Life explored in words and phrases.

I write about things as varied as pop culture, capitalism, politics, fashion, film, music, literature, writing, and grief.

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What Does Father’s Day Mean When I Was Only a Dad for 19 Days?

A piece for Mel Magazine about navigating my first Father's Day after losing my little girl.

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An Open Letter: I’m really sorry. I didn’t read that thing.

An evergreen open letter for Memorial Day or any other time you're sad.

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Some Advice for the Creative Writing Class of 2XXX – Doug Messel – Medium

Some evergreen advice for new creative writing majors who want to make money with their words.

Nevinashley article

Kind of like Crash Davis

In the Fall of 2014, Indiana's Nevin Ashley received his Major League Baseball call-up, courtesy of the Milwaukee Brewers. I wrote about my classmate and holding onto dreams.

Hill2 article


An obituary written for a childhood friend. Picked up by Extra Newsfeed after it was written.

Swimmingtheohio article

"How Far Would You Swim In The Ohio River?"

In 2010, Evansville, Indiana's News4U Magazine asked me to interview a woman who planned to swim the length of the Ohio River.

Sleeping bw 1 article

Things About Parenthood No One Told Me Because We Didn’t Think My Daughter Would Die After Two…

Written shortly after the death of my daughter, I tried to publicly navigate the hard decisions that were suddenly necessary.

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Easter Weekend, 2017

On thinking about the Resurrection and being a little jealous of God.

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On the Subject of Reprehensible Kings of Campus

An examination of my own experiences with the brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon as a college student at the University of Evansville.

Dougandjimreading article

Father's Day, 2015

An essay written for Father's Day in 2015.

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The Board and Batten Basement Remodel That You Can Do, Too!

A how-to guide for spending your summer cheaply transforming your drab basement into a pleasant home office.

Sleeping bw 1 article

Goodbye, Pollywog

The final entry for a short-lived parenting blog.

Rollingsisterhood article

Rolling Sisterhood: The Coolest Sorority in Town

In 2010, I was asked to interview a member of a roller derby team about their organization and practices.

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Can Someone Come to My House and Tell Me If My Daughter Lived a Good Life?

When a GOP Congressman said good health was an issue of morality, I invited him to my house to discuss.

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Charlotte James - Impatient Baby, Incompetent Cervix

Written as part of a short-lived parenting blog, this piece tells the story of how my wife lay in a hospital bed for five days trying to keep from giving birth.