About

Rachel McDermott wrote and illustrated her first story, titled The Cat and the Rat, at age 7. She has been writing ever since, and has dreamed of becoming a published author. Young Adult Science Fiction is her favorite genre to read and write, and she started writing Christian Young Adult Science Fiction after rededicating her life to Christ in 2009. She is currently in the editing stage of self-publishing her first book, The Crown Jewel.

Rachel was born and raised in Ketchikan, Alaska, but she has lived in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area since 2001. She obtained a BA in English Writing with a minor in Communication from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2009, and she became a licensed minister after graduating from Charis Bible College in Atlanta, Georgia in 2014.

Though Rachel has been a writer for most of her life, it was during her first year at Charis Bible College that she discovered she has a passion for editing. During her second year, she decided to start an editing ministry called The Blessing Conduit. She freelanced as a developmental editor for a couple of years, and she is currently employed as a technical writer at ASTEC, Inc.

As a byproduct of learning to write, Rachel loves typing. She has always enjoyed writing stories with typewriters and computers, though she started out using the hunt-and-peck method of typing. Her typing skills dramatically improved in her teen years after she began utilizing chat rooms and instant messengers to communicate with friends online, and she taught herself how to touch type. She is glad her typing skills have improved immensely because she has come to enjoy writing novel-length fiction more than short stories.



The Story of The Blessing Conduit

This story starts back in the first part of 2013. I was doing my first year at Charis Bible College Atlanta and I found out that one of the apprentices, Aleshia Robinson, had written a couple of books. She found out that I was a writer and that I had been an English major in college. She asked if I could proofread her third book when she finished writing it. I said sure, I’d love to. She gave me copies of the first two books in the series so I could read them first. I edited those two books as practice and she was happy with my edits.

I’ve been writing since I was seven and I’ve edited my own stuff, but I hadn’t really considered editing for someone else. As I started editing for Aleshia I realized that this was a dream come true. I still will work on my own writing, but it’s awesome to be able to edit other people’s writing.

Several months later Aleshia finished her third book, a novella, and I edited that for pay. Sometime during the summer one of my classmates told me she had a church friend, Jill Orr, who needed an editor. I had met Jill briefly when I visited her church during the first year of school. I talked to Jill and I agreed to edit her first book, which was already published, and her second book, which had not yet been published. (The first book being already published is a long story…) Jill originally was going to pay me but some extenuating circumstances came up. I ended up putting the book aside because that was right around the time I was moving back down to Atlanta for my second year of CBC. Jill wasn’t sure when she’d be able to pay me, but I told her not to worry about it. We agreed to wait and see how things went.

At CBC Atlanta, students need to get 20 ministry hours per trimester (up to 4 hours per week) of some kind of volunteer work. During my first year I got the majority of my ministry hours from volunteering at the Wellspring Treasure Store in Peachtree City. This year was different. The teachers encouraged me and my second-year classmates to do something we were passionate about and not just get hours anywhere. At first, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. Then one day I got a bright idea! I wanted to keep editing Jill’s book, and I figured that if she didn’t pay me it would count as volunteering. I pitched the idea to my teacher, and she said it would work. Jill’s books are Christian books and she uses them in a ministry context. I talked to Jill and she was very grateful for my help!

It took a little longer than I expected, but I did finish editing Jill’s first book. I told her I would edit the second book for free as well so I could continue to get ministry hours, and I am still working on it.

Now fast-forward to January 2014. When I do my Bible reading in the morning I like to read a passage or a group of verses in the KJV and write out the verses verbatim in one journal, then read the same verses in the NLT and write a paraphrase in a second journal. I also use the second journal to write down anything I hear God saying to me. On January 9 I read all of Hebrews 1, and this is what I heard God say:

“I will anoint you with the oil of gladness, for my joy is your strength. You will have a blessing so great you will not have room enough to receive it. You are my beloved daughter and it pleases me to give you to and bless you. I know that you in return will be a blessing to others. This is the divine flow. I bless you and the blessing flows out of you. You are a conduit in more ways than you can imagine, not only a conduit of my power, but also of my blessing. Allow my fullness, which dwells in you, to flow out. As it flows, you will be refilled and you will never grow stagnant. You are blessed to be a blessing!”

This was a blessing to me as I wrote it. There’s kind of a long story behind the conduit comment, but I won’t get into all of that right now. I intended to mention this to my class, especially if I got the topic of financial prosperity for my impromptu 10-minute talk. I actually did get that topic but I completely forgot to mention it. Then the next time we had testimony chapel, my teacher asked me if I had anything to share. I said no because I couldn’t think of anything right then, so he took over the mic and started talking instead. Shortly I realized that yes, I did have something to share, but I didn’t say anything at that point. I sat there and thought about what I would have said, and I suddenly got the idea about starting a ministry.

Throughout the school year there have been many mentions about how my second-year classmates and I can discover what our ministry is based on what we are passionate about. I’ve toyed with the idea that writing and/or editing has something to do with my ministry but I didn’t really give it a lot of thought. Now I realized that I wanted to provide editorial support for Christian authors who aren’t able to pay an editor. I do want to edit for pay as well, but I find it very satisfying to bless people by editing their books for free. I consider it as sowing into their ministry.

After chapel I continued to think about the new ministry idea and when I got home I discussed it with my roommate, Dana. I was trying to come up with a name for it but kept going around in circles. I wanted to use the word conduit somehow, and I started looking up definitions, etc. I decided on The Blessing Conduit. During my research I found out that a group of unicorns is called a blessing, and that was so amusing that I decided I wanted to use unicorns in my logo. I quickly found a couple of images on Google and threw a logo together. I made a free WordPress blog and a Facebook page. At first I was hesitant about who I was going to tell about this endeavor, then I decided to just go ahead and invite everyone I know to see the Facebook page and the blog.

Now I’ve bought this domain for The Blessing Conduit, and I have taken down the free blog. I will be updating with more information soon!

5/7/14 Update: I am going to expand The Blessing Conduit to include other services besides just editing. These other services include tech support, device advice, and more!

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