Welcome to my digital world. I’ve been writing (for newspapers, magazines, online sites) since the 1950s, and blogging since first introduced to the idea via a paid blog for news aggregate site True/Slant in 2009. My roots are in small town Virginia and my heart is in hometown San Francisco. For more than you ever wanted to know, click on the tabs above. Current essays and hopefully enlightening &/or entertaining thoughts are under the Blog tab, or grouped in my most frequent categories below. Thanks for visiting!

Current big news: MARSHALLVILLE STORIES is HERE and available on Amazon! You can read about its genesis in this blog post.

I am indebted to editor Sara Vitale, web designer Eileen Mullin and overall consultant/cheerleader Jody Lee Collins, for invaluable literary & digital help.

Fran Moreland Johns

Optimism

Voice of America (Not)

I got tired of listening to my raspy voice. If I’m tired of listening to my raspy voice, I thought, what about the poor…

When Dreams (& Books) Come True

“I can’t write STORIES!” I remember saying. “Real writers write stories!” This was about 30 years ago, early in my marriage to The Great…

On Earning a Living

According to the New York Times (Of Interest, April 9,) Discovery TV mogul David Zaslav “earned a compensation package valued at $246.6 million last…

COVID Collection

Modern Laundry 101

Do I really want to start the laundry back home, in the middle of a lobster dinner at the Ritz? Perhaps. Or maybe it…

Dying Badly in the ICU

“A performance,” the physician called it. She was referring to futile treatments of a dying patient in the Intensive Care Unit performed to make…
shallow focus photography of yellow sunflower field under sunny sky

Optimism Survives & Conquers

Watching the news, as some of us compulsively do, is hazardous to my optimist health. The virus may be in retreat here, but death…

America

photo medication pills on white plastic container

Today’s Miracle Drug

(Serious side effects may occur . . .) As a public service, I have begun a trial regimen of the medication reported to be…

Watching War Begin

Surreal. There is no other word. Last night I was having a cup of after-dinner coffee, working on my computer with MSNBC on in…

A Love Letter to Allan Karlsson

Even if he’s a little older than I am How do you thank a storybook character? I need to send a giant hug to…

End of Life

What I Learned on the Streets

Wisdom is afoot. Well, actually, underfoot. Celebrate peace, seek justice. Make love, not war. Be here now. Those are three of my favorite etched-in-the-sidewalk…

Restorative Justice and Me

If you punched me in the nose and went to jail, can we still be friends? Or again be friends, to put it more…

How to Handle Covid Exhaustion

Are we there yet? I am absolutely positively over Covid. I have reached the maximum exhaustion level where, as far as can be determined,…

Feminist Collection

Reach Out & Touch Someone in 2022

(Ed. Note: At the end of this essay is the solution to today’s major problem. You may want to skip right to the end…
green trees

A New Year’s Ode to the Tree

Events and humankind in general being iffy these days, this seems a good time to talk about trees. I am a tree-hugger to the…

How to Build a Village: You May Need it One of These Days

Does it really take a village? Probably. Some of us need a sturdier village than others. But villages are good. Worth both the cultivation…