Round Robin Recap



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

  1. Go here:

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

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

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

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


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

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

To Whom It May Concern,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Follow for updates on the matter.


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

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

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

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

serpetinefire - Author of the Month

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

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

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

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

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

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

marybethorama - Reviewer of the Month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Damaged Goods by Hiatus90-one of my current obsessions

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

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


NL anniversary.gif

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

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

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

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

Thank you challenge participants for sharing your stories with us!

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

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

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

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

Happy reading and Caryl on!

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

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

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

Thank you to everyone who took part.

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

Link to stories sorted by year



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

All The King’s Horses by ramblinrose (erikaskars)

Broken Mirrors by Ramblin Rose (fangirl8494)

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

Drifting by Noxid Anamchara (fairiesmasquerade)

Enough by EleanorK (chestertonsfence)

Flutter by The Readers Muse (anon2)

He Noticed by Sweettooth-7 (Laurie Horton)

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

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

Lay of the Land by tinkerbell99 (sweettooth-7)

Of a Certain Age by Ramblin Rose (maesgirl)

Reading the Stars by PixieGrunger (anon1)

Road Dogs by Ramblin Rose (nursekris927)

Survivors by UncagedMuse (daisylou2013)

The Lesson by Argent Gale (ghostofzanarkand)

The Long Road Home by tinkerbell99  (lovesdaryl, amalynjon)

Three Little Birds by FairiesMasquerade (onedayyoujustchange)

Tied by The Readers Muse (untapdtreasure)

What The Sky Looked Like by Leigh57 (subversivegrrl)


Arrows and Roses by rhinozilla (fairiesmasquerade, subversivegrrl)

Erotic Reverie by Tennessee Whiskey (anon1)

Friday Nights by Ramblin Rose (nursekris927)

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

Horizonby CarolPeletier (daisylou2013)

If It Helps by Sweettooth (amalynjon, untapdtreasure)

Kintsugi by Jaibhagwan (maesgirl)

Kismet by CarolPeletier (erikaskars)

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

State Lines by NotLaura (justliketodance)

Swaying the Odds [MCREEDUS] by Clare009 (applexofmyeye)

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

The Very Merry Widow by darylsdiva1 (ghostofzanarkand)

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

Thrall by Argent-Gale (lovesdaryl)

Unseasoned Hearts by Englishpoet18 (Laurie Horton)

What is a Soulmate by EnglishPoet18 (onedayyoujustchange)

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

two whole year.png


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy anniversary, friends.

--FM, Ikkles & Subs on January 24, 2016 9:39am 11 Comments
Nine Lives 2nd Anniversary Event

Carylers, McReedus fans, authors, reviewers, readers, casual visitors, anonymous guests – welcome one and all to the Nine Lives Fanfiction Archive! The first and only archive of its kind in this fandom, geared specifically towards providing quality fanfiction for Caryl fans everywhere. This is where the good stuff lives. 

We started small and have grown by leaps and bounds into a powerhouse of the Caryl fandom. It is thanks to all of you that we have some so far. Thank you, all of you reading this, for being what keeps Nine Lives alive. Those who write, those who read and review, those who lurk in the shadows thirsting for every drop of fanfiction this fandom can squeeze out – you are awesome beyond measure.

Something very exciting is on the horizon: in 7 days, Nine Lives will turn 2 years old! You know what this means… 


Given that it’s our 2nd anniversary, we decided a dual challenge was in order to mark this most momentous occasion. That’s right: 2 challenges!! One for our brave and valiant authors and one for those who simply love to read. 

Challenge #1: Pic-Spiration 

This challenge is geared towards the authors out there! We’ve compiled 24 different photographs – one for each month of Nine Lives’ existence – that we think could spawn a brilliant story from your wildly creative minds. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pick one or more of the photos from our selection & create a magnificent new tale featuring Caryl or McReedus! 

Click photo to go to the folder and see the images in full.


Challenge #2: Best of the Best

This one is for everyone, but more for our loyal, wonderful readers. What is a fanfiction archive without fanfiction? … I hope I never find out. Too scary to imagine, amirite? We’re all here for the fanfic, so its time to honor those stories hosted here on Nine Lives! 

This challenge is a Fic Rec Challenge.  Hit us up on either of our social media accounts – tumblr and twitter – with your fic recs and a short note of WHY you love that story so much. However, there’s a twist: you’re only allowed 2 recs and you must submit one from each year of Nine Lives’ existence! That means your favorite story from 2014, and your favorite story from 2015. 

Link to Fanfiction Sorted by Year


Got it?! All right, lets get down to the nitty gritty! Here are the details, peeps:

THE CHALLENGES: Challenge #1: Pic-Spiraion and Challenge #2: Best of the Best as described above! Each challenge has slightly different rules & deadlines, so please read the information below carefully!


  • 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 and yes, you can submit multiple entries if you wish

  • Each story submitted must be a minimum of 100 words

  • DO NOT UPLOAD IT YET! Wait until January 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 January 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 January 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 January 30 will be deleted.


  • Scroll through the full list of stories sorted by year & pick your favorites

  • You only get 2 recommendations total: one for 2014 & one for 2015, so choose wisely!

  • Send a submission to either our Twitter account or our tumblr account with your chosen rec and a short note explaining why this story means so much to you as a Caryler, TWD fan, reader, etc.

  • You do not need to have a tumblr account to participate! Guest submissions are available for the NL tumblr, which means ANYONE can play. If you want to stay anonymous even though you have a tumblr, that’s cool. If you want to include your NL username at the end of your note, that’s fine too.

  • Fic Rec Submissions are due by January 23! That gives you 6 days to get your 2 recommendations in. Deadline to submit is midnight PST.

  • Posting Day is January 24 – We will flood our social media accounts with all the submissions given on the actual anniversary of Nine Lives. We will also provide a master list, linking to all the submissions received & the comments, here on the archive along with a special message from the administration team.

And there you have it, my turtle doves! 2 epics ways to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. Any questions, please comment below or drop a PM to FM, Ikkles or Subs. Happy reading and writing and above all: Caryl on!

--FM, Ikkles & Subs on January 17, 2016 1:38pm 2 Comments
Site Updates

Hi everyone! Hows everyone finding their footing in 2016 so far? We have so much coming up: Season 6B is nearly upon us, with all the madness and potential for Caryl awesomenss that brings; Nine Lives is about to turn 2, which means an epic event is headed your way; the admin team has been incredibly hard at work trying to find ways to improve and expand the experience of Nine Lives for our loyal family.

It's this last bit I want to talk about, just for a moment.

First and foremost: YOU GUYS. Ikkleosu, subversivegrrl, meeshie and Tech Guy are amazing. Ah-MAZE-Ing. Most of you are aware we've been experiencing a host of tech issues lately (thanks a lot, hackers!) and they have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to keep things running, especially while I was hospitalized and out of commission for a while during the holidays. Please, I'm begging you, shower them with your love and thanks for everything they do for Nine Lives. They have more than earned it.

Second, while we are making considerable progress in fixing the technical problems that have plagued us, we also completed a long overdue project.


Skins Nine11-Nine14 are now live and ready for viewing, featuring incredible banners and artwork courtesy of untapdtreasure, Equuleus86 and the famous Nutty McNut. A shoutout specific to the McReedus fans out there: Nine11 is for you! Basically, now you have even more ways to personalize your Nine Lives experience!

Here's a full list of skins and the featured artists:

Thank you to everyone who has helped make Nine Lives look and feel incredible! We have such amazing talent of all kinds in this fandom. 

EDIT: We have also made a slight change in how voting for Member of the Month (MOTM). Instead of typing in a member's name, you now have a drop-down box to select from. The author's box is populated only with those members who have published at least one story on Nine Lives AND have not previously won Author of the Month. The reviewer's box is populated with members who have left at least one review on any story on the archive AND have not previously won Reviewer of the Month. So now, instead of votes being wasted if a previous winner is nominated (as it was in the past), each vote will be able to count because previous winners will not appear in that category option. (You can more quickly scroll through the list by typing the first few letters of the member's name.)

That's enough from me. Don't forget to cast your votes for MOTM and drop me a PM with your recommendations for Featured Story of the Week. STAY TUNED, because coming up over the next couple of weeks we've got several challenges, the next set of Writers Chats and Nine Lives 2nd Anniversary event! 


--Fairies Masquerade on January 15, 2016 12:48am 2 Comments
January Members of the Month

Welcome 2016! And here to kick off the new year are January's terrific Members of the Month -- Tennessee Whiskey and Peonies01!

Tennessee Whiskey - Author of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?

It took me a few seasons to pinpoint what it is exactly, but I think I have narrowed it down to two things - Firstly, call me crazy, but I LOVE a slow burn.  I love that slow progression and I crave the little moments.  I swoon over a look or a tiny conversation and I pretty much die when we get a big moment like the reunion hug.  I'm surprised I'm even still alive after Consumed.  An entire Caryl episode - best thing ever!  The second thing is that I root for the underdog.  Who would have ever thought at the start of this show that Carol and Daryl would become one of the most popular ships on the show?  Daryl was the sex symbol right from the start.  In a more traditional love story he would have ended up with Andrea or Maggie, but they didn't go there.  Instead he's totally in love with Carol (right??) and it's just perfection.  Whether or not they ever go Canon - their story has been and continues to be beautiful and I will watch and root for them until the end. 

Who are your writing influences?

I honestly don't know that I have any significant influences.  I have a lot of writers that I enjoy, but I don't think they necessarily influence my style.  I very much just go with the flow so to speak when I write.  I don't even really know that I have a style yet - I'm still figuring things out.  But just to give you an idea of what I like to read I can throw a few names out there - Ellen Hopkins (if you have never read her work I highly recommend it.  She's a YA author, but I adore her unique writing style and how each story has a twist), Diana Gabaldon, Dan Brown, George RR Martin, Dean Koontz and Nicholas Sparks. 

How do you handle writer's block? 

I haven't had an issue with this yet that I know of.  But I do find that I like to start new things frequently because I have so many ideas and I love the high of starting a new story and seeing what people think of it.  If I feel like I'm losing reader interest in a story (whether it's true or just my perception) I will start something new to get excited again.  I suspect as I write more I might find writer's block popping up from time to time so I will probably hit up youtube and watch Caryl videos and hope the feels get my juices flowing again. 

Anything you want to say to your readers? 

I am honestly in shock right now.  I didn't expect to win this ever, let alone so soon.  It blows me away that people sit down for a few minutes to read what I write.  I am so grateful to those reviewers who take the time to let me know what they thought.  I would love to bestow you all with awards for doing that.  It means so much.  To all of you who voted for me - I don't know how I can ever express my gratitude other than to promise to keep writing and hope you continue to enjoy reading it.  There are so many incredible authors out there and so many amazing stories.  The fact you are even reading what I write is very humbling and inspiring. So thank you a million times over.  Happy New Year to everyone.  May 2016 be your best year yet.  Caryl on!  And bring on Valentine's Day.


Peonies01 - Reviewer of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?

"I cannot fix the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation.  It is too long ago.  I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun."--Jane Austen, 'Pride and Prejudice'

This quote pretty much sums up my feelings.  I binge-watched Seasons 1&2 right before season 3 started.  I loved Daryl and Carol's closeness and similar backgrounds, but where I went off the deep end (literally) with this ship was when Daryl stabbed the floor with Carol's knife right before he rescued her.  His angst during that scene made me realize how special their bond is and WTF, why haven't I realized I've been shipping it all along??  I've shipped various pairings in other fandoms over the years, but NOTHING has held my fascination like Caryl.  I think the canon relationship has SO MUCH potential to be wonderful.  I only hope tptb do it half the justice all of you wonderful fanfic writers do them.  Which leads me too...

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

Characterization is the primary driver.  If I can't "hear" Daryl or Carol speaking, thinking or acting a certain way in a story then it won't hold me.  I've read high school stories, cross overs, westerns, sci fi etc. that I've absolutely loved because the author is writing with Daryl and Carol's voices in that setting.  Lately, I've been obsessed with non-zombie AU stories because of my frustration with the show.  But I love Season 1-3 fics with farm and prison stories as favorites.  Another smaller quirk of mine is that the story can't have too many grammatical and spelling errors.  They become too distracting after a while and I'm forced to stop.

What are your top five favorite Caryl stories?

This question is impossible to narrow to 5 because different moods strike and different favorites will emerge. This list is by no means exhaustive and it's not in any order, but I've tried to pick some Nine Lives Categories as a guide:

Oneshot:  In the Night Garden by EleanorK.  This is a gorgeous one shot at the prison.

Season 2/3 Interlude:  Tethered by SamiWammy.  I love, love this story.  I mean love.  Slow-burn at it's finest! 

Season 5:  Arrows and Roses by Rhinozilla.  651 chapters?  All of them amazing. I mean every word is brilliant.  A must read.

Alternative Universe #1:  Broken Mirrors by Ramblinrose. As this was being written, I had a crazy obsession with this fic.  I've read it 3 more times in its entirety since it's been completed.

Alternative Universe #2: If It Helps by Sweettooth.  This is such a beautiful and compelling story.  One of my favorites for certain.

McReedus: All That And A Bucket of Chicken by Three Little Kittens. This is a fun and smoking hot story!  I loved it all the way around!

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

I don't review as often as I should, but I am so grateful for every word you write.  Thank you for writing such amazing stories for all of us hopeless romantics!!  Caryl on...Always!

--subversivegrrl on January 04, 2016 12:29pm 0 Comments
Nine Lives' Holiday Team Write

Hello Carylers! Can you believe we're already halfway through Season 6? Minds = blown.

Our first ever Holiday Team Write is under way and our brave challengers have already started posting their works to whip our Caryl feels into a frenzy this holiday hiatus! Lets show our valiant teams all the enthusiasm and flailing theyir hard work deserves.

BEHOLD! The master list of our Holiday Team Write Caryl fics:

Come Home for Christmas by Team Gingerbread (lovesdaryl, bedlinens)

Pessimism and Some Merry Christmas Panties by Team The Brothers Grimm (Haitus80, halohunter89)

The Gift by Team 6 (krissyg927, daisyg80)

Special Delivery by Team Tinsel (Argent Gale, heyasnky99)

My Heart Soars by Team SweetNotLampTron (Sweettooth7, Stephtron312, NotLaura, Lamport)

When We Were Young by Team Sugar Plum Fairies (meeshie, liddym2113, illusianation)



This list will be updated as our teams post their stories before the December 18 December 20 deadline, so keep an eye on the shoutbox & stay tuned for updates!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

-FM, Ikkles & Subs

--FM, Ikkles & Subs on December 09, 2015 12:09am 0 Comments
December Members of the Month

Give it up, give it aaaalll up for our wonderfully talented and just plain wonderful December Members of the Month: Equuleus86 and Erika_Sakura!

Equuleus86 - Author of the Month

What draws you to the Caryl ship?
God, the two of them are just made for each other. They say we’re all made of stars, and I think Carol and Daryl fell from the same one. When I think of them individually, there are so many little pieces each one has, that the other one is missing. That’s why I can never imagine either of them with anyone else. Melissa nailed it when she said that nobody else shares that relationship. It’s something that only the two of them fully understand and appreciate, and I think that’s a very rare thing to find, especially given the world that they’ve found themselves in. How unlikely is it that you find someone who’s the other half of you in the real world, let alone one where life is extra precious and fleeting? Their relationship isn’t overstated, but it’s blatantly obvious to anyone who’s watching that these two are soulmates, and that’s one of my favourite things about this ship.

Who are your writing influences?
I’m going to be a total bore and say my biggest influence is Stephen King. (Notable titles for me include The StandITLisey’s StoryFull Dark, No Stars and The Gunslinger.) The man is just a genius. I don’t know how it’s possible for one man’s brain to house such a twisted, bizarre, perplexing and at times horrifying universe, but my God does he do it well. His natural affinity with the macabre really does inspire me, and I do draw on him for inspiration. He is so well versed in angst and the darker side of the human psyche, and I just love that. Hence my delight at writing angsty things. I find it easier to explore the darkness than the light –but I am a bit of a weirdo anyway ha! Another writer who really did inspire me was J.G Ballard. Empire of the Sun also had a really angsty, dark feel to it, with descriptions so vivid I felt like I was there. If you get the chance you should read it, it’s a fabulous story.

How do you handle writer’s block?
Urgh my nemesis of late… Well, usually, I sit and stare at my screen, typing and deleting the same sentence about ten times before giving up, raiding the cupboards for food and moaning the face off my good pal kaoscraze82. But sometimes, something as simple as changing a word or an emotion in the sentence I’m writing, or having someone think something instead of outright saying it, can make all the difference. When things go the opposite way from how you intended, it sometimes works out for the better. Music can help too – I’ve often found myself having an idea about a fic (or for a whole new fic!) from just one word or sentence of a song. Other than that, try writing something else, even if it’s just something crappy you’re not gonna show anyone. All it takes is a word to unblock your block! *tries to drill this into self!!!!!*

Anything you want to say to your readers? ;)
YES! Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my cold Scottish icicle heart, thank you. I still am amazed and thrilled when anybody reads or reviews something I’ve written. Both my regular readers (you know who you are you gorgeous lot!) and new ones, you’re just awesome sauce. You’re the ones who stay up ‘til 3am and other crazy o’clocks reading, reviewing and pm’ing, and when I’ve had a bad day with naughty dogs and morons a-plenty, all it takes is a thoughtful word from someone who read one of my fics to cheer me up. You guys – you rock!!

Erika_Sakura - Reviewer of the Month


1.What draws you to the Caryl ship?
Well, my friends say that I identify with Carol, lol! (Admin Edit: Don't we all?! Solidarity! LOL - FM)

I love the development of the two characters from the start. Now, what really made me board the ship was the 2nd season, the search for Sophia, I cried with Carol, I adored Daryl, I saw the potential there, and the Cherokee Rose, was so beautiful and the Hug in the 5th! Wow, best episode ever.

2.What do you look for in a story to keep reading?
This question is difficult. Because my biggest problem is that I wanted to read all the stories, but I haven't much free time! I love when the authors know where to go with the story. I love the baby fic's!

3.What are your top five favorite stories?
Only 5? Impossible! There's my list:

Snake by Axelrocks
The Surrogate by liveinadive
Out of the Ashes by Starfur373
When the Levee Breaks by Haitus80
Broken Mirrors by ramblinrose
Kismet by CarolPeletier
Safe Haven by darylsdiva1
Contrapposto by darylsdiva1
A Broken Wing by Starfur373 
Iced Tea and Cigarettes by krissyg927
Act Nice And Gentle by krissyg927 
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors by Booksrbetter 
Our Little Secrets by ramblinrose 
Love Child by ramblinrose

4.Anything you want to say to all the Caryl authors out there?
Thank you! Really! There are so many things I want to say! I love you all!

Thank you for your dedication! You don't know how happy that makes me read a story! You have helped me so much, you have no idea!

Sometimes I get lost in translation, but that doesn't stop me to give a review!

Gracias Infinitas! Bravo

--Fairies Masquerade on December 03, 2015 8:53pm 0 Comments
Holiday Shenanigans Series: Team Write

Greetings and salutations Nine Lives family, Caryl and McReedus fans everywhere! We've got a couple of crazy things to throw at you over the next few days: the team lineup for the Team Write Holiday Challenge, the 2nd event in our Holiday Shenanigans series, an ode to our Round Robin, and so much more! Today, it's time to kick things off with the lineup for our Team Write Holiday Challenge!

Without further delay, here is the list of teams for our Team Write Holiday Challenge! (Note: Not all teams have picked a team name yet, so those teams are numbered until further notice.)

Team Sugar Plum Fairies: Illusianation, Liddym2113, meeshie

Team SweetNotLamptron: sweettooth7, Not Laura, Lamport, Stephtron312

Team 3: halohunter89, Haitus80

Team 4: lovesdaryl, bedlinens 

Team 5: Argent Gale, heyansky99

Team 6: krissyg927, DaisyG80

Team 7: mikymowse, ChristiLynne

We are so excited to see what our brave challengers cook up! All teams have been sent their official info PM from FM, with all the details of when and how to post their stories. Its now up to each of our teams to get together, plot & start writing the best holiday/winter-themed Caryl story they can.

Here's how the timeline of events for this is going to work, since we're doing things different this time. Instead of having a single Posting Day like we have in challenges past, our challengers have from December 1 - December 18 to post their story. They don't have to start posting on December 1, but their story has to be completed and published in its entirety by December 18.

That's it for this one! Everyone show our challengers some love. Good luck to all of our valiant teams! Stay tuned, everyone, because we have so much more headed your way! 

Stay cool & Caryl on, my ducklings!


--Fairies Masquerade on November 21, 2015 6:05pm 0 Comments
Nine Lives and the Very Glitchy Day

Hello, kittens. FM here, waving at you all from the darkest corners of her theater's green room.

As many of you have noticed, it's been a little glitchy here in Nine Lives-land lately. Emails not getting delivered, notifications not showing up, stories not posting for fully validated authors - all kinds of things. Well, while we work behind the scenes to get things fixed up, let me take a few minutes to explain what's going on.

First: Emails and notifications. Now, this requires some backstory. A couple of weeks ago, we were hit with our first spammer account, which left a whole bunch of annoying spam reviews on people's stories. FM and meeshie took care of it pretty quickly once it was spotted, got the account and spam deleted, the IP blocked and we figured we were all done and dusted. However, what happens when someone leaves a review? An email gets sent out to the author notifying them of a new review. The content of the spambots reviews meant all those emails were marked as spam, something we didn't really think about until complaints started rolling in a few days ago about how people aren't getting their email notifications for story updates, reviews or PMs.

What we've realized is that everyone who is having a problem getting email notifications of these things has one common factor: you all have Hotmail/Outlook email addresses. After some digging, we've discovered that, thanks to our friendly spambot reviewer, Microsoft (who owns Hotmail/Outlook) has marked Nine Lives as a spam server and is blocking all our emails to their users. We're working to have it corrected, but we could use a little help from our members who use Hotmail/Outlook. Please mark and as safe email addresses in your contacts. The more of you who mark us as safe users, the faster we can get Microsoft to reverse their ban on our notifications. Again, this only applies to those with Hotmail/Outlook email addresses (although really, everyone should mark those emails just so we don't accidentally end up in your spam folder). In the meantime, your email messages and notifications might be delayed a while, or possibly lost, until the issue with Microsoft is resolved. We know it sucks but there isn't much we can do about that one until Microsoft decides we aren't evil spammers out to take over the world.

First time for everything, right? Ahhh, site growing pains. 

Speaking of growing pains, that brings me to the second group of glitches: everything else (PMs not being delivered right away, stories not posting, site slow to load, etc). We have grown a lot since The Move. We've actually grown so fast that we've already maximized the available bandwidth from our server package on our new host (which was equal to what we were using before piggybacking on Elysian Fields). In short, everything is running slowly because there are so many of us now enjoying our wonderful Caryl sanctuary! While we love y'all, it's gotten crowded in here much quicker than we anticipated. The only way to fix this problem is to upgrade the server package on our host, which is happening today. So we should be running much more smoothly by tomorrow at the latest once the purchase goes through for more space and bandwidth.

I know its a lot, and there is a lot going on this week with getting our Team Write challenge moving. We really appreciate everyone's patience while we work to get everything sorted. Please, show my wonderful, patient, amazing co-admins Ikkleosu, subversivegrrl and especially meeshie some love for all their hard work behind the scenes this week! 

Thanks everyone,

-Fairies Masquerade

--Fairies Masquerade on November 12, 2015 3:11pm 3 Comments
Nine Lives' First Holiday Team Write

Hello again Nine Lives family, friends, Caryl fans, Carol lovers, loyal Daryl followers, McReedusites, guests and everyone in between! We, your loyal Nine Lives admins, have decided that to celebrate the upcoming holiday season, we needed not just a challenge or two, but something extra special.

Which means I get to bust out my favorite gif!

This holiday season, we are hosting the first ever Caryl Team Write!

A Team Write is an open collaboration on a story from start to finish. Where with a Round Robin, the authors involved are reactive from one chapter to the next and don’t know what’s coming until the chapters are published - in a Team Write, everyone on the team gets to plot their story together from start to finish. Plot together, write together, publish together.

We want to see how you guys work together to create the best winter/holiday Caryl story you can! Angsty, fluffy, smutty, action packed, drama filled silliness - anything goes!

The best part: you can pick your team! We know some of you really want to be paired with your best buddies for a challenge, so we’re going to let you.

How many teams are we talking? Well, that depends on just how many people sign up. We want as many teams as possible, and while the teams do not have to have equal numbers of members, there will be no more than 5 members per team (and no less than 2, because duh).

There are a lot more details to share, because we’re doing everything different with this challenge, but those will be disclosed later. Here’s what you need to know to sign up:

  • Sign up for this challenge by sending a PM to Fairies Masquerade. You have 2 choices:

    • Option 1: Send a PM with the people you want to be on your team (it would help if you talked to them first to make sure everyone is on the same page) OR

    • Option 2: Send a PM saying you want to play & you don’t care who you get paired up with

  • All team members must be registered for an account on Nine Lives! If they’re new for the challenge, that’s totally fine, but they need to be registered to participate

  • Sign ups are open through Monday, November 16.

  • Teams will be announced on Thursday, November 19. You will then have several weeks to get together to plan and write your stories!

  • Story posting will occur from December 1 - December 18 (we will expand on this in the Team Announcement post on November 19)

So there you have it! It’s going to be an epic fest of holiday awesomeness here on Nine Lives, so come be part of the fun! Questions, please comment here or PM an admin. Caryl on, my lovelies!

--Fairies Masquerade on November 07, 2015 4:21pm 3 Comments
November Chats!

November's chats - as much for the readers as the writers this month - will be

  • Thursday, November 5 at 10pm EST

  • Saturday, November 14 at 1pm EST.


The topic is "To Review and Be Reviewed" --

  • Handling reviews

  • Handling a lack of reviews

  • Criticism/how to give constructive feedback

  • If you're a reader, what prompts you to leave a review-- or not?

  • Public comments vs. private critique?

  • If you're an author, do you really want your readers to point out your errors, or not?

  • Does negative feedback impact how you write?

  • What about soliciting reader input on future chapters?

Link to the NL Chatzy forum is in the toolbar above.

--subversivegrrl on November 03, 2015 10:14am 0 Comments
November Members of the Month

Wow, where did that month go? It's time for MOTM again! Congrats, Stephtron312 and Lamport!

Stephtron312 - Author of the Month

IS THIS REAL LIFE?!?!?!!! I'm blushing so hard right now it's embarrassing and a noise just came out of my mouth that made my dog leave the room. ahhhhhhhhhhhhh THANK YOU!

Alright, down to business:

1. What draws you to the Caryl ship?

In one word: subtlety. Which looking back at Caryl through the years, there are very few things that are actually subtle about these two, but in the grand scheme of the show this relationship developed in such an understate, natural way that I didn't even know I was shipping them until it hit me with feels like a bad 80's ballad or something. I didn't watch TWD until last year, a few months before S5 started, and I was so caught up in the binging and the big plotlines of each season that I didn't have time to notice all the sweet moments between these two. But the buildup was so perfect that when Daryl sweeps Carol up into his arms during No Sanctuary and that darn hug, well, I felt like I was wrapped into that embrace right along with them. I was completely smitten. It's the kind of love story that I fall for; the ones that happen without you noticing it at all.

2. Who are your writing influences?

Oh boy, I have a lot! I read a ton and I always try to make note of things that stand out to me! JK Rowling can tell a story, the Harry Potter series is a masterpiece in the way she weaves plots together through seven books and her attention to detail is mind blowing. JD Salinger, too, is an author that has stuck with me since middle school. Especially his short story collection, Nine Stories, there's just such a depth to his writing that on the surface seems very simple but it's so multilayered that you can go back and re-read them and discover something new every time. But, really, I love anything that entertains me, and possibly makes me ache over fictional characters or a different world and that's what I hope to achieve with my writing as well!

3. How do you handle writer's block?

I feel like I get two types of writer's block. The first being the kind where I know what I want to write but the words are just not happening. I get too caught up in the semantics that nothing comes out at all. Or, I draw a blank and have absolutely nothing left. In the case of the first type, I just try to let it go and write! Doesn't matter if it sounds like gibberish because that's what editing and an amazing beta is for. In the case of the second I like to go back to my outline, or start a new one (I'm a planner through and through, I can't function without my outlines). Or I go to my beta or other writing buddies and bounce ideas off them! Just working through the simple actions of a piece is easier than trying to full on write it out sometimes. But if that doesn't work I try to distract myself completely. Read something else, write something else, listen to music, anything to stop myself from thinking about it. Typically that means I get a great idea just as I'm falling asleep and have to rush to write it down (which I never do because I'm lazy and like to sleep)! 

4. Anything you want to say to your readers? ;)

YOU GUYS ARE MY HEART!!! Anytime I see that reader count go up one, or get a review I just explode with happiness. To know that anything I write has connected with one of you, made you laugh or tear up or even just entertained you for twenty minutes while you were bored means the world to me. I love you all to the depths of my soul and cannot thank you enough! Cookies and Caryl hugs for you all <3

Lamport - Reviewer of the Month

Aw! I am very honoured. Thank you.

1. What draws you to the Caryl ship?

Everything.  The mutual respect and admiration that they show each other, and how it grew over time.  Their patience with each other.  The fact that they are equals, and treat each other as such.  Wordless communication.  Playfulness.  Comfort.  Love. Hot people.  

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

A solid grasp on the characters and their motivations.  Of course, this is completely subjective since my versions of Carol and Daryl are different than other people’s.  A unique plot.  Canon moments expanded.  Insights into characters.  Humour, angst, fluff, I like it all!

3. What are your top five favorite stories?

Well, this is an impossible question.  There are so many gems on Nine Lives, it’s hard to narrow it down.  The featured stories are all amazing!  And looking back through the recs from other ROTM, I see some overlap.  So, I’m going to make my suggestions based on fics from my personal favourite authors that maybe haven’t received as much love as they deserve.  Check them out!  There are more than 5.  Oops!  :P

1. Poker Night by EleanorK

2. What Remains by leigh57

3. Absolution by Lena Carr

4. State Lines by NotLaura

5. The Watch by Stephtron312

6. hold my hand consign me not to darkness by queenpeletier

7. Promise by strychnine

8. Fallen by sweettooth7

9. i can make you forget (all the chaos) by wndrw8

10. Last Refuge by jaibhagwan

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

Thank you.  I know that it can be incredibly nerve wracking to put your writing out there for the world to see.  Thank you for being brave enough to post, because then we all get to enjoy your interpretation of characters and events, and share our love of Caryl together. 

--subversivegrrl on November 01, 2015 12:49pm 1 Comments
The Great Halloween Challenge: Fic Master List

No more waiting, the time is here
For tales that make you shiver with fear
Vampires and werewolves and witches galore
Haunted houses and even more
Creepies and ghoulies to give you a fright
And all manner of things that go bump in the night
So get to reading before daylight is gone
Happy Halloween, everyone, and Caryl on!

Behold, The Great Halloween Challenge Fic Master List:


Several people requested and were granted extension on their Halloween fics, so the list will be updated throughout the day as those come in! (Those challenge participants with extension deals, send a PM to Fairies Masquerade when you've submitted your fic so she can update the challenge list, please.)

Happy reading everyone and Caryl on! 

--FM, Ikkles & Subs on October 24, 2015 7:50am 0 Comments
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