It's the Great Halloween Challenge, Nine Lives!

When Hallowe'en looms t'wards the end of the year
Elements arrive to play on our fear,

The dead start to walk and the darkness takes hold,
As magical mystics and horrors unfold
When the transparent veil between this life and next,
Is pushed to the side with a word and a hex.
But what of a world where there's no dead to rise?
When the mystical forms must take some other guise?
Imagine our heroes with no walkers or geeks,
But with ghosties and monsters and other strange freaks.
A Walking Dead world without a zombie in sight,
Just traditional scares to give them a fright!
Can Daryl take on a werewolf or ghost,
When his bow no longer turns them to toast?
And what about Carol, can she last the night,
When it's vampires who yearn to give her a bite?
So this Hallowe'en a challenge we give:
A world without zombies where our duo live,
But death they must face when darkness descends,
Against mystical creatures, with the help of their friends.
So this fine October don't just watch Walking Dead,
Write us some Hallowe'en fanfic instead!

  • THE CHALLENGE: Write a Caryl Halloween-themed AU! Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, haunted houses, witches - the world of Halloween themed spooks is your oyster, with one exception: NO ZOMBIES! Mwahaha...

  • THE DEADLINE:  Stories must be turned in by 11:59pm PST October 23. Posting day is October 24.


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

    • Write your fic!

    • Caryl only this time! (Sorry, McReedus fans - we will get you on the next one!)

    • You can submit multiple entries! It's actually encouraged.

    • Each story submitted must be a minimum of 100 words

    • DO NOT UPLOAD IT YET! Wait until October 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 October 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 October 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 October 23 will be deleted.

'Tis the season for spooktacular stories and we are embracing it wholeheartedly. (FM has been waiting to do this challenge for this for months!) So go forth, tiny Caryling goblins, and write the scariest story you can muster. Just remember - NO ZOMBIES! 

As always, if you have any questions, comment here or drop a PM to FM, Ikkles or Subs. Happy Haunting, Caryl fans!

--FM, Ikkles & Subs on October 09, 2015 7:52am 0 Comments
October Writer's Chats

October chat topic: "Let's Get Technical"

  • dialogue punctuation

  • dialogue tags

  • comma splices

  • tenses

  • and other issues that can trip you up.

How did you learn what you’ve learned? What technical things do you always struggle with? What tips or good links can you share?

Chats this month are:

Thursday, 10/8/15, 10 PM Eastern Time (-4 UTC)

Saturday, 10/10/15, 1 PM Eastern Time (-4 UTC)

See the Time Zone Converter link under Events to figure out your local time for the chats!

--subversivegrrl on October 05, 2015 2:39pm 1 Comments
Fanfic Challenge: Pleasure & Pain

Hey everyone! IT. IS. HERE. Our "first" challenge, started on the old Nine Lives and completed on the new. We can't quite believe we're actually here yet, but that's something for another post. Who wants to hear us ramble when there are new stories to read?!

Without further ado, we present the master list for the Pleasure & Pain challenge:

Thank you and congrats to everyone who participated in this newest challenge! To the rest of you, we bid you good reading and Caryl on!

--FM, Ikkles & Subs on October 01, 2015 7:15am 0 Comments
October Members of the Month

Why hello there, Nine Lives family! How's everyone feeling now that The Move is over? Starting to get settled? I hope so, because we have a BIG day today!

The time has come once more to honor two of our own, so please give a shout in honor of our October Members of the Month: liddym2113 and SuperDeadYaz! Liddy has earned the added bonus of being the first among us to win both Reviewer and now Author of the Month! 

We also want to give a special shout out to untapdtreasure, who every month creates custom banners for out MOTM winners simply because she's that supportive of fandom positivity in general and Nine Lives in particular. You're awesome, girl. Thank you!

Now, onto the spotlights!

liddym2113 - Author of the Month


AGAGSHDJDJHSHSJFKKFJDKS!! Omg! IAMDIE. Okay, okay, I will calm down now. Here are my answers. [We had to leave this part in because OMG cute. -- admins]

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
It would probably be easier to list what doesn't draw me to the ship. Everything about Caryl is what makes it my ultimate OTP. I think what is the most appealing aspect of it is the quiet acceptance they show to one another. It's very much an example of a love that is unconditional. (It doesn't even have to be a romantic love.) To me, there is nothing as reassuring, as soothing, or as safe as knowing you are loved no matter what choices, mistakes, or failures you make. Carol and Daryl have shown this many times over and proved just how they know each other and that is what appeals to me in a deep, soulful manner.

Who are your writing influences?
Gahh! This is so hard to answer. I don't really know. I think, stylistically, that Julie Garwood is someone whose writing I love and try to emulate. It's very engaging and draws you in almost immediately. That's most important to me, I think. I want my readers to be "in the story," and really feel it. In addition, there is a layer of humor in her work that makes it FUN to read. I want my stories to give that same feeling of joy and pleasure to the reader. 

How do you handle writer's block?
I try to write for other pairings (crack!ships). Often I find it helps to release words in my brain in a way where I'm not as worried about reception/perception as I would be with my Caryl fics. It helps to get the creative juices flowing for me. I don't try to force the words if they're not coming. Also, I have very good author friends who will brainstorm with me and bounce ideas back and forth with me, and sometimes that helps me when I'm stuck more with plot or dialogue.

Anything you want to say to your readers?
Nine Lives is the most supportive and encouraging place and home to the most wonderful readers and members! I am overwhelmed by the love shown to the members here, and humbled that I was chosen by the readers here as worthy to be included in a list of such esteemed fellow authors. You all are the best, but just so you know, I liked you first. ;-)

SuperDeadYaz - Reviewer of the Month


What draws you to the good ship Caryl?
What draws me to Caryl is the unmistakable bond they have. They need each other to keep them both alive and insane. Like in season two where Carol helps keep Daryl's humanity alive but also reminding him how much of a good man he is and Daryl saving Carol on the farm. There is no way to ignore the chemistry and connection between these two.

What do you look for in a story to keep reading?
I'm gonna lie I'm not very fussy with what I read for there's nothing too specific I need to keep me reading. But my favourites are definitely the ones with unexpected twists and turns or where you have to keep reading to figure out more parts of the story. The best ones are the ones that you can't put down because you have to know what's next and you scream when there's no next chapter button.

What are your top 5 favorite stories?
Only five?! (Haha I love that everyone has this reaction -- FM) Not sure how to narrow it down when I think I've probably read over thousands by now. I think my all time favourite has to be Saints and Sinners by Hiatus80 necause it was one of the first I read and one you just gonna put down. Winter Heat by SOALovingMom, those smutty one shots gave me life. Rhee's little house of strippers, whats not to love about a stripper au. Contrapposto by darylsdiva1 is one of my current favourites and fresh in my mind because I just finished the latest chapter. When Daryl Met carol is another one I adore at the mintue. My favourites are usually AU's. There are so many more I could name but I'm attempting not to babble to much. (Blame it on me being slightly tipsy as I type.)

Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?
THANK YOU!! Thank you so much to all the authors out there who have kept me going. You are all such lovely wonderful people and I can't even begin to express how much your writings mean to me. Whenever I need it your fic is here to lift my sprirts or stop me staring at the wall all day. You offer me a much needed escape so thank you very much. And I would just like to say thank you so much for giving me reviewer of the month, it's nice to know my crazy rambling comments are appreciated!

--FM, Ikkles & Subs on October 01, 2015 7:01am 0 Comments
Welcome to the Nine Lives Archive (Again)!

Hello everyone and welcome to the new Nine Lives Fanfiction Archive! We’re finally here! Months and months of planning have come to fruition at long last. It doesn’t seem real yet to the admin team; and yet, it finally is. So much has changed, but hopefully it’s familiar enough to still feel like home.

We have a lot to show you all, but first, we wanted to reaffirm what makes up the core of Nine Lives.

The Nine Lives Archive initially was created as a place to store all the treasures of Caryl fanfiction. It has since grown into a safe haven for all Caryl fans, new and old, free from the trolls and harassment prominent on other fanfiction websites. We strive to show support for our fellow writers and readers in every way: through chats and challenges, through providing a list of willing betas and a moderated service that helps all to improve their work and thus improve the reading experience of all Carylers searching for quality fanfiction. We are a community created by Caryl fans for Caryl fans. We are, in so many ways, a family.

So welcome, our dear and beloved Nine Lives family, to your new home! Here’s a few things you’ll want to check out:

  • We’ve updated our FAQ page, as well as our Submission Rules. Please take a few minutes to review both.

  • By popular demand, we now have 13 layouts! 8 fabulous new skins, thanks to the incredible talents of our coder, meeshie, plus the original skins that have been carried over from the old site. We’ve also got about 4 more skins that weren’t quite ready for today’s reveal, but they’ll be up soon. With so much to choose from, there should be something for just about everyone! The headers for the new skins were created by our fantastically talented members PixieGrunger, untapdtreasure, Equuleus86, Stephtron312 and meeshie. Thank you so much to everyone who helped make our new home look amazing!

    • How to Change The Site Skin: Go to the left sidebar, just under the icons for our Twitter, tumblr, etc. There is a little drop down box. Pick which skin you want to see! Your choices are Mobile, Simple, Night and skins Nine01 - Nine10

    • If you had your favorite skin preset on the old Nine Lives, you will need to reset it, as the skin names have changed from what we had before. You can pick your favorite skin by going to Account Info > Edit Preferences and picking from the drop down box labeled Skin.

  • To go along with the new looks, we’ve reorganized the top menu. You should find everything you need to get along on Nine Lives, but if for some reason you’re struggling finding something, please don’t hesitate to shout for help! There are two great new additions to the site that can be found in the revised top menu:

    • About Us, which holds a brief summary of Nine Lives’ history, its mission statement and the full list of archive staff.

    • The new Writing Resources section, full of helpful links and articles gleaned from months of writer’s chats and pooled from the resources of some of our most prolific authors. It’ll be a constant work in progress as more sections are added, so always keep checking back to see what’s new there!

Of course your old favorites are here as well - the ShoutBox, Members of the Month, Featured Stories and challenges galore to inspire your creativity and feed your fic needs.

And keep your eyes peeled for new features to get rolled out over the coming days - not everything ended up ready in time for The Move. We might be live, but the work is not finished! As always, let us know if there’s something you’d like to see on Nine Lives. We got a lot of great suggestions before The Move that are on our list, but we're always open to more! We can’t promise, but we’re happy to look into the possibilities and make things happen if we can!

Now, it's a whole new system behind the scenes as well, which means you need to update one more thing. Your update notification emails, PM notices, all of that will be coming from a new email: Make sure you update your email permissions so we don't end up in yor spam/junk folders! 

We tested everything pretty thoroughly before going live, but sometimes things might slip through the cracks. If you don't get an email when you should, or you find something else hinky and not working properly, please send a PM to Fairies Masquerade

Before we close out, the 'we' of this announcement becomes i - as in Fairies Masquerade - because I have something personal I wanted to add. The big push to become our own identity was a group thing but none of this would have been possible without the combined talents, individual patience and support of Ikkleosu, Subversivegrrl and meeshie. I can't even begin to describe the countless hours they have stayed up with me to discuss and plot all things Nine Lives. I am indebted to them forever for all they've done to help make this possible. They are the truest of friends and all of them hugely devoted to this archive's success. They have given their time, their talents, their resources for this place, and all of it unquestioningly, unhesitatingly. 

We on the admin team love Nine Lives - the community this place has become, the love, the overwhelming support from all of you. You are the other reason this Move (forever a proper pronoun in my head) became possible. Thank you for being here. Thank you for creating the most positive, vibrant, energetic community in the fandom. Not even 2 years and it's already come so far. I can't wait to see where we go next.

[/sentimental moment]

That's it! Feel free to explore your new home and don't forget about the Pleasure and Pain challenge. Submissions are due September 30!

--FM, Ikkles & Subs on September 24, 2015 4:16pm 9 Comments
It Begins...

It's time...


Our new home:

...See you on the other side!

--Fairies Masquerade on September 24, 2015 8:31am 0 Comments
Moving Day

I’m not even going to quibble with an intro on this one, because it’s time for the news you’ve all been waiting for! Let’s talk about Moving Day.

Moving Day is going to occur on Thursday, September 24. That’s just about a day and a half away. (I know, we’re cutting it close. Things are moving at a breakneck pace behind the scenes, believe me.)

By the way, yes: The Move has earned proper pronoun status. Can you blame us? It's so exciting!

How are you going to keep up with what’s happening during down time? We will be posting updates in 3 places during The Move: Our Twitter account, our tumblr account and in our Chat Room. The Nine lives chat room is a Chatzy room, which means that it isn’t integrated into the actual site and will remain open for your use during transition.

Here are the links, which we highly recommend saving individually sooner rather than later:

There is one more link you’re going to want to bookmark, and it’s a pretty important one:

That’s the site of our new home! All it is now is a very hastily thrown together “holding” page, but soon… very soon… it will be the Nine Lives Archive! It won’t show you anything until the site is ready to be revealed though, so you won’t get to see the work in progress.

So here's how this is all going to go down:

Very early Thursday morning (probably somewhere around 6am MST Thursday morning), FM is going to turn off the active functions of the site. That means no shout box, no new chapters/stories posted and no new reviews. This will happen as we run one final backup of the site as it exists here on the Dark Solace servers, and will officially be the start of The Move. If we left those things running during the backup, anything new added would not make the transition to the new site.

Once the backup is done, the site will be dropped into maintenance mode, which means you won’t be able to see it anymore. Once Nine Lives drops, the real work has begun and you can start watching our social media accounts or hang out in the chat room for updates. From there, it’s anyone’s guess as to how long it will take us to get our new home up and running. The idealistic goal (which we actually feel pretty good about, but still...) is to finish the transition of the site to our new home on Thursday. We really don’t anticipate The Move taking more than 24 hours, but anything is possible & we’re leaving lots of room to fix any issues that might arise.

So now is the time. Save any stories you want to read during down time. If you want to update your fic, do it now! You've got until 6am MST Thursday or you'll have to wait until the new site is up. Go vote for MOTM! Make sure you’ve updated your links and can find us however is easiest to you during The Move so you can keep up to date on what is happening.

It’s happening, you guys! It’s really happening! Start your countdowns and get ready. Moving Day approaches!

Hang with us! Here we go…

-FM, Ikkles, Subs, Tech Guy & Meeshie

--Fairies Masquerade on September 22, 2015 10:42pm 8 Comments
Tell Us How You Feel

Are you excited about the move and all the new things going along with it? We are! But while we already have many thrilling changes in the offing, we would love to ensure that Nine Lives is truly a community and to that end we want YOUR suggestions.

Is there anything you'd like to change or add to the site that would enhance your experience of the site? Do you have any ideas for new challenges or fun activities for our members? Or is there anything about using the site that you would give your right arm to improve?

If any you have any ideas - however big or small - please suggest them either via a PM to an admin (FM, Subs or Ikkles) or as a comment on this post. We hope to incoporate as many of your ideas into the exciting new stage of Nine Lives' life.

Thank you!


--FM, Ikkles & Subs on September 17, 2015 11:19am 11 Comments
Staffing Changes

Hello Nine Lives family and friends! As we announced last week, the Nine Lives Archive is breaking away from our current host site, the Spuffy archive Elysian Fields. This is no small change, and we’ll be talking more specifically about Elysian Fields later this week so you guys get the full depth of just what a big change this is. However, such a massive shift inevitably kicks off a chain reaction of other changes. For us, a big one is within the administration staff.

It was Ravenesque who started the Nine Lives Archive, an effort to fill a void she saw within the fandom: to create a community by Caryl fans for Caryl fans. She is the reason we have Nine Lives at all. Ravenesque, while no longer an active admin, has still been the liaison between Nine Lives and Elysian Fields for the past year. With the break to a new domain and our own server, Ravenesque has passed full ownership of the Nine Lives Archive to Fairies Masquerade. She may not be continuing with the administration team, but she will continue to be recognized and respected as Nine Lives’ founder, with the mission statement she set forth at the beginning continuing onto the new version of Nine Lives and beyond.

Leaving Elysian Fields means that we will also be saying goodbye to our tech goddess, Susan. Susan is an administrator of Elysian Fields but she is not a Caryler, nor even in The Walking Dead fandom at all. Yet she has acted as our only tech support since our inception. Her time and assistance here has been nothing but pure generosity on her end. Many of the things that could be taken for granted - beyond the archive itself, like our private message system, the shout box, the MOTM system - were all done by Susan. She has been a huge lifesaver for us and we are eternally thankful for everything Susan has done for the archive.

With that, we get to announce an addition to the Nine Lives administration team. We were in need of a new tech guru to help us out behind the scenes of our new home and we’ve found him: the aptly named Tech Guy. (Don’t blame him - FM created his account & we all know she’s bad at naming things, so… yeah.) Tech Guy is actually a real-life friend of Ikkleosu, giving us 2 Scots on the admin team now! While he isn’t in the fandom, he’s agreed to help us out with any server issues or upgrades that may come up that are beyond the scope of what FM, Subs & Ikkles can handle on their own.

(A note on that - most of the issues you might experience are things that can actually be resolved by FM, Subs or Ikkles, so please do not PM Tech Guy if you can’t remember how to change your password. He’s here strictly for major behind the scenes issues. Everything else is handled by the regular admin team.)

And finally, we have one more addition to our administration team! Meeshie has served as the Chat Administrator since Nine Lives opened. With the move to a new site, she has also taken it upon herself to be our official coder, and is the one creating the new site skins we will be premiering upon our move. With this increase in status, we’ve accorded meeshie full administrator status of Nine Lives. She is not a full site administrator (by her own request), but she will continue to serve as our Chat Administrator and be recognized as an equal alongside the regular admin team.

The rest of the staff lineup will stay the same! Jaibhagwan and sweettooth7 will continue to serve as chat moderators under meeshie on the new Nine Lives site. Fairies Masquerade, Subversivegrrl and Ikkleosu will continue to work hard as the administrators of Nine Lives, doing their best to keep this place running as the Caryl safe haven it’s become.

--FM, Ikkles & Subs on September 15, 2015 10:29am 6 Comments
Fanfic Challenge: Pleasure & Pain

Hello again, Nine Lives fans! Now that you've all had some time to process the multitude of changes headed your way, we decided to give you guys something fun to do while we work on The Move! That's right - we're actually that crazy. 


The Walking Dead is all about balance (or lack thereof, amirite Rick Grimes?) and light and darkness going hand in hand. Life versus death, old ways versus the new, et cetera. We decided to play along those lines and give you Pleasure and Pain as your next challenge theme! Dun dun duuuuun...

You know the drill...

  • THE CHALLENGE: Write a story centering on the theme Pleasure and Pain 

  • THE DEADLINE:  Stories must be turned in by 11:59pm PST September 30. Posting day is October 1.


    • Send a PM to Fairies MasqueradeIkkleosu or subversivegrrl stating that you’re going to enter the challenge. 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! We see you, RPFers. Time to stop lurking in the shadows. ;)

    • You can submit multiple entries (1 Caryl &1 McReedus, or 3 McReedus and no Caryl – whatevs. We chill like that.)

    • Each story submitted must be a minimum of 100 words

    • DO NOT UPLOAD IT YET! Wait until September 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 September 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!

    • Posting Day is October 1 – 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 September 30 will be deleted.

If you notice the dates, then you have realized this will be the first challenge posted on our new home! We'll be done with The Move by then! So come be a part of the first new event to be posted on Nine Lives 2.0!

That's it! Hit up the comments section or PM an admin if you have any questions. 

And stay tuned - we have so much headed your way there will likely be at least one new announcement a day from here until The Move! 

--Fairies Masquerade on September 12, 2015 6:18pm 0 Comments
Onwards and Upwards We Go!

Greetings and salutations Caryl fans, McReedus lovers, readers, authors, guests and all the wonderful members of our Nine Lives family!

We’ve come a long way in the year and a half this archive has existed. We’re nearing the end of our 2nd hiatus stretch (4 weeks until Season 6! Woooo!) and we’ve experienced games, challenges & amazing themed events. We’ve laughed together (thanks Team Fluff!), cried together (curse you, Team Angst!), and everything in between.

When Ravenesque launched Nine Lives in January 2014, it was with the intent of creating a safe haven for Caryl fans, free from the rampant troll attacks and drama that permeates other fan fiction sites to this day. She stated our mission with the following:

I believe there is a great need to foster community around our ship, gathering all our fantastic fanfiction in one place so that anyone seeking it out can find it easily. With this site I hope to foster that sense of safety within our own community, support for writers and readers with the inclusion of the chat box and chat room, a beta service, a moderated service that helps those entering the fandom to improve their work and thus improving the reading experience of all Carylers that want to read quality fanfiction. What we are about is acceptance and support, love of Carol and Daryl, Melissa and Norman, and hopefully a place where our detractors can recognize that this is not their space to impose upon.

In large part, we feel we have succeeded in carrying out that vision. Our growth has surpassed anything we could have ever imagined for ourselves at this point and all of that is in thanks to you: the members of the Nine Lives Archive. Without you, there is no Nine Lives Archive. To those who are here, from the daily shout box chatters to the constant reviewers to those who lurk and read from the quiet shadows: thank you. 

The archive itself was created and has been maintained for the duration of its run to this point as an offshoot of the Spuffy fan fiction archive Elysian Fields. We are a guest, hosted on their servers, created with their resources, their time and from their members, especially our tech goddess Susan (neither a TWD fan nor Caryler, she nevertheless has devoted huge chunks of time behind the scenes to keeping Nine Lives alive). Their generosity has been overwhelming, their support unwavering and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude that we will carry with us forever.

After much discussion between the various admins, we feel that the time has come for change and further growth. Nine Lives is strong enough to stand on its own two feet. We are breaking away from Elysian Fields, ready to stand tall amongst the halls of fandom with our own true identity. In other words:


Breaking away from Elysian Fields means a lot of changes ahead for us. In two weeks, we will be moving the site to our new servers. We’ll be announcing a lot of changes and modifications over the next few weeks, both before and after the move, including: 

  • A new domain (website) – this will be announced shortly before the move itself so you can update your bookmarks accordingly

  • New site skins!

  • New events and challenges

  • New and updated site content!

  • Updates to our tumblr and twitter accounts

  • Staffing changes

  • And so much more…

The move will occur around September 24-25. The exact date will be announced soon so you can “prepare” yourselves, as the site will be down for a minimum of 24 hours while the move takes place. NOTE: Everything - your user accounts, including PMs, preferences, favorites & reviews - will transfer as is to the new server. You shouldn't lose anything in transition.

It’s big days ahead for us! We know that for some, change can be scary – please trust us. We’ve worked incredibly hard at this for a long time and we think you’ll be very happy with what we’ve cooked up. We know a lot of you may have questions, so feel free to hit up the comments section of this post or send a PM to Fairies Masquerade, subversivegrrl or Ikkleosu. Flail in the shout box, by all means, but if you have questions, it’s much better to reach out to the admins via post comments or PM.

Onward and upwards, Nine Lives family! Away we go!

--FM, Ikkles & Subs on September 10, 2015 10:43am 25 Comments
September Members of the Month

Happy September everyone! It is going to be a doozy of a month and we've got so much headed your way later, but first, it's time to once again shine the spotlight of awesome upon two of your own. Give it up for our September Members of the Month: lovesdaryl and kaoscraze82!

lovesdaryl: September Author of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?

It's the way she is the first person EVER to look beyond his attempts to push people away before he can be hurt by them, the way he's been hurt by the people who should have cared for him the most. It's the way he sees her strength when she bashes Ed's head in, crying, when everyone else is still only seeing the battered housewife.

It's the way they truly respect each other and treat each other as equals. They always accept each others' decisions and choices. They might voice criticism ("... don't tend to your bloody fists and act like you don't care ..."), but they never tear each other down, and they admit when they're wrong ("... sorry 'bout what happened this morning ...").

It's the way they say so much without words. This, of course, is mostly due to the two amazing actors portraying them, but their communication through looks, minute changes in the expression on their faces - sometimes it's only the twitch of a single muscle - or a slight change in posture is just out of this world.

The slow burn between these two is killing me - but at the same time I kind of want the writers to drag it out endlessly, because "once it's done, it's done". Watching them tiptoe around each other, approach and withdraw again, is so painful because you know that each of them thinks they don't deserve the other and nobody would ever feel about them "that way" - but it hurts so good. They have the most beautiful relationship in any media franchise ever, in my opinion. Seriously, look at his face just before and during The Hug.

Who are my writing influences?

Although I know that he is frowned upon by many "serious" readers and writers (I am constantly lobbying for my book circle to read and discuss one of his books) purely because of his preferred genre, I will put myself out there and say that it is Stephen King. (Admin Comment from FM: Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas!)

Not only do I love the world he has created, but I have read every book he has ever written in English (I don't even own the German versions of most of them) and would estimate that I owe roughly one quarter to one third of my everyday English vocabulary to him. This is relevant here because all of my hobby writing is done in English.

He writes believable characters in a believable way. They speak the way real people speak. You can relate to them in the (sometimes very weird) situations he places them in. He sets up his scenes in a way that makes you *see* what is happening on the page. You get hot and cold with his characters, you hear their voices, you feel their terror.

And on top of that, he raises some real issues - Green Mile and death penalty, anyone?

I love everything he has ever written, and am so grateful that he survived his horrific accident.

How do you handle writer's block?

Um. *crickets*

Ever since December I have been writing nearly every night because I am unable to fall asleep unless I've written at least one page or chapter about our favorite couple, with the exception of the week right after I had finished "Never get to know you" which truly haunted me for the nine months I was writing it. During that week I was so physically and emotionally exhausted from completing that story that I slept like a log every night. Right now I'm on vacation and on absolute overdrive, plotting Sand in your fingers, plotting a new SF AU based on one of the prompts here, and continuing Rhino's 30 Days challenge from last year.

That said, when my fingers itch and I don't know where to start I resort to the prompts here or from the writing blogs that I follow on Tumblr. One of the "Bubbles" stories started from such a prompt, and right now I am writing a new story also based on a first sentence prompt from Tumblr, so I guess looking for prompts in the NL "Prompts" section or over there, or asking for some at either site would be a good way to start.

Also, if the muse refuses to inspire me for the multi-chapters I'm writing, I do several shorter ones, maybe oneshots, to stretch my writing muscles and air out my head. Plus, I feel that taking a break from writing every now and then is okay. ;-)

Anything you want to say to your readers?

Where do I start? How do I express this?

The readers/reviewers here are so enthusiastic, kind, and supportive. This community feels like a family in so many ways. I have received reviews and messages in answer to my stories baring hearts and sharing memories that had me in tears, and I am not exaggerating. The exchange of messages over some of my stories was how I found my amazing beta reader, Emmy, who was one of my first constant readers on NL and who definitely deserves a huge Thank You here. The warm welcome given to every new writer, the close relationships among the writers and between writers and readers, and the love that we get for our stories here definitely set this site apart from the others I know, and I am so very grateful for that.

I never expected to receive this honor, and I am stunned and humbled by it. Thank you all so much.

kaoscraze82: Reviewer of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship? 
A simpler question would be what DOESN’T draw me in haha. I remember becoming a Caryl fan during season 2 with the hunt for Sophia…heck maybe before that but it was the first time I remember thinking ‘wow this could totally happen and it would be completely amazing’. It was cemented for me after her death as I watched them both transform from these two damaged people into warriors who have now overcome so much adversity in their lives and have only come out stronger on the other side. I knew that they were a force to be reckoned with and it gave me hope that we would someday get to witness an even more amazing transformation. Watching their intricate dance is something I will NEVER get tired of.

What do you look for in a story to keep reading? 
Uniqueness and viability. Just a few months ago I decided to make my own challenge (before the real one came along hehe) and I tried to read as many of the stories on the NL site as I could and I ended up finding dozens of stories I loved and had never even known were there. I really look for something that draws me in quickly, like a really great plot point or just someone who knows the characters well and can carry the story along. Nothing pulls me out of a story quicker than when the characterization is off. If it’s an AU story and the setting is Mars and I’m warned in advance that this is the general plot, then I’m okay, but if you’re trying to write a story based in their true world and they are doing and saying things that aren’t in character, then it is tough for me to keep at it. Also-punctuation. I can’t stress enough how important beta-ing can be to a story just for spelling errors alone. I use two betas-sometimes three-before I post things because we ALL make honest and silly mistakes that can just throw someone right out of a story. It’s important to make sure that the audience understands what it is the story is trying to get across.

What are your top five favorite stories? 
THIS may be the toughest question of them all lol. There are SOOOO many and for so many reasons. Right now my biggest obsession is Birmingham Safe Zone by Rhinozilla. It was a story I got into thinking I wasn’t going to like it (I won’t give anything away but it does involve a serious injury of one of our beloved characters) and I was greatly concerned it would take me out of the moment but in fact it actually made it better. Using a tragedy to strengthen the characters and bring them together in a new way is just such a beautiful thing and Rhino does it perfectly. Crazy by BSparrow is one that I have impatiently waiting for updates on and is another wonderful Caryl AU that just drew me in from the start. I can feel Carol’s tension reading it, it’s insane. Five Veils by Argent Gale is just amazing as well and instantly sucked me in too. It’s a world I couldn’t imagine writing Caryl in but that’s why I love it. The Sunny Side of You and Me by Stephtron312 is another awesome AU story (can you tell that I like AU’s much?? LOL)  that caught my attention because I LOVE John Hughes movies and this was inspired by that so it was really high on my list to read and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

I also enjoy McReedus stories and the one that really pulled me in was The Surrogate by liveinadive because it was is extremely unique and although I don’t necessarily thing that these two people will find themselves in a similar real-life situation, I did enjoy the journey they took as in the story.

Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there? 
Yes, thank you. You guys have gotten me through some really difficult times in the last two years. I lost my mother in 2014 after a long battle with illness and this past year has been one of my own personal hell living with a mentally abusive family member, but I am happy to announce that because of a wonderful, caring individual (who also happens to be a Caryler herself) I am less than two months away from moving across the country to start life over on my own terms and I know that if it wasn’t for this community and it’s wonderful supportive people that I wouldn’t be making the changes I needed to make. You are all very special in my heart and I thank you a thousand times over for your love and support!!

--FM, Ikkles & Subs on September 02, 2015 10:42am 1 Comments
V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N In The Summertime!

Greetings and salutations to all the members of our Nine Lives family: old and new, young and small, tall and… something else. The days are long and warm, the sun is shining but alas, the lack of The Walking Dead, and more particularly Caryl, tears at our souls. Luckily for us, we have had quite the eventful summer here on Nine Lives so far!

Our Round Robin teams are still going strong & putting out amazing new chapters to kill us with feels. We’ve done Smutfest!, Featured Flashbacks, Awesome AU Featured Stories, the AU Prompt-A-Thon, all while continuing our monthly traditions of Members of the Month and our ongoing Writers Chats series.

What more could we possibly bring you for August? Well, I’ll tell you. The theme for August here on Nine Lives is... VACATION! 

As in: we the administration staff are taking one.

That’s actually not as terrible as it sounds. There is a LOT cooking behind the scenes of Nine Lives, stuff that has been simmering between FM, Ikkles & subs for months now and it’s all about to come to fruition in September. The three of us really need to take the time to make sure everything is ready for those upcoming events; so in August, there won’t be any writing challenges. (Emphasis on the writing – you’re still getting a challenge! You didn’t think we’d leave you guys with nothing, did you?) We’re also putting the Writers Chats on hold until September. However, as always, the chat room itself is open to our members for their use & we highly encourage you guys to take advantage of it!

All of us – FM, Ikkles & subs – will still be on Nine Lives every day doing our usual admin tasks, writing and reading all of the amazing stories the archive has to offer. So while we’re on ‘vacation’ from all the extra stuff, we won’t actually be gone. (In fact, we'll be working harder than ever - you just won't see it for a while.)

“But what are we supposed to do for all of August?” we hear you ask.

Summertime vacation is all about relaxing and the ideal summer day is spent lazing about in the sunshine reading a good book. With that in mind, we present to you your challenge for August:


Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read and review as much Caryl OR McReedus fanfiction as this site has to offer! (And that’s a lot!)

The fun part? WE WANT PROOF! This is a Photo Challenge! Take your laptop or phone or Kindle and read new stories, or your old favorites: on your porch, in a hammock, in a tree, at the beach, by the pool, in a coffee shop, at the mall, with your pets, with your friends (for those of you lucky enough to live near other Caryl fans!), using Carol and Daryl Funko pops or action figures, wearing TWD merch. Anywhere and any which way you can think of. You do not have to show your face in these photos – we know that’s not everyone’s jam and that’s ok! Just have fun with it.


  • Read and review stories here on NL!

  • Take a picture! Take LOTS of pictures – multiple submissions are not only allowed, but encouraged!

    • You do not have to include your face in the photo

    • Photos must show a story on Nine Lives open on your phone, computer, Kindle, whatever

    • It must be a different story open per photo!

  • You must leave a review on that photographed story for each photo submitted. We will be checking!

  • Submit your photo via one of these methods:

  • Submissions must include the following in addition to the photo itself:

    • Your Nine Lives username

    • What country you’re from

    • What story you’re reading in the photo

  • Photo submissions are due by August 29!

We will be doing some cool stuff with the photos submitted, so stay tuned for more on that later! In the meantime, get out and get reading! As always, if you have any questions, please PM an admin.

Happy reading and Caryl on!

--FM, Ikkles & Subs on August 03, 2015 8:43pm 4 Comments
August Members of the Month!

Hello Nine Lives family! The time has come once more to honor two of our own. One author, one reviewer, both of whom bring a lot of style, pinache and enthusiasm to Nine Lives. Give it up for our August Members of the Month: Argent Gale and AmalynJon!

Argent Gale - Author of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?  
Caryl is just...amazing.  Who would have thought the unlikely pairing of a battered housewife and a surly redneck would stir so many feels in me.  I love their special bond.  I love how they are always there for each other.  They know when to approach and when to step back.  They see each others strengths.  They know each others weaknesses and help each overcome those weaknesses.  The cornerstone of their relationship is a profound respect for one another.  When Norman says Carol and Daryl's relationship goes beyond being siblings...he is right.  I feel they have a soulmate thing going on.  They love each other very much. 

Who are your writing influences? 
Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Sidney Sheldon. Those are my top three. I remember when I was about 11, my mom let me read Salem's Lot. God how I loved that book. I devoured it. I love how Stephen King will write the scariest scene, create these really horrible characters, and yet he manages to interject just a bit of humor to make you chuckle while he is scaring the crap out of you. Stephen King's books were a huge part of my youth, lol. I would have to say he is a huge influence on my writing. I always loved how he described things, brought you into the story. 

How do you handle writer’s block? 
Ugh. Writer's block.  Yeah...I just had a rather nasty run in with that not very long ago.  It was getting to the point where I was getting upset for not writing...not updating.  Writing wasn't fun anymore.  It was this awful looming task.  Finally I just said to myself, "It's okay. You can quit. You don't HAVE to write."  I didn't think about writing at all for a few days. And like magic the desire came back.  So in the future if it happens again, I'll give myself  permission to rest and step back a bit.

Anything you want to say to your readers? ;) 
I love you guys.  Seriously.  Whoever nominated me for this amazing honor, I just love you to bits and I am so thrilled my work touched you so.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you.  I hope my writing continues to add to the Caryl fandom.


AmalynJon - Reviewer of the Month

Wow! To say I am shocked would be an understatement. I am extremely honoured. Thank you to whoever nominated me! I will do my best to review as many fics as I can to fully deserve this title! 

What draws you to the Caryl ship?

 Initially it was a picture. I was a late comer to The Walking Dead fandom. I literally just watch the entire series in October. I had always wanted to watch but I'm a bit of a wuss and anything slightly horror'ish' freaks me out so I figured I wouldn't like it. After the season 5 premiere my twitter dash was going nuts and Caryl's reunion gifs/photos were splashed all over. I thought it looked like the most beautiful reunion ever. I was certain they were married or at least together and I shipped it. I shipped them based on a photo basically. I had never seen them interact, didn't experience the build up of their relationship, had never even seen MMB or NR act before but I just wanted those two characters to be happy and together. I took the plunge and watched the entire series in two weeks and I loved it and I was definitely still aboard the Caryl train.

 I guess to answer the question more directly, I continued to be drawn to Caryl because it is so unique. There is really nothing like their relationship on television. Just these two lost souls, with much in common, who found each other when the world went to hell. Even if it never goes romantically canon we have been witness to a beautiful friendship.  It helps that Norman and Melissa have mad chemistry as well!

 But also, MMB basically came to own my soul in those two weeks so Carol's happiness is a top priority for me and I totally think Daryl makes her happy.

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

 Characterization is huge. If I am starting a story and I get to a point where Daryl or Carol do or say something totally off the wall, I'm out, Like if Daryl is all “Hey baby, how you doin'?” and the story isn't some freaky Friday type thing then I will slowly back out. That doesn't mean that the story is bad, it's just not something that I am interested in.

 I think we all establish mindsets of things we are not interested in seeing in a Caryl fic (or fics in general). Interestingly enough, there have been times where I have went into fics where I was certain I would not enjoy what I was about to read because of those mindsets, but then I have my mind blown by an amazing and well written story. I have learnt that I need to be open to all the possibilities, you never know when you will fall in love with a genre you thought impossible to love. (ie. I'm looking at you Stephtron312 and your HS AU that had me giddy with every update!)

I won't lie, a slow burn tale chock full of emotion and sexual tension really does it for me!

What are your top five favorite stories?

 I don't think I have read even half of the Caryl fics out there. There is so many more than five that I count as favourites but I won't list them all! I am going to cheat though (like most have) and include a few more than five. These stories in particular either were ones I couldn't stop reading and/or were ones that left a lasting impression on me. The Long Road Home – Tinkerbell99, If It Helps – sweettooth7, Down in the Willow Garden – Praxid (on, Broken Mirrors – ramblinrose, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades – NotLaura, The Sunny Side of You & Me – Stephtron312. The next four are works in progress but are all amazing and have me longing to find out what is going to happen next! Mad City – Fairies Masquerade, Five Veils – Argent Gale, the midas light turning your limbs to gold – queenpeletier, and Little Do You Know – Sweet Little Bullet. Seriously though, so many fics in this fandom are pure gold!

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

 Thank you! Thank you for your creativity, your time, all your sweat and blood that you put into each and every story. I think it is important to remember that you should write for yourself first. Write what you want and write it in a time that you are comfortable with. In another fandom I got so bogged down by trying to churn out fast updates to please others and it nearly turned me off of writing. Also, don't ever be afraid to put your stuff out there, especially here on NineLives. It is so worth it! You are all amazing and I look forward to all the adventures that await!  

--FM, Ikkles & Subs on August 01, 2015 12:12pm 0 Comments
AU Prompt-A-Thon Challenge List

Happy Weekend, Caryl fans! Today, we round out our All About AUs theme here at Nine Lives with our final challenge event of the month - the AU Prompt-A-Thon!

Nobody wants to hear us ramble on when there are new stories to read, so here is the list of those brave folks who took our challenge head on:

Many challenge participants sent the admins some frantic PMs going "OMG THIS HAS GOTTEN TO BIG WHAT DO I DO?!" which (aside from making FM cackle with glee to the point she started scaring people) opened up the door to several multi-chapter stories getting their start with this challenge. We have noted those stories whose authors have intended to go on longer than your average one-shot.

You can find the full list of prompts the authors had to chose from here.

THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO HAS PARTICIPATED IN ALL ABOUT AU MONTH! This has been a resounding success for the Nine Lives Archive! Repeat next year? We think so!

Happy reading and Caryl on!


--FM, Ikkles & Subs on July 31, 2015 11:49am 2 Comments
Awesome AU Featured Stories

Hello Caryl fans & Nine Lives family! As you are all aware, July has been All About AUs here at the Nine Lives Archive. As part of our theme, we’ve been presenting the incredibly popular Awesome AU Featured Stories every week. We received almost 200 total nominations for this event! (You broke FM’s inbox!) We’ve proved without question the AU is a die-hard staple of fanfiction and of the Caryl fandom. Way to go, everyone!

As July, and All About AU month, comes to a close, we present the final master list of all the stories featured for the Awesome AU event:

Week One

  • When the Levee Breaks by Haitus80

  • To Never Get To Know You by lovesdaryl

  • The Sunny Side of You and Me by Stephtron312

Week Two

  • Gator Babies by wndrw8

  • When Carol Met Daryl by Liddym2113

  • Whiskey Heat by EnglishPoet18

  • Contrapposto by darylsdiva1

Week Three

  • Shotgun Messiah by Argent Gale

  • Mad City by Fairies Masquerade

  • Sweet Junction by ramblinrose

  • Out of the Ashes by Starfur733

  • Arcus by The Readers Muse

Week Four

  • Snake by Axelrocks

  • Ain’t No Paradise in Eden by clare009

  • Cuckoo for Carol by jaibhagwan

  • Love Hurts by PixieGrunger

  • Little Do You Know by Sweet Little Bullet

If you haven’t read an AU before, or are looking for something new, this is the place to start! So Caryl on, my friends, and happy reading!

--Fairies Masquerade on July 29, 2015 1:51pm 0 Comments
AU Promp-A-Thon

Happy “All About AU” month, everyone! Can you believe we’re halfway through the hiatus already? Season 6 will be here before we know it! The response this month for our AU theme has been huge, so thank you to everyone that has participated so far! To continue with our theme for July, we decided to present the next challenge in our 2nd annual Summer Survival Series. It’s an AU Prompt-A-Thon, y’all!

THE CHALLENGE: Write your very own Caryl-AU story based on one of the prompts listed below (No McReedus this time – sorry, folks!)

THE DEADLINE: Submissions are due by midnight PST on July 30! Posting day is July 31.

THE RULES: Our oldies should know the routine by now, but for our wonderful newbies, here’s how this works:

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

  • Write your fic!

  • You can submit multiple entries – as many as you like, but each must be based off a different prompt provided

  • Each story submitted must be a minimum of 100 words

  • 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 story. 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 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.

THE PROMPT LIST: I have to say, there was much hilarity between the admins as we combed through dozens and dozens of prompt ideas for this. In the end, we tried to go with AU ideas that we haven’t seen put forward as often within the Caryl fandom. Some are silly, some are way out of the box, but all should be loads of fun to write and read! Here is what you have to pick from for this challenge:

  • “We both tried to rob a bank at the same time”

  • “That one jerk customer who always comes in 5 minutes before the store is about to close”

  • “Person A’s band plays a gig and Person B is drunk as hell dancing in front of the stage”

  • “Person A calling Person B while having a breakdown and Person B running as fast as they can to comfort Person A”

  • “Person A works at an aquarium, Person B is a regular visitor.”

  • “Person A is a prince/ess, Person B is a servant. They weren’t supposed to fall in love but it happened anyway.”

  • “Person A knows nothing about camping and comes across Person B while freaking out because they think they heard a bear”

  • “Caryl in the Old West”

  • “A mutual drunk friend called both Person A & B to come pick them up from a party. Awkwardness ensues.”

  • “Person A slapped Person B’s ass thinking it was their friend but realizing Person B is a stranger”

  • “Person A stole Person B’s car without realizing Person B was asleep in the back”

  • “Both woke up in the middle of nowhere together with no memory of who they are or why they’re there.  From ID cards/licenses, they figure out their names but that’s it. They have to work together to remember what happened and get back to civilization.”

Who is Person A and Person B for each prompt? Well, that’s entirely up to you! We’ve given you 12 possible starting points. You have 2 weeks. What are you still reading this for? GET WRITING ALREADY! 


As always, PM an admin or comment here if you have any questions.

Happy writing and Caryl on!

--Fairies Masquerade on July 20, 2015 1:45pm 6 Comments
Alternate Universe: Embracing the Wild Side

Guess what everyone?! Oh wait, you probably already know.  Oh, I don’t care – I’m gonna say it anyway!


The “Alternate Universe” fic is a staple of fanfiction in all fandoms. Can your favorite characters exist in a different setting but still be the characters we know and love? It’s a challenge many have taken on for themselves, with fantastic results. With an AU, the world truly is your oyster.

We love AUs here at Nine Lives, so we decided to celebrate the AU this month. We started with our Writers Chats by turning them into the AU Addicts Support Group! The first chat has come and gone, but the next chat will be Saturday, July 11 at 1pm EST.

As June was Featured Flashback Month for our Featured Story of the Week event, so July’s Featured Stories will showcase the best of the best AUs on Nine Lives! Awesome AU Featured Stories! Want to see your favorite AU stories in our Featured Story spot? The rules:

  • Awesome AU story nominations can be complete or ongoing stories BUT it cannot have previously been featured, either for Featured Flashback or as a regular Featured Story of the Week. You'll know if there is a red ribbon by the story's title. You can also view the entire list of previously Featured Stories here. 

  • Send a PM to Fairies Masquerade with your nominations. Your PM must include the story title and the author or it will not be counted!

Stay tuned, because it’s us, so you know we’ve got a challenge headed your way soon! Mwahaha…

[Also, a special shoutout to NL member inyoureyes, whose random shoutbox comment weeks ago to FM set the entire ball rolling for AU month here at NL! See what happens when you talk to FM?]

--Fairies Masquerade on July 04, 2015 4:24pm 1 Comments
July Members of the Month

Greetings and salutations, Nine Lives family! The time has come once again to shine the spotlight on two of our members. Nominated from within your ranks, please give a shout of hooray for July's Members of the Month: CarolPeletier and Liddym2113!!

CarolPeletier - Author of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
I watched my first episode of The Walking Dead in late September of 2014.  My sister bought me the first season and just said “trust me, you’ll love it.”  And I went out and bought the other four seasons as soon as I finished with Season 1.  By early Season 2, it was obvious to me that Daryl was much more than what he was presented to be at first.  And then when they were interacting more with Sophia being gone, I was totally enthralled by the chemistry between the two of them.  I was already shipping them before I ever even went online and saw there was a whole community of shippers out there thinking the same things I was!

I love the parallels between the characters.  He comes from an abusive home.  She comes from an abusive marriage.  He doesn’t really know how to connect to people, and she seems to flourish after Ed’s death. I love the way they can tease each other and talk to each other and understand each other so easily.  I especially love how Carol has such faith in him; how she believes he’s a good man and a man of honor.  I also love how Daryl so quickly understands that Carol did what she did to Karen and David, knowing she had her reasons and how he knows she would understand if he left with Merle.  They are so connected, even when they’re apart, and it’s just the most fascinating thing to watch.  I hope to see them interacting on my TV for many more seasons together.

Who are your writing influences?
Oh, that’s a tough question.  I’ve always loved to read.  In college, I especially got into short stories, stories that had a punch and really made you think.  I love to read all genres and styles, and I have had a passion for writing since I was young.  Other fanfic writers inspire me.  I hadn’t written much of anything for a few years before I discovered the beauty of The Walking Dead and began to read fan fictions.  I’ve read some beautiful ones here on Nine Lives.  TheWalkingCaryl is one of my biggest influences (and sounding boards) because I am constantly amazed at the beauty that comes out of her fingertips when she writes. 

Honestly, when I read a really good fanfic, and it makes me think, it’ll stay with me, and sometimes, I think that influences the way I write, the way I view things, and the way I want my readers to view a scene.  I love those writers who can really evoke a powerful emotion in their readers.

How do you handle writer’s block?
Admittedly, not very well.  Sometimes I have the hardest time just thinking of something to write.  I will stare at my computer for the longest time, read other fics, watch a favorite TWD episode, and still, sometimes, that inspiration never comes.  I sometimes get on Tumblr and encourage people to send me prompts.  I love to brainstorm.  Sometimes, I will type out a list of scenarios I would love to read in fanfic, and sometimes, I attempt to write them. 

I think my most successful method of handling writer’s block is to just start writing.  Sometimes it’s no good, sometimes it stirs something inside of me that gets me writing like crazy.  No Regrets happened when I was having terrible writer’s block, and so did Kismet.  They are two of the fics I’m most proud of today.

Anything you want to say to your readers?
Thank you!  Just simply, thank you.  I know I don’t always respond to feedback, and my crazy busy life and work schedule keeps me off the net a lot, but I truly appreciate each and every review left, because sometimes, just reading your reactions helps me form the next piece of my story.  Sometimes I’m hanging on the precipice of a decision, and reading a particularly moving review might sway me in one direction or the other.  I sometimes enjoy NOT knowing where I’m going to end, even if I have a general idea of what I want to do, and I like having a sort of interactive approach to it, and you guys have no idea how many times I’ve been inspired by a simple review.  Thank you so much for your support!  You guys are amazing!


Liddym2113 - Reviewer of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
First of all, I would say it is the AMAZING chemistry between Melissa McBride and Norman Reedus. The two of them on screen together have something incredibly rare and special and it is simply magnetic. I can't help but be drawn to them. Secondly, the characters simply "get" one another. I am a huge fan of the shows Friends and Grey's Anatomy, and I feel like their relationship is a great combination of both being one another's "Lobster" and being one another's "person." I can't help but think of a post I saw on tumblr one time that said, in any world, in any universe, I would choose you. That to me is Caryl defined and what makes me love them so much.

What do you look for in a story to keep reading?
I love it when there is simmering chemistry and tension betwen the characters. Believable, natural dialogue is important to me as well. It doesn't matter if it has fluff, angst, smut, or drama...I just like a story to make me feel things. Stories that jump off my screen and bleed emotions through the words, whether happy or sad, are my favorite thing.

What are your top five favorite stories?
Here is where I'm gonna cheat because I can't pick just five, so I'm going to pick 5 WIP's and 5 Completed ones. (FM knows I'm a rebel.) WIPs: Mad City by Fairiesmasquerade, My Heart is In You by Bonnyblonde, Contrapposto by Darylsdiva1, Sunny Side of You and Me by Stephtron312, The Spare Room by 27 dayz (on ff). Completed: I am the Danger by wndrw8, Caress by Stephtron312, Salt and Stone by FM, Slow Fire Burn by Racerlovesloopy, and Roses and Thorns by Bonnyblonde. Legit, I love so many fics that this doesn't even begin to cover them all, but these are ones I go back to again and again (and again.)

Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?
I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU!!! No, seriously. I do. Caryl fic has gotten me through some of the worst times of my life lately, and it is such a form of escape that I can't thank all of you enough for putting yourselves out there and creating these wonderful works of art! You all are such talented, gorgeous, lovely people. Truly the best in the fandom. And to anyone who is considering writing, don't be afraid. It's scary but so worth it, and you never know whose lives you may impact with your words. xoxoxo!!!!

--Fairies Masquerade on July 02, 2015 2:13am 0 Comments
A Look Back at Featured Flashback Month

Hello to all the new and old members of our Nine Lives family! As you all know, June was Featured Flashback month, where members of the Nine Lives community could nominate their favorite classics to be featured on the archive. We had a fantastic turnout of votes that led to an amazing selection of stories – way more than we had anticipated! We did our very best to feature as many of these fanfics as we could. 

Here it is at last, the full list of stories that were spotlighted for Featured Flashback Month.

Week One

  • The night will not last for much more by leigh57

  • Broken Mirrors by ramblinrose

  • Spark by Tinkerbell99

Week Two

  • What Is A Soulmate? By EnglishPoet18

  • Melting Into You by kaoscraze82

  • Pale Pink by The Readers Muse

  • Just One More Photo by LadySheRa (McReedus)

Week Three

  • Light as a feather by whowhatsitwhich

  • Stray by Bsparrow

  • No Regrets by CarolPeletier

  • Pretty by EleanorK

  • All That and a Bucket of Chicken by Three Little Kittens (McReedus)

Week Four

  • Shiver by Equuleus86

  • Secret Hands by Hellody

  • Opening Doors by Ikkleosu

  • Medicine by sweettooth7

  • A Storm of Salt and Sweat by Stephtron312

Week Five

  • Straight and Narrow by Lena Carr

  • The Letter by lovesdaryl

  • That Thing by Queen Camilla (McReedus)

  • A Map of You by subversivegrrl

  • The Archer’s Mouse by TheWalkingCaryl

There is something for just about everyone on that list! A huge thank you to everyone to participated in Featured Flashback Month. This is definitely something we will do again!

Happy reading, everyone and Caryl on!

--Fairies Masquerade on June 29, 2015 10:15pm 0 Comments
Smutfest! Master List

Hello Caryl fans! This was the down and out dirtiest challenge ever: SMUTFEST! To those who answered the call, we salute you.

Without any further ado, here is the master list of fics for the Smutfest! challenge:

There you have it! The smutiest of the smut from our Nine Lives members. 

A few people made arrangements with FM to post their stories a smidge late due to real life time constraints, so check back periodically - the list may get updated throughout the day! 

Otherwise, Caryl (or McReedus) on and happy reading!

--Fairies Masquerade on June 28, 2015 10:27am 0 Comments
Summer Survival Series: It's Time to Bring the Heat!

Greetings and salutations Carylers, McReedus-ites, fans, friends and Nine Lives family. Our Round Robin is going strong, Featured Flashback month is a hit and so it’s time to bring out the next event of our 2nd annual Summer Survival Series. This is not for the faint of heart, so those of you with dainty sensibilities; avert your eyes for this one! (Don’t worry – we’ll take care of you later with the next challenge!)

Eyes averted? Wonderful! The rest of you, onto the challenge! Inspired by the sultry heat of summer, we decided it was time to get down and dirty. Presenting…


That’s right. We’re going there.

  • THE PROMPT: Write a Caryl or McReedus story. Bring the sexy!  PWP or PWOP, whatever floats your boat.

  • THE DEADLINE:  Stories must be turned in by 11:59pm PST June 27. Posting day is June 28.


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

    • Write your fic!

    • You can submit multiple entries (1 Caryl &1 McReedus, or 3 McReedus and no Caryl – whatevs)

    • Each story submitted must be a minimum of 100 words

    • DO NOT UPLOAD IT YET! Wait until June 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 June 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!

    • Posting Day is June 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 June 27 will be deleted.

That’s that, folks! Happy writing and get ready for things to get very… steamy around here. ;)

--Fairies Masquerade on June 14, 2015 3:40pm 0 Comments
June Members of the Month

Hi everyone! The time has come once more to celebrate two of our own, chosen by you to as stand out members of the Nine Lives family. Your June Members of the Month: wndrw8 (Author) and Rodgerse (Reviewer)!

As always, a huge shout out of thanks to untapdtreasure for creating the MOTM banners. 

Now, onto our featured members! :)

Wndrw8 (Author of the Month)

AWWW this made my day! I’m on vacation right now so my answers will be a bit short but this makes me so happy :))))

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
I'm drawn to this ship because I love Carol and I want her to be with the person that makes her happiest! On many occasions, Daryl's just really proven to be the man. I love how he looks at her--like she's his world. Love like that is rare and beautiful.

Who are your writing influences?
In the real world, I worship Hannah Tinti and Karen Russell. In fanfic I adore Lamport, NotLaura, sweettooth, leigh, and EleanorK.

How do you handle writer’s block?
I don't believe in writer's block. Sometimes you write more and sometimes you write less. Being forgiving of the leaner times is so important. Writing is like everything else--it ebbs and flows.

Anything you want to say to your readers? ;)
I love my readers. Like so much. There are a few of you (and you know who you are) that read and review everything I write. Such support is simply astounding!


Rodgerse (Reviewer of the Month)

I am completely floored by this win. I didn't think I had a chance since I haven't been reviewing as much since real life got busy and I have been beta-ing for lovesdaryl. I always keep reading but sometimes I don't want to just say "great job!” But I try to really make an effort in giving feedback. So here are my responses:

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
I am going to be totally honest here. What draws me to Caryl is Daryl. Daryl is a manifestation of all the hurt, anguish, and sadness a man can be while still trying to be a good man. His abusive childhood, dysfunctional love/hate relationship with Merle and his longing to belong make my heart cry. And because I want so much to make him better, I want the best for him and that can only be Carol. Carol has grown through her abusive marriage, loss of Sophia, and betrayal by Rick to become an extremely strong woman --a survivor. She also has an insight like no one else on what it takes to overcome abuse and rejection. This experience gives her the ability to not only understand Daryl but to feel what he feels. Her empathy and understanding of him goes beyond simple love but manifests itself as more like soul mates rather than just mates. And though at times TWD does not emphasize or show directly that bonding, I believe it is always there. Perhaps sometimes hidden but always there just below the surface.

Because this relationship is so different, so unlike other pairings, I am drawn to the possibilities. And it is these possibilities that draw me to Nine Lives. It is here that every aspect of this relationship can be explored. From an A.U. set on an alligator farm, to fighting aliens who have conquered earth, from the dark recesses of a back alley speak easy to the telling of each moment and scene we did not see on TWD—Nine Lives gives me a glimpse, a chance, a moment when the two can come together and just BE.

What do you look for in a story to keep reading?
Honestly, I just keep reading--good, bad, sad, smut, angst, love or just plain bad--I keep reading. I can't stop myself. It's like an addiction. And often, especially on this site, I find the golden moment--the words that give me the profound feeling "he has found her and he is going to be O.K." This moment can show up in a story that makes him laugh, that causes Daryl to give his trademark smirk. The moment Carol's eyes touch his and I just know from what I have read that they both know, they both feel the connection. Her teasing, her disappointment, and her fear for him I find all of these somewhere in each and every story I read. Even in stories where they don't get together--even there as painful as it is to know they won't be together--they really are because in spite of themselves their bond will never be broken and as such they will always be together even when their not. And so I keep reading, always on the look out for the "moment" and I am happy to say the writers on this site do not disappoint.

What are your top 5 favorite stories?
Impossible to answer!! How do I pick five gems from a chest over flowing with precious jewels? I have authors that I return to again and again-- lovesdaryl, bonnyblonde, Booksrbetter, CarolPeletier, clare009, DaisyG80, definitelywalkerbait, EleanorK, Fairies Masquerade, Haitus80, Jennifer_Collins, JJDernhelm, Lena Carr, Little Cinch, liveinadive, meeshie, NotLaura, queenpeletier, ramblinrose, Ravenesque, sweettooth7, The Readers Muse, TheWalkingCaryl, wndrw8, youremykindoftrouble and probably a dozen more that I have forgotten to list.

There is one story though that I have to say is my all time favorite but unfortunately it is not on this site even though I have asked the author to visit and consider contributing. Some of you may know her from Tumblr, her name is Praxid and she wrote "Wild", a story where Carol and Daryl are separated (kind of like FM’s "Three Little Birds"). This story moved me so much that I read it to my husband when we were on a car trip and (he will kill me for saying this) he wept and told me that was the most romantic thing he has ever heard. Pretty powerful stuff so I guess that's why it stuck with me. I truly have to say the authors on this site move me this way everyday and that it is why it is just too difficult to pick just five favorites.

Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?
First and foremost THANK YOU! You provide for all of us an opportunity to have our dreams become a reality through the thousands of words each of you provide this site. This community this "family" is one of the kindest, caring, and giving of any online community I have encountered. It is so obvious that the respect each and everyone has from writer to reviewer manifests into a loving, safe place. Please, please continue writing your wonderful stories; please continue sharing a little piece of yourselves with us. I know there is always someone's heart inside each and every story and I am so proud of the fact that each of you has the courage to share that special part of who you are with us. Because even though everyone is building around the characters of Daryl and Carol each story is still a part of the author--their baby. So for that reason I thank you again for sharing, for overcoming all obstacles and putting yourself out there. I am humbled by your awesome talent. Live Long and Caryl On.

--Fairies Masquerade on June 01, 2015 1:41pm 1 Comments
June is Featured Flashback Month

Hi to all the members of our Nine Lives family. We just keep growing and growing these days. It is so fantastic to see people coming together to support great fanfiction and have fun together in what has proven to truly be a safe haven for Caryl fans everywhere. We are nothing without you, so THANK YOU for being here!

As you may or may not be aware, each week we promote a Featured Story, usually nominated by our members (via the highly technical system of sending a PM with your rec to Fairies Masquerade) or, if no nominations come in, selected by one of the admins. We pick our Featured Stories based on quality of characterization, storyline, and consistency with the basic Nine Lives submission standards. 

Now, a lot of the times, the nominations FM receives are stories currently in progress, which is awesome. However, we decided June was a prime opportunity to do something a little different. We are declaring June to be FEATURED FLASHBACK month! Your challenge, should you choose to accept it: 

  • Go through the archive's completed, older stories. (Stories completed within the last 45 days will not be eligible for Featured Flashback - we want you guys to really dig through the archive.)

  • Read!

  • REVIEW!! - This is super important. Even if you've already reviewed the fic in question, leave another one for the author. FM will be checking for this!

  • PM your recs for Featured Flashback story to Fairies Masquerade. (Please make sure that the story in question hasn't already been a Featured Story. You'll know if there is a red ribbon by the story's title. You can also view the entire list of previously Featured Stories here.)

To really showcase the Featured Flashback stories, we will be promoting more than the usual one story per week, depending on the number of nominations FM receives. (The Round Robin stories will continue to be promoted in the Featured Story sidebar as well, because that's how we roll here!)

So there you go! Something simple, but something incredibly fun. Go revisit old favorites you haven't read in a while or find new discoveries you may have missed from familiar faces. If you have questions, PM FM or leave a comment here. Happy reading and Caryl on!

--Fairies Masquerade on May 28, 2015 9:51pm 0 Comments

At long last, after weeks of behind the scenes planning, of our teams coming together, planning and plotting, of writing, of gorgeous works of art being created, of pimping and promoting and basically the Caryl fandom coming together in the most positive way imaginable to make this happen, it’s finally here. The Nine Lives Caryl Round Robin is alive!

And wow, are we off to a rocking start! FM haas read both and let her tell you: feels. Feels everywhere. Feels beyond measure. But don’t take our word for it. Go read them yourself!

Team Angst presents: Seperari (dividus) To summarize, they simply posted the Team Angst motto - “Nos epulum super vestri lacrima” or “We feast upon your tears”. Our suggestion? Tissues. Lots of them.

Team Fluff presentsWhat’s In A Name It starts with a little fluff and will be followed by more fluff and will then maybe also have a little more fluff and then always added on top, a great big scoop of fluff! It's going to be great. Come ready to indulge in your sweet tooth!

SO GO FORTH, CARYL FANS! Feel the full spectrum of emotions these talented writers are bringing forth and stay tuned, because more is coming! Each team has nearly 20 members, so these stories have a ways to go yet! Members have been randomly assigned a chapter for their team and will have up to 2 weeks each to get their subsequent chapters posted, so keep an eye out for the updates on these two stories. It’s up to you now...

P.S. Thank you to memoriesinatrunk, Stephtron312, liddym2113, and littlecrossbow for sharing your incredible talents and giving us these amazing banners! (Listed in order of banner used) 


--Fairies Masquerade on May 14, 2015 10:49pm 0 Comments
May Members of the Month

Salutations, Oh Marvelous and Wonderful Nine Lives Family! The time has come once again to shine the spotlight on two of the chosen: our May Members of the Month! This month's winners: Lamport for Author and NotLaura for Reviewer!

Lamport: Author of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
Wow. That is really hard to sum up. I guess for me it's the incredible nuances of their relationship and the seemingly endless ways that those nuances can be interpreted. What really resonates with me is that, whatever else they are, they are equals (even though they don't always see themselves as such). They understand and respect each other in a way that can't be quantified or even defined. People are so concerned with labelling what they are to each other, but the beauty of Caryl is that they defy conventional relationships (and have the potential to be one of the most groundbreaking and significant pairings on television). I think their mutual admiration and care for one another is really beautiful.  It's inspired me to write, write, and write some more.

Plus MMB and NR are stupidly hot - so that doesn't hurt.Roll eyes

Who are your writing influences?
My mom worked as a librarian for many years, and my first job was shelving books. I love all kinds of genres and authors and have been influenced in some way by all of them. I loved the Bronte sisters when I was a teen and full of angst (even more than I am now! GO TEAM ANGST).

I'm also greatly influenced by my fellow fic writers! There are so many ridiculously talented people who contribute their work to this fandom. I could write all about each and every one of the writers on NL and how much they inspire me, but then I'd be at this all day and I have marking to do...

I feel it necessary to acknowledge Praxid (who posts on and Rhinozilla who blew me away when I first started seeking out Caryl fic. They are awesome - as are all the writers here!

How do you handle writer’s block?
Umm... I don't? Lol... If a story is not coming to me I usually just wait until the mood strikes and try again. Writing is so much fun for me! I never want it to feel like work. Having said that, it does suck when you're in the middle of a multi-chapter fic and you don't feel like continuing...

One thing I'll do to jog my muse is listen to music. 8tracks has a plethora of Caryl soundtracks to suit every taste. I'll also go back and watch scenes from previous episodes for inspiration.

A wise teacher once impressed upon me the need to schedule time for play everyday, so I give myself an hour in the evening to write if I can. It's like my vacation.

Anything you want to say to your readers? ;)
Okay, so if I spend to much time thinking about this question I will probably start crying because I am a giant sap. The most important thing you all need to hear from me is THANK YOU!

Thank you for reading my stuff. Thank you for your encouragement from the very first drabble I posted. Thank you for your reviews. Thank you for your criticisms. Thank you for recommending my stories to your friends. Thank you for flailing over every new Caryl moment. Thank you for helping me be a better writer (I'm looking at you Lena, wndrw8, NotLaura, and my beta Steph!). Thank you for making me a part of this beautiful supportive community. Nine Lives makes me a happier, more creative, and more fulfilled person - all thanks to you all!

Oh, and I'm working on a companion fic to Landslide - this time about Daryl's life pre-turn. Can't wait to share it with you. Xo!

NotLaura: Reviewer of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
I was late to the party, for sure. I've been involved in fandom for decades now, I've read and written fic since before I knew what it was. As a result, I sort of... kept myself peripherally aware of the goings on in fandoms I wasn't a part of. I know who the popular ships are, I know who likes what, etc. My dream job would be some sort of fandom anthropologist, because fandom and the psychology of it absolutely fascinates me.

As for the relevance to this question, what happened is this: The day after 4x01 aired, my husband watched it and I asked in passing "how was your show?". He replied that it was pretty good, and he was happy because, and these are his words: "My ship got together".

My husband's inability to grasp the concept of shipping has been a constant discussion for our years together, so to say that I was pleased to hear him using fandom terms would be an understatement. I asked him who he shipped, and he told me Carol and Daryl.

You probably find yourself thinking: But (not)Laura, Carol and Daryl didn't get together in 4x01...

I did a little peeking at TWD fandom places, realized that my husband was wrong, and set out on a mission to prove to him that the pookie scene did not constitute "getting together". A week later I had watched the first three seasons on netflix and was so compelled by this couple and their bond that I pretty much went from zero to one hundred before 4x02 even aired.

My husband's adorable inability to understand how to properly ship a couple drew me in, but the absolutely beautiful development between Carol and Daryl (and their fantastic chemistry) kept me around. There's so much about their relationship that's understated and their love for each other (be it romantic or not, I think you can guess where I stand) is undeniable, and it's those types of stories that I find compelling.

What do you look for in a story to keep reading?
I need to recognize the characters. I love AUs, but if I can't read the couple as an alternate take (or sidestep) from canon, I find it a lot harder to stay engaged with it. Same with non-AU stories: if Carol and Daryl are Carol and Daryl, that's enough to keep me interested.

What are your top five favorite stories?
Alphabetical by title, because having to rank these in any way might kill me:

  • i am the danger by wndrw8 - I love every word wndrw8 writes, but this one absolutely punched me with how much I felt it and how horrifyingly possible it all was. Beautifully written, without a single wasted word.

  • Landslide by Lamport - The best Carol story out there, the most well done and heartbreaking look at her marriage and one of the best "Carol tells Daryl about The Grove" scenes.

  • The Long Road Home by Tinkerbell99 - My all time favourite take on the "In Exile" time period and a beautifully written and developed look at their relationship that also manages to use some of my favourite romantic tropes? Yes please.

  • the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift into me, choking my lost heart by queenpeletier - Featuring the conversation between Daryl and Rick that I wanted to see happen,

  • What The Sky Looked Like by leigh57 - I could read this story every day, there's nothing about it that isn't perfect and the moment Daryl tells her he wants her in his tent just... does something to my heart.

Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?
Everyone at Nine Lives is incredible. As I said, I'm old hat with fandoms, but this type of friendly, supportive and creative community is a rarity. It gives me a lot of hope and comfort to know that there are so many incredibly talented people who are just as drawn to this pairing as I am.

--Fairies Masquerade on May 01, 2015 3:42pm 1 Comments
Team Fluff & Angst Official Chats

Rightyho Team Fluffinator, 

The first official chats will take place on Wed 29 April at 8pm EST and Fri 1 May 10pm EST (if you need help working out what that is in your local time, drop me a PM!) in the NL chat room. 

Friday will be the main chat to organise a Team Captain, decide if the team is dividing into smaller groups and discuss on an overall theme and story. Wednesday's chat is to accommodate those who can't take part in Friday's chat, but please feel free to come to both if you are able. 

Those who can't come to either chat will be able to get a transcript from both chats by PMing me afterwards. 

ALL Team Fluffy members are equally important, and we want everyone's input, so if you can't make it please drop me a PM to give your opinions on the matters discussed.

Team Angst members will be bustled out of the chatroom during these times by burly security guards. ;)

Note from FM: Hey! Who are you calling 'burly'?!

EDIT 4/29/15: HEY TEAM ANGST! Your team chats are Thursday April 30 at 4pm EST and Saturday May 2 at 9pm EST. Same guidelines as the Team Fluff chats posted above. Be there or be square!

--Ikkleosu on April 28, 2015 10:01pm 1 Comments
Round Robin: Team Angst vs Team Fluff

So it begins...

After many hours, the teams are assigned and it's time to rock and roll! The stage is set for Team Angst to take on Team Fluff in the inaugural Nine Lives Caryl Round Robin!

(I so wish I could play music on the site. I'm blasting 'Eye of the Tiger' in the background right now. Mood music. I'm not even a little sorry.)

Team Angst: wndrw8, Argent Gale, Equuleus86, lovesdaryl, heyanksy99, Peonies01, faegal04, Michelle Del Vale, Piper, inyoureyes, yearningflush, Liddym2113, cheyenneroseff, Lamport, TheWalkingCaryl, The Readers Muse, Hellody, savage, dismantledrose, Denoryl
Team Admin: subversivegrrl

Team Fluff: Stephtron312, vickih, CarolPeletier, Darluvscaryl, Stellamare, LAH, Buttercup, Munchkin78, indigo_bunting, sweettooth7, NotLaura, meeshie, jaibhagwan, Selbyzipper, Caryl Warrior, leigh57, krissyg927, orchid8494, bedlinens, Ravenesque
Team Admin: Ikkleosu

That is a heck of a lineup, don't you agree?! We have several new authors - like, this is going to be their first time writing ever new - on both teams, which just warms all the cold places in FM's black little heart.

For those of you who are not participating but are waiting anxiously for these new stories to read, here is how things are going to shake down between Teams Fluff & Angst:

  • Each team has 1 week to meet, assign a team captain, arrange their rotation schedule, all that jazz. They need to get their chapter rotations to their team admins no later than May 5 or they leave themselves vulnerable to the twisted machinations of Fairies Masquerade herself...

  • Teams have the option of working as one giant unit or breaking themselves into smaller groups within their team to post multiple stories. Again, this has to be decided by the teams no later than May 5 so that we can announce how many stories we can expect to see.

  • First chapters must be posted on May 14!

  • Each member will have 2 weeks max to get their subesquent chapters posted.

That's it! On the surface it seems fairly simple, doesn't it? Now for the fun part - and this is for EVERYONE, whether you are a participating writer, an overanxious reader or just an enthusiastic Caryl fan:

You want people to read these sure-to-be-fantastic pieces of fanfiction and show your support? Then YOU have to help us promote the Nine Lives Caryl Round Robin! Go to Twitter, tumblr, Facebook, whatever social media platform you want! Start trending hashtags that support your team and the Round Robin, create new tumblr tags, make banners & icons & story cover art - GO NUTS! But most of all, show your support for your writers and show everyone how incredible the Caryl fans truly are! This is your time to shine, people. Make it happen.


--Fairies Masquerade on April 26, 2015 8:57pm 0 Comments
It's Game Time!

Hello Nine Lives family and Mystery Game participants! Man, what a day to be in the fandom, eh? The sun is shining (well, it is somewhere – it’s raining here), the birds are chirping, filming for TWD Season 6 starts in 2 weeks, the hills are alive with the sound of Caryl and the one question on everyone’s mind is:

What the frickety-frak is this Mystery Game we keep hearing about?!

Ladies and gents, turn the lights down low and shut your faces, because the time has come for the first reveal of our Mystery Game!

We are playing… … … ... for the first time in Nine Lives’ history … … … *drumroll* … … … … 

(Ikkles & Subs: For the love of all that’s holy, FM, just tell them already!)


For those who may not know, a round robin is a type of collaborative storytelling in which a number of authors each write chapters of a story in rounds. For example:

My team decides we’re going to write an AU that takes place in a circus, with Daryl and Carol as circus performers. I write the first chapter, then Ikkles writes the second chapter and she has to go along with whatever I’ve posted in mine. Subs gets the third chapter and she has to follow whatever storyline Ikkles & I have started. And it goes around and around until the story is complete.

Make sense? Wonderful!

Those playing the game will be divided into teams. Each team will be given a theme on which their story must center. Each team will work with one of the admins to get themselves settled, including being given the opportunity to utilize the NL chat room for private planning sessions. Teams will have a week to plan, prep and schedule their rotation for the round robin, and then we’re off!

Now here is the really fun part. Remember when I said to let me know what genre you were comfortable writing in? You didn’t know it then, but you just picked your team for the Round Robin game! Mwahahaha… Sorry. I tend to get carried away with the evil cackle. Erm... anyway... Participants will be sent a PM over the weekend to let you know what team you’re on and all the details therein. (Those of you who said you were open to anything or failed to mention a genre are really in for a surprise!) 

If you still want to play but haven’t previously contacted Fairies Masquerade, you have until Sunday, April 26 to send a message to FM. The final teams will be posted at that time in our second game reveal. Remember: the round robin is open to anyone who wants to play, from the first time writer to the next JK Rowling. Bring it on! 

So throw your game faces on, folks. It’s time to get writing! 

--Fairies Masquerade on April 25, 2015 12:38am 9 Comments
Get Ready...

…For the biggest fanfiction challenge you’ve ever seen!

  • Do you want to enjoy some positive Caryl fun this hiatus?

  • Got an idea for a story floating around in your head that seems fun but you just have too many WIPs already?

  • Are you interested in getting to know the rest of the Nine Lives family better?

In addition to the upcoming revival of the Summer Survival Series, we’re going to play a game… a game that, depending on how many of you decide to play, could go on for weeks. Months, even. 

What kind of game, you ask? I can’t tell you yet. It’ll spoil the surprise!

I know, that’s so irritating of me, isn’t it? Put down the pitchforks before you hurt yourselves. All shall be revealed in due course! 

Here’s what I want from you: just PM Fairies Masquerade if you’re interested in playing our game this summer and let me know what kind of genre you would be ok writing in. I’m talking angst, romance, drama, fluffy goodness, comedic shenanigans. Maybe you’re ok with writing anything and everything – rock on with your bad self! But give a girl something to work with. 

You’ve got 3 days - until April 23 - to send your PM – and it must be a PM to Fairies Masquerade to be considered this time! We’re changing the routine on this one and you’ll find out why soon enough…

--Fairies Masquerade on April 20, 2015 7:18pm 2 Comments