News
September Writers Chat: Publishing Your First Fic

So, it’s your first time. You’re nervous. Blushing. Sweaty palms. All your friends are doing it. You want to, but there’s something holding you back. You feel too exposed.



 


Afraid to publish your work? Fearful of letting other people read it?


Join us at this month’s Writers Chat to talk about ways to conquer that fear. Cold feet? No problem. We’ve all been there. Come one, come all, for support, encouragement, and celebration as we discuss that oh so important, and memorable milestone: “Publishing Your First Fic.”


Chats will be Thursday, September 1, 10 PM Eastern time and Saturday, September 10, 1 PM Eastern time. Check the Time Zone Converter (on the sidebar at the left under Events) to find your local time.



--alannastara on August 31, 2016 5:46pm 0 Comments
Missing Moments Challenge: The Master List

Happy Sunday Carylers! Only 8 more Sundays until Season 7! We're getting close. ;) You can fill up this Sunday by enjoying the results of our 'Missing Moments' challenge - our final from this year's Summer Survival Series!


'Missing Moments' Master List



Thank you to everyone who participated in our final S3 challenge! We hope you all enjoy and we hope we have provided you with some wonderful Carylness this hiatus. 


Remember: FM is currently taking feedback on the S3 series as well as the archive itself, so please send her a PM and then go vote for our fundraiser party!


Happy reading and Caryl on!



--FM, Ikkles & Subs on August 28, 2016 8:50am 0 Comments
We're Putting the Band Back Together... and Raising Money for a Reunion Tour?


Greetings and salutations, Carylers! I hope this post finds you all happy and well in your corners of the world. We have a lot of things to cover that the admin team is very excited about, so I’m going to get right to it!


First, I am back in full active admin status. Yes, I’m still in grad school. I just found a way to  make my schedule work better than last semester, but more importantly - I really missed all of you! Nine Lives has been my home for almost three years and let me tell you: the withdrawals are real. I have to give a serious shout of love and adoration for my girls Ikkleosu and subversivegrrl for running things in my absence. They took on the entirety of the site while I focused on readjusting the balance of my life to now include school, and I think they have done a terrific job. Despite my lack of daily activity, I was very much involved behind the scenes and kept in the loop this summer and trust me when I tell you that nobody cares about you, and this archive, like these ladies do. Please, if you find a moment, show these wonderful admins of ours some love.


Let’s talk about the archive for a bit. I’ve done this before and I tend to wax sentimental when I do, so I’ll try to keep it lowkey. You all know how the archive came to be. (If you don’t, go here). The archive has come to mean something different to each of us who calls this place our fandom home. For us behind the scenes, Nine Lives can be a job, but it’s one we take on gladly. It’s the shared belief in Caryl that drives us, and our commitment to keeping a corner of the fandom enjoyable and without interference from those who just want to cause friction. It’s never a perfect endeavor, running Nine Lives, and we’ve had some stumbles and mistakes along the way as well as moments of great triumph. What I feel we have most accomplished is a sense of home for us all and that’s what holds strong. We hope to increase the community aspects of Nine Lives in the coming months, and that’s where you come in.


Now and again, the topic of fundraising for Nine Lives comes up. Previously, the site was funded by Ravenesque and Elysian Fields. Since we broke off on our own, I’ve paid for the site fees - hosting, the domain, maintenance, upgrades, security, etc. While I am happy and more than willing to continue to fund the site, we’ve had so many offers from people willing to donate that we’ve decided to go for it. We’re hosting a fundraiser! The details of our fundraiser events will be forthcoming at a later time, but we do have a question we wanted to put to all of you. We’re asking because we’ve done a lot of challenges lately, and we have events scheduled through the end of the year to keep things interesting around here. However, our schedule is flexible, so what our question for all of you is: WHEN would you like to have our fundraiser party? These are the dates we had in mind:



  • Early October (around the season 7 premiere)

  • November (before folks gear up for the holidays)

  • January (for Nine Lives’ 3rd anniversary)



Cast your vote in the comments below! You can pick from the options above or give us your own idea for a time frame. I’ll say one more thing before I change topics - please don’t think that we’re raising any money for personal gain. 100% of any money raised will go towards the maintenance and future expansion of Nine Lives. We’re going to go into more details about our plans and how this will work with our actual fundraiser announcement. For now, let’s pick a play date! ;)


Now, I’ve been an absentee admin this summer, and while Ikkles and Subs kept me up to date, I really would like to hear from all of you. I want to know how your summers have gone, how you’re enjoying the site and our summer challenge series, any ideas you might have for us in the future. We have a lot of things in the works but Nine Lives is for all of us, and I want to make sure that the voices of our members are heard. It’s your archive as much as it is ours, so take a chance and please drop me a PM with your feedback and your thoughts.


That’s all for now, kiddos. Stay tuned for more fun, get those submissions ready for our ‘Missing Moments’ challenge this weekend, and as always: Caryl on!




--Fairies Masquerade on August 24, 2016 9:46pm 11 Comments
Summer Survival Series - August 2016 - The 'Missing Moments' Challenge

Challenge Dates: submission date August 27th; publication August 28th


Open to: Fan Fiction, Fan Art, Graphics, Fan Videos


THE PROMPT:


With 16 hour-long episodes per year, there’s only so much time to devote to our favorite characters on an ensemble show. Thus the showrunners have admitted that we miss a lot of the moments in our characters’ lives. So much of what makes our heroes “Team Family” happens offscreen… dammit. Well, this is where you get to fix that by focusing on the missing moments we know have happened, but never got to see unfold on our screens. Did Lori see what was developing between Carol and Daryl? How much did Daryl resist being voted onto the council? Who taught Carol to be so handy with a gun? These and many other questions can be answered by you.


You can pick any scene that is “missing” from the series,  but remember, this is a Caryl archive, so your story has to prominently feature both Daryl and Carol.



(image source - elewings-caryl.tumblr.com)


GO DEEP ON THIS ONE, PEOPLE!  We have SIX SEASONS (whoops, almost wrote “sex seasons” there) to pull from.


THE DEADLINE: Submissions must be turned in by midnight Pacific Time on August 27.


THE RULES:


For FANFICTION:


Send a PM to Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl that you want to enter the challenge. Even if you're not sure you'll have anything ready in time - let us know you're planning on it. YOU MUST DO THIS TO BE INCLUDED.


WRITE! Stories must be at least 100 words.


Multiple entries are allowed!


No McReedus (given the theme, we assume you already knew that.)


Do not upload it yet! Wait until August 27 to upload your fic – just like in challenges past, we will be suspending automatic validation for that day for all authors who enter the challenge.


Submission Day is August 27– post your fic. It will not appear on the archive, but will enter our validation queue. Make sure you submit it under the Nine Lives Challenge category!


Publication Day is August 28 – We will post the master list and all of the challenges entries so everything shows up at once. That way, we’re all surprised by what we get to read!


Any challenge fics posted before August 27th will be deleted.




 


For FAN ART/GRAPHICS


Send a PM to Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl that you want to enter the challenge --OR--


Send an ask to the Nine Lives tumblr account. Anonymous submissions are not allowed! Your Ask must include your Nine Lives username if different from your Tumblr URL.


CREATE!!


Submit your challenge piece via one of the following channels:


Nine Lives Tumblr submissions box, OR


Email your submission to challenges@ninelivesarchive.com


Email title: Missing Moments Challenge Submission


Emails must include your Nine Lives Archive username along with any other information you wanted posted with your artwork.


Submission Day is August 27 - We need to have your artwork submitted to our Tumblr or email by 12:00 midnight Pacific time on 8/27.


Publication Day is August 28 - We will post all artwork via the Nine Lives tumblr account and add them to the master list of challenge entries on the Nine Lives Archive.




 


For FAN VIDEOS:


Send a PM to Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl that you want to enter the challenge --OR--


Send an ask to the Nine Lives tumblr account.  Anonymous submissions are not allowed! Your Ask must include your Nine Lives username if different from your Tumblr URL.


Upload your video to YouTube - ensuring you select "UNLISTED" as the privacy setting. You will have a URL for your video.


Send a PM to Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl with the URL for your video, along with a title and the name you use on YouTube (if it is different to your Nine Lives name) --OR--


Email that information to challenges@ninelivesarchive.com.


Email title: Missing Moments Challenge Submission


Submission Day is August 27 - We need to have your artwork submitted to our inbox by 12:00 midnight Pacific time on 8/27.


Publication Day is August 28 - We will post all artwork via the Nine Lives tumblr account and add them to the master list of challenge entries on the Nine Lives Archive.


You can change you video's privacy setting to PUBLIC once it has been listed on Nine Lives.




Any questions? please PM an admin.



--subversivegrrl, ikkleosu on August 07, 2016 8:38am 0 Comments
August Members of the Month: silversundown and lovesdaryldixon


Here they are - your Members of the Month for August 2016.


Author of the Month: silversundown



What draws you to the Caryl ship?

This is a tough thing for me to answer since there’s so many different aspects to their relationship that pulls me in and won’t let go. They sort of snuck up on me around late season two and then season three. Then it just hit me over the head and I was a goner. I’m a sucker for a slow burn and while at this point in the show it’s starting to be a little too slow, that was what hooked me at first. Then I saw the way they support each other unconditionally, how they bring out the best in one another and how the only times they really seem happy is when they’re together and it’s a perfect storm. 

Who are your writing influences?

I’m going to be honest here and say that I don’t spend a whole lot of time reading published works anymore. I know, I know…I feel some kind of way about that too, but every time I think about getting back on that I get sucked into some fanfic. So lately, all the lovely writers who’s works I read both in this fandom and in a few others serve as influences and inspiration. Some of these stories…wow, better than a lot of the published works I’ve come across. You all blow me away on a regular basis.

How do you handle writer’s block?

Mostly I try to plow through it. I find that if I just start writing sometimes it’ll flow on it’s own. If I try to plot out something in my head and get stuck on it before even attempting to write I’ll sit and ponder that forever and writer’s block will claim me as it’s victim. So, I try to just start and see where it takes me. Sometimes it works, other times I end up with a bunch of stuff I can’t use, but either way it gets the words flowing. Other times I give up, watch some netflix and admit defeat. I’m a night owl and most of my writing is done in the middle of the night, so sleeping on it after stewing for a while can help too.

Anything you want to say to your readers? ;)

Yes! How much I appreciate all of you! This fic writing stuff is pretty new to me in general, I dabbled a long time ago in another fandom but I haven’t felt the bug hit me this hard until I fell for Caryl. Those two have sparked so many ideas that I can't help but want to write them and share them, so the fact that you all embrace those ideas that have turned into stories is pretty wild and fantastic and amazing to me. I feel so grateful to have found this site. It’s become my happy place and I spend more time here than I will admit too. Thank you for making me feel so welcome and for going on these little fic journeys with me. You guys are the best.


 


Reviewer of the Month: LovesDarylDixon



 


What draws you to the Caryl ship? 


Wow that’s tough to answer…lol I think what really drew me to them was very early on.  Their first scene really, Daryl's holding the pick ax ready to take out Ed, and Carol comes over and tells him that she can do it.  And then he really just stands over by her, not moving away like he probably would anyone else and just watches over her… Protecting her, but not wanting to at the same time.  I think it’s just their chemistry that draws me in.  The way they support each other really that it’s unconditional, they bring out the best in one another.  I’m one of those that likes a slow burn in a relationship, one that’s built on a firm foundation of friendship, and just love. (Though have to admit the show is moving slow, so that's why I started to read fanfiction :))  So I think that’s what draws me in.  Their chemistry on screen and just that Daryl would do anything for Carol, and vice versa I'm certain that Carol would do anything for him.  It's just a beautiful relationship that the two of them have. 


What do you look for in a story to keep reading? 


That the story is engaging, and that it draws me in as I'm reading.  That I can't put the story down.  That the story can hit me emotionally whether that be with humor and happiness, fear, sadness, or despair even.  I just like to be drawn into the world that the author creates.  And I've found that on here and in reading stories.  :) 


What are your top five favorite stories on Nine Lives?


This will be a very tough one because everything I've read on here I've loved, and I don't think I can just pick five.  But here we go :)


1. This Is Now by sienna27


2. The Days In The Cedar Forest by sienna27


3. The We You Don't See by sienna27


4. Heart Song by CarolPeletier


5. Sophia's Choice by SOA Loving Mom


Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?


Thank you all for your stories! And thank you so much for sharing your talent.  I love to be able to come to nine lives and read, and just escape to the worlds that you all create :)



--subversivegrrl, ikkleosu on August 01, 2016 5:54pm 0 Comments
The 'Thy Kingdom Come...' Challenge Masterlist

It's finally here! We asked you, our oh-so creative members, to consider what would happen to Carol - and Caryl - at her (presumed temporary) refuge in The Kingdom, and you came through!



Not so many entries this time around, but you're going to love what our authors (and artist!) have served up for you. 


Go, enjoy!


Fanfic


Burn by Sira


Proving Reality by silversundown


Finding Home by AmalynJon


Her Heart by mellovesall


Fanart


Healing Hands by Ikkleosu 


Video


They Kingdom Come  by kingstoken



--subversivegrrl, ikkleosu on July 31, 2016 10:37am 0 Comments
August Writers Chats: Word Wars!

Kermit the Frog typing madlyWe’ll be doing a little something different at the August Writers Chats: Word Wars!! No, you won’t be expected to wear clunky armor or be the last person standing. You will, if you wish, participate in a series of short writing sprints based on some Caryl prompts, culminating in working on a writing sprint for a fic you may be stuck on. (Or is that just us? On all our fics? No, not just the chat mods? *whew*)


This chat will focus more on the writers, but readers are welcome to join. After each sprint, we’ll invite whoever is willing to share what they've written for some constructive feedback. OR, you can choose to keep your words to yourself. ;) There’s no pressure to share, but a little feedback could get the creative juices flowing.


So, bring your sense of humor, your anxiety, your patience, and a stopwatch/timer. We’ll have a good time, and hopefully no blood will be shed. Maybe just a few tears from feels. We’ll bring some tissues, too, just in case.


Join us on Thursday, August 4th from 10pm-12am EDT or Saturday, August 13th from 1pm-3pm EDT to battle support your fellow writers!

Have ideas for a future chat topic on Nine Lives? Send a PM to meeshie, jaibhagwan, or AlannasTara with writing topics you'd like to discuss. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Our goal is to motivate you to keep writing!


(gif from GIPHY)



--meeshie on July 29, 2016 1:48am 0 Comments
Good Things Come in Small Packages - Exploring the Archive

Not too long ago Nine Lives hit a milestone, when we topped 200 authors publishing on the site. TWO HUNDRED. Amazing, right? (We're now at 208, and that number is growing almost daily.) We're proud to count among those authors many of the most well-known, well-respected, and prolific "names" in the TWD fandom.


 


In the course of looking at site statistics, though, we discovered that almost half of our authors have published only one or two stories on Nine Lives. That's a lot of people whose work might not get much attention, and we'd like to try to remedy that by reacquainting our readers with some of those unsung authors.


So we've created a list of those writers with two or fewer stories on the site - and the rest is up to you!


From now until August 7th, we'll be collecting nominations from among those stories for Featured Story of the Week. Check out the list HERE, read some stories you might have missed the first time around (or read and loved, but forgot to bookmark as favorites!) and then share the love with the rest of us by sending a PM to ikkleosu or subversivegrrl with your FSOTW recommendation/s (please don't put them in the Shout Box.) We'll start featuring them the first week of August, and a complete list of the recommendations will be published on the site at the end of the month. NO LIMIT on the number of recommendations you can make, so go crazy!


Note: If you're an author with slightly more stories published on the site - don't worry, we haven't forgotten you! We'll be coming around again sometime over the next couple of months to revisit your work as well.


Questions? PM an admin!



--subversivegrrl, ikkleosu on July 26, 2016 4:41pm 0 Comments
RULE ANNOUNCEMENT: Multiple Accounts and the Abuse of NL Events

Hello and Happy Sunday, Nine Lives Community! (It may be Monday for some of you, but for me, it’s still Sunday.) Fairies Masquerade here. No, I’m not dead - I’ve just been crazy busy with work and grad school. But I’m still around and very much involved behind the scenes here, and there are some things we need to talk about.


It has come to my attention that people are abusing our archive for the sole purpose of self promotion. We’ve caught onto the fact that we have members creating a second membership account, then using that account to nominate themselves for things like Featured Story of the Week.


We have never had to declare this before, and in fact we have allowed a certain amount of leeway in this area since Nine Lives began; for instance, with authors who wanted write McReedus but under a different handle from their usual one. However, trouble has been brewing in this area for a while now, and as a result of our lenience we find ourselves in the situation unfolding today: a member who has been previously featured and spotlighted on several occasions has been caught with an account created just to nominate themselves for Featured Story of the Week.  


You might wonder how we know if someone is creating multiple accounts? We can see the IP address each account registered with (and pull up all the details of that IP address), we see when an account is created down to the exact hour and minute, the email address used for the account... we see it all. And we pay attention to what is happening on this archive, because we have all invested way too much of our blood, sweat, tears, time and money into keeping this place running to not pay attention.


So now, we’re making it a rule: multiple accounts are allowed for people who want to explore writing RPF/other genres but are uncomfortable publishing under their regular handle. Secondary accounts found to be created for the sole purpose of self promotion (reviewing your own stories, nominating the primary account for Featured Story or other NL events) will be deleted, and the primary account temporarily banned for 15 days on the first infraction. Repeated infractions will see the primary account permanently banned and the IP address blocked from accessing the Nine Lives Archive.


In addition, we the admin team also reserve the right to pull the privilege of multiple accounts entirely if situations like this continue.


You might think we are overreacting. That’s ok, and if you want to send a PM to either myself, Ikklesou or subversivegrrl, or politely make your case in the comments below this news article, we would be happy to discuss it with you. But to put a point on it, the issues we have had recently with multiple accounts has defied the very first rule of our Terms of Service:


You are agreeing to be a courteous, responsible member of Nine Lives, and treat everyone with due respect.


Creating extra accounts to give yourself an unfair edge in a NL event like Featured Story is not treating your fellow members with their due respect. In addition, if the Featured Story process has been compromised in this manner then it is safe to assume, and indeed only logical to assume, that other events like Member of the Month have also been abused. In light of the current circumstances, it may be time for us to change how we handle these events, or possibly stop doing them altogether.



We want Nine Lives to be a safe and fun haven for all Caryl fans. The systems we have in place are/were the best options for keeping events and challenges fair to everyone. To see them being abused in this manner breaks our hearts, particularly mine. I’m going to get personal with you here, and add a note I did not previously share with my co-admins: Nine Lives is not free or even cheap to run, but I usually don’t mind because I, like so many of you, need a safe place for all my Caryl feels. All I, and the rest of the Nine Lives staff, have ever asked in return is for everyone to behave and interact in a way that keeps the Nine Lives community safe, respectful and supportive for all. When I see the site abused in this manner, I start to wonder if Nine Lives is even needed anymore, because either I’m obviously doing something wrong that this sort of thing happens, or I’m wasting my time, and the time of everyone who volunteers for Nine Lives behind the scenes. I hope not. I still believe in Caryl, I still believe that this fandom can be a positive, even life changing, experience for those involved and I still believe in the benefits of a place like Nine Lives. Please, continue to believe with me.


Stay safe and Caryl on,


Fairies Masquerade



--Fairies Masquerade on July 24, 2016 7:51pm 5 Comments
Summer Survival Series for July 2016 - Thy Kingdom Come... Challenge!

Challenge Dates: submission date July 30th; publication July 31st


Open to: Fan Fiction, Fan Art, Graphics, Fan Videos


THE PROMPT:


In the final episode of season 6, Last Day on Earth, we left Carol at death's door (thanks to a couple of Saviors) with Morgan her only companion, when along came two literal knights on horseback to save the day.


These armoured knights were from The Kingdom, another community we are going to be introduced to in season 7.


 



We want you to imagine what comes to be at this new location where we expect Carol to spend some time. How will she recover? What will she discover? Will Daryl show up? These are questions we'd love you to answer in this month's challenge.


You can create the Kingdom entirely from your imagination, however if you want to follow the comics we have put together a brief guide to the Kingdom HERE (Note: it contains some comic book spoilers) to help you. If you have a specific question about the comic depiction of the Kingdom not answered by the guide, please pm Ikkles.


Alternatively, you can wait until July 22nd when the season 7 trailer will be premiered at the Walking Dead panel at SDCC, and see if there's any Kingdom content to inspire you.


If you include filming spoilers in your story, please mention this in the summary so those who want to avoid spoilers can do so.


THE DEADLINE: Submissions must be turned in by midnight Pacific Time on July 30.


THE RULES:


For FANFICTION:


Send a PM to Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl that you want to enter the challenge. Even if you're not sure you'll have anything ready in time - let us know you're planning on it. YOU MUST DO THIS TO BE INCLUDED.


Write! Stories must be at least 100 words


Multiple entries are allowed!


No McReedus this time (given the theme, we assume you already knew that.)


Do not upload it yet! Wait until July 30 to upload your fic – just like in challenges past, we will be suspending automatic validation for that day for all authors who enter the challenge.


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


Publication Day is July 31 – We will post the master list and all of the challenges entries so everything shows up at once. That way, we’re all surprised by what we get to read!


Any challenge fics posted before July 30 will be deleted.


For FAN ART/GRAPHICS


Send a PM to Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl that you want to enter the challenge --OR--


Send an ask to the Nine Lives tumblr account. Anonymous submissions are not allowed! Your Ask must include your Nine Lives username if different from your Tumblr URL.


Create!


Submit your challenge piece via one of the following channels:


Nine Lives Tumblr submissions box, OR


Email your submission to challenges@ninelivesarchive.com


Email title: First Kiss Challenge Submission
Emails must include your Tumblr OR Nine Lives Archive username along with any other information you wanted posted with your artwork.


Submission Day is July 30- We need to have your artwork submitted to our Tumblr or email by 12:00 midnight Pacific time on 7/30.


Publication Day is July 31 - We will post all artwork via the Nine Lives tumblr account and add them to the master list of challenge entries on the Nine Lives Archive.


For FAN VIDEOS:


Send a PM to Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl that you want to enter the challenge --OR--


Send an ask to the Nine Lives tumblr account.  Anonymous submissions are not allowed! Your Ask must include your Nine Lives username if different from your Tumblr URL.


Upload your video to YouTube - ensuring you select "UNLISTED" as the privacy setting. You will have a URL for your video.


Send a PM to Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl with the URL for your video, along with a title and the name you use on YouTube (if it is different to your Nine Lives name).


Submission Day is July 30- We need to have your artwork submitted to our inbox by 12:00 midnight Pacific time on 7/30.


Publication Day is July 31 - We will post all artwork via the Nine Lives tumblr account and add them to the master list of challenge entries on the Nine Lives Archive.


You can change you video's privacy setting to PUBLIC once it has been listed on Nine Lives.


Any questions? please PM an admin.


Let thy will be done!




--ikkles and Subs on July 09, 2016 9:01am 0 Comments
JULY MEMBERS OF THE MONTH - WHOO-HOO!!!

As always, we make our Members of the Month reveal their deepest darkest shipper secrets by asking the REAL QUESTIONS and sharing their answers here:


From kaoscraze82, Author of the Month:



1. What draws you to the Caryl ship?


I have always been one of those girls that’s a sucker for a good television romance, although many times I’ve been burned either due to shows being cancelled or the characters going way off balance and ruining the chemistry. When I saw the interaction between Carol and Daryl in season 2, I wasn’t exactly sure what was going to happen between them (mainly since I knew that Carol hadn’t survived in the comic book and Daryl wasn’t in it at all) but when I heard the Cherokee Rose speech and witnessed the death of Sophia, I knew that there was no way I could turn my back on them. They went through something so incredible horrific together and yet managed to come out on the other side of it stronger and better able to take care of themselves. I was fascinated by the idea that through pain can come strength and in that strength comes love and acceptance. Whether or not they get a chance to prove their love for each other on the screen, I still believe with all my heart that they love each other and there are very few characters I’ve encountered who have been able to convey that in the simple yet powerful way that they can.


2. Who are your writing influences?


I grew up being an avid book reader (my mom told me at two years old I used to fool adults by memorizing my favorite stories and flipping through pages ‘reading’ them back) and one of the favorite authors in my household was definitely Stephen King, although I didn’t get into him until much later because I was a huge scaredy cat. I try to pull the essence of his storytelling into my own work in hopes that it will bring the reader into that moment with me. I also adore JK Rowling and, despite being in my early 20’s when I discovered the books, found myself being transformed back into a child again at the absolutely magical adventure she took me through for those seven years. I also love an up-and-coming YA author named Jennifer L. Armentrout, who never seems to run out of ideas for stories and who makes her female lead characters strong and witty at the same time.


3. How do you handle writer’s block?


The simple answer to that is that I really don’t. Like everyone else, I come across it a fair amount, and find that the only way to really get rid of it and allow my creativity to flow again is to step away from writing until I feel the ideas starting to flow again. I started writing Caryl fic back in 2013 when I was not working a full time job so I had lots of time to sit around and just think about stuff. Now back in the working field it can be tough to even find the time to entertain the notion of writing but I find that if I set time aside to write I usually set myself up for failure. I went through a period of almost a year before I finally felt ready to start typing again, but I try to start with small ideas and work my way up. Doing the last three challenges really helped get my creative juices flowing again for sure, and now I have an idea for a new story as well, which is great!


4. Anything you want to say to your readers?


As always, thank you for all the kind words and support you’ve given me over these last three years. If I hadn’t found this ship and the lifelong friends I’ve made in it (including the woman who took me in and gave me a new lease on life) I don’t know where I would be right now. Despite the messy shipping wars and general annoyance at the writing on the show, this has been a good place for me and I’m so grateful to have gotten to know so many of you and share this experience together!


From faegal04, Reviewer of the Month:



1. What draws you to the Caryl ship?


There is so much about Caryl that I adore. They are two people who up until the world ended had been dealt very bad hands. They gravitated towards each other because they both can see the person who was hurt and treated badly, and they want to remind the other that they do matter in the world. I could go on an on, but I will stop now :-)


2. What do you look for in a story to keep reading?


There are so many different things that I look for. The plot is a major one for me! If the author can pull me in with just a brief summary, I am hooked! I have found that I prefer the AU world for Carol and Daryl to meet in and find each other.


3. What are your top five favorite stories?


This is a hard one! There are so many fabulous writers on this site but I will try to narrow it down :-)


Mad City by Fairies Masquerade


9 Lives by AffairWithACrossbow (this was actually the very 1st Fanfic I had ever read)


When the Levee Breaks by Haitus80


Wayward Sons by halohunter89


Demons by SOA Loving Mom


4.Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?


Thank you so much for the stories you share with us! Sometimes it can be hard to write something and put it out there for other people to read. Some may like what we write and some won't -so be sure to write what you want and not worry about the ones who don't like it! Also I know we have had a rough past season but I truly believe that Caryl will happen, so don't give up hope! Caryl is endgame!



--subversivegrrl, ikkleosu on July 02, 2016 7:37am 0 Comments
OMG IT'S FINALLY REAL: The First Kiss Challenge

I've read it happening so many different ways.
So have you.


I've written it before.
You may have too.


It has to be one of the most cherished headcanons of a Caryler: when and how they will kiss for the first time. 


Now we've dedicated an entire challenge to more speculation on that most desired of moments: When Carol and Daryl finally LOCK LIPS.


You know when it happens in canon, Caryl shippers all over the globe will shatter glass with the sound of our screaming.


But, until then - we give you Nine Lives' FIRST KISS challenge.


(This is the first time we've had fan videos submitted and I'm so excited I have to list them first. LET THE WILD RUMPUS START!!)


THE FAN VIDEOS!!!



 THE FAN FIC!!!



 


 


 



--subversivegrrl, ikkleosu on June 26, 2016 8:28am 0 Comments
July Writers Chats: Getting to Know You

Mat said WELCOMEThe Nine Lives Community keeps on growing, and with all the new names around here, we decided to get a little less formal with our July Writers Chat, and focus on getting to know each other.


We realize that sometimes the chats can be intimidating when you’re new (or not so new) around here… tons of inside jokes, past history, and general camaraderie can make it difficult to crack your way into the conversation. So, we’d love to invite everyone to come on in, kick your feet up, and get to know your fellow Caryl writers and readers (and create some new inside jokes!).


We’ll be guiding the conversation with some Caryl-related questions, but there is no obligation to participate if you simply want to lurk. We love lurkers! But we will be sure to say hello when you enter the room. It’s only polite. =)


Join us on Thursday, July 7th  from 10pm-12am EDT or Saturday, July 9th from 1pm-3pm EDT and get your social on!

Have ideas for a future chat topic on Nine Lives? Send a PM to meeshie, sweettooth7, jaibhagwan, or AlannasTara with writing topics you'd like to discuss. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Our goal is to motivate you to keep writing!



--meeshie on June 22, 2016 5:35pm 0 Comments
Admin doin's

Hey, everyone -


Due to the demands of trying to juggle both grad school and a full-time job, FairiesMasquerade is going to step back a bit on her admin activities here at Nine Lives.



All that means for you folks is that we're going to ask you to direct PMs about Nine Lives business to either subversivegrrl or ikkleosu for the time being, so that our beloved FM can get caught up with Real Life and have some breathing room.


Don't worry, she's not going anywhere - we're just shifting some of the who-does-what. She will be keeping up with what's happening, & will be involved in larger events & issues as needed.


If you've got any questions, shoot 'em to ikkles or SG!



--subversivegrrl on June 14, 2016 3:47pm 0 Comments
Summer Survival Series for June 2016 - First Kiss Challenge!

Challenge Dates: posting date June 25th; publication June 26th


Open to: Fan Fiction, Fan Art, Graphics


THE PROMPT:


"The minutes that we missed,
The idle lips that should have kissed,
Are now gently together,
The first kiss lasts forever."
- She Loves Me, Stephen Duffy.


Most of us became Caryl shippers because of the many scenes Daryl and Carol have shared over the past 6 seasons. All of those scenes spoke to us, and showed us some kind of potential that things between these two people could turn romantic.


This challenge takes that idea a little further and says imagine any of the Caryl scenes we've already witnessed could have taken a little turn and been THE scene that gave us our first Caryl kiss!


Your challenge is to take an existing Caryl scene and show how it could have easily turned into the moment their lips first met, with just a twist of the writer's pen.


THE DEADLINE: Submissions must be turned in by midnight Pacific Time on June 25.


THE RULES:


For FANFICTION:



  • Send a PM to Fairies Masquerade, Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl that you want to enter the challenge. Even if you're not sure you'll have anything ready in time - let us know you're planning on it.

  • Write! Stories must be at least 100 words

  • Multiple entries are allowed!

  • No McReedus this time (given the theme, we assume you already knew that.)

  • Do not upload it yet! Wait until June 25 to upload your fic – just like in challenges past, we will be suspending automatic validation for that day for all authors who enter the challenge.

  • Submission Day is June 25 – post your fic. It will not appear on the archive, but will enter our validation queue. Make sure you submit it under the Nine Lives Challenge category!

  • Posting Day is June 26 – We will post the master list and all of the challenges entries so everything shows up at once. That way, we’re all surprised by what we get to read!

  • Any challenge fics posted before June 25 will be deleted.


For FAN ART/GRAPHICS



  • Send a PM to Fairies Masquerade, Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl that you want to enter the challenge --OR--

  • Send an ask to the Nine Lives tumblr account

  • Anonymous submissions are not allowed!

  • Create!

  • Submit your challenge piece via one of the following channels:

    Nine Lives tumblr submissions box
    Email your submission to challenges@ninelivesarchive.com

    Email title: First Kiss Challenge Submission
    Emails must include your tumblr OR Nine Lives Archive username along with any other information you wanted posted with your artwork



  • Submission Day is June 25- We need to have your artwork submitted to our Tumblr or email by 12:00 midnight Pacific time on 6/25.

  • Posting Day is June 26 - We will post all artwork via the Nine Lives tumblr account and add them to the master list of challenge entries on the Nine Lives Archive.


For FAN VIDEOS: 



  • Send a PM to Fairies Masquerade, Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl that you want to enter the challenge.

  • Upload your video to YouTube - ensuring you select "UNLISTED" as the privacy setting. You will have a URL for your video.

  • Send a PM to Fairies Masquerade, Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl with the URL for your video, along with a title and the name you use on YouTube (if it is different to your Nine Lives name).

  • Submission Day is June 25- We need to have your artwork submitted to our inbox by 12:00 midnight Pacific time on 6/25.

  • Posting Day is June 26 - We will post all artwork via the Nine Lives tumblr account and add them to the master list of challenge entries on the Nine Lives Archive.

  • You can change you video's privacy setting to PUBLIC once it has been listed on Nine Lives.


Any questions? please PM an admin.


Now let the lips do the talking!



--ikkleosu on June 06, 2016 6:37pm 0 Comments
June 2016 Members of the Month

Congratulations to Nine Lives' Members of the Month for June 2016 - Leigh57 (author) and Herrc715 (reviewer)!!!


Leigh57 - Author of the Month



What draws you to the Caryl ship?


The list of what doesn't would be a lot shorter;) Okay but seriously, pretty much everything? I love the fact that at first glance, Carol and Daryl aren't a very likely love story at all. They started out as strangers who didn't have anything in common beyond their abusive pasts and outsider status. But over the seasons, they've transformed in a very organic way (personally I think that the Sophia arc was one of the most instrumental parts of this transformation) into a relationship where they are unquestionably each other's person.


I'm a complete sucker for mutually supportive relationships where each person would do anything for the other, and yet there's no jealousy or childishness in the way they relate. As Melissa mentioned in the LA Times interview, I love the room they give each other, the space to be themselves. It's just unconditional, non-judgmental love, and I'm reasonably sure that no matter what happens in canon, I'll be crying about it until the end of time.


Who are your writing influences?


I look up to so many writers. High on that list are Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, Madeleine L'Engle, Barbara Kingsolver, and Alice Hoffman. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Anyone who can use words to make me lose myself in a story has my never-ending admiration.


How do you handle writer's block?


Not very well, tbh! This is one of the many reasons why I've never written a multi-chapter story in the TWD-verse. When writer's block hits, I tend to spend a lot of time angrily texting my poor friends, drinking wine, and sobbing while I read the brilliant work of people who aren't suffering from the same affliction. When I really really really need to cure myself quickly, I find that music is the fastest way for me to get the words flowing. I have some go-to songs that give me all the feels, and I'll just pop one of those on repeat.


Anything you want to say to your readers?


The biggest thing I can think of is "Thank you!!!" Every time someone comments on a story or leaves warm, helpful feedback, I appreciate it so much. I love to write, but it's inevitably a struggle to make words sound even remotely the way I want them to. Since there's always so much frustration involved, sweet reviews are just a gift. So I'm pretty much a huge explosion of gratitude to everyone who reads!


 


Herrc715 - Reviewer of the Month



What draws you to the Caryl ship?


What draws me to the Caryl ship is their cherished bond. Anyone can see their bonds runs deep (like my older brother who is a casual viewer and isn't a hardcore fan. He always asks when they will get together, hehe). I began shipping Caryl after the Cherokee Rose scene. When I started watching the show, I assumed Daryl would be as pompous as Merle. However, I was in awe how his deameanor changed with Carol, and how she brought out this sweet side to him. Since then, I enjoyed their blossoming relationship-I love how they are always there for each other and genuinely care about one another.


Like Melissa said, there is an understanding they have with each other that no one else can possibly understand. Carol can't hide anything from Daryl because he sees right through her (as evidenced this season) and vice versa with him. I love their bond, and I keep holding out hope that they can actually cross that line to romance because they are the most compatable and they need and deserve each other.


 


What do you look for in a story to keep you reading?


What I look for in a story is to have a deep and enticing storyline that explores their bond. I love stories that explore the beginning of their relationship -whether it is an easy start or not- and how it develops into something more. Also, it's pretty cute seeing them act as a couple already, something I'm sure we all wish for.


I actually prefer AU stories because I am not happy with the pacing of the show. Call me impatient, but I've been shipping Caryl since season 2, and reading brilliant stories from fanfic writers that seem to have a better handle than the actual writers makes more sense and makes me happy. AUs work because Caryl has such a strong bond and chemistry, and I enjoy seeing them interact in different scenerios that we're not used to seeing on TV.


What are your top five favorite Caryl stories?


This is so difficult because if I could list all of my favorites, it would amount to more than 5 stories! This is so tough! I wish I could list all of the fanfics I have favorited and added to my iBook to re-read over and over on my tablet daily. But here are some of my favorites:


1- Sometimes Love Is Not Enough by Krissyg927


Caryl actually starts off divorced, which immediately grabbed my attention because I've never read anything with this storyline. But to see them make their way back to another blew my mind because it showed how strong their bond is and how nothing can really separate them. This just reassured me how strong Caryl is.


2- A Cry in the Thunder by CarolPeletier


This one takes place during the ZA where Caryl meet in a different scenerio and Daryl creeps his way into Carol's remaining family after her hardships. I'm a sucker for Daryl and baby fics!


3- Just One Line by Krissyg927


By the time I finished reading this one-shot story, I was sobbing! It was such a beautiful, heartbreaking story with hope that really hit me in the feels.


4- Out in the Cold by Haitus80


I love stories where Daryl goes out of his way to save and protect Carol because this is fundamental to their deep bond. This story is an example of this, where Daryl saves Carol from Ed and attempts to empower her after so many years of abuse. I feel that this is what TV Daryl would've done if he met Carol without the ZA because of their similar backgrounds.


5- We Get to Start Over by Starfur373


Daryl uncharacteristically makes his way into Carol's heart after she moves into the neighborhood with Sophia after her divorce. This scenerio makes perfect sense because Daryl has a soft spot for Carol and would do things that don't seem like him at all, and this is demonstrated in an AU that is so heartwarming.


Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?


I want to say to ALL Caryl authors out there a big THANK YOU! In all sincerity, I appreciate all of you taking time from your busy, daily lives to actually write and share your creativety with all of us. Speaking for myself, all of these fanfics make my day, and bring me so much joy. I am in awe of all of you: I seriously hope many of you are encouraged to seek a career in writing (books, novels or even for TV or films) because you guys are so brilliant. Getting email updates of my favorite stories are the highlights of my day.


I also want to give a shoutout to the authors who frequently update their stories for all of us and diminsh the wait time. I understand life happens, and the fact that you update constantly for readers is a testiment of your underlying hard work and dedication for creativity. Trust me, for readers who enjoy fanfics and are super into it, this feat is not a small one to be overlooked, and I thank you so, so, so, so much for updating asap! 


Finally, thank you also for giving me hope to not give up on the Caryl ship after 6 seasons of not going canon. Your works remind me over and over of their special bond and why this is not a ship to merely forget about or give up on. Keep writing and never give up! I look forward to reading more of your fanfics.



--subversivegrrl on June 01, 2016 6:05pm 0 Comments
June Writers Chats - Finishing Your Fic: It’s Not That Common, It Doesn’t Happen to Every Author, and It Is a Big Deal

Do you find yourself having trouble finishing? Do you sometimes need a helping hand? Are your readers often left with blue balls? If so, this is the chat for you!

We want to hear from the writers who finish every time, the ones who need a little extra wining and dining, and all you readers who’ve been left in a lurch more times than you can count (your sweet talk may just inspire our writers to let go of their inhibitions and let their freak flags fly). Some authors prefer to post chapters on the fly and feel encouraged by the pressure of leaving something unfinished to push them in the right direction. Others prefer finishing a story behind closed doors and only post it when it’s been massaged and caressed to its culmination. Whatever your guilty pleasure, we invite you all to come out and share your deepest, darkest secrets on what helps you cross that finish line. We urge you to embrace your unfinished business and bring all of your questions and concerns to this very special group love session writers chat. We’re all here for each other, and we want you to be fulfilled by your work and bask in the afterglow of completion.

Join us on Thursday, June 2nd from 10pm-12am EDT or Saturday, June 11th from 1pm-3pm EDT with a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate, for the support group that most of us writers yearn for, with a riveting discussion that may lead us to some electrifying climaxes. Let us help you find your F-spot, and leave your readers satisfied.

Have ideas for a future chat topic on Nine Lives? Send a PM to meeshie, sweettooth7, jaibhagwan, or our brand new chat moderator AlannasTara with writing topics you'd like to discuss. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Our goal is to motivate you to keep writing!

We’ll see you at the Writers Chats! In the meantime, I’ll be in my bunk…



--sweettooth7, AlannasTara, and jaibhagwan on May 24, 2016 10:22pm 0 Comments
Caryl-fy Season 6 Master List

It is Sunday and the world is as it should be because Daryl and Carol are interacting, thanks to our members and their entries in the Caryl-fy Season 6 Challenge!


Enjoy all the entries below and revel in a happy place of Carylosity that should have been season 6.


The Law of Averages by kaoscraze82


My Last Secret :The Last Good Thing on Earth by Phantom


Words Unspoken by krissyg927


From the Shadows by Phantom


Safe by MoonChild1993


As The World Falls Down by Equuleus86


The Hardest Words Are Spoken Softly by viktories


In this together by fricks75


I Can Smell the Sorrow on Your Breath by heyansky99


 


Thanks to all participants. Happy reading!



--ikkleosu on May 22, 2016 11:05am 0 Comments
May Writers Chats: Show Us, Don’t Tell Us

It was a dark and stormy night. Or...




She blinked reflexively against the sting spreading across her cheek, each raindrop hurled by the wind as another burst of cool air assaulted her. Carol ducked behind a tree, glancing toward the house again. The warm glow of a lantern outlined his silhouette, moving with a quiet grace as he worked at the tiny table beside the window. It would have been almost peaceful, watching him, if not for the slashing light and thunder ripping through the night air. Almost soothing, if she could put it out of her mind. If she could forget the reason she was here.


The air shifted, suddenly calm, and the low-blooming flutter she'd been steadfastly ignoring worked its way from darker parts of her. Her breath halted, and that flutter crept upward, snaking around her heart, constricting as though it were taking down its next meal. Pure instinct kicked in and she scrambled for the door, shoving against it as the bolt of electricity sent shards and splinters flying in every direction. A few small pieces stuck at odd angles from her arm. They probably hurt, but the sharp, angry blue eyes made the only cut she could feel.




Okay, I was having a little fun with this one (and trying to stretch my writing legs a smidge because it’s been way too long). Join us for our May writers chats when we will discuss the concept you always hear about in theory, and get tips for putting it into practice when we cover Show Us, Don’t Tell Us: Writing Descriptively.


We’ll discuss techniques for recognizing when you’re “telling” and helpful ways to move toward “showing”. And shhhhh, we may even mention times when it’s better to Tell Us, Don’t Show Us. Wha???


Come one and all on Thursday, May 5th at 10pm EDT, and again on Saturday, May 14th at 1pm EDT. Writers, readers, reviewers, lurkers, and pets welcome!



--meeshie on May 03, 2016 6:44pm 0 Comments
May Members of the Month - lilabut and fangirl8494!

lilabut - May Author of the Month



What draws you to the Caryl ship?

They crept up on me. I only started watching the show last November, and then binge watched it all over a few weekends. Around season two, I started to really enjoy the Caryl dynamic, but I wouldn't have said that I shipped them at that point. It wasn't until they were separated and the prison fell that I realized I'd been shipping them all along.

It's a combination of many things for me. I love slow burn and angst, and they provide both in ample amounts. One aspect that many of my ships share is being kindred spirits, which is something that definitely draws me to Caryl immensely. In addition to that, I love the way they have influenced each other's character developments over the seasons, and the unique bond that they share with nobody else. It's something very exclusive and intimate.


Who are your writing influences?

I am actually a little ashamed to admit that I don't read much and never really have. So, I can't really say who influences me. I did, however, read a book in school years ago called 'Effi Briest' by Theodor Fontane (I'm German, so this is a thing we read in class), and something about the writing really stuck with me, and still fascinates me to this day. He had a very descriptive style, and fleshes out even the tiniest details about the setting. While I thought it was extremely tiring to read, I still think about it today, the way he used simple descriptions of curtain colors, tile shapes, etc in ways that tie perfectly into the character development or overall theme of the story. It all has a deeper meaning in an almost casual way.

What really influences my writing is music, though. I almost always listen to music while writing, and that helps me set the mood. Years ago, when writing for a different fandom, I listened almost exclusively to one piece of music, and revealed that at some point. One of my frequent readers back then wrote something that nicely shows the influence music has on my writing: 'This song literally explains every single thing you've ever written.' Also, music lyrics really inspire me often, and play a huge part in my writing process.


How do you handle writer's block?

Essentially the same way I handle all my problems: blatantly ignoring it. I've been writing for about eight years now, and one thing I have come to learn is that it serves me no good to force myself to write. Never once have I been happy with the result of something I forced myself to write in order to update a story or finish a chapter, and the older I get the more I feel the need to actually be happy and satisfied with what I put out there.
I try to do other creative things instead. Vidding is a big passion of mine, and it's so time consuming that it takes my mind off writing for a while. All I can really do is wait to be inspired again.


Anything you want to say to your readers?

There is so much that I'd like to say, but I will try to keep it short. The response and kindness I have received here has been so overwhelmingly amazing, and unlike anything I have experienced before. Writing for this ship has been such a joy for me, and knowing that people enjoy what I write is the best reward for all the exhaustion it has brought (because writing does drain me).

I really feel like I have not earned this at all yet. Still, it's a real honor, and I am so excited about this. Thank you all so much for being so kind, smart, creative and supportive!


fangirl8494 - May Reviewer of the Month



What draws you to the Caryl ship?

It’s such an unconventional love story and we don’t get nearly enough of those on television.   I adore that their relationship is borne out of their being able to truly see one another and all their strengths and flaws.  It’s not a pretty, bland relationship, but a rich one rife with uncomfortable truths and absolute devotion.


What do you look for in a story to keep reading?

I’m a sucker for rich characterizations and believable dialogue. If you have those two components, chances are that I will make a pest of myself and review each and every charter you post. I also adore those authors who take chances with their stories. Those authors who continually challenge themselves in their writing and who don’t revert to simply recycling the same clichés are the Caryl MVPs in my opinion and we’re so lucky to have so many of those authors here at 9 Lives!


What are your top five favorite Caryl stories?

I agonized over this list because let’s be real. I’ve got Caryl top ten lists divided out by genre and authors just sitting here on my computer mocking me. Seriously, if you’re ever looking for Caryl recommendations, hit me up! But because the instructions said only five, I went with the ones that make me swoon so much I’m sure their respective authors have considered restraining orders. It’s no coincidence that these five stories are written by authors I consider to be the gold standard. So go read and review everything by them!

In no particular order because I REFUSE!

1. Broken Mirrors by ramblinrose: Brimming with the most fantastic details (Carol’s unshaved legs!), this is one of the most realistic love stories that I’ve ever read.

2. The Wonder That’s Keeping the Stars Apart by Shae: Breathtakingly original and with the most pitch perfect dialogue, this story has just captured my imagination like no other.

3. Watch it Burn by Haitus80: This story just devastated me emotionally in all the best ways and just feels so unflinchingly honest.

4. This is Now by sienna27: I just discovered this story a few days ago and haven’t even had a chance to review it. But it’s a brilliant reimagining of the show with insanely pitch perfect original characters that you will not want to miss!

5. Malevolent by Lena Carr: The idea that there could be a story where Caryl is perceived as anything but perfection is sort of unheard of and this story just executes that premise brilliantly and bravely in ways that ring very true to the characters.


Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?


4 Things:

1. Thank you. I fell down the 9 Lives rabbit hole when I was stuck in bed for months recovering from radiation. I laughed, cried, and blushed my way through most of the stories on this site and I am so grateful for you all who gave me little worlds to escape into when reality wasn’t so groovy.

2. Because fan fiction is such a labor of love for writers, I think that readers have a responsibility to give constructive input and to do a little cheerleading, especially for first time authors.  BUT if you’ve written something that doesn’t seem to get a lot of comments, please don’t automatically think it’s a reflection on your writing. Sometimes us readers are just lazy.

3. I have to give a special shout out to those authors who write their stories in their entirety before posting. Not only do I selfishly love knowing that frequent updates will be forthcoming, but I ADORE that you are telling the story you want to without reader input swaying you. Ya’ll are my fan fic heroes!

4. And because I’m not above begging in a public space, Daryl + Carol + a ranch setting x jealous awkwardness is my kryptonite! So if anyone wants to write more of that, I wouldn’t be mad ;-)



--subversivegrrl on May 02, 2016 8:18am 0 Comments
Summer Survival Series for May 2016: Caryl-fying Season Six!

Challenge Dates: posting date May 21st; publication May 22nd
Open to: Fan Fiction

THE PROMPT: It’s a Season 6 rewrite challenge!

Season 6 gave us a lot of Carol and a lot of Daryl, but not a whole lot of them together. Given how much we got from interviews, behind-the-scenes talk and more about how Carol and Daryl care about each other, think about each other, blah blah blah, not having them onscreen together seemed weird.

We've compiled a sample list of scenes that featured only either Carol or Daryl - your job is add the other half of our dynamic duo and make the Caryl magic happen! (You're not restricted to this list - any scene from S6 that contained only Carol or Daryl will fit the challenge.)



  • The Wolves' attack (6.02)

  • In the burned woods, encountering Dwight/Tina/Honey (6.06)

  • In Alexandria when the walker horde hits (6.08, 6.09)

  • In the truck when they encounter the Saviors (6.09)

  • The supply run where they encounter Jesus for the first time (6.10)

  • On the trip to Hilltop (6.11)

  • The night before the raid on the Saviors (6.12)

  • The run to Edison's Apothecary (6.14)



THE DEADLINE: Submissions must be turned in by midnight Pacific Time on May 21st.

THE RULES:



  • Send a PM to Fairies Masquerade, Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl that you want to enter the challenge. Even if you're not sure you'll have anything ready in time - let us know you're planning on it.  



  • Write!
    Stories must be at least 100 words

  • Multiple entries are allowed!

  • No McReedus this time (given the theme, we assume you already knew that.)

  • Do not upload it yet! Wait until May 21 to upload your fic – just like in challenges past, we will be suspending automatic validation for that day for all authors who enter the challenge.

  • Submission Day is May 21 – post your fic. It will not appear on the archive, but will enter our validation queue. Make sure you submit it under the Nine Lives Challenge category!

  • Posting Day is May 22 – We will post the master list and all of the challenges entries so everything shows up at once. That way, we’re all surprised by what we get to read!

  • Any challenge fics posted before May 21 will be deleted.


Any questions? please PM an admin.


Now go forth and fix the world!



--subversivegrrl on April 29, 2016 12:33pm 0 Comments
Smutfest 2 Master List

Happy Smutfest Day, Carylers! Our first round of our 3rd Annual Summer Survival Series has come to a close with a huge smash! So many took up the challenge and it has filled all of us with delight. 


Without any further ado, we present the master list of all our Smutfest 2 challenge stories!



FANFIC SUBMISSIONS



FAN ART SUBMISSIONS



We have a few authors who were granted extensions by the admins, so keep checking for updates to the challenge list.


THANK YOU to everyone who chose to participate in our first round of the Summer Survival Series! You're helping us achieve our goal of flooding the Caryl fandom with love, creativity and amazing works during this haitus. 


Its up to #TeamReader now to continue the Caryl-love fest by reviewing all these amazing stories and works of art!


Stay tuned - the details of our May challenge ("Caryl-fying" Season 6) will be announced on Friday, April 29!


Until then - happy reading and Caryl on!



--Fairies Masquerade on April 24, 2016 9:46am 0 Comments
Summer Survival Series: Smutfest 2

Carylers, NL family, friends, neighbors and that random stranger lurking the the back corner - yes, we see you - it’s time to kick off our 3rd Annual Summer Survival Series!


Those of you who are faint of heart or want to keep their fandom experience to a PG-13 rating at best, now is the time to avert your eyes.


..... 


We good? … Okay then.


Smutfest 2 is here!


We’re bringing sexy back. Smutfest was one of our most popular challenges and the most requested challenge from Nine Lives members to bring back for another round. What better way to kick off a summer of Caryl fun than to grant this popular wish? Even better - we’re inviting all the artists out there to play as well!


Here’s how this goes:


THE PROMPT: Smut. Sex. Screwing. Love-making. Whatever you want it, however you want it - fast and hard all the way to tender and sweet - bring it. With or without plot. Those of you who just want Carol and Daryl to get down and dirty, this is your moment.


THE DEADLINE:Submissions must be turned in by midnight PST April 23.


WHERE: Fanfiction will be posted on the Nine Lives Archive. Fan art and graphics will be posted to the Nine Lives tumblr account.


THE RULES: 



  • FAN FICTION


    • Send a PM to Fairies Masquerade, Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl that you want to enter the challenge

    • Write!


      • Stories must be at least 100 words

      • Multiple entries are allowed!


    • McReedus fics are allowed - however, if you're going to submit multiple entries, one of them MUST be Caryl

    • Do not upload it yet! Wait until April 23 to upload your fic – just like in challenges past, we will be suspending automatic validation for that day for all authors who enter the challenge.

    • Submission Day is April 23 – post your fic. It will not appear on the archive, but will enter our validation queue. Make sure you submit it under the Nine Lives Challenge category!

    • Posting Day is April 24 – We will post the master list and all of the challenges entries so everything shows up at once. That way, we’re all surprised by what we get to read! Any challenge fics posted before April 24 will be deleted.


  • FAN ART/GRAPHICS







        • Email title: Smutfest 2 Submission

        • Emails must include your tumblr OR Nine Lives Archive username along with any other information you wanted posted with your artwork




    • Submissions are due April 23 - We need to have your artwork submitted to our tumblr or email by April 23. 

    • Posting Day is April 24 - We will post all artwork via the Nine Lives tumblr account and add them to the master list of Smutfest 2 challenge entries on the Nine Lives Archive 



That’s everything! If you have questions, please PM an admin. Now get out there and get down and dirty like we know you can.



--Fairies Masquerade on April 11, 2016 7:21pm 0 Comments
3rd Annual Summer Survival Series

Oh, Carylers. Let’s be honest: it’s been a rough season for all of us. The waters are stormy, the tempest is raging and it is officially time to break out the emergency measures for another hiatus from hell.


It’s time for the NINE LIVES 3RD ANNUAL SUMMER SURVIVAL SERIES!


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Indulge me for a moment and allow me to explain the backstory: we started the Summer Survival Series in our first year. FM cooked up the name about midway through the hiatus between Seasons 4-5 and it has come to encompass any and all challenges that Nine Lives’ hosts in between seasons of The Walking Dead. The past 2 years, there was a general plan but lots of room for improvisation and changing things around - it was a little planning, more than a little improv and a general “hey, why not?’ attitude, but it worked for us.


And then Season 6 happened, and the (Un)Holy Trinity of Fairies Masquerade, Ikkleosu and subversivegrrl decided it was time to go hardcore. Seriously hardcore. This year, for the first time, the Nine Lives admins have planned the entire Summer Survival Series from start to finish. Every major event from April to August has been laid out. We culled from our own previous challenge list, new ideas and suggestions from members of the Nine Lives family and have cooked up the ultimate challenge series for Caryl fans everywhere.


Before we reveal this summer’s lineup, there’s something else we need to talk about. It’s part of the reason we decided to announce the full series lineup in advance - maximum planning and preparation time. For the first time in our history, we will be expanding certain challenges to include not just fan fiction, but fan art, graphics, and fan videos.


Yup, you read that right. We told you: Seriously. Hardcore.


So, without further adieu, we present the lineup for the 3rd Annual Summer Survival Series:


APRIL 2016 - Smutfest 2
Challenge Dates: April 11-24
Open to: Fan Fiction, Fan Art, Graphics
WARNING: All challenge submissions will be rated M (Mature) and E (Explicit)

It’s back! By incredibly popular demand (no joke, it’s the single most requested challenge prompt we get) we’re kicking things off and hoping to flood the Caryl fandom with some much needed down and dirty sexy times. Sweet, loving and tender; nervous, gentle and awkward; fast, hard and angry - however you want to see our favorite characters get it on, this is your moment.


MAY 2016 - “Caryl-fying” Season 6
Challenge Dates: TBA
Open to: Fan Fiction

Season 6 gave us a lot of Carol and a lot of Daryl, but not a whole lot of them together. Given how much we got from interviews, behind the scenes talk and more about how Carol and Daryl care about each other, think about each other, blah blah blah, not having them onscreen together seemed weird. It’s a Season 6 rewrite challenge! Challengers will pick from a list of scenes that featured only either Carol or Daryl and then show what happens when you add the other half of our dynamic duo into the scene. What happens? Caryl magic happens.


JUNE 2016 - First Kiss
Challenge Dates: TBA
Open to: Fan Fiction, Fan Art, Graphics
You think the “first kiss” trope has been overdone? Think again. This challenge will run on the premise that every episode with a Caryl scene could have been the moment of their first kiss.


JULY 2016 - Thy Kingdom Come…
Challenge Dates: TBA - pending release date for Season 7 trailer
Open to: Fan Fiction, Fan Art, Graphics, Fan Videos
WARNING: This challenge will include heavy potential spoilers for anyone not familiar with the TWD graphic novels

Based on our knowledge of the graphic novels and specifically who Carol and Morgan met in the Season 6 finale, we have a pretty good idea of what lies in store in the coming seasons. This is our first look ahead to Season 7 and what could be…


AUGUST 2016 - Missing Moments
Challenge Dates: TBA
Open to: Fanfiction, Fan Art, Graphics

The showrunners have admitted that we miss a lot of the in-between moments between characters. So much of what makes our heroes Team Family happens offscreen… dammit. Well, this is where we intend to fix that by focusing on moments we know have happened but never got to see unfold on our screens. 


**Specific details and dates for each challenge will be released over the coming weeks here on the archive and through our social media accounts.** 


There you have it, my ducklings. That’s our summer in a nutshell! We’re kicking things off on April 10 with Smutfest 2, but stay tuned as we roll out more for our crazy summer of fun!


Stay cool, friends, and as always: Caryl on!



--Fairies Masquerade, Ikkleosu, subversivegrrl on April 05, 2016 1:22pm 0 Comments
April Members of the Month

Hello Carylers! The time has come once again to honor two of our own, chosen by their peers as the cream of the crop here on Nine Lives. Give it up for our April Members of the Month: whowhatsitwhich and heyansky99!!


whowhatsitwhich - Author of the Month



What draws you to the Caryl ship?
God, I went through so many drafts of this answer. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that. I see something in their connection that’s so beautiful and unique and unexpected. It’s made them better. It’s given them something to rely on. Even though it hasn’t been defined one way or another, it’s real. It’s lasting. It’s special.


Who are your writing influences?
Madeline L’Engle, the author of my most favorite book, for how she uses words to paint pictures. Poets like Edna St. Vincent Milay and Robert Frost who taught me the power of a properly chosen word. Stephen King and his use of setting to not only give a scene a place but also to set a tone and demonstrate a character’s mood. He also showed me how a good opening line can be magic…


The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.  


That line hooked me, reeled me in, and kept me there through 7.5 books. My fellow fanfiction writers who write stories because they love  the characters and the relationships and  the worlds and can’t say good bye when the screen goes black or the last page is turned.


How do you handle writer’s block?
As much as I hate to say it, writer’s block handles me more often than not. I read. I ask for drabble prompts. I give myself a goal of writing at least 500 words minimum per day. I listen to a playlist I compiled just for writing. I challenge my friends to word war.  I also have friends who have been there for me when I had to kick and scream my way through a chapter. They wouldn’t let me quit.  Sometimes, I just walk away and turn on Netflix.

Anything you want to say to your readers?
I love love love love love love you!  I couldn’t write these stories if not for you. Your reviews and interest and drabble prompts and kudos…you have no idea how much they mean. Some days, they are the only thing that makes me smile. This ship is not a smooth sailing one sometimes. But Caryl shippers have no equals. I’ve never seen such a supportive and enthusiastic group. I’ve met so many wonderful people because of Caryl and made some amazing friends. You guys have a big part of my heart and I cannot say in words how much I heart you.


heyansky99 - Reviewer of the Month



What draws you to the Caryl ship?
Caryl is the first thing I've shipped with any sort of intensity since Mulder and Scully when I was back in high school.  That's saying a lot because I am not romantic in the least and fairly pessimistic about love to boot.  I fell in love with Carol and Daryl individually in season 2.  I loved the Sophia arc and the time on the farm.  Then the bus scene happened and I was floored.  Are those sparks?  Are they smiling at each other?  What is this magic!?!?  I spent a lot of time imagining how that closeness developed.  When I discovered a ton of fanfic that explored that time as well I was totally gone.


To me Caryl is a love that is soul-deep.  It seems rare and profound and reverent.  Factor in the chemistry MMB and NR have together on screen and it’s so obvious I don't get how anyone doubts it.  Plus I'm a sucker for the underdog story.  These two tortured people finding each other at the end of the world?  It’s something that both *is* and something they may not even comprehend.  What's better than that?  For me there's nothing that can sink this ship.  It has firmly penetrated the cracks of my cynical heart.


What do you look for in a story to keep reading?
Well that's a silly question because my stack of actual books is covered in an embarrassing amount of dust.  I am truly addicted to Caryl fanfic.  I will say that if the characterization and dialog seem spot on that will keep me anxiously awaiting the next update.  Stories that make me feel something either for or with them are the ones I reread over and over.


What are your top five favorite stories?
I’m cackling because that's impossible to answer.  It's more like a top 50, no joke.  There is so much talent here it is ridiculous!!  Since I'm terribly unorganized and don't have an actual list here are some I absolutely love that have been on my mind recently.



  • Three Little Birds by Fairies Masquerade.

  • Landslide by Lamport (and Heyday in the Blood, and Pride, and Home).  You can't pick just one!

  • Frostbite by Little Cinch (and Turnabout)

  • Stages of Grief by NotLaura (and Fences, and State Lines, and Other Half)

  • What the Sky Looked Like by Leigh57

  • if I had my way i would tear this building down by queenpeletier (and - the midas light turning your limbs to gold)

  • Every single thing that darylsdiva1 has written.  She slays both caryl and McReedus.

  • Hey, since we're now talking McReedus - Demons and Untouchable Face by meeshie.


And currently I'm loving WIP stories:



  • illuminate the heart by lilabut

  • Out in the Cold by Haitus80

  • Birmingham Safe Zone by Rhinozilla

  • Mad City by Fairies Masquerade


I mean I could go on and on...  This was the most difficult question! 


Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?
Whether you've written a few drabbles, or dozens of multi-chapters, it's all so important and amazing.  I’m sure there are many reasons people read fic.  Personally I was dealing with a lot of loss and grief in my life when I discovered the Nine Lives community.  Being able to immerse myself in all these fics where these two life-ruiners find themselves and each other over and over helped me tremendously.


I’d also like to say to authors and readers alike, take advantage of the ways to get involved, like the challenges and the writer's chats!  They helped me get the nerve to try my hand at writing and I got to meet and talk to a lot of my favorite writers and really feel like a part of the community.


I’m so grateful for all the writers and the founders and admins that keep this the happiest of havens for all of us Caryl lovers.   And thank you to whomever nominated me I’m really touched by that.  


FlowersHeartHeart



--Fairies Masquerade on April 02, 2016 11:48am 0 Comments
Mark Your Calendars: The Summer Survival Series Returns!!

Le sigh. 


It’s been a rough season, amirite? To make it worse, another 7 month hiatus looms in the not-so-distant future. 



 

We feel you, Carylers. 


Which is why the admins have been hard at work and we have come up with a seriously kickass plan to help us all survive the hiatus. That’s right: 


Nine Lives is bringing back the Summer Survival Series!

We’re amping up the crazy and doing things differently this summer. This is going to bring BIG changes, not just to how we do our challenges, but to Nine Lives itself. Are you ready for this?


Big change #1we’ll be announcing the entire lineup and schedule for the Summer Survival Series on April 5. Fairies Masquerade, Ikkleosu & subversivegrrl have planned every challenge from April - August and we’re giving you the general idea for everything in advance for maximum prep time for all our NL family & Caryl fans.


Because we’re not just talking fan fiction anymore...


... but FM will reveal more on that on April 5. 


Stay tuned and stay strong, Carylers! Shenanigans are afoot on Nine Lives!



 


--Fairies Masquerade on March 30, 2016 9:21pm 1 Comments
April Writers Chat: Writing Dialogue and Internal Thought Processes

Dialogue is an unquestionably important part of any story. It can help set a scene, advance the action, give insight into characterization, or simply remind the reader of something important, just to name a few. Dialogue can serve to further connect a reader to the characters or even the story itself. Writing dialogue is also one of the hardest things for writers – both new and old – to master, and requires much more thought and effort than one might think.


Daryl asking Carol, 'You okay?' Carol answering Daryl,'Gotta be.'


 


This month’s writers chat will focus on all elements of writing dialogue in a story – anything and everything you’d like, including formatting, punctuation, paragraph structure, use of character thoughts in dialogue, speech patterns and dialogue tags (sometimes the best option really is to use the word ‘said’!). We’ll discuss how to reveal information in what your characters say (or don’t say), and how to break up dialogue with actions or thoughts in order to keep it intriguing for readers.


Bring your tips and tricks, questions and queries – we’ll chat about it all!


Please join us Thursday, April 7, 2016 from 10pm-12am EDT and/or Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 1pm-3pm EDT for our monthly writers chat. Hope to see you all there!


Have ideas for a future chat topic on Nine Lives? Send a PM to meeshie, jaibhagwan, or sweettooth7 with writing topics you'd like to discuss. We'd love to hear your thoughts. Our goal is to motivate you to keep writing!



--meeshie on March 27, 2016 3:22pm 0 Comments
Tips, Tricks & Goobledygook

Hello Carylers and loyal, wonderful, fantabulous members of the Nine Lives family! I'm just gonna be super fast and leave a few things here for everyone:


First and foremost: technical maintenance is done! Everything should be working like normal again, including email notifications. Can I get a hallelujah?! Huge props to everyone on the staff for getting this major behind the scenes overhaul completed at last!


We've made some updates to the content on our tumblr account, so feel free to mosey on over and browse around!


There are a few updates to the FAQ page, primary a new section regarding the Writer's Chats


A new challenge is headed your way soon, as ar the April Writer's Chats, so check out the events tab, mark your calendars and keep an eye out for more fun news!


So happy Friday, party animals, and Caryl on!



 


 



--Fairies Masquerade on March 25, 2016 5:29pm 0 Comments
We're Back (With Some Exceptions)

Hi guys. Here’s the dealio:


We’re not done with the maintenance on the site. Which sucks beyond measure, but it is what it is. On the other hand, you guys have been incredibly patient and supportive of us during this down time, so even though we’re not finished working on the site, we’re going to let it go live again. 


HOWEVER: this means that some things still don’t work, primary email notifications. We’re working on it, but all of us (meeshie and FM especially) need to take a break, eat some food and get some rest. It’s been an incredibly trying and totally exhausting couple of days over here.


Mega thanks to @kaoscraze82, Mr. Meeshie and Mr. FM for keeping meeshie and FM fed and stuff and things the last 2 days, @liddym2113 for keeping us smiling when things got rough and especially @subversivegrrl and @ikkleosu for planning the awesome trivia games, running the social media sites to keep everyone informed and in general being amazing head cheerleaders and admins. 


Nine Lives takes a village sometimes, y’all! We will keep you guys posted as we work to resolve the final issue on our maintenance list, but in the meantime, we’re going back live!


Caryl on, kiddos!


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--FM, Ikkles, Subs & Meeshie on March 20, 2016 3:06pm 2 Comments
Let's Get Technical: Site Maintenance Announcement

Greetings and salutations, Caryl fans and Nine Lives family!


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Fairies Masquerade presenting, and it’s time to get technical up in here. So I'm just going to get straight to the point.


We will be doing a serious behind the scenes overhaul of and technical maintenance to the Nine Lives Archive this weekend. Sadly, this means we will have to pull the site offline while we work. The site will go down around 11am MDT Saturday morning and will be offline for up to 24 hours. (That’s the max - obviously, we’re hoping to finish our work sooner than that!)


We’re going to be working at resolving the glitches we’ve been experiencing lately as well as reorganizing the database to conserve space. One of the things we’ll be doing is deleting PMs older than 6 months from the site’s database. This will affect everyone, so if there are messages you want to save for posterity, go through your inbox and save them now because come Saturday, they will disappear.


We’ll be posting frequent updates to our tumblr and twitter accounts while the site is down, and we might even host a game or two to help pass the time! ;) The NL Chat room will also stay open during the site's down time for anyone who wants to hang out. So make sure you know how to find us on social media:



Onward we go, my friends! If you have any questions, please comment here or PM an admin.


Caryl on!


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--Fairies Masquerade on March 16, 2016 7:48pm 0 Comments