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 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.



  • 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.


  • 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

    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.


  • 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.


  • 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!



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.



    • 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.


        • 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.


 kermit flail.gif

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.  


--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!


--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!

stitch hi.gif

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!

caryl hug.gif

--Fairies Masquerade on March 16, 2016 7:48pm 0 Comments
Jibber-Jabber and Chit Chat: An Update on the Writers Chats

Yo peeps!

FM here, dropping a few super quick notes for y'all regarding our monthly Writers Chats.

In the past, the planning and running of the Writers Chats has been a group effort, primarily headed by the trio of myself, Ikkles & Subs plus meeshie, the owner of the NL Chat Room and Chat Admin. Then we expanded the chat team by adding moderators sweetooth7 and jaibhagwan, both of whom are unbelievably awesome and dedicated members of the team.

Now we're in the midst of regorganizing things behind the scenes (and planning some amazing things for our future, but more on that later). With that reorganization comes the passing of the Baton of Power, if you will, to the Chat Team of Nine Lives. Meaning that meeshie, sweettooth7 and jaibhagwan have taken on full control of planning, scheduling, promoting and running the monthly Writers Chats! 

With taking on full responsability for the chats, we decided an expansion to the chat team was required. We are incredibly pleased to announce that Liddym2113 has joined the Nine Lives team as a Chat Moderator! 

I know that this remarkable, creative, totally kickass team is going to do some truly amazing things, and I look forward to partying every month with them at our Writers Chats!

That's all from me for now. Stay tuned, because as always, we have so much more headed your way soon!

Caryl on, my turtledoves!


--Fairies Masquerade on March 14, 2016 9:25pm 2 Comments
Shoutbox Break

The Shoutbox is turned off for 24 hours due to repeated rule-breaking. The shoutbox rules are not that hard and they're posted in multiple places - including just below where it says SHOUTBOX - and yet in the past 48 hours we've deleted more comments & issued more warnings than in the past 4 months alone. 

So it's off.

EDIT 3/9/16: Its been almost 24 hours. We're being nice & turning the shoutbox back on a little early. Read the Shoutbox Guidelines & follow the rules, please. -FM

Questions/comments can be sent to Fairies Masquerade, Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl.


--Fairies Masquerade on March 08, 2016 12:30pm 5 Comments
"First Line's the Charm" Masterlist

Another great turnout by our authors! Thanks to everyone who grabbed this and ran with it.

Here are the entries for the challenge:

--subversivegrrl on March 07, 2016 10:41am 0 Comments
March Members of the Month!

Let's hear it for our Members of the Month for March 2016 – NotLaura and mikymowse!

From NotLaura:


What draws you to the Caryl ship?
I've written about what drew me here in the first place before, so lets go with what KEEPS me drawn to these two? Like everyone else, I have my moments of frustration with what is or isn't happening on screen, but every time I think that maybe I'm ready to move on... I remember the moments that make Carol and Daryl so special in the first place. There isn't another couple like them on television. Full Stop. They are both struggling with the world, both trying to do the right things for their family unit, and both so connected to each other even if they're not sure how to define it. I love how, even if they've been apart for a stretch, you get Carol and Daryl in the same scene and it's all still there. The chemistry, the emotion, everything. I also think that there's an important story to be told, about people with the backgrounds that Carol and Daryl come from, finding love at the end of the world and at their age. It's something I hope we get more of.

Who are your writing influences?
When I was in college I read several books by Jeanette Winterson (I highly recommend her, "The Passion" is my favourite!) and something about the way she puts words together has stuck with me ever since. I don't come anywhere near her style, but, god I wish I did. Outside of that, though, I read a lot of fic in a lot of fandoms. Anyone who makes me feel something is an influence, since that's what I try and achieve.

How do you handle writer's block?
Who says I handle it?? Does rending garments, moaning at my cats and crying about my lack of talent count as handling it? Aha, see, it depends what kind. If I'm working on a project and I'm blocked at a particular point, I usually try and push myself through by writing one sentence summaries of the scenes. (At one point, part of my chapter for the Team Fluff round robin just consisted of IDK SOMETHING HAPPY WITH TEA). If I'm not working on anything in particular, and lacking for inspiration in general, I tend to watch a lot of fanvids. As another form of creative expression and shipping, I find that sometimes it really motivates me to create something of my own.

Anything you want to say to your readers?
From the very first story I posted here, being nervous about stepping into a new fandom, Nine Lives has been such an incredibly supportive community. Thank you to everyone who reads what I put out there, and leaves reviews, and engages with me. I have made some wonderful friends from this site (Lamp & Liddy, I'm looking at you!), and there's nowhere as supportive, talented, and fun as Nine Lives. Thank you, everyone! :)

and from mikymowse:

What draws you to the Caryl ship?

Honestly, I'm going to  be real about this one. I grew up in a household with an abusive father, so I was naturally drawn to Carol because she had experienced similar trials and tribulations. I found out that Daryl had a similar background and was immediately drawn to him as well (and not just for his good looks!). It was encouraging to see the growth and development of each of their characters, and it gave me hope for change in my own life. I started shipping Caryl pretty early in season one to be quite honest. I think it was the uniqueness of both of those characters and the gravtational pull they seemed to have towards one another even from day one. I have been and always will be a part of the Caryl shipping community simply because I love the fact that two damaged people can find happiness through each other. I want nothing more than to see them happy, and part of that is probably because of my own desire for a happy ending. What really draws me in to the Caryl ship is simply their intimate emotional connection and similar backstories. 


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

Originality is the biggest thing. No one wants to read a story that's just the different version of something they've seen ten times before. Try to come up with something unqiue. Personally, I'm not drawn to baby fics, but I know some people are, and that can be a really dynamic writing topic. The biggest thing for me is when a writer comes up with their own plot line, but it somehow connects to the prestanding characters and universe. I am also a sucker for discription. I think writing is art, and I love when a writer is able to paint a really vivid picture in my mind or is able to make me feel a specific emotion. I'm not very picky about what I read, and if you have a strong introduction that catches my attention and an intriguing synopsis, I'll likely check out your works!


What are your top five favorite Caryl stories?

Birmingham Safe Zone by Rhinozilla

FIve Veils by Argent Gale

Mad City by Fairies Masquerade

A Break in the Storm by silversundown

Embers by Equuleus86

There are so many others as well, these are just the top five at the moment!

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

Thank you! You guys never cease to brighten up my day and entertain me with your stories. I love reading all of your writing and I appreciate the things you all do to make the Caryl family happy. I know it can be tough to finish a story sometimes, but I think I speak for all of the readers out there when I saw we love when you do! Please keep up the great work- you guys are the only ones getting us through the hiatuses and the ups and downs of the shipping scene. We love you guys!


--subversivegrrl on March 02, 2016 9:46am 0 Comments
March Writer's Chat: Emotions!

Heartbreaking angst? 

Heartwarming fluff?

Heart racing adventure?

Whatever your poison, it is the emotional experience your readers crave that draws them in, and it's what keeps them coming back again and again to read your fic. Tone gives your characters attitude, shapes their personality, and creates tension between them. The mood you set gives life to the words you write, making your readers feel what you want them to feel. Engaging your readers and providing them with a fulfilling emotional experience will be our discussion topic this month.

How do you set the emotional tone for your oneshot or carry it through a multi-chapter fic? How do you get your readers to care about your characters? Or despise them? If you are curious, and want to make your readers curious too, this chat is for you. Whether you are a novice writer or a more seasoned one, break out of your glass case and join us this month to feel your feels. Readers are also welcome to join if you are interested in learning about how your favorite fic authors write those fics you love.  You will appreciate them in a whole new light. You might even be inspired to write your very own fic! Tell us what makes you love our characters. Or love to hate them! What moves you when reading a good fic? We want to know!

Bring your all fears! We will make you laugh, cry, and squee! And yes, hopefully even titillate you! Good writing will do that and more! Please join us Thursday, March 3, 2016 from 10pm-12am EST and/or Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 1pm-3pm EST for our monthly writer's chat.

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!


--jaibhagwan on February 28, 2016 9:15am 3 Comments
CHALLENGE: The First Line's the Charm

It's challenge time again, my lovelies!

This time, on the heels of our "Beginnings and Endings" writers' chat, we learn whether The First Line's the Charm.

THE CHALLENGE: Follow this link and click on "Generate a First Line." There's your inspiration -- let the story begin! (Don't like what you get the first time? Honestly, we'll never know if you click on the button multiple times to get something you're genuinely excited by.)

Do you have to use that as the actual first line of the story? No, but your randomly generated line DOES have to appear *somewhere* in the story.

THE DEADLINE: Stories must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PST on Sunday, March 6th. Posting day is Monday, March 7th.


  • Send a PM to Ikkleosu or subversivegrrl stating that you’re going to enter the challenge (FairiesMasquerade is on vacation until March 1st.) This is very important! If we do not get a PM, you won’t be on the list.

  • Write your fic!

  • Caryl and McReedus fics are allowed and yes, you can submit multiple entries if you wish.

  • Each story submitted must be a minimum of 100 words.

  • DO NOT UPLOAD IT YET! Wait until March 6th 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 Sunday, March 6th– post your fic by 11:59 PM, Pacific Standard Time. It will not immediately appear on the archive, but will enter our validation queue. Make sure you submit it under the Nine Lives Challenge category!

  • Posting Day is Monday, March 7th– We will post the master list and 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 posted before March 6th will be deleted.


As always, direct any questions to your admins. Now go forth and be randomly inspired!

--subversivegrrl on February 21, 2016 1:28pm 0 Comments
A Few Reminders + Share the Love Event

Greetings and Salutations, Carylers! Happy Valentines Day to one and all!

Tonight is the night - The Walking Dead returns to our screens to finish out Season 6! The energy is high & we're all super anxious to find out what's going down with our favorite characters. (Is Daryl ever going to get back to Alexandria?! Is Carol going to wake up and kick Wolf ass? SO MANY QUESTIONS!)

We felt that now would be a good time to toss out a few important reminders:

  • THE SHOUTBOX: We've been pretty chill about the shoutbox lately, but that's coming to a halt, so everyone needs to reacquaint themselves with the Shoutbox Guidelines. In particular - no spoilers in the shoutbox for 24 hours after an episode airs and remember that the shoutbox is not a chat room. Which leads me to...

  • THE CHAT ROOM: The chat room is open 24/7 for you guys to use! Spoilers ARE allowed, so if you want to stay spoiler-free, you may not want to hang in there during/right after an episode. 

  • OTHER CARYL EVENTS: There are a lot of other Caryl-related groups floating around the interwebs and in general, we support everyone as long as they don't actively promote hate towards other characters/actors. If you know of an event or challenge another group is putting on & you want to advertise it on Nine Lives, please send a PM to one of the admins with the details and we will post it under Events.

  • All of these and more can be found in the FAQ, which we encourage everyone to read and refresh themselves with the ins and outs of Nine Lives.

In addition to that, we have something new for our Featured Story of the Week! The blue and red ribbon icons that denote current and previous Featured Stories will continue. However, the amazing unofficial-but-totally-official-NL graphics artist untapdtrasure has created a banner for our FSOTW winners! This will now be gifted to the authors to post on their Featured Story forever and ever. We'll also be sending this to all the previous FSOTW authors to put on their Featured Stories, so everyone who has had a story Featured will get this!

We will be sending the link to the banner to all the previous Featured authors over the next week via PM. Current and future Featured stories will have the banner added by the admins when the Featured announcement goes out every Monday.

That's all the official business we have today... So now, onto something a little more fun! February 15 (yes, tomorrow) is International Fanworks Day! This was started just last year by the Organization for Transformative Works (aka the folks behind AO3), quickly gained tranction with support from folks like The Mary Sue and The Daily Fandom ... and we thinks its pretty freaking awesome ourselves. Like OTW said in their initial press release last year:

"Across the web, thousands of fan-created and fan run archives can be found that host works in text or multimedia formats. Fans also create scores of offline fanworks whether in cosplay, fan crafts, or live productions."

This is a chance to show our thanks and appreciation, not just for fanfic writers, but everyone: artists, designers, graphics makers, gif creators, meta writers, poets, video editors and cos players. Fandom is everywhere, even if mainstream media wants to make fandom seems silly, kooky, abnormal and rare. Caryl fans are everywhere - here, tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Deviant Art, Instagram, YouTube, spoiler sites and a hundred other places. 

So what are we at Nine Lives doing for International Fanworks Day? It's really very simple:

Share The Love

Here's how:

  • There are 181 authors on Nine Lives. Chances are that (unless you're serpetinefire, lol) you haven't read everything the archive has to offer. You can find the full list of authors here. Pick someone who haven't read yet & get reading! Leave them a review and let them know what you liked about what you just read and how much you appreciate their contribution to the Caryl fandom.

  • Flood our tumblr and Twitter accounts with recs for your favorite stories, fan art, graphics, metas, video montages, whatever. We'll share them for the world to see. 

  • Create something yourself - even if you don't write! Compile a playlist of your favorite songs that give you Caryl feels, do a rec list of your own, show off your best TWD Halloween costume. (Even walkers need love!) 

There are a hundred ways to celebrate International Fanworks Day. Make it a party! Just remember to Share the Love to everyone who contributes in their own ways to fandom life and culture.

Forward ho, my friends, and as always: Caryl on! 


--Fairies Masquerade on February 14, 2016 10:57am 0 Comments
Round Robin Recap



8 ½ months ago, we started an adventure. An experiment, if you will, to determine just how insane we could make a challenge. In many ways, it was sheer madness, the idea of throwing people into a big pot with two amazing characters - Carol Peletier and Daryl Dixon - stirring everything up and seeing what came out.

There were ups and downs and sideways twists every few days, it seemed; and though the road was long, in the end we were gifted with two stories that will stand the tests of time and linger on in the halls of Caryl fandom for a lifetime. Showcasing the most amazing array of talent, emotional depth, characterization and just plain wonderful storytelling…

Team Angst sent us on a whirlwind adventure that ripped our hearts to pieces, hold our breath and skip more than a few heartbeats...  and made us love every second of it with Seperari (dividus).

Team Fluff countered by promising us sweetness and… well… fluff, but delivered a heaping dose of action and laughter as well with What’s In A Name.

Both stories are absolutely amazing, the result of countless hours of behind the scenes work by our incredible teams. From all of us on #TeamReader to all the Angsters and Fluffsters - thank you, thank you so much for sharing your incredible talents with us on this most epic of challenges.

Team Fluff: Ravenesque (team captain), Selbyzipper, leigh57, NotLaura, Stephtron312, munchkin78, LAH, indigo_bunting, meeshie, Caryl Warrior, jaibhagwan, krissyg927, Stellamare, sweettooth7
Team Admin: Ikkleosu

Team Angst: TheReadersMuse (team captain), Lamport, Piper, faegal04, Equuleus86, lovesdaryl, Peonies01, Argent Gale, dismantledrose, TheWalkingCaryl, heyansky99, inallthechaos
Team Admin: subversivegrrl

Each team member will receive a gift, which FM will be sending out via PM to each of you shortly. I would say more, but I’m going to leave it to my co-admins, Ikkleosu and subversivegrrl, who each took on being the point of contact for our teams and were heavily involved in the ride of the Round Robin.

Ikkleosu: Wow we've finally reached the finish line of the Round Robin, I'm sure it felt for some like we'd never get here. Congratulations on a fantastic job by all, but as admin for Team Fluff I have to say special well done to my team. Ravenesque/Megan did amazingly at keeping track of the authors and making sure everyone knew what was happening, with thanks to some terrific organisation help from Bedlinens. She also did some great work brain-storming with authors who were struggling with how to keep the fluff going. And boy did you ever all manage that! All the authors contributed such brilliant chapters, and as a Brit, obviously I am emotionally attached to tea and am so impressed everyone gave us so many feels with cups of the tasty stuff. Everyone should be so proud of their contribution, as both teams balanced the content so well which is amazing given the variety of authors . We've ended up with two fabulous stories to read over and over.

subversivegrrl: One of the best parts about being involved with Nine Lives as an admin is jointly figuring out and trying new things -- in this case, our first Round Robin. Was it a smashing success? Well, yes and no. Was it worth it? I think so. It's been fun - and humbling - being the admin liaison for Team Angst. TheReadersMuse was a terrific captain, staying in frequent communication with everyone and wrangling any difficulties that arose with regard to scheduling, writer anxieties, and any of the other complications that can arise mid-project. The writers went into it with a "clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose" attitude and I think they enjoyed the experience - great teamwork and support for each other when people were struggling. It took a community, but I think that's how NL does it every time!

ALL OF YOU: please give it up and fill the comments with your praise and admiration for our amazing teams of authors!

Thank you for continuing to push us and inspire us. Thank you for being part of Nine Lives.


--FM, Subs & Ikkles on February 11, 2016 10:30pm 6 Comments Stories Stolen

Sadly, news of another mass plagairism in the fanfic world.

It seems several sites are mirroring in real time (so all updates are mirrored too) illegally. They are:


These sites exist to make money from your work with advertisements on the site. This is called spamdexing. Please report them. 

In order to have your work removed, or get the entire sites shuts down do the following:

  1. Go here:

  2. Put in the name of the website (one report each)

  3. Write in additional details: This is a spamdexing mirror site to has stolen my profiles and intellectual property.

  4. Click “I am not a robot” and then “Report webspam.”

  5. Report more by clicking the link on: Go back to the webspam report form.


Email to bring this to their attention, asking them to have these sites taken down.

Finally, you can also file a DMCA takedown order with each site. They are legally required to remove your materials if you send one. Here is a template made by tikatu on tumblr, for an anti-plagiarism forum on

To Whom It May Concern,

I have discovered that my original fanfiction works and my personal profile have been posted without my permission on your site. I am from [insert country you’re from].

My original fan fiction works can be found here: [insert your profile link]. 

Your stolen works can be found here: [insert link to stolen works]. 

Copyright law in the United States implies that even a derivative work (which mine is) that cannot be sold enjoys some protection from copyright infringement. We can see this in the realm of approved derivative works such as tie-in novels. I realize this is still a gray area, and is disputed in many venues. However, until a definite ruling comes down which removes fan fiction entirely from under the copyright umbrella, I will claim what rights I do have. [Use this ONLY if your work is fanfiction AND if you are from the US. Delete if your work is original.]

You may reach me at my email address: [your email address].

I have a good faith belief that the use of the copyrighted work described above is not authorized by the copyright owner and is otherwise not permitted by law.

I swear that the information contained in this notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or have an exclusive right in law to bring infringement proceedings with respect to its use.

Thank you. I look forward to a timely resolution to this matter.

[Add electronic or scanned physical signature, depending on how you are sending this.]


Follow for updates on the matter.


--Ikkles, Subs & FM on February 08, 2016 3:41pm 0 Comments
February Members of the Month

Hey there party people! Does anyone know what time it is? ... TOOL TIME!! 

...I'm kidding. (I totally just dated myself, didn't I? LOL) 

It's time to honor two of our own: serpetinefire and marybethorama - our February Members of the Month!

serpetinefire - Author of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
I think the biggest thing that draws me to Caryl is the uniqueness of them. They are unlike any couple we have ever seen on TV. The way they support, defend (sometimes from themselves), understand and are just THERE for each other is a beautiful thing. Each gives the other a sense of peace neither has ever really had in their lives. They are different when they are together vs how they are with anyone else. He softens, uses that voice that he only ever uses with her. She becomes playful, almost joyful at times.  There is something almost ethereal to their bond, something deeper than love, they are to me at least, the living embodiment of what is “soul mates”.

Who are your writing influences?
Some of my influences are: Shakespeare, R A Salvatore and Christopher Moore, Each for different reasons.

My biggest influences are some of my fellow writers. SOALovingMom was the first one to encourage me to write. Halohunter, EnglishPoet18, Hiatus80 and Fairies Masquerade have supported me personally but have also given me a goal, to craft a story as perfect as they have. The Reader’s Muse gave me the gift of bravery. All of these very fine writers have inspired me and shown me that being true to who I am as a writer and a person is the best I can do AS a writer.

How do you handle writer’s block?
To me, writers block is an all-encompassing phrase to cover a multitude of writing issues. Everything from being uninspired, not planning the story all the way through, feeling less than thrilled with what I have written, and honestly being bored with what I have written. What I usually do is talk to one of the above mentioned ladies (I really love them to bits!), share what I am working on and taking any feedback they offer. (the hardest thing to accept is criticism). For the uninspired aspect of writer’s block, I read some of my favorite stories, watch my favorite eps, check out whatever new Meta Sanjamac has written to fix the lack of inspiration. Sometimes I just have to step away and rethink how I want the story to go. If all else fails, I just step away for a bit until I am ready to write. One of the other lessons I have learned in the last three years of writing is if I try to force it or write something that is not true to who I am as a writer, it will not be something worth posting.

Anything you want to say to your readers?
Thank you! I really was not expecting this and you have no idea how much it means to me to be included with the amazing writers that have won this honor before me.

My style of writing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so I salute you brave souls that venture into one of my stories. Whether you silent reader, a reviewer or send me PM’s/messages I appreciate every one of you.

marybethorama - Reviewer of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
What draws me to Caryl? I was gone the moment Carol picked up that pickaxe and 
Daryl watched her. I started shipping them with Cherokee Rose and the bus scene did me in. What I love best about those two is that they have brought out the best in each other. Daryl was quietly there as Carol first found her strength and she inspired him to be the man he could be. She saw his true worth and was able to give him something he needed. Their bond is unique.  They truly are equals though they also have helped each other. While Daryl was initially physically strong and able to help Carol that way but Carol had the emotional aptitude to know what he needed from her.  They are each other's person and they are forever Caryl.

What do you look for in a story to keep reading?
What keeps me reading?  I think it's emotion. I want to know how the characters are feeling.  Also the thing I love to read is how each writer interprets the character. It's like we all have our own particular version of them and each writer creates that.

What are your top 5 favorite stories?
This is very hard.  Very hard.  These are not in order because it's hard enough to chose 5.

-Broken Mirrors by Ramblin Rose-the AU to end all AU's and one I go back to again and again.

-Deep Down in the Hollow Ground by Ravenesque-this is a jewel of a story

-Comiconned by Darylsdiva-so much fun to speculate on real events

-Roses and Thorns by Bonnyblonde-because I like to think of Caryl living a long time and growing old together

-Damaged Goods by Hiatus90-one of my current obsessions

Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?
Keep writing. I love you all.  The best thing about the Caryl ship is the amazing talent of the members. We have 2 of the most memorable characters ever and I never get tired of reading about them. 

--Fairies Masquerade on February 01, 2016 7:25pm 0 Comments
Pic-Spiration Master List and Thank You!


NL anniversary.gif

(GIF by the enormously talented and incredibly generous Nutty McNut as a gift specifically for the Nine Lives Anniversary. Thanks El!)

Hey Caryl fans! What a crazy, wonderful couple of weeks we have had here on Nine Lives! We turned 2 with a serious bang. Thank you to everyone who participated in both of our anniversary events or shared your thoughts with us about NL turning 2. You are all magnificent, wonderful, shimmering balls of sunshine!

To see the full list of submissions for Challenge #2: Best of the Best, click here.

Now it’s time to honor the valiant participants of Challenge #1: Pic-spiration! You will recall they had a selection of photos to choose from for their inspiration. You can find the photos here. Now, we present to you the master list of our Pic-spiration stories:

Thank you challenge participants for sharing your stories with us!

NOTE: There are still 4-5 other stories from authors who were granted extensions, so check back, as the list will change throughout the day.

This, my darling ones, brings our official anniversary celebration to a close. FM is still working on her “thank you” present for all of you (not even her co-admins know what she’s doing, mwahaha), but that won’t be revealed for a little while yet.

Really, the only thing we can say is what we said in our official Nine Lives Anniversary post:

Thank you - yes, YOU, reading this right now. Thank you for choosing to be here and be part of this unbelievable fandom experience.

Happy reading and Caryl on!

--FM, Ikkles & Subs on January 31, 2016 9:19am 0 Comments
Best of the Best Master List

As promised here is the list of the best of Nine Lives for 2014 and 2015, as recommended by you the members. 

Hopefully you'll be reminded of some old favourites, or find some new ones that may have slipped your notice.

Thank you to everyone who took part.

(If you want to keep adding recommendations, feel free - just make it one from 2014 and one from 2015 and put them in the comments!)

Link to stories sorted by year



A Love More Than Love by sweettooth-7 (justliketodance)

All The King’s Horses by ramblinrose (erikaskars)

Broken Mirrors by Ramblin Rose (fangirl8494)

Dress You Up in My Love by darylsdiva1 (shinyorangeskulls [heyansky])

Drifting by Noxid Anamchara (fairiesmasquerade)

Enough by EleanorK (chestertonsfence)

Flutter by The Readers Muse (anon2)

He Noticed by Sweettooth-7 (Laurie Horton)

It Started With a Kiss [MCREEDUS] by Three Little Kittens (applexofmyeye)

Know You’re Enough [MCREEDUS] by meeshie (equuleus86)

Lay of the Land by tinkerbell99 (sweettooth-7)

Of a Certain Age by Ramblin Rose (maesgirl)

Reading the Stars by PixieGrunger (anon1)

Road Dogs by Ramblin Rose (nursekris927)

Survivors by UncagedMuse (daisylou2013)

The Lesson by Argent Gale (ghostofzanarkand)

The Long Road Home by tinkerbell99  (lovesdaryl, amalynjon)

Three Little Birds by FairiesMasquerade (onedayyoujustchange)

Tied by The Readers Muse (untapdtreasure)

What The Sky Looked Like by Leigh57 (subversivegrrl)


Arrows and Roses by rhinozilla (fairiesmasquerade, subversivegrrl)

Erotic Reverie by Tennessee Whiskey (anon1)

Friday Nights by Ramblin Rose (nursekris927)

Heyday in the Blood by Lamport (shinyorangeskulls [heyansky])

Horizonby CarolPeletier (daisylou2013)

If It Helps by Sweettooth (amalynjon, untapdtreasure)

Kintsugi by Jaibhagwan (maesgirl)

Kismet by CarolPeletier (erikaskars)

Mad City by Fairies Masquerade (fangirl8494, anon2, equuleus86)

State Lines by NotLaura (justliketodance)

Swaying the Odds [MCREEDUS] by Clare009 (applexofmyeye)

The Sunny Side of You & Me by Stephtron312 (sweettooth-7)

The Very Merry Widow by darylsdiva1 (ghostofzanarkand)

This Time There is No Looking Back by wndrw8 (chestertonsfence)

Thrall by Argent-Gale (lovesdaryl)

Unseasoned Hearts by Englishpoet18 (Laurie Horton)

What is a Soulmate by EnglishPoet18 (onedayyoujustchange)

--ikkleosu on January 25, 2016 7:51pm 0 Comments
Happy Anniversary, Nine Lives!

two whole year.png


Holy cow, y’all. Nine Lives is 2 years old today! We’re a toddler!

The last year has seen some seriously crazy ups and downs. We revamped the Shoutbox, increased the frequency of our now twice-monthly Writers Chats, kept our Member of the Month event running strong, the admins went on “vacation”... and then, in a moment that will live on in infamy, we all survived The Move together! (#NLMove2k15… FM still has nightmares, yo.) A host of challenges, events, parties, games and chats all alongside a daily outpouring of the most incredible variety of Caryl and McReedus fanfiction imaginable.

And all of this boils down to one thing: you. The writers, the reviewers, the readers, the fans. The Nine Lives family. Without you, we are nothing. Without you, there is no Nine Lives, no fandom. Just see what you’ve done in the past year alone:

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 9.23.59 PM.png

Since Ravenesque launched the site in 2014, many things have changed but one incredibly important thing has stayed the same: our commitment to showcasing quality fanfiction and providing a safe haven for Caryl fans everywhere.

Thank you - yes, YOU, reading this right now. Thank you for choosing to be here and be part of this unbelievable fandom experience.

In another week, we’ll be posting the submissions from our latest challenge Pic-spiration. Later today we’re going to flood the internet with recommendations and comments about our favorite stories for the Best of the Best challenge, but for right now, we the admins wanted to talk a little. You’ll get your chance at the end of this, too. Don’t worry. ;)

Nine Lives means something special to each of us - it has to, or we wouldn’t keep coming back here every day, right? Well, some of us are insane enough that we took on the role of running the archive. In many ways - yeah, it’s a job. There are times the staff easily puts in 40 hours a week on all the behind the scenes minutiae that goes into running this place. It can be ridiculously frustrating and highly satisfying all at once. We’ve all pulled our hair, lost sleep, cried, yelled, laughed - basically, we’ve run the whole gamut of the emotional spectrum with Nine Lives… and that was just last week!

We wanted to share our thoughts on this, our 2nd anniversary, about Nine Lives, fandom, all of you and what being part of the Nine Lives family has meant to us. 

subversivegrrl: It's probably a good thing I never enlisted in the military, because I know one of the cardinal rules there is "don't volunteer" and I have a bad habit of putting my hand up - or sticking my nose in - or otherwise intruding (often uninvited) into stuff because I have opinions. LORD do I have opinions. Can't help it; it's partly nature and partly nurture. I come from a long line of opinionated women.

I'm not sure what on earth provoked Jessa to ask me to be part of Nine Lives' admin team, but I suspect it was sparked by at least one venting of said opinionation w/r/t something that I felt strongly about (correct punctuation, probably. I've been told I'm a bit of a nudzh about that.) Or maybe because I have a snarky response to pretty much every situation. It's possible she has grown to regret her decision somewhat. (FM Edit: Not in a million years) Bottom line, though: she asked, I answered, hand up, nose in, the whole megillah.

What I have gained in return is immeasurable: the camaraderie of some of the smartest, most generous people I've ever met, and a massive overhaul of my own understanding of what fandom is and can be. It's not a one-way thing, where the creators of a work put something out there and we fans appreciate it -- it expands on the notion of what is meant by that appreciation. We take their groundwork and stretch it and spin it and weave it into a larger tapestry, and put it out there to entertain and inspire others. I've never been part of fandom before, in that sense, and it's been a real gift, one that continues to give to me every day.

Ikkleosu: The thing I love most about Nine Lives is that a lot of times fandom feels like standing on the street shouting into the void and hoping someone passes by and agrees with you. With fanfic it can be even worse, like trying to hand out leaflets and having all the passers by ignore you or screw up what you hand them.

At Nine Lives it's a very different atmosphere. It's akin to walking into a party with a plate of treats. There's always a hungry audience dying to try your wares. And as a reader, you know there's always a very full buffet laid out with something for every taste from the fluffiest marshmallow to very hot and spicy nibbles.

I love that Megan and the others created this safe place where you know the quality is always good, and I was very proud to be part of it and help in any small way to keep it going. Nine Lives for me is like Sam's bar in Cheers, I know whenever I post there's crowd greeting me with a welcoming "Norm!"... Or "Ikkles!"

Fairies Masquerade: I’ve been staring at my computer screen off and on for the better part of a week trying to find words to describe my Nine Lives experience.  It’s proven to be far more difficult and emotional than I imagined.

On my tumblr account, I jokingly tag everything Nine Lives related with “my baby”. The truth is, it isn’t a joke. It is my baby. This place has consumed me, transforming me from a simple Caryl fan to… someone completely insane? But in a good way? I don’t quite know how to describe it.

When Ravenesque asked me to help out with the archive before it launched in 2014, I never dreamed it would become part of my heart the way it has. I thought I was signing up for something fun to do that wouldn’t take up much time. Fun it has proven to be but I drastically underestimated how much being a part of Nine Lives would change and reshape not just my fandom experience, but how I focus my creative energy as a writer and a person.

It’s introduced me to amazing friends, it’s challenged me as both a writer and a reader to stretch my boundaries and explore new ideas. It’s scared the hell out of me, tried my patience, emptied my wallet, encouraged my imagination and given me an online home. I came here first for the Caryl, because I’m going to ship it to infinity and beyond. I stay for you. I hope this ride has been as amazing for you as it has been for me.

meeshie: Though it was a few years ago, it feels like yesterday that a beautiful little ship welcomed me aboard, giving me all the feels I could ever want and then some. It was inspiring to watch, and soon I discovered that watching wasn't the only way to enjoy my experience on this growing vessel. There was this thing – this phenomenal, incredible thing – called fanfiction! (I honestly had no idea it existed. Yes, I lived under a rock.) I jumped in with both feet and never looked back.

In the early days, I posted on tumblr. Then one day, it occurred to me that I would really love to be part of a community, where writers could interact, ask questions, rely on each other for support. When I brought up my thoughts on that, someone told me to contact Ravenesque, because she was building that very community.

I got in touch and she told me all about this new site that was about to launch: Nine Lives. I was THRILLED. I mentioned wanting to run chats, and she graciously agreed to let those piggyback onto the site. Before I knew it, I was sailing on an even bigger ship through some of the most magnificent waters around.

To this day, Nine Lives is my happy place… the outlet I enjoy most in this fandom. There are fantastic discussions, tons of support (did I say "tons" because I mean TONS), and most of all – AH-FREAKING-MAZING fics to read! The show doesn't give us what we want? We write it! An alternate universe can showcase our precious cinnamon rolls in a new and creative way? We write it! Love and heartbreak and fluff and angst and all the terrible, wonderful things that make up this beautiful ride called life? We write it!

Nine Lives has brought me all this, but I'm most grateful for the unexpected benefits I've gained: some of the most important people in my life. I've been able to meet people from NL in real life, and those people have changed me in so many countless ways, all for the better. I look forward to this site growing and growing, and continuing to have a positive impact on this fandom. I can't wait for more.

Now, it’s your turn. We want to hear from you, because Nine Lives is as much yours as it is ours. Comment below. Read. Rejoice. Celebrate with us and, as always, Caryl on.

Happy anniversary, friends.

--FM, Ikkles & Subs on January 24, 2016 9:39am 11 Comments