences?
I’ve read literally thousands of romance novels starting with the old tried and true Harlequins back in Junior High and continuing through today with paranormal romance writers like Sherilynn Kenyon.  I also have my two favorite classics: Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, (two damaged misfits finding soul mate level love, sounds familiar, eh?) and Jane Austen’s Persuasion, where two people who thought they missed their time to be together find that they can have a second chance years later. I love the strong honorable female characters, how the authors show their inner lives and that as important as the men they love are to them they are prepared to survive and get on with their lives without them if they must.

For just general plotting nothing beats Shakespeare, for action and angst Joss Whedon, for sheer output Nora Roberts. I also try to read a lot of Caryl fiction (almost everything that gets posted on Nine Lives) and am fascinated by different author’s takes on the characters. The imagination and creativity that I see there every day is equal to any published novel I’ve read.

How do you handle writers block?
I look for inspiration in everything around me, what I read, the music I listen to, great old films—even a conversation with a friend can trip my trigger and start an idea or solve a plotting or character problem I’ve been stuck on.  I’m always amazed how stories work themselves out in their own time.  I’ve tried to force them and it just all comes out either awkward or ashes, so I set it aside and go work on something else for awhile and then come back to it later.  Sometimes I’ll say, hmmn, this isn’t so bad after all, but other times I’ll just chuck it and start over. I really do think there is some higher power at work—I call her my Muse—because often ideas just pop into my head and force me to write them down and I have no explanation for where they came from. Now whether that’s my subconscious that keeps working on things while I’m off living my non-writing life or we writers are all just a little bit touched, I can’t say.

Anything you want to say to your readers?
Thank you! I am constantly amazed at the insightful and encouraging reviews and PMs that the readers here at Nine Lives leave for all of the authors, so thank you for taking the time to read and let us know what you think of our efforts to capture these characters we all love so much.  Even if we never get to see the canon Caryl we all dream of on screen, we’ll always have these hundreds of stories to read and re-read.  We all owe a debt of gratitude to Megan, Jessa and Susan for creating this amazing community of readers and writers for us all to enjoy!

littleshelly0619 (September Winner: Reviewer)


What draws you to the good ship Caryl?
I would say to start with it was the way he reached out to help her in S2, but then the great chemistry between MMB/NR sort of took over and, to me, just absolutely jumps off the screen.  So much in common, so much mutual understanding, so much attraction between those two characters.  I always say Caryl is an entity, a sort of being all on it's own--they just are.  I've never ever seen a couple more suited and with as strong a love and respect as what they have.  They're my all-time favorite couple.

What do you look for in a story to keep reading?
First and foremost that it be reasonably well-written.  The author doesn't have to be a scholar or a walking dictionary, lol.  But I appreciate the use of betas even with experienced authors.  As far as I am concerned every Caryl writer could somehow benefit from the use of a good beta.  Secondly, that the story be true to the characters if it's during the ZA, or at least interesting if it's an AU, which right now is my favorite category. 

What are your top five favorite stories?
Only 5??  Wow, so hard to choose!  I am going to name five which I think are extremely good, in no particular order: Mad City, Deep Down in the Hollow Ground, Five Veils, Stray, Pandemonium, Beast, All That And a Bucket of Chicken, Dreams, Reading the Stars, Know You're Enough.......oh wait, that's more than 5.  Sorry I could go on all day.

Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?
Again, Betas.  Don't be afraid to use 'em, no matter who you are or how long you've been writing.  Also, a big THANK YOU for all the time and effort, not to mention sacrifices you make, writing late into the night, to make all of us so happy.  

The Readers Muse (October Winner: Author)

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
I am afaird my answer might be rather unoriginal, but frankly, it was the idea of two imperfect, damaged souls finding each other and making themselves whole that originally reeled me in. I think what struck me about the Caryl romance was that it is so a-typical in terms of popular culture/hollywood/media. The pairing is unquie, special, and it has been a priveledge to watch it grow and evolve over the seasons.

Who are your writing influences?
I am going to have to twist this one and say: "what are my writing influences" - I pull stuff from the past, present, and future. Nothing is safe from being used as possible writing fodder. If I discuss food in my fics, chances are my boyfriend was talking about some recipe he was going to make. My head space is often a constant stream of ideas and scenes. Some get written down in pieces for later. Some make their way into a current wip - some turn into their own storys. Some of my latest drabbles: "Pale Pink" for example, started with a mere half a sentence that randomly floated through my mind in the middle of work and snowballed from there on in.

How do you handle writers block?
To put it plainly, I take a shower. No, really. Some of my best ideas come in the shower. That or I go for a run. So often with writers block it feels like you are forcing your brain to come up with something amazing at the drop of a hat. When really, your brain works best unstressed, so, when you aren't trying so hard, generally, the thing you need to break you out of the cycle will come. Just don't try and force it. As my readers know, sometimes it takes a few months (*cough* a year) to get back into the groove of something. It sucks the big one, but sometimes you have to take a step back and move onto something else for a while. Writing is rarely a easy, linear stretch to the finish line. It is a road full of pot-holes, u-turns, no-thru roads and forks in the roads. As a writer you need to learn how to navagate through it. And as a reader, I think, you have to learn a hefty dose of patience.

Anything you want to say to your readers?
I would like to pass on a heartfelt and completely awed sense of thankfulness. I might not respond to every review I get, but I read and sometimes re-read every single one. You guys are the bread to my butter and you make writing even more of a joy for me than it already is. I write for my own enjoyment, but as every author knows, that enjoyment increases ten-fold when we look up and find a smattering of excited and enthusistic reviews chilling on our inbox. There is no better feeling.

LAH (October Winner: Reviewer)

What draws you to the good ship Caryl?
I like that they have similar backgrounds and hardships, that they're both soft and hard at the same time and that Daryl (in my mind at least) sees Carol as his woman. She's real, she's not a teenage blond bimbo and he chose her. That gives hope to all women!

What do you look for in a story to keep reading?
It has to make sense and not move so quickly (or slowly) that it doesn't flow. I have to admit that I like angst. I like it when Carol misunderstands or doesn't perceive something that Daryl did or said correctly and she either takes off or closes down. Daryl then has to work at figuring out what he did wrong or what he can do to help her. Sometimes he's just an ass and has to get past that. I don't read a story just for the smut ('s not a bad thing!).

What are your top five favorite stories?
Currently, my top five are: Mad City, Five Veils, Embers, Reading The Stars and The Mercy of the Muse. If you want a top 100, I could do that!

Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?
To the Caryl authors.....THANK YOU!!! You have given me many hours of enjoyment and a serious rollercoaster ride of emotions. And to you gifted smut have helped my marriage tremendously. My husband and I both thank you! (Edit: Hahaha! That's awesome! - FM)


Congratulations to our Member of the Month winners! Thank you to EVERYONE who voted for being such a huge part of the Nine Lives family.


--Fairies Masquerade on October 01, 2014 12:13pm 2 Comments
NL Summer Survival Series: Challenge #5

Friends, Carylers, fandom family - lend me your ears! No, seriously, you're gonna need your ears for this, our fifth and final challenge of the Summer Survival Series! "But FM," I hear you cry, "summer is already over!" To which I say: it's still in the mid-80's here. Ergo, summer. But I digress.

Our Summer Survival Series has been a raging success! We've covered ComicCon, photo ops, "What If?" au scenarios, Remorse and Joy. To end our inagural challenge series, Peta and I decided to do something... a little bit different. Gather round, music fans, because this one is for you.

That's righ! It's a MUSIC Challenge! However, it's a music challenge with a twist. We're going to give you a list of songs and lyrics that stood out to us. However, you do not have to use the actual lyrics in your story if you do not feel inspired to do so! Rather, you can simply let the feeling of the song itself inspire your tale. With me so far? Awesome. Let's break it down:


The first 3 songs were selected by Peta, the last 3 selected by Fairies Masquerade

  • Zombie by The Cranberries
    Another mother's breakin'/Heart is taking over/When the violence causes silence/We must be mistaken.

  • Halo by Beyonce
    Remember those walls I built?/Well, baby they're tumbling down/And they didn't even put up a fight/They didn't even make a sound

  • With or Without You by U2
    My hands are tied, my body bruised/She got me with nothing to win/And nothing left to lose

  • Exogenesis: Symphony Part 3 (Redemption) by Muse
    It's our last chance to forgive ourselves

  • Light In My Darkness by Dirt Poor Robins
    How could I smile when I know you weep/And what would I have with so many in need?/What could I give but all you ask of me?/You are the light in my darkness

  • Something by The Beatles
    Something in the way she moves/Attracts me like no other lover

To help you guys out so you don't have to find these songs on your own, I made a playlist of the first 5 songs on Grooveshark. However, since nobody would let me upload an mp3 of a Beatles song, you have to click here to listen to 'Something'.


PROMPT: Your entry must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Either incorporate one set of the posted lyrics from the song selection OR

  • Be inspired by one of the songs on the list. This can be either the content of the song itself or simply how it makes you feel. You must indicate which song you used in an author's note either at the beginning or end of your story.

  • It can be either Caryl OR McReedus. Or both. (Yes, we are allowing multiple entries again. Because we love you.)

  • It must be at least 100 words

DEADLINE: All Entries are due on October 6, 2014 by 10pm MST

THE RULES: Here is how you enter the challenge:

    • Send a PM to Fairies Masquerade or Peta stating that you’re going to enter the challenge. This is very important! If we don’t get a PM, you won’t be on the list. Let us know if you're doing to submit a Caryl entry, a McReedus entry, or one of each.

    • Write your fic!!

    • DO NOT UPLOAD IT YET!! Wait until October 6 to upload your fic – we will be suspending automatic validation for that day for all authors who enter the challenge. (Allowances can and will be made if necessary - PM Fairies Masquerade)

    • Submission Day is October 6, post your fic. It will not appear on the website, but will enter our validation queue. Make sure you submit it under the Nine Lives Challenge category!

    • Posting Day is October 7 – We will post the Master List and post all of the challenge entries so everything shows up at once. That way, we’re all surprised by what we get to read! Any challenge fics that are posted before October 7 will be deleted.

That is it, my darlings! Go forth, O Talented Ones, and write to your heart's content! If you have any questions, PM Fairies Masquerade or Peta. Caryl on!!

--Fairies Masquerade on September 19, 2014 3:13pm 3 Comments
NL Summer Survival Series #4: Joy Master List

Hello to our Nine Lives family! First and foremost, I know I've said this a lot lately, but I sincerely love each and every one of you. The outpouring of love and support the last few days has been one of the most uplifting experiences I've ever had in this fandom. Thank you, all of you, for helping to make Nine Lives great!

OK, onto the good stuff: on the heels of our super successful Remorse challenge, we decided to raise the bar and give our talented group of authors the task of writing about Joy. I am thrilled to say the NL crew rose to the challenge, giving us the our best challenge results yet! Way to go, Team Nine Lives! Here is the Master List for all of our wonderful Joy Challenge entries:



Consider my mind blown by all the awesomeness! This fandom is amazing. Thank you to all of our talented writers for participating! Happy reading everyone!


--Fairies Masquerade on September 13, 2014 2:41pm 1 Comments
Terms Of Engagement

Good Morning, Nine Lives Community!  (It’s still morning in Australia!)

Some recent events have occurred that prompts me to write this post.   I know I am not a very visible presence around the archive but I can assure you all that I am here daily, behind the scenes, and very much aware of things.  I want to talk about the archive a little bit, about how it came to be.  For those of you who know me or have been with us a little while, you might already know the story, but I do think there are some salient points that need to come across.

Something like 8 years ago, a group of fellow Spuffy shippers (Spike + Buffy) were deeply dissatisfied with how cruelly some writers were being treated by another archive.  We decided to take a stand, put our money where our mouths were, and set up our own archive where we could offer a community atmosphere, help, respect, and a place that was ultimately safe for readers to access their favourite authors.  Now Elysian Fields is one of the largest remaining Spuffy archives.  We did require a decent standard of writing and strongly promote the importance of betas—not just for picking up spelling and grammar errors but in forming a relationship with someone you trust who can tell you the truth about the way your fic is travelling.  For those of us who have used a beta, we can tell you it is of infinite value.  In requesting this we have never been rude to a writer—have never told them we thought their writing was bad and that we didn’t want them at the archive. We offer help and support but all in all, we want writing we can read and review and sometimes a writer might need help.  THAT was the crux of setting up Elysian Fields.

Nine Lives came about because I entered the Walking Dead Fandom and found a hole regarding accessible Caryl fanfiction.  I already knew how a community spirit could be fostered through an exclusive pairing archive, and I wanted people to be able to come to the fandom and find all the fic in one place.  Obviously this hinges on authors joining and posting their work here, and so many of you have been wonderful at encouraging writers to come and take part and through all of your support we have grown, and we will continue to grow as we can see the member numbers climb every day.  This archive was NOT free to set up, but it was my gift to all of you.  The only things I expected out of it was an appreciation of our lovely couple—Caryl—and a respecting, supportive community.  I believe that we have mostly achieved this and it makes me extremely happy and proud.  Fairies Masquerade and Susan are now also major reasons why this site is as successful as it is and I’d be nowhere without either of their help, support and contributions, so to see everyone’s support for them is incredibly uplifting. 

I do think some things need to be said, though, about some of the experiences here lately that have made it a little less pleasant behind-the-scenes than it could be, and they are things that Jessa and I have decided need to be addressed.  There are certain behaviours that we WILL NOT accept on this site. 

1) We will not condone members contacting other members through PM’s telling them how best they should update their work.  If a new writer comes and chooses to upload all their work at once, that is up to them. 

2) WE WILL NOT act like the writing police and tell another writer what they can or cannot write regarding their work in either McReedus or Caryl.  We have ratings for a reason and warnings and what one person might find unacceptable, another won’t.  We have never been in the habit of banning people due to kinks or content upsetting to just one member and we will not be starting now. 

3) We will not condone being told how to run the site in any way—which does not include any reasonable suggestions or input. 

4) We will not be held to ransom with threats of deleting fic.  If you don’t like how we run this site, feel free to leave.  We will not beg anyone to stay.  We also DO NOT BELIEVE that any one author’s following will make or break this archive.  If a writer chooses to leave because of issues with the staff (which is all donated time, I will add, coming from love and dedication to this ship) then we hope the readers will still remain to be entertained by the other writers here, but we will not beg you to stay if you wish to follow the writer.

The most important point, I think, is this. WE DO NOT OWE ANY ONE WRITER ANYTHING BECAUSE OF THE READERS THEY BRING INTO THE SITE.  This site is our gift to YOU, and I will never feel like I am indebted to one writer above all others for the support they have brought this site.  I would hope that our readers come to enjoy a multitude of writers, not just one, and that they stay because of the support and community that this site is all about.  Jessa and I will no longer tolerate the multitude of efforts to undermine other writers on this site, nor attempts to influence how we run things.  We are ALL playing by the same rules and it will stay fair and true to you all.

Thank you again for being here and for showing your support.  We would be nothing without all of you.


--Megan on September 11, 2014 9:43pm 22 Comments
NL Summer Survival Series: Challenge #4

"But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Caryl is the sun."

Greetings, lovelies. Our last challenge gave us the biggest response we've had to date! We were so blown away we decided to jump right into the fourth challenge. For what other great thing can follow Remorse, but Joy?

Here are the details:

  • THE PROMPT: Your entry must revolve around the theme Joy. It can be either Caryl OR McReedus (or both, if you decide to submit more than one entry). That's right. We went there. Again. 

  • It must be at least 100 words.

  • THE DEADLINE: All entries are due on September 12, 10pm MST. Everything will be posted on September 13.

  • THE RULES: Here is how you enter the challenge:

    • Send a PM to Fairies Masquerade or Peta stating that you’re going to enter the challenge. This is very important! If we don’t get a PM, you won’t be on the list. Let us know if you're doing to submit a Caryl entry, a McReedus entry, or one of each.

    • Write your fic!!

    • DO NOT UPLOAD IT YET!! Wait until September 12 to upload your fic – we will be suspending automatic validation for that day for all authors who enter the challenge.

    • Submission Day is September 12, post your fic. It will not appear on the website, but will enter our validation queue. Make sure you submit it under the Nine Lives Challenge category!

    • Posting Day is September 13 We will post the Master List and post all of the challenge entries so everything shows up at once. That way, we’re all surprised by what we get to read! Any challenge fics that are posted before September 13 will be deleted.

That's it! Now, after the great response last time we opened this challenge once again to both Caryl and McReedus. Get to it, writers! If you have any questions, holler at me or Peta. Let's have some fun!

P.S. The first person who can tell me what Shakespearean play, including the act and scene number, I paraphrased at the beginning of this post without Goggle's help gets a prize. Leave your answer in the comments! ;) --EDIT: And Equuleus86 takes the prize! Stand by for a PM headed your way.

--Fairies Masquerade on August 29, 2014 4:17pm 1 Comments
NL Summer Survival Series #3: Remorse Master Post

Greetings and salutations, my lovelies! First, thank you to everyone who has participated in our Remorse-themed challenge. We have so many great new stories to read that, for once, I'm just gonna shut up and provide you with The List of Awesomeness:



I know a couple of you didn't make the deadline for various reasons, but don't be afraid to continue writing! Our loyal and lovely readers will definitely want to read your work, no matter when it is posted.

Thanks again everyone! This was the best response to a challenge yet! And stay tuned, because our next challenge will be announced this Friday.

Happy reading and Caryl on!


--Fairies Masquerade on August 27, 2014 12:00pm 2 Comments
Nine Lives Summer Survival Series: Challenge #3

Hey, hey, hey! Does everybody know what time it is?! It's CHALLENGE TIME! Carylers and McReedus writers... ASSEMBLE!

OK, that doesn't work half as well if I'm not calling The Avengers. Moving on, here are the details for our third challenge! We're going with a particular emotion this time as our challenge theme: Remorse

Here are the details:

  • THE PROMPT: Your entry must revolve around the theme Remorse. It can be either Caryl OR McReedus (or both, if you decide to submit more than one entry). That's right. We went there. 

  • It must be at least 100 words.

  • THE DEADLINE: All entries are due on August 26, 10pm MST. Everything will be posted on August 27.

  • THE RULES: Here is how you enter the challenge:

    • Send a PM to Fairies Masquerade or Peta stating that you’re going to enter the challenge. This is very important! If we don’t get a PM, you won’t be on the list. Let us know if you're doing to submit a Caryl entry, a McReedus entry, or one of each.

    • Write your fic!!

    • DO NOT UPLOAD IT YET!! Wait until August 26 to upload your fic – we will be suspending automatic validation for that day for all authors who enter the challenge.

    • Submission Day is August 26, post your fic. It will not appear on the website, but will enter our validation queue. Make sure you submit it under the Nine Lives Challenge category!

    • Posting Day is August 27 – We will post the Master List and post all of the challenge entries so everything shows up at once. That way, we’re all surprised by what we get to read! Any challenge fics that are posted before August 27 will be deleted.

That's it! Now, we opened it to both Caryl and McReedus, so we're expecting a veritable avalanche of amazing entries this time. Get to it, writers! If you have any questions, holler at me or Peta. Let's have some fun!

--Fairies Masquerade on August 12, 2014 3:03pm 2 Comments
Members Of The Month

I am excited to introduce a new initiative here on Nine Lives that has just been run at Elysian Fields.  This is our way of saying thank you to our supporters, to our reviewers, and to help our members know how much we appreciate their support of the site.  I am putting Susan’s write up here from Elysian Fields as she explains it much better than I ever could, but please feel free to jump in wholeheartedly.  Your support is what makes this site a success, and your reviews are what makes authors want to join and post here…I hope you approve of the new incentive!

From Susan’s fingertips to your eyes…

We have so many wonderful authors and reviewers here at Nine Lives, and now you have the chance to help us recognize some of the members who make NL such a great site. Every month we will have two members of the month, one author and one reviewer. So, how are the members of the month chosen? That's where you come in! Starting on the 1st of every month, nominations will open and you can head over to the nominations page to fill in your choices. Not sure who you want to nominate? You have until midnight on the 25th to get your nominations in. Also, if you change your mind, you can change your vote since the nominations aren't counted until after the 25th (your nomination only counts once no matter how many times you change your vote or hit the submit button).

Since nominations are open for most of the month, we're choosing for the following month (for example, right now nominations are for the September members of the month). After voting is over, the members with the highest number of nominations in each category will be selected. If there's a tie for the highest number of nominations, the tie breaker will be chosen at random. The members of the month will then be displayed for all to see in the new section on the main page sidebar.

There's some more information over on the nominations page, so be sure you read that over before submitting your nominations. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.


--Megan on August 04, 2014 11:59pm 0 Comments
Nine Lives Challenge Results:

Hi everybody! We had some seriously wonderful submissions for the Nine Lives Summer Survival Series Challenge #2: "What If?" You had two options available to you:

  • What if the group never found the prison?

  • What if Carol & Daryl went on a run & somehow got lost?

Here is the master list of the submissions we received:

Thank you to everyone who participated! Everyone read and enjoy. We'll see you at the next challenge. Caryl on!


--Fairies Masquerade on August 01, 2014 1:24pm 0 Comments
Nine Lives Summer Survival Series: Challenge #2

MY PEOPLE! I am here-what, Peta? Excuse me a sec, folks. *furious whispering* Ok, fine. *sigh*

OUR PEOPLE! ;) Peta & I are psyched to bring you the second challenge of our Nine Lives Summer Survival Series! It's time to get our Caryl on, folks! *intense dramatic music*

The theme for this challenge is 'What If?' I'm ging to present two scenarios. You guys will have 2 weeks to write a little somethin' somethin' using one of the scenarios. Sounds good? All right, time for the down low:

  • THE PROMPT: It’s a Caryl "What If?" scenario! You have 2 options available:

    • Option 1: What if our merry band of heroes never found the prison?

    • Option 2: What if Carol & Daryl went on a run & got lost somehow?

  • It must be at least 100 words.

  • THE DEADLINE: All entries are due on July 31, 10pm MST. (Yes, I'm making you all work around my ridiculous time zone. I regret nothing!) Everything will be posted on August 1.

  • THE RULES: Here is how you enter the challenge:

    • Send a PM to myself or Peta stating that you’re going to enter the challenge. This is very important! If we don’t get a PM, you won’t be on the list and you kinda need to be on the list for this one. ;)

    • Write your fic!!

    • DO NOT UPLOAD IT YET!! Wait until July 31 to upload your fic – we will be suspending automatic validation for that day for all authors who enter the challenge.

    • Submission Day is July 31, post your fic. It will not appear on the website, but will enter our validation queue. Make sure you submit it under the Nine Lives Challenge category!

    • Posting Day is August 1 – We will post the Master List and post all of the challenge entries so everything shows up at once. That way, we’re all surprised by what we get to read! Any challenge fics that are posted before July 31 will be deleted.

We also decided that, if one of our scenarios sparks something for you that could grow beyond a simple one-shot, just let us know! We will accept new WIPs with at least 2 chapters as part of the challenge submissions, so once the challenge is over you can continue growing your new story.

So there you have it! Get crazy, get kooky, get on it! We've had so much good Caryl news lately and I can feel more on the horizon. Let's celebrate by stretching our imaginations and celebrating our OTP!

If you have any questions, holler at me or Peta. Let's have some fun!

--Fairies Masquerade on July 17, 2014 7:18pm 0 Comments
Nine Lives Summer Survival Challenge: McReedus Master List

Greetings and salutations, O lovely Carylers! The first of our Summer Survival Challenges is complete. Here is the master list of all the entries:

Thank you to all of our participants! Readers, enjoy and spread the love to these awesome authors. 

Stay tuned! The Summer Survival Challenge Series is just getting started. ;)

--Fairies Masquerade on July 15, 2014 2:21pm 0 Comments
Nine Lives Summer Survival Challenge Series

Greetings and salutations to all our members, old and new, young and small, tall and… something else. The days are long and warm, the sun is shining but alas, the lack of The Walking Dead, and more particularly Caryl, tears at our souls. Never fear! We have a solution for all our hiatus withdrawals. The magnificent Peta and I are pleased to announce the Nine Lives Summer Survival Challenge Series has begun! *cue dramatic music*

This will be a series of challenges that we have worked out, designed to amp up our creativity and bring tons more fun to the awesomeness that is Nine Lives. Guess what we picked for our first challenge? The oh-so-popular, always delicious… MCREEDUS!

Here is the scoop: I’m gonna give you a prompt in a minute. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something including the details given in the prompt. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right? Now, to the important stuff! 

  • THE PROMPT: It’s ComiCon time! The story must take place at or around a con of your choosing and must include a photo op. It must be at least 100 words.

  • THE DEADLINE: All entries are due on July 14, 10pm MST. Everything will be posted on July 8.

  • THE RULES: Here is how you enter the challenge:

    • Send a PM to myself or Peta stating that you’re going to enter the challenge. This is very important! If we don’t get a PM, you won’t be on the list and you kinda need to be on the list for this one. ;)

    • Write your fic!!

    • DO NOT UPLOAD IT YET!! Wait until July 14 to upload your fic – we will be suspending automatic validation for that day for all authors who enter the challenge.

    • Submission Day is July 14, post your fic. It will not appear on the website, but will enter our validation queue. Make sure you submit it under the Nine Lives Challenge category!

    • Posting Day is July 15 – We will post the Master List and post all of the challenge entries so everything shows up at once. That way, we’re all surprised by what we get to read! Any challenge fics that are posted before July 14 will be deleted.

That’s it! This is a great chance for us to embrace our random creativity and see just what wild paths we can all take from the same starting point.

This is just the beginning – we’ve got lots of challenges lined up to take us through this hiatus! So if this isn’t quite your thing, stay tuned, because we’ve got more on the way!

--Fairies Masquerade on June 30, 2014 9:55pm 0 Comments
Caryl Writer's Unite in Chat

Have you been hoping to kick off your first fanfic venture but not sure you're getting things quite how you wanted?  Do you need the enthusiasm of others to help you take the first step and give you that extra push to put your work out there?  Do you need feedback or advice on what you are/want to write?  Well, this is for you.

A Caryl Fanfic supporter chat group is a great base to help you with these issues and any more you might think up.  To kick off this venture, a little input is required in selecting the best time available to everyone.  If you're interested, reply to the indicate when might work best for you.  Majority will rule.

Your options are sometime Thursday - Sunday this week. The link to give your available times is located at:        (Meeshie will close the scheduler on Wednesday night.)

 All Caryl fic writers are welcome! Chat will take place in the Nine Lives chat room and we will post the date/time decided on Thursday.

--Megan on June 10, 2014 9:17am 1 Comments

A little while back a few members of Elysian Fields made a couple of suggestions for the prompt section over there, so I did a bit of work to fulfill their requests. Megan asked me to bring the changes over here as well. When you look at prompts, you'll notice that at the bottom there are 2 new options. If you see a prompt that piques your interest that you might want to respond to at a later date, just click the first option [Save this prompt] and the prompt will be stored on your saved prompt list, which is accessible on your account info page. If you see a prompt that you don't want to take on, but feel like it's a great idea that you'd love to see come to fruition, click [Second this prompt]. You can see how many members have seconded a prompt on the top row next to the number of responses. In the example below, you can see a '+1' because one member decided that my prompt is awesome and should definitely be brought to life (and they're right!). If 2 members seconded the prompt , it would show a '+2' and so on...

Also, on the prompt browse page, there are new sort options. Before, you could only sort alphabetically or by most recent, but now you can sort alphabetically by the prompt author, by most responses (i.e. the number of stories created from each prompt) or most wanted (i.e. the number of members who have seconded a prompt).

--Susan on June 03, 2014 9:05pm 2 Comments